That’s an exaggeration. Sort of.
Here’s a text conversation that took place between me and my husband today:
11.43a Me: Remember how M and I were going to go out for pancakes today and it was Big News? M lost her restaurant privilege because she lost her shit at the notion of trying on a black leotard. Lack of pancakes is not going over well.
12.15p Me: Do you know what kids in gulags don’t get to do? Eat out pancakes at restaurants. So M is basically living in Soviet work camp conditions. Just ask her. She’ll confirm.
2.16p Me: I set M and her friend up with an art project and they fought for 20 mins over who got the bottle with the pink sand. Both were bawling. Throughout the exchange neither could remember which of the 3 bottles was the one with the pink sand since they all have pink sand.
3.40p Me: Related question: what time are you getting home tonight?
3.45p Him: Is this from today? All I can see is texts about Safeway last night.
4.01p Me: If you come home late I will stab you with a fork.
The second my husband walked in the door I looked both him and our daughter in the eye and said, “I need alone time. Do not come into my room unless someone is on fire.” I grabbed a beer and the iPad and stalked off.
I regret nothing.
Here’s the crazy thing: Today was an amazing day. Joy. Basking in togetherness. All that sappy mother-daughter stuff that, given my current mood, would give me an insulin overdose to recount.
I know that there families going through all sorts of challenges and to them this day seems like peanuts. But, oh, man. For me. At this moment. Parenting is hard. And the hard is disconnected from the amazing somehow.
I’m finding parenting a five year old requires a large tank of calm emotion coaching. “Yes, you have to try and use the bathroom before we leave. Let me lovingly guide you through this concept for the 5031st time.” “No, it’s not okay if you try on your leotard over your clothes. Let’s spend the next 15 minutes calmly explaining why this is a bad idea.”
But once the tank is dry, it’s dry. It’s “Hey you guys! Let’s put the pink bottles up on a shelf because ZOMG TV! LET’S ALL WATCH TV AND NOT TALK ANYMORE RIGHT NOW!” dry. It’s “If you whine at me one more time about how I never do anything for you I will bite off my tongue” dry.
At the end of a day like this I need to recharge my batteries because all the joy and sappy parent child stuff is somehow separate from all the patience grating, spirit crunching difficult moments.
So seriously. You’re not on fire? Great. Leave me be while I process all this. If you feel magnanimous, craft an emotionally exploitive letter to Sprint to ream them for dropping a half of that text conversation.