It happened again tonight.
I was so close, like a runner in the last 5 miles of a marathon. I’m assuming this because I’ve never actually attempted to run a marathon. I did walk a 5K once, so that’s like the same. Right?
So there I was: 6:45 p.m., the baby had just decided to play toilets-are-water-tables again and the preschooler was demanding I set up Play-doh. As I attempted to do two things at once, I heard a text message come through on my phone.
“Sorry babe, I’m running late.”
I’m usually a rational person. Everyday, I stick my chin up and do what needs to be done: The shopping, the carting, the butt wiping, the cleaning, the laundry, the disciplining… all of the things that motherhood demands. I usually have a smile on my face while I’m doing it too. At least I try to… but there is only so much you can shoulder when you’ve been pushed to your limit.
7 p.m. is my limit. It’s the exact time I am done. Mentally and physically finished with the monotony of my day. It also happens to coincide with the precise time my husband usually walks through the door, but when he’s running late… I hit DEFCON 1. My thought process goes something like this.
1. This can’t be happening. Why is this happening? That’s usually when something monumentally disgusting or outlandish occurs: A kid decides to eat paste, or shit in his underwear and bring it to me so I can “see,” or feed the fish Cheetos… out of the toilet.
2. How am I going to cook dinner and simultaneously entertain these little heathens? Who, ironically, are as done with me as I am with them? Listen, I’m not an awful mom, but I am a human being. And after being on for 14 hours… I’m out of ideas. I’m out of answers. I’m out of energy.
3. How late is late? He’s running late. 10 minutes? 15? An hour? If it’s an hour I will lock myself in the bathroom with the 1-year-old at the 59 minute mark. He likes toilets, so, we’re cool. The other kids will just have to not kill each other.
4. It has been 12 hours since I spoke to another adult. He was bagging my groceries, and I went on and on about the last time my grandmother came over for dinner, just to realize he didn’t speak a word of English. He was a really good listener though… I should see if he’s working tomorrow.
5. It’s gonna be okay. I can do this. I’ve already been doing this all day, what’s a little while longer? I am so lucky to have a partner to share this with me. OMG, what if he leaves me? What if that’s why he’s late? What if he’s found some hot young thing who isn’t a fucking basket case with unwashed hair and cuticles as long as her nails? She probably wears hair extensions too, all the hot bitches wear extensions now. Damn.
“Hey babe, what’s for dinner?”
“Broiled Salmon, Eau de Toilette. The baby helped me make it.”
“Really? He’s finally gotten over his fascination with the toilet?”
No… Not at all.
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