In pursuit of passion iced tea.

passion iced tea

Today was a no-nap day. Between the no-napping and the constant chorus of “Why? Why? Why?” and “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!” I thought I was losing my mind. I was also trying to get some extra chores done and it seemed like every single member of my household was resistant to me making any progress, even the cats. Sometimes I just want to throw up my hands and leave for a day and see how they fare without me.

So I did. Sort of.

I was arguing with Toby over something or other and he was using his Jedi mind tricks on me where he scrambles my thoughts. No matter how valid my points are (and believe me they are!) I cannot make an argument go further than a sputter with him. I hate it when he does this to me. You don’t even know how many times I’ve wished I had my own personal moderator to plead my case.

I think I’m quite good at debating. I use to argue circles around my ex and I come from a long line of outspoken German-Irish hotheads. I’m not usually one to hold my tongue so this sputtering makes me mighty uncomfortable. I guess I married my match and it is so frustrating.

There I was arguing and losing hopelessly. Bug was interjecting her two cents every other second and the floor was distracting me with the zillion and one threads left on it from my latest fix-the-couch-cushions sewing project. I think the cat even threw in a yowl. I just couldn’t take it anymore so I flipped.

I quietly screamed, “I need a break!” I grabbed my purse and stomped out of the house in a huff.

Now, I don’t usually do this. I used to all the time before Bug was born but now with our new arrangement where I am the primary caregiver for our child, I can’t just up and have a temper tantrum whenever I choose to. I miss those temper tantrums. I miss dropping meaningful expletives and slamming doors. I’m just one pent-up angry misunderstood woman these days and I can’t even blog about my feelings because my whole family reads and I need to keep things upbeat and cheerful or else I get worried phone calls.

So I sat in my car and thought about where I should go. To the movies? To Santa Barbara? Mexico? I didn’t know what to do. I drove around the block and thought in blessed silence. I still didn’t know what to do so I kept on driving. I got as far as the local theatre and checked the movie showing times before the guilt set in.

I could hear Bug’s voice in my head saying, “You don’t need a break from me, do you mommy?” I thought of her crying and missing me. She would be scared and what if Toby didn’t really know how to comfort her? I know he’s a good dad and technically they would be fine for at least a day without me but I just knew I wouldn’t be able to enjoy a movie while I was worrying about her in the back of my mind.

And what about Toby? What if he had work he was planning on doing? What if my silly outburst put him even more behind schedule than he already is? We’ve been under some financial stress lately (like everyone these days), what if I was compounding our problems?

So I turned around and headed home. Some huff. I didn’t even last fifteen minutes.

When I got home you’ll never guess what I found. The furniture was all rearranged and Toby was on the floor with the vacuum cleaner up-ended. He had replaced the overflowing bag and was extracting five years’ worth of hair from the roller. Not only was he going to vacuum the whole house but he was fixing my poor tired vacuum cleaner too. Bug was nowhere to be found because she was “hiding” from Daddy and the big scary vacuum. Her laughter gave her away though and I found her naked under the covers in her room. Silly kid. She didn’t miss me at all.

I walked back into the living room and sputtered. Tears were leaking out of my eyes. I tried to explain myself to Toby but he cut me short.

“I love you Bren,” he said. “Go get yourself a passion iced tea.”

A passion iced tea? I don’t even like passion iced tea. But I didn’t argue. They only sell passion iced tea at one place that I know of and that place is Starbucks. So I left and went to get myself a passion iced tea. I also got two shots of espresso but Toby doesn’t have to know about that. I figured I was going to need it since today was going to be a very long no-nap day.

I sat in the sun outside Starbucks and drew in my book until my tea was gone. It was nice. I unloaded all my negative thoughts into my book. I drew myself fat. Then I drew myself with really really really long legs as if that would solve all my problems. I drew and drew and drew. And then I missed my family so I went home. Home to a freshly-vacuumed clean house.

If only every no-nap day could end like this.

My five things

shaking her "bom bom"

I have been tagged. Normally I duck from these types of things but it is a noble quest involving 80 clicks around the world, and the person who tagged me asked me politely first. It’s so nice to be asked first.

I’ve got a steaming cup of coffee in front of me. I’m hoping it jump-starts my brain into writing something brilliant and fresh. The topic is nothing new but I want to answer it as honestly and openly as I can.

The question is: What five things do you love about being a mom?

At first I feel a bit scared to answer a question like that. Aren’t you sick of hearing about how great motherhood is? Hasn’t everyone already heard enough? What do I have to say that could possibly be new and interesting?

I actually don’t think I’m that great of a mom. I know. You are all going to moan and groan about all the fun and creative things I do with Bug and I know you are right. But personally I think I’m a really great aunt. I love doing fun things with kids but then I like it when those kids go away and I have peace and quiet to think up my next really fun thing.

Being a mom is not as fun as being an aunt. It’s a lot of work. It’s a huge challenge for me to think of all the fun things but then keep my cool during the lag times between fun things. So many times Bug and I sit on the couch and I just stare into space while I pile heaps of guilt on myself for not at least thinking up a story to tell her. But I can’t be “on” all the time. Sometimes I’m not creative. Sometimes I’m tired and lazy. And sometimes I need to give her a chance to be bored so she can grow up to be as creative as I am. I was bored a LOT as a kid.

But that’s not answering the question. I’m sorry.

1. I love the companionship. Sometimes when we’re walking down the alley to the library and she’s skipping along holding my hand and NOT lagging behind, I find her little voice so captivating. She chatters on about this and that and I’m completely happy that I can go anywhere with her and never mind who is watching me.

I remember in the olden days when I was an insecure singleton, I used to frequent coffee shops a lot and write novellas into my journal about how lonely I was. I would wish and pray that someone, anyone, would just sit down across from me and strike up a conversation. I used to pretend to be interested in writing or reading or sketching but really I just wanted someone to talk to. Now I have someone to talk to all the time. And sometimes I even wish she would stop talking.

2. I love being the one who gets to comfort her. I love it that I usually understand what is wrong. Her brain is wired like my brain and I usually have a better idea than anyone else what will make her happy again. Sometimes that makes me feel like a superhero.

3. I love dressing her. Kids’ clothes are cute and she can get away with combinations that I can’t. I know this is a fleeting pleasure but I’m savoring it as long as she’ll let me.

4. I love the challenge of motherhood. It’s always changing and it always feels overwhelming yet I never give up. Well, sometimes I think I give up and I cry and scream into pillows, but I don’t really give up. I just take a breather and have another go at it. I’ve never had this many chances to do a good job before.

5. I love that I have a mom’s body. I love that that excuses me from competing with all the teenagers at the beach. I know I’ll never be like those Hollywood moms who can bounce quarters off their stomachs but I don’t really care. I know someday I’ll get back into shape. But for now I can blend in with all the other moms and nobody really cares because they are too busy looking at my cute kid.

Well…that’s not the best list but that’s the best I can come up with right now.

off to church

Now it’s your turn.

I tag:

Spritzer Leyba
Queen of Rambles
Jen’s Space

(I’m sorry I didn’t ask you guys politely by email first. I won’t hold it against you if you pass.)

If you’re not tagged, feel free to tag yourself.

p.s. She dressed herself in these photos. It was 70 degrees in the shade and for some reason she wanted to wear a hat and mittens.