It’s 8:30pm. I’m lying with my five year-old at bedtime. After a few minutes of snuggling, I try to leave, but he begs, “One more minute!” So I stay a minute more, growing restless. Again, I kiss him goodnight, and he pleads for more time. I leave, but five minutes later, I return for one more minute.
It’s 9:15pm. My 8 year-old wants tickle back, which I do, but then he wants longer, which I do, but when he whines for more, I kiss his head, and say, “That’s it babe, time for bed.” Immediately he squeals his offense and huddles under his blanket to ward off any of my gentle advances for a good night. I sigh, pat his blanketed back and leave. Five minutes later I return for one last minute of tickles.
It’s 9:45pm. My 11 year-old in bed declares he’s starving.
“Mommy has closed up shop for the night.” I say firmly.
“But I’m hungry,” he whines.
“Baby, I asked you an hour ago.” I whine.
He looks down at his belly and gives me a cock-eyed grin. “It’s rumbling, mommy.”
I go down and cut him an apple.
Finally, I get to the couch where my husband rests comfortably, baseball on the TV, laptop on the lap. I sit my tired ass down and begin to speak, probably for the first time of the day to my husband, but we’re interrupted by a small voice from upstairs.
“Mama.” We hear, and both roll our eyes.
“Mommy’s busy!” My husband calls up. “Go to sleep.”
It’s quiet for a minute, but then we hear it again. “Mama.”
“Go on,” my husband says, as annoyed by their constant need of me as my babying, “You know you have to.”
I take a deep breath. He’s right. There’s no way I can ignore him, even though I really want to. I race upstairs and into the room calling Mama. Tonight it’s my 11 year-old but it could have easily been any of them.
“One more hug.” He says, sleepily, and I melt into his warm body for a sweet moment.
I leave and head back downstairs, exhausted from the constant push and pull, both physically and emotionally. I wonder why I can’t stick to my guns without shooting myself in the foot? Why I must always soften any tough talk with a batch of fresh cookies? I am a jumble of contradictions and the biggest one is that I often complain that I’m not everyone’s bitch, when clearly I willingly am.
“I could really use some pretzels.” My husband hints, not at all subtly.
He lifts his brows to give me a pleading, goofy look, not so unlike his son’s.
“Arrgh! Get it yourself!” I yell as I make my way to the kitchen, grab the bag from the closet, stomp back into the living room and toss them at his chest.
“Thank you.” I hear as I head upstairs, hoping not to feel another tug at my heart to do anything for anyone. This rope is going to bed, before it strangles someone.
Linking up with YW, then taking a couple of weeks off.
Can you tell I need them? 😉
See youuuuu in Septemberrrrr…. xo