It’s an average spring day in May at my house. 3/4 of the kids are at school. The laundry is spinning, the sink is piled with breakfast dishes and the dishwasher is loaded with clean dishes that need to be put away. I’ll get to those eventually. I’m sipping my coffee with one hand and logging onto my bank account with the other. My 2-year-old, Maggie, is begging me to paint. She pleas her case over and over again as she swings on the dining room chair legs in a rhythmic fashion. She has already mastered begging. Her tone and persistent whining are like fingernails on a chalkboard to an exhausted mom searching for a few moments of peace.
“Can I puwease paint somefing… anyfing..puwease Mommy!
I talk to myself. Why paint? Paint is messy. Attempting to buy myself a little time, I respond. “Maybe later honey. Why don’t you color?”
“Nooo! I don’t wike colors.”
I ignore her nasty attitude and study her. Her arms are crossed tight and her eyes are angry but there is something adorable about her. I love the innocence of her problem. It makes me smile. I think psychologists call this motherly love. I call it happiness. I’ve learned that fighting with a 2-year-old never goes well. It’s best to smile and watch their bad attitude dissolve.
Ted is literally laying under my feet and slowly rolls onto his back. He needs me to rub his belly with the heel of my foot. I oblige and he thanks me with his chocolate-brown eyes.
The sound of a new email snaps me out of my daze.
Subconsciously that subtle bing sound gives me a mild panic attack. Who is it this time? Perhaps it’s the team mom or the class mom. It doesn’t really matter I suppose. Much like a child screaming “Moooooom!” The fact that someone needs me for something I really don’t want to do makes me instantly annoyed. I mentally respond to emails with the same attitude I give my children when they cry my name.
“Whaaat? What do you want?”
I finish paying a few bills and then click over to my inbox and check my new message. The title alone makes me cringe, “class sign up” It’s that time of year again when I am forced to donate obscene amounts of time, money and effort into school parties, sports, after school activities, teacher conferences and random celebrations. Every single email requires some type of commitment from me. I open the email that was sent less than 10 minutes ago, yet I am the last parent to sign up. And by the way, how the hell does that happen? Did the class mom call all of her friends and warn them that a sign up email would be sent and to get ready in 3-2-1? I mean really? Ugh. The only things left on the list were cupcakes and cookies. Go ahead and call me an overachiever but I was kinda praying for napkins or paper plates. I stared at the screen hoping another parent would magically sign up for both items right before my eyes and all the motherly guilt would be lifted from my soul but that did not happen. The only mom’s left to sign up were the slackers; myself included. Sigh. Should I do cupcakes? No, Maybe cookies? Hmmm…distracted by another email.
Will Flynn be at baseball practice today?
And then another, Bing
We are asking parents to send in a donation for the teacher gift?
Will Molly be at soccer practice tomorrow?
Will the 2-2:30 time slot work for our parent/teacher conference?
All dancers will need a hair bow to match their costume for the dance recital.
Just a friendly reminder that we have you signed up to bring orange slices Saturday.
Have you paid your team dues yet? They are due this week. Thanks so much!
Bing, Bing, Bing...
It never ends. Slowly but surely my calendar fills up and my bank account is depleted. All I did was check my email and my mood completely changed. I went from having a great day to feeling overwhelmed and broke. I close my laptop to hide from the world.
“Mommy? Can I paint now?”
“Yes Maggie. That’s a great idea. Let’s paint.”
Suddenly, painting sounds like an amazing idea. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
I cannot wait for the summer. I have absolutely nothing planned.