Sometimes I Eat Chocolate Instead
April 15th, 2017
I was going to write this column a few days ago, after my kids were in bed. But my daughter chose that night to be terrorized by a rogue fly that was loose in her room. I was forced to do battle with the evil thing, ultimately smiting it with the swatter. Victory assured, it still took me another thirty minutes to convince her it hadn’t brought any friends along when it invaded her room. By the time I staggered out of her bedroom, my intellectual and emotional fuel gauge was on zero and so, instead of composing witty prose, I ate a Cadbury Cream Egg and applied a new set of nail wraps. They are hot pink with Easter bunnies on them and they make me feel inexplicably powerful, given how utterly ridiculous they are.
I was going to rake the lawn last week, since the dead leaves I never dealt with in the fall are threatening to overpower the grass (okay, fine, the weedy uneven ground cover) that is valiantly attempting to spring forth. But my son threw a ball into a tree and it got stuck. He managed to subsequently lodge a tennis racket and a softball mitt up there, too, in his attempts to get the ball down. So instead of raking, there were ladders and broom handles and muffled curses and triumphant shouts of joy as sporting equipment rained down from the branches.
I was going to exercise last night, hitting the elliptical machine in my den after lights out. But there was a storm and the thunder sent one of my children scurrying down from their bedroom to seek safety in relative proximity to my bedroom. Can’t very well pant and sweat while watching Grey’s Anatomy when there’s a small child curled up on the futon. So instead I went to bed.
I was going to clean the house this evening. Or at least the art room, since it currently looks like a craft store exploded in it. Markers, glue sticks, and rhinestones are strewn across the floor. There’s a partially-closed tub of play dough and a mini rolling pin abandoned on the table. A thumb tack from the bulletin board lurks near the doorway, waiting to attack an unsuspecting pedestrian. But the kitchen looks just as bad and I have to use that room tomorrow. I managed to throw together a few bags of marinated chicken while the kids were taking baths, but the hasty assembly took a toll on the kitchen. So instead of tackling the art room, I dealt with many dirty bowls, a small puddle of olive oil near the sink, onion papers on the cutting board, and a squadron of spice containers in a jumble on the counter.
Are you sensing a pattern here? There aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week when you’re a parent. It’s a fact, as indisputable as gravity. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the unchecked items on the endless parental to-do list. The laundry unsorted at the end of the day. The perpetual fingerprints on the bathroom mirror. The catchup phone calls long overdue to friends and family. The broken toy that needs gluing. Again.
It’s not all going to get done tonight. Or tomorrow night. Or ever. I’m learning to accept this reality with less guilt and angst. Sometimes I wash the dishes. And sometimes I eat chocolate instead.