Thursday, October 22, 2009

I Need A Drink. So.... Maybe Next Year?

Let's discuss the subject of autonomy. Or more specifically, the fact that I have none. Part one of the discussion centers on the fact that I am never alone. I am not alone in the car. At the store. While bathing. And certainly not while trying to make a phone call. Oddly, my phone calls always seem to result in the small people around me unintelligibly shrieking. The only place I remember being alone recently is in my basement moving wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. Actually... No. Usually someone is hollering for me because they sense there is a slight chance I may be alone with my thoughts for 30 seconds and that must not be allowed to happen.

I know that I harp on the fact that occasionally my husband stops off and has a drink with a colleague on his way home. Given how often people in his line of work do business over happy hour, I should probably be grateful that this happens as infrequently as it does. But I am not gracious and understanding. No no no. I am a grouchy, humorless shrew. I am a Shrewish American Princess. (Yes, a SAP. I went there.) And I want to go have a damn drink.

Perhaps if I were allowed to sleep for more than ninety consecutive minutes I might be able to dig deep into my peaceful, loving, wifey heart and be happy that he gets the chance to unwind and have a beer with friends. You know what? Sleep be damned, he works hard - he deserves some fun and some down time. But guess what, hotshots, so does Mommy. And the more I think about it the more my shrivelled-up little shrew's heart grows angry.

Here's a list of bullshit reasons why I never get to go out anywhere alone:
1. Daddy works crazy long hours so I can't make plans without hiring a babysitter and good ones are hard to find. Not to mention $12/hour when you have three little terror suspects that need supervision.
2. My littlest is still a booby-feeder. Sidebar: Though, I am adamantly in favor of breastfeeding, my sisters in boobage have to admit that it enables Daddy to claim complete incompetence when it comes to settling down a fussy one. Less for them to deal with. More for you. Super.
3. Every time the stars align (plans made, sitter booked) someone gets sick.
4. I get annoyed instead of enjoying myself because someone likes to suck the fun out of every outing by texting me that the baby is crying and won't stop or repeatedly calling me to find out how long my meeting will take, and always letting me know (without actually saying the words) that no matter how soon I'm planning on coming home it is NOT SOON ENOUGH.
5. Apparently, there is an unwritten law about this; a quota of times Mommy is allowed to leave the house unaccompanied. Mommy may use these trips to go to Walmart or put gas in the car, to attend parent-teacher conferences, meetings for Girl Scouts, or her part-time job, or (if she is feeling extremely selfish) to have a drink with friends. But Mommy, please don't think you can get your hair cut this week. You went to the Post Office alone on Wednesday. That was it. Your haircut needs to wait until next week. Its the law.

Sometimes all of these laws converge to demonstrate the overwhelming certainty that the Universe wants my ass at home with the kids. Does the Universe want my husband at home? I don't think the Universe gives a fig about that. Why? Because of the GUILT. I go out. I come home. I see that my adorably quiet, happy, creamy pink baby has morphed into a blotchy, mottled, screaming tomato that after one minute in my arms collapses into a exhausted, mucus-smeared heap. At about this time my husband is pouring himself a scotch in the same clammy, slightly shaky manner as an air traffic controller who has finished a shift at LaGuardia during an ice storm. And someone else has developed a cough. And every body's schedule is completely thrown. And my living room...

And it is such a thoroughly unpleasant situation that next time, I don't even bother. I just say no thanks and resign myself to another night of macaroni and making sure every one's teeth are brushed. Maybe I'll meet you out when the baby is older. Maybe when Daddy is not so busy at work. Maybe next year... It is this tacit acceptance of my loss of autonomy that saddens me. And it is how I know the little terrorists have won.

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