I wonder if Cyndi Lauper is having fun? I’m not having any fun. I just realized that about two days ago. Since this baby was born over 16 months ago, I’ve been in Survival Mode. I’m the last one in line, the last person to eat dinner, the last person to go to bed, the last person to have any fun. And I’m sick of it.
Well, I also have PMS. Even my husband noticed it.
My kids have fun, but their fun drives me crazy. They had fun last week scattering all the branches I had pruned from the trees and left in a tidy pile. They kicked them, they used them for swords, they just threw them around the yard. Then they left empty Capri Sun pouches on the ground and tracked mud into the house.
Today’s the children’s main fun consisted of running, chasing, screaming, wrestling and throwing each other to the ground. Did I mention “screaming”? I finally quit saying, “STOP SCREAMING! I CAN’T STAND ANYMORE!!” because they just couldn’t remember. They were having fun. Laughing hysterically. Until, of course, someone started to cry.
The baby even joined in, using her new-found screaming ability.
My husband took her for a ride, so I could accomplish something. I spent an hour sorting and organizing and throwing stuff away in the storage room. Stuff multiplies like some deadly virus in that room. The stuff mutates and oozes and then one day I can’t find the packing tape. So, I have bags for charity and a bag for garbage and I can walk to the workbench. But still no packing tape.
Then, the baby was home. What to do? I know! The backyard.
The baby had fun in the backyard. She toddled from the Little Tikes car to the sodden lawn (can you call it a lawn if it’s mostly muddy spots?) and back. She carried around a ball. She babbled to me. She climbed the deck, she climbed off the deck. (While I was outside, my husband was inside winning Dad of the Year by playing the board game Clue with the kids.)
I gathered all the loose twigs from the yard and pruned more and raked all the leaves that stuck to the wet grass. We have this one tree that loses its leaves after the weather has turned rainy. They blow around the yard for weeks and months until I find a day to rake. Today was that day. I even pulled weeds and discovered the bulbs beginning to break through the ground. This is our first spring since Greta, our Newfoundland dog, has been gone and I am looking forward to reclaiming the yard and getting the flowerbeds into shape. Seeing the bulbs poking up through the mud was such a happy surprise. I felt a little pebble of hope.
Then my husband went off to work again. Meetings, meetings, more meetings from 3 p.m. to . . . .well, he’s not home yet and it’s nearly 8:30 p.m. He called to say it’d probably be after nine. The baby went to sleep at 7:30 p.m., and the boys will go down soon and then I’ll have blessed solitude. Sort of.
But fun! I want to have some fun! Fun alone, fun with my husband, fun with the kids! Mostly fun alone, though. The kids are having fun–even though I tend to ruin it for them when I am tortured by their noise. The baby is having fun–everything is new and I’m the kind of mom who lets her sprinkle water from her cup onto the floor under the theory that “it’s only water, it will dry”. I let her get dirty because babies are washable. I buy myself time by letting her pull all the tissues from the box. What’s not fun about that?
My time will come. I won’t always be sitting at the kids table with sauce on my pants. The day will come that I will have something witty to say to grown-ups. I’ll have insightful comments about the Presidential caucuses. I’ll be able to read a whole novel in one sitting and then discuss it with another adult. I might even have a tan from a tropical vacation. I will soon, I hope, laugh again until my face hurts.
But for now, I just want to whine. I’m not having fun today.