I was on vacation last week. I started an entry that was going to be a funny day-by-day diary-like account of the week, but by the entry for Day 5 I was too depressed to make it funny. Vacation is freakin’ hard. If you don’t have kids, you won’t get this, but if you do, you know what I am talking about.
The 10 days I was off of “work” were the longest 10 days of my life. Why, you ask? Because daycare was also closed for those 10 days. I had 10 consecutive days with Max. TEN. And while I love that little munchkin more than life itself, he is demanding, irrational and sometimes just an ass hole.
I spend, on an average work day, a lot of time alone. Max goes to daycare at around 8 and I work alone, at home, usually until 5pm. Then I pick him up. Although I talk on the phone with people, it is not unusual for me not see another human being all day. And frankly, I like it that way.
This vacation meant all day, every day was spent with my shadow right next to me. He slept with me, he whined at me, he hit me, he spit at me, and at one point, I believe it was Day 8, I locked myself in the hotel bathroom to cry with the sounds of him on the other side of the door whining “Mommy.”
I now know why and how people snap. I get why some mothers just one day pack their bags and walk away. I am not saying I am going to do this, but I now completely understand why some do. My mother stayed at home with 4 children. And we were whiny and lazy and unappreciative. I don’t know why she stayed.
It seemed that the more miserable I was, the clingier he got. He could sense that I was fading, vanishing from existence with each day of vacation. I tried to be happy, I suggested pool visits and games, but he knew I was faking it and balked every step of the way. He whined for his pacifier (which he only gets at night) all day long, he whined that his stomach hurt (which it did because he held his shit in for 4 days) he whined that the pool had closed (which it was and it was moronic because who closes a pool when there is a clap of thunder 25 miles away) but when he started whining for me to hold him when I was already holding him, I snapped. I cried. I cried because I do not like being a mother right now and I cried because I missed my own mother and I cried because I will not be free for a long time.
I will be tied to this little boy forever and for the first time, I was saddened by that.
He can sense this in me and he does not know what to do, so I am hugging him more and telling him I love him. I do love him. Very much. But right now, it is hard to like being with him. He is irrational and willful. He makes outrageous demands and is willfully disobedient.
Last night we were lying in bed and he was singing to himself. I held him tight and told him I loved him. He stroked my hair and snuggled in close and said, “Mommy? You smell good. You smell like pizza.”
From a three year old, there are no sweeter and more poetic words of love than those.
And, I know this phase will pass. He will get over his bizarre toilet hang ups, he will eventually enter the age of reason and one day, he will not want me around all the time. He will be embarrassed to be seen with me and will make me drop him off 2 blocks away from his friends.
But for now, I have a tiny tyrant in my life and he smells like hot dogs and urine.