This weekend started with me quickly sending out SOS texts to some of my closest friends. “What do you do when they drive you absolutely batty? I can’t escape.” “That’s it, I’m faking my death. No, if I actually die, then they really can’t find me.”
It started when 17 came over with gbaby. Prince Charming was supposed to be home and 17, boyfriend and gbaby were due to visit us. They show up early and all is fine, this means I get to snuggle gbaby all on my own and not fight off the other baby-obsessed folk in my home. grandma wins. Except that ten minutes into it being just me and them home, 17 says “I THOUGHT Dad was going to be here. Where is he? I thought he was leaving?” girl. your dad and time do not go well together, you should know.
As soon as PC, 12 and 9 walk through the door, 9 starts asking for dinner. He’s been with PC all day, so why hasn’t he ate? He asks at least 7 times before I begin cooking. Then, mid-stir, WHEN. WILL. IT. BE. READY.
and i do the crazy lady head tilt. I swear if you ask me one more time when we are going to eat, i’m banning you from dinner. do. not. ask. me. again. After all, I’m in the kitchen, standing in front of the stove, putting things in the oven, setting the table, getting the drinks and trying to be cordial with 17. She volunteers to help, but simultaneously forgets and starts doing something else. Awesome.
After dinner is served, 9 complains about the types of cheese, that they ate spaghetti with mom earlier in the week, that there isn’t enough bread (there was enough for each of us to have 2. that’s plenty.) 12 hits him in my defense. I love that one. I sit in silence and eat.
I can’t explain how the rest of the weekend went. I felt aggravated the entire time, without prompting. We spent Sunday at church and at the community college pool, while PC went to get some study help. I am exhausted. Noise is overwhelming. We packed lunches and ate them before we swam, this should buy us a few hours.
We get home, I hadn’t eaten anything because I don’t like sandwiches. I grab a cold piece of pizza and try to eat it before they can see me. They try to tell me they’re hungry, but they just got donuts as treats on the way home and had lunch not too long ago. It’s not even 5:00. They won’t leave my side while I try to eat one. slice. of. pizza. So i shoo them. Go read for a few minutes. Please. Just go read. Go somewhere, Please.
12 is yelling answers in my ear to every question i ask PC. I tell him to shush. He gets louder. I ask PC to repeat himself because I can’t hear or handle anything right at that moment. 12 is yelling again. I scream. I scream like I have never screamed before. I turn red. I feel something different in me when I scream. I walk into my room and shut the door and I cry for what feels like days. I don’t want to be a monster.
I cry until I can compose myself and walk into 12’s room and apologize, hanging my head down low. He said he deserved it, he knew he was wrong for talking over me and not letting me just ask a question to his dad. No kid. You don’t ever deserve to be talked to like that. But you’re right, you were annoying the shit out of me. I’m sorry.
I go across the hall to find my Prince. I am red in the face and my eyes are still wet. I tell him I need him to give me time alone when it’s a weekend with kids. That I need him to recognize when I need a break, because I know I won’t. I need him to just give me ten minutes to breathe. He tells me I don’t have to ask for breaks and to take them when I need them, but he doesn’t understand. I fall apart and i cry. I have never walked up to him and cried before. except when I found out my step dad had cancer. He hugged me like he finally saw me. He apologized and told me he’s worse at yelling than I am and that the kids know we lose our cools sometimes and we’re humans and its okay. He told me to apologize and smiled when i told him I already had. I told him it hurts to try to love on kids who shut you out. They love you.
I know, but it’s different. They love me but when they sit by me on the couch and accidentally find themselves with their leg against mine or they are leaning on me, they realize it and scoot far away. If they pull my hand to show me something, they quickly realize that they can’t touch me and drop their arms down. They don’t tell me they love me or hardly even tell me good night. I don’t expect them to say much or be very affectionate, I just wish I could hug them every now and again. Or feel like it isn’t wrong if I do. I tell PC that the only night they’ve ever hugged me was when their mom came and ripped them away from me, and I had to ask for it. 12 had to convince 9 it was okay for him to hug me.
PC suggests that I think about how chaotic life with kids is, because I want to have a child (not right this second, calm down.) But i tell him it would be different. The chaos would be different. the consequences would be different. the love would be different.
He nods like he knows. It’d be different because it would be yours.