M came home yesterday. And as always, within minutes of his arrival, I take a walk on the snarky side. I don’t know why, and I suspect I am not alone in this, but I find the shift from the Supermother mode of single parenting to a sort of co-parenting a difficult one. I just can’t switch off that easily.
I can ignore food crusted to my counter tops (I’ll never, as long as I live, understand how you can sweep a floor, but miss the counter tops. Every time.) I think I was even planning to ignore the fact that a certain someone didn’t remind a certain someone else to pee before bed and I had to change sheets. But when I came down this morning to see the girls each wearing the ugliest outfit in their closets (M has a talent for selecting the one hideous outfit whose only use is in the emergency bag you send to school. How does he find them?), my tongue refused to be bit. I commented. And then we had the inevitable discussion:
“Would you rather I do nothing?” he asked.
“It’s a thought,” I replied.
But really, it isn’t. A week ago I wouldn’t have cared about a dirty kitchen (believe me), or wet sheets… okay, I can’t say the same for the ugly clothes, I have to draw the line somewhere. But after a week of being on top of everything and in hyper-vigilant mode, it takes a day or three to transition.
And then there’s the children, who had really been somewhat remarkable all week. Mr. Bennett got himself ready in the mornings and then made breakfast for the baby who insists on being fed an elaborate buffet the second she wakes up, got everyone’s backpack ready, filled water bottles, you get the drift. But last night, within seconds of M’s return, they all, in some form or another, melted down gloriously in front of him. It was loud and ugly. I hid.
I don’t think my mood was helped by my visit to the dermatologist yesterday. Had my yearly freckle check.
“Keep an eye on those,” she pointed to two on my stomach. “Let me know if they change.”
I don’t know about you, but I like to minimize the amount of time I spend navel gazing, especially now. I told her that I probably wouldn’t notice if they did change, because I was unable to memorize what they looked like.
“Oh, no worries,” she said. “We’ll take a quick photo and you can check it once in a while.”
It wasn’t until I was in the elevator on the way out of the building that I opened the envelope and looked at the photo. And there really is nothing a mother of five, no matter how presentable she may look, wants to see less than a photo of her stomach. Who can blame me for being cranky?
Thank you, Doctor.