Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Off Duty

When you're a mom, time is a currency. And the most valuable and sought-after type of time is time you get to have to yourself. This time is rare and coveted and NOT to be wasted on folding laundry, cleaning out the cat box, or scrubbing dishes. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's a basic rule that when you get time to yourself, you HAVE to be selfish... and go all out.

This evening, something amazing happened. After dinner, my husband offered to take Jacob down to the park. Because I never waste the opportunity to donate a child, I thrust the baby towards him in my outstretched arms. "Ryan wants to go too!" My husband then took both kids (BOTH!) down to the park. It was amazing. As if the stars had aligned and God himself peered through the clouds, reached down, and handed me a "Get Out Of Life for 30 Minutes" card.

As soon as my husband left with the kids, I sank into the couch and sighed deeply. I could surf the web in leisure, take a bath, stare lustfully at the latest Nordstrom catalogue. No one was crying. No one was soiling himself. No one needed me. I didn't have to tip toe around the house and wince with every closing of a door. I was OFF DUTY!

But....What was I going to do?


I was like a child, home alone for the first time. I overloaded on indulgence! The first thing on my list was to go the bathroom BY MYSELF just because I could! Then I ran to the refrigerator and grabbed a can of soda. Happily ignoring my one-can-a-day rule, I threw all responsibility out the window and drowned my stomach in the acidic, temporal pleasures of Diet Dr. Pepper-- cancer in a can. It was amazing. Moderation is SO over-rated.

Then, I grabbed a candy bar that I had been hiding so I wouldn't have to share it with Jacob. (Seriously, why is it that I cannot lose my last couple pregnancy pounds when Jacob eats all my food and I carry a 12 pound infant everywhere I go?). After peeling back the wrapper and destroying the evidence, I returned to the couch, spread out all my limbs, and made sofa-snow angels.

I laid there and reveled in the fact that no one was trying to dive from the arm of the couch onto my stomach. Then I pulled out my computer and read an entire online news article without being interrupted by shouts of "Mommy, can I have some juice? Can I play on your computer? Why do girls pee out of their butt?" At the end of my article, I sat there and just listened to the absolute SILENCE! Who knew silence could be so beautiful!?

Lastly, I passed out. Literally and figuratively. For ten glorious minutes I was able to ignore the dirty diapers on the floor, wrapped like saturated, smelly origami. I became blind to the parade of wooden toy trains strewn across my living room floor. I glanced past the clothes, both dirty and clean, littering my house in random places. I closed my eyes and my soul left both my body and my discheveled house far behind as it soared to the wonderful world of sleep.

When I finally woke up a few minutes later, it was to the sound of a pint-sized human pounding on the door. Instead of rushing to open it, however, I snapped my eyes shut again, feigned sleep, and stole an 45 extra seconds of glorious me-time.

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