I'm a stay at home mom.
This is a new thing. I mean, I've been at home before, for vacations, when I was at school and off for the summer.... but there's always been a sitter in the background -- one that we could NOT let go even though I was off... because you KNOW how hard it is to find a good sitter....
But now it's solo mio.
And the place is a mess.
It's actually more than just a mess, it's dirty. And I know what it is: I feel like I have all the time in the world to do it. If I don't feel like cleaning today... no worries -- I'll have time tomorrow in between sending out resumes and studying for the licensing exam. (Yes, I'm finally doing that.)
When I worked I didn't do too much around the house - only the bare minimum. "I'm too tired" I'd tell myself. Or "I should use this time to spend quality time with the boys, not cooking in the kitchen." BUT - now I'm home all the time and I'm not cleaning and I'm sure as shit not cooking. So I've totally blown that excuse! I have the time now! Too much of it! And I'm STILL not doing it!!
Also, because nobody is coming into the house... no sitters... there's really nobody to clean up for. So this is it. This is me. The real dusty, dirty, toys all over the place, chicken nuggets, fish sticks me.
Nice that I'm able to use this time for some useful soul searching and personal exploration.
And, please allow me to discuss the Playground. Now, I've taken my kids to the playground before, of course I have. But honestly, I guess... I haven't been there alone with the two of them when they've been this old. We've gone with friends. Play dates. Whatever.
So. Friday after school the kids asked if they could stop at the playground right near the school. Most of their friends were there. I said sure. We go up & the first thing I notice is... all these kids running around but there seemed to be no supervision. Parents sitting, talking and kids running! Wild! Wild I tell you!! (Deep breath.)
So. I park myself right near where my kids are hitting tennis balls against a wall with a bunch of their friends. One of the boys runs down to the ice cream truck and comes up with five boxes of candy cigarettes. All the boys circle the one with the cigarettes. He hands them out like a dealer. Then, a la The Sharks and The Jets there are these gangs of boys with little white cigarettes hanging out of their mouths.
So. What did I do? Did I look calmly over at them and think to myself: "I ate those when I was a kid."? Pah! You know I didn't.
"BOYS!! BOYS!! I do NOT want you standing there with those... those THINGS hanging out of your mouths!!'
"NO! REALLY! BOYS! If you must have them, then chew them! I don't want to see those things hanging out of your mouths!!!"
(I'm SO cool!)
I call my friend. "Am I a freak?" She confirms that yes, I am. But I say: "How can I sit here and look at them with these fake cigarettes hanging out of their mouths! And WHERE are all the other parents?!?"
They are wisely NOT looking.
The kids co-opt scooters and are now literally all over the playground. So, I (kind of) give up and sit on a bench.
We leave. I mention the cigarettes to them as we're walking back & Max stops and looks at me: "Mom. I would never smoke. This is just candy. I know smoking is bad, and stupid... we were just having fun. And besides, you told me that you ate those when you were a kid!"
This parenting thing. Unfortunately there is a huge learning curve.