Monday, November 24, 2008

Sweet Respite

Just returned last night on the red-eye from New York City. I am now completely convinced that no person over the age of, say, 40 should take the red-eye. I looked around at my fellow passengers in the San Francisco airport upon arriving at a little after midnight and we were a sorry, sorry bunch. Younger people tend to have springier skin. Us oldies looked like we had had those terrible airplane blankets etched in to our foreheads - permanently.

I left on Thursday morning just in the knick of time. I had realized Wednesday night that the kids and I really, really, really needed a break from one another. I was feeling that feeling like I wasn't very good at my "job" of being a full time mom. I was having empathetic thoughts of animals that eat their young -- and enjoy it. It was just one of those days. Georgie was torqued because I didn't agree that studying exactly 20 minutes to learn 80 new Spanish verbs was sufficient. I actually made him do the math of dividing the 80 words in to the 20 minutes to derive the exact time that could have been spent on memorizing said new words. This math problem sent him over the edge at which time he burst in to tears and yelled, "I AM NOT GOING TO STUDY ANYMORE AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!!!" Wanna bet?? This exchange of pleasantries occurred directly on the heels of Henry "practicing" his violin. Since Henry is afraid being in any room of the house alone (another topic for another post), I have to go and hang out with him while he practices. Wednesday's practice should have been called "time for Henry to whine" because that's all he did through the whole 20 minutes. Henry can whine in a tone that only dogs and bats can hear. This set me off on one of those age old Mother lectures of "do you know that it is costing us $400 a month to provide you violin lessons?" and "I could think of million other things to do with $400 a month - - like buy shoes that don't whine or take myself out to dinner where the waiter wouldn't whine!" and finally "Do you know what starving children in any number of countries, including our own, could do with $400???" Henry was then yelling at me because, "He really was trying!" Liar Liar pants on fire! And then George who was sitting there during the practicing keeping himself busy playing PSP then wanted me to "quiz" him on his Spanish words. After not knowing the first three that I asked him - - our altercation began.

By the time George got home from work, the atmosphere in the kitchen was thick with pissed off kids (now doing their dreaded Kumon - talk about adding insult to injury) and a seething wife/mom. He is a smart man and took over the fight about the Spanish with George. Given that Dad was now focusing solely on the transgressions of George and working with him to study - Henry did what all children do when their brother is now in trouble. He miraculously sprouted wings and a halo and in that annoying Eddie Haskell way helped me get dinner on the table. I find this irritating, but he was helping. I actually called him "Eddie" but he didn't get the reference. A nice little inside joke with just myself. Makes me sound kinda crazy doesn't it?

All of this to say that when I got on that plane on Thursday morning, I was damn ready for it!

Today I am back. The boys had a great weekend doing boy things and I had a great weekend doing girl things. This morning we were all happy to see each other again. And, besides having airplane blanket patterns still etched in to my forehead, I am relaxed and ready to take on the role of Mom again -- this time with a little more patience!

More importantly, I know that George absolutely believed that I needed a break. I know this because not only was he encouraging of my weekend away in NYC, but the house clean when I got home last night at 1:00 in the morning. And best of all -- today I discovered that he had done the laundry in my absence. I am married to the best guy.

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