June 30, 2002

how do you tell your kid

that you just don't feel like leaving the house today. Can today be a rest day, sweetie? NO MAMA! I wanna do something. Weary, bleary, trying to keep up -- have you seen the pile of bills on my piano? Air conditioner almost toast, our electric bills have soared to $400 a month. Did I pay it? Who knows? Never mind the credit cards. I'm finding that if I wait long enough, they call me on the phone and take a check-by-phone. You can pay for two or three months at once that way--the current month and the two months previous bills, which are, as I said, sitting on the piano. This, I understand, does nothing for the old credit report. Don't much need one when you don't much leave the house. There's a bonus.

It's not that I don't want to go anyplace today. I spent all morning and lots of last night working on a really boring speech for a really important guy at a really big company. All the while, not caring. Get ready, get set, get numb. That kind of thing takes a lot out of me. Spoiled brat that I am. Thankful to have a job. Oh yes, I know, in this down economy. Mantra mantra, who's got my mantra?

So, what's wrong with not feeling like going outside? Nothing, I guess. Except I have a four year old tugging on my shorts--Mama, let's go to Big Lots. Please? No food in the fridge, I'd better decide to do something today. If someone I trusted would sit on the couch and play with her for five hours, I'd pay $100. Seriously. Just to be able to sleep. Not to go anywhere. Just upstairs, to bed. Send her up to kiss me on the cheek once in a while. Listen to her play cheerfully just outside my dreams. Charge my batteries.

Yes, well, no. Not happening. So I need to get in the frame of mind that says, Yahoo--let's head out into the 95-degree afternoon, open up the mess that is my car, hoist her into her booster seat, wish that the car had been in the garage so it wasn't 130 degrees, realizing, I can't park in the garage--all the stuff I was going to sell in the garage sale that hasn't happened yet is taking up one side.

My mother said to me last month, when my daughter's teacher talked to me about getting her to school late, "You'd better get yourself together. I think you're like a delinquent adult. You're rebelling or something."

Yes, or something.

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