Friday, February 5, 2016

When Mom Hides (or Why Mom Hides)

Wednesday night felt hectic and yet, really, when compared to earlier in the week, it was the most low-key night we’d had.

By 7:30, I was tired. So, so tired. The girls were in the family room. Alyssa was practicing her flute and Olivia was ‘singing’. I put the quote around singing because, well, sometimes her voice is less than melodious. I know! I know that’s a horrible thing for a mother to say. We’re supposed to think our darlings are precious and beautiful and their voices will change the world and bring about peace and goodwill to men (and women!)

Alas, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy the sounds that were coming from the family room. They weren’t pleasant or even benign. Those children were making noise. Sure, they were having a grand old time making that noise but it was just noise; loud, enthusiastic noise that didn’t ring sweetly in my ears.

I retreated to the living room where Tom was watching the television at a higher-than-I’d-prefer volume but honestly, Law and Order louder than necessary was a reprieve from what was going on in the family room.

I told Tom, “I’m laying down on the couch and covering myself with blankets. Maybe the girls won’t notice that I’m here.”

The blankets were actually a nice barrier from both the noise of the television and the cacophony that was coming from the family room.

I dozed a bit while under my cocoon of blankets but not enough to not her Olivia come in at one point and ask Tom, “Where’s Mom?”

He replied, “I don’t know. Maybe she went upstairs.”

She didn’t choose to go upstairs to look for me and instead asked him to get her some ice cream.

At about 8:00, Alyssa decided she’d done enough flute practice and came to ask Tom the same question Olivia had asked. He gave A the same answer, with a bit more detail than I’d have preferred. He told Alyssa, “Maybe she’s upstairs pooping.”

I choked back laughter. Alyssa went to the bottom of the stairs, declared there were no lights on up there and came back to the living room where she spied the suspicious lump that was me under blankets. She yanked the blankets off my warm body and asked, “Have you been there all along!?”

I blinked up at her and nodded in answer.

Then Olivia asked me to help her find pajamas and brush her teeth.

After all was said and done, I didn’t feel even a little guilty for ‘hiding’ from my children for a half hour. I don’t even feel guilty for their dad having lied to them about my whereabouts during that time.

Sometimes, a mom has to retain her sanity in whatever way it takes. That night, it took me hiding in plain sight. Tomorrow, it might mean I have to escape to the basement to do laundry. Moms are always on the clock and taking even half hour breaks now and then are a must.

At least in my house, they are.

No comments: