I nip out to Target to buy a gift token for the birthday party tomorrow. As I drive in the rain, I reflect over the holiday week that we have just enjoyed. Back to back play dates and small people everywhere.
This is the first 30 minutes that I have had truly alone in 8 days straight.
Poor spouse has been working throughout that time, including Easter Sunday, rarely returning before 1 in the morning and yet still managing to be on time for work at 8 every day. Poor spouse has averaged 3 to four hours sleep a night, as the children, all of them, are on erratic sleep patterns, which involve frequent visits to our bed. Poor spouse.
During these intervals we have discussed the ‘project at work’ in great detail, although our cognitive skills are challenged in the wee small hours. Poor spouse.
I have enforced the ‘no electronics until 5, IF you are good,’ daily. Apart from the odd trip to the supermarket, I have been bereft of adult company. I have had to content myself with spitting words at a wide variety of people under the age of 9, as well as fielding cogent questions about teeth, braces, elastic bands and international dental care. [translation – my children’s typically developing children with full powers of speech and enquiring minds] I may only be a ‘one man band,’ but the tune has been fairly melodious. The discordant cries of ‘where Daddy is?’ denoted divided loyalties.
I return home 25 minutes later, anxious that poor spouse should not be over burdened with child care responsibilities in his weakened and weary state. As the garage door rattles closed I hear other noises in the interior of the house. In the interior of the house, I see small people wired in to their various electronic devices at 2 in the afternoon. I also hear those little independent electronic devices wittering out their individual annoying tunes. It is a scene that looks so “deceptive.”
Bear in mind, that these are children would remain wired in and tuned out, from now until the next Ice-Age, if I ceased to be on the scene. [translation = not the movie, and ignore global warming for this purpose only]
I see poor spouse with his face reflected in the computer monitor. I step closer. Even on this rain filled day, there is enough light for my shadow to darken his view. He lifts his face to mine in vacant acknowledgement of my presence. His children do likewise.
My vision turns crimson. I contemplate murder suicide, shortly followed by murder and blissfully merry widowhood. I think of blue calming things, such as an ice pick. I practice controlling my airflow, but breathe fire. I step back into the kitchen to regroup.
I consider my options carefully, as I do not wish to ruin a potentially ‘good’ weekend by having a paddy. [translation = throwing a hissy fit]
Stage one – determine whether or not spouse’s computer is perseverating upon work issues or play issues?
I march towards spouse and peer over his shoulder to read the screen = play! Ha!
I adopt a jolly sergeant major tone and speak in a voice loud enough to be heard by each member of the family. [translation= family member] “And what do you suppose you are doing?” I ask him rhetorically. The children recognize the tone and turn towards us. Spouse blinks and parts his lips. I ensure that my eyes are opened to their maximum capacity before continuing, “you know the rules, no electronics until 5!” I pull the power cord from the socket with a flourish. Three children erupt with glee, cast their electronic devices aside and roar guffaws at their father. Mass hysteria ensues, to the non-verbal, yet audible chorus of “if yur gud!”