I have discovered why some animals eat their young. I didn’t just discover it. To be honest, I’ve known it for a while. If you have children – especially if they’re past that cute toddler stage when their whole worlds revolve around you – then you know what I mean. Some days you almost wish you were one of those animals so you could just put yourself out of misery. But then, what would be the fun in that?
Last Thursday was an incredibly busy day for me. I’d been running all day and had taken a long drive up to St. Olaf College to pick my teenage daughter up from Diving Camp. After I returned home, made dinner, and put my PJs on to turn in early for bed, I realized I hadn’t been to the gym that day and it was something I really needed to do. So I crawled out of bed and got dressed, and then literally sneaked out of the house; telling no one I was leaving except for Amber.
I was about half way through my workout when my cell phone rang. It was Braden. I knew it was Braden because he recently learned my cell phone number and has taken to calling me 172 times every time I leave the house. He’d apparently just discovered I was gone, and so he wanted to make sure I didn’t forget that I had a son at home.
“Hello, Braden,” I said as I answered the phone.
“Mom! Are you at the grocery store?” he asked.
“No, Braden…I’m not at the grocery store,” I responded in a barely-concealed voice of irritation.
“Then where are you?”
“I’m at the gym,” I said.
“Oh. Are you going to the store?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Maybe. Why?”
“Wellll…” he said, “Can you get some things from the store of me?”
“What do you need?”
My fatigue combined with my irritation at that point, as he began to list some truly ridiculous items: matchbox cars, noodles, chocolate milk, gummy worms, a hairbrush….the list just went on and on.
Interrupting him, I said to him with complete frustration, “Braden…I’m not going to the store to buy you those things. Now, is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Well…” he said, “Actually, yes. You can do the dishes and sweep the floor, do a load of laundry and make my bed…”
<click> Darn! My finger accidentally touched the “End Call” button.
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