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Stories

Stories, observations, and reflections from a life of raising boys

The Naughty List

Jenifer DeMattia

 

After a snow storm and a stomach bug I was in need of some serious mommy medicine, or most commonly referred to as a girl’s night out. Great friends, check. Husband on kid duty, check. Plans made, check. Sanity, not so in check so it was time to go. Being cooped up in the house with your children gets to be a bit much, especially considering my son refused to go out and play in the snow stating it was “too snowy” and “too icy”. Lets just say, even my son who clings to me when I leave was like, “bye mom, see you later”. It’s a funny thing, going out alone after having children. It’s like walking around with an electric collar around your neck and not knowing where the boundaries are, when exactly the shock will come. I am always thinking of them. Have fun, but don’t drink too much. I should head home soon. Did I leave enough milk? Are they asleep yet, or has he let them stay up too late? Oh no, that means I’m in for it tomorrow. I bet he forgot to brush his teeth. Being a stay at home mom has turned me into a control freak. And although my husband and I are both their parents, I feel like I am the cattle herder that keeps it all in line. Sort of.

It was nice to get out. It clears my mind and reminds me how important it is to take time out for yourself. But I always miss them. It’s part of the curse. That’s what love feels like sometimes. It’s a curse. Now typically a curse is a veil of misfortune put upon someone. I don’t mean it like that, but I call it the curse of love. Because when it comes to my children, if I really sat and tried to put my love for them into just that, a thought in my mind, my body suddenly feels like it could explode. It’s a deep pain in my chest if I could attach a feeling to it. Because of the intensity it holds. If something happened to them, the thought of a life without them, it’s too much. It’s the most exhilarating, boundless, and unbreakable curse. To walk around feeling that kind of love for the rest of your life. Just one of the reasons getting a night out with the girls is much needed. And then I come home.

My friends and I walked in the door laughing at whatever ridiculous thing we were talking about and there he was. My amazing husband who let me out for the night. And we all were greeted by what I have come to call “the naughty list”. A step-by-step guide of every defiance of the 3-year-old, and every tear shed by the 4-month old. Oh, wait…I just remembered what my girlfriends and I were laughing about on the way in the door. Our predictions of how long it would take him to get to the list and what exactly would be on it. Apparently the oldest decided to become a cliff diver at bath time and the little guy cried for 45 minutes straight because he ran out of milk. But looking at him in his cradle he was snug as a bug fast asleep. When it was time to read stories the baby wouldn’t stop crying and his brother pretty much got sick of the noise so there was some sort of unspoken agreement that the whole story thing was a wash. My friends and I just let him finish the list and we throw him a few, “oh no’s”, and a couple, “how frustrating, that must have been awful”, and then we make fun of him until he realizes we in fact do not feel that bad for him. “Sounds like you need a little more practice”, my friend said.

I ended with, “let’s make plans for next weekend.”