Daddy and daughter are all set to venture out for a walk to the mall near our apartment. They have the stroller, the drink, the snacks, the extra diapers, the princess shoes, and the toys absolutely essential for today. They are leaving, the door is closing, and ah… I’m finally alone after so long! Why is it that after that initial sigh of pleasure, the first thing I think to do with my free time is vacuum? (Our daughter is very scared of the vacuum so I don’t use it when she’s home.)
My hubby is back home after a week out of town, a week that, for me, was more challenging than most. There’s a reason people sometimes say, “Stop acting like a 2-year-old.” Let’s just simplify matters and say that she is not enjoyable to be with when she doesn’t get her way; and it seems that she isn’t getting her way more and more often lately.
I’m not surprised that I wanted to vacuum first and foremost because exterior calm helps me find interior calm. What did surprise me was my hesitation when dear husband asked me if I wanted to stay home rather than go with them. I would have thought that after the week I had, I would have said, “Hell, yes! Out with you both.” Instead, I pictured the cute things that our daughter does at the mall and the opportunity to catch up with my husband too. (Last time we were there, she wanted to climb in every store’s window display. She elicited a lot of smiles and attention from people in doing so, which must have helped those stores somehow, right?)
I reasoned that I had already been to said mall three times this very week with her and so I do deserve at least an hour to unwind. I told myself that it would be good for the two of them to spend time together without me. I pictured myself sitting undisturbed on the couch with time to write. And so, “Yes, please go without me.” And then I vacuumed.