It’s not surprising. It’s not heartbreaking or arresting or even a bit of a shame. It’s certainly not ironic. But I will admit that there is a rue-twinged sense to the day in which I return from my first vacation since making the tough decision to stay home full time with my child, my first weekend by myself in three years, my first flawless days since his birth, my first experience in which I not only controlled my own time, activities, and thoughts, but also had the added gift of seeing the world, this lovely world of solitude and adulthood, through the eyes granted to me by staying home full-time, eyes I would not now have had I not decided to seek to learn every day to see things from a small human’s perspective and to privilege that perspective, respect the learning and explorative needs of those eyes that take precedence for now over mine own; this day after the first time alone as the new whoever I am is exactly as terrible as could have been (and was) predicted. Not because I glimpsed my freedom and was dragged back kicking and screaming (though that is true); not because the tiny tyrant is any worse than any other day of being three years old in a family of people trying to follow an attachment parenting philosophy but hobbled by two of the participants who are prisons of the selfish lack of patience of overeducated, driven, self-absorbed thrity-somethings (for it is a day pretty average as three-year-old battles and nonsense and wonderment and bullshit go); not because I am angry that I took so long to take a break or that it will be so long before it happens again (there is no anger, there is no regret, there is only general lack of sanity and sense of futility and hopelessness and frustration and borderline acceptance of this choice we’ve made).
No. Today is relatively awful because it’s hot and nobody slept much last night and we got locked out of the house and Peanut is glad I’m back but punishing me a bit, and is enboldened by my absence, wherein the other parental unit played by his rules rather than mine, and so the young one is trying to navigate which of his tricks will work today, trying the crap that works on Spouse out on me, hoping I’ve changed my ways and will do something different than my new anti-yell stragegy (asking three times, warning that this is the last time I ask, then going to bed with a book…his idea of hell is my idea of the best time-out ever. ) So today sucks not in contrast with my 74 hours of self-directed living free from the hostage taker who is a brilliant, healthy, funny, loving, thoughtful terror of stubbornness and obscene and devious cleverness, but rather because it’s just one of those days.
And I think, given that it is one of those days, and that one of those days is following all three of *those* days, that I’m doin’ pretty well, thank you very much.