My version of a fairy tale has changed drastically from when I was younger. I used to dream of a handsome prince to marry, sweet little children to run around our luxurious home, and happiness and rainbows to fill my every moment. But now, all I dream about is getting a few minutes of sleep, not having to talk to anyone, and peeing without someone shouting at me through the door.
However, this is my reality. There is a daily routine in my home that the children have started. It begins when my car pulls into the driveway after work and ends when the last child has fallen asleep. This routine is called "Utterly Ridiculous and Continuous Question Asking". I sometimes sit in my car for a few minutes before mustering up the courage to go inside my home, knowing that I will face a mountain mundane questions, followed by a sea of endless prattling. As I put my hand on the door knob and slowly turn the handle, I can hear Cameron start yelling questions to me, as Taylor shouts louder to be heard over him. In fact, the first questions have been fully uttered before I have even finished opening the door! And day after day, I remind the kids that I haven't even come in the door yet, taken my shoes off, gone to the bathroom, or even said "hello" before they're attacking me like a piece of meat fallen into piranha-infested waters.
And do you want to know the worst part of it all? I'm convinced that these children are talking just to hear their own voices. I know this because the questions that they ask me every day are ones that have blatantly obvious answers, or ones that I've already answered a thousand times before.
"Mom, did you wear that coat to work?" (Tay)
"Nope, I thought I'd sneak into the house wearing it, just to throw you off." (Me)
"Mom, did you see my homework?" (Cam)
"Since I was at work all day and haven't even walked through the door yet, I obviously haven't seen your homework." (Me)
"Did you do your hair today?" (Tay)
"And your make-up?" (Tay)
"Taylor, look at my face.... do you see make-up?" (Me)
"Then did I do my make-up today, Taylor?" (Me)
"Are you making dinner right now? What are we having? Can I have a snack???" (Cam)
"Can I do your hair, Mom? And will you play dress up with me? You never play with me.... can you put barrettes in my hair? And a head band?" (Tay)
"And when are you going to help me with my homework project? Did you finish washing my clothes? Can I call my friend?" (Cam)
"Mom, will you help me put my puzzle away and teach me how to play the piano? And when are you going to buy me boots like yours? Do I get to stay up late tonight? Can I have a pony?....."
This is when I get a far-off look in my eyes as I let myself envision what it must be like to be deaf. Sure, it's a disability.... to some. But one person's disability is another person's blessing, right? These were the thoughts that ran through my head while I drove home from work yesterday.
Fridays are always the toughest... I'm exhausted from the week, the chores have been piling up since the previous weekend, and I just don't have the strength to deal with the questions. That is why I found myself parked alongside the road yesterday after work on this particular Friday. I was just so sleepy... and there was a small turn around that looked so lonely... and I just wanted to shut my eyes, only for a few moments. No one to talk to, no questions to answer. So I turned off the car in order to not waste the little gas I had left, curled my legs up underneath me, and I buried my face snugly into my over-sized sweater. The 13 degree weather quickly cooled my car down, and I had to wrap my coat around me like a blanket to keep from freezing.... and then I could see my breath as I breathed in and out, wetting my sweater where my nose and mouth were burried. I closed my eyes and, despite the cold, I felt a wave of sleep making my head lower heavily onto the center console.
For 20 minutes I slept, curled up and shivering as the air grew colder and colder in my vehicle. And then a thought hit me. I'm literally risking minor frostbite in order to avoid talking to my children. This thought was quickly followed by another one... I wonder if they let people take naps in the library?
I eventually went home. I eventually answered all their inane questions. And then we eventually left them with my mother-in-law for the evening. I slept for 10 hours. Proving that my fairy tale does, in fact, have a happy ending.