Friday, April 1, 2011


Two Different Paths to the Same Life
The alarm clock beeps, beeps, beep and finally he hits the snooze button. I think to myself “Boy I hope that doesn’t wake the baby up”. Ten minutes later, beep, beep, beep and he reaches over and hits snooze again. I think to myself “Why can’t he just get up when it first goes off?” then I start to get annoyed.
As a stay at home mom I am, for the most part, the primary care giver to these children. I even do all the work when he is home.  He has told me that when he is home it his day off. I often wonder, when do I ever get a day off?
The alarm has gone off for the last time and he grumps his way out of bed. I am awake but still have my eyes closed as I hear Anna start to stir. He makes no effort to be quiet. He goes into the bathroom and closes the door much harder than need be.
Anna called out to me so I got up and took her out of her crib. I changed he diaper and go her dressed. She is always so cute first thing in the morning.
Toby came out of the bathroom dressed and ready for work. He made his coffee and sat down at the couch. Anna was playing quietly and Andy was still sleeping. I made my coffee and sat down at the computer.
As I sat at the computer, I caught up on emails and did a little homework. As he sat on the couch he talked and played with the kids. They watched little bear together,
Five minutes before he had to leave I got up and made his lunch. He got up and put his pen and light in his pocket and got his jacket on. Every motion was the same morning after morning.
He kisses me, then Anna, and then hugs and wrestles Andy around. He says good bye 3 times as he is walking out the door. Then he is gone.
The next 9 hours of my day goes on with laundry. You wash, fold, and put away off and on all day and every day when you have two kids. Washing dishes and sweeping floors. In between all the house work, a mother/wife has to fit in feeding, bathing, clothing and playing with two young kids.
All while Toby is at work in the garage tinkering with motorcycles and joking with the men. He thinks that I have it easy and I think that he does. This is something that the two of us will never agree on. The grass always looks greener on the other side until you cross the fence!
The afternoon is quiet. Anna slept for two hours while Andy and I did a craft then I did my homework and he worked on writing his ABC’s. I was still folding laundry and doing other little chores in between.
Meanwhile Toby has finished all his appointments for the day and he has nothing to do. Toby is a hardworking man who likes to stay busy the entire time. It bothers him to stay still. No appointments come in the rest of the day. He’s already annoyed when he gets home.
Anna woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She has been crying for forty-five minutes straight. I tried every trick in the book. I got out her favorite book and tried to read it to her. She slapped it out of my hand. I tried to get her a drink and a snack thinking that she was hungry. She threw it on the floor. Now I had yogurt and juice to clean up.
Toby had spent the last 3 hours of work looking up motorcycle jokes with the men. They stood around laughing and having a good time. He told me from his cell phone when he was on his way home. When I find this out I am jealous as the afternoon has not gone smoothly and had made me frazzled with a headache.
When the kids hear the door they run screaming for daddy. All the attention is now on him. I excuse myself to my bedroom for 15 minutes of quiet. Sometimes I just need to regroup.
“What is your problem?” he asked
“It’s been a rough afternoon, I just need a minute.”
“You’ve been here all day it’s not like you had to work.” he said
Tears filled my eyes and I said “I work my ass off all day, you try doing what I do”
I walked away. This could turn into a huge argument real fast and honestly I didn’t have the energy. I went in my bedroom and made my bed. Then I returned to the kitchen to get dinner served. After dinner we all get our coats on and have a little outdoor time. Upon returning inside Toby takes Andy to our bathroom and gives him a shower and I take Anna to the other bathroom and give her a bath. Then Toby tucks Andy in and I tuck Anna in. Then we switch. We are crossing different paths and barely getting a chance to see each other in the same life that we share.

1 comment:

  1. You are really coming into your own in the writing department, between laundry folding chores and diaper changes--this is excellent. You really lay out the problem, the situation, describe your life and his--what you know of it--and nail the reader hard in the last sentence. The writing is very straightforward, down to earth, clear, and 'clean,' and you avoid what the biggest potential problem for a piece on this topic: self-pity. This is a piece that faces outward to the reader, not inward and self-pity is no part of it. That's a courtesy to the reader and a good writing strategy.

    My only doubt is whether this is a speculative piece--it seems more like another shot at week 8 than a take on week 9, but I'm certainly not complaining.