Yesterday as I lay in my bed with the flu barely able to lift my head off the pillow, I had a realization. My children are that guy. It started in the morning when I somehow got out of bed to make lunches (a panini-pressed sandwich on pretzel bread by the way) and breakfast since my husband had an early meeting. As I stumbled around the kitchen hacking and moaning, neither child took notice. Then, I got in the car to drive my kids down to our carpool meeting spot and my daughter screamed that she wasn't coming because her favorite sweatshirt wasn't clean. Can you believe I didn't do the laundry in the middle of the night? Finally, when she came raging into the car, I handed her a bag of cereal. She threw it back. It apparently was not a cereal kind of morning. As we headed down the street, my son looked up from his important texting and asked if I was driving. Did I mention I was wearing pajama pants, a thermal with no bra and my hair on top of my head? "No, Gabe, I'm actually going back to bed because apparently you didn't notice, I'm sick."
After dropping them off, I went straight to bed and slept for four hours. I woke to a gnawing feeling in my stomach. My son had a school basketball game and I felt horrible that I just knew I couldn't make it. I, of course, try and support him with my presence at all of his sporting endeavors. I worked the phones and found a wonderful mom to help out. Then, I made sure my daughter could go home with another friend and her helpful mom (by the way, other moms are the best boyfriends ever!). Feeling relieved that I had it covered, I laid my head back on the pillow only to be startled by an incoming text. My son was now on the bus to his game and wanted to let me know I didn't pack his lunch. He was starving and it was all my fault. Feeling fairly sure that his lunch was, in fact, in his bag, I asked him to check again. "NO!," he wrote back. It was not there. I felt so guilty. My son was starving and it was my fault. I went downstairs and checked. No lunch. So strange. I texted said wonderful mom and lowered myself to admit my bad mommmying and ask if she had any snacks in her car. She went above and beyond and picked him up Subway. When I texted him to tell him the good news, he responded, "Make sure it's on Italian bread." It was.
A few hours of quiet. A little more sleep. Then the doorbell. My son was home. He dropped his bag and went to the kitchen telling me what homework he needed help with. I unzipped his bag and pulled out his lunch underneath his dirty P.E. clothes. When he saw the lunch, he laughed. I didn't see the same humor in the situation.
And so the night progressed. I did homework, fed my kids and wondered if either child might ever ask how I was feeling. My husband took over when he got home and I was able to get a good night sleep. Feeling a little better, I headed back downstairs this morning to make lunches and breakfast again. My son yelled at me because the printer wasn't working and he needed his work for school. My daughter freaked out because I didn't read her book last night. Somehow, we got in the car and drove to our meeting spot. Yet another incredible mom was driving her second day of carpool to help me because moms are the committed and loyal type.
Then, I got back in bed and cried. That's when it hit me. I knew this feeling--that of being treated without respect. That feeling that despite the ungrateful behavior, you keep going back for more. Yes! My kids are like those college boys--and just as outwardly cute too. The difference is I do unconditionally love them and while I am not going to excuse their behavior, I have to tolerate it because I am committed in this relationship for life. Still, if Zoey thinks she's coming in my bed at 2 am, she's got another think coming. I draw the line at booty calls.