Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mother, can you spare a snack?

"I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered
French Toast during the Renaissance"
Steven Wright





"Are you awake?"

..growl..."I am now."

"Well Zoe pulled my hair!"

"So you woke me up to tell me this? Wheres Papa?"...


"Well...Why didn't you tell HIM!?"

"He's on the computer, I didn't want to bother him."

"So, you came all the way upstairs and woke me up to tell me this?"

"uh huh..."

sigh...Down the stairs I shuffle..there is no point in trying to go back to sleep..she has already seen me awake..she'll tell the others. "Omar??!".." Oh hey..what are you doing up?".."Lily came to tell me that Zoe pulled her hair." "What?..Lil, I told you to leave Mama alone.." "Oops, I forgot." "LIL!....go back to sleep Kath..." "Right." By this point the rest of the herd has noticed me..has seen me standing up..arms empty..apparently looking as though I need something to do. "Mama? I'm hungry..Mama..can you fill my juice..Mama..let me tell you all about Pokemon in great detail.." "I just woke up! Let me get some coffee...didn't Papa feed you?..Omar, didn't you feed them?" "I asked them if they wanted anything, they all said no." "We were waiting for you Mama." "Well isn't that nice" I say as I glare at Omar. "What? I asked them! Really! they all said no!"'s true...I could cover Omar in an suit of goldfish crackers and juice boxes and still they would wait until I was there to ask "Mama, is it o.k. if we pick some snacks off of Papa?" It's a curse. The curse of the stay at home mom.

I just don't get it. It is not like I am the only parent. My husband is a wonderful father-every minute not at work is spent with us. He is accessible-and more than available. Why does it seem that I am the only one who is user friendly? I can't tell you the amount of times I have trudged into the house, my arms filled with grocery bags..only to be met by "Mama! I've been waiting for you!" "You have? Oh...did you miss me?" "YES! Can I have a snack?" sigh..."Wheres papa?" "In the living room." "Why didn't you ask him" "Because I was waiting for you." Sometimes I wonder what they would do if my arms and legs just happened to fall off...would they notice? Or would they, as I suspect say.."Mama, let me help you put your arms back,can I have a snack?" I'm guessing it is just one of those things they will have to outgrow. Or not.

I have been trying to teach them to be more self sufficient. Allowing them to get their own snacks and drinks. But it is a catch-22. If I gave them full access to the snack cupboard-they would eat non-stop until all the food was gone-and then where would that leave me? "Mama? Can you go to the store and get me a snack?" I draw the line at getting in the car.

I am becoming like Pavlov's dog. Whenever I hear one of the herd say "Mama?" I automatically reach for the snacks. I am so conditioned to this way of thinking that I fear what is to become of me. Will I one day wander the aisles of Walmart forcing little bags of goldfish crackers on any unsuspecting child who uttered the word "Mom?" Will anytime I answer the phone, and one of my kids is calling, will I automatically ask them what they want instead of asking how they are? I am growing concerned...and I guess a bit jaded.

The other night as I was taking a shower, there was a knock at the door. "Mama?" knock knock knock.. "mama?"..."MAMMMMAAAA?"...sigh "Hold on! I'll be out in a minute." "MAMA!"..."WHAT!!! I swing open the door.." Can't I take a shower without you asking me for something to eat? Papa is in the kitchen..can't you for once ASK HIM??" "But Mama?" "ARRGGHHHH..WHAT DO YOU WANT??" "I just came to give you a hug."..crap.."Of COURSE you can hug me!!" "I love you Mama".."Oh, I love you too..sorry I yelled" "Thats o.k...Mama?" "What honey?"...."could I have a snack?"


Kim Wombles said...

You fell for the hug/guilt gambit. Smart kids! Thanks for starting my morning off with smiles and laughs. Why is it that kids will all but walk over their fathers to ask us for something?

kathleen said...

It gets me every time...because I know, the minute I call them on it-they would have truly only wanted a hug. You ask the universal question..I think fathers come with a secret invisibility sheild.

jazzygal said...

Oh, are sooo not alone!! Funny post aND oh so true. Why ask Daddy when Mum is there? And if she's not, she soon will be. WiiBoy is now falling into the stereotype trap....Dad's go out to work while mums stay home??!!

And I too too have been caught out by the hug moment....see, they sure know how to tug at those heart strings dont they?! xx Jazzy

Clay said...

I think you should ask your husband to take the initiative once in a while, to make them a lunch or set up a snack on the table, and call the kids to come join him. It seems some old habits need to be broken. Umm, good luck with that.

kathleen said...

Jazzy and Clay!! My comments for some reason weren't showing on my dashboard-sorry to have missed you..Jazzy-I know dads go to work..and we stay home and????? I can't explain it-Omar is the "fun" parent and I am the..well I guess "useful" one?? ;0
Clay-yes..I would need lots and lots of luck! I think maybe if I went on vacation-ALONE, they might figure it out...but I'm afraid that even though I wasn't there, they would find a way to reach me...cell phone at 3 a.m. looking for a snack...sigh :)

Club 166 said...

This is so funny (perhaps as a working father with a stay at home wife I shouldn't laugh, but I couldn't help myself).

Unfortunately, too often I do see how I get to be the "good/fun parent" while my wife is seen as the "enforcer/chauffer/meal maker/homework enforcer". Even though I do make some meals, help with homework when I can, and do some weekend chauffering.

Wishing you a day off.


kathleen said...

Thanks Joe, I'm wishing for one too! But it wouldn't matter, because either they would follow me-or they would just lay in wait until I got home to tell me how hungry they were. :)