When Eric had left for work and I had made the routine morning call to my mother, there was no one left to pretend for. Connor wailed as he made his rounds throughout the house searching for a distraction worthy enough to give him peace. Spencer sat in his high chair like a baby Buddha pinching Cheerios with stumpy fingers and guiding each one with thoughtful amazement to his drooling rosebud mouth. The theme music from Blue’s Clue’s serenaded the three of us from the living room television in a vain attempt to distract Connor from his morning despair. He finally turned his tricycle upside down and spun the wheels as his hands flapped. Spencer watched with mild interest and I began to hum my alternate version of the Blue’s Clue’s theme song silently in my head.
“When you lose your mind, as you do every time, you live one day at a time and do …anything that you want to dooo…”
I glanced out the kitchen window and realized it was snowing. I laughed out loud at the amazing idea formulating in my head. I left the boys in the kitchen and grabbed a Rubbermaid container from the basement and dumped the contents of outgrown baby clothes on the floor. I ran outside in my slippers and filled it with snow. I wondered if good mothers had these inspirations daily. I carried the snow filled container to the kitchen and added some spoons and measuring cups for added play value. I imagined Connor playing contentedly in the snow in the kitchen while Spencer watched and laughed from his high chair. I decided I should submit this fantastic idea to one the parenting magazines I read religiously.
I knelt beside the container and demonstrated scooping and playing with the snow in our kitchen. Connor stopped spinning the wheels of the upside down bike and watched me for a moment. He proceeded to scream at the incongruity of his mother playing with snow in the kitchen. Spencer stopped poking Cheerios as his eyes grew large in anticipation of the tantrum he sensed was imminent.
Eight hours later Eric returned from work. The container held tepid water on the kitchen floor. The dining room table was broken in half and the living room curtains were pulled from their rods. Connor was spinning the wheels on his little bike and Spencer was watching Blue’s Clue’s. I sat crying on the kitchen floor and there was no dinner prepared for anyone.