I was doing dinner tonight. K requires special meals, and that’s ok, I’m used to it.
But as I picked up the 8 billionth morsel from his Rifton chair and the floor, and for the 30000th time, cleaned up the mess from his yogurt while simultaneously stressing that he didn’t drop the part with the meds in it…it hit me.
I had that “and this is why we seldom go to restaurants” thought.
And then went a step further.
I was daydreaming about eating Mexican food. By myself. And it was a happy daydream.
And then it occurred to me again.
I don’t want brunch in a restaurant this Sunday. I don’t want to get the kids bathed, dressed and ready to go. I don’t want to joke to my husband that “I want the day off” only to be dutifully sitting in some restaurant feeding K and watching that he doesn’t make too big a mess or have a seizure and have his head hit the table.
I want to be alone.
Alone. Me. Just me.
I don’t want to have to read the menu to anyone.
I don’t want to have to ask what drinks they have for kids that are not soda. I don’t want to cut up food and feed it to someone in between bites of my meal, on what is supposed to be my day.
I want a hot meal, uninterrupted, and don’t think that is too much to ask. And not have to clean up afterwards.
I don’t want to talk about fidget spinners or Clash Royale or whatever this new banana counting game is. I don’t want to try to stop a kid from stimming too much because he might be bothering other families.
I don’t want to hear “I’m bored” after the meal when I’m relaxing and waiting for the check.
I don’t want to have to cut up anyone’s food, take anyone to the bathroom and pray that they don’t touch anything, or try to be gleeful and entertain two kids while we wait for a table.
Alone. Me myself and I.
At this point, I don’t care if I’m eating at Wendy’s. It will be me, just me.
I might go some place and order a pizza with toppings that I like. Maybe I’ll peruse my phone and maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll bring a magazine. Maybe I’ll think about nothing, absolutely nothing, the whole time.
I may not finish my meal but still eat dessert. Something I usually don’t do because it’s not good role-modeling for my kids.
And yet, as moms, we’re not allowed this. Heaven forbid we want to spend Mothers’ Day doing something we actually want to do. Instead, we feign smiles at the flowers and gifts and brunches, busiest restaurant day of the year!
We accept our gift cards for pedis and massages that will never happen…and dutifully ask for a booster seat and cut up food for our kids.
I want to be alone, and I will not be lonely. I want a break. We have Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays…many other opportunities for family meals. Dads get to go fishing or golfing on Fathers’ Day…so I want to do what I want to do.
Who is with me?
Author’s Note: this was originally published in May of 2017