The smell of a weak mommy, that is. It is probably the smell of coffee and morning breath, The Fear and maybe gardenias (that is just my vanity talking), whatever it is, they know. They know when my resolve is half baked. They know when I am feeling low. Maybe it makes them feel nervous, or off as well. It makes me feel even lower. Good thing there are no lions trolling the sidewalks of Portland, because I believe I am doing a spot on impression of a zebra with a limp.
To celebrate my weakness, Lucy caught a sniffle (not the kind that comes with a fever, but the kind that requires copious amounts of tissue and much back of hand to forehead action), then complained that she doesn't like the babysitter I hired on for the night. When pressed, it turns out that Gigi's lack of mastery of our complicated satellite remote makes Lucy mad. I didn't get that out of her until after I spent and hour feeling guilty for going on a date with Kenneth. Tennessee threw a Greek tragedy of a tantrum when I dropped him off at school. His wailing made a little girl coming up the path to school as I exited the building tear up. I got into the car feeling like a total asshole. Why do I send him to preschool anyway? Couldn't I just keep him with me? All day, every day? Forever? Who am I kidding with this novel writing crap anyway? Not the kids, obviously.
The hardest part of this whole having kids business, is that I can't really wallow in this mood like I would like to. I need to get my crap together, get some work done, and shake the pheromone that tells them that I am not in control. It feels impossible, but I know from experience that it can be done. I will go running, I will make chicken stock, I will re-write the first chapter...again. Maybe by tonight, maybe sometime tomorrow, I will get my regular mommy smell back; coffee and morning breath sans The Fear.