Ignorance is Bliss

The Next Family

By: Shannon Ralph

There are days when the love I have for my children is so all-encompassing that I am struck mute by the power of it. There are days when I look at them and I am absolutely floored by the intensity of my desire to hold them and protect them and simply “be” with them. When I am overwhelmed by emotion simply hearing one of them giggle. Days when I want to stop time and spend the rest of my life in that moment. Looking into those eyes. Hearing that tiny little voice calling me Mommy.

Today is not one of those days.

Is it wrong to scream “Get away from me!” at one’s children? Seriously. I would really like to know. Is it bad parenting? Bad form? My children have been attached to my hip from the moment I woke up this morning. My daughter is —yet again— trying to reinsert herself into the orifice from which she came. Yet again, I am having to tell her, in no uncertain terms, that that portal is exit only. I am sitting at my kitchen table as I type this eating a plate full of Ore-Ida french fries for dinner. Nutritious and delicious. Actually, they are neither, but I am trying to convince myself otherwise. My fries have been spit on by Nicholas in his attempts to “blow” on them to cool them enough to steal one from me. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I am not above eating my own son’s saliva. I’ve certainly done it before (though it is not something I typically discuss in public).

It is six o’clock in the evening, and I have a list a mile long of chores I need to finish before I can go to bed tonight. I need to empty the dishwasher. I need to wash the dishes I dirtied baking a cheesecake this afternoon —a failed attempt at finding a moment of tranquility today. Sophie heard me get out the mixing bowls and immediately came running to “help”. So much for the quiet “therapy” of baking. I should really fold and put away at least one of the three baskets of clean clothes that have been sitting in my bedroom for four days. I am sure the wrinkles are deep and enduring by now. I have to get the kids ready for bed, which most definitely falls under the “chore” heading. And finally, I need to sit down and pay some bills tonight before creditors start demanding my firstborn child. Hmmm…there’s an idea…

Why then, with the colossal list of chores I need to accomplish this evening, am I sitting here writing this decidedly uninspired article for The Next Family? Is this not a waste of precious chore-completing minutes? Not to mention a yawn-inducing burden for anyone who is unlucky enough to read it? There’s really quite a simple explanation. My children are in the living room watching a movie. In a completely separate room. With a wall between us. I would have to walk through the living room to get started on any of the above-mentioned chores. The last thing in the world I want to do right now is call attention to myself. I do not want my three adorable children to come to the sudden realization that it has been a full five minutes since any of them have asked me for a single thing. I don’t want to have them suddenly remember something that they need from me immediately. Right this very minute. Before the world comes to a sudden and grisly end —which it most certainly will do if I do not respond to their request, posthaste.  Most importantly, however, I do not want to see the mess the fruit of my loins (and Ruanita’s loins, if we must get technical) have created in my living room. I do not want to know exactly how many additional chores I need to add to my list for the evening. I am a firm believer in the utter bliss of ignorance. I just want to sit here. Eating my french fries. In a quiet room. In a state of complete ignorance. Just for a couple more minutes. Please.

Nicholas just ran up and grabbed my last spit-mottled french fry.

And so it ends.

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