Thursday, April 24, 2008


The next person who tells me how lucky I am to work at home? Is going to get a big hearty offer to go fuck themselves.

The scene: Monday, late afternoon. Will hasn't been napping well, and neither did Maggie. I have a deadline for a project I should have had done a week prior, and have been playing phone tag with my last key interview all day long. Finally she calls at just after 5 pm, and both kids are (temporarily) happy. Maggie's been given a snack and then settled in front of her favorite show after I explain to her I have an interview to do and won't be able to play with her for a little while, Will is ensconced in the bouncy seat near me, and I'm perched in front of the laptop in the kitchen nook.

So I am smoothly and professionally asking my first question when it begins.

"Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."

"I'm sorry--as you can probably tell I work at home and my three-year-old is demanding attention. A three-year-old and a two-month-old. Yes, it's a challenging and wonderful age."

"Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."

"CanIputyouonholdforoneminute? Thanks."

"Maggie. Remember how I told you I was doing a phone interview and couldn't play right now? I will play with you when I am done, but can you go look at a book maybe please?"


She goes to get a book, I continue with the interview.

"Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. MomEEEE."

I pull a full (my mother's name) and snap my fingers and glare while pointing toward the living room.

"Mommy. (starts to cry.) Mommy. Mommy. Mooommmeeeeee.""

Stroke hair while trying to type notes one handed.

Will decided to get in on the act, pushing his binky out of his mouth and crying. Replace binky. Still trying to retain and process what interview subject is saying. Maggie leaves room. Briefly worry about what the hell she might be getting into. Decide it's unlikely to be dangerous so I don't care. Mentally sigh and return full attention to intelligent, creative interview subject.

"Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."

Decide to employ No-Cry Discipline Solution interruption-busting techhnique we've begun to use with her. Squeeze her arm to acknowledge I have heard her. She squeezes mine back. While intoning "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." I shake my head at her, point at the phone, and squeeze her arm again. She squeezes mine. Laughs. "This is fun!" she says.

Will cries again. replace binky. Lather, rinse, repeat like 20 times. Maggie commences jealous fit because he got attention. Dog enters room, vomits on floor. Mentally take Lord's name in vain in egregious fashion while simultaneously noting this will be funny someday. In the mental ward, most likely. Maggie leaves room. Comes storming back with note of urgency in voice. "MOOOMMMEE! Momeee!"

I glare, mouth "STOP" and take her by the hand out of the room. She sobs, runs away. I continue interview interrupted only by frequent binky replacement. Am wrapping up this clusterfuck when Maggie enters room. With wet underpants. See Paul walking up driveway. Open back door before he can and begin ranting. He shoots a sympatitec look, investigates child. Who has peed on ratty old futon we use in the den. With great abundance.

Nurse Will who was fussing in the first place for that reason. Desire large, cold, delicious martini. Consumed alone, someplace quiet where there are no children, especially mine. Wonder if showing up at parent teacher conference that evening with martini breath is a bad idea. Wonder if giving baby gin-laced breastmilk is a bad idea. Decide it is. Opt to make normal dinner instead of tell family Martini Night is Mommy's theme for the evening and they are on their own ("Olives! Lemon twists! Nutritious!").

Throw dinner at family including parents who have arrived on mission of mercy to watch children while we attend parent-teacher conference.

Go to parent teacher conference to hear my delightful, bright daughter described as such. Feel as if I may not be world's worst mother after all. Worst freelancer, sure, but not worst mother. Go home. Hug kids.


culiex said...

yes. oh, yes.

Theresa said...

Wow. You DIDN'T have a martini after all that? You are a better woman than I am.

caramama said...

I seriously believe that working at home is the hardest of all the options.

What a mess! Why won't kids just cooperate when you need it most? Even the dog threw up!!! Goodness! At least it ended on a good note!

tripmom827 said...

You had me at "big hearty offer to go fuck themselves". Sorry for your troubles, but I got a good laugh :)

Wood said...

oh, I would never never say you are lucky. working moms, from home or offices, just feel like they have two jobs and that they suck at both of them. Which isn't true, of course.

Brilliant handling of that situation. Graceful, even.

BrooklynGirl said...

Yeah, the WAHM thing is kicking my butt. If only I liked gin.....

Erin said...

You had me at "interview." Interview? You are conducting interviews with people while taking care of two children? The only person I'm interviewing these days is my partner, and I only have one questions for her: "When are you coming home?"

You are doing a great job at your jobs.

Oz said...

I worked at home two days a week the first three months back at work - so, from three to six months of Axel's life. I just had the one child and it was really hard. I think you deserve several rounds of martinis - with extra olives - for juggling two babies and a phone interview.

apt said...

You are working two jobs at once. That can NOT be easy!