My two kids (Jake, 11, and Fiona, are away at sleepaway camp right now, otherwise I’d be mining their little brains for questions for my new KidzVuz advice column. Since they’re not here, and I’m so tired I’m hallucinating anyway, I’m going make up a question that I’m pretty sure they’d ask me if I were allowed to talk to them right now.
Q: Mom, we know we begged to go to camp, and we really want to go, but why is your smile so ridiculously big when you talk about having six weeks without us? Are we terrible children?
A: Dearest Jakie and Fiona-bona (yes, I know you hate it when I call you that, but this conversation is happening in my head, so it’s OK), I love you guys more than anything. But a close second is being able to eat a meal, sleep in, go to a movie, get some work done, make out with your dad, or just lay around the house in my underwear without worrying about little people.
See, even when you’re being good, taking care of someone else is taxing. You know how if you leave the laptop on for too long it starts acting funny, moving really slow and not reacting if you ask it to do something it usually has no problem doing? Well, my brain has been on for too long. I’ve been taking care of you guys for eleven years – worrying about you, feeding you, making sure you had clothes to wear to school, getting you outside for exercise, making you do your homework, and making sure you’re not eating like complete crap – and my brain needs a reboot. I just need to put it in sleep mode for six weeks, and when you get back from camp, I will have the patience of a saint and the wisdom of a scholar, and I’ll miss you so much by that point that you’ll be able to get me to say yes to pretty much anything. Go ahead, take advantage.
I love being a mom. I love you. I like having you around…most of the time. But even the easy parts of parenting wear a person down after a while. So, please don’t think of that smile as me wanting to get rid of you. If there were a way I could not worry or take care of you while still having you in the house, I would do it. But since that’s pretty much impossible – and since you did beg to go to camp – I think this is the best solution for everyone involved.
Plus, with you guys gone I’m getting to make out with your dad a lot, and I know you hate that. We’ll try to get our fill while you’re gone.
Every month Amy Oztan, otherwise known as SelfishMom, will be answering your pressing tween parenting questions. Or maybe just the annoying questions your tween asks you. Got a question? Let us know in the comments and sit back and let SelfishMom figure it out for you.