That’s it. I’ve made up my mind. I’m running away.
This mom-thing is exhausting, the pay is lousy, and I don’t even get a single day off. Besides, these kids are entirely too stinky and messy. Today I came home to discover the entire first floor of my house smelling like feet. Not just any feet, but godawful, what-died-in-here, apocalyptic smelly ones. Even the dog, a creature that enjoys sniffing other dogs’ butts, whined to get outside and away from the smell. I couldn’t blame her. It was like being assaulted by an entire locker room of stink as soon as I opened the door. I would pay handsomely for an air freshener that could successfully eradicate the odor of stinky boy-feet that have spent an entire school day in soggy sneakers but so far, none exist.
I’ve tried escaping to the bathroom in an effort to get away from the kids, but no matter how quiet I am, those buggers always find me. They slip notes, homework, and permission slips under the door as if I’m in there bored, looking for something to do. Occasionally, I’ll see fingers or an eyeball peering under the gap at the bottom of the door. When the youngest one tried to stuff a banana that he couldn’t peel under the door, I knew I’d reached my last straw. Running away has become my only option.
When I go, I’m going to do it the right way, not like that Pennsylvania woman who pretended she was kidnapped but instead had run away with her nine-year-old daughter to Disney World. No sirree. For starters, I’m going to run away by myself, which is how you’re supposed to do it. No one will pay attention to a slightly neurotic middle-aged woman with bags under her eyes and a nest-like mess of hair on her head, but they will notice a cute nine-year-old child who isn’t in school.
I can’t take that chance, especially since my nine-year-old is a talker and has a tendency to reveal embarrassing family moments when under pressure. Actually, not much pressure at all is needed to convince this child to spill it. He once fessed up to spraying chocolate milk on the kitchen ceiling and all I had to do was look at him.
I’m not going to run away like my son Ryan did when he was five, either. After determining that I was the meanest mother ever, Ryan gathered his most important belongings together (his pillow, a Hot Wheels car, and some Pokemon cards) inside a blue bandana and tied it onto a long stick just as he’d seen nearly every cartoon character do.
He loudly announced that he was leaving home since I’d been “bad” to him, and with a great slam of the front door, he was gone. I watched as he slowly walked around the cars in our driveway, glancing back at the house every so often. His blue bandana kept sliding down the stick, forcing him to stop long enough to push it back up again. Eventually, he made it to the end of our driveway and to his hiding place behind a small red maple tree in our front yard. From the living room window, I could see him perfectly, peering from behind the tree toward the house. He was only about 20 yards away.
He looked so small and sad out there, as if he’d regretted his decision the moment he walked out the front door. After a few minutes, I lured him back in the house with a peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich, cut on the diagonal, and a glass of cold milk. We didn’t talk about why he felt the need to run away, but he never again accused me of being “bad” to him and he never again tried to run away.
When I run away, I’m going to do things quite differently from Ryan. First of all, I’m going to bring a suitcase instead of a bandana as I plan on staying away for longer than fifteen minutes. Secondly, I’m going to go much farther than the front yard. Bora Bora is probably far enough. Lastly, I won’t come home simply because someone made me lunch. Oh no. Getting me to come back home is going to require something really big; something that will enhance the lives of mothers everywhere.
I’m holding out for that super-strong air freshener.
Photo of Bora Bora from http://www.thetravelerszone.com/travel-destinations/25-stunning-pictures-of-bora-bora/