Today's parenting tip: take your mental vacations wherever and whenever they find you.
On weekend mornings, I usually wake at still-dark o’clock to a child poking me in the neck, asking permission to do something.
“Can I play on the iPad?”
“Can I turn on the TV?”
“Can I make pancakes?”
I appreciate that they ask first, because it means they worry about getting in trouble, which in turn means I still hold a shred of authority over them.
But a “Can I?” means I have to answer “yes” or “no.” I have to think about it. Weigh the consequences. This is unfair at such an ungodly hour. So I’ll agree to anything to make them go away. Can I build a volcano in the basement? Yes, be gone. Put rollerblades on the dog? Sure, if it means I can sleep for ten more minutes.
On a recent Dunkin Donuts run, I ordered two coffees, and then a box of Munchkins for the girls because it’s been a while since my last round of Fun Mom points. Then as I sat at the drive-through, I thought to myself, “I wonder if I could have a doughnut.”
Of course I can have a doughnut. I'm an adult and I can do what I want.*
“And, separately please, I’ll take one glazed doughnut. (I sounded apologetic, like “please don’t judge me for wanting this in addition to the Munchkins.”)
I parked, grabbed the doughnut from the bag and took a bite. The outside was shattery-sweet, the inside so soft and fresh that I may have actually sighed with content. I ate in silence and felt like I was on vacation.
Because in that moment, I was just a lady enjoying a doughnut and not making any decisions for anyone else. Even the little ones – calculating screen time before you relent on the
iPad, or figuring out what time dinner will be while you field endless requests
for snacks - take a profound amount of mental energy when you add them all up.
So don't apologize for your doughnut. Treat yourself and enjoy it, because you deserve the five-minute break before you get mauled by young people who want that box of 25 Munchkins.**
*turns out this is not true.
**Actually 22 Munchkins. Tested three of them for poison, because that's how much I love my kids.
#pdv #pdn #dfoodie