I NEED to be surrounded by people. This baffles my family, but it's true.
There are days where, sitting in PJ's while the kiddos watch endless television, is satisfactory. These are far fewer than the days where I desperately want to escape the confines of the house and walk, and talk and see human beings other than my spawn!
I could be encased in a large mirrored glass box and I would be content simply to see people go past.
I cannot explain this need. It actually makes NO rational sense. I don't go to thrilling places, or even engage in conversation all the time. (Though I have been known to talk to many a stranger. Whether they like it or not) And on most occasions I come home exhausted wondering what I was thinking and thanking God for my walls.
You see there is almost no difference between our family's public behaviour and our private behaviour. Chances are if you have been in a shopping mall and heard toddlers screaming and kicking and a mother snapping that "this is the last time she will ever do this again", THAT was me. Yeah, you, you who live in Cape Breton? THAT WAS MY KID. (The sound of their tantrums travels FAR.)
Halfway through an outing I look either at the individual I am with or at the stranger passing by me with a look that tells them: "yes I am crazy right now, and yes I do recognize the madness."
Now, understand, not all outings are challenging. Some leave me overjoyed and daring to risk it all and pack them in a (now gone forever... RIP Joovy) stroller and strut off to the park. SOMETIMES I come home feeling like the greatest mother who ever existed and my children are angelic creatures who will make me smile for all of time.
But did I emphasize the "sometimes"?
Little as they are they did get a portion of my personality (sorry world) and they love being surrounded by humans other than their mother/disciplinarian/teacher/caregiver/best story reader ever.
I will try to make sure that seeing life beyond meal planning and laundry and dishes is a priority for them too.
That being said, today I embarked on an outing. At moments I wondered why I didn't stay at home (where timeouts in the bedroom are an option) and there were moments where I was grateful I'd had the energy to make it happen. The moment when I realized every ounce of effort was worth it? When Iron Man fell asleep in the back of the car.
9pm. Two sleeping angelic creatures. Mission accomplished.