We’re not sure how it started, but now every night when the kids are tucked in we hear the same thing. “Mooooooom! Give me something to think about.”
Oh, to be a child and have a life so wonderful and carefree that when you lay down to sleep, you actually need someone to tell you what to think about! Usually our answers are things like: What do you want for dinner? Which book will you choose at the library? What game will we play tomorrow?
Occasionally, just to mess with her, I’ll throw in something about thermonuclear dynamics or the sound of flatulence in a vacuum tube. She is not impressed, and more often than not end up coming up with a simple question for her to ponder instead of counting sheep after prayers are said and she waits until the sandman comes.
In reality, it is a beautiful ritual and I shouldn’t let it annoy me. I should marvel at how comforting a home and life we have created for our child so that when she lays her head down she needs thoughts to fill her mind because the worries are not there. Most of the time, I enjoy the beauty.
Other times, I do not.
Some nights, I am so jealous of how she lays in her pink fuzzy bed with soft music playing and thinking about books to read or food to eat that I want to be honest with my answers the next time she asks me…
What should you think about? Well, let me tell you some of the things that mommy thinks about when she goes to bed…
When am I going to have time to do the laundry? How many clean pairs of pants does he have left? I need to buy her new underwear, she keeps growing. They eat so much! Why don’t they eat the healthy food I make for them? What am I going to make for dinner? I need to go shopping. I need to make a list first. I also need to remind myself to take my list when I go into the store. I should actually use the app on my phone. Maybe I should get a different app? What about those dietary apps? Would I use one of those? I will start tomorrow. Tomorrow morning I will get up and eat healthy and set a good example for my kids. And I’m also going to clean all of the toilets and pay the bills. Money, money, money. I think I have a coupon—I could use it to buy them all new underwear. I will have to write a note on my shopping list to remind me. If I remember the shopping list.
And I wonder why I toss and turn all night and her peaceful body is in the same smiling position in the morning…
Originally written 2.15.16