Back in February, Dave and I sat side-by-side on the couch. The TV was on and we weren’t speaking. A line of throw pillows sat between us–the demilitarized zone of our unspoken rage. This was not a good night. I wanted to say something that would make things better, but I wasn’t quiet ready for “I’m sorry.” Whatever was happening between us had been going on for days and I was fed up with being fed up.
I sighed and tried to will my voice into pleasant tones. “Dave, that vacation we’re going on? I think we should leave Ellis with your mom.”
Dave looked down at our Berlin Wall of pillows and nodded. “Yeah, I think we need some time together.”
Dave and I have been married almost seven years. Ellis came along only five months before we hit our six year anniversary. That’s nearly six years to learn how not to yell when discussing why a pair of sweaty socks are balled up under the couch cushions or why the toothpaste cap is scabbed over with crusty remnants. Six years to find a balance between the practical aspects of keeping a home and of feeding a relationship. It wasn’t pretty. But somehow we had figured out how to put up drywall without throwing knives.
And then…Ellis came along. Ellis herself is not the problem. She is a wonderful child. I couldn’t have picked a better baby out of a baby line up. The problem is how we handle the exhaustion and stress that follow in the wake of being parents. Being a parent is easy, it’s doing everything else under the influence of baby that is so hard. Remember that scabbed over toothpaste cap? Now this time discuss it on two hours of sleep. Ready, go. Do you see what I mean?
And some Tuesday night, you find yourself hysterical because your kid has strep for the second time this month, you’ve slept 4 hours in 7 days and THE BOOKS BELONG ON THE BOOKSHELF I WILL KILL YOU MYSELF IF YOU DON’T PUT THEM BACK UP SO HELP ME GOD! While your husband curls in to the fetal position and you just want to know WHY WE CAN’T TALK ABOUT OUR FEELINGS?!
That’s when you notice that your window is open and you’re pretty sure your neighbors are all out there, eating popcorn and taking bets on who is going to get a cardboard copy of “Goodnight Moon” chucked at their head before the night is over.
The odds are in favor of Dave.
So, we planned a trip to New Orleans. Just me, Dave and our two wonderful friends, who decided in rare moment of stupidity to leave us for Ohio. (Does Ohio have a chocolate fountain, Jon and Andi? DOES IT?) Despite their lack of judgement when it comes to picking states, we miss them.
We leave on Thursday and Ellis will be spending time at Grandma camp, where she will be fed all her favorite foods and get taken to the zoo and have pure unadulterated Grandma and cousin time. And while I can’t wait to sleep in, I’m also nervous. What if she get’s sick? What if she doesn’t sleep for Grandma? What if New Orleans runs out of bourbon before we get there?
I’m just glad we’re doing this before she can actually remember. So she won’t have to sit in therapy and recount how her parents abandoned her for four days of cajun food and ghost tours.
But seriously, Ellis, it’s a GHOST TOUR!
While I am out, I have posts scheduled to go up. In the meantime, feel free to spam the comments. I won’t be watching.