Sometimes I want to lie on the floor
and do nothing,
think about nothing,
talk to no one,
hear only house noises
and nature noises
for an hour.
Today, I spent my lunch cleaning up dog vomit. I’ll work late tomorrow to make up the time. I met my beau after work for a soda, not a beer, since I’m not imbibing much lately. I had anxiety on the way over, and without a glass of suds to attempt mask it when I got there, I had to deal with my anxiety all by my big girl self. And I did.
I got home, and Little Guy had some major business to take care of in the bathroom. I went upstairs when I heard he had finished and asked if he flushed.
He said, “Yes.”
I said, “I didn’t hear it.”
He said, “Well, it clogged.”
“These words would be nice: Mom, would you please unclog my toilet?” I said. “Mom, would you please unclog my toilet?” Little Guy repeated quietly.
“Of course I will,” I said, “right after dinner.”
I hoped for one of those pipe miracles that happens sometimes where the pipe magically expands to allow an arm-sized turd through. We had dinner, finished homework, and got ready for bed. I opened the toilet and no miracle had happened. Damn.
I plunged and plunged and plunged some more, but that water did not move. I had to get the snake. Yes, the snake, the lifesaver of all toilets that have endured heavy use of a light person. I snaked and snaked and snaked until the snake did the trick and then, it was time for bed. Sigh.
And that was when I plopped myself onto my son’s bed and told him,
“Sometimes I want to lie on the floor and do nothing for an hour. That would make me happy. I’m exhausted!” A tear fell out of my eye, just fell right out of my eye.
“Mom, you can!” Little Guy said. “Right after you read to me for 1000 minutes.” We laughed.
“I can’t do that,” I said as another tear popped out of my eye. I felt so tired I couldn’t read The Art of Doing Nothing by Veronique Vienne which I own but have never finished. Really, I would curl up on the floor, if I had one more thing to do. Hmm, sounds similar to lying on the floor doing nothing…
Little Guy insisted that I could lie down for a minute. Huh? I thought. No one ever tells me to do that, not even myself, unless it’s 3 or 4 in the morning and I can’t go on cleaning, organizing or reading parenting articles online.
“Yeah, I’ll read to you, Mom. You can even sleep for a couple minutes if you want to,” Little Guy said.
“Okay,” I said, “but only for 7 minutes.”
I don’t know if him reading to me was a ploy to stay up past his bedtime or my sweet child taking care of his mama. I know that enjoyed being read to and lying still for the duration of Goodnight Moon. And I didn’t care that it meant he was up past his bedtime.
Little Guy finished the book and said, “Two minutes left. I’ll get another book.”
“No. Snuggles. Two minutes,” I said. “Turn off the light.”
“Okay!” he said.
He turned off his light and snuggled up to me while he hugged his stuffed animal to him. We laid there in the dim light and silence. He didn’t talk like he usually does. He held very still and fell asleep within minutes. Maybe that was the miracle I was waiting for, a boy who falls asleep in less than an hour.
I lied there a few more minutes and contemplated moving to the living room to lie on the floor and do nothing or turn on one of my favorite movies. I have too much to do, I decided. It would make me more anxious to do nothing. If I felt more caught up with things that have to get done, like cleaning the cat box and printing out documents for an appointment on Saturday before I forget about either, I could let myself lie down.
For now, I hear the cat crap, the laundry, the printer, the carpet cleaner, the crap in the garage that needs to go in my car, my last load of clean clothes still hanging dry, the guest bathroom that needs cleaning, tonight’s dinner that needs to go in the fridge, and the other SWAD (Shit We All Do) calling my name. In good time, I hope for the miracle of myself falling asleep in less than an hour.