Want your head to hurt? Spend approximately 59 minutes with TalkMonster and WonderMess.
To be fair, Superwoman had it coming. It was a cold Monday, the air holding the scent of winter in its breeze. Superwoman woke up in the dark and couldn’t bear to exercise, so she threw on a sweater and some cheap moccasins, did the leftover dishes, walked one kid to the bus stop and celebrated the other’s urine in the toilet, then came back from the preschool drop off to settle into work. She also paid bills (a perilous task) and ate a fat bagel with pizza sauce and cheese. She did more laundry, sort of, if you count putting something on a second spin cycle and leaving the other clothes in the dryer all day. Oh, and she ran the dishwasher, too, but failed to empty it. Butternut squash-corn soup her husband made is still sitting in a pot at the back of the stove.
But getting back to the head hurting part. The house was cold, the fireplace not yet ignited. When she tried to turn it to “go” for the season, rereading the warnings on the fake logs pamphlet, she worried she’d blow herself and TalkMonster up. That scene, in fact, was frighteningly vivid behind her third eye, so she gave up and took two aspirin, tried to elicit the story behind why TalkMonster thought he hurt his friend’s feelings (“I feel like I’m the baddest kid in the whole school”), and then went to pick up WonderMess, whose red hair was tangled in knots that really require visual images to appreciate.
SuperWoman doesn’t feel like uploading those for you.
Around 5 p.m., only an hour after he returned home from school, TalkMonster asked a lot of wicked questions in the car. About death. About Heaven. About what the people know about Heaven before they’re sent there. About whether people are allowed to come back. About how he wishes none of us ever had to go to Heaven.
SuperWoman tried to explain that all things die, but that didn’t seem like the right thing to tell a five-year-old. So she did the next best thing. She bought a latte and something chocolate and let the kids sit in the driveway, pretending to drive the car. It was not wise to get a latte right before dinner, but the wine she’d consume by the gulp-fuls, she figured, would counteract the caffeine.
And there needs to be something, something in this life to take away the pain and the weariness and the heartbreak of telling your children hard truths.
Today, that something came in the form of a paper cup with whipped cream.