Friday, November 5, 2010

time out

I sit across the table from her. The bags under my eyes mirror hers.

I try.

Dance class today, Eliza!! I sound enthusiastic.

I know. She glowers at me.

And, because I have crabby written all over my face, I glower right back.

{Again with the maturity. I rock.}

Why do you look at me like that, Mama? She is annoyed.

The real reason? I don't say it aloud. Because you're crabby and I'm crabby and the baby is crabbier than both of us put together and I can't stand any of us right now.

Instead I rearrange my face into a smile and brush it off.

I turn on Sesame Street -- a zany distraction. I circle my cold hands around this cup of tea and close my eyes.

A time out.

I inhale slowly, deliberately, filling belly to collar bones with as much oxygen as I can hold. I exhale -- push it all out -- and draw it in again. And again. And again.

Suddenly the Elmo's World song bursts my bubble and I open my eyes. I'm sitting in a puddle of sun. All the crabby has drained from my face. I get up.