Hey Pa, where’s Ma!?!

Every day of my life, Occasionally, my expectations do not match my reality. This is never clearer to me than on Saturday mornings. All week, while at work, I look forward to an unhurried Saturday morning that includes coffee and cuddling on the couch while the kids contentedly watch cartoons and I catch up on some reading.

Yet, here I sit, typing these words in my closet. It’s 7:38 on Saturday morning and I’m hiding from my family. I have not spent the morning sitting peacefully, enjoying my family’s presence, sipping coffee, and reading. No. We have skateboarded, gone “camping” with the doll house family, made waffles (don’t get too excited, a toaster was involved), answered 5,000 questions, and walked the dogs fifteen times (numbers may be slightly exaggerated). It’s been absolutely exhausting lovely.

So, as any good parent would do, I grabbed my lukewarm cup of coffee, phone, and laptop and snuck into my closet. I’ve found peace underneath the hanging clothes. This moment of rock star parenting makes me realize that I’m fortunate to be a parent in the modern world. What did frontier women do when they hid from their families? And you know they did. It may not have warranted a chapter in Little House on the Prairie but there were times when Pa and the girls couldn’t find Ma because she was out hiding behind the outhouse. So without wifi, did poor Ma grind grain? Darn socks? Sew bonnets?

Not me.

I fire off texts to my husband:

Me: Can you bring me a waffle?

Keith: Where are you?

Me: In the closet.

Keith: Come out of the closet.

Me: No. Hiding from kids.

Keith: Stellar parenting.

Me: Thanks. Any chance of getting more coffee?

Keith: No.

My time in the closet was short-lived. The kids soon appeared and said, “What do you want, Mom? Dad said you were looking for us in here.”

Although my moment of sneaky solitude among the hanging clothes was brief, I learned a few things while in hiding. First, Keith has a dark side. Second, I could never hack it without modern technology. Third, I really need to have a coffee-maker in the closet. And, last, we all need little moments of escape from our lives, no matter how wonderful those lives may be.

Have your expectations failed to match your reality lately? How do you manage to make the occasional escape? Is darning socks a lost art? Do you feel Keith was ever so slightly unreasonable regarding the waffle request? (Oh, and if you’re a parent who never feels the need to take a breather from parenting, that’s fantastic. Your comments are very welcome … somewhere. Perhaps Parenting magazine has a blog?)

38 thoughts on “Hey Pa, where’s Ma!?!

  1. I was always told that’s why the bathroom door had a lock on it. I don’t remember who gave me that info, though. Can’t believe your hubby threw you under the bus like that. And I also can’t believe you were skateboarding at that time of the morning, either. Are you sure it wasn’t just a bad dream?

    1. So true about the bathroom! Although I find a mom in a bathroom is like a child magnet. To clarify, I was just making sure my new skateboarder didn’t sustain any injuries requiring an early AM ER visit! No actual skating done by me — now that would be a blog post!


  2. I have always forced my children to bed at 7.oo pm, the only reason for that it that it will provide me (if I am lucky) with some hours of “me-time”.

    Otherwise I agree with the previous speaker. The bathroom has been my salvation 1.000.000 times. ANd then my parents, to leave the kids with my parents or other kind soul has provided me/us with some well deserved grown-up time.

    Regarding the Mr? I guess he needs to have a go of his own “medicine”. REVENGE!

    1. I am normally an early-to-bed mom too because it’s the only way to get in some time. That may be part of the reason we’re up with the sun though! Oh yes. Revenge will happen … mwahahahaha … (key to a good marriage equals a good evil laugh)!

  3. I go in the laundry room. Sometimes I sit on top of the dryer in case they peek under the door. But NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE steps foot in there besides me. I’ve come to realize that’s a good thing. 🙂

  4. Oh Amy! Thanks for the morning chuckle…you do have a way with words. Ahh, the closet days…yes, be well prepared before entering…I find I must leave the house…after 21 years of marriage, my husband started siding with the kids early on…now…he plays golf (4 hours +) and I “run errands” aka Barnes and Noble for peace and quiet with my laptop! Plus…they have coffee! Hard part is making my self leave!

  5. Amy, as a fellow parenting blogger and mother of four, I can totally and completely relate. I have run errands that don’t need running to escape my children. Because my closet is too small to get into (or out of again), I have been known to hide beside my bed (there was curling up in a ball and rocking back and forth involved). When we looked at a house to buy recently and found huge closets, my first thought was: I could totally hide in here! Sad. And yes, your husband sold you out and should remember that his time will come and you’ll remember this betrayal! And yes, sock-darning and bonnet-making are lost arts – I just don’t want to have to do them.

    1. Oh his time will come. He’s a hider too – he’s just too sneaky to text me while hiding. I’m on to him now though!! I’m so glad to hear, by the way, that I’m not the only mom hiding away from those precious children. 🙂

  6. It takes me a looooong time to select produce. So long that even a shopping list of 3 items can take me an hour on certain days. 😉

    Your Mister K should be sleeping with one eye open for a long while… Lol.

  7. Amy,

    I run away every Saturday morning. I grab my sneakers and my iPod, and I hit the trail. No questions asked. Saturday morning with the kids is Daddy time. It’s not exactly leisurely, but it’s solitude–and the longer I run, the more time I get. Then I meet a friend for coffee afterward. Sometimes I feel a little guilty about the coffee, but not often. Because no matter how many times I run away, I’m never gone for very long, and I always come back. Enjoy your mommy-cave. We all need a break!

  8. I take extra long bathroom breaks. Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels and Lucky Magazine make great companions for these five minute respites.

  9. I feel the urge to vent about my husband, who while wonderful, is also known to make comments like “Mommy doesn’t want to spend time with her family because tweeting is too important” when all I need is a break. I’m not even tweeting half the time.

    Sometimes I’m on facebook. Or reading. Or googling something I’d forgotten to a week ago and finally remembered and wanted to search for it before I forgot again.

    He doesn’t quite “get it”.


    I’d need a mini-fridge with Mountain Dew. And brownies.

    I soooo get it.

    Next time, don’t disclose your location to the enemy: they’ll sacrifice you every time. 🙂

    1. That is a fantastic tip about not disclosing my location. The first mistake I made was to text Keith!
      Also, as great as my husband also is (although not in this post), Keith quite often doesn’t “get it.” Sometimes things that might look like wastes of time are actually helping renew and recharge.

  10. I’m with you. There are times (like lately) that I think I can’t clean up another snack thrown to the floor, change another diaper, bake another loaf of banana bread, mop another time, without pulling my hair out. I don’t have an escape (other than early bedtime or bathroom). I have too much on my to-do list – so even those childless moments involve finishing something. I want a day (or week) where I don’t have errands to run, rooms to clean, food to make, dishes to wash. I need a vacation away from my family. *sigh*

    1. Honestly, I think that so many moms are afraid to admit they need to get away from their family because it sounds like they don’t treasure every single little second of their kids’ childhood. But, in all honestly, I’m a better mom when I’ve had some kind of escape. Unfortunately, I’m kind of like you right now. There’s too much to do, everything seems pressing, and escapes are hard to come buy.
      Let’s book tickets on a cruise, you think?

  11. The corn field. I’m convinced many pioneer women meticulously hid amongst, I mean TENDED the corn for a reason. I find that tending the garden is a great way to escape from my brood because my boys know that if they venture too close they will be expected to weed, shovel mulch, or given other unspeakable tasks. Amy, if you had a pile of clean laundry in that closet that needed folded or put away, I’m betting they’d leave you alone. The key to hiding is to look like you’re WORKING and need help. Then, and only then, will they leave you alone.

  12. I discovered that that was why my father was handy. He could disappear into his workshop with all those tools there were too dangerous for kids to be around. I didn’t see the inside of his workshop till I was 16 and never did get an explanation as to why it had a liquor cabinet. I thought it had to do with all that extra work he did after work till I had kids but by that time it was too late. He should have passed that on instead of his grab a chair in a bar fight advice.

  13. I discovered that that was why my father was handy. He could disappear into his workshop with all those tools that were too dangerous for kids to be around. I didn’t see the inside of his workshop till I was 16 and never did get an explanation as to why it had a liquor cabinet. I thought it had to do with all that extra work he did after work till I had kids but by that time it was too late. He should have passed that on instead of his grab a chair in a bar fight advice.

  14. I think you’re brilliant. I’m sad that I can’t hide in my closet (too small). I shut the door to my room, which they know how to unlock from the outside, and put headphones on.

    What you really need- and your husband has totally brought this on himself- is the coffee maker that brews directly into the thermos-type pot. This way you can bring your coffee with you AND he doesn’t get any. Taking care of yourself and getting revenge at the same time. Sweet!

  15. This post made me giggle, Amy…no matter where I tried to hide, my little monsters always managed to find me!

    I know you’re a great mom! We all need a little time in the closet now and then…


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