I have an early morning meeting. Parent's Teacher's Meeting, to be precise. I am good at keeping early morning appointments, yes, but please spare me today. I have a script to rework on, an article to be written, another article to be reviewed, an assignment to be completed... And then, a song walks into my mind in slow motion which I HAVE to play in a loop. Children have to be brushed, fed, bathed. Then, there is an early morning birthday party to go for. Gift? Wrapping paper? Electricity bill? When was the date of disconnection? Breakfast? What do we have for breakfast? Lunch? Khichudi? Bengali style? Petrol? There is no petrol in the car. I want to scream out the four lettered word. But I am the Mommy here. I have to be in control.
Take out the party dresses for the kids (Most important).
Switch on the geyser.
Write a mail to your client apologising for the delay.
Pick up the car keys.
Don't forget the wallet.
Carry Adya's homework book.
Look for the electricity bill.
Fetch milk and groceries.
Run for the PTM with hair and shoes gone all askew.
Start the engine. (I have forgotten something.) Reverse. (What is it that I have forgotten?). Leave. (Where the hell is my phone?). Drive back. Park. Ring the bell. Sort out a fight and go back with the phone which barely works. Phew!
"But I work from home," I am trying to explain to my daughter's class teacher. She has been worried about her sudden behavioral change. Adya apparently has been very cranky and whiny in the past few weeks. "Do you come back very late? May be she is not getting enough time?" Her teacher expresses her concern.
"May be", I admit, "But I am home 24/7." But am I always there, I want to ask myself. Guilt is another vice you seamlessly develop as a mother.
So, it's a Saturday full of action, and admittedly, my guilt plays an integral role here. I am out there taking them for a birthday party, inviting a friend's daughter for a play date, getting them sufficient dose of Vitamin D and physical activity in the park, curbing their TV watching time, reading, feeding, singing, dancing... And all of this with the anxiety of the backlog of work I am creating for myself. I am bad at switching off. Yes.
"I can't write like this", I tell my brother. "I want a quieter place, a corner of my own." He suggests I go to a coffee shop or to Sabah's. I am calculating the driving time in my mind. The kids are happily jumping around while I bask in the glory of being published in a national newspaper, and of finding a mention in another. Youtube plays the Qawwalli in a loop.
I do manage to get the work done. And I don't have a very unhappy daughter around me either. Only, right now all I want to think of is a hammock by the seaside. Will you pass me a drink please? Or may be two? Thank you.