Roger said something to me tonight that made me feel awful. I’m positive he didn’t mean to. It was just one of those statements that are nonchalantly spoken. At first the listener thinks nothing of it; it isn’t until they replay the dialogue over again in their head that the full meaning of the words hits you like a ton of bricks. Although I am sure there is much truth to the comment it still hurt. “I think Mia is as sick of you as you are of her.” That was the statement. And as much as I’d like to defend myself and say he had no reason to ever believe that I was, I can’t.
The house that Roger walked into this evening was dark and disheveled. Mia was crying in the other room – in the middle of one of those indescribable meltdowns that come out of nowhere. Her and I had been in the midst of a power struggle all day. She refused to bathe and I refused to take her to the park until she had. Normally, I’d be smart enough not to let something as trivial as one missed bath rip apart the peace of my home, but this was no singularly missed bath. This was the third day. She hadn’t had a good scrubbing since Saturday morning. And so I sat on my principles, and she hers.
Mia’s direct descent from a line of obstinate people (not my father’s family’s best quality) meant that I was fighting it out with one of the best. While my own stubborn nature naturally set us at odds. It was a stalemate from the beginning, and as the sun began to fall lower in the sky I realized it may just be a stalemate to the end. And she would STILL be dirty. So I decided to improvise (I’d win this war yet!). I got out the largest water basin we own, cleaned it and brought it to the living room. I laid towels out on the floor and filled it halfway with warm soapy water. Mia was intrigued enough with the idea of playing in a “small pool” (her words, not mine) in our living room that she easily let me wash her in it. I must admit it was quite archaic and I felt a bit like someone from another century, but it got the job done. It made me feel accomplished.
After Mia was dressed and had her hair brushed I did as I promised and invited her to get her shoes on for a trip to the park. It was at this moment that things took a turn for the worst. Only now, as I write this, am I finally able to piece together why Mia was so upset. It was then that she realized she had been duped into bathing. And she was angry.
Enter Roger. Who comes in oblivious and happy to be home from work. He walks into mayhem -a screaming child and an equally perturbed mother. I swear the air in the house hung heavy with disdain. Luckily, his presence was just enough to deflect the situation and before I knew it we ended up happily at the park, but not before he noticed the bit of “bad air” between his two favorite girls.
I’m happy to say we had a good time at the park. Although, I can’t say I’m happy about much else. I decided to walk home while Roger drove Mia to my mother’s house for a sleepover and a swim. After dropping her off I got the call and heard the words that I’ve been replaying in my mind since. He told me that after I left Mia was happy, like really happy, and then he said it “I think Mia is just as sick of you are you are of her.” Those words soured the sweetness of my victory.
But, I guess summertime can do that to the best of friends.