Yes, you read that right.
So okay, usually I try to be a “healthy” reader. You know, read what’s good for me, or what I know to be food for thought and will intellectually stimulate me and what not. But sometimes, yes, I binge read fluff, and I am not ashamed to admit that I thoroughly enjoy it. Set me loose in a bookstore and I will linger awhile near the bestsellers, but chances are you will eventually find me in the young adult section, giggling over the latest Diary Of A Wimpy Kid (I am so glad the series is still going on!) or poring through paperback titles of books I have already read as PDFs. I mean sure, I almost feel a sense of achievement when I read books like say, The Hobbit (off the top of my head) or something that would look good on my hands as I sit on the train, but right now, I think I will gobble up any amount of Harry Potter you send my way, thank you very much. Not that I am saying Harry Potter is fluff, mind you; that would be sacrilege.
I wonder what this says about me as a reader though. Vastly-read? Sure. Well-read? Hmmm.
The past month has been, well, extremely difficult. I blame the Cameron Highlands trip for starting the trend of things that were not at all easy for me. Baby girl entered something called a Wonder Week, which is basically a period through which all babies go, where they struggle to overcome a mental leap. Wonder week my a**, try Wonder Month. Google will tell you a lot more, but take it from me, it just means everything is a fight. Diaper changes, outfit changes, mealtimes, showers, bedtimes; you name it, and it’s a struggle. It took all of my patience and then some, to remain calm as she smushed her rice for the umpteenth time and smeared it all over her hair, or arched her back and wailed as if in pain anytime I tried to put her to sleep. Add to it that this was my first month being “help”less after almost a year so it was taking me some time to set sleeping gears into motion. The only thing that would help me was singing when she would whine without any reason. The louder she whined the louder I sang. And oh boy, did I sing this past month.
I started finding ways to keep my sanity intact. Instead of using all of her naptime catching up on chores, I started sneaking bits here and there during the time she was awake. I’d try get most of it done before her nap, so once it was 11am and she was down for her nap, I could yell “Freedom!!!” and almost run to the kitchen to turn on the coffee machine. I’d quickly (so fast it was almost comical; the cartoonish kind) wrap up the rest of the chores and then set the scene for “Mommy time”.
As the coffee happily gurgles and the bubbles in the machine and the house starts smelling of creme brule coffee (oh thank you dear husband for that!), I get the jar of sinful fruit and nut cookies, or a slice or two of cake, and something savory to compliment all the sweetness, and set them by the couch. I get my glasses and the best part of it all, the book I am reading, and set them by the cookies. The house is completely quiet, and just to be sure, I check on the sleeping baby once more, and plonk my already tired self on the couch. And then I delve deep (well, as deep as fluff can be) into the thick of the plot.
For that hour, I am not a stay-at-home-Mom struggling with her cranky toddler and worrying herself sick about just how little said toddler was eating. For that hour, I might as well be that carefree student on her summer vacation with nothing but time in her hands. Or even that newly wed housewife in Vietnam with absolutely nothing to do until dinner time. For that hour, I lose myself in shallow love stories and silly predictable twists and tell myself it is perfectly okay to enjoy it. That all the stuff that “can happen only in the books” are in the books for a reason, and that you don’t always have to pick on the plot and shake your head at unbelievable coincidences and too-good-to-be-true characters.
When you are a Mom, you are so tightly wound all the time that it is hard to kinda let go, if you know what I mean. Some days, you might not have it all together. Some days, you might want to lie in bed and hide under the sheets and it is only 9 in the morning. But then, you grit your teeth, get through the day an hour at a time, and tell yourself you will survive until happy hour. And for me, happy hour was the one hour I got with my coffee and cookies and my fluff. Once she woke up, it was again back to Won’t-Won’t Land with Miss Cranky Pants, but thanks to my coffee and my escape from reality, I was a happier person. Thank Heavens for fluff.
P.S. We are mercifully past the stormy days, and the last two days have been really breezy (touch wood!) and I actually have the energy to write this post after her bedtime. Hallelujah indeed! And the photo? That was her, super-tired and hyperactive at 10:30 at night. Such were times.