T – 4 Days: Ironic Man

Ironman on Sunday morning. I spent Father’s Day with him.

Thank you, my very valued readers, for hanging in there with me as I am absent from my blog due to Ironman. For a few days over the weekend, he took over our lives completely. Although it’s marked on the calendar and we had a present, come Sunday morning, I FORGOT Father’s Day.

Husbot has been known to spend three weeks tying a single fly, and so he understands about Ironman. But on Sunday morning, upon returning home at 9 a.m. after getting the bots out of bed, taking them for chocolate milk and then to the park–to be met by an apologetic wife who had only remembered it was Father’s Day fifteen minutes before (and only because she’d looked at the calendar for some random unmemorable reason)–he announced he’d had enough. He could manage for a few more days, but he wanted Ironman out of the house. He wanted the flour paste off the kitchen floor and The New York Times back on the table in an inanimate pile. He went so far on Sunday afternoon as to refer to my Other Man as The Monster. To accuse him of taking over Father’s Day. When I asked himk to start thinking about where to hang it, he said thoughtfully, “Can I just run it over?”

So for Father’s Day, I took a break from my obsession and went out for breakfast with my family. And then Husbot took the bots to Grandma’s while I reattached Ironman’s arms after minor but time-consuming shoulder surgery. (I’d made his shoulders too wide–following my eye instead of my tape measure–and after the arms were attached, he looked robotic instead of Ironmanish.) I have learned a lot about anatomy in the past four weeks, but obviously, not enough.

Sunday afternoon, in the peace and quiet of an empty house, I put a final layer of paper mache over the sides of his head (a mummified balloon with both sides whacked off), and then I was ready to paint. It was a moment of triumph.

Then my friend Jessica, who happens to be an artist, offered to come over to help. So yesterday, I delegated a trained professional to the finer details of Ironman’s face. It was AWESOME. I mostly just stood around doing minor repair work on fingers and repainting hands while Jessica did the heavy lifting. I hope tomorrow I will be able to post pics.

But I was only able to get this far because on Saturday, our new superhero, Husbot, DBA Captain Understandts, took the bots out virtually all day. He returned home with photos of them lying in hammocks, submerged in sleeping bags, and peeking out of tents–they went to Cabela’s, then to lunch, then to Grandma’s–and I pinata-ed virtually nonstop. I also made whole wheat nut bread (in the Zojirushi, but still. Some days I don’t even have time to pour flour into the bread machine.) I also made white bean soup. And so, that evening, when the Dynamic Trio returned for dinner, I was able to show off a fully-put-together and painted pinata, and feed them well. I felt like a Supermom. And I thought, Isn’t it ironic that the only times I feel like a Supermom are when someone else is looking after my children?

It’s not right, but it’s true. When I’m with them, actually momming, I just feel all the things mother’s feel–and I don’t think that includes an astonishing sense of accomplishment. I feel like I’m doing what I need to do to keep them healthy, safe, socialized, educated, entertained, fed, watered, and generally clean, and at the same time keep me from feeling like I am being swallowed whole by motherhood–or more accurately, macerated by motherhood, allowing it to chew me up and spit out the other bits–the writer, the cyclist, the individual, the friend, the wife.

Shouldn’t I feel like Supermom while I’m doing that, and not while I’m making dinner and a big red hollow doll alone in an empty house?

It’s good to remember that I’m probably the Supermommest when I’m not feeling like it.

5 thoughts on “T – 4 Days: Ironic Man

    • I papier-mached a regular-shaped balloon with several layers of paper, then when it had dried, I set it upright but a bit tilted, so that the bottom of the balloon became the chin, and cut off two shallow ovals, one on either side, which became the flatter sides of the head, then I papier-mached over the holes. I should have drawn a diagram–I hope that helps!

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