As the clock strikes 9:53, you begin your sultry seduction. I gaze longingly in your direction, eyeing the sumptuous heft of your fluffy blankets and soft throw pillow. I think about how your smooth microfiber would feel on my bare toes as I stretched into you and finally let go of the day. I fantasize about the feeling of your cushions, which seem to caress every inch of my aching body. You look so enticing. And all I want in the world is to melt into you.
By this hour, which feels much later than it is, I’ve survived:
- The morning chaos of mobilizing, dressing, grooming, feeding, and transporting two small children.
- Daycare drop-off, which involves loading my car with no less than seven bags, each with their own specific purpose, and if I forget anything in any of them the entire morning routine must be revisited and the day cannot proceed.
- A full workday and whatever entirely independent stressors it may have featured.
- 45 minutes of round-trip commute time, or as I now call it, “LAUREN time!!”
- Daycare pick-up
- A tantrum-ridden visit to the park
- The witching hour (Need I say more?)
- Making dinner, serving dinner, watching my baby smear dinner all over herself and her high chair, scraping bits of dinner from every possible orifice of my children’s bodies, and realizing my husband and I barely had a chance to eat our own meals. (There’s a reason why Mama Bear’s bowl of porridge is the cold one, amiright?)
- Bath time, a.k.a. trying to keep my baby from low-key drowning while my preschooler splashes several pints of water to every corner of the bathroom.
- And finally, getting my children to bed, a process that often includes several false-positive victories of thinking they are down only to have my hopes dashed by a loud scream or a sudden visitor.
So, beautiful couch, perhaps, given the above agenda, you can see how–at this point in the day–you look more appealing to me than a shirtless Ryan Gosling doing the dishes. (Okay, not really. Holla at your girl, Ryan.)
And that’s why, most nights, I can’t resist you. I want nothing more than to put on an episode of trash TV and let myself become one with you. You are SO much sexier to me than my bed, comfortable as it may be. Because “going to bed and getting a reasonable amount of quality sleep” is just another item on my to-do list. It’s the responsible adult thing to do. It’s something I have to do. It requires makeup removal and face washing and teeth brushing. It requires ensuring we are all ready for the next day, and that the house is somewhat in order. Going to bed is also an acknowledgment that the day is over–that I accomplished everything I’m going to accomplish with this day, and that’s often a hard pill to swallow. I tell myself my time on the couch is just a quick refresher before I continue on with the rest of the night. That I can wake up and have the energy to watch a show with my husband or finish reading the novel I’ve been working on for four months. That I will be able to DO ALL THE THINGS, if I can just take a short little rest, just for a few minutes…
And then next thing I know, my husband is gently shaking me by the shoulders. I turn toward him and my cheek lands in a pool of my own drool. It feels like it’s been 15 minutes, but it’s nearly midnight and I’ve been passed out for two hours. My contacts are dry as saltines, my hips are killing me, and Netflix wants to know if I’m still watching “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant: After the Birth.”
And then, couch, I remember that ultimately, you’re a fickle and untrustworthy lover. Though I often lust after you, time and time again, you betray me and our elicit affair comes back to bite me in the rear.
So I drag myself to my feet, wash my face in a hazy blur of regret, and slip into the cool and welcoming oasis of my bed, telling myself I’m done with couch forever.