CATCHING UP WITH LIFE

Like a rushing current, she wailed on and on. Drowning out all sounds but the screech of her own voice.

Miranda tapped her head on the steering wheel. A repetitive motion to keep her steady. God knows she needed to keep steady.

She didn’t have time for this right now. She looked back her daughter who had begun thrashing in the car seat. She beat her legs wildly on the chair.

A stiff tinge of a headache began fogging Miranda’s mind. She sighed.

A shoe flung by her, hitting the dash.

“Riley! Enough!” she yelled. Her irritation grew as she recalled the hour she just spent dressing her. Pulling that golden hair into adorable pig tails that were now a monument to static electricity.

“Why do I even bother?” She fixed her gaze back towards the placid grocery store in front of her. They would just sit here until the tantrum ran its course. Judging by the gurgle scream stage that just kicked in, it wouldn’t be too much longer.

Every time this happens. She’d told Tom about it, but he wouldn’t hear her out. He would shake his head, “You’re a stay-at-home mom. We’re not paying a sitter for a few hours just so you can go to the store. Besides, if it is such an issue, just drop her off with my mom. She can handle her.”

She can handle her. Miranda bit her lip. What was that supposed to mean?

Just two hours a week, that’s all she asked for. For two hours of peaceful shopping with no screaming. No clothes pulling. No offhanded stares from strangers, with their smug faces.

Tom always scuffed at that notion. “How can you be alone with a hundred others parading around the store?”

You don’t know any of them, that’s how. You disconnect. You are just a woman in a grocery store. No more than that. Not a mother. Not a wife.

“Are you done yet?” she asked blatantly to the burping child in the back seat. He eyes were now red and puffy, her adorable blue dress soaked at the collar.

Miranda jumped out of the van and opened up the back passenger door. Her daughter who had so angrily screamed at her only moments before now reached out with longing arms. She unfastened the belts and gently lifted Riley from the seat, wiping her face with the spare pack of wipes she always kept in the back. Riley nudged her head into the nape of Miranda’s neck, curling her fist into small balls against her chest. Miranda smiled at her deeply. If only it would stay this way.

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