If I am not doing something with even the slightest bit of redeeming value, The Guilt Fairy pays a visit. Once when watching Project Runway, the little fairy appeared on my shoulder and whispered "You could be doing something constructive right now. Are you aware of the exponential growth of laundry that's happening in the hamper as we speak??"
"I'm entitled to a little relaxation!" I say adamantly.
My husband says "Of course you are, Sweetie". Which naturally he would because he's unaware that a guilt fairy even exists. He doesn't show signs of ever having had a visit by The Guilt Fairy. Somehow men are exempt from The Guilt Fairy just as they are exempt from cramps, unforeseen mood swings, carpools, and cleaning the cat litter.
The Guilt Fairy's first visit came fast and hard. It was the first day I dropped my daughter off at daycare and he has never failed to drop in whenever I'm engaged in an activity in which my time could have been better spent or I make some grave error in judgement.
I am constantly looking for ways to outsmart the guilt fairy. One Friday, he got me for forgetting to pack the daily snack in my son's backpack. I realized it just as he waved good-bye to me from the school bus window (because he's only 5 and public displays of affection toward your mother are still accepted at that age).
All day at work I worried and fretted that my poor son would starve from lack of snack. The Guilt Fairy hounded me, distracting me during meetings and phone conferences.
But by 5pm, I had the solution! Pack 5 snacks in his backpack so he'd be set for the week. No worries!
Monday morning came and I proudly packed a glorious variety of granola bars and fruit snacks inside the pocket with the Batman logo stitched on it.
The week went by without a thought to snack time. On Friday night I opened his backpack only to find a note from his kindergarten teacher, "Max was without a snack Tuesday through Friday. Please remember to pack them next week".
"Max!" I called. "What happened to the snacks I packed for you?"
"I don't know", his stock answer to anything I ask.
"Did you eat them?"
"At snack time." Near as I can tell, he ate all 5 snacks on Monday.
"That's a lot of sugar in one day" whispers The Guilt Fairy.
"Don't even start with me" I say.
"I didn't say anything" says my puzzled son.
"I know. You can't hear him."