Every day, the kids ask me when their fucking Elf-on-the-Shelf is going to come back and I make some sort of excuse like, “Not until after your father’s birthday” to placate them, but TODAY is after their father’s birthday and I forgot that damned elf this morning. So I guess Cheese the Elf comes this afternoon, along with three board games I bought on super sale: Connect4, Monopoly Jr (to keep them from getting out the real Monopoly and spreading all that fake money and tiny figurines around the house), and Trouble. The board games are to help keep us all somewhat sane during this season of wet/cold/cabin fever. They might work better to keep the peace if a feisty two-year-old who is teething his molars didn’t routinely knock the boards off the table because he’s posessed by a wee demon. There is no peace when a two-year-old is awake.
I vacuum almost every day, not because I want to, but because my yard is a mud pit and that dog, that hyperactive lab puppy, has three speeds: on, off, and throw-the-ball-please-throw-the-ball-here-I’ll-bite-your-apron-strings-here-I-brought-you-the-ball-please-throw-the-ball-I’m-gonna-bark-please-throw-it-please-please-please-please-please. In and out, in and out she goes, dragging half of the dirt in the yard back inside with her. I haven’t been able to run with her for three weeks because, right before Tony left for the first of two multi-day business trips, Onyx and her best buddy (who outweighs her by 40 lbs) slammed into me at the dog park, spraining the ligaments in my left knee. It hurts and I’m depressed because I’m laid up and I’ve been without Tony for awhile and parenting three monkeys alone is HARD. And I haven’t been able to drink my cares away because he’s been gone and I do, honestly, try to be a responsible parent, and I can’t eat my cares away because I’m not exercising and let’s face it: I’m already riding the slow train to middle-aged spread; I don’t need to switch to the fast train where no one exercises and there are lots of holiday cookies for the taking. I’m going to give blood today so I can justify some pasta and ice cream tonight.
Things reached a breaking point Wednesday when I forgot to pack Charles’s lunch. Yes, yes I know he’s eight years old and he can take responsibility for his lunch, and he does – he grabs it from the refrigerator every morning and makes sure it and his homework and his binder are all in his backpack. But I pack the lunches the night before because I don’t trust him to put vegetables in his lunch. On Wednesday, all he got were carrots and an applesauce packet; I had forgotten to heat the chicken nuggets he requested and put them in his thermos in the morning. I didn’t realize my mistake until I got home from work and errands close to 3 PM. I sobbed, he forgave me, then he ate a sandwich and an apple and asked for ice cream. Will I ever forgive myself? Unlikely.
Thank God Tony is back for the foreseeable future. He won’t help me with Christmas shopping, but he sure makes bedtime go a lot more smoothly.