Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It’s A Wonderful Life

You know what’s lame?  Virtual Christmas cards.  And I’m going to do one, from me to you, because I just can’t afford the time and energy it will take to send one out this year.



Jamie had a rough morning yesterday.  And by rough, I mean he threw a fit for 45 minutes.  Tired?  Probably.  Low blood sugar but refusing to eat breakfast?  Yes, that.  Caught in an ever-deepening cycle of “throw a tantrum over some little thing, reap consequences, throw tantrum over consequences, reap more consequences,” he didn’t fully calm down until I finally got him out of the car at school.  It was a beautiful morning and we should have walked to school, but I knew we wouldn’t make it with his mood so sour; there’s not much worse that watching your child freak out on the sidewalk as hundreds of people drive past on their way to school and work. 

The low point: as I was trying to calm him down and brush his teeth, he said, sobbing, “Mom, it just feels like you don’t love me today.”  And then my heart broke into a million little pieces.  Either I am a terrible person or he is a manipulative little shit.  No one wins.

Later last night, Charles caught the tantrum bug and nearly sobbed himself to sleep because he “hates homework” and “hates school.”  I’m probably idealizing the relief we’ll all feel over Christmas break, but at this point, I would happily trade kids whining about having to go to work with me for kids making themselves sick over going to school.


Tony and I don’t see each other much these days, but we do trade texts (we have a modern relationship).  It’s much more difficult to feign ignorance of the honey-do list if I send it to his phone.

Me: “The good news is that the rats appear to have moved on.  The bad news is that at some point, rats got into the shed and into the camping box (which didn’t close all the way due to being overfull), ate three packets of instant oatmeal and a small package of peanut butter, and made a mess.  Rat droppings everywhere.”
He didn’t even bother to respond to that one.

Tony, at 9:15 PM when he was away on business: “You up?”
Me: “I haven't even sat down yet.  Only Jamie is asleep.  Four loads of laundry.  I haven’t done the dishes.”
Tony: “Can you call me when you have a moment?”
It’s like he didn’t even read my text.

Me: “I put eggs on my nachos this morning so they count as breakfast.”
Tony: “Sounds legit.”

I got this one when I picked up my phone in the morning; I was sleeping right next to Onyx.  She’s the best dog sometimes.  Knows right where to drool.


Look, some of us are still emotionally hungover from the election last month (I heard someone say that they gained the Trump Ten this fall… YES).  Some of us are so busy at work (me) and at home (me, too) and with a dog that just won’t quit (also me) that we can’t manage to send out Christmas cards or make Christmas fudge or move the Godforsaken Elf on the Shelf every night (I told them this morning that Cheese the Elf stayed hadn’t moved because he was disappointed in their behavior yesterday; Jamie said our elf was “boring this year.”  Sigh).  Some of us are so sickened and saddened by world news, especially that of Aleppo, that we wonder, “what is the point?”  I’m sorry for the state of the world, my friends, but I’m trying to make it better, one little boy at a time.  I will love my neighbors and I will make that fudge, dammit, even if it’s the last thing I do!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Miscellaneous Early December Whining

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.