Friday, April 28, 2006

operating instructions

I took Darla's advice and picked up Operating Instructions Anne Lamott's non-fiction journal of her son's first year. It was just what to the doctor ordered today....a fresh dose of "real."

I have had a lousy day. I, of course, am tempted to keep this fact to myself in the interest of not bugging the guys who read this blog with the boring details of another feminine rant, but after reading a bit tonight, I realized the girls need to know they are not alone ( at least I am hoping that I'm not alone when I go off about my day).

It started with another gray sky. I've gotten absolutely spoiled here, having not had more than two days in a row of gray skies. This was like day number four or something and all it basically means is that the kids can't go out to play, so they are totally underfoot the whole day, asking to eat and watch tv, the two things I am most passionate about them NOT doing. It also means a healthy dose of muddy dog prints all over the floors that mere days ago were so nice and clean, they actually squeaked. The way this ultimately plays out, it sticks to the bottom of my bare feet and ends up in our bed...nice gritty sheets.

Today is Robb's long day at the store...9:00 a.m. to 9:30 pm (which is 8:30 a.m. till 10:15 p.m. for us). It is silly for me to try to keep the car, and today, I added insult to injury by leaving my phone in the car, which hubby didn't discover until he was at work. Total isolation with three kids and a muddy dog on a rainy

Nextly, my son. My dear son. My cherubic son, who like his father, has an annoyance factor a mile wide and an inch deep. The boy goes from playing quietly by himself to SCREACHING like he's been slashed with shards of glass because his little sister is TOUCHING his stuff. Meanwhile, Tilly doesn't want to do her schoolwork and they were all up too late the night before, making everyone a little frail to begin with. Then back to Vin who is simultaneously starving, wants the blue cup, doesn't want water, has to pee, and wants to play video games...and the speakers have begun to go nutty on the tv and won't TURN DOWN until the TV has been on for about 15 minutes. All the way up loud. Picture that with hard floors and small rooms and three small kids and video games....bleepety bleep bleep, indeed.

Add the next layer...About five boxes I found in the storage unit of ebay stuff. I was pleased to find them on one hand, but on the other hand, it was five boxes of GLASS WARE. I can't just pop the stuff in a closet: I have to take everything out, clean it, photograph it, research it, and upload the photos...which, on dial-up, takes about three days. In this batch, by the way, is my all-time-weirdest item to list: used dentures. You read that right.

So there's the mud, the whining, the glassware and dentures, and the omnipresent ants of course. I haven't washed dishes...well I did, but that was yesterday morning when I was on top of things... There are four loads of laundry in various stages of done-ness. There are three large bags of air-pillows and bubble wrap for me to use on boxes to pack. Throw in the box of raisins Charleigh absconded with, the roll of toilet paper rolling around because I'm the only person I know who can actually change the roll, and of course, the alphabet books, microscopic dolls with rubbery shoes and shirts and sparkly hair, and the legos of various shapes and sizes that lurk on the floor until you walk through the room and then dive kamikazi-style under your feet, pointy edges up.

Charleigh is at that cute stage where she mimics everything she hears. Literally, everything. Which wouldn't be so bad if Mattie wasn't in that stage where she questions everything she hears.

Somehow, we made it to supper time, when I went to the fridge only to discover that the flour tortillas I was counting on to make quesadillas had not actually been purchased last night at the grocery store. So I ad-libbed supper: grilled cheese and mushroom soup...which the kids took one sip of and shouted, "YUCK!" Five minutes later and much coaxing on my part, Vin had eaten his crusts but proceeded to drop the mug of soup on the floor, where it splattered guessed it...the glassware.

After more crazy mother shouting, something about "just sitting still and then maybe the dog wouldn't eat your sandwich!" I tried to salvage the day by putting in an educational movie I got for the kids from the library yesterday. We got 30 minutes of peace while we watched Scarob beatles roll dung across the desert and termites building a tower roughly the size of a 200 story building, but all heck broke loose when I brought the popcorn and orange juice they requested. If you have even a pea-size imagination, you know exactly where that ended up. It is my fault, of course, for not using my imagination.

There's more, but I'm too tired.

So they are in bed and I took a bath and let the chaos reign. It will probably depress me again tomorrow, but at least I will have my phone and I will call you and let it all out instead of yelling like a banshee when the children act like....gasp...can you even imagine....children.

I'm not proud of myself, but I figure as long as I'm running the tub for me and not to drown them, I'm doing okay.


A said...

If you ever have the urge to purchase a firearm for "home security" or "just to have around the house", be sure and let me know. I think we need to prevent that at all costs.

ness said...

That would just be another stinkin' mess for me to clean up...

Cari said...

Wow... i can completely relate to you... I am so glad that my mother n law popped in for a visit and played and coddled the kids or i would have been checking myself into the coo coo farm. I am so sorry you had such a bad day. I really did giggle as i read your blog and if this counts i understand those days... i remember the days when Chip was in residency (i had three under the age of five)he couldn't come home and then he would call and say he was coming home, only to call back minutes later and tell me it would be later than he thought. Hang in there... the kids are bigger now and i have one more in the bunch, we still have our hard days but we have some really wonderful days too. Hope you have a better day today. Yea, summer is coming and we are going to have so many pretty flowers to look at after all this rain...

ness said...

gather ye roses with ye muddy feet...

Sara said...

You pour woman...I love you though.

jdub said...

So, I sometimes feel like less of a man when I comment on The Butterfly, but I think it's my way of wearing pink shirts.

Anyway, I have a first hand account of the the "long days" there were three of us in the house and I think Vanessa was the only sane one around.

Way to go Vanessa! It's 1:03 am I can say anything I want!

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