This weekend it became clear that 1) Christmas is going to come whether I want it to or not, 2) I have about eighty billion things to accomplish between now and then, and 3) I am starting to hate everything and everyone again.
What a delightful combination! (STEP RIGHT UP, watch the Amazing Grumpy Woman attempt to get into the holiday spirit! Just don’t, you know, breathe too loudly in the same room with her. Just a friendly warning.)
In a completely transparent attempt to jack up my holiday spirit with zero effort or personal growth on my part, I gave Monkey this year’s LEGO Advent Calendar on Saturday. See, it says it’s for ages 5-12 right there on the box, and my sweet baby boy is HEARTLESSLY turning 13 shortly after Christmas this year, so I figured it would be a good way to celebrate his last non-teen year by buying into a overhyped consumerist trend of paying too much for tiny little toys.
It totally worked, by the way. He bounces out of bed to open a compartment every morning, and his joy is infectious. Also, on Day 2, the door opened to reveal… a tiny LEGO chainsaw. Day: made.
["Merry Christmas! Why are you BREATHING SO LOUD?? Hold still."]
By yesterday evening I was enough in the spirit of things to get out the candle lamps and festoon our windows. Confession: of all the holiday hoopla, the candle lamps are my favorite. Sure, I love the years of history and stories behind our Christmas ornaments, and I’m as much a sucker for a cute snowman (particularly here in Georgia) as anyone else, but to me it’s the flames in the window that quietly say, “There is never total darkness. Hope lives here.” That, to me, is always the official start of the season. (Then again, maybe I just like them because no one ever tries to “help” me with those. Could go either way.)
So I went around and got all the lamps situated and put our wreath on the front door. “Hey Otto, I put up all the candle lamps and put the wreath on the door!” I reported, ready to be lauded for my productivity.
“We have a wreath?” he responded, with mild surprise.
“YES WE HAVE A WREATH,” I answered, full of the love of Christ. “A TWIG WREATH WITH A REINDEER IN IT AND I HANG IT UP EVERY SINGLE YEAR. GOD.”
In Otto’s defense, earlier that day I had nearly bitten his head off over something really inconsequential. I did apologize, after. And in my defense… well, I’m an asshole.
Other weekend-y things:
1) I finally replaced the missing clipper kit, which means the original one should be showing up aaaany day, now. Regardless! Both of my boys are looking much neater and tidier and less like they’re homeless. Monkey, in particular, was looking pretty scruff-tastic, but I was dismayed to behold the freshly-shorn version of him and realize that he’s looking an awful lot like a teenager. So I yelled at him to stop it, and told him to go play with his LEGOs. Otto, on the other hand, had broken down and gone to the barber at one point during the where-the-heck-are-the-clippers limbo, but the way they cut his hair resulted in something very similar to a mullet while it was growing out, so you know, relief all around, now.
2) There are several very specific clean-and-organize tasks yet to be done in Chickadee’s bedroom that we never managed to finish before she left, so I spent a few hours in there yesterday. Then I called my darling daughter to tell her what I did, and she was very pleased. “But I’m telling you right now,” I told her, “When you’re home in a few weeks, you need to clean out your closet. I purposefully did the other stuff because I knew there wasn’t anything personal of yours there, but in the closet you have tons of stuff I didn’t want to go pawing through. So just be aware that that’s a project I expect you to complete while you’re here.
I said all of this
to prepare her and hopefully ensure it gets done because I’m an asshole, and Chickie quickly rejoined, “Oh I don’t mind if you want to do the closet, too!”
“Nice try!” I said. There was some grumbling. “I’ll help you,” I said, ever the sucker, and that got a “Thank you!” So all is well until it’s actually time for her to do it, I guess.
3) You ever get into that thing where you do laundry and then put it in the basket and put the basket in your room and never put stuff away and just take stuff out of the basket as you need it and then eventually you have to do laundry again and you end up adding the new clean stuff to whatever was left in the basket before? No…?
Oh. Me neither, then. But, uh, if I HAD, I probably put all of my laundry away yesterday, finally.
4) Monkey had a birthday party to go to this weekend, and it was at a skating rink. I did not have high hopes. Let’s just say that when you take a kid who’s easily sensorily overloaded and put him on WHEELS in a noisy place, it’s not unreasonable to feel some trepidation. We don’t go to a lot of parties for just this reason. (Though with Hippie School, Monkey now gets tons of invitations, which still reduces me to a blubbering pile of mush because YOU LIKE MAH BABY.) Anyway, he had a BLAST. He skated (and by “skated” I mean “shuffled his way around the rink, partially bent over, arms flailing back and forth”), he ate pizza, he socialized with all of his friends, and on the way home he said, “Wow, I’m pretty tired out! That was exciting!”
While chatting with some other parents at the rink—and watching him do so well—I mused aloud that it had been YEARS since Monkey had had his own birthday party, but he’s come such a long way and seemed to be having such a good time, maybe it was time to try it again. Everyone there (fellow Hippie School parents) totally got where I was coming from and were kind and supportive and encouraging, and I couldn’t wait to ask Monkey what he thought.
So the next day I brought it up and asked him if he’d like to have a party and he cheerfully shook his head. “Nah, you know I don’t really like parties that much.” I pointed out that he’d had a great time at his friend’s party just the night before. “I know, that was fun, but I don’t need a party for me. Kind of overwhelming. I’d just like to do something with one or two friends, thank you.”
Not gonna lie, I was almost a little disappointed. But then I realized that hey, no one can say Monkey isn’t in good touch with who he is and at peace with it. (And THEN I realized WOOHOO I don’t have to throw a party!)
5) I took Licorice to the vet this morning because she’s been trying to eat off one of her paws for about a week now, and of course on the day it appears to be improving I am finally overwhelmed with guilt and I take her in. I was fully expecting a Cone Of Shame for her, but the vet (the same vet who pulled out all her teeth and tried to tell me I should switch her to crappy generic dog food) (come to think of it, why am I still using this vet?) said she’s much better and some topical ointment should fix her up. Then he tried to tell me she’s allergic to her dog food. I pointed out that she’s been eating the same food for YEARS and he said “Well, allergies can develop at any time, plus they change the formulations around, sometimes!”
Meanwhile, poor Licorice was sitting on the steel table shivering from nervousness, refusing to eat the treats the tech offered, and generally acting Very Concerned throughout this whole ordeal.
We then had a lively discussion about whether her wound was a true hot spot or just a nail bed injury (I vote nail bed injury; translation: not allergies), and then he started asking me other questions about what she eats and does and tried to convince me that dogs who eats poop may have pica and be lacking in essential nutrients. I know he went to vet school and everything, but you know what I think dogs who eat poop are? DOGS. I love Licorice more than is reasonable or healthy, but her brain is the size of a walnut. If she eats the occasional cat turd she finds in the yard, I figure that’s because SHE’S A DOG AND THEY’RE KINDA DUMB.
Then I give her a breath-freshening treat and move on with my day. Simple.
6) I have no number six, unless you want to listen to me whine about my hand some more. (What? No? But… it’s so NEW and INTERESTING!) All of my hair-cutting, decoration-wrangling, cleaning-and-laundering, and dog-playing this weekend left my hand really sore today and I am so so SOOOOOOO tired of it hurting at all the time. Bah. On the bright side: they gave me some kinesio tape to use on it, the last time I was at hand therapy, and now I look JUST LIKE an Olympic athlete.
Or, you know, not. But at least it covers up the ugly parts and people don’t stop me to point and ask “WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR HAND??”
Maybe I should’ve asked the vet for a cone for ME. It might’ve been a good distraction for the whole family.