What I should be doing, right now, is all of the work which I did NOT do today. But I am tired and it’s only Friday; there is plenty of time to freak out and work into the wee hours before Monday gets here! Tonight I should just watch “What Not To Wear” and eat popcorn and nod off early and jerk awake wondering if I remembered to take Monkey to the bathroom.
I just love to aim high.
But first! Answers to some recent questions, both asked and unasked. I do often try to email folks when they ask stuff in the comments, but the blog has been having a small nervous breakdown this week (a sympathetic reaction to my own plight, I’m sure) and for some reason many of the comments were never emailed to me. Which meant that I could not email BACK anyone who had a question. My apologies.
1) The cupcake holder featured in this picture is, sadly, one of my most prized possessions. It’s true. Tupperware fanatics will recognize it as the rectangular cake taker, albeit in a discontinued color. Ordinarily you’d have to sell a kidney to be able to afford one of these babies. And plenty of women cheerfully do so, because the base is a flat platform to hold a sheet cake, one way, and then flips over to 18 indented cupcake holders, the other way. No mom should be without one. But LORD not at that price. That’s craziness. Every now and then Tupperware clears out old colors and that’s when people like me go “Oh look, it’s that cupcake thingie for $5! Cool, I think I’ll get one!”
2) Someone–I do not remember who, and I’m too lazy to look–asked if Monkey had ever been tested for gluten intolerance. By the age of two Monkey–who both projectile vomited and suffered from constipation practically from birth–had been put through just about every medical test on the planet. Aside from the now-outgrown food allergies, the verdict was always the same: “immature system.” Reflux due to immature digestive system. Constipation due to lazy, immature intestines. Small size = small bladder = immature development of nighttime continence. Etc. There was a period of time when one doctor was convinced he had celiac disease, but the tests were negative. He’s just… immature. But cute!
3) No, I did not have my happy pills in the glovebox of the smushed car. In fact, I was tapering off the happy pills when we had the crash, at which point it took only about four days of PTSD nightmares before I went to the doctor and sobbed incoherently about how I’d almost killed my children and needed MORE DRUGS PLEASE NOW THANK YOU. So I knew that the samples discussed in the previous post had been in the glovebox of the new car. Today I discovered why I had no memory of removing the pills from the car. That’s right–a couple of you called it–it was because I HADN’T. The boxes had somehow slipped down underneath the new-car paperwork in such a way that they were all laying flat and I managed to miss them the half-a-dozen times I’d checked the glovebox. I decided to take everything OUT and lo and behold, there they were. Ahhhhhhh. I feel better already, just because having lost them was driving me insane.
4) Nobody asked, but I will tell you, because it is VERY TRAGIC. My most favorite current footwear, the delicious boots I showed you here, turned up with a gigantic SCUFF across the toe yesterday. I am in mourning. Also I now need to find some polish that matches. And some knowledge about how to use it.
5) Also not anything that you probably wanted to know, but there is a cat in heat (I assume; unless it is a toddler squalling over a dropped cookie, which is really what it sounds like) outside my bedroom window tonight. I kept turning off the TV, thinking I was hearing one of the kids crying, before I figured it out. Then once I figured it out, I mostly just wished for a coyote to come along and EAT IT ALREADY.
Moving on to my very thrilling day….
Today I “babysat” a friend who was having a minor surgery. I had a lot of other things that I really should’ve done today, including a meeting which I had to reschedule, but I owed her. She’s taken me to two major surgeries in the last few years. And today she was having just a 10-minute procedure. When I was tempted to feel put-upon, I did a quick review in my mind.
[Two years ago: She entertained me and got me warm blankets while I lay in post-op after my tonsillectomy, violently shaking with a reaction to the anaesthesia. She alerted a nurse and I was given a nice dose of Demerol, after which I stopped shaking and instead declared my love for everyone in a 5-mile radius.
One year ago: She entertained me and got me warm blankets while I lay in post-op after my hysterectomy, jabbing at the PCA button repeatedly and drunkenly announcing THIS IS NOT ENOUGH MORPHINE, IT STILL HURTS WAY TOO MUCH.]
Like I said, I owed her.
So I dropped the kids off extra-early and drove to the hospital and did some pre-op cheering (“Yay you! Go… sleep while they do their thing! Okay! See you afterwards!”) and spent a lot of time playing Bejeweled on my Clie and half-listening to Good Morning America. (And it became crystal clear to me why I never watch it. Look! Three sisters who had three babies within three days! IT’S A MIRACLE! Or just, you know, slightly unusual or whatever. Um, excuse me if I can’t get overly excited about this on the same day that Ariel Sharon was rushed back into emergency surgery.)
The surgeon came out and told me everything went swimmingly, and then I had to wait about another hour before they’d let me go back. My friend was… completely punch drunk. I played the role of supportive friend and taunted her mercilessly for forgetting what she was saying mid-sentence or just trailing off and falling asleep while we chatted. I’m good that way. She also felt the need to retell a “hilarious” blonde joke the surgeon had told her, and managed to do it in such a way that the only thing that was funny was her spectacular, rambling butchering of the punch line.
So I played nursemaid and chauffeur for a large part of the day; which was fine. I especially enjoyed how I assured her not to worry about me going out to get her prescriptions, and then the pharmacist proclaiming that my total was $70. Ouch. She’ll pay me back, if she remembers that I got them for her. I can always jog her memory with the blonde joke, if necessary.
By early afternoon we were back at her house and she was ready to go nap for a bit. I asked her if I could use their computer so that I might be able to do a little bit of work. No problem, she said. She would log me on. Only, she was still completely loopy and couldn’t remember her password. So she decided to log me on as her 7-year-old. Fine. She went to bed.
I then discovered that every web site I wanted to visit (including that den of iniquity, GMAIL!) was deemed to have ADULT CONTENT by whatever parental control thingie they have set up on their machine. Consequently, I was able to load any web page I wanted, as long as I only wanted, say, the top 1/8th of an inch of content. So. Um. I ended up playing TipTop and Bookworm for a while. Heh.
When I picked the kids up after school, I hadn’t been home since 7 this morning. I was looking forward to getting home and relaxing and maybe even doing something fun with the kids tonight. Hahahaha. I’m such an idiot.
Hey, did I mention that one of the gifts I got Monkey for his birthday is Monopoly Junior? It’s so cute. Instead of houses and hotels it has lemonade stands, and of course the whole thing is simplified quite a bit. I thought this would be a perfect Friday night family activity, because I’m stupid. I bribed the children with the promise of staying up late and gameplaying, and in return they… goaded and tormented each other through dinner anyway.
I’d all but declared GOD DAMMIT WE’RE PLAYING THIS GAME NOW AND ENJOYING BEING A FAMILY! by the time we actually started playing. Chickadee was being the banker and working on her math. Monkey was working on reading his own Chance cards. Or maybe Monkey was flinging himself around on the carpet in a barking seal impression when he wasn’t busy bemoaning the fact that everyone had more lemonade stands than hiiiiiiim, and Chickadee was trying to control every last facet of interaction (“Okay, if he has to pay you, actually he has to give it to ME and I will give it to you”).
Fortunately, in Monopoly Junior the game is over as soon as someone runs out of money. So the torture didn’t go on for too long before Monkey was broke. Unfortunately, he then burst into tears and wanted to know why he “always loses” when we play this game. My pointing out that this was the first time we’d played did little to assuage his sadness. So I set about clearing the board of my and Chickadee’s lemonade stands and setting up only his, boldly declaring “Look! It’s MONKEYWORLD!” This stopped his tears, and he giggled and joined in… until Chickadee… ummm… blew a fuse.
She began a keening wail that–at first–made me giggle, because I thought she was pretending to be upset. My giggles infuriated her and she elevated to full-out SCREAMING the likes of which I haven’t heard her do probably for several years.
“Someone’s tired,” Monkey intoned sagely, and I laughed again. I shouldn’t have laughed.
I asked her several times to please stop screaming. She ignored me and only got louder. Finally I told her to get upstairs and into bed, as I wasn’t entertaining THIS sort of behavior. “YOU CARRY ME UPSTAIRS!” she demanded, sounding like a two-year-old.
“I’m sorry, but you don’t behave this way and expect that I’ll consider carrying you, no.” She was enraged and stood up on the couch to get right up in my face.
“You don’t CONSIDER, YOU DO!” she bellowed. It would’ve been funny if she wasn’t so obviously unhinged by this point.
“This is the last time I’m going to say this. You will go upstairs to bed, NOW. Refusal to do so will result in as many consequences as it takes to get your butt into bed. Starting with we will not be doing your knitting kit this weekend if you cannot control your behavior.” She has been looking forward to this project ever since she got the kit for Christmas. I thought it might bring her back to reason, but I was wrong. She mouthed off again. “Okay,” I said over my shoulder, as I walked upstairs with Monkey, “you’ve lost the knitting kit.”
“YOU PROMISED!” she shrieked as she ran up the stairs behind me. “YOU CAN’T BREAK YOUR PROMISE!”
“In our family, we promise to treat one another with respect,” I replied as evenly as I could manage. “YOU are breaking your promise to ME right now by treating me so disrespectfully. I would have loved to do your kit with you tomorrow, but I won’t tolerate this kind of behavior. Period. Go get in bed.”
It continued. By the time I left her, sobbing and hysterical, in her bed with the light out, she’d lost several more items, and told me she was going to “tell on me” to her Daddy, who would “come hit me until I was flat.” Ooooookay.
This sort of explosion comes out of nowhere (okay; triggered by… little plastic lemonade stands? Because they are so naturally infuriating?) and I may as well try to flap my arms and fly as calm her down when she gets this way. Tomorrow she won’t even be able to recount it for me other than “I was upset.” Something in her brain just misfires. And for about an hour her head spins around and she speaks (screams) in tongues.
I guess I should be grateful; it’s been an unusually long time since her last episode like this. Several months, I think.
It’s my least favorite way to end an evening.
[Her: YOU DON’T LOVE ME!
Me: I love YOU, very much. I’m not loving this behavior, though.
Her: Give me back my stuff.
Me: You can work on earning it back.
Her: NO! Daddy would just GIVE IT TO ME!
Me: Well, I doubt that, and we’re not arguing about it. Go to sleep.
Her: YOU DON’T LOVE ME!
Me: Goodnight, Chickadee. *leaving*
Her: I WANT MY STUFF!!!
Her: ANSWER ME!!!!]
I’m glad I was able to spend most of the day in a nurturer role. I need that as a counterbalance for these times when I feel like I’m just not able to find the right thing with Chickadee. Even though I know, even though her therapist has told me, that it’s just what happens with her, sometimes. The guilt and frustration don’t just evaporate because I’ve been given the professional “it’s not your fault” benediction.
The fact that my hair was magnificent today was no help whatsoever, but it happens so rarely, it had to be mentioned.