This week has been a slippery slide into “I hate everyone and everything” territory, much to the chagrin of my family. Whoops! Not you! I don’t hate YOU! Except when you talk to me in that tone of voice. Or look at me that way. Or breathe. Do you have to do that quite so LOUDLY?
I think we all hit the wall this week, and it’s right and good and necessary, but that doesn’t make it fun. We are all cranky and feeling adrift, I think. I would like a vacation. What? You say this IS my vacation? Oh. Right. Please kill me.
So in an attempt to get out of my current rut (that lovely low spot wedged between “woe is me” and “everyone sucks”), I’d like to think about the good stuff, however briefly.
Tonight at dinner, Chickadee was in a snit before we ever sat down. We were having leftovers, and she didn’t WANT that. Even though THAT was her choice of about three different things. So there was some stern discussion and eventually we settled down to eat.
And then Chickadee asked for some barbecue sauce for her chicken. The chicken which Otto had marinated and grilled.
Otto: You can’t put barbecue sauce on that. That’s my special chicken. It’s perfectly delicious just as it is.
Chickadee: I would like some barbecue sauce. Go get it for me!
Chickadee: Go get it for me PLEASE!
Otto: What? No! It’s fine! You don’t need barbecue sauce. In fact, I don’t think I can even allow that.
Chickadee: Mooooom! He will not get me the barbecue sauce. GET IT GET IT GET IT FOR MEEEEEE!
Otto: I think that if you put barbecue sauce on that chicken I won’t be able to talk to you anymore. I’m not even sure I’ll be able to LOOK at you. You’ll RUIN it!
At this point I hid my face in my hands. DO NOT LAUGH DO NOT LAUGH I told myself, but it was too late. Chickadee was bouncing up and down in her chair, delighting in Otto’s horror. And horror is what it was, as he sat there in wide-eyed disbelief, having basically just dared her to defy him (silly man).
Monkey: *with a dramatic fork flourish and best brown-nosing earnest tone* I like the chicken just as it is. Yum yum!
(I may have emitted a small choking noise at that point.)
Chickadee: No you don’t! You wish you had barbecue sauce!
She got up to get her sauce from the fridge. There was a brief verbal scuffle—we’re pretty strict about making the kids ask to be excused, but she was just darting for the fridge after all—and Otto picked up her plate and started putting her chicken (which was cut up into cubes) on HIS plate to “rescue” it.
The next thing I knew, Monkey was still waxing poetic on how much he LOOOOVED the chicken, Chickadee had run back to the table and started GRABBING UP PIECES OF CHICKEN WITH HER BARE HANDS and tossing them back onto her plate, and Otto was saying “NOT WITH YOUR HANDS!”
I, ever the model of parental control and discipline, was busy sliding under the table and gasping for breath.
I love my husband. And his chicken. And his horror at my children being children. And the fact that even though he was genuinely horrified, he ended up laughing, too.
I love my daughter. And her pigheadedness. And her need to antagonize her stepfather and push the envelope and then make him laugh.
I love my son. And his need to step in and capitalize on being The One Who Isn’t Being Bad Right This Second. And even that he still wipes his mouth on his shirt when his napkin is sitting right there.
I love my little family even though we’re all driving each other crazy right now. And I’m sorry I’ve been so cranky, and I hope they still love me, too.