Day of rest, my ass

By Mir
November 5, 2007

You’d think that with the extra hour of sleep we all supposedly got, that yesterday would’ve gone completely smoothly. Of course, I let the kids stay up later, because the only thing that sucks harder than being woken up at 6 on a weekend morning is being woken up at 5 on a weekend morning. (And you know, Monkey would totally be the rat who keeps pressing the bar for a food pellet, getting shocked, and pressing the bar again, totally bewildered by each successive shock. He never understands why we are not overjoyed to see him hours before dawn. “I had a good sleep!” he declares, jumping on the bed. “I am ready to get up now!” And then when I snap at him—in my defense, maybe on the second or third trip into our room when the clock hasn’t even made it to 7 yet—he is horribly wounded.)

Anyway, I had high hopes for yesterday, but I am a fool.

After the shuffle and bustle to get everyone ready for church, I finally went and got ready, myself. I spent my time in the shower and then drying my hair and such developing a growing dread of life in general, which is something I do every now and then just to make sure that I haven’t accidentally grown too comfortable with myself. I missed choir rehearsal this week and I had NO idea what we were singing. There was to be a picnic after church for which I’d made cookies and the cookies were ugly. My hair was being stupid. My clothes didn’t fit right. THE SKY WAS THE WRONG SHADE OF BLUE. I’m just sayin’.

By the time I came out and it was nearly time to go, I wasn’t in the best mood, is my point.

Now, here’s the thing: I will do my best to contain such a mood. I recognize that it’s ridiculous, and I try to keep it under wraps. So I spent about thirty seconds telling Otto how I was being stupid, and then I was willing to MOVE ON, but it was not to be.

First of all, I’d asked the kids to strip their beds and bring their sheets downstairs. This, of course, was a MONUMENTAL imposition, and COMPLICATED, as well, because they’ve never actually touched bed sheets or followed directions of any sort, before. By the THIRD time I had to send them back upstairs to complete this HORRIBLY DEMEANING task, I was losing my temper. Monkey came downstairs with a top sheet, blanket, quilt, and pillow. But no bottom sheet. And then cried and told me not to yell at him. Chickadee came downstairs with just a top sheet and pillowcases.

Yes, it’s true. I never actually wash the fitted sheets. I mean, why would I want to clean the sheet that makes the MOST contact with your body? I’m sure I wouldn’t.

Anyway, by the time I got everyone’s sheets into the washer (so! complicated!), no one was very happy. And then I noticed that Chickadee had a stain on the back of her skirt. I asked her to wear a different skirt. BECAUSE I WAS HOPING TO RUIN HER LIFE.

The next bit was a blur. There was some flailing around on the floor and screaming and then Monkey wailing “What did I do??” and me looking around and declaring that FINE, WE WILL JUST ALL STAY HOME. NO GOD FOR US.

Otto was kind enough to shoo me along to church, and stay home with the wild heathens. So I drove off to a chorus of wailing and felt really ready to go have a peaceful spiritual experience!

The problem here (well, okay, ONE of the problems here) was that there was supposed to be a picnic after church. And clearly if the children couldn’t behave and get it together such that they could attend church, they shouldn’t be allowed to go to a picnic. Right? Right.

Except that I made cookies for the picnic. And people kept asking if I was going to the picnic. And we’re trying really hard to meet people and be more social and I am still trying to make some more friends, see, and even though I KNEW I should not be taking the kids to something fun after the way they’d behaved, I got home after the service and they’d helped Otto with chores all morning and were in bright, shiny moods and we decided to go.

Okay! Off to the picnic! It was out in the woods, and Monkey caught a giant lizard within minutes of our arrival, so that was very exciting. He took it to show to another kid, and that child’s father said to his son, “Oh, look at what she caught! She caught a BIG LIZARD!” and so I found myself calling Monkey by name VERY LOUDLY since he has one of those few male names that hasn’t yet been appropriated by Yuppie-spawn for girls, and then I sort of wanted to smack myself because what do I care if he’s mistaken for a girl? (For the record, Monkey was too enamored of his lizard to even notice.)

There was food, and lots of people, but in the end we sort of just hung out as our little family unit… which is fine, really, except that I’d been hoping for a bit more socializing. Church seems like the kind of place where it should be easy to make connections, and yet, I’m just struggling, still. I don’t know if I’m still making tacit comparisons to my old church or if it’s something else, but it just feels like it’s taking a reeeeeally long time to get to know folks.

But they all liked my ugly cookies, so that was good.

Back home again, the children were going to play outside, so Otto and I—being old and decrepit—tried to lay down for a bit. That lasted for approximately five minutes, after which Otto tried to play with them outside so that I could rest for a bit, and Chickadee came inside howling that Otto was so mean, Otto had kicked her and knocked her down, and LOOK AT THIS BIG BRUISE (I saw nothing) and he didn’t even apologize! He just said “I guess I’m not playing with you anymore.”

Her life is tragic. The tragicness of a horrible stepfather, it cannot be overstated. I mean, he plays soccer with you and his foot ends up somewhere in the vicinity of your leg, and if you don’t just drop dead immediately from the indignity of it all, you should DEFINITELY make it out like you’re mortally wounded. Everyone LOVES that! And as you howl and writhe in the grass and said stepfather declares that he’s not going to keep playing with you, well, that’s the death blow, right there. PROOF THAT HE HATES YOU.

Later—just to cap off an already-fabulous day—I discovered that the children had taken out everything they owned, upstairs, and although earlier they had assured me that “everything’s cleaned up” they are, in fact, full of crap. So we had a mad bedtime dash to get things cleaned up and also to tape the top of my head back onto my skull when I saw what they’d wrought up there. Holy hell.

[And yes, I most certainly did stand up there and bellow, “DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M GETTING YOU FOR CHRISTMAS? DO YOU? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! BECAUSE YOU CLEARLY HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF ALREADY!” I’ll be signing autographs later, if you’re interested. Please bring by the torn book of your choice (you can find plenty upstairs at my house, because that’s what happens when you leave books OPEN ON THE FLOOR) and I shall sign it, “Greatest Mother on the Planet, Rocking It at 120 Decibels! Mir.”]

I need a Sunday after my Sunday. Sheesh.

Fortunately, everyone else in this house seems to have the memory of a gnat, because everyone was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and perfectly chipper this morning. I was on the lookout for signs of permanent psyche scarring, but apparently I’m not trying hard enough.


  1. All Adither

    Sorry about your Sunday. Ours sucked too. Unfortunately, I can bellow with the best of them. Also, gaining an hour doesn’t mean sh*t when you have small children. It just drags out the misery.

  2. Megan

    Phew. My Sunday was actually reasonably nice since I allowed Child 2 to take that extra hour in its favorite possible way – i.e. unconscious and drooling on its pillow. This morning though… Child 1 had the temerity to try to pronounce a top secret word in a top secret language that Child 2 DOESN’T WANT IT TO KNOW (which is why its written on a banner hanging on the wall) and when I suggest that showing interest in someone’s projects is a sign of affection I got an eye roll WITH a pffft. That’s about when I left for work 15 minutes earlier than usual.

  3. Jean

    I can’t tell you how much you are my kind of mom! I SO appreciate that you share it all, the good with the bad, and the award winning mommy rants.

    My kids have been told there are no more Legos or Playmobil coming into this house until all the little bits are collected and contained. It will be a sorry Christmas if I hold to that….

  4. Paula

    I so relate to the sheets thing. I always forget to change ours until they get a little gamey. And my son reacts the same way about the most minor chores/requests: like it’s a total affront to his life and independence. One time our dog whined at him to be let out, and he actually told her: “Daisy, you’re not my boss.” To her credit, she didn’t bite the little hell-piglet.

    Another time we were reading a book on Abraham Lincoln, and he says: “I know what slavery is. It’s when someone tells you to do something, and you have to do it. Like: pick up your toys.”

    I’m tryin’ really hard, but there are days I’m convinced I spawned a sociopath.

  5. Otto

    For the record, those cookies were SO UGLY I thought about putting them back in the car. I mean, if we bring cookies like that, NO ONE will ever talk to us.

    Excepting for the part where everyone asked for a few extras to take home … I don’t like those church people, taking our ugly cookies … it just wasn’t neighborly, you know, to pretend to like our ugly cookies … it was so shallow … really, it was.

    Boy, I hope there’s some left when I get home, someone needs to get rid of those things …

  6. Therese

    Anyone want a snarky 16-year old? I have been asking him (nicely) all weekend to please move his clean clothes from the laundry room to his bedroom, and finally when the top of my head blew off and made him do it at 6 a.m. this morning, he wanted to know “What’s wrong with you today?” I just don’t know, do you???

  7. StephLove

    Our early bird is under strict orders not to come out of his room until 6:30 and to stay in bed with the lights off until 6:00. He is reasonably compliant, but often forgets he is not supposed to sing at the top of his lungs before 6:30 either.

    Once his baby sister is as well trained we might get that extra hour of sleep. (Five years from now? Marking it on my calendar for Fall 2012.)

    BTW, what happened to the site? I couldn’t get on for a few days and judging by the lack of recent comments, I guess I wasn’t alone

  8. The Other Leanne

    OMIGOD! The site lives!! Too bad about your lousy Sunday, but I had no Mir for three days, so there. I thought maybe with the new dining table expense you didn’t have enough left over to pay the Intertubes bill.

  9. Jan

    *SQUEEEE* You’re back!!

  10. tuney

    Janet STOLE my SQUEE. Harumph. I guess the jumping up and down with glee will have to do.

    For the record, when I was about 7, I did a monster procrastinate over getting ready for church on a dinner-on-the-grounds Sunday, and my mom said, “FINE. since you wasted so much time, we’ll just stay home.” We never went back as a family. At least you aren’t gonna let that happen! I do wish 40-somethings were adoptable…

  11. Katherine

    I feel like making that “nothing new for Christmas” threat because my kids rooms are FULL of junk. Somehow I can’t seem to remember to make them clean up before it is bedtime and then I just can’t face it and it seems that sleep for them and quiet time for me is more important than clean rooms. I’m about to start charging kids money for picking up dirty laundry off the bathroom floor though!

  12. Kelly

    Sorry your Sunday sucked.. But WELCOME BACK!! Woohoo Mir’s back :)

  13. ChristieNY

    Welcome back! Next week has GOT to be better, right?

  14. Lisa

    Yippppeeeee! I’m so happy you are back and I can hear about your crappy Sunday. Hooray for me.

  15. Lori

    You made me laugh out loud – we must have the same parenting books. Will you autograph mine? It’s torn and dogeared from being stepped on, but you can still read some of the pages. I won’t be able to say hi, I will have most likely lost my voice yelling “IF YOU ARE DONE IN THE SHOWER, TURN THE WATER OFF!!!” in response to my daughter calling “Mom, I’m done in the shower. Mom, I’m done in the shower. Mom, I’m done in the shower.” Over and over as I dealt with child 2’s bath. (Child 2 of course is too young to leave in the bath so that I could remind child 1 (who is old enough to understand complex concepts)that when one is done showering, one can turn off the water and dry oneself. Sheesh!

  16. Dawn

    Yes, as Jan said, “Squeeee!” You’re back.

    And you’re just NOT trying enough. Psyche scarring really isn’t that hard. We mothers have it hard-wired into us. But the insisting on ALL of the sheets coming off the bed is a very, very good start. Next: Books on the shelf instead of the floor. The horror.

  17. Wendy

    Who cares if cookies are ugly, as long as they taste good.

    Sounds like my Sunday, only I had to drag a demon possessed 21 month old out of church with all eyes on me. Then I had to make the horrible ride back to pick up the hubs and girl child.

    I would like one autograph, please, because you are my hero even if you are at 120 decibels. Well, maybe you can work on that.

  18. carolyn

    Families can be very forgiving.

  19. saucygrrl

    I don’t know Mir, I think meeting people takes a lot of time. I moved to Cape Cod almost two years ago and life remains fairly secluded despite volunteering and all the usual community things.

    Or it could be that I’m a big fat troll and no one feels comfortable running up to me saying they want to be my new best friend… :)

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