Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Making Memories

The 9 year old is in her room, crying and stomping because she had to finish her math homework. She spent dinner making us all glad she has vocal chords by loudly protesting how rotten math is and how much she hates it. When she finished, she slammed her pencil down on the table, screamed at the top of her lungs, “There! I’m done because I can’t think of anything else!” and proceeded to run up to her room and slam the door.
I love being a mother.
The 3 year old cut her own hair. I tried to even it out, but there’s only so even you can get with “bald spot”. Of course, she’s completely nonplussed that she had scissors privileges taken away. When I remind her that she can’t use them because she cut her own hair, she screams at me. The 6 year old hurries to get her whatever she wants, which is how the monster was created in the first place.
The 6 year old smells bad. She has the stinkiest feet in our house, which is no small accomplishment. It’s worse when she doesn’t wear socks, so I frequently ask her to put socks on, especially when she’ll be in small spaces, such as anywhere inside. And do you think she cheerfully puts them on while saying, “I realize my foot odor is offensive. I will strive to remember to wash my feet and wear socks. Thank you for letting me know, darling Mumsey.”
No. She tells me I’m a horrible person. If she knew how to curse, she would. Wait until she’s a teenager and I refuse to let her drive my car. I’m so excited for those conversations.
I see the commercials with families sitting around the table, playing games or eating popcorn, and I wonder why those moments in my home seem overshadowed by the anger that comes from small things. I wonder if I should let my oldest fail math so she feels she has control over her own learning. I wonder if the 3 year old will mellow out. I wonder if I should talk to the Pediatrician about the 6 year old’s smelliness. I wonder if we’ll ever laugh over these slights, or if they (or I) will continue to hold a grudge for all the times we lost our tempers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One Step Beyond

Witness my rapid descent into madness. I lost a cell phone. I lost an Ipod. I lost another cell phone. All in a year. And then, this morning, I lost my keys.
‘That happens all the time,’ you say. Ah, but do you lose your keys in the 3 steps it takes to move from the front door to the car door?
I pulled the keys out of my purse, locked and shut the front door, used the remote to unlock the car door for the school-bound children, walked to the car, and no longer had the keys. I retraced my steps. No luck. I plowed through leaves. No keys. I searched every backpack, every inch of ground, even cleaned out the car. No keys. I pulled out my spare keys, only to discover that they unlock doors but don’t drive cars. I sent the kids scampering off to school on foot. I re-searched the ground. I re-searched the car. I crawled under the car. I walked around the yard. I went back inside and searched every inch of space by the door. I looked in my room, in the fridge, the pantry, the cabinets. No keys. I called Hal and told him to bring home a straight-jacket. I called BlueSkies and told her to reserve a spot for me at Bellevue. This lady had gone crazy. And, we needed milk. Never run out of milk and lose your keys when the baby wants a drink.
We walked to the store. 4 miles round-trip. We came home. An image appeared in my mind: my church bag, which I hadn’t touched since yesterday afternoon. It wouldn’t hurt to check.
And guess what I found? I was so certain I’d used my keys to unlock the car door—and I had. I’d used the spare keys. And then I’d dropped them back in my purse, zipped it up, and forgotten all about it by the time I got to the car.
And this, children, is why I don’t work with power tools.