It started off as a good day. I had won almost limitless Good Mom points for the surprise 13th birthday party I threw yesterday for Natalee that was a raging success, and even the mountain of Bad Mom strikes I got for the guilt trips about never throwing an Awesome Party for my other kids couldn't cancel out the radness of a cross town, retail scavenger hunt, complete with mochas and holiday socks and mini shopping spree at Claire's. Today, even as I tripped over sleeping bags and unidentifiable teenage bodies, and I rushed through apparently twice as much french toast as a herd of 13 year old girls would eat (did I miss an eating disorder memo here?), and didn't get to wash my hair before work because Halle had to get dropped off for ski practice, I was still humming merrily though my nearly debilitating pain about What a Good Job we had done surprising her and how maybe I could win my parenting merit badge someday after all.
It seems like whenever I leave for work, all hell breaks loose. Suddenly there is an influx of woeful texts about crabby children and minor household catastrophes and how Aspen won't get off Pottermoore so Halle can do her homework, which apparently consists of three hours of Facebook and an intense round of some role playing game I have never heard of. I would like to interject here, that on the day in question, which is today, incidentally, that the girls were not parentless. Josh was home pretty much all day, doing countless loads of laundry that involved racing the girls to the washing machine between loads, and cooking pinto beans according to my recipe WITHOUT burning them. He's pretty much a stud.
I think the Bad Things that were happening at home today were magnified by many things, such as two weeks spent at DAD's house, which is nothing more than a sugar fueled, sleepless duration of as much awkward and random socialization as can be forced on 4 kids in a Christmas Break. Send four girls to spend time with a) disconnected and troubled biological father, b) super-enabling and guilt driven grandmother and c) a mini cultish place full of weirdos and a few innocent bystanders, and you get four confused, exhausted and basically snotty kids with misdirected sympathies and misplaced moral standards.
The aura of peace and tranquil positivity was also dampened by a series of flu bugs that would put Kevin Bacon to shame with their interconnectivity. Who needs seven degrees when I can trace this (the second) virus (without insinuating origin) from Bend, to Marble, to Olympia, to Spokane, and by now to Nashville, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. It's one thing to share friendly holiday germs with family. You kind of come to expect that when somebody ALWAYS has a snot nosed kid or husband running around. But the holiday cheer of passing the flu onto random passerbyers and realizing that YOU helped start the epidemic that is ravaging Maryland is somehow deeply satisfying. I have made an impact CONTINENTALLY! I have boosted the economy in sales of Kleenex and NyQuil, and connected millions of strangers to each other WAY more efficiently and intimately, biologically even, than Kevin bacon ever did!
Another exacerbating factor to consider for the entropy we were facing at home is the fact that it is January. With the exception of January 1st, the entire month of January is bleak, cold and desolate. We are broke from Holiday Overdoing-it, the bills are three times their normal amount because "Halle" left the space heater on the whole time we were gone, and work is slim. After the glorious rush of New Years optimism and joyfulness, we are faced with the hard truth that another year has begun and we have to do it all.over.again. Like right now. Turns out, you still have to take the garbage out on Thursdays in 2013 or you'll have overflowing cans for another week. Turns out that the puppy poop on the back porch and the mountain of laundry didn't suddenly vanish at midnight 12/31/12. Oh yeah, and the car is still running rough, and somebody STILL needs to go to the dentist, and you guessed it, I am still in pain. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
I just wanted to come home from my grueling (4 hour) work day and curl up in sweatpants. All of the elements were right. Josh made amazing fajitas. I found a (mostly) clean pair of sweatpants. I almost made it to the couch. But WHAM!!! chore time hit with a fury unlike anything that a scorned woman has ever seen. I am not even sure what happened, but by the time the dust settled, Kizzie was doing Halle's chore, Halle was doing Aspen's chore, and Aspen was innocently MIA with her unfinished plate of onions. Josh started helping do Aspen's chore then disappeared downstairs to pout over a basket of laundry, and Nattie somehow squeaked by, messing around on the computer the entire time, until Halle finished cleaning the kitchen halfway and tried to remove her physically from Facebook, which, as we all know, is a scientific impossibility. All of this transpired with quite a bit of yelling, huffing and puffing, whining, stomping, a few tears and ultimately, me losing all my glorious good mom points when I unplugged the girls computer from everything and carried off the hard drive. Josh got mad at me for getting mad at him for getting mad at the kids for getting mad at him and after I got mad at him for getting mad at me for all of that I got mad at the kids, just for the heck of it and he started acting much nicer because I was REALLY mad. He even offered me wine. But I am not drinking. For a minute.
Now I am in my sweatpants on the couch, waiting for some wine, Kizzie is playing nicely with the dogs, which should give you some indication of how serious the situation was, since Kizzie won't play with dogs unless her life depends on it. Josh is wearing his itchy Pendleton shirt just to make me happy and Halle went to bed with a headache. Aspen and Natalee are still trying to figure out how to make the computer work without a hard drive.
I am going to watch a movie. I am on the fence between a gangster flick with fedoras and a lot of shooting or a mushy tear jerker. Hmmm. PMS much?