I yelled at my girls 33 times in less than an hour last Friday morning before I dropped them off at school. That’s at least 13 over par on any given day. It’s the chronic non-listening and constant horse play combined with the mind numbing craziness of the holiday season that eventually pushed me over the edge. The game of “Beat the Clock” gets the best of me every single time. It’s really my problem. I suck at games.
To make things more interesting, my son was sick. If you’re a parent, you know the drill. Rotating shifts of Tylenol and Motrin combined with sleepless nights, pushing fluids, lots of snotty hugs, and just the right amount of consecutive back to back Caillou episodes to make any perfectly healthy person feel like crap at the end of the day.
And then there’s the waiting…for everyone else to get it. You know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of time. No amount of obsessively following your sick child with latex gloves and disinfecting wipes around the house makes any bit of difference either. You can’t wipe everything down. You can try, but you will fail. You could do nothing and the end result would be the same.
That said, it’s almost Christmas and we have places to go. The last thing I want is to admit that I cannot contain my child’s germ infested bodily fluids in a proper manner and then admit that it was my fault the entire extended family was not only exposed, but then infected as a result of my incompetence as a mother. Tis the season for giving I guess, or mental breakdowns in my case.
It happens every year. I turn batshitcrazy at a time when everyone else appears to be unconditionally welcoming the hustle and bustle of the holiday season with open arms and an ear to ear grin. Throw a sick kid and two squirrelly girls who can’t contain their excitement to an appropriate level and all bets are off. How dare they run carefree in the house singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs and cut 73 kleenexes into snowflakes in the very room I just carefully vacuumed my way out of! There is no time to re-vacuum! There are bags to pack, appetizers and baked goods to prepare for transport, presents to wrap in coordinating paper for each family unit, and let’s not forget the secret wrapping of Santa’s gifts and subsequent disposal of all evidence immediately thereafter. Quite frankly, I’m sick of wrapping his gifts. Furthermore, I think Santa is lazy and inconsiderate. And I’m out of scotch tape. Again.
To top it off, my husband comes home from selfishly working a job that enables us to buy all of these presents and dares to smile at me! “What are you smiling at? You have no idea what it takes to pull this circus act off. Are you even aware that we have to wrap Santa’s gifts?!”
Just when I think that things can’t possibly get any worse, I get a phone call from my sister, who couldn’t care less about my problems but instead wants to talk about hers. “I have this friend whose son has cancer…he had a bone marrow transplant…he was getting better…he is four years old…they were hopeful…happy…then he got the flu…which was not the flu…four years old…recurring cancer…odds stacked…it’s Christmas…he’s four…what?”
“No, seriously. What?”
Oh, and it’s almost Christmas and I’m not done wrapping my gifts yet.
Examining one’s perspective can be ugly, yet quite necessary at times.
Dear 4 Days Ago Self,
If you’re looking for your children, they are in the basement trying to keep their pre-holiday excitement to a level that you deem appropriate given these beyond stressful circumstances. May I humbly suggest that you punch yourself in the face really hard, regroup, and then go give each of them one million hugs followed by an impromptu family viewing of “Elf” under the covers with a limitless bowl of unwrapped non-minty candy canes within easy reach of all parties involved.
P.S. There is a stockpile of scotch tape in the first drawer to the left of the kitchen sink.