Monday, March 19, 2007


OK, so, the movie Mommie Dearest horrified me when I saw it. Hor-ree-fied me. Especially that scene, you know, the wire hanger one.

That sudden burst of psycho behavior, whipping the child with the hanger, the screaming, the carrying on over freakin’ clothes hangers…dear God.

I mean…dear God, what kind of person could possibly be sent into that big a tizzy over something as stupid as a HANGER?


Have I ever mentioned how emotional I can get about shoes?

It really is a particular issue for me, for some reason. I can become impressively angry when a small child stands in the kitchen with the stupidest expression ever on her little face saying, slowly, “Shoooooes? I don’t know where my shoes are…”

It will send me into a real tizzy-fit. I want to scream. Stamp my feet. Yell rude things. Maybe grab the shoes, which are invariably sitting someplace obvious, and bounce them off her unobservant little head. For the love of *@&^@, girl, KEEP TRACK OF YOUR @*^&@ING SHOES!!!!

What brings this to mind is a pair of sandals.

This morning, after All That Weekend, I wearily gazed out upon the unmowed expanses of lawn in the backyard…and what did my bleary eyeballs behold?...

Brand new pair of cherished sandals. The ones Boo Bug begged and begged me to buy for her. The ones with the gay little flowers splashed across the toes.


Abandoned, in the sand, in the backyard, sprinkler-dewed and about to be rained upon.

Now, outwardly, all I did was walk out into the backyard, pick them up, shake the sand off and bring them back inside the house. I may have muttered under my breath. And I may have shaken them just a tad harder than was strictly-speaking necessary to get the sand off.

Inwardly…Crawford had nothing on me.

THIRTY DOLLAR SANDALS in the @*^&@ing SAND for the love of @*^&@ I just don’t FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE of all the STUPID LITTLE I work and I slave and FOR WHAT, so that my children can have EXPENSIVE SANDALS to MISUSE and ABUSE and LOSE and IS THIS ALL THE THANKS I GET?!?!?!

I really told the kid off, inside my head.

It’s funny how often it will be something very minor that pops the boils festering inside us. Like when a couple gets divorced and calmly claim it’s because one partner always leaves the toilet seat up while the other leaves the cap off the toothpaste.

Preeeeety sure that’s not the whole issue, right there. But it may well be the one they’re willing to talk about, the one that gets the air play, if you will.

I’m having a little episode right now, a recurring theme that comes and goes whenever stress levels rise. I like to call it the Why The @*^&@ Do I Hafta Do Everything Around Here cycle.

At the height of the cycle (which would be right about now) I am completely incapable of recognizing that anybody else ever does anything around the Den. I will manage to gloss over things like Eldest cleaning the bathrooms (which she does…well, not so well, but with great enthusiasm), or my husband making the beds, or the children doing their best to tidy up their rooms – without me standing over them with a whip screaming, “Clean, peasants, CLEAN!! Now! CLEAN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!” {whhiiisssssh-CRACK!}

And it is always the very small things that set me off. Never the actual problem, which is that I do bear the brunt of the Very Big Decisions.

In my job, the things I work on are worth millions of dollars if I get it wrong. But no pressure, right?

I’m working on the funding for our remodel, and gathering the quotes for the work, and working out the project plan and scope (ay yi yi).

I’m the one who deals with the missives home from school about this child possibly needing glasses, that one needing vaccination reports (for vaccinations she hasn’t gotten yet, oops), watching over Captain Adventure’s speech delay and worrying about whether or not we need to call in reinforcements to assist.

I do the bill paying and the retirement planning.

Whenever things get ramped up on these fronts, when there’s a lot going on all at the same time, I become terrified that I’m doing it all wrong. That I’m making the wrong decisions, that I’m going to get the client sued for billions or that at the end of all things we’re going to lose everything and end up living in Homer the Odyssey.

That really – the hospital never should have let me bring these children home. That someone should have said, “I’m sorry, but you are both too stupid and too psychotic to have charge of children. In fact, you shouldn’t be allowed to have cats, either. Here’s a nice prescription for a lovely narcotic, and we’ll just be putting these children into a nice, safe foster home and someone from PETA will be by directly to remove the kitties.”

Basically, I worry about the same things a lot of people do. That I’m not half as smart as I think I am, that I’m incompetent and Doing Everything Wrong, probably don’t deserve the good things I have, and that really I ought to just go quietly along to the nice nut-house and let somebody prettier, smarter and otherwise more together step into my place.

But rather than yell and scream and sob about any of that…it’s shoes. It’s the recycling not being taken out. It’s finding socks in the middle of the hallway, or someone asking me (again) what’s for dinner, precisely.


Well, actually, it’s more like KA-CHOMP, because I literally bite my tongue when I realize I’m about to let loose on a child while in this cycle of insanity (I also grind my teeth, which I’m pretty sure my dentist is going to want to discuss with me). It ain’t fair to do that, especially when they aren’t really doing anything. I mean. Going all medieval on my Eldest when she asks about dinner (again) (because it is about two hours late at this point) when what I’m really upset about is that I can’t figure out how Customer X ended up on Contract Y and it is claimed that one of MY reports said they should be and therefore so it was done, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t, or at least, it SHOULDN’T have, and now Customer X is claiming they were overcharged by $1,000,000,000,000,000 and they want the money back WITH INTEREST…well, it just isn’t fair.

Unless, of course, Eldest was trying to get at a video game and reprogrammed my report. In which case, FORTY LASHES!!!!

Also, I don’t want them walking up to my mother, lifting their cherubic faces toward her and saying, “Grandma, what does *@^&@*ing *^&@*ity $$$^&@er mean?”

Yeah. That would be, uh, bad.

So I soldier on. I say to myself, firmly, “It's just a pair of sandals.”

I say, “Relax.”

I say, “It will all come out in the wash.”

And then I say, “@&^*@&^!!!!”, because I've just reminded myself that I never got around to rotating the laundry...


Moorecat said...

For a primer on using language in front of your children, go and have a look at my blog entry today.

Out of the mouths of babes... :D

Anonymous said...

Oh are NOT ALONE. I'm sure my crew would be more than willing to fill you in on all the times Mommy's gone postal for no apparent reason, only to come back later and say "I'm so sorry, Mommy is a little bit crazy today and I didn't mean have WHAT under your bed?!?" And on it goes. Sometimes the grinding repetitiveness of life just wears you down. Hang in there.

Siercia said...

Oh god. I know just what you mean about the shooes. Or really, the godawful kid cluelessness when they practically can't see their own hands in front of their faces.

And man, if my kid tells me how she does "everything" around our house one more time, I may actually move to Fiji.

Ewe-niss said...

Right there with you! I swear there are times the smallest things (hindsite) get me so mad that I can't form words and smoke comes out of my ears. I remember one day I was holding back my tongue on something for the umteenth time and my husband said, "Its a wonder your head doesn't explode."

Hang in there! I am right by your side loosing my ever loving mind. I need a project manager for my house!

Anonymous said...

Oh sweetie, I have SO been there and done that. Times ten, in a way, because I have pretty much always been a single parent, so ALL the pressure for making these wild animals into functioning members of society lands on my shoulders alone. But cheer up..from the vantage point of a mother of teenagers who are really fairly civilized, don't do illegal substances and hardly ever roll their eyes at things I say (OK, my daughter does that a lot) I can say that it will all be OK. You will do the very best you can, give them what you can and not what you can't, and no one will take them away from you.

Because the day will come (as it did for me when my mother had a stroke, and my former babies were the ones comforting me) that I knew it would be all right.