Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Just another manic...Tuesday...

I live on a road that is currently being demolished...er...uh..."improved"...by the GA DOT.  It's not much fun right now, because there are no back roads for me to take - I have one exit to my neighborhood, and it dumps right into a huge mess.  So even basic errands are incredibly stressful right now, and likely to be for 9 months.  I do my best to be patient and let people out.  The way I see it, we all have to help each other.  But some days...I'm just not in the mood.

Today was one of those days.  I was on the phone with a doctor's office that I've been tangling with since January.  It's been one thing after another, and today's call featured the hysterical, brand new office manager who apparently does not know the policies of her own practice.  After a 90 minute phone call that STARTED with her shrieking and crying at me (yes, there WILL be a letter!), I said, "I'm sorry, but I have to go.  I need to pick up my children.  I will call you back tomorrow."  I hung up on her shouting, "This isn't resolved ye-"

So now it's time to tangle with the traffic to get the girls from PreK.  When I exit the PreK, four year-olds securely buckled, I turn right, turn left into a parking lot, and then turn right out of there to get back home.  It doesn't take anywhere NEAR as long as making a left out of the PreK!  Most of the parents use this method.  I have a limited amount of time in which to accomplish this, as I have to beat my eldest daughter's bus from elementary school.  So time is of the essence, and when I'm crabby, like today, it's hard to let others out and be charitable.

Usually I make the first right turn in two minutes.  Today I had to wait six minutes.  Not a happy camper here...and the non-stop wave of noise from the back seat isn't improving things.  Then I have to make the left.  Where I'm turning left, on the right side of me, is another shopping center.  As I'm sitting and waiting for a break in traffic, a lady in a silver minivan pulls up.  She attempts to make hopeful eye contact with me, as she wants to turn left.  I'm not having it.  Sorry - I know.  I'm a bad person today.  Today I'm owning it.  A break comes up, and I start to turn left.  I'm on the roadway.  She's on the side road waiting to turn ON to the roadway.  Bad news for her - I have right of way.  So I'm turning.  She suddenly peels out of the shopping center and shoots in front of me.  I slam on my breaks and hit my horn (I just had a feeling she was one of those drivers...).  She gives me a dirty look but continues.  Really?  I get it, I do...but does NO ONE know the rules of the road anymore???

The man coming towards me sees all of this, stops, and lets me go.  I wave a thank you and turn into the grocery store.  There is another entrance just a little down the road.  As I'm driving through the parking lot, this woman squeals into the other entrance, driving like a maniac, and pulls to a screeching halt about a foot from my bumper.  The second time today this witch has made me slam on my brakes!!  I hit the brakes so hard the twins actually react to it.  "Mommy?  What's happening, Mommy?  Why did we stop??"  She gets out of her van and stomps towards me.  She's not a little woman, and she's her heavy stomp says she's definitely not happy.  I roll down my window, praying I can make it home in time.  She storms up and says, "Are you a Christian?"

Why, hello to you, too.  This is how I start all my conversations...I replied, "I'm not sure the bearing of that request, but please move your vehicle, I need to leave."  I'm trying to be adult here...

"If you were a Christian," she continues, "You would know how to behave and treat others nicely.  Do you have any idea how long I sat waiting to turn left?"

Me: "Yes, I saw you pull up AFTER I had been sitting for a couple of minutes waiting to turn left.  Are you a licensed driver?"

She paused, totally taken aback by that. "Of course I am!  Shut up!  I'm tal-"

Me: "OK, if you are, then you can answer my question.  Who has the right of way - the person on the road, or the person entering the roadway?"

"Excuse me??? "

Me: "Like it or not, I had the right of way.  Now get back into your van and leave.  If you continue to block me, I'm calling the cops!"

She was really angry at this point.  "I really hope you grow up and act like a Christian!  I'm gonna pray for you to see the error of your ways!"  She turns back to her van.

I started laughing.  This was absurd!  She's going to pray for ME to be a Christian?  Yes, I know I could have let her out.  But the law says I'm not required to.  And now she's accosting me in a parking lot taking me to account for HER bad driving??  "Ma'am, amazingly enough, that makes two of us.  Good luck with that growing up thing."

She stops and whirls about, eyes bulging as she begins shouting obscenities at me (like any good Christian, right?).  I put my van in reverse and cut through rows to get to the other exit.  As I put on my turn signal, I see this woman whip around to get back to her van, ostensibly to cut me off.  In the process, her foot slips off of the step to get into her van, and she falls on the ground.  Now I'm torn.  I know I should go back and check on her, but the elementary bus is driving past me, and today I don't have anyone as back up to get my eldest.  I see the woman get up heavily.  Her face is red, but not from blood.  A gentleman from my neighborhood (who sees me get my daughter from the bus every day) honked and motioned me to turn in front of him.  My worry about having to chase the bus won out.  I got to the neighborhood just as my daughter's bus pulled around the corner, and picked up my child.

Out of curiosity, what line in the Bible justifies road rage?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Showerus Interruptus

Showerus Interruptus: A dramatic retelling of one mom's struggle to take a shower during the day when her children are home.  

Those of you who do not have children, or whose children are small enough to STAY WHERE YOU PUT THEM, have no idea what luxury a daytime shower is.  Of course, if your children are small enough to STAY WHERE YOU PUT THEM, you may not remember what the luxury of a shower IS, but that's not my tale today.  

Today, our heroine, Mom, has had a busy day.  She got up, dropped her children at PreK, worked out, cleaned the kitchen, family room, front hall, and bedroom, worked on laundry, and ate a little lunch, before heading back to take a - oh, is that the time?  Gotta leave to get the girls from school.  Shooting out the door, she drives the less than a quarter mile in 10 minutes because wouldn't you know the DOT has to chew up the ONLY road out of her neighborhood, sits in line for 25 minutes, drives back 15 minutes (she has to make an illegal left, cut through a parking lot, and turn right to get back the other direction because left turns are impossible on this GD-forsaken road...), debriefs her twins about their day, then heads to the bus stop to pick up the elder child.  But I digress...

What this ultimately means for our heroine is that she's hot, sweaty, tired, and desperately in need of a shower.  Normally she'd do this BEFORE the girls got home, but time got away from her, so now she has to figure out how to do this with the children home.  And let's face it...she's WAAAY too gross to wait another minute.  What to do...Aha!  Snack time!  Snack time usually lasts at least 20 minutes.  She can use this to her advantage today!  Leaving her 8 year old in charge of doling out the crackers to her 4 year old twin sisters, she heads back to the bathroom.  Stripping off her clothes in record time, she dives into the ice-cold shower before it heats up, praying she can complete her 60 second shower in 45 seconds.  She lathers her hair, which naturally drips into her eyes, when - 

Eldest: Moooom!  The bread...THE BREAD!  Did you buy bread with white stuff on it? 
Twins (loudly in background): The bread!  Snow!  It has snow!  I like snow!  Can I eat the snow?  No!  It's my snow to eat!!  Give it to me!  No!  It's mine!!
Mom (face covered in shampoo): What?  Huh?  YUCK!! (spitting sounds)  Hold on, honey.  (rinses face)  There...what now? 
Eldest (impatiently): Did...you...buy...BREAD...with...WHITE STUFF...on it? 
Mom (peering through foggy shower glass): No, honey, that's called mold.  
Eldest (gasping with extreme shock): MOO-OOOLD!  (Tosses bread across bathroom)  Mo-om?!?  That's MOOOO-OLLLLLLD?!?!?  AAAAAUGH!!  (The sultry sounds of dramatic wailing flood the bathroom...)
Mom (exasperated): YES!  Would you stop it!  It's only harmful if you eat it.  Did you eat it? 
Eldest (pauses, considering these words.  Did she eat it?  Did she?): Well...I don't THINK so...I don't see any teeth marks...
Mom (nonplussed): You can't remember if you ate any of the bread in the past five minutes? 
Eldest shrugs, gives mother disinterested glance.  Twins, meanwhile, begin sneaking towards bread piece.  Mold?  But it looks like snow?  Is she sure? 
Mom: STOP RIGHT THERE!  (Twins freeze, bodies bent, hands poised to snatch up the intriguing foodstuff)  Eldest, you take that outside now and feed the birds.  Why do you have the bread out anyways? 
Eldest: Oh, I wanted to make my sandwich for tomorrow.  There's one piece of bread left.  I'll just make a half sandwich.  That's alright, because my friend always brings extra cookies on Friday, and I can eat one of those...(Eldest eyes bread dubiously, takes a deep breath, holds it, grabs the bread between forefinger and thumb, and dashes out of the bathroom, fighting desperately to keep from breathing before she flings the offending item away to the birds.)

Mom returns to her shower...oh yes, time to shave (past time her husband might argue, but we digress)...Picking up the razor, she regards it - the blade is getting old, but it should serve it's purpose.  She places it to her calf, poised to begin, when - 

Eldest: MOM!!  MOM!!!  MOOOOOMM!!

The razor goes sailing through the air, but not before carving a small chunk out of the skin that hurts like the dickens and bleeds profusely...

Mom: Mother-!  WHAT?!?
Eldest (looking at the razor that landed outside the shower in confusion): Oh, um...yeah...the other piece has mold on it, too.  
Mom (through gritted teeth): Then throw it out to the birds, too!!  (This nick REALLY hurts!)
Eldest: OK...can you get me more bread?
Mom (In her "I'm about to LOSE it voice"): I'm in the SHOW-WER!  What do you want me to do about it RIGHT NOW?!?
Eldest (mildly surprised...gosh, what did SHE do?  She's just trying to help her mom...): Yeah, of course.  No problem...just take your time...

Eldest troops out.  Mom turns wide-eyed, near lunatic face on twins, who are staring at Mommy's leg.  
Twins (speaking over each other): You are bleeding, mommy.  There's blood.  Is that blood, mommy?  Mommy, that looks like blood.  Should you get a band aid?  Why are you still in the shower?  Are you done yet, Mommy?  We need crackers...

As we leave this scene, we see the eldest daughter on the couch, unable to comprehend for the life of her why her mother's gone mental.  The twins stand in the kitchen, unable to figure out why mommy wouldn't want them to tell her about the blood...and they are hungry, because big sister forgot all about giving them their crackers in her excitement to make her own sandwich.  They pull the box out of the pantry, showering the floor and cat's dish with crackers.  Big sister, remembering her duty, starts arguing with the twins over just who should clean up this mess.  And mommy, half washed, bleeding, and soggy, staggers out of the shower, to find the OTHER piece of bread, lying on the bathroom floor in a soggy heap...

If I ever show up sweaty and dirty, you know why...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

A "Choose His Own Adventure" Post

How the post works: Read the first section about a...uh...hypothetical...husband and wife.  Then customize his demise...um...your reading experience...by choosing the section that you want to see occur.

Section 1:  Once upon a time, a husband and a wife make a deal.  He will take the children up to his sister's house to play in the pool and hang with their aunt and uncle IF she agrees to spend those three days cleaning the house.  Really getting in-depth and getting some serious work done.  The wife, "Capital A hyphen Capital R" by nature before three children beat it out of her, agrees with enthusiasm.  After all, she can't get much done with the children underfoot.  So off he goes to spend three days playing on his laptop, hanging with his sister, watching them play in the pool with the children...working on his tan and generally gloating over what a fabulous husband he is.  His wife, he's sure, is laboring industrially away, cleaning the master closet, scrubbing the floors and baseboards by hand, discarding and sorting, revealing vast open spaces...Yep, he's a real gem, alright.

The day comes to drive home.  Despite her repeated requests he leave at a certain time, he chooses to leave two hours later.  After all, being such an amazing husband, he's giving her extra time to clean, ignoring the plans they made as a family for the evening.  But then, it all goes wrong.  The wireless system in the van kicks out, forcing him to listen to the Muppet Movie most of the way home.  When the movie isn't playing, he's enduring the incessant, high-pitched "conversation" of three voices competing over each other.  His wife even calls to ask him to stop and buy something to help her prepare dinner.  What did she do for three days?  She can't have dinner ready?  Tired, headache-y, and utterly convinced of his misery, he soldiers on, as a good husband must.  No one can understand the stress and exhaustion of dealing with three children in the car.  Surely he's the first to shoulder this burden?  He thinks of his wife, thinks longingly of his quiet, and now most assuredly clean, house.  Could she possibly understand his sacrifice?

After a grueling two hour drive, he's home.  He bursts into the house, rushing for the bathroom, shoes shedding grass and mud as he goes.  He leaves his children sitting in the van...but surely they'll figure out, "Just sit tight" really means, "Unbuckle and come in the house," right?  He drags his weary body outside, exhausted from a weekend of resting, and manages to haul his overstuffed duffle bag in, which turns out to be open, and spills clothing all over the floor.  He's a weary warrior, but still, unloading must continue...He brings in the girls bags, which he strews in various places in an effort to press on with the unloading.  Finally finished with his burden, he collapses on the bed, still wearing his shoes.  Victory complete, he regards his wife happily snuggling with her children.  Then he regards the floor.  Good heavens!  Grass, mud, and bits everywhere!  Clothing sprawled about!  What a mess!!  He looks at his wife in shock, and asks, "Did you do ANYTHING while I slaved away with your children this weekend???  Where did this mess come from??"  In shock, his wife looks down at the carpet that was just clean 2 minutes ago...

If he is verbally decapitated, choose Section 2.

If physical violence is dangerously close to errupting, choose Section 3.

If she lovingly forgives him, laughs like a 60s sitcom, puts on an apron and begins cleaning up his mess while putting the finishing touches on a pie, choose Section 4.


Author's note: There is no section 4.