Wednesday, September 29, 2004

I'm Normal, Right?

My husband took YoungestSon to his soccer game at 5:10 p.m. Earlier in the afternoon, I had searched fruitlessly for a soccer sock. Last week, I'd discovered one between the sections of the sectional and it smelled all musty, sour actually. I figured that sooner or later, the match to this poor, unfortunate sock would show up.

How wrong I was. At 4:00 p.m., I searched through the dirty laundry. I picked through the sock basket. I looked through the sock drawer. No matching soccer sock. So I called my husband on his cell phone.

"I just want you to know that YoungestBoy will be wearing green soccer socks tonight because I can't find one of his white ones." The boys wear blue shirts and black shorts.

My husband took this in stride, then suggested he could buy a pair of black socks, which is really what he should have had in the first place. "Okay," I said, "and since you are out and about, will you please bring home Papa Murphy's pizza?"

He brought pizza and soccer socks and soccer shorts and then whisked away YoungestSon to his game.

I realized at that point that I needed to pee.

I said to Babygirl, "Hey, I'm going to pee. I'll be right back." She began to cry and scurried to follow me. "I pee, too," she said.

So, we raced upstairs and she had to sit on the toilet first. She finished, got herself a wad of toilet paper and flushed and I said, "Okay, now it's my turn." She said "NO!" I really, really, really needed to pee. Normally, I need to pee for an hour before I actually find myself in a bathroom.

For a moment, I argued with her, but then I remembered she'd had no nap. She's not reasonable when she hasn't napped. So, I said, "Fine," and I strode to the other bathroom where I took care of business without delay, despite the ruckus coming from the pants-around-her-ankles Babygirl.

She was outraged to find me sitting on the toilet, finishing up. I said, "Okay, shall we pull up your pants now? Are you done?" But she just screamed and cried and stomped. I attempted to find out what her problem was, attempted to be loving and rational and reasonable and all, and then I said, "All right. I'm going downstairs."

I went and cut the pizza. I cut one piece into small squares for Babygirl, while she stood at the top of the staircase shouting and crying with her pants still down. When I finished my task, I went back upstairs and said, "Hey, are you ready to come downstairs?" She said, "Zes." And I said, "Can I pull up your pants?" and she said, "No!" So I carried her downstairs and plopped her down on the couch and sat down next to her.

Doesn't sound like much, does it? But after a day full of small people talking all at once, and small people complaining and whining and fussing at me, and small people needing, needing, needing me, I'd just had enough.

So I stared at "Zoom" on the television with my arms folded across my chest. When "Zoom" ended, without moving a muscle or taking my eyes off the television screen, I mentioned to the boys that they had exactly forty-five minutes before their ride to youth group would pick them up and that they'd better eat and brush their teeth and get ready. They bolted off the couch and tromped into the kitchen while I still sat, arms crossed, not speaking to Babygirl.

She leaned closer and closer to me. "Teletubbies" came on and still I stared at the television set. Finally, she got off the couch and pulled up her pants. She looked at me and I looked at the television. She crawled to the other side of me and the first tears rolled down my cheeks. I let them fall and pretty soon, I was crying and thinking how easy it would be to fake a catatonic state. As I sat, a weeping statue, exhausted from all the neediness around me, wondering if I would ever feel refreshed and if I could run away without anyone noticing, I heard a buzzer.

The dryer buzzer. And like some Pavlovian dog, I abruptly stood and took the load from the dryer out and replaced it with the wet clothes from the dryer.

I gave Babygirl pizza for dinner.
I asked the boys if they brushed their teeth.

It's normal to cry while you watch "Teletubbies" because you are so overwhelmed by the demands of all the people around you. Right? And it's okay to think that if I had a do-over, that I probably wouldn't have chosen this day, today, this life, this moment, this family. And it's all right that when my son said (over Language Skills school work) "I wish I was dead" that my immediate gut instinct response was "I do, too." I didn't say it, if that counts for anything. And I didn't mean it, either, but goodness gracious, great balls of fire, it was one of those mornings. Followed by the lack of naptime. Coupled with this cold that has given me a headache and a continuous scratchy throat.

It's over for tonight.

5 Comments:

Blogger WordsRock said...

While I don't know if it is normal to cry while watching "Teletubbies" or not, I can offer a little logic to help answer the question.

You are the only person I know who watches it, therefore you are the norm, therefore it is normal cry while watching "Teletubbies".

Hope you feel better soon. Happy Friday!

5:15 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

I think half of all our socks were raptured. Others divorced.

You sound plenty normal to me. I'm doing something I said I never would, and that is having a 20 year old youngest son living here who isn't doing anything for pay, just 'ministry' jobs. Sometimes I wonder if he is actually potty trained, as I have to call him back to flush, and if I have to sit in his pee on the seat ONE MORE TIME I'm going to go insane. He was much sweeter and more obedient and had better aim as a two year old than he is 18 years later.

I still never get to pee alone. Now it is my very old dog (15 yrs today!) who will follow me in. If I don't let her in, she sniffs under the door, which is SO annoying.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a very stressed out, overworked, normal woman. You sooooo need a "me" day, where you can talk to no one if you please and no one has to talk to you. Any chance you can get away from the kids/husband/animals for a day or even a few hours?

I would cry if I had to end a crazy day by watching teletubbies too.

Take it easy!
Diane
www.knittingzeal.typepad.com

10:55 AM  
Blogger Brandie said...

Sorry the day was so rough :-(
It does count for something that you didn't actually respond to your son the way you were thinking .... I know some who would have said it without thinking twice about it.
I wish I could come visit you and help out somehow and just let you go have some me time. But for now, sending a big hug to you.

2:34 PM  
Blogger QQ said...

Rough day. I can't say for sure whether or not I have cried during the Teletubbies...but I am thinking it is normal.

LOLing at the Pavlovian dog comment.

12:41 PM  

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