Saturday, November 13, 2004

Unexpected Break

Last night, in a fit of annoyance, I shook my finger at my three boys and said in a threatening voice, "If ANY of you get up before NINE O'CLOCK or make any noise or WAKE ME UP . . . YOU WILL BE SORRY." And then I stomped upstairs while they stayed downstairs and finished watching a video.

I knew, of course, that they would all be up before 9:00 a.m., so I'm not even sure why I said that, other than my being peevish and fed up with kids. This morning, Babygirl woke at about 7:20 a.m., a mere six hours after I finished The Secret Life of Bees. I wearily stumbled into her room, took off her wet diaper, rocked her awhile and turned on her newly rented "Elmo's World" video. Then I told her I was going to lay down.

I dozed off and on as she interrupted my sleep every few minutes, but I did stay in bed for another hour, until 9:00 a.m. Then I cleaned the shower stall and eventually, showered. I moved slowly, the luxury of not having a deadline or an appointment. I came downstairs with a towel on my head, shifted laundry from machine to machine, watered the cats, and finally went back upstairs to dry my hair and put on my make-up.

My hair is naturally curly and almost half-way down my back. The turban on my head half-dried it, so the curls were a little frizzy, so I pulled the curls out a little more, thinking I'd get a wavy effect, but instead, I ended up looking like Roseanne Rosannadanna. This was not a good thing.

So, then I pulled on my hair with a flat iron and a curling iron and generally spent a lot of time trying to look normal. Whatever that means.

I finished playing with my hair and came downstairs. I folded laundry, picked up a few things, washed some dishes and sat at the computer. Then I glanced at the clock. Eleven twenty. Eleven twenty?! Eleven twenty? How'd it get to be 11:20 a.m.? I realized that I needed to speed up a bit. (11:20?!) YoungestBoy would be picked up for his soccer game at 12:30 p.m. No one had even eaten breakfast, except for Babygirl.

I went into the kitchen and popped waffles into the toaster. The stove clock said 10:15 a.m. The microwave clock said 10:17 a.m. I said, "Hey, did someone mess with that clock?" and I guestured to the battery-run kitchen clock hanging high on a cabinet.

YoungestBoy said, "I did!"

I said, "Why?"

He said, "Well, when I came downstairs, I thought it was 9:00 o'clock, so I changed it."

In other words, "Mom, you said not to come downstairs before 9:00 o'clock, so I changed the clock so it would say 9:00 o'clock, even though it was really 8:00 o'clock."

He had to climb on a chair, take the clock down and change the time.

Later in the day, he went to soccer with a family friend. The twins went to their twin-friends' house. Then after soccer, YoungestBoy went to his friend's house. While they were all gone, I put Babygirl down for her nap and my mother came over to sit with her while I went to a big school rummage sale. (Books, glorious books, at cheap prices.) When I came home and my mom left, the doorbell rang. There stood the neighbor boy.

I said, "Hey, the boys aren't home."

He said, "Where are they?"

I said, "They went to play at their friends' houses."

He held up a Gamecube game, twirled it around and said, "Can I come in and play anyway?"

I said, "No."

He said, "That's not fair! My Gamecube is broken!"

I said, "Bummer for you. Buh-bye!" and kind of eased the door closed with him still facing me.

Now. YoungestBoy is home. The neighbor boys must have been watching out the window because they came over moments later. The twins called to ask if their twin friends can spend the night. I said, "Well. Hmmm. What do you plan to do?" and they said, "Watch a movie on television," and I couldn't think of a single reason why I should say "no," so I said, "Fine."

Their mother called to ask me one question: "Have you lost your mind? Are you on drugs?" Wait. That's two questions. At any rate, I said, "Hey, what's two more when I'm stuck here anyway?"

And she said, "Well, I figured since your husband is gone you have one less pair of adult hands."

And I said (God forgive me), "Do you actually think he helps out when he's here?" Then I blurted, "WHO SAID THAT?" leaving my friend silent and puzzled for a moment before she laughed.

Well, that's not true, of course. My husband is helpful. It is good to have a partner. I am thankful for him. And I'm saying that even though he never reads this blog.

So, the house will soon be full of kids again, but at least I had a mini-break in the middle of this day. Otherwise, I might be out of my mind. Or taking drugs. Or making jokes at my husband's expense.


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