Friday, December 02, 2005

How Today Could Have Been Worse

This was one of those days in which I question myself. Why am I doing this? Why did I find the idea of childlessness so repugnant? Where did I go wrong? How can I get out of my contract? Who are these people living in my house and how can I evict them? What was I thinking when we adopted twin baby boys who would grow up to be twin twelve-year olds?

So, in the aftermath of such a day, I reassure myself with the idea that things could always have been worse. For instance:

1) We could have adopted triplets or quadruplets.

2) It could have been Monday.

3) I might have fallen in the shower and broken my femur in three places before breakfast.

4) The snow could have been toxic, contaminated by an undiscovered, yet lethal acid-rain type of chemical.

5) I might have punched my Reluctant Student in the head and then stabbed myself in the neck and called 9-1-1 and be spending the night in the local county jail.

6) My house could have caught on fire and all my precious scrapbooks and unscrapbooked pictures might have burned in a fiery inferno and thus, my proof that we are Happy would be gone.

7) We could have all awoken covered in chigger bites.

8) A meteor could have fallen from the sky and crashed through my family room roof and killed all three cats and also crushed my collection of Spode Christmas Tree china.

9) The washing machine and the unflushed toilet could have overflowed at the same time.

10) Twelve-year olds could possibly stay twelve forever and their body odor would never abate.

See? Things all look cheerier when you line them up against more dire possibilities.

(My twelve-year old boys spent Monday and Tuesday dillydallying and lollygagging and frittering away their time. One of them read two novels this week, which is good, but the other one managed to look busy while not actually producing any work. I said, "Fine, but you will have to have everything completed on Friday." And then I left them to their own devices, trusting that consequences would teach them the lesson they need to know.

And then we woke up to a Snow Day. Public school was cancelled and I magnanimously declared that they didn't need to do Friday's scheduled work, but that all the previous days' work needed to be completed. That left Reluctant Student with about three history lessons, three math lessons, three literature lessons, a spelling test, an assessment to correct and a partridge in a pear tree. His brother had lessons, too, but not too many and he worked diligently until his work was done.

Reluctant Student shouted, screamed, stomped, cried, flung himself to the ground (and I didn't have the forethought to fling myself next to him, but I will next time), feigned a nap, slammed his hand into a filing cabinet and expressed his annoyance with me in other loud and irritating ways. He worked (half-heartedly, with a bad attitude) until nearly 6 p.m.

As I said, things could always be worse. I could have slipped in the snow and knocked out my front teeth or I could have accidentally thrown a book hard in the direction of my son's head and broken a mirror and ended up with seven years of hard labor in a rock quarry.)

Cheer up! Things could always be worse, he said. And then things got worse.

12 Comments:

Blogger ginabina said...

You just described MY LIFE, too, Mel!!!! I also own a 12 year old boy. I would like a refund. NOW.

Yesterday, we actually had the following conversation:
dd2: Mom, he change the TV locking code and won't tell anyone!
me: Son, what's the code?
him: I don't have to tell you. Hey, will you take me to Wal-mart later?
me: What's the code?
him: I'm not telling. So, can we go to Wal-mart?
me: WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU WON'T TELL ME THE CODE??
him: Why should I?
me: It's MY TV!!!
him: No it's not. You have a TV in your room. So, will you take me to Wal-mart?

Wah?

~~Waving white flag in Hawaii~~

1:26 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

When my boys were twelve, I always wondered why I didn't heed Hannah's example and drop them off at the Temple with Eli once they were weaned.

4:34 AM  
Blogger Amie said...

I just came to your blog via MommyLife and you just put my life in perspective and made me happy that I have a whiny 4yo and needy 10 month old :) Ofcourse we are also in the process of adopting a sybling group of older children so that could all change soon!

Too funny though, you had me LOL! Thanks :)

5:19 AM  
Blogger barbara curtis said...

Hi Mel -

Amie probably came to you from MommyLife because you have been tagged! Go to my site to see the Seven Sevens, then do yours. As if you didn't have enough to do. . . .

But do it for me and for your readers. We really want to know even more. And I can't wait to read your books and movies.

Love you,
Barbara

6:18 AM  
Blogger elswhere said...

Yes, LOL! LOL! I hardly ever do truly LOL when reading but you had me at the chigger bites.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend and that no disasters ensue (knock wood or ptui ptui ptui depending on your preference)

7:59 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

Just wait until your little girl is in that range...drama, drama, drama....

11:27 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I guess I should stop feeling so pouty today, because none of the 10 things you listed have happened to me either. A bunch of other crap has, but none of those things.

Today I have an 11 year old who went to a slumber party last night and got NO sleep and is being just beastly.... and I have a 9 year old who is doing everything in her power to torment her already-beastly sister.

They were so cute and sweet when they were babies......

12:29 PM  
Blogger methatiam said...

Could be worse-


could be me!

;-)

6:21 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh yes, it could have been so much worse. You could have been driving and in a split second, the time it takes to look from left to right you are slammed into by a drunken truck driver behind the wheel of a very full gas truck. Your car catches on fire but you are pulled to safety by a benevolent stranger. You are alive but your burns are significant. All identification is lost after your car disintegrates, engulfed by the enormous flames of the ever exploding gas truck.

You aren?t even recognizable with the significant burns to your face and without any identification the hospital calls you ?Loretta Borscht? (Jane Doe was just too cliché). After returning to consciousness you don?t remember anything. You have nothing. You have no one.

Prominent plastic surgeon, Eugene Plasterman, takes pity upon you and decides to reconstruct your face. However, Plasterman is a doctor henchman for the evil Stefano. You get a new face and a new life but you are brainwashed by Stefano who wants you to take a special hypnotizing stone to Salem and put everyone under your spell.

You arrive in Salem and charm everyone with your wit and intellect. It doesn?t take long for everyone to fall into a trance when you use the magic stone. Everyone except John Black. The stone is powerless upon him. Perhaps it?s because he is the most exquisitely awful actor on daytime television. In any event, the powers of the stone do not cast a spell upon him but you do. He falls madly in love with you only to find out that you are working for Stefano after finding the stone in your junk drawer. He realized it was Stefano?s by turning over the stone and reading the inscription that said, ?This stone belongs to Stefano.? Damn!

You know he knows but he doesn?t know you know, you know? You tell him to meet you at the Salem bridge for ?you know.? The two of you are on the bridge and he says, ?I know who you are, you know.? And you ask, ?And who am I, John?? And he replies, ?You know and I know but no one else knows.? And you say, ?Well, I?ll have to kill you, you know??

Then you both struggle but in the end you lose (you?re such a girl) and you fall over the bridge into a watery death. Or so everyone thinks. John Black releases the spell on everyone and they have a big party celebrating your demise (ala ding, dong the witch is dead). But?you emerge from the murky waters. Wet and looking not your best, you realize you?ve regained your memory and you head back to Seattle only to find your secret evil twin has taken your place.

Really?it could have been so much worse.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Argh. I put wrote my fabulous comment (and it is fabulous) in Word then pasted it in Notepad hoping to get rid of the ? for ' but noooooo.

This only happens on your blog, missy.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Chelsea said...

Bill Cosby stated that you should never challenge worse & did a five or ten minute comedy routine on why. I personally believe that you should never challenge worse because it takes it as a dare and worse can never pass up a dare.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Gradual Dazzle said...

Very insightful and honest post. That's what I love about your whole blog, Mel. Thanks. I linked to this post.

2:48 PM  

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