This morning, I had to keep reaching up to touch my head, to make sure it was still there. There are just too many things happening on a daily basis that make me think my head is going to explode. Lucky for me, I have a blog, where I can rant like a crazy person, thus releasing that awful pressure-cooker feeling and saving my children from my unloading on them instead. Here we go, with my first installment of Things That Make Me Feel Like My Head is Going to Pop Off.
Thing #1: Feeding ingrates. The other evening, I found myself in the rare position of grocery shopping by myself. It was awesome. I did not realize that solo grocery shopping has a palliative effect. It made me feel tender toward my family. It made me consider their tastes and desires. It made me want to buy them yummy things to eat. I walked leisurely through the aisles, imagining their joy at Honey Nut Joe's O's for breakfast and Z-bars for soccer game day. Remembering my own love for all things fried potato, I gleefully tossed some Trader Joe's hash browns in my cart.
This morning, those hash browns were met with suspicion and disgust. Raised eye-brows, half-curled lips, and resistance do not a happy mother make. So first of all, what the hell is wrong with me that I've been a mother for 12 years and I've never served hash browns? And second, what the hell is wrong with them, those ingrates who snarl and snub their mother's efforts to be kind? Do they not know that food = love, and if they turn down the food I offer they are, in effect, saying they do not love me? And what gives them the right to decline perfectly good food, food that starving children around the world would gladly accept and would probably say thank you for? How can they say no to something they have not tried? Who is raising these savages, anyway?
Thing #2: Outfitting my daughters.
I adore these pants. Daughter #1 would not wear them. I kept them for the next two. Daughter #2 would not wear them. I kept them for the third one. Daughter #3 used to wear them, but the other two recently got to her and convinced her that they are "dumb." She will not wear them anymore, and actually told me to put them in the give away pile. This is significant, since for my girls the give away pile represents their mother's attempt to ruin their lives by getting rid of clothes they say the love but which they haven't worn in ages.
Do they hate me? Do they purposely think of ways to disappoint me? Do they dream up new strategies for ensuring that I don't get my way? Does a word of approval from me doom an article of clothing to the give away pile?
Thing #3: Sniffling. I have a kid who sniffles so loud and so hard I think he might turn his whole head inside out. He and his horrific sucking noises wake us up at night. And then he refuses to get up and blow his nose. WTF is up with that? How is it possible that repeatedly forcing snot and boogers to pack up into your naval cavaties is preferable to getting rid of them? How is it possible that he doesn't find that beyond annoying?
Thing #4: Following up on a chore. If I tell you to bring the garbage cans in from the curb, is it really necessary for me to clarify that I intended for them to actually go back where they belong instead of for them to be left right in the garden path, blocking everyone's way?
And since we're taking about garbage, if I tell you to sweep up that pile and throw it in the kitchen garbage can, is it really necessary for me to specify that you might have to make sure there is enough room at the top of the bag so that when you dump the contents of the dust pan, said contents land in the can and not all over the floor around the can? And do I really have to call you back to the task, so that you will clean up the mess you created?
If I ask you to put the folded towels away, do I really need to spell out that I expect them to stay folded between the dining room table and the linen closet, so that I do not find them wadded up and stuffed randomly in the closet after I've spent time neatly and crisply folding them?
How many times, exactly, will I need to tell you that when you clear the table after dinner the dirty dishes go on the LEFT side of the sink, and the clean dishes go on the right?
When I tell you to clean your room, will I really have to explain that shoving everything in the closet is not, in fact, what I have in mind?
When you help your father bring the firewood inside, why is that we have to bang our shins painfully on the firewood that has been left right by the door? True enough, the wood is inside, but I'm curious how many times we will have to add "and put it where we keep the firewood, next to the fireplace" before you'll just do that automatically.
In other words, when are you going to do what I want?
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The torture that this past baseball season visited upon the San Francisco Giants came to thundering, glorious end on November 1st. Unfortunately, there is no World Series of parenting; my torture is here to stay.
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