This ten days of my vacation has shown me that I am not cut out to be a stay at home mom. My stomach is in total knots, and I am counting down the minutes until it is bedtime, starting generally right before breakfast. Of course, the holidays had something to do with the chaos we have experienced here, plus the kids’ routines being completely messed up, and of course we have the hormones experienced by the oldest of the three. To add to the mayhem, EG is taking some time off work, so he is here with us, too, and we all have colds.
Yesterday, I pulled everything out of the oven to preheat it for dinner. The two younger kids asked to go outside, only to discover the doorknob, which is not even two years old, was broken, and the door would not open. The youngest started to cry, complaining that we were keeping her prisoner and were so mean she could not go outside. Rocky snorked, and I told him to blow his nose and stay indoors, too.
EG removed the offending doorknob, fed the dogs, let them out and back in, and went to the hardware store. I mopped the floor of dirty dog footprints, and Dirty Harry promptly walked all over it, leaving a new set of prints. I chased him into the living room and remopped the floor, putting a towel down so I could start supper. Rocky snorked again, and I told him to blow his nose. I opened the oven to discover that EG had put the dog food container in the oven, most likely to keep it away from the dogs. The heat of the oven had melted the container onto the racks, and kibble and melted plastic had fallen all over the bottom of the oven. Harry walked back into the kitchen and tracked all over the clean floor again. I pulled the rack out of the stove, turned off the oven, and cleaned up the mess, chipping cooling plastic off the racks and bottom of the oven, opening the windows to vent the smoke, which Rocky, snorking, came in to report to me long after the fact. You could tell he was stuffy. “Blow your nose,” I told him. The youngest started complaining that she was hungry. I told her I was working on it. She started wailing that I was starving her to death. I unkindly suggested that she eat the dog food and cooked plastic I had flung into the sink. Meanwhile, Harry came back in to see if any of the baked dog chow had fallen onto the floor and hiked all over the clean tile once again. I told Kiki to tie him, shut the windows, preheated the oven, changed the mop water, double checked the dog’s whereabouts, glared evilly at Rocky and barked, “Blow your nose!” and mopped yet again, putting the supper in the now ready oven. Next thing I know, Harry is marching all over the clean floor one more time, giving me an offended look when I chased him with the wet mop and running around the room instead of out of it, making a worse mess than ever. “How can anything be so dumb?” I asked to no one in particular. “And BLOW YOUR NOSE!”
Wait a minute—I had asked Kiki to tie the dog. “Why did you untie that dog?” She looked up from her manicure kit, blinking owlishly. “I thought he’d be a good boy.” Obviously the nail polish had affected her thought process. Rocky wiped his nose on his hand. I glared. Youngest said, “I’m famished—you never let us eat.” This time, Rocky isn’t the one who blew. I was. When I opened my mouth, out came one of those voices which caused my jaw to tighten, my eyes to bug out, and my forehead to feel like someone was thwacking it with a tack hammer. I could have shattered glass.
Only twenty minutes had passed since we discovered the door wasn’t working right.
However, this morning, I read the article about the family who was returning home from a Christmas visit with relatives. Four children and the mother were killed. In the big scheme of things, our situation was merely a series of annoyances, not a earth-shattering disaster. Maybe, if I keep forcing myself into the perception, I can make it for the rest of the break.