Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mama never said there'd be days like this

Today the contractor finished the basement--he did a beautiful job, and my basement, or at least half of it, is gorgeous. After coming home for a month to find him down there every day, I feel a sense of loss. Another twenty seven or twenty eight months, and my whole house would be gorgeous...

Anyway, today I left work and drove home to have a private viewing of the basement. Pete had left notes and odds and ends for the kids and EG, and gone quietly before I got there. My gift was that he cleaned up when he was done. I took a moment to bask and then drove to the corner to pick up Rocky just as the bus dropped him off. He greeted me with, "I wanted to walk home."

I replied, "Nice to see you, too. We need to go get the girls at choir practice."

"Oh, them," he said. Little did I realize how appropriate his attitude would be.

I walked in to choir practice, and Nita poked around getting her things. Finally, we went out to the car while Kiki's practice finished up, and I suggested to Nita that we practice her spelling words. She responded as if I had suggested that she shave her head and never eat candy again. Once I retrieved the spelling book from under the gas pedal where it landed when she sailed it at me, we reviewed the words. She did well after I told her that I would give Rocky a shot at anything she missed.

Kiki came out of practice twenty minutes late and handed me a permission slip for her to sing in church on Christmas Eve and Christmas--she evidently was going to be available for all sixteen Masses, on both days and in both locations. When I unwisely pointed this out to her, I was informed I was being mean.

Nita showed her the purchases she had made at the Santa's Shop at school. Kiki shrieked because Nita had bought a bunch of things which she would not immediately gift to Kiki. Incidentally, Nita had cleaned out her life's savings, and the moms who volunteered there had gladly helped her to do so. I was not happy and confiscated about seven dollars worth of merchandise to return for a refund.

It was loudly announced that I am a mean mom.

When we got home, Nita stated that she had no homework. I insisted on reviewing the assignment book anyway (to the accompanying tune of "Mean Mom"), only to discover that assignments had been put there but then erased by one of the eight scented erasers she had purchased earlier that day. I made her do the work anyway. You got it--it's because I am mean.

The girls then redirected their irritation to one another about the mood ring one of them was wearing. From what I understand, purple is the color of romance and orange means the wearer is unsettled. When Nita pointed out that Kiki's ring was both purple and orange and made an unkind suggestion as to why, Kiki smacked her and ran to her room sobbing. I guess she hates this house, hates all of us, and she wishes she could live somewhere else where there were no evil sisters and mean moms--oh, and dopey boys. Unfortunately, I was unable to observe what color the mood ring became when the wearer was in screaming teenage hysteria. However, I will pursue that. It might be helpful to predict oncoming storms.

I once again retreated to the basement for a quiet moment to find that Kiki's cat was down there, crying to go back up. However, Harry was delighted to see her every time she started up the stairs, a feeling she did not share, and therefore would go back down and go back under the work bench. She was convinced that she would never leave that basement again. I called Kiki down to get the cat, and Kiki sat in front of Amber's hiding place and did a monologue on the Jonas Brothers. After five minutes, the cat still hadn't come out. Not only that, I was ready to join her under there. When I remarked as such to Kiki, she flounced off in a huff and slammed her bedroom door because her MEAN mom made such a MEAN remark. The cat came out, rather wild-eyed, and I put her in her carrier and took her upstairs, where she went under Nita's bed.

She hasn't come out yet.

Nita, not to be outdone, misplaced her mood ring, a loss which caused a great deal of frenzy. Amidst the brouhaha, Nash decided that it was time for supper and proceeded to bark-bark-bark-bark. Penny asked to come out for some water, which she drank with great gusto. Rocky suggested that perhaps Penny had ingested the ring, a fact which Penny quickly dispelled when she obligingly threw up right in the middle of running down the hall. Bark-bark-bark-bark-bark, Nash yapped. Nita screamed that her life was over because she no longer had her mood ring (wonder what color it would have been at that point).

Kiki told her, "Oh, knock it off. It's just a mood ring." I suggested that Kiki give Nita her ring. Silly me. HERS wasn't JUST a mood ring, I guess. Kiki melted down; Nita, not to be outdone, ran to her room and slammed her door.

While the girls were partaking of a little "door closing practice," I rounded up the dogs and fed and crated them, mopped the floor, and then told everyone to wash their hands for supper. Nita, sobbing that I was so cruel I would not let her look for her ring but instead made her eat a healthy meal, discovered the ring on her chair.

"Oh," she said. I could have banged my head on the table.

As we began to eat, Kiki asked, "So, Mom, how was your day?"

Not so bad for a mean mom.

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