“So how are your… um… moods?” My doctor asked, as I fought to keep my nipple from peek-a-booing out of the open-front paper “shirt”.
My moods. The word mood is interesting, because it indicates feelings like happy, sad, mad, etc. Mood doesn’t necessarily encompass the overwhelming desire to jump out of your car and commit murder when the person in front of you is looking at their phone instead of the green light. And this was what I wanted to discuss with him – the stabby loathing that burned hot as hell fire deep within myself the 2 – 3 days before my period starts.
Let me give you an example. Tuesday afternoons are super tense around here because Tuesday is dance class day. I have to single-handedly get a 4, 5 and 6-year-old outfitted in dance tights, dance leotards, do dance hair and get dance shoes fished out from the least likely place you would ever expect to fish dance shoes from. And I only have three hours to accomplish all of this. A daunting task when I am in the hormone balance zone, near impossible when I’m in the red. However, the fun thing about PMS is that you can see it coming from a mile away. I knew last Tuesday fell in the red so I began preparing the night before, with a good night’s sleep.
I had been asleep for about an hour when Nick got a page from the hospital. “Can you believe that nurse called me, WOKE ME UP, just to tell me the patient was all right? Who does that?” he said, stomping back to bed and fluffing the covers all around.
“Hmmmmppppfffffsh?” I said, lifting up my head and wiping the strand of slobber from my chin.
“Can you hand me the remote? The only way I’ll be able to go back to sleep now is to watch TV.”
“But I can’t sleep with the TV on,” I murmured.
“Just for a few minutes,” He said, flipping on Goodfellas.
Waking up the next morning bleary eyed, I scanned the letter sent home from my 6-year-old’s school about the winter nature walk they were taking that day. Specifically the part about how we’re supposed to pack winter stuff so they don’t, you know, freeze. Like any good Mom who doesn’t want to be judged by fellow moms/school faculty/law enforcement, I packed up her boots, gloves and hat and put them in front of the door so she literally had to trip over them on her way out to the car.
“Mom did you remember to grab my boots?” She asked as I pulled into her school.
“Mom, did you remember to grab my gloves and hat while you were in there grabbing my boots?” She asked ten minutes later, the second time I pulled into her school.
After drop off, I took my 4-year-old with me to the gym to do my exercises. Half of the workout is shaking her off my leg when we walk into the child care; the other half is muscling her off the toys when it’s time to leave. Exercise time is nice because I get to spend an hour reminded of all the places that jiggle on my body while reflecting on the impossible standards society forces upon women and how I’ll never meet them.
After exercises we went to the grocery store, where I ping ponged between keeping my daughter from walking into the wine towers so thoughtfully stacked at the end of every aisle and deciding what to make for my family that they’ll hate the least.
Before I know it, the kids are home and dance class prep is upon me like a rabid dog. I’m frazzled and tired from the day, plus I’m in the red zone. Still, I do my best to find my center and take deep breaths, reminding myself that prison is worse. But then it’s tutus flying too and fro, tights giving wedgies here and there, sleeve lengths too long, sleeve lengths too short, pony tails too tight, braids too loose, screams, cries, tantrums, fits… me a hostage negotiator each time someone starts to pull off another pair of tights. Every tick of the clock stoking the dangerous PMS fire burning deep that I’m trying so hard to suppress.
Everyone *finally* ready, I ran downstairs to find the dance bags, and in walks my 5-year-old. In her nightgown. Because, “She wasn’t feeling it today and anyway why did I make her turkey and cheese in her lunch when I know she likes PB&J?” A chink in the armor; I can’t hold on. The other two see I’m wavering and swoop in for the attack like ants on a worm.
“Hey Mom why did you forget my mittens today? My hands were really cold.”
“Hey Mom what’s that disgusting smell coming out of the crockpot? Why do you only cook stuff we hate?”
“Hey Mom I pooped and some didn’t go in the toilet!”
“Hey Mom why are you so old?”
“Hey honey why are you so tired today?”
“YOU’RE GODDAMMED RIGHT I’VE GOT SOME MOOD ISSUES! BUT WHO WOULDN’T? I’M ONLY ONE WOMAN! WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? I’M ONLY HUMAN, ASSHOLE!” I yelled at my doctor.
And that’s how you get four months’ worth of free hormone patches.