Have you ever had the feeling… oh you know the one. Where you feel like someone is sitting on your head and you’re slowly suffocating, and you think you may kill someone if you have to play tea party one more minute and everybody is fighting you’re starting to hear voices coming out of the garbage disposal telling you to eat everything in your pantry and you are pretty sure your yoga pants have attached themselves to your body but you don’t know for sure because you haven’t brushed your teeth, let alone changed clothes, for 11 days and the cops keep showing up at your door because the neighbors hear what sounds like a woman screaming ‘help’?
Yeah. That one. That’s about where I am at right now.
With two weeks off school, we’ve been out of our normal routine. You know, our routine that does not involve things like eating garlic corn nuts for breakfast and breathing fresh air.
Don’t get me wrong – we’ve left the house a few times. For instance, I had a coupon to Bath and Body Works so I decided to buy some fancy new fragrant hand soaps. It happened to be the day before Christmas Eve, and let me tell you… Black Friday has nothing on Pissed off Procrastinator Monday.
I wouldn’t have been so determined to continue our adventure if it hadn’t been such an ordeal to get three kids in winter gear and loaded up in the car. When we lose our momentum of getting ready and leaving the house every day it’s like turning the Titanic around when we finally try to go somewhere. I would have had better luck trying to pry pajamas off of a rhino.
Just as I was beginning to think we wouldn’t be home in time for Christmas dinner we finally found a parking spot about twenty feet from our driveway and nearly killed ourselves dodging the traffic Frogger style making our way to the mall entrance. It’s really something when you’re flipped off by a woman blaring “Oh Holy Night” from her Camry speakers.
The entire time in the mall I was positive I was going to lose at least one child. It was chaos. At one point I was carrying someone else’s kid but as long as my head count added up to three I figured I was not breaking any laws.
After we bought the soap Hadley had a diaper situation in the play land so we had to bail. Walking to the van we were, of course, stalked by a station wagon coveting our spot, and as I watched her patiently waiting behind me with her blinker on I explained via sign language that obviously she was welcome to wait, but I had to change a diaper before we pulled out. She waited on.
Poor Hadley’s bare booty took the brute force of the wind and her turds tried to crawl back up into her butt as the frigid wind hit her cheeks. I’ve never changed a diaper so fast in my life, or been so glad to exit a shopping situation. And I’ve been to the Ozark Wal-Mart.
It’s not that I don’t like the cold and snow… looking at the blizzard raging outside my window right now I would love to throw on some boots and hike around the neighborhood, breathing in the winter wonderland.
However. I would rather shave a cat’s legs than get my kids in their snow gear. It takes at least 45 minutes. Warm clothes, snow pants, coats, mittens, hats, boots. Times three, not including myself. Then someone has to go to the bathroom. Then they all have to go to the bathroom. Then the first one has to go again, because she didn’t know she had to poop six minutes ago. Once outside, it’s a hot potato of tantrums because somebody’s boot came unvelcroed, somebody’s mitten fell off, somebody can’t get their sled up the hill, panic because Mom is smashing snow in someone’s mouth to silence the whining.
So… we’ve been inside. A lot. My house has never been messier and cleaner at the same time. Walking amid flurries of laundry piles, dishes, unmade beds… buried under avalanches of plastic food toys, puzzle pieces and books, then an hour later standing in front of my referigerator with a spray bottle in one hand, using my fingernail to scratch off a microscopic (maybe invisible, maybe non-existent?) fleck of ketchup off the shelf with the other.
The good news is that this whole multiple kid thing is starting to pay off. I brought their bikes and scooters down to the basement and they can spend an entire afternoon chasing each other in circles. Meanwhile I’m upstairs watching Roseanne marathons.
The bad news is that I’ve found a lack of adult interaction can really affect your mental station. Attention span, memory, and will to live all take a nose dive.
Only a few more days until we’re back to normal. It’s almost too bad because the Christmas tree and I have really started to bond. But I think he may be incahoots with the garbage disposal so he’s hitting the curb in the morning.