So the day started off rather nicely. (Oooooo, you just know something bad is coming now, don’t you????)
Emily got off to school in a good mood and looking more neat than sloppy for once. Oona took a nice morning nap, allowing me to properly groom myself. Little Mac (that’s Neve – we call her McEnroe due to her disagreeable nature) didn’t fight me too much about her clothes or her hair. And I got where I was going on time. I met up with some friends and their kids and we got to have normal grown – up type conversation. We had coffee. We experienced no more than the usual wild disobedient child behavior. All in all, not too shabby.
I got the little ones home and we had some food, Mac played on the Wii, and I cleaned up. Some moderate stress occurred when the otolaryngologist called to say that our app’t to have Mac’s ear tubes removed was for 7 am tomorrow. At the hospital, in town. 7 am. A good half hour from here, half an hour before Emily’s bus comes. I did the math: in order to get there on time I’d have to leave the house by 6:15 (so we could swing over to pick up my mother who offered to help) which meant I’d be probably keeping Emily with me since who’s gonna take my kid that early, and that also meant in order to get myself plus all 3 kids ready to go I’d need to be up at….yikes. But, problem averted; little Mac’s papa decided to come home from Charlotte to take his little princess to her “procedure”.
Got Emily off the bus. She wants to play with her friends from down the street. I decided sure, why not? I talked to their mom, kids come to my place, everyone has a blast. Except Mac is showing more and more signs of surliness and “talk-back-itude”. Being optimistic I think that a trip to the video store after their friends leave will probably stave off any impending melt-downs. I was way off.
When V. came to get her two very adorable, friendly, respectful children, Emily went into threat mode, and Mac went into Def Con 1. I’m talking to V., holding the baby who is hungry and fussy and trying like all get out to get my boob out, I’m trying to keep Pippa the dog from jumping all over everyone, the kids are looking for their shoes and squealing, Emily’s saying over and over she’ll only let go of them and let them leave if I let her get a new Goosebumps dvd, and Mac is, well, shrieking. She wants to go home with them and I can’t tell her what to do. She doesn’t want a new dvd, she wants a new place to live (namely, at her friends’ house). While all this is going on, V.’s poor husband is waiting in the car. The kids had ridden their bikes over to our house, and he planned to drive alongside them back home.
When we finally got his kids out the front door through the commotion, Mac took off after them like a shot, with Emily bringing up the rear. Off up the driveway, into the dark. And there I am helpless on the porch holding a squirming Oona. V. and her husband can’t leave because their kids can’t go because my kids are trying to follow them. And they won’t answer me. When Emily finally decides she may as well give up (or, when V. says they can play this weekend) she tries grabbing Mac, to haul her back to the house. It sounds like a Texas style throw down out there with all the yelling and arms flailing and the “get off me!” and “Ow you’re hurting me!”
I’m about mortified now. I like these people a lot, but I don’t know them very well. And even their 5 year old is looking at my kids like they’re cracked – out mental patients. Fortunately, V. is great with kids. She picked up Mac (still shrieking, btw) and hauled her back inside for me while Emily chanted Goosebumps dvd! over and over. With an apology and a “See? I told you my kids are evil!” I bid them goodnight. I’m sure at this moment they are ritually purifying their girls to keep the evil from catching.
But wait, it gets worse.
I told my kids as soon as the door was closed that there was no way on earth they were getting a movie after that display, and they’d better get in the van, NOW.
I imagine that the sound of hell, if I were to believe for a moment here that it exists, is something akin to what I experienced on my way to the video store tonight. The wailing and blubbering of the bitterly bereft. The screams of the indignant. The moaning, the sighing, the occasional “I hate you” whispered under someone’s breath, and unbelievably, even the “if only papa were here”.
The only reason they weren’t sent to bed without dinner is that Neve has her “procedure” tomorrow, and I have to starve her from midnight until after her tube is removed, so I can’t very well be starving her tonight. And actually, all the dramatics in the van seemed to wear them out pretty well, so all the discipline that was needed was some stern words. But trust me, these kids will be sans goodies for quite awhile. (Emiy even calmed down enough to kiss me good night).
Once Oona goes to sleep, I’ll be knitting my pent up crazy into a sock on teeny tiny needles. I’m sure that’s what I’ll be doing when the men in white coats finally come to take me away. It’s like a slogan for the overwrought parent. “Knitting. Because you can’t beat your children”