I should have known from the moment that I got my Special K Berry flavored waffles out of the toaster and they were soggy that I should have just gone back to bed. If only I could have; I am sure I would have. But, that's not this mommy's life--nor will it be for many years to come or has it been now for many years. Sleeping in...
But, truthfully, not sleeping in is not the real problem I have with today's events. It was the rest of the day that makes my stomach turn.
After our normal breakfast routine, I had a big plan for the day. I had several errands that needed to be accomplished. With our few stops ahead of us, we all headed out to the car, loaded up in our seats and were off--the three children and I. So I thought.
I turned the key....click click click....(nothing).
Damn it. Dead battery. Well, since my freakin' new minivan with a whopping 6000 miles had a dead battery now for the second time since buying the thing, my patience was running thin. Luckily, we have one of those car jumper things that can jump your car. Since I had to do this same thing only a few months ago, I was getting pretty good at it. Flip on the car jumper, plug it in, attach the jumper cables. Easy.
Problem: silence. The battery was so dead that it was no longer chargeable with the jumper. I cussed, thought about how I would now have to inconvenience Rick to help his incapable wife on his birthday. Oh well. He married me. He knows.
So, I called, restated that we loved him, said Happy Birthday again, then broke the news. He came home, followed all of my previous steps, then decided to jump the van with his truck.
Great. But, frankly, now I didn't want to turn off the car or go anywhere that was too far. I didn't want to be stranded on the other side of Las Vegas with three young children and no ride. Or worse yet, get broken down on the side of the road- not in this town.
So, I ditched all of the errands and drove to the car dealership. They charged me $50--unfair, but not worth an additional fight. Because, by the time I was talking to the woman about the charges, I had had enough argument. Have you ever had to control three children (aged 4, 2 and almost 1) in a car dealership?
Maybe I could have walked them around the parking lot...in the 115 freakin' degree temperatures! Or maybe I could have allowed them to have all of the sodas, candy and chips that they were banging on the vending machine window for? Or, maybe I could have begged one of the several happy senior citizens also waiting for their cars to help? I could tell by the looks on their faces that they were jealous. I know they wanted to be me. With my messy hair pulled back in a glamour-do and my ratty falling apart flip flops from three years ago with my dried out skin and my chipped toenail polish. Maybe they just wanted to be me because I was so obviously enjoying myself as I tried to wrangle the children without publicly grabbing them forcefully by the arm and threatening their very existence while in front of others. Then again, I know...it must have been the maternity-turned-post-child-no-longer-can-afford-to-give-a-shit wardrobe that adorned my fat ass and thighs. Pheew! For a while I was wondering if anyone would be jealous of me again.
Then, a glimpse of God...a ray of sunlight shone through the clouds (that I almost missed as Jacob was hitting and kicking me while screaming at the top of his lungs): my phone rang. It was Rick's step-mother who offered to come to the dealership and bring lunch for the children. Awesome! She brought their favorite: McDonald's. I could not have cared less what the hell she brought. As long as someone else was there-- someone that could rescue me even for a little shred of a second from my personal mommy hell.
Did I mention that the reason Jacob was screaming was because he was trying to squeeze Lyla's head like a grape while attempting to give her a smoosh-my-face-into-your-face-so-hard-you-can't-breathe kiss. Lyla responded appropriately with a terrified look on her face, followed by wailing. Great. Then, trying to control my anger, I told Jacob to sit in the chair beside me for a time out. He screamed too, then hit me, tried to claw me, flung himself to his favorite resting spot (the floor), rolled around for a while until he was yanked up and placed in the chair. He continued to kick, even smiled when he managed to actually hit me, or the stroller. RRRGGHH!
All of this drama continued for two hours. I did find some solace in a glass room that the dealership had blocked off. The room had a couple of very dirty children's books and a small rolling cart with a few dirty blocks. Ah hah! The kid's room! Great! Now my children will catch the Hiney virus (Also Known As H1N1) by playing with these filthy toys. Hey, at least they will not be attracting so many fans. I was sure the paparazzi would bust in any moment for some quick shots of us.
The one thing about this room was that although it had no door, it blocked much of the area that my children were able to freely run from my grasp. It also had two blown up balloons with attached strings that were resting at the ceiling. Great. Occupied. For...oh....15 minutes? That's great! I wasn't complaining.
Finally after ravaging our Happy Meals, the van was ready. I have never been so damn happy to get out of a place.
We went home, the children napped for about an hour and a half, then we had to race off to get Rick a birthday card. We no longer had time to get him a gift, make him a cake, do anything special. His gift was now that we were alive. That's it. We went to the store, had more of the average fun at the grocery store, and managed to make a five minute trip into a 30 minute drama session by simply being in Jacob's presence. As I was checking out, Rick calls wondering where we are. I bit his head off. I couldn't help it. I was sure that in the background he could hear why I was so happy.
Once again, Jacob was trying to hurt Lyla and kick Nick, Nick was fighting back, Lyla was screaming, then Jacob started screaming because Nick was hitting him back. Fun times. So, needless to say, Rick was totally pissed at me.
I tried to apologize, but that attitude was really short lived. He followed my apology with, "Why didn't you get milk and paper plates when you went to the store?" and "Why did you get me another cake? I had one at work." That was it. I was on a roll again. Now I was mad at Rick...and the kids....and myself for forgetting those things, and having three children that are lunatics, and leaving my happy life and career to do the impossible job of being a stay-at-home mother, and being chosen by God to be a parent....and being chosen by Rick to be his wife....etc etc. I could have gone on and on. I must have been on a roll.
And, tomorrow, I wake up and do it all over and grovel for Rick's forgiveness for ruining his birthday.
Do you see why us mothers often go completely insane? It's not us...it's everyone else DRIVING us insane! Can you also see why sometimes motherhood (and stay-at-home motherhood) is so difficult? Just in case you don't know--just in case you are one of those old people who were so jealous of me at the car dealership.