Well I’ve Had A Week. What About You Guys?

Well I’ve had a week. And by that, I mean a pretty awful one.

It isn’t one particular thing, it’s just thing after thing after thing that’ve gone wrong. Extra appointments. A lot of driving. And a frustrating series of phone calls with AT&T to resolve something that they did wrong.

There was also a terrible scene in the doctor with my dad, who was forced to undergo a strep test. He mentioned that his throat was a little sore (turns out he has bad allergies), but they took one look at my 2 year old and jumped to conclusions, assuming my dad must have strep (didn’t you guys know toddlers are disease bags?). A ton of gagging and awful sounds later, and we learned that my dad has a terrible gag reflex, and he in fact does not have strep throat (his throat wasn’t even sore anymore at that point).

To be honest with you guys, I can’t even believe it’s still January. Like there’s still another day this month. For people in the Midwest, where it’s snowy and cold and miserable, this never ending January thing is pretty status quo. But I live in California, and there is literally no reason for it to be dragging on like this, save for all these pain in the ass problems rearing their heads, what seems like every single day since January 1st.

Here’s what I think is the hardest thing about having a bad day or week or month, or even year, though: people always say shit that makes me feel like I am not supposed to feel bad about a rough time.

They say things like “oh just be happy you aren’t dealing with …..” or “just be grateful you aren’t…”

Or they turn it into all of their problems and why there’s are invariably a million times worse than mine. And you are right, Janet, I just will never understand how hard you have it.

It’s always so shocking to me that people (in general) don’t seem to be able to accept that you can be capable of both 1. lamenting a shitty situation, and 2. also be totally grateful for your situation on the whole at the same time.

It may come as a surprise to some people. But I can be super grateful that I have a roof over my head and food on my plate, and also still be pissed that AT&T keeps screwing up our plan and sending me a bill for double what it should be.

Here’s another one: I can have gratitude for my opportunity to stay at home with my kids, and also feel like I’m isolated from the world and doing the work of twenty people for – essentially – basic room and board and absolutely no breaks.

I can be stressed out and burned out about my toddler’s daily meltdowns, and also enjoy my kids on the good days.

[Screams in absolute shock and awe.]

I think that the worst I have ever felt is when I’m trying to pretend like everything is perfect. To be honest, it’s even harder to acknowledge what is great when I can’t even allow myself to accept what is bad.

And the people I despise the most are those that have to shove their nonstop positivism down my throat. I don’t mean that they are nice and positive and whatever; I mean that the de facto response to me having a bad day or a pejorative tone to my voice is to lecture me for twenty five minutes about how wonderful life could be if I would just remove the rain cloud from over my head.

Why does this upset me? Because it makes me feel like my totally human and totally normal emotions, some of which are not perfect and positive and oozing with gratitude, are abnormal. And moreover, that I’m some heinous, ungrateful monster for having a shitty day, week, or month.

Being human is such a weird thing because we have all these complex emotions and there is so much in popular culture telling us to stop having so many of them.

Well I’ve had a bad week. And last week was pretty terrible too. To be honest, 2018 and 2017 were both kind of a disaster; and 2016 wasn’t too much of a peach either (more of a rotten orange, if you know what I mean). What’s great, though, is that in that time I’ve learned to accept and acknowledge the bad with the good; to be OK with not being OK, and also to enjoy the moments in between when everything really is nice.

So are you guys having a bad week too? Or month? 2019 getting off to a rough start?

I’m right there with ya.

By Now, I Should Know Better Than To Leave The House When I’m Crabby

I woke up this morning in a bad mood.

That’s actually a slight understatement, actually. I was so angry in the general sense that I continually thought to myself: “geez, Heather…you’re being pretty bitchy this morning.”

And to be honest, it was entirely my fault. I opted to sleep in bed last night, instead of on the couch. Knowingly I went in aware that it was unlikely I’d get a good night’s sleep. For after all the money we’ve spent on a new bed, our comfortable bedding, and exotic pillows I truly thought I’d have to sell a body part to afford, the truth to the matter is: I cannot sleep next to my husband. He thrashes, kicks, talks, shrieks, mumbles, snores, mouth-breaths, jolts, and – in all earnestness – punches.

But several times per week I glance at that Sleep Number bill and sleep in the bed out of guilt. Sleep is putting it politely, though. It’s more like: I lay comfortably in frustration.

Around 12:30 in the morning Nick punched me in the face and screamed “did you hear that?” I sat up and said “WHAT?!” – frantically, because I hadn’t heard shit. He rolled over and mumbled “I guess it was nothing” and started to snore.

At least one more time he woke me by kicking me. That, of course, was after I was finally able to get back to sleep around 4 o’clock in the morning.

At 6:30 his alarm went off.

At 6:45 he spent ten minutes dropping everything he could on the dresser directly next to my head.

At 7:15 he woke me up to say he was leaving for work and to ask what was wrong. At this point I imagined fire breathing out of my mouth when I said “WHAT DO YOU MEAN ‘WHAT IS WRONG?!”

So I was crabby today. And tired. Entirely my fault for choosing to sleep in bed instead of on our comfy, and solitary, couch last night.

all-i-really-have-going-for-me-is-sarcasm-resting-bitch-face-a-huge-rack-and-really-good-eyebrows--3d268I should have taken my aggression towards the entire world as a reason to stay at home, nestled on my couch with my pajamas, my Netflix, and my Pinterest. Everyone deserves a Resting Bitch Day every once in a while, anyway. And I’ve been working my ass off lately to get our house move-out ready, as well as to put together everything I want for our new place so that our move-in can be as seamless as possible.

 

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Oh, we’re also going on vacation next week – just a few weeks before we move – so a day to myself to calm the fuck down seems like it would be perfectly in order.

But by the time I was done showering and angrily getting into yoga pants and a t-shirt (but no make up, as I reminded myself with fierce hostility that no one notices when I wear make up anyway), I was convinced that I had to plug along with my plans for the day. Because tomorrow I could be angrier, and would then be pissed off at today’s self for procrastinating. And then the possibility of me becoming a huge ball of red, hot, fiery, pissed off was too great.

This was clearly a mistake.

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So I’m doing a project for which I have no fucking clue what I’m doing.

This is the general course of all projects I do, but I especially don’t know what I’m doing on this one.

In short: my husband and I use our two, ugly-as-fuck nightstands pushed together as a long dresser that houses our in-bedroom TV. I’m tired of looking at those fucking things on the rare occasion that I sleep in my own, extremely expensive and un-sleepable bed, though; so I’m repainting them AND removing the top drawers to turn that space into the DVD-VCR-cable-etc shelf.

You people have no idea how much I hate myself for not just going out and buying something new on this one. No idea.

So I had to go to the paint store, obviously to buy paint for this dumb-shit of a project. And I’ve never been to a paint store before, or bought paint other than the kind you put on a canvas for that matter. Which means that I had absolutely no experience with taking young children into a paint store.

What I’m saying is: I should have put this off for a different day.

What in the actual fuck is it about paint stores that makes kids lose their fucking minds? All of a sudden I’m one of those people. One of those people in the store for whom everyone else is either thinking that I – the mother – needs to get shit under control; or, on the flip side, is being pitied.

“Oh, her children must need refills on their Ritalin medication.”

At one point, my 11 year old came up to me with a pile of over 200 paint chip cards in her hand. “I have what I need!” she said, and I gave the oh-hell-no look that should put the fear of God in her, and yet only inspired a pout and silent retreat to put them back where she found them.

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A little later on in the day, we had been back at home for a while and I knew I needed to go to the grocery store. Half hams were on sale, and I’d be damned if I didn’t stock up on those.

Plus, my dad was home which meant I could go by myself. It’d be like the vacation I’ve truly needed all these years.

Hopeful that my day was about to look up, I grabbed my little notepad that I use for small grocery shopping trips, and I began to look for a pen. I knew for sure that there had to be at least one: the pen that I put a Post It note on just yesterday reading “DO NOT TOUCH –  THIS IS MOM’S.”

That pen, as well as all the others, were missing.

My eye began to twitch as I stalked around the house, searching. Mumbling under my breath that I just knew this was a part of some household conspiracy to make me go insane, I searched and searched until finally I had to settle for a crayon. Standing amidst an array of Barbie clothes, dried up Play doh, and a Lego cramming its way into my foot, I stood in the kids’ room writing my list with a broken, red crayon. If you didn’t look at my list closely, you might’ve thought it was blood.

“What do you want for dinner?” I asked, being polite and trying to preserve some semblance of the very sanity that would get me to and from the grocery store in one piece.

“Mommy, I think you’re getting a lazy eye.”

[Drops mic. Leaves the room. Goes insane. Blows up the world. Everyone’s dead.]

I wish I could say that this was the end of my terrible and intolerably crabby day, but it wasn’t. While I was at the store, this old guy came up to me and started shouting in my face about how “young people” are too wrapped up in social media to be a part of the world around them. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure he was the guy that sang Tu Ra Lu Ra to me at the register counter when I worked in a pharmacy during college. I also got home to find a note on our front door: the neighbors complained that they didn’t like my patio arrangement, and wanted it removed in the next 24 hours. And that 11 year old that tried to steal over 200 paint chip sample pages at the paint store this morning lied to my face about picking up that dried Play doh I spied when using the crayon to write my grocery list.

So I’m going to bed, still grumpy. By now, I should know better than to leave the house when crabby. Next time I really will stick to my PJs and my Netflix and my couch.

 

After Today, Someone Needs To Nominate Me For Mother of the Year

That’s a literary device we in the professional writing world call: sarcasm. Look it up, you will find it to be a delicious way to poke fun at others. Or (in this case) yourself. Myself. A delicious way to poke fun at me.

I’m starting to really wrack up the resume of Bad Mom days. Sometimes it’s just that I lose my temper and raise my voice a little bit more than I should. Other days it’s that I serve Top Ramen and a bowl of shredded cheese for dinner because – let’s face it – that’s all we have for food in the house, because I’m also vying for Bad Wife and never grocery shop anymore.

Seriously, though, I’ve had a lot of Bad Mom moments lately, owing in large part to just how crazy and insane our lives have been lately. We’re going on this unanticipated trip to Texas in a few weeks (to take my daughter to see her biological father, and basically sit in a hotel down the street for the duration of the trip in case she has a panic attack or meltdown). So I’ve basically been panicking myself for the last couple of weeks. And researching how to not get eaten by a scorpion, as well as the best ways to ward off being kidnapped by the Mexican cartel. (I have never been to Texas. Not sure if that’s obvious or not.)

Today may have taken the cake, as far as Bad Mom days go, though. Let us examine the evidence.

Oh We Don’t Have Milk? Why Not Play Puppies Eat Breakfast?

Translation:

We got up this morning and there was no milk. There actually hasn’t been any milk for like three days, because I haven’t had an opportunity to go to the grocery store and buy any. (And God forbid anyone else around here be asked to stop at the store for anything.) In the prior days, it was manageable because we had other food stuff around. But now we’re even out of that, so basically it was Cheerios or Starlight Mints.

But, like I said … no milk.

So I did as I always do when there is no milk. I gathered all the stuffed dogs in the house (of which we have many), poured dry Cheerios into bowls and said “no milk, no problem!!! Play puppies eat breakfast with the stuffed animals instead!”

You read that right. I encouraged eating out of a bowl on hands and knees. Like a dog.

Bath time

Okay. So I know that the pediatrician says that short baths are best, because eczema is irritated exponentially by prolonged sitting in hot water. I know. I know. I know.

But we also had a big bottle of medicated Eucerin that could be put on after said bath, and I really needed about an hour to finish writing an article for someone I do personal consulting for.

So rather than sit there and ensure a short bath, with no eczema problems to follow… I instead filled the tub and said the words: “you know what, go ahead and play with all the Smurf bubbles you want.” Then I opened a brand new, super sized bottle of Smurf body and hair wash, and sat down on my bed to finish the article.

The bath ended up being about an hour and a half long. The new bottle of Smurf body and hair wash is now empty.

Remember That Thing About Having No Food?

It got worse come lunchtime. And the scheduling of shit did too, because my daughter who has to go visit her biological father in Texas in a few weeks had to go to her court-appointed therapy appointment with the lady that is going to put a halt to those visitations after we do this test one, if things don’t go well.

So there was no food in the house. No time, on account of that whole hour and a half bath thing.

I’m making excuses, so I should really just say fuck it and stop beating around the bush and admit: I went to fucking McDonald’s.

I know, I know. I KNOW! McDonald’s is the devil. The Happy Meal ain’t going to be very happy when it ends in high cholesterol and diabetes. I KNOW!! But, keeping things in perspective: I can’t remember the last time we ate at McDonald’s. It’s probably something like once a year, maybe twice. And honestly, there are a lot of things on their menu that are perfectly acceptable when eaten in moderation, once in a great while anyway. And the toy was a LEGO movie cup with a coupon for free movie entrance. So whatever.

Fuck you. Stop judging me.

At this point I just completely gave up and let everyone in the house sit on their asses after we got home, watching movies I had no idea whether or not were age appropriate; basically from about 3 in the afternoon until now.

We watched Galaxy Quest. We watched Beetlejuice. And now we’re watching Curly Sue. My dad was there, and I told him to keep an eye on the content; mute things that should be muted. Of course I was in the kitchen cleaning for a while and came out to find him sawing logs on the easy chair in my living room while an alien made out with the guy that plays Monk, in Galaxy Quest.

But whatever.

I’m not entirely sure how much further down the tubes of motherhood I can go at this point. I know I’m probably being a little hard on myself; and also blowing things a little out of proportion. But at the same time, I can see how people let some of these behaviors become habits, which then become the norm. The next thing you know your kids are constantly sick, covered in snot, eating Skittles and hot dogs on a daily basis for breakfast and lunch, with Pepperoni Lunchables for dinner; and swearing and making jokes about balls and dicks because of what they’ve been allowed to see on TV.

That’s where we’re going, isn’t it?

So now that I’ve laid this all out there, I’m sure one or more of you is going to jump up and nominate me for Mother of the Year, for whatever publication or TV show or website does such a pretentious type of award. And I’m going to try better for tomorrow. Really, I promise.

Though, I still haven’t gone grocery shopping, so I am setting the stuffed dogs and bowls up right now before bed…

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