or: Yes, Emily, I lose it more often than I care to admit.
Today’s post was inspired by Emily at Mothers of Brothers, who left the following comment on my Friday blog entry:
I honestly don't know how you handle everything that comes your way. Do you lose it evey now and then? Do you bury our head in a pillow and scream? DO you have a mantra to repeat? I am humbled by your sensibility and generosity and ENERGY to come out the other side. I get overwhelmed with one kid who doesnt have any of these issues. I'm just so fascinated and wondering if you were born cool, calm and collected or it was something that you acquired over time? And can I get some?and by Julian, who read the above and commented:
Dude: Cool, calm, and collected !?!? You’re a loud, arrogant, annoying a**hole! What are you blogging? Fiction ?!?!Yeah … thanks for the support, kiddo. So, read on to hear about my weekend:
Coming into the weekend the plan was: I was going to rent a cello for Topher, get Ethan’s iPod fixed, get Topher’s PSP fixed, build a day bed for Douglas (from a picture he and Chris found online), mount plasma screens (from our shop) on the wall (without spending $100 each on store-bought brackets), set up a pool table, build computer racks and mount computers in them and mount the screens on the wall. Add to that Church Sunday morning, where I was in charge of the young-adult Sunday School, and a 6:30 Sunday night bowling league. Yes, it was a busy weekend to begin with. Before she got sick, Chris’ plan was that she was going get the boys to help clear a space for Douglas’ bed and clear space downstairs for the pool table to be set up, deal with meals, and get some laundry done.
Except Chris was sick, starting about Friday morning, carrying on through the weekend. That meant that I didn’t get out the door early on Saturday to get to the music store when they opened (already an hour+ behind). It meant I didn’t triple check that Ethan had his iPod. We got to Gracewinds Music in Corvallis, about 1/2 hour away, to begin the day by getting a cello. Turns out Topher is not quite big enough for a full sized one, so for the next year or so I can give him crap about being 3/4 sized! Woo-hoo! Best part is, when we trade up all my equity in this cello applies to the full sized one! After re-ringing us 3 times because I’m there with teenage boys (ooh, they have picks in a music store? I need some! ooh, can I get drumsticks so I don’t have to carry my good ones back and forth to school? Pops, can I get a book to go with the cello? Couldn’t you boys have figured all this out while we were WAITING for them to get the cello out of the back instead of WHILE I’M PAYING). Then, since the MacStore is right across the street … oh, wait, dad … I forgot my iPod. Can we come back later today. NO. It’ll have to wait. *sad face*. Then it’s off to Gamestop to get the PSP replaced, and to a used shop in Albany to get some patch cables and a practice amp. That’s when the twins (Ethan and Topher) found leather trench-coats for $25 each. Much begging ensued, followed by capitulation. I’m usually much better about that.
Finally got home at 2 … about 2 hours later than planned. The older boys had moved the pool table downstairs without clearing the floorspace for it and leaned it against the wall … you know … the one where I was supposed to mount a TV!?!?
Crash … Wake up (minus an hour of sleep … explain why time changes again?) …
Then we’re off to Church, where I’m teaching about the Prodigal Son. Of course, my
During the day (don’t ask me exactly when … I can barely remember what happened, let alone the order) Kimberlee came over to help clean/supervise kids/etc. At some point in the evening, her son Walter took off his own poop-filled diaper and proceeded to finger paint himself and MY PILLOW with his poop! You know … the expensive, synthetic down one that doesn’t make my neck hurt? Yeah, that pillow. And … it wasn’t in a pillowcase due to an incident with Kaleigh earlier.
By the time I went to bed I was beyond “lost it” … I had been so angry I swear steam was coming off my head. I had done almost 2 people’s worth of work mostly alone (Chris helped, but being sick … yeah). I wanted to fall on my pillow and sob and scream … except I was too exhausted to cry … and I didn’t even have a pillow to scream into.
At times like this, I try to remember parable of the Ducks … thanks mom:
When you see a brace of ducks out on the water, they look calm and collected, serenely floating from place to place. BUT, if you dive under the water, you can see they’re paddling like hell underneath it all!So ... you're seeing the calm collected top view (mostly). But, yes, I’m paddling like hell. I love them all … even Walter. I volunteered for this. It’s more than survival … it’s living! Today I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world!
But if you’d have asked me last night, you could probably have had them all … cheap … really cheap … I’m glad nobody was there to offer.