June 24, 2011

It's Not #@!% PMS!

You know what I hate? I hate it when you're having a bad day or maybe you're just a little grumpy and the man in your life just assumes it has to be PMS. Like you're not allowed to be less than chipper. If you aren't a glowing ray of sunshine than it must be some kind of hormonal thing. How incredibly sexist is that?

You know what I hate more than that? When they're right.

Yesterday was not the best day for me. I had to get up at 6 in the morning so I could take my cat in to get spayed. My philosophy is that no one should be up before 8 o'clock so I wasn't the most pleasant to begin with. When I lived in WA, I think I was the only person who didn't drink coffee so there was no shot of caffeine to perk me up. But at least I was by myself so there was no one to inflict my morning-induced grumpiness on.

Remember my thermostat problem with Suzy? It's a fixable problem but one that has to wait a paycheck or two. So in the meantime, I have to drive with windows rolled down in place of having the A/C on. At 6:15 in the morning, it was already pretty warm out and I got to drive 45 minutes through Dallas in rush hour traffic. Because I got to the clinic early and then had to wait in a long line once I got in, Suzy had plenty of time to cool off. That didn't seem to matter much when I finally got back on the road to head home. The car started to overheat pretty quickly and then I not only had to drive with no A/C, I also had to turn the heater on in an effort to pull hot air away from the motor. Having the windows rolled down when it's 90* doesn't do anything to cool you off, it just blows around the hot air. Add in the heater blowing on high and I was one sweaty girl by the time I made it back home. Hot and sweaty Slacker Mom = grouchy and nasty Slacker Mom.

Back at the house, I got the kids' breakfast and made them do their chores before they returned to their morning ritual of killing off brain cells by way of video games. For the last week or 2 that's pretty much all they've had to do. It was too hot to go outside for about 4 days and then the men started reroofing the house which dumped all kinds of debris into the pool and nails around the grass leaving them both unsafe for the kids. As much as my kids love video games, they just can't handle that much "unstructured" fun. It makes them a little...snappy. It didn't take long before I had kids growling at each other and dissolving into tears and then I had to listen to 5 variations of "He's being mean to me!", "That's not fair!", and "I called it first!"

Most of the time, I can tune out the kids. I try to let them work things out themselves unless it dissolves into fist fights or wailing that makes the neighbor dogs howl. But there are times when my nerves feel like they are already stretched beyond capacity and the slightest tweak will make them snap like a rubberband. It's times like these that my voice comes out a little harsher and a little louder than normal, usually at the smallest provocation. So when there is a bigger than small provocation--such as 5 kids all having serious meltdowns--Mommy crosses over into the Dark Side. I needed a break and I needed it NOW.

I made an announcement that we were going to the movies. That earned me cheers all around. After we figured out how to split everyone into 2 groups so that everyone could see what they wanted at the same time, things were good for awhile. Lunch came and went and then we started getting ready to go.

That's when I remembered I still needed to pick up the cat. At the exact time the movies started. And I was the only adult at the house. That meant I was going to have to pile the 5 kids in my non-air conditioned van and drive 45 minutes in afternoon traffic to pick up the cat and then another 45 minutes home. Instant downer. I had great plans for our movie excursion. I was going to park myself on the back row of the theater with my pocket size flashlight and lose myself in a book for an hour and a half. Great plans? Ruined.

Oh, and by the way? MC informs me that there was a problem with the check I deposited in the morning and MC and I couldn't pull out any money to pay for gas to get him home from work and me to the vet and back. So I needed to make sure I got to the bank and got it straightened out. Now. Heavens to Betsy, are you serious?

I pull in the bank and unload all the kids; it's too hot to leave them in the car. Honestly, I probably would've brought them in with me anyway. I find that nothing gets you helped out faster than having a whole herd of kids trailing after you. The only thing worse than a hysterical customer is a hysterical customer with kids. I spent some time explaining my situation to the clerk. When I made the deposit I was told the funds would be available right away. They weren't. Now I was about to drive out to West Dallas without knowing how I was going to pay for gas to get home and my husband was going to be stranded at work, also 45 minutes away. They couldn't do anything.

I almost cried right there. I loaded everyone back up into the van and came up with a great alternative to at least one of my problems. I drove over to my brother-in-law's house and announced to my nephew that he was babysitting the 5 kids. Thanks and good luck! See you in 2 hours!

That was one weight off my shoulders. The bank teller did have one suggestion for me to try but she wasn't very confident that it would clear up any money for me but I figured it was worth a shot. It worked! Again, I almost cried, this time out of relief as I filled my gas tank and called MC to tell him that he could get gas on his way home. Then it was just a matter of driving out to get the cat.

At 2:30, my van said it was 101*. When it's that hot, it's just gross. Sweat just rolls down your back and there is no cool breeze to make it easier to breathe. Driving with no A/C presents a unique challenge. How do you drive but still manage to keep from soaking your clothes? The first thing you have to remember is to not sit back against the seat. This will only make your shirt stick to your back. Then you have to drive with your elbows up to help get some airflow going in those pits. And thighs are not to touch under any circumstances. Be sure to mop off your top lip occasionally. You don't want people to think you have some kind of weird mustache going on. This is really all that can be done. Unfortunately, there isn't anything you can do to prevent the embarrassing butt rings--the spots of dampness under your cheeks from sitting in your own pool of sweat.

So I arrived at the vet on time but it took them an hour and a half to get my cat signed out, go over her meds with me and finally, bring her out to me so we could leave. Then I got to repeat the whole process of trying-not-to-look-like-an-NFL-linebacker-after-a-game ordeal. And yes, I had to have the heat on the entire drive home. I swung by and picked up the kids who were--thank the PlayStation angels--very good for their cousin. We got back to the house just in time for me to start dinner.

Really? After all this I still have to cook dinner? I hate to cook on a normal day. But on a day like this when I had a bite like a velociraptor and I was hot, sweaty and completely out of Dr. Pepper, the thought of cooking had me close to tears. (Yes, again. Do you have a problem with that?)

I called MC and said I was thinking about taking the kids up to the pizza place. He made the observation that not all of our kids were particularly fond of that restaurant. My response? "So?" He answered with a forced but cheerful, "Okay then!" So my sister-in-law, who was in the same why-do-we-have-to-eat-dinner-EVERY-night boat that I was, loaded us all up in her car and we went to dinner. Sometimes all you really need is some breadsticks and cinnamon rolls to make things better.

There was some more bickering in the evening but I managed to get all the kids bathed and in bed without killing any of them (or myself). I did, however, make a run to WalMart at 10pm to stock up on Dr. Pepper.

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