February 07, 2011

Just another manic Monday

Schools were closed again today due to last week's snow storm.  And I say, Hooray!  We homeschool, so a snow day means the neighborhood school kids are available to play all day and I have a legitimate excuse to be a homeschool slacker.  Shrinky Dink and others of her ilk aren't so thrilled about the news.  They aren't used to being in close proximity to their delightfully moody pre-teen children for days on end.  I swear that Shrinky Dink has developed an eye twitch in the last week.

In a selfless act of mercy, I agreed to an afternoon of McDonald's and errands with Shrinky Dink and BeBe's kids her kids.  My son (who I'll call Nature Boy) and I bravely accompanied them to public places(!) with only the occasional smack down occurring amongst the children.  McDonald's was fine.  Shrinky Dink and I even managed to have an adult conversation (once her kids un-Vecroed themselves from their mom).  No food fights broke out.  No blood was shed.  We call that a good day. 

And then we went to Hobby Lobby.  Yeah, I don't think we really thought that one through.  Our thought process went something like this:

Shrinky Dink:  Hey, let's go to the local Fragile Goods store and spend an hour with all four children!
Me:  What a great idea!  I mean, the kids have been getting along so well all afternoon, and they are really stir crazy from being stuck indoors all week.  Let's set them loose amongst glass wall art and ceramic decor!  


The good news is that only $14 worth of damage was done to the store.  The bad news is that I nearly had a nervous breakdown.  I was so stressed out that I got all PTSD and left my purse in the store.  Which only became apparent when we arrived at our next destination.  Then my son had the nerve to complain about the drive back to the torture chamber Hobby Lobby to get my purse.  "I don't want to have to be in the boring car even longer!"  It's a good thing I'm on Zoloft, y'all.

On the way, Shrinky Dink and I had a Seinfeldesque conversation about last night's switcharoo emailing with the Match.com guy.  She said, "It reminds me of that story about the guy with the big nose who writes the letters to the girl because the other guy can't do it."  I was like, "What are you talking about?"  She said, "You know, that guy with the big nose..." 

Me: "Pinocchio?" 
Her: "No!  It's a Shakespeare story about a guy with a really big nose...." 
Me: "Look, Disney's all I got, okay?  I don't know anything about Shakespeare and a guy with a big nose." 
Her: "Yeah you do!  Remember, there was a movie and Steve Martin played the guy with the nose--" 
Me: "Now that you mention Steve Martin, something is coming to mind." 
Her:  "He was in a movie with Daryl Hannah, and it was called Roxanne." 
Me: "Yeah, and he sang (singing) "Roxanne!  You don't have to put on the red light!" 
Her:  "No, that was Sting." 
Me: "No, I'm pretty sure Steve Martin sang that song."   

Shrinky Dink's delightfully moody pre-teen daughter (who I'll affectionately call Thing 1) had been smarting off to me (as well as to anyone within hearing distance) for the past half hour, and in a display of efficiency, used the extra van time to insult and threaten Nature Boy under her breath (reminding me again why I'd hoped for a boy during my pregnancy).  Yes, the impulse to backhand her from the front seat was strong, but verily I say unto you, the Lord stayed my hand.  (Which is a good thing, because while Shrinky Dink is slow to anger, you really don't want to piss her off.)

Somehow we made it back to our neighborhood.  We were lulled by a brief period of peace in the van on the way home, so Shrinky Dink and I decided to extend our time together and work on the craft projects we'd picked out at Hobby Lobby.  Aside from Shrinky Dink's littlest girl's puking-in-the-garage episode, most of the evening went well.  We (responsibly) parked the kids in front of the TV and sat down at the kitchen table to work.

We were in our creative zones when we heard, "I'm bleeding!" coming from the living room.  Not wanting to be left out, Shrinky Dink's middle child (Thing 2) had slapped my son in the face and scratched him under his nose.  (I told you they're like Tasmanian Devils.)  I'd like to say that my perfectly well-behaved son had done nothing to bring on the slap, but in reality, he'd grabbed Thing 2 and her slap was a reaction to being surprised.  Sigh.

It was time to go.  It was BEYOND time.  But the streets are covered in snow and ice and the little pukester (who I'll call Peppermint, because that's what she calls people when she wants to insult them) was asleep on the couch, as was Dr. Jekyll/Mrs. Hyde Thing 1, so Shrinky Dink couldn't take Nature Boy and me home.

So I called my husband (Tree Guy) to come pick us up.  He was in the throes of trying to set up our new Blueray player to stream Netflix, so I benevolently offered to wait another 10-15 minutes.  After 20 or 30 minutes, Tree Guy still hadn't shown up.  Nature Boy was getting cranky and tired.  So we decided to walk home in the snow and ice.  Tree Guy opened the door for us in (mock) confusion.  "Why didn't you call?"  I was a little crabby at this point, but I patiently said, "I DID call!  I said you could pick us up in 10 or 15 minutes!!"  He said, "Oh, I thought you said you'd call in 10 or 15 minutes."  Yeah, right.  I think he just didn't want to leave the peace and quiet of our house to go pick us up.

And really, after the day we've had, I can't blame him.


  1. I remember homeschooling 2 lovely (cough) teenage girls once upon a time. I had a haircut appointment one evening and I had my shoes on, purse on shoulder and ready to bolt out the door as soon as he walked in... "If you want to take one of the girls..." I GLARED! SHHHH... I'm escaping and no one is 'coming with'!

    Eventually that much togetherness inspired me to get a job to get away for small bits of time each day.. What job? I decided to try driving a school bus. Most days, other people's hormone ridden children are a refreshing break from your own. (I actually loved that job - pay stunk, used none of my education or previous job experience, never dressed up - but I had a blast!)

  2. Yes, I see your logic in escaping the chaos of home just to drive a bus of other people's children! lol I didn't know you homeschooled. And how brave of you, teenage girls too!