Ups and Downs

Over the weekend, I was feeling really good. So good, in fact, I almost felt guilty (stupid Catholic upbringing). Things are just going so great, you know, I have a husband I love, I’m a good wife and mother, living in the house of my dreams, etc. I’d just hosted a really nice holiday cookie exchange with my friends, where everyone left feeling relaxed and happy. What more could I want?

I told this to Manfrengensen, who was unimpressed (he knows me too well). He said (and we laughed), “If you were a stock, I’d be selling right now.”

By Tuesday, the stock had taken a dive. Mothering can be a thankless, thankless job, but some days, when you work hard at it, you don’t expect praise, but you know, you’d just like to be able to do the job with a little less resistance from the troops. I got up in the morning and did the usual mom things, got everyone out of bed, made their breakfasts and lunches, took The Princess to school and then went to the dentist (a little “me” time!). I had broken a tooth and spent two hours in the chair. The last time I’d had Novocaine was in middle school perhaps, so I was a bit unpracticed. When they asked me to rinse and spit, everything went flying! They probably had to hose down the whole room after I left.



When I got home, I started dinner. Last winter I had made a delicious chicken pot pie soup, and wanted to make it again now that the weather warrants it. But I had kind of forgotten the procedure, and by the time the thing was done, I hadn’t really cooked the vegetables long enough to make them soft…but I’ll get to that. While that was cooking, I went down to the basement to start wrapping their presents; all the things I have been collecting since October with them in mind. After two hours of that, I realised that I hadn’t procured one of the things on Edison’s list that he wants: Harry Potter Lego Years 1-4 for Wii, so I called around looking for a copy. He’s been rather obsessed with HP lately, having gotten on that bandwagon much later than his peers, and he has been quickly catching up, reading books 1-3 since the beginning of November. Found a copy of the game not too far away, and I left (chicken pot pie in the crock pot) to go in search of that as well as some gifts to give their Sunday school teachers this week.

Took care of all that, picked up The Princess, and got back here in time for Clooney’s bus. Clooney’s a bit under the weather with a runny nose, and the cough is actually starting now, so I figured I would go out and get him some Mucinex, the grape kind that dissolves on their tongues, which my kids seem to find the most palatable. Edison got home, I got everyone started on homework, which isn’t easy because they are all distracting each other, and after-school snacks need to be distributed and all.

So then, at 5:00, the boys had guitar lessons, so we had to load up and go over there. I dropped them off, took The Princess with me to the drugstore for the Mucinex; the whole time, she’s complaining — she wants me to buy her something. What’s with kids that they think any time we step out of the house, they deserve something new? Mind you, I don’t give in. This just the constant battle of shopping with my kids. Usually I try not to do it because it’s such a pain.

We got back to where the boys were, and The Princess pulled out her little suitcase full of Polly Pockets for us to play with while we waited for her brothers. I always have to be the bad guy (and there’s always a bad guy who kidnaps either a princess or a baby of some kind) and these days he’s a Happy Meal manifestation of Sam Worthington’s avatar. Once the kidnapped baby was rescued, the storyline began again. Polly Pockets go to sleep; avatar slips in, steals the baby; policeman comes (he’s a PP version of the prince from The Princess and the Frog, and he speaks with a crazy accent); he finds the avatar and fights for the baby; the avatar gets away and they all go back to sleep. That’s the whole playing dynamic, like a CD on maniacal continuous play.

When the lesson was over, we headed back home, got homework finished, dinner served, and then the complaints really began. “I don’t like this.” “What’s this green stuff?” “I don’t want this…” etc. Now, I’m a pretty good cook. I admit that particular night’s dinner wasn’t my best effort, but it was a lot of effort, and after a whole day of just doing stuff for them (other than the dentist) I was a little touchy. Enough, you know? So I said some things about feeling unappreciated, because I was.

Edison ended up going to his room — adolescence has started and it’s a bitch.  A little while later, this note came flying into the kitchen in the form of a paper airplane:



I am sorry for my mistakes. The only reason I yelled was because you said I never say anything good about your dishes. Do I say “Thanks for the wonderful meal, Mom,” or am I speaking Parseltoungue (snake language in Harry Potter Year 2)? Maybe I’m deaf and I hear it in my head. If I am hearing things, please write back. Love (Maybe), Edison




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