Number 2 Pencils and Rage
August 18, 2010
Please indulge me for a few paragraphs while I share the tale of a truly crap-tastic day. It’s 10pm and I just want to beat on something or go run 20 miles. There’s nothing in my house to beat. The gym is closed. I don't run. I’ve got this here post to write. So get ready. I'm about to unload.
First, thanks for your kind wishes for Wanda’s surgery last week. It went really well. There were a few times I stifled my own sobs but it was quick and relatively painless and she emerged happy and hyper and much more nimble on her feet. I think the fluid in her ears must have been messing with her balance because she’s suddenly into everything.
But this week she’s come down with a wicked upper-respiratory infection so she’s mobile, angry and covered in green slime. She climbed our stairs for the first time today, and the 2nd time and the 100th time.
She keeps pulling her shnuli out with her index and middle finger to cough and hack and then shoving it back in like a purple rubber cigar. Periodically she looks at me and yells… loudly.
We’re having a heat wave here. They are rare so we don’t have AC. We are very hot. During a heat wave all children are required by some secret but binding agreement to tell their mothers how hot they are every 2-3 minutes. They must also refuse to do chores because they are TOO HOT.
Our four-year-old fridge broke down again this morning. Last time it cost over $500 to repair a similar problem so we decided we’d better get a new one.
I packed the sick and angry children in the car and drove to pick up Dan from work so we could look for a new appliance. We have no money to buy this appliance but we don’t like running to the store every time we want to pour unspoiled milk on a bowl of cereal so it seemed like the thing to do.
After driving around for a few hours, we decided on a fridge and purchased it on the spot, spending a couple of thousand dollars we don’t have. We’d measured our current fridge so we felt confident of the dimensions. Do you hear the ominous music? Me too!
We’re getting used to the idea of spending thousands of dollars we don’t have because two weeks ago Laylee misplaced her hearing aids and after tearing our house to shreds of oblivion looking for them, today we decided to go ahead and order another pair. We’ll just refer to them as the most expensive glasses/retainer ever lost by a seven-year-old.
Since we were out about town, I decided to finish off our fun afternoon by taking the kids shopping for school supplies. Their lists were insanely detailed and impossible to obtain. We could find the right brand of stapler at one store but not the right size. The right brand and size of scissors at another store but not the correctly-shaped tip. The right type and colors of crayons but in the wrong size box.
I think that every year each teacher should be forced to go to a single store and try and find everything on her list. If she can’t, then she needs to make a new list and tell everyone which store carries all the stuff because honestly if I have to search with one more store employee for a 9"x5" lidless plastic storage basket or a specific brand of eraser that no one carries, so help me I will set something on fire. With my eyes.
Well we didn’t find everything but we were running late for Magoo’s first soccer practice so I rushed home to get him ready, prepare the snack and fill the 500 gallon water jug. Dan was supposed to be on soccer duty but he'd taken so much time helping me search for appliances that he needed to work late.
We drove to the field where we’ve always had soccer, unloaded the boogie-encrusted baby, the snacks, the folding chairs, the water jug, the water bottles, the diaper-changing station, the baby food, the toys, the stroller and walked all over the gigantic field trying to find our coach amidst the sea of teams.
“Are you Steve?”
“Excuse me? Are you coach Steve?”
“Have you ever met Coach Steve? Do you know where he’s practicing?”
“Just tell me your name is Steve and let my blinkin’ kid kick something!!!!”
I double checked the email on my phone after speaking to. Every. Single. Soccer. Coach.
I’d missed one important detail in the practice info. Our team was meeting on another field in another town several miles away. I told Magoo we were done. There was no soccer today. And his little red face crumbled. He started sobbing. He’s been asking how many days until he can play soccer for over a year.
“Fine,” I said, “We’ll drive to Super Far Away Town for the end of your practice and I’ll try to find this field but there will be no complaints if we miss the whole thing or if I never find it because I am done. So done.”
And we made the last 20 minutes of the practice and Wanda only screamed and coughed a bit and I only lectured Laylee a bit to THINK THINK THINK of where she might have put her hearing aids because we are OUT OUT OUT of money and then I apologized a bit for having a cow and the kids forgave me completely because kids are good like that.
It wasn’t until after the appliance store had closed for the night and we were trying to get the kids off to bed that we double-checked the measurements and realized that the refrigerator currently loaded on their truck to be delivered first thing tomorrow morning will in no way fit in our kitchen. Well. Maybe that wall isn’t load-bearing. I have a hammer and some hyperventilation-inspired energy. I think I could take it down, move it out a few feet and rebuild it out of pre-sharpened number 2 pencils and rage. I have plenty of both.