10 Days and Counting: The pity party commences

I don’t like it when my husband has to travel for work.

So, when he leaves, I often take the opportunity to throw myself a pity party.

I like to whine about the evenings that seem to stretch on.  And on.  And ooooonnnnn.

Or the weekends playing zone defense against Team “Let’s Drive Mommy Batty.”  I complain about the fact that I don’t get to pee by myself anymore.

Wait.  That last one happens all of the time. 

Oh yeah, where was I?

Poor me.

But the worst part about him being gone?  My kids miss him.  A lot.

And I’ve found that the number of times I’m asked, “How many days until dad gets home?”  seems to multiply exponentially with the number of days he has to travel.  Example:  When he travels for one day, I sometimes get asked the question once or twice.  Two days=5 or 6 questions.

So when I got wind that my husband was going to be gone for ten days this time, I did some quick calculations.  Approximately 526 questions.  My math might be a little off there.  But it’s definitely in the ballpark of 100’s.

However, I was prepared for this trip.  As soon as dad left yesterday morning, I came up with a brilliant strategy.  We pulled out a pad of sticky notes, and made a little countdown calendar.  Kind of like an advent calendar.  Except when you got to the end, there was no scary bearded guy coming down our chimney.  Just dad, coming home.

And, because I was feeling a little sorry for myself, I snapped a photo of our calendar, and posted it to my personal Facebook page.

T-minus ten days. But who's counting?

And then I sat back, and waited for my Facebook friends to shower me with well wishes and encouragement.  Because that’s what you do when you’re having a pity party, you know.

I did get a few sympathetic souls willing to play my little game.  Like this lovely lady:

(By the way, Old Tweener, I will send you my address later in the day.)

But some of my other friends seemed to take more interest in the weekly menu that was posted right next to the countdown calendar.  Those comments went something like this:

“I like your menu. Jay is missing out on some good grub!”

Or, “…At least you have some yummy meals planned. I assume J would never condone corned beef in January.”

Or, my personal favorite:

Yes, people.  My corned beef soup is delicious.  But the point of my Facebook post was not about our menu, but rather, about me and my pity party.  Sheesh.

For the record, my weekly menu planning was done before I realized I’d be flying solo this week.  I have a strict “no cooking” rule when Jay travels.  And by “no cooking,” I’m referring to the use of the stove, the oven, or any sharp knives.  The microwave, I can do.

So this morning, I reposted on Facebook a more accurate reflection of what we’ll actually be eating this week.

And now that the issue of the menu has been addressed, let the pity party recommence!

Those of you in the area are more than welcome to come join me for the festivities.  I would be grateful for the adult conversation.  And you can even stay for dinner!

I just hope you like Spaghettios.

My High-Spirited Girl

She has always been my high-spirited child.

And, yes.  That has always been our more politically-correct way of saying she’s all fire and ice.

From the moment she came into this world, she made her presence known.  With a vengeance.

She was the tiny little bundle that screamed, almost non-stop, for the first four months of her life.  The colic.  The howls.  The wails.  It always shocked me how such a ruckus could come out of something so tiny.

And once the colic ended, another persona emerged.  One that was equally as spirited.

We soon found that, as a toddler, her voice was just as strong.  One minute, she could be the sweetest child you would ever meet.  And in the blink of an eye, she became stubborn, willful, and impossibly obstinate.  She was like a lot of toddlers, maybe.  Except with the amplification turned up.

As she got older, we thought perhaps her mood swings would even themselves out.  But they have not.  If anything, they’ve become more pronounced.  (A foreshadowing of what her teenage years will be, perhaps?)

As an almost-six-year-old, she still swings hot and cold at a pace that makes me dizzy.  She loves ferociously, and throws temper tantrums with a passion that still surprises me.

But maybe it should not surprise me.  Because I know where it comes from.

As much as I hate to admit it, she’s just like her momma.

I am stubborn.  I love those around me ferociously, but I can also snap at them with a passion that is somewhat scary.    Patience is once of the things I constantly have to work on.  I have a quick temper and a sharp tongue, both of which often lead me to regret some of the things I say.  It’s a trait I’ve always disliked in myself.

So, I cannot blame her for what she is.  I know exactly where she gets it.

Would I change what she is?  I can say, unequivocally, that even if I could, I would not.

Not in a million years.

She is my high-spirited child.  And, difficult as that is sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

But perhaps, one of the hardest lessons to-date that I am learning as a parent is this:  part of loving her unconditionally might mean accepting in her the traits that I least like in her mother.

And, perhaps, that also means learning to embrace, accept and improve upon those same traits in myself.

In search of marital equality

I blame it on my math minor.  But the fact is, in my day job, I’m a person that lives by numbers, formulas, and stone cold logic.

I like it when things add up.  Life makes sense that way.

When I come home, though?  Sometimes, that’s a different story altogether.  As much as I love my husband, I have to confess:  my marriage sometimes contains inequalities that just do not make sense to me.

To illustrate my point, let’s start with an equation that does balance, shall we?

In and of itself, this isn’t a biggie.  I get it.  Let’s be honest, here.  Taco Bell does a number on me, too.

So, it’s no wonder that this would be the next logical step in the sequence:

Again, I get this.  It’s all crystal clear up to this point.

But here’s where things don’t add up:

I swear, I am not exaggerating.  It’s got to be at least three rolls, if not more.  Really, I have a hard time understanding how one person can kill so many trees in one sitting.

And, naturally, that means this is also true:

But the greatest inequity of all might be this:

I’ll give you one guess how I feel about that:

Suffice to say, after almost 13 years of marriage, there are certain equations that just don’t add up for me.

All I can admit is, it’s a really good thing this is true:

Note: I had full permission from my husband to publish this post.  What can I say.  We love potty humor in our house.

Antler Up

I can’t believe I missed it. 

The bloggy event of the year.

I’ve been so busy lately, I forgot to enter Taming Insanity’s Antler Up competition.

I’m so bummed about this, for several reasons:

  1. Besides the prestigious glory of being crowned Antler Queen 2011, the winner also was guaranteed a Starbuck’s gift card.  And with how much I’m dragging my feet this morning, the thought of a little extra caffeine sounds pretty good right now.
  2. I’m especially tired this morning, because I was up late last night working on a Typepad blog conversion for a certain-blogger-who-shall-remain-nameless.  And that nameless blogger?  Just so happens to be the guest judge for this competition.  I figured that, by this point, Poppy the nameless blogger is probably so annoyed by all of my moaning and whining about the evils of Typepad, that she’d proclaim me the victor on the spot… just so that I’d be quiet.  Or because she felt sorry for me.  I would have taken the win either way.
  3. I live in the same city as Poppy, so I had also planned on finding out where she lived, dropping by unannounced, and pleading my caffeine-addicted case in person.  But I didn’t get around to doing that, either.
  4. As if all of that wasn’t enough to cinch the prize, I had some pretty good antler fodder as well:

That’s right, people.  A handmade antler crown, made laboriously by my own daughter.  It had the cuteness factor going on, which I think would have held par even with Liz’s butt.

I think it’s safe to say, I had this competition in the bag.

It doesn't get much better than this. You blew it, mom.

Sigh.  I guess there’s always next year, right?

The Irony of Vomit

The Irony:  Last week, I was thinking to myself, “I need to take the kids in for their flu shots.”  It had been on my to-do list since earlier in the fall, along with a lot of other items.  But I put it off (like most of the other items on my to-do list), and made a mental note to schedule them over Christmas break.

The Reality:  Bobo came home from school sick yesterday.  It appeared that she had the beginnings of the flu.

The Irony:  Yesterday while the kids were at school, one of the things I did check off my to-do list was changing their beds.  I finally got around to stripping off and washing the sheets, pillows and comforters from both of their rooms.  And as I put the freshly laundered linens back on their beds, I marveled at the warm-from-the-dryer sheets, the smell of Mountain Breeze Tide, and my own domestic goddess-ness.

The Reality:  Today, as I washed Bobo’s sheets, pillow and comforter again (plus a load of towels that were used the night before), the sparkly domestic goddess feeling was gone.  You’d think since doing laundry two days in a row is such a rare thing around these parts, I’d feel rather accomplished.  But I suppose washing vomit from sheets tends to take the warm and fuzzy feelings out of domesticity.

The Irony:  As I was changing Bobo’s sheets yesterday, I noticed she didn’t have a pee protector on her mattress.  I made a mental note that I should probably buy one.  But I wasn’t too worried.  After all, she’s 5.  She doesn’t have accidents in bed!  Sheesh!

The Reality:  As I attempted to scrub chunks off the mattress today, it occurred to me that I should have bought a damn pee protector yesterday.  Because they’re not just for pee, people.  Sheesh!

The Irony:  A few months ago, we bought Bobo a bunk bed.

The Reality:  She was sleeping on the bottom bunk yesterday.  And lo, we finally come to the silver lining of this story.

Because the thing I’d surely dislike more than changing vomit sheets?  Would be changing vomit sheets times two.

Cascading vomit? Does not sound like fun. She'll be sleeping on the bottom from here on out.