Admittedly, in the waning days of summer, I let the house go. We were living too much in the moment, so busy with living these last summer days, I figured, once school started, that I’d get all Rambo on the chores and into Full House Cleaning Mode™. That is, until the enormity of the task hit me square in the face the very first day back. I… just didn’t want to give up the Peter Pan mode of summer, and delve elbow-deep into the reality of the crumbs and dust and toilet scrubbing (ew). I’ll admit it, I actually flirted with the idea of hiring a cleaning team to come in and do it for me, just so I could go play with the kids instead of scrubbing toilets (I mean, COME ON, amirite?). Instead, my practical self dismissed the dreamy cleaning team idea to save money for other, fun things, and decided to take it a little at a time this week.
By Wednesday, day three of back-to-school, despite 6:30am being the bane of my existence, I was knocking it out of the freakin’ park, friends. Living room done. Kitchen done (save for mopping) and counters finally crumb-free. Overwhelming school paper pile whittled away to nothing. Bills filed. Front porch swept. Dishes done. Two loads of laundry washed, folded, with another started. GAME ON, friends. Game-friggin-on.
Except for the weird, dangling “patterned” thing I found hanging from my washer. I hang freshly washed clothes that can’t be dried on the washer, and with all the new school clothes in house, I simply dismissed this as a “hang” item I didn’t recognize. Except, it wasn’t. It was my son’s practice soccer shirt, c-o-v-e-r-e-d in dirt and mud from the drenching rains we experienced on Monday. As in, TWO DAYS BEFORE. This shirt sat there for two freakin’ days(!!!!). And, as of the time of this post, I’ve already washed it four times and I still can’t get the dirt out. It is THAT filthy. Blerg!
Other than my laundry snafu, and the ‘taking-forever-to-get-things-finished-because-the-baby-wants-me-all-the-time’ issues I experience regularly (insert adult onset ADHD here), I was having a fanfriggintastically productive day.
Until school let out.
For whatever reason, the excitement of greeting my kids home from school suddenly gets sucked away by the Vortex of Spaz™. The pain of school dismissal is a lot like childbirth – the pain sucks so very bad, but you look forward to it anyway because of the reward; a pain you instantly forget about the second it’s over, until your next child, and then the next child. The same can be said for the after-school spaz you endure everyday your children are at school – you forget how very badly it sucks when school ends, welcoming the birth of summer and freedom, until you’re hip-deep back into the labor of school, and it all reoccurs in painful waves that undulate and drown you, and it sucks every bit as bad as you remembered. Y-E-freakin-S, friends, the after school Vortex of Spaz™ a thing.
Similarly to the Tasmanian Devil, these beautiful whirling children of mine come home and WHOMP, off goes their shoes and backpacks at the front door, devoid of spatiality and others coming after them. Instantly, their balled up energy from school comes barreling out and all the couches in the living room, where the kids parkour over the backs of the couch, up and around the walls, and I kid you not, I swore one of ‘em hung from the ceiling fan that day. HELLO, SCHOOL, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MY KIDS, YO?
And somehow, in the midst of this cyclone of hyper, I have to calm them down long enough to get them to do homework and get ready for soccer?!?! I mean, it simply isn’t even possible! And there’s only one of me, I’m outnumbered! It takes eleventy-billion attempts to get them to look me in the eye let alone get them to sit, take out a pencil, open their book/binder/folder and pull out what they need to work on when the Vortex of Spaz™ is in effect. I’ve seriously considered either using a staple gun to get them to sit still or hiring a thick-muscled bouncer with a furry unibrow and foreign accent to stand guard at the dinner table. One can smashed against his forehead with a scary grunt and I’m sure I’d make cooperative believers out of my kids.
But today, it was an all out circus in my house. My nine-year-old, who we suspect has ADHD but was recently diagnosed as NOT having it (cough*you’refullofit*cough) just would not listen, which encouraged his younger siblings to do the same. It was nearing soccer readiness time, and he’d barely written a thing on his paper, and I was coming unglued. For whatever reason, amidst my preparation for soccer and snacks and everything I was doing right at that minute, I opened my email inbox. (Makes sense, right? Because opening your email will help you get $#!t done.) I recall it clearly, it was 4:52pm, and I just did it without even thinking. But, laying in wait in my inbox was the cruelest, most horrible email I could’ve read at that very hurried moment – an email from my husband telling me that, not only had he NOT yet left from work (which obviously meant he couldn’t take my son to soccer practice), but that he’d known he couldn’t get him since 4:15pm, but only emailed me at 4:45pm to tell me.
A half a freakin’ hour. OMG!
I mean, what if I wasn’t even on the computer – what if I hadn’t checked my email? I went from zero-to-HOLY CRAP in no time, running around the house making water bottles for EVERYONE as opposed to just the soccer kids, grabbing snacks, chargers, cursing to myself all while trying to motivate children to put on their soccer cleats so they wouldn’t have cleat dents in their head when I threw them at ‘em. Kidding. Maybe.
I just kept thinking Am I being punked? I’m rushing to take the same kid to soccer who wouldn’t even lift a finger to finish his homework. I’m rushing for him, he’s not rushing for me, and this is HIS SPORT. And then the ugly thoughts about my husband’s inability to call instead of email, or the lack-of-a-head’s-up with more timing swam around inside my head with the gnarly laundry thoughts, and the baby-laying-all-over-me-all-day thoughts. I growled to myself in anger and used that anger to pursue my newest goal – get this freakin’ boy to his team’s practice on time.
Somehow, in panic mode, I was out the door and in the car with enough time for him to get there by 5:34pm. They were already warming up, but I’d call it a win in my book. Moments later, my husband rolled into the parking lot, angry about the situation he’d forced us into, apologetic yet sexy as hell in his uniform. (What? It’s true!) We chatted momentarily while he hugged the baby and fed her peanut butter crackers, but he had to leave to catch our son’s practice so I could return home.
Amazingly, just my husband left to go to my son’s side of the soccer field, it was at that moment I chose to sit in the drivers seat, peer at the dashboard, and see what I saw. Right next to the gas gauge is the temperature gauge in my Toyota Sienna, and somehow it reading SUPER FIERY HOT RED ZONE DANGER. I didn’t see smoke or anything coming out of the engine, but HOLY CATS, I’m pretty sure that needle’s not supposed to be in the red like that.
I totally panicked. I immediately shut the car off, flung open the car door, and called out to my husband, who was now too far to hear me. So I called, y’know, using those handy dandy smartphone thingies we all seem to carry now? The ones that supposedly allow us to be reachable anywhere there’s a signal, right? Except my husband’s phone hates me. He never seems to know when I’m calling or texting. That, and he’d just been in a late meeting at work, where he turned the ringer off, so I knew he didn’t know, he just continued to saunter away with my daughter and sports chair slung over his shoulder. Crappity crap.
I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to get out of the freaking car with all the kids, walk alllll the way to the end of the field, just to hail him to come back and take a look at the van. Ridiculous, right? He should just ANSWER THE FREAKING PHONE, right? Oh, if only he would have, but he didn’t. He couldn’t. Stupid phone. Stupid Murphy’s Law. Stupid Wednesday.
There I was, unbuckling the kids from the car, walking them through the rocky parking lot and onto the semi-squishy and sloppy soccer fields, trekking through mud and freshly piled ant piles along the side of the murderously loooooong soccer field to the very end where my husband was quite happily parked with my daughter in the shade, scrolling through emails on his government phone, and neither one of ‘em had noticed us from afar until I was practically on top of them (of course).
The look on my husband’s face when I told him about the car issue was indescribable, yet, I knew exactly what he was saying with his scowl. And it may or may not have contained a few four letter cusswords and a feeling of defeat, that “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH TODAY?” feeling served with a side of “WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? I JUST SAT DOWN!”
It was at this point that I noticed, on our trek back to the car, that women were speed-walking along the length of the field, happily chatting with arms waving, pony tails flailing. One lady in particular reminded me of the school secretary at the kids’ elementary school. I smiled, but continued to schlep the kids back towards my seemingly broken car – a feat that shouldn’t have been so GOSH DARN PAINFUL, but suddenly the kids wanted to stop at STARE at every ant pile, or the sky, or somebody on the field they think they knew, or who KNOWS what. Baby V kept wanting to steal everyone’s soccer balls, which was God-awfully painful considering it was a SOCCER PRACTICE FIELD and there were no less than ONE HUNDRED OF THEM. It took twice if not three times as long to get back, and just as we exited the field, the secretary-lookin’ lady rounded the corner. She had almost lapped us. I grew angrier by the second.
The painful walk back on the field was matched with an equally painful walk in the dirt-and-rock parking lot, where my kids took to kicking stones and shuffling brown dirt into the air. Of COURSE it had to be my first grader in her new, only-four-days-old, dark-colored shoes in her five-day-old outfit. After reprimanding her to quit it, I grabbed my Baby Dude’s hand, who was slower than the rest of us in flip flops, only to have him “MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY!” me eleventy-billion times because we’d walk ten paces before he’d finally get out the words that he’d left a flip flop behind us and we had to stop. Over and over and over again. It was like a momentary lapse on how to properly wear and walk in flip flops, for crying out loud. GAHHHH!
My husband checked the fluids on the car first thing, and amazingly found the coolant completely bone dry. Which is kind-of funny, considering this car had just been serviced not but a week ago. $500 servicing later, it’s now amazingly and completely bone dry? That is unacceptable (and scary!) – this either means the dealership we trust(ed) didn’t do the work promised, didn’t tell us that work we expected wasn’t included, or DID do the work, and we have a no good, very bad leak. (None of these options are good ones).
I started the car, and it thankfully started alright, not in the red, but along the middle (where it should be). I noticed the time on the dash – we’d been at the fields for an HOUR already. (HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN!? Did we seriously walk THAT SLOW?) I made the painful choice NOT to use the air conditioning for the ride home, knowing there was no coolant, so we suffered with all the windows open, driving down a loud highway, with hair amok and highway smells all around us in 90+ degree heat in Texas.
But we did it, we made.it.home.alright. Thank goodness. Just in time to make dinner on the grill. And in true, Lisa-type fashion, coupled with the enormous suckosity of the day, this was the result:
I’d like to tell you it ended there, but it didn’t. I was wearing a layered tank top, and the bottom tank still had its tags on it, and I’d gone about my business all day with a tag hanging out my armpit and never knew until bed time. The baby still molested me away from chores I was trying to accomplish. The clean house was completely undid and speckled with soccer cleats, dirty socks, and dinner remnants. The once clean kitchen was wrecked by dinner and lunch-preparation, and the overnight breakfast casserole for next morning’s breakfast. Y’know, the breakfast bake I so enthusiastically had decided to make and prep ahead of time that was about seven eggs too short, and not discovered until it was midnight and the other ingredients were already in the freakin’ slow cooker (the egg is the last part). (I ended up filling the remaining amount with my coveted egg whites, and got ‘er done, dammit.)
Wednesday, you can friggin’ suck it. Thank God you’re yesterday and over. TGIT – Thank God it’s Thursday (!!)