With the kids around all the time I’m going to seed. I haven’t been working out, eating well, or, you know, showering on the regular. And my hair? It’s gotten bad. It’s been so long since I colored it, that I’m no longer on the root touch-up regimen but in desperate need of an all over do over. Also, I pair my monthly at-home hair coloring with deep cleaning the upstairs bathrooms and bedrooms. I couldn’t possibly just sit and relax for the 30 minutes I have dye in my hair, so I do a speed deep clean. In this way we avoid living in complete upstairs squalor and I have nice hair to boot.
I probably don’t have to tell you, but we’ve been living in complete upstairs squalor.
One look at myself in the dirty mirror this morning and I decided that today had to be the day. After breakfast and some outdoor play time, I gave the kids second breakfast and put on a movie.
“I’m going upstairs to shower. Don’t touch each other or do anything generally terrible.” (It’s best if they don’t know just how much unsupervised time they’re actually going to have.)
Hair dyed, tubs scrubbed, and bedrooms picked up I return downstairs. Before I reach the living room, Sally comes running to me.
“Mommy, can we paint?”
“Are you asking because you want to paint, or have you already been painting?”
“Not in the living room! Tell me you aren’t painting in the living room!”
I round the corner. Sure enough, the paints are open; wet painted papers are strewn everywhere; water-logged paint pallets overflow; and there’s a huge puddle of water-color water on the stainable wood of the coffee table.
“It was Sally’s idea to paint.”
“Was not! You got the paints down!”
“Come on, Sally. Let’s go play outside.”
I turn on them. Full of fury.
“What were you THINKING? When have I EVER let you paint in the living room? You both should have known better! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? NO! NO! NO!”
I continued random nos, and should have known betters, as I sopped up the water with paper towels. I’m pretty sure there was a visible swirling cloud of expletive symbols circling my head. $#%@#!! The kids stand nearby, possibly paralyzed with fear.
“You know, this table might be stained forever!”
And if I didn’t already feel like killing the little buggers, Luke says in a calm sweet voice, while holding his sister’s damned hand,
“Mom, aren’t people more important than things? Aren’t we, your children, more important than the coffee table?”
Are you freaking kidding me with this, you manipulative little shit?!
“Not right now you’re not! GAH!!! I don’t really mean that BUT I’M REALLY MAD so I’m about to say it again! NOT RIGHT NOW YOU’RE NOT! GAH!!!! AGH! NOW GO OUTSIDE BEFORE I SAY EVEN WORSE THINGS TO YOU!”
And that’s how I lost at parenting today. You?