Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Ash Tuesday? A painful lead up to Lent, in 10 easy steps...

That sounds so much better than "the day before Lent starts," right? At any rate, I am exhausted today due to my children and my job sucking the very life out of me yesterday. Things went down somewhat like this:

(1) I have a work day involving back-to-back morning meetings, a chat reference shift, and then an afternoon meeting at *3:30*. It should be illegal to have meetings that begin at 3:30. I'm barely breathing at that point of the day, especially after having already endured MULTIPLE OTHER MEETINGS.

Total Tangent Alert: I had to laugh a few weeks ago when we received an email from a large faculty organization on campus. Apparently, there were complaints that the committees formed by this organization were "inefficient," and generally "not getting anything done." Their solution? To create a steering committee to discuss this issue at length and then oversee and supervise all of these other committees. SOOOO... People are already on so many committees that they get out of meetings at every opportunity due to a diagnosable condition called Committee Overload (this needs to be classified by the Centers for Disease Control. The symptoms are upset stomach, piercing headache immediately above your left eyeball, a twitchy foot, and paranoia that you may have an undiagnosed case of Attention Deficit Disorder), leading to the committees having a difficult time getting anything done, and the Powers That Be think that to fix this, they should create yet *another* committee?

Welcome to academia.

Anyway, back to my life, for those of you who care and are still reading. :0 Where were we? Oh yeah, my 3:30 meeting. I had to leave early, because Mike teaches on Monday evenings, and I need to be home by 5 pm at the absolute latest so that he can leave. So I do. I have to walk farther than usual to my parked car because the meeting location was moved somewhere even LESS convenient than originally planned. Rushy, rushy.

(2) I drive and pray the rosary. As I go to turn the corner to our house, I am blocked by a "Road Closed!" sign. Something apocalyptic involving a large digging machine and a construction crew appears to be happening two doors down from us. Water main break, perhaps? Not sure, but whatever the reason, I now have to drive around a few more minutes to approach the street from the other end to access the road and get home. I make it by 4:55 pm.

(3) The children are handed over into my care and Mike leaves for class. Everything goes fine. At first.

*doomy music plays*

(4) I make dinner for the children. I warm up leftovers for myself. Henry goes off to play a game for a short spell while Anne colors and I wash dishes. Then Anne announces that she has to go potty. We head to the toilet, and the irony is not lost on me that that is also where my evening went.

(5) Anne uses the potty without my assistance:

"I do it *MYSELF*!"

As she flushes, I tell her to wash her hands.


"Anne, everyone has to wash their hands after using the potty."


"Mommy will help you."


"You cannot watch Dora until you wash your hands."

Wherefore we begin an epic temper tantrum, interspersed with throwing of self on floor, screaming, and general misery for the entire household. AN HOUR LATER, she complies with the hand washing request amidst much sniffling. I let her watch a little tv and contemplate my upcoming drink options.

(6) Anne gets to bed late due to the tantrum situation, but I read her a book and we have a good cuddle session. By the time I shut her bedroom door near 7:30, I'm absolutely exhausted and just want to go to bed. I put on comfortable clothes and prepare to wait for Mike to return. I head downstairs.

(7) Henry pounces.

"Mommy, I'm bored."

I offer a long suffering sigh. This is a *constant refrain* in our house these days.

"Why don't you read?"

"I don't want to."

"How about do a puzzle?"

"I don't want to."

Picture this going on for another two minutes with increasing attitude on Henry's end. He gets whiny and I get annoyed. Finally, he asks if I'll play War with him, and I agree although I really don't want to. All I want to do is read a book on my Kindle and drink my drinky drink.

We play, and he starts out strong, but as this stupid game often does, the tide turns. I see him try to hide a card.

"Hank, you can't cheat, other kids won't want to play with you if you do that. It's called 'being a bad sport,' and it's dishonest. Let's clean the cards up. We can try again tomorrow"

"No!" *look of horror*

Too late. I already have the cards half cleaned up, and I've had enough. This starts the second hour long set of sobbing to be heard at my house in a 2 and a half hour time period.

WHY IS GOD SMITING ME?! What's next? Locusts?

(8) Requests for Henry to get ready for bed are met with belligerence and more crying. He is beyond overtired at this point. My bringing him his nightly asthma medication results in the pill being thrown across the living room. I've about reached my limit on what I can deal with without losing my own temper. I leave him to stew in the living room until Mike returns.

(9) Mike returns and I hear Henry tearfully giving a partial accounting of the story. Mike gives him a talking-to and puts him to bed with the promise that there will be no television watching tomorrow. Henry sobs loudly some more.

(10) I'm so tired I can hardly work up the energy to even read. I eventually have to intervene in Henry's misery, talking to him about the consequences of making choices we regret and moving on. He's a sensitive soul, he doesn't like attention called to himself, he's just like me. He asks me to read him the saint story of the day, and I do. It's St. Katherine Drexel.

I go downstairs and manage to perk up enough to chat with Mike and read a bit. When we head to bed, I read some more but can't sleep well, despite my exhaustion. Which brings us to today.

Lent hasn't even started yet? It seems like it's already been going on forever. :0


  1. When my kids say they are bored, we give them a list of chores to do. We don't hear it nearly as often as we used to, and on occasion, somebody actually does a chore or two (outside their regular duties). Works like a charm.

  2. "Mommy isn't feeling a game of Uno," ha! Yes, yes, and yes. He just does not play independently very well. It's exhausting. Did I mention that I'm tired? :)

  3. I have tried this chore angle in the past. He usually bites, too. Too bad I didn't remember last night, our bathroom could look a whole lot cleaner now than it currently does. :0

  4. Phew! There I was thinking I was the only parent experiencing these regular tests of tantrums vs. patience. I found this post amusing and cleverly written. I got a good laugh which made me feel better, knowing I have company. Thank you.

    1. I'm so glad, that's what I'm here for. :0 Thank you for reading!


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