It’s Own Kind of Typhoon

Have you read in the news about the Typhoons overseas (because I can’t spell Phillipines Phillippenes FILL-IH-PEENS)? It’s heartbreaking. It can make you cry tears of sorrow, worry and joy. There’s so much good rising out of the muck.

Sometimes I read about Typhoons and wildfires and I hate myself. I think about how ungrateful I am, about how what bothers me doesn’t really merit being bothered. My mind begins forming a smug little ball of self-loathing that grows and grows and collects more self-hatred as I walk along.
All it takes is a few days for me to start feeling like the living embodiment of PPMS (Perpetual PMS). I’m grouchy day in and day out. It doesn’t matter if I’ve taken proper care of myself or not: no amount of yoga and green drinks and detox baths and crafting and writing can make me behave any better.
The truth is: when I hate me, I hate everything.

The news never stops streaming stories about problems bigger than mine, and I never stop grovelling in my own loathing.

But there’s something I believe in now that I didn’t believe in a few years ago, and that’s simply (forgive me if I’ve said this before) “comparison is the thief of joy” applies to trials as well as blessings.

And I’m pretty sure ANY woman who has been through a typhoon would still have her panties in a wad after the two days I’ve had.
Can I just tell you about them and toss a few pictures in? Please?

Let’s begin our story with Alice. It’s important for you to keep in mind as I go on telling my story that she is teething.

She doesn’t discriminate when it comes to teething toys. All are equal in her eyes.

Teething is a sort of stage, right? It comes and then it goes. Lacy is going through some stages right now as well. School has been awesome for her -she’s motivated and driven. Lacy excels in so many ways.
But Lacy going to school has been bad for me. Why? Because Lacy feels and has audibly admitted that she knows better than Mom sometimes.
A few weeks ago, she asked me for a drink. I handed her the cup I’d been drinking out of which still had a good amount of water left in it.
“Hey, I can’t drink that,” she said.
“Why not?” I shrugged.
“Because!” Her expression was one of obvious surprise, but it shifted quickly into pity, “Oh, you don’t know about germs…”

And then I had to prove myself to a six year old.

She argues with me constantly over HER way of doing things because it is superior to my way. It kind of reminds me of that one little girl who argued passionately over the name of the Flower Plant.
“It’s the POWER PLANT honey,” her mother insisted, “It’s where we get our lights and electricity from.”
“It’s the FLOWER PLANT,” she said, “It’s where flowers come from.”

And that little girl was me.

Lacy is forever correcting me.
“You’re chewing with your mouth open, Mom.”
“You just bonked the baby’s head, Mom.”
“You just got water in her eyes, Mom.”
“That’s not the way to brush my hair.”

This also means that when I ask her to do something, she will argue with me about it.
And speaking of stages Trenton has decided to regress to being two. Whenever he is told “no” he bursts into tears, falls flat on the floor and cries.
He has mastered glaring -really, it’s an art for him now -and he has little desire to eat anything that looks “weird” which means he eats bread.

No, you can’t watch TV today because you’ve been watching too much and Lacy, PLEASE don’t make me ask again… put your backpack on your doorknob and take your coat with -TRENTON GET OFF THE BABY! SON! She can’t breathe when you sit on her but I bet she would appreciate her bottle if you don’t mind, Lacy where is the baby’s bottle? Can you get it? No! Don’t RACE each other. Guys, STOP! This is ridiculous -stop hitting, no fighting, go to the corner, and if you….
Now, I’ve had enough! Both of you go to bed.

Tears commence.
Guilt ensues.
And the baby is still crying.

I was able to put together a rather decent dinner and an even better apology for the children. They accepted the apology but rejected the dinner:

(French bread pizzas, how could they hate it so much?)

One went off to bed because that’s the choice he made (don’t listen if he tries to tell you different, it just isn’t true). The other joined me for a few Charlie Brown episodes while I crocheted and the baby tangled my yarn.

We watched a Mormon Message:

And then Lacy said family prayers.
“And please bless Mom to not be on the naughty list even though she’s mean…”


The great thing about “mean” days is that they end. They are not eternal. I woke up this morning determined to have a “nice” day. I took the kids to work with me.
The baby cried.
The boy cried because he wanted to go play with his cousin Kylie, who -by the way -loves my kitten, Prince, and insists he look at the camera when his picture is being taken.

We made it through our morning shift and came home. Coming home is glorious unless you’ve left wedding pictures out.
“Awwww, these are from the days when you were skinny and now you’re fat, fat, fat!” Trenton said.
I wanted to cry, but the baby was… so I hid my tears behind the words, “Having babies makes Moms bigger. I had three babies and my body is bigger.”
It was my passive-aggressive version of, “YOU DID THIS TO ME!”

He didn’t understand and therefore didn’t apologize which I took personally.
Not really…

Instead I phoned a close friend and had a soul-searching conversation in the which I realized just how much I’d been hating on my po’ ol’ self, and I hung up the phone with firm resolve to eat a brownie in it’s entirety before facing the world again.
I put the three children in the car and noticed my son carrying around a Pringles container.

I asked him what was in it. He didn’t want to show me and insisted on guarding it with his LIFE.
“Son, if you don’t tell me what’s in there, you can’t have a treat at the store.”
So he SHOWED me…
Of course I had to ask him to get rid of it, and when he refused I had to REASON with him. He finally agreed and got rid of the mouse by emptying it the exact same way someone would throw water in someone else’s face.
Luckily I wasn’t standing directly in front of him.
But you couldn’t tell by the way I screamed…

I jumped into the driver’s seat and quickly started the car.

It died.

Of course it died.
Cars always die. Working as a mechanic’s secretary has made QUITE the morbid out of me. If you need me, you’ll find me hunkered behind the desk with pale skin and black lipstick.
“Cars die to feel…”

I loaded everyone up in our old pick-up truck and drove them to the shop where I reported my battery issue and was handed an envelope. I opened it to find a GIFT CERTIFICATE for a massage.

You know that feeling when you turn over the Monopoly “CHANCE” card and it reads, “Get out of jail free”? Multiply that feeling by one hundred billion… and that’s how I felt.
Every fat, mean mother with a cranky baby deserves a massage!
(and you CAN quote me on that, but um… don’t.)

Today I am grateful.
Yes, I’m grateful I’m not enduring the awfulness of typhoon aftermath. But it’s okay that I’m even more grateful for Subway, Infant Tylenol, and a mechanic who makes house calls, gives massage gift certificates, and dishes out TLC in the form of chocolate milk to grandkids in need.
And did I mention he gave me a cookie? Gosh, I’m grateful for Dads.

Stay tuned and I’ll tell you about The Oak Ridge Boys concert he took me to. Danny heard them for the very first time and hasn’t stopped singing “Elvira” to me… only he uses my name.


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