Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Crap Parent

Today I was the worst kind of crap parent.  That probably doesn't happen to you.  You are patient and kind and just do deep breaths through your frustration and exhaustion.  But that wasn't me, not today.  Today I was just full of crap-ness.

No, I didn't make time to meditate.  Yes, that probably had something to do with it.

The work day went okay; I had a guest speaker for class so at least I didn't have to prep.  But it was kind of non-stop anyway, and I wrote a book review yesterday and a film review today and I'm looking down the barrel of an article peer review and an 3,000-word encyclopedia entry that I'm not totally prepared to write, both due next Tuesday, and I leave for Boston Thursday morning.  I needed to text the babysitter to see if she could watch the girls so E. and I can go to a couples' therapy session next Tuesday and I needed to email the after-school program so they will watch the girls Monday so I can meet the deadline, and also I need to find out when final grades are due, because if it's next week I have some all-nighters coming my way (they're not.  Due next week.  Thank God).

I'm a little extra tired from crying all weekend (mega-drawn-out fight with E.) and then Nolie may have accidentally mildly dislocated my jaw by ramming her head into my chin, so occasionally a searing pain rips across my left ear and I have a relentless headache that won't go away.  Then I stayed up late last night to watch a wonderful but sad movie, the one I had to review by today.  Nothing wears me out like crying for three days straight.

So all of this is going through my mind as I leave work, and then there's an accident on the way to the kids' school, which makes me late, and maybe I was a little low-blood-sugary or something, but I was pretty out of it and cranky when I pulled up to get them.

But that's fine.  That happens.  Usually I deal with it.  Except next I almost killed us all and that made me really cranky.  We were out of the school parking lot and down the hill and at a busy intersection.  There was a red light.  DON'T PANIC, PEOPLE!  I stopped at the red light.  But then PANIC!  Because I started PROCEEDING INTO THE INTERSECTION before the light actually turned green.  Thank God cross-traffic was doing big wide swoopy left turns, because if they had been coming straight on I would have killed us all.  Then some piece of sand got stuck in my left contact, so I was partially blinded and backing up in traffic and I thought I was going to throw up from all the adrenaline and fear.  And I needed to blow my nose.

I proceeded to do what any sane parent would do, which is to scream at my kids who are doing all their squawky yelling in the backseat, because, you know, it's THEIR fault that I almost killed us all, and not my total-checked-out-ness.  They just laughed at me.

Which did not brighten my mood.

We got home and I made some dinner, i.e., popped a frozen pizza in, because it's soccer night and there's no use cooking up a recipe ain't nobody going to eat when you have to go to soccer in twenty minutes.  I got the encyclopedia entry 1/3 written in the car at soccer and also the presentation I'm giving to the national lab tomorrow finished and then we come home and E. leaves for racquetball.  High five on the way out the door, you're it.  Addie announces she needs peacock feathers and blue beads for a paper faux-wedding dress her class is making for her teacher, who is engaged.

I have no idea.

So I give her the big bin of beads to go through, and just as I'm saying "Don't spill the beads," she inexplicably flips the container upside down, the top flies off, and six thousand beads go flying all over the floor.  I scream and go lock myself in the bathroom.

I think I eventually emerged and put the children to bed.

I've been lying on the bedroom floor for the last half-hour with Milo.  The only thing that got me up was the thought of eating a kosher dill pickle.  So I did that.

I might have a second.

I hope I'm not such an asshole tomorrow.


  1. Jen,
    I believe you are a mighty saint. Forgive me if this blog gave be the chuckles. Thank Gawd for Milo!

  2. Oh boy, mama. Here's for a glass of wine and mercies that are new each morning :) We all have crap days, even if we're not brave enough to write about them ;)

  3. Oh, honey. This is the grown up mama version of "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day." Breathe. Take care of yourself. Publication deadlines be damned. (Though I'd wager my dog Milo that you'll make them.)

    I laughed, too, which speaks to your talent as a writer. Glad that your traffic dysplasia did not result in injury. In terms of crappy parenting guilt, I'd say that the fact your GIRLS laughed at that moment is a sign that they are strong and resilient, and that you are doing just fine.

    Love and all things sloaty.