Craziest of the Crazy

Life with kids is never without its unexpected moments — for good and for ill. Today’s Year in Review Post (according to this site) is supposed to be the best moment of peace.

So I searched for the word “peace” on my blog. And got a bunch of posts about death. We lost a good friend; we thought we were losing Nanny; and there are always reflections on Gabriel.

Instead, for today I decided to completely go in the other direction, and repost one of the craziest evenings we had at home.

This is Why I Drink*

[The events of yesterday, after work]:

I am really looking forward to getting home and hanging out with my girls. Since it isn’t a bath night (I bathe them every other day), I am thinking some arts & crafts or play-doh are in order.

The girls run immediately next door when they get out of my car. There’s no car in the driveway, so they know Bella is not home, but they can still get a treat off Nanny and give kisses to Tadone.

The drama starts when Nanny only has one mint. And Kate gets it. Flora is heartbroken, devastated even.

We soothe the pain with a gift of peanut butter crackers. Then, we head home to change Kate’s poopy diaper and have dinner.

Flora proceeds to eat all the peanut butter out of the crackers, throwing the orange crackers into the sink. I steam green beans and get out some leftovers for dinner. Flora decides on lentil soup, easy peasy dinner pie (that she had helped to make Monday), and green beans.

Kate does not want dinner. She doesn’t even want a cheese stick (what we call string cheese in my house), which is nearly unheard of. That must have been one filling mint she got from Nanny.

Flora has an interesting way of eating green beans. She splits them down the middle, takes out all the seeds, and eats everything separately. She always exclaims over the size of the beans. “Oh, that’s a big one!” “Oh, mommy, look at the bitty baby bean!”

As Flora is rhapsodizing over her green beans, Kate is deciding that she wants gum. I tell her she can’t have gum until she eats dinner. Kate informs me that she doesn’t want dinner. She then goes over to the B.S. drawer (every house has a least one) in the kitchen for the gum.

I remove all the gum, and put it out of her reach.

Kate melts down. And hits me.

Two-minute time out for Kate. In her room.

Flora tells me how happy she is I put Kate in their room. “I don’t want to hear any crying,” she says.

Um, yeah.

Two minutes up, I get a calmer Kate from her room. She has pooped again.

There is a knock on my door.

As our unexpected visitor is leaving, about 10 minutes later, she accidently shuts Flora’s pinky finger in the front door. Flora screams like she’s being attacked by a hive of yellow jackets. Our visitor is apologetic; Flora is apoplectic; Kate starts wailing in sympathy with her big sister.

At this point in the evening, no one has finished her dinner (myself included); Kate is on her second poopy diaper and has had a mint and a juice box; and now I am wondering if I am going to have to take Flora to the ER for an X-ray.

After 10 minutes of ice, Flora doesn’t want to bend her finger. After I mention the ER and call our pediatrician, she decides she can bend it just fine after all. “It still hurts,” she whimpers. “Does it hurt a little or a lot?” I ask gently holding the swollen digit. “A little,” she decides. “Can I have a band-aid?” She’s not bleeding, but whatever.

To add to the fun, my house (particularly my kitchen and my bathroom) have been overrun by fruit flies. They are freakin’ everywhere, and I do not know where they came from or how to get rid of them. I know my house will not pass a white glove inspection, but we’re not slovenly.

I have repeatedly wiped down floors and counters. All my food is in the refrigerator — even the garlic. I have banished the garbage cans to outside of the backdoor, which isn’t exactly convenient. I have sprayed with Lysol, and poured bleach down the drains. And still they swarm. They are making me insane. Not exaggerating.

Plus, they strike dread into Kate’s heart like nothing I could ever do or say.

No one gets to play with play-doh. No arts and crafts are done. After icing and bandaging Flora’s finger, and getting Kate to consume most of a banana, I spend the rest of the evening trying to kill the fruit flies in the kitchen. Kate poops one more time for good measure, right at bed time, and doesn’t want her sore bum touched. After bedtime, I fold some laundry, watch a Mad Men episode, put some clothes aside for our trip out of town this weekend.

I am exhausted at 9:30 p.m. Is it any wonder?

*Hyperbole alert.