I am officially back, both in the real world and here in This Is How I Do It-world. Great trip. Fun times. Incredible experiences that gave me a little of the travel bug. But for now there will be no more exciting travel-around-the-globe stories that are posted two weeks out because I didn’t have internet (gasp!) when they occurred. I am back to real-time, this-crazy-shit-happened-yesterday posts.
It is very easy for me to leave behind my roles as Mrs. Sheepdog/ Five Baby Mama any time I go on a trip like I just did. Right up until the moment I walk out the door, I am making schedules and washing laundry and planning meals and rides and doctor’s appointments. But the second I pull out of my driveway, I let go. I figure that I have done my best at preparing for coverage in my absence, and at that point I no longer have control over what happens. I just let it all go and really enjoy every second of being away.
It’s the reentry that is usually so much harder.
The other day Sheepdog and I were in the kitchen discussing the kids (ours) and the state of the union (also ours).
Sheepdog confessed, “I don’t like where we are right now.”
Ugh. You’re killing me, husband.
Sheepdog and I are fine. We really and truly are. Even he admitted it later. I promise that I’m not ignoring any problems or issues so that Sheepdog is going to turn to a sympathetic boob-job at his office for comfort. It is simply that he is not getting enough of my time right now. It’s also likely that I’m not giving him enough of my vagina right now (I am hormonal and tired, people; I’m not a sex machine), but mostly he just wants my undivided attention.
But these pesky kids are demanding my attention even more loudly.
How in the world did two weeks away lead to so much craziness?
I won’t bore you with the details, but every single one of our kids has something happening in their lives right this moment that requires my immediate attention. Nobody is sick or in a major crisis or anything, but there are things happening that I need to deal with, or they could get out of control. It’s pre-crisis management time.
And I’m doing my job as best I can. But it is definitely stressing me out. And making me a little snippy.
To make things worse, my home phone rings about six times a day. Every single call begins with a pause… and then comes the “exciting news” about a painter/ home improvement/ security company that will be in my neighborhood and would like to tell me all about what they can do to make my life better. I’ve started to ask them point-blank if they can cure teenage depression, or stop a 3rd grader from calling my kid a “fucker” during playground kickball, or cure cancer… easy stuff like that. Usually they hang up on me.
One day last week I was wound way up in the throes of crazy. It was after school and I was emailing a teacher, making dinner, supervising homework, and trying to get somebody dressed and ready for baseball. We had to be out the door in less than ten minutes and I had at least thirty minutes left of shit to do.
Kid A came home from 121 Reach (high schoolers tutoring middle schoolers) to pick up Kid C because both of them have ballet at the same time. Even though I told her to be ready by 5PM, she wasn’t. I was standing half in the kitchen/ half in the garage yelling at her for being inconsiderate, holding a spoon covered in red sauce (I was making lasagna). Kid A had gone back to her car in a teenage huff because she was definitely going to be late now. Another sales call came through on the house phone. The boys were running around the yard throwing a football, but nobody had their shoes on or put their gear in the car, like I asked them to do. Kid B was moping around the house in the middle of it all.
Next thing I know, an inconspicuous white minivan pulls up to my driveway. I don’t recognize the car or the driver. I automatically presume that it is a cleaning service or a painter about to put rocks or tape on my newly painted mailbox and I scream at her from the garage, “DO NOT PUT ANYTHING IN THAT MAILBOX!” in an admittedly scary, I-am-so-about-to-lose-it-on-you tone.
The woman looks at me quizzically. Then she says innocently and apologetically, “I was just dropping off an invitation for my daughter’s birthday…”
Well, didn’t I feel like a complete and absolute jackass?
I dismissed the tardy Kid C to Kid A’s car, shook my head and took a very deep breath. I apologized as best I could to the innocent bystander. “I’m sure you’re going to totally want to have my kid come to your party now!” She laughed nervously, said, “No worries” and waved goodbye.
Turns out, I agree with Sheepdog. “I don’t like where we are right now.”
Wish me luck for tomorrow…