Did you eve feel like you were outside yourself? Like you were going through the motions, but not totally there? I was having a day like that Monday. I didn’t sleep well Sunday night, both boys were up at various times through the night, my husband was traveling early Monday morning, and I feel like I’m starting with a cold. Plus it’s been rainy, windy, overcast and generally depressing outside for the majority of the last week. Additionally, I think the busy weekend, the second half of which I spent cleaning, is catching up to me. When I say I was cleaning, I mean I was on a cleaning rampage again after Joey puked in the powder room Sunday evening, didn’t tell anyone, cleaned it up himself using toilet paper, tissues and my hand towel which is now in the trash. Approximately two hours after we think it happened, I went into the bathroom to replace the toilet seat cover that I had just washed and dried (it had mystery poop on it), and I stepped barefoot in a pile of regurgitated hotdog. Once Joey fessed up and I saw the full extent of the damage, I just let myself go- Cue frantic cleaning of bathroom, rugs, carpet, common surfaces, and children.
Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I trudged through my Monday, praying for sunlight or at least for bedtime to hurry up and get here. To make matters worse, Joey was in an awful mood because I kept him home from school. He had only gotten sick the one time, and I think it may have been from coughing,but he was really pissed he wasn’t at Kindergarten. Jake’s mood began to decline rapidly through the afternoon as he complained of something in the back of his mouth hurting; he seems to be catching a cold. Cecilia, who was already Missy-Pissy from getting a row of teeth, is now presumably developing whatever funk(s) her brothers have caught.My husband, who normally works from home, got out of this infirmary just in the nick of time.
Monday evening I waited for a break in the rain to take the trash out to the curb, and finally just said forget it. With the rain pouring steadily down, and a rip in my trash bag from my shitty JcPenny’s trashcan, raw chicken juice and other undesirables dripping onto the floor, I ran outside quickly and without closing the door. Before I was off the deck I knew the open door would result in a ton of water, so I called out to Jake to close it, and I ran down the steps of the deck into the sopping wet grass. After pulling the can out to the front curb and soaking my pink plaid pj pants from the ankles down, I skipped a few steps on the way back up to the back door. My hand pulled hard on the door, and I slipped backwards for a moment, almost losing my balance. I reached for the door to try again and still it did not move. Jake did listen to my request and closed the backdoor, but he had also locked the sliding glass door and disappeared somewhere else in the house.
As I knocked on the back door, calmly at first, I hoped Jake was simply raiding the pantry and eating cookies while I stood out in the rain. There was no movement from the kitchen and even though I knew the front door was locked, I moved around the front and began to ring the bell. I began peering in the family room window and caught my 15 month old daughter’s attention and she began playing peek-a-boo as I stood in the cold feeling my cheeks begin to burn from the persistent whipping winds. It was also at this point that I began to knock on the door with a bit more purpose as I realized I was outside wearing an old white hoodie, plaid pink pj pants, multicolored striped socks and black dress shoes.
I knew where the boys were and why they were not responding to my furry of knocks. They were down in the finished basement playing games or watching a movie. It was at this point I knew I had to get their attention down there, so I proceeded around the side of the house and opened the lid to the egress window. As I made my decent I slipped on the slick plastic ladder and fell into the bottom of the window well and the lid crashed loudly behind me. I heard the boys start screaming bloody murder as my ass and legs crunched into the pea gravel bottom.
“Boys! Boys! It’s ME! Go open the door! Jake locked me out!” I screamed. As they rounded the corner and ascended the stairs, I considered for a moment (or two) just giving up. Even for a Monday being locked out, soaking wet, and covered in gravel was a bit much. However, the thought of what Cecilia might be climbing, or what Joey and Jake might decide to “cook” in my absence gave me the extra courage to rise to my feet, climb the slippery ladder and finish out the day. It’s times like this where the act of rising to my feet, soaking wet and dirty, climbing that precariously slimy ladder only to emerge right back into the shit storm I just left, felt like a metaphor for my life.
I was happy to see the front door open as I made my way around through the yard. I smiled as Jake greeted me with a kitchen hand towel to dry me off, and told me “Don’t worry Mom, Joey’s making you a cup of coffee…”
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