Present State of Mind

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Written to the sound of my dove calling, a cool breeze coming through the window, and Todd on the phone doing damage control on his software program.

They drove me to drink. We have a community yard sale coming up this weekend and I decided to spend yesterday organizing my crap for that, rather than wait until the night before like I always seem to. I dug in to our “office,” where I had been hiding all this stuff during the party. I’m quite proud of myself for getting this done in light of my present apathy. And, during what sounded like an airstrike coming from above in the form of my two kids already pissing each other off less than a week since school ended.

The screeching sound of Veruca’s voice, coupled with the slamming of doors and dog’s nails running across the floors above me, sent my blood pressure aloft. I took a deep breath and ignored it. Tried to ignore it. Her voice, relentless as diabetes always is, reached a fevered pitch whereby I was sure she was in some imminent danger. I stalked upstairs and there they were, in the hall, Opac wielding a hand towel, and she – standing in her doorway – red-faced and angry as a rattlesnake.

What IS it with siblings? I just don’t get it. They regularly needle each other until one is certifiably homicidal, and in summer they like to take it to the next level. I was an only child, with the exception of a stepsister during my youngest years – and we did totally “hate” on each other, though it was never violent. I have a stepbrother who is 11 years my junior, who attempted to terrorize my 20-something self with practical jokes like removing all the screws from my bed frame and stealing my remote control, and at age 23 I got a baby brother. I was never really in a position to fight with the two of them – given my adult status. Nor did I care to. Occasionally I’d like to slap my little brother, but for reasons I don’t care to elaborate on today.

Meanwhile, back in the Cuckoo’s Nest, Veruca – as expected – was climbing up my ass and, apparently, looking for a time-out. Her constant interrogations left me feeling stabby and by 6:30 last night I snapped for the second time after I told her I was not going to discuss it anymore (it was a specific topic I answered once – about 8 hours before). It is times like this she is 100% her father and I just want to scream.

Opac had football practice last night, simultaneously with a cheer meeting for the junior league Veruca is in, and I spent two hours of my evening in a car with a daughter on crack – she didn’t stop talking for HOURS. It doesn’t seem so bad until she initiates every single God-forsakened sentence with “mom” or “I have a question.” And she requires acknowledgment that you heard her. I finally got home by 8 and decided that it was five o’clock, everywhere.

So, on this 4th day of summer vacation:

Football practice has begun with a bang – Opac reported nearly half the participants threw up during runs on the soccer field. He was “able to keep it together.”

Both kids’ bedrooms were thoroughly cleaned yesterday after mom’s meltdown. (Surprisingly, they took the threat of going nowhere that day seriously.)

I’ve coughed up $55 so far for cheer stuff and there’s more to come, but I got a $10 refund from the football coaches for a cancelled 7-on-7 at the YMCA.

I’ve been living on party leftovers – jerk chicken, potato salad, deviled eggs, fresh mozzarella, hummus, and poached salmon. There’s still more left – so much so that I’m taking a detour today on my way to work to drop off some to my girlfriend.

I completely forgot Opac’s physical yesterday at the doctor’s.

Veruca has been watching The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I sat down with her to watch last night and was surprised to see Molly Ringwald, Bo Duke (!!!!), and Shailene Woodley. There’s an awful lot of conversation about sex on this show. Too much, if you ask me. But – she and I have an ongoing open conversation about this subject, so questions get answered on the regular. Recently, I corrected her pronunciation of testicles (it was hilarious), whereby she repeatedly asked me to stop saying the word with even more hilarious results. The whole thing left me punch drunk and I couldn’t help repeating testicles several times, once to Todd, which left her mortified.

Go ahead, say testicles out loud. Try it. I dare you not to laugh.


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