Archive | December, 2009

The Christmas Spirit

11 Dec

Whine: Has noone yet figured out how to clone mothers during the Christmas season? I’m not sure how anyone expects us to cram a week’s worth of cleaning/cooking/errands/parenting into each and every day this month. Really, it’s inhumane.

Cheese: I’ve been heavy on the cooking part of my list: double chocolate M&M cookies, caramel corn, chex mix, pesto and sun dried tomato cream cheese, and not so much on the other parts. Unfortunately you can tell this by looking at a) my hips or b) my kitchen floor, neither of which are faring so well this holiday season.

I spent most of my waking hours on Wednesday trapped in my local house of horrors (i.e., WalMart). It started innocently enough with a grocery run. Since I had somehow managed to run out of every necessity simultaneously, plus a few random items like cornstarch and sea salt, I knew it wouldn’t be a quick trip. Then I remembered that I still hadn’t purchased the gifts for my “angels“, which should have been delivered several days ago, so I added a few gifts to my list. Then I tallied up all the supplies I would need for my holiday baking extravaganza, remembered a few Christmas gifts I could grab there and I realized my list had grown from overwhelming to completely unmanageable.

By the time we checked out two hours (and lots of $$$s) later, Lil’ Sis and I had truly found the Christmas Spirit. If by Christmas Spirit you mean me stumbling through the check out, incoherent and dehydrated, and her whining, screeching like an angry little llama and eating the hot dog buns through the bag. Obviously I’m a terrible mother and never feed her.

Then we bundled up and braced ourselves for the trek to the car. (Seriously, down here we act like a day that’s 45 degrees is the dawn of the next ice age.) The wind was doing it’s thing, chapping our cheeks and smearing certain people’s runny noses all over, when I realized I hadn’t zipped my purse. And my receipt, filled with Christmas purchases (which are all the wrong size, I’m sure, and will need to be returned) grabbed a seat on the Windy Express and went flying upward. For a minute it flew so high, I thought it might land on the roof. Instead it caught a jetstream and went flying through six rows of the parking lot. Here I am, a lady with an awkwardly prodtruding belly pushing an angry toddler in a cart that needs a WIDE LOAD sign and flashing light, dejectedly watching it fly away. Crap.

And then something remarkable happened. Some nice man (were those angel wings peeking out from under his jacket?) took of running after that runaway receipt. Sprinting. Jumping. Through six rows of parked cars. And finally, from behind an old Chevy truck I saw him emerge, arms raised in victory. My hero. I didn’t have adequate words to thank him, so I did my best to sputter out my gratitude, then said a little prayer that there would be an extra little Christmas blessing for his family this year.

Crabby Cat and I got a nice lunch (which she didn’t eat, guess that plastic bag/hot dog bun filled her up) then headed to fetch Big Sis from school. Of course, Lil’ Sis took the four minutes it took to get to preschool to fall into a coma-like sleep in the back. Which meant that I would have to rouse her and drag her inside to get Big Sis. Which also meant that she probably would consider those four minutes to be her “afternoon nap.”  I pulled into a parking spot and prepared myself for some serious crabbiness.  Then, out of nowhere, the Mommy parked in the next space (were those angel wings on the hatch of her SUV?) rolled down her window and offered to stay with Lil’ Sis outside while I ran in. Obviously, she’s woken a sleeping toddler before.

I got my sweetie from her class, where her teacher reported that she had had a great day, but that she had played the role of  class plumber all day due to the droopiness of her adorable (and apparently ill-fitting) Gap jeans. I somehow made it home and got both babies into their beds, knowing they would have to wake up prematurely so we could make it to the last-minute dr. appt I had managed to get for Lil’ Sis and her chronic smoker’s cough. Then Kiki, one of our superhero grandmas, called and insisted that she come get Big Sis so I didn’t have to drag her unnecessarily to The Land of Inevitable Infection (i.e., local pediatrician’s office).

It was a good thing, too, since we waited there a really. long. time. We closed down the office. I felt bad because as soon as that receptionist finished checking us out, she grabbed her purse, turned off the lights and made a beeline for the door. But our friendly doctor is always worth the wait. He diagnosed- -double ear infection; prescribed – -antibiotics, ear numbing gel and Nicorette (for the Lil’ smoker);  and chatted- -about internet hysteria and the H1N1 vaccine.  

Again, the Christmas Spirit swelled up inside of me. If, by Christmas Spirit, you mean a constant worry about saving any amount of money by any means necessary. And by any means necessary, I mean a trip back to the local house of horrors along with the rest of SW Fort Worth at 7pm with a sick baby. Because their pharmacy is cheap. So we staggered around inside for another hour waiting for the magical pink medicine and went on a quest through each aisle (twice) for sun-dried tomatoes, which we never found.

As we went through the check-out, someone started falling apart. Lil’ Sis was pretty upset, too.

I guess the late-nighter I’d pulled the night before (I have no self-control when it comes to chatting with friends) and the fact that we weren’t going to get to get into the Christmas Spirit and make magical memories and get our Christmas tree that night, compounded by the fact that I hadn’t eaten any dinner, all brought me to a point teetering on teary exhaustion. And just as Lil’ Sis and her angry scowls and cries were about to push me right over the edge, she stopped fussing. I looked up from the small print on the credit card machine to see four frat boys (were those angel wings poking out from under their loud Christmas t-shirts?), waving their hands and dancing around for her personal amusement. And then she smiled.

I guess you really can find the Christmas Spirit at WalMart. If, by Christmas Spirit, you mean people imitating the originator of the Christmas Spirit and showing spontaneous and sacrificial love and generosity to someone pitiful and generally undeserving. 

Merry Christmas season, friends, I hope you find some Christmas Spirit this month, even if you have to brave WalMart to do it.

P.S. This just happened. While I was blogging in the other room.  Apparently it was a group project. I especially like that Lil’ Sis’ unzipped jammies make her look like a late-70s Elvis in his jumpsuit.  See what I go through for you guys??

There are no words for this. . .

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Crabby Cat

3 Dec

Whine: If you purchase your apple juice by the gallon, be advised that the ‘rule of halves’ will be at play when it spills itself all over your kitchen floor. I’d stick with juice boxes if I were you, three ounces cleans up a lot faster.

Cheese: I just heated some tea using the “beverage” sensor on my microwave. And not because it’s the only button working. My new microwave has LOTS of buttons that work. I’m so excited, I’d even reheat your leftovers.

I met someone new last week. She made her appearance around hour six of our ten-hour trip home from Kansas City. Big Sis, worn out from landing on “Pukey Fever” on our family’s game of Wheel of Misfortune: Virus Edition was conked out in her car seat. Lil’ Sis, however, figured out that by puking twenty minutes into the trip on the way to KC,  Mommy and Daddy would henceforth respond to her every whine and groan, with offers of juice and pacifiers and goldfish and endless renditions of Wheels on the Bus for the remainder of the trip. And in record time. So she commenced whining and groaning. A lot.

Then, she started babble-yelling something new. It took us a few minutes to translate. And then we cracked the code. She was yelling, “Crabby, crabby, crabby, crabby!” Which, if we had been irritated by her constant whining and complaining (but we are loving, long-suffering parents so of course we were not) but if we had  been irritated, would have wiped away every last shred of annoyance.

And then she said, “Crabby cat. MEOW!!!”

And that meow, that snottiest, most irritated meow, full of crankiness and a flair for the dramatic, pretty much said it all.

Sometimes (very rarely, but sometimes) I am a crabby cat. Like when I can’t figure out what to have for lunch because my microwave is broken and I hate sandwiches and my soup pan is dirty. Or when my shoes stick to my kitchen floor because it has been expertly cleaned with apple juice. Or when I’m just about to fall asleep after an exhausting day and I can hear someone in the other room who apparently is not just about to fall asleep and is instead in the crib she outgrew two years ago, waking up her sister.

But I’d like to think that by the time those crabby cat moments end up on this little blog, most of the actual griping and unpleasantness has given way to good humor and amused nonchalance.

On the other hand, I’d hate to come here and post my crabby cat moments, complete with funny anecdotes and rim shots, and leave you with the impression that I am actually that laid back. I’m not. Most of the moments you read about here (especially the ones that involve someone throwing up) are initially met with panic, disgust, rage and irrational crying.  Fortunately for me (and you, too) this blog is not written in real time, so there’s lots of time to get some perspective on the situation. And by perspective I mean a new microwave, a Swiffer Wet Jet and a nap.

Is this Lil' Sis? Or her alter ego Crabby Cat?