Thursday, December 20, 2007

Know what I mean?

This past Sunday I had a very unwelcome guest, vertigo. It came all of a sudden, without much warning and turned me into a completely useless lump from around 2 p.m. until the next morning. I was in bed until 7.30, still feeling pretty bad, though better than in the afternoon. Hubby had a night class from 8 to 9.30 and really didn't want to miss it, so we decided that he would go. And if I needed him to come home, I would call him.

I tried not to call, I really did. Hubby left at 7.50, and the minute the door closed behind him, the vultures sensing my weakness (I mean my sweet darling children seeing that I do no object) started taking our home apart. I tried to stop them, but every time I got off the couch, I would get severely nauseous. I fought with them (I mean I tried to educate them about proper behavior as much as I could), but all in vain. I thought that if I only had to endure this for another half hour, I probably could do it. When I looked at the clock, it showed 8.05. Uh-oh, he was only gone 15 minutes, and I had hour and a half to go...

I resolved that I'd let the kids do their worst (I mean I would let kids be kids) and pretend that I didn't notice (I mean beam at them with approving smile). But I would not call. I would not succumb. I would prove to the world that I could do it. When they fought (I mean had differences of opinion), I didn't notice. When they sprinkled the floor with cereal and raisins (there's no PC substitute for that, is there?), I didn't notice. When I heard them taking out all the silverware, I didn't notice. When they took turns sitting in the utensil drawer and subsequently broke it, I didn't scream too loudly (I mean I beamed with pride). When they went to the bathroom and I heard water running, I realized that warranted getting off the couch. There they were, in the bathroom, with our silverware, some of my cooking utensils and the wooden dough-roller - all on the bathroom floor. And there he was, wet from head to his navel, my love and pride and only son, sticking the before-mentioned silverware into the radiator where it was completely irretrievable. My other love and pride and only daughter was cheering him on. Ughhhh! (I mean, oh my). I looked at the clock, and it was 8.35. There was no way I could tolerate this for another hour when I already suffered (I mean enjoyed my kids' antics) for about eternity and a half. I called hubby. He tried to persuade me to tough it out a bit longer, but after my short and poignant sob story he decided to come back and save our last teaspoon.

While waiting for him, I went back on the couch. The kids, one of them half-naked by now, started jumping on me in retaliation for closing the bathroom (I mean because they wanted to spend quality time with their mother). I repeatedly asked them to stop since vibrations made me even more nauseous. Eventually, I broke down and started sobbing, saying things like, "I cook for you, I clean your bottoms, I buy you clothes and toys. But when I am sick and need something from you..." "Why can't you have pity on your mother?" etc. I didn't really wail for a long time because just like kids who can cram 50 different mischiefs in 15 minutes, I can fit 20 different complaints in just under a minute. I am gifted, what can I say, and I practice religiously.

In the middle of my wailing, my daughter interrupted me rather unceremoniously, and said, "Calm down. Stop crying. I SAID CALM DOWN. What's the matter? I am here, why are you crying?" There was something shockingly familiar and even more shockingly unpleasant in her voice. It reminded me of, I don't know, a neighbor, a teacher, or hmmm myself? I sat in complete shock until hubby came home and sent me to bed.

The result is more or less like a MasterCard commercial. Making apartment habitable again - 1 hr, fixing broken kitchen drawer - 15 minutes, buying new set of silverware - indeterminable, learning to be more sympathetic when your kids cry over seemingly minute things - priceless.

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