I Need a Vacation

I found out on Thursday morning that my closest friend is moving. I’m beyond upset. Ani and her husband, Zip, have been our best friends for the last four years. They have two girls who are like my own children; Zip and my husband, Gil, play together in a band, and I really don’t know if I would have survived this stay-home mother gig if I hadn’t met Ani. More on all this later. I’m still trying to take it all in, but I wanted to put it out there. This news made me feel like someone punched me in the gut.

Here’s how the rest of Thursday went.

I picked up Piers and Wallace from school that afternoon and brought their friend, Sam, home with us. His mom had to go out of town for a family emergency, and she had to frantically come up with arrangements for Sam and her two older boys. I was happy to help her out, and I figured having an extra kid around was a helpful distraction. I didn’t have much space to obsess about my friends moving.

Sam’s dad, Will, sent me a text just after five to let me know he was on his way. The house was a disaster, the boys were starting to fight, and Sam had refused any food I offered other than cheese sticks. I think he was on his fourth when I informed him that his father was around the corner. Gil was also on his way to relieve me, and I was frantically throwing together a stand-by brownie recipe for my monthly book club. I had had a hell of a day and was ready to kick back with a glass of wine, good friends, and NO children.

I quickly rounded up Sam’s belongings so I could escort him out in a timely fashion. I gathered from his dad’s text that they were in a hurry, and I was happy to send them on their way. This would leave me just enough time to change clothes, put the brownies in a serving dish, and get to book club by 6:30. I put Sam’s backpack on the front porch and told the boys to hang out on the porch swing and wait for “Mr. Will.” It had rained all day and we all had a touch of cabin fever, so they happily cooperated. Once they were settled, I ran to the restroom. Seriously, I was gone maybe two minutes. When I got back to the porch, Will had arrived with Sam’s two brothers who had already taken off to the playroom. So much for getting Sam out the door quickly. Obviously, Will was NOT in a great hurry because he was now parked in a comfy rocker on my front porch. He didn’t seem to be in any rush to take his three wild boys home. I looked in and all five boys were playing happily, so while I was ready to get on with my evening, I decided to be hospitable. Gil would be home any minute and I could leave — no big deal.

This is when all Hell broke loose.

I joined Will on the porch. Will is a friend, and I had actually done some temp work for him a year or so ago. We were out there maybe five minutes, and one would think we could leave our children, his three (ages 8, 6, and 4) and my two (ages 5 and 4), alone in a playroom full of entertainment long enough to have a conversation that involved complete sentences. During this five minutes, Gil arrived, so the three of us continued to chat. It was a nice evening. I had arranged for Ani to pick me up so we could ride to our friend’s house together. I suppose I let my damn guard down for too long.

When I went inside to change for book club, it looked as if I had entered a war zone. Laundry was everywhere. Apparently, the boys thought it would be a nice idea to empty the laundry closet next to Piers’ and Wallace’s bedroom — naturally, it was jam-packed with clothes that needed to be washed. They had also mixed in all the clean clothes that needed to be folded and put away, and they were stomping all over everything.

I proceeded to LOSE MY SHIT.

While I was losing my shit and trying to separate clean clothes from dirty clothes AND lugging the dirty ones back to the laundry room, I found Wallace and Sam, the four year-olds, dumping a container of Comet into the dryer.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

Why no, this was no joke. I had just washed ALL the boys’ bed linens from the night before because Gil and I forgot to get them up to go to the bathroom at midnight, and they had wet the bed. The final load was in the dryer, now covered in Comet, along with several other items — modeling clay, toy water guns, two cookie sheets, several trash bags, who knows what else. Good lord in heaven!!!!!

I must have had smoke coming out of my ears because the older boys did exactly what I told them and were scrambling to put the dirty clothes back in the laundry closet. I left them with that mess while I tended to the dryer fiasco.

I salvaged as much of my sanity as possible and cleaned Wallace and Sam up — yeah, there was Comet in their hair. When I went back into the living room I found this……

William, the eight year-old, was wearing a magenta push-up bra and a black thong over his clothes, standing on the back of the couch channeling his inner-Beyonce, singing All the Single Ladies.

Yep, you read that correctly. During those five minutes that I was pretending to be a childless adult on my front porch, they had also emptied out my underwear drawer.

Here’s the kicker. Ani walked in right as I was pulling William down from the couch and reclaiming my underwear. She gave me that look as if to ask what the hell was going on. I thrust my bottle of wine and brownie tray into her hands and hissed through gritted teeth that I needed to leave immediately. I believe my exact words were, “I need to get the hell out of this house before I start throwing children off the back deck.” When we were finally in the car and on our way, I told her what I found when I walked into the house. She had that wide-eyed appalled look on her face, and then she informed me that when she walked up on the porch and asked Gil and Will where I was, Gil casually said, “Oh, she’s inside yelling at the kids. I’m sure she’ll be out in a minute.”

That’s my husband for you. He and Will sat calmly on the porch shooting the breeze, while I wrangled, not just my own children, but three additional ones. HELLO!! My boys are rambunctious as all get out, but these three take it to the next level. And if you HEARD me “yelling” in the other room, don’t you think it would make more sense to get your tale out of your easy chair and come help me? I mean, I’m imagining the same scenario happening at a friend’s house. If I heard another mom or dad reprimanding kids and mine were inside, I would at least walk inside to see what was going on.

Seriously!! Am I overreacting??

Of course, the downside, I suppose, is that if they had come in when they first heard me, I would have completely missed the Beyonce show.

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8 thoughts on “I Need a Vacation

  1. Okay, part of me is laughing, nodding my head, because I have had days exactly like this!!! (Okay, minus Beyonce.) But the part about Gil and Will shooting the breeze while you were left holding the bag with your own kids, plus kids who weren’t yours (and who shouldn’t have even been in your house in the first place) was too much. Yeah, you need a vacation (a mom-cation!) and your husband needs to babysit. Maybe he can invite Will’s kids over, too. Holy shnickies, girl!

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    • Honestly, this is what I’m slowly learning about myself. If I can just hold my tongue, walk away in the moment, and plan an adequate amount of chill time/kid-free time, a week later I can usually look back at these moments of chaos and laugh. Of course this is where I also beat myself up because some mothers appear to need no kid-free time. Why is this? Am I just a selfish ogre? Not cut out to be mother? I suppose I need to worry less about what others APPEAR to need and focus on and accept what I know that I DO need. I’m a better mother and partner to Gil when I have REGULAR time away from my husband and kids. It is what it is……

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