Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Naughty List

Poetroad was out of town for five days, and being a single parent of four those few short days did not wear well on my nerves. I sincerely don’t know how you single parents survive; you are my heroes. Oh, things started out well, but life slowly descended into a mime-loving, decapitating, hellish existence with the final hours definitely being the worst.

Pick-up time for Poetroad’s flight was approximately 9:00 PM. My plan was to glide through the evening – perhaps get a few things done while the older two were at Girl Scouts, get all the children into their pajamas, and then at 8 o’clock jet on over to the airport that is a good hour drive from here.

The unraveling really began around 5:30 PM when I couldn’t get everyone to eat at suppertime. If I were wise, I would have packed a snack so that the four-year-old who did not eat could snack on something while we sat through the Girl Scouts parent meeting. I was not that wise.

So at the meeting, JG could not be happy. The whine was relentless, and my usual powers to comfort and distract an unhappy child were crippled due to the proximity to kryptonite (aka the extreme embarrassment of being the parent of the obnoxious, disruptive child in the room). My admonitions for her to “Shush” weren’t enough to scare her into silence (does that ever work?), so I did the only thing I knew how to do – exit the room in full shame.

The descent was gaining momentum. In mid-dash to our car during a torrential downpour, JG stopped in here tracks and wouldn’t move. I kept going. But there she stood with hands in the air holding what was left of a torn, rain-soaked, sagging cookie order form while screaming as loudly as her little vocal chords could manage.

After I quickly buckled one child into a car seat, I ran back to fetch the drenched JG – seriously, she looked as if I had dumped a bucket of water on her. She looked much like a cat after it fell into a bathtub.

Things got worse from there. I won’t go into all the details, but eventually I found myself screaming, “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!” from the other room. Being that is the “s” word in our house, I had clearly crossed the line. It wasn’t pretty for all who were involved.

Then from out of the stunned silence in the other room, I heard a meek yet resigned voice say, “Mom, Santa won’t be giving you any presents because you are on the naughty list now.”

That was fine because I was quite frankly in no mood to be on the good list.

Eventually, after I gathered my wits, got some food into her system, and calmed down, I apologized for yelling and for using the “s” word (“shut-up”). JG acknowledged my apology with, “Good, mom! Now you can be on the good list again! Now Santa can bring you presents.”

Later that evening, we were able to successfully pick up Poetroad with out too much drama (my biggest worry was being able to avoid the local flooding and navigate through the downpours).

And I spent the rest of the night – which continued until 1:00 AM - getting back onto the naughty list. It was very nice indeed. Good times.

1 comment:

Maria said...

I've heard more than once that I could use some help getting on that naughty list of yours...and I don't mean Santa's list... Feel free to pass any tips along :-)