Yesterday was not a good day.
It started off fine, even better than usual. It was the second-to-last day of school and I was certain H was not going to be down with going while L stayed home with me. But to my surprise there were no issues at drop off and they even played together through the fence at recess. And by “played together” I mean Harmony commanded Leila to throw things over the fence and Leila complied.
The problem came after school. And it was big. It was plastic and it was pink. I know what you’re thinking (filthy) and no, that wasn’t it. Those are made with high-density polyethylene. I checked.
It was these:
SOMEONE who has only been living here for 24 hours and should OBVIOUSLY know the rules had the gall to wear someone else’s flip flops to school pick up.
Now I know it was more than just Leila wearing her shoes. I get it. It was about all the changes happening in her life including the end of school. Harmony did so well on “gotcha day” that I should have seen this coming.
And I really do understand. It’s hard for her to see mommy and daddy pulling someone else in the wagon, hearing mommy and daddy call someone else “sweetheart”, and watching them hold someone else’s hand. The book “Siblings Without Rivalry” includes a brilliant analogy. Having a second child, they say, is like one day your husband coming home and saying “Honey, I love you so much I’ve decided to get another wife.” And when this “wife” arrives, you see that she’s young and cute and everyone makes a fuss over her. You suffer the indignity of having to watch them play and cuddle and be sweet to one another, and he even has the nerve to ask you to look after her for a couple of minutes while he’s on the phone. She also gets all your old clothes (because you’ve put on weight) and gets to use all your makeup and your (GASP!) appliances. She can do no wrong.
Sounds shitty, right?
So I get it. The flip flops were the last straw. So it started there and moved on to Harmony not sharing the front seat of the wagon or the water bottle we’d brought along on an ill-fated and desperate “who wants ice cream?” attempt to distract and restore the peace.
Everything culminated in an epic meltdown helpfully located directly outside the grocery store. Screaming, crying, promises to move out and “take Daddy and all the pets and the money” (HA! Good luck kid). I know the last thing you’re supposed say here is “let me help you pack” but at this moment it was tempting.
Harmony screamed obscenities at me all the way home. Fortunately they were kid obscenities such as “you’re stupid, you’re mean, I want a new mommy” and “I hope someone hits you in the face.” This last one is new and I had to award silent points for originality.
Poor Leila, she was looking at me like she’d been dropped into an alternate universe where everyone speaks Finnish.
It took over an hour for things to calm down at home and then, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to make something fun for dinner. Forgetting that kids are extremely literal and cut you NO slack, I asked “who wants octopus pizza??”
Naturally they were horrified and after a few more tears I explained, glass in hand (time stamp: 4:48 pm), that this was pizza SHAPED like an octopus, not pizza WITH octopus. (Though if I had any octopus on hand those little buggers would have eaten every last bit of mommy’s delicious “chicken” just for being cretins).
In retrospect, octopus pizza not the best idea. After a tough afternoon, mommy stressed and fast approaching her wit’s end, combining two of the things I am least adept at, cooking and creativity, was a literally a recipe for disaster.
But when this arrived out of the oven looking like the creature from the black lagoon they were shockingly cheerful and ate it with minimal complaint. Even the side of beans. Because hey, I just managed to make green beans look delicious.
Now it’s 5:30 pm, hours to go before bedtime and my fallback distraction, the pool, is not an option because it’s monsooning outside. Normally, in times of crisis such as this, I would call on my old friend and favourite parenting equation: cough syrup + warm bath = early bedtime. But I really wanted the day to end on a good note and, if possible, without chemical assistance.
Cue Shrek. It is impossible to be in a bad mood watching Shrek. Even when Thing 1 accidentally kicked Thing 2 in the head after an aborted couch head stand and there were tears and (invisible) red marks on Thing 2’s face, we survived until Daddy got home and mercifully took over.
And today is another day.