It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and everyone in my house was cranky. No one could seem to articulate precisely what their particular problem was, and I found it wildly annoying. I was facing down a snarky seventeen year old, a sassy ten-year old and a grumbly forty-eight year old. What the hell?
I convinced myself that it was a reflection of the events of the day before during which, among other things, I was nearly reduced to tears after having been alone with the kids for several hours. (Yes, one would think that this sort of outing would, given the age of my children, be a non-issue, but, alas, it is not) This one irritated that one, they each, at different moments, resorted to physical violence (if slugging your sibling can be deemed violent) and both managed to push me to the point that I dropped them at the house, neither one in possession of keys, and drove off. Shut up, you would have, too.
Everyone wanted a piece of me, but no one went about it in a particularly pleasant (or positive) way. As a result, I arrived at the conclusion that I am surrounded by attention whores. (Not necessarily a bad thing, but an irritating thing when you are the one who is supposed to be showering said attention on said whores.) It would be unfair to not acknowledge that, thankfully, they reserve their most troubling antics for behind closed doors so as to spare me the public humiliation. Seriously, I appreciate that. Given the events of the past several months, however, I admit to finding myself a little more interested in being paid attention to than to being the one doling out the lovin’. As it turns out, I am alone in that thinking.
Jessie, who will do just about anything to perfect her girl power, has taken on the sassy, bitchy mannerisms of the most seasoned tween girl. She has a killer eye roll and has embraced her growing knowledge of four letter words. It is utterly charming. It was just such chatter played a large role in her finding herself outside the house with no means of gaining entry. (One will note that Rich was on the other side of the door, yet did nothing to secure their ability to get in. I am guessing it was the highlight of his day.) One of our exchanges went so far (so low?) that I literally found myself arguing with her over a particular pair of ‘sparkly shoes” and considered my stick-to-itiveness in not allowing her to wear them to be a straight up victory. True.
Harrison, on the other hand, has gotten so little attention for so long that he is, not surprisingly, making up for lost time. I am deeply grateful that he is not opting for the old teenage standby of drinking or drugging, rather he is just ornery. I cannot say I blame him. It has been a long stretch of “The George/Jessie Show” and, now that things are supposed to be settling in, he is ready to change the channel. The problem is, the remote control seems to have dead batteries. (I am the remote control. It is my batteries that are dead.) My mindset is still on the “what nexts”, “what ifs” and “what the fucks” making it hard to be attentive and easy to be spent. I am sure it will come up in therapy for him when he is struggling to raise his own children and recalls having been ignored by his mother who was so overwrought from trying to raise him and his sister (who started off as his brother) that she never managed to replace her batteries. Well, I can only defend myself by saying that we all need something to talk about in therapy…right?
As for Rich, it turns out his grumblies were not just those of the normal middle-aged man trying like hell to support his family. Nope. He, too, doesn’t get enough attention so what better way to obtain it than to require not just an emergency room visit, but an admission to boot. Let’s throw in some crazy high blood pressure and a few high potency antibiotics and I think we have a winner. A dubious way in which to (temporarily) gain the title, but I am sure he will take whatever he can get. (While lying in the “B” side of his hospital room – woohoo…the ”A” side remained unoccupied for the duration of his stay which, in our book counts as a victory – he insisted on asking everyone when he would be able to go home. I admit that (maybe more than once) I inquired as why he would want to. Yep, everyone was that cranky.)
So here we are, just over twenty-four hours later and Jessie is quietly drawing in her room (“it calms me”, she claims), Harrison is unwinding with “MythBusters” and Rich is happily off to sleep in his own bed, free of IVs and likely dreaming of a pain-free remainder of his life.
I, on the other hand, am wondering how it is that I am still functioning given the lack of sleep and abundance of attitude I have endured in the past day, all while wondering when I get to steal the attention spotlight again. This time, however, I hope to do it without involving pain, hospitals or recuperations. Suggestions (particularly if you are prepared to bankroll them) are appreciated.