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Friday, July 28, 2006

Where I’ve Been Take Two

After making deadline, and finishing off my week at The Second City, I came home to a house in disarray. I found out that my husband planned a barbeque. With the house a wreck and no food, I have no idea how he intended to pull it off. I guess he assumed I’d be the sucker to take care of his party I knew nothing about. He was right, to an extent. I headed to the grocery store and told him the house better be spotless when I get back. He must have worked our kids like mules while I was at the store because the pig sty was now mostly presentable.

I had no idea these kids and that old man of mine wouldn’t be able to find the laundry room without me here. All house rules were thrown out too. There were dirty dishes in my kids’ bedrooms. So much for not eating outside of the kitchen, which has been a rule since their births.

The barbeque turned out okay and then the house was a wreck again. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a neat freak at all. But I hate clutter and our house was filled with it. Plus, I cleaned the house before I left, and silly me, I thought upkeep would be done while I was away.

The girls went back to Alabama but my nephew came back for an extended stay. (I posted about him a little below.) My husband and kids were leaving for a vacation in California. I couldn’t go because Dino-Mike was staying with me and I was unable to contact his dad to get permission to take him. (Which I think I blogged about below too.)

I have a lot of really not nice things to say about Dino-Mike’s dad, but I’ll just keep all that inside until I explode.

While it was just Dino-Mike and I, it was pretty quiet around here, except for all of the little neighbor kids he brought into the house. He makes friends so quickly, which is a really good thing, since he likely would have been bored and drove me even more insane otherwise.

We decided to spend a couple of days at my mom’s because that was way more fun than having a houseful of 6-year-olds, plus she really wanted to spend time with him before he went back home. She sugared that kid up like you wouldn’t believe, and we may as well have had a houseful of 6-year-olds.

“What’s that, honey? You want Grandma to make you a Twinkie salad? Sure, anything for you!”

I swear on everything holy, that woman has changed since I was a kid. My siblings and I grew up with no sugar, no soda, no junk food, no running, no screaming, no fighting, no wrestling, no breathing and certainly no fun. (Slight exaggeration may have just taken place.)

Dino-Mike gave Mom a new nickname, which she wasn’t too pleased about. And you know what that means, right? I called her “Old Gran” for days. It has a nice ring to it, I think.

And of course after she buzzed him up with sugary goodness, he acted psycho and I had to raise my voice in his general direction. In all of his 6-years, I’ve never yelled at him. After three weeks of pushing the limit, I’d barely raised my voice. This time he went too far with his roughhousing and smacked me in the face. I felt my top lip swell and my left eye stung from the small finger that landed inside.

Loudly I asked, “Are you nuts? You never slap anyone in the face!”

And his entire world crumbled beneath him. He cried harder than I’ve ever seen or heard a child cry before him. And when I told him to calm down that just sent him farther over the edge.

When Old Gran consoled him, he cried even harder and said through his sobs, “It just breaks my heart when people yell at me.”

Blind in one eye with my lip continuing to swell, I wanted to cry. I felt really bad for “breaking his heart.”

Old Gran consoled me after he calmed down. She thinks three and a half weeks was too long for him to be away from his dad, and the excitement of going back home, which was planned for the following day, was all too much for him. Old Gran may have been on to something.

And if all that stress the night before he went home wasn’t enough, the next day would prove to be an even bigger nightmare. His 17-year-old sister was supposed to pick him up at the halfway point we mapped out to take him back home. She never showed. I called her and their father’s cell phones like a stalker, nonstop. We waited for an hour and a half in that parking lot, and that poor kid was devastated. I kept telling him that there must have been a miscommunication and tried reassuring him that everything would be fine.

“I bet my dad doesn’t even want me to come home.”

“Oh come on, you know your daddy loves you more than anything. I bet something happened to your sister’s car or she forgot her cell phone at home. Or maybe she thought we were meeting at a different time. She could have gotten lost. But don’t think for one second your daddy doesn’t want you home.”

Inside I was boiling over because no one was answering their phones. I had plans to go to my niece’s birthday party so I said, “Hey, how about we leave this parking lot and go over to Auntie Anita’s house? She is having a party for your cousin and everyone is going to be there. Plus she has really good food. I’m pretty hungry, what do you say?”

“Well, I’m getting’ hungry too. But what about my dad?”

“How about I call one more time and leave another message telling him where Auntie Anita lives. That way, he can come pick you up.”

“Okay. But what about my sister? You think maybe she has her head up her butt?”

“Yeah, that could be what happened. Teenagers are like that.”

“I know!”

And if you think it couldn’t get worse from there, stay tuned because it did. More about the nightmare and where I’ve been, coming soon to a blog near you. Have a great weekend everybody!