Things are better than they used to be

D. is gone for about eleven hours a day. Sometimes twelve or thirteen, but mostly eleven. He doesn't travel all that much anymore. He used to be gone for two or three days every week, sometimes more. But now it averages less than two days a month. Things are better than they used to be.

Dinnertime tonight was the same as last night, but shittier because I made Peanut cry. He sits next to me at the table and he has a chewing problem. The problem being that he shovels food in like he hasn't eaten all day and then chews with his mouth open. And he sits next to me. He's hungry. I understand. We eat dinner too late. The boys are starving by five o'clock and I really should feed them then. But that means I make dinner twice, or D. has to reheat a meal and eat alone every night. Neither situation seems like a winner to me. So, Peanut is starving by dinnertime. And he shovels food in. And chews with his mouth open. It makes me crazy, and tonight I yelled. I yelled. He cried. I am totally fucking this up.

Last night, D. and I talked about career. He offered praise and encouragement for the marketing work I'm doing. Told me I don't need the acknowledgement of being hired for a full-time job. That along with a steady paycheck and someone to tell you "nice work," being employed by someone else also comes with its downside (see first paragraph). Reminded me that self-employment is where it's at because I can set my own hours and take vacation when I want and do the work that I WANT to do and still pick the kids up from school every day. And I cried. Because picking the boys up from school every day and being alone with them for four to seven hours is exhausting. I love the crap out of them, but they're exhausting and I am tired. I'm tired of cleaning the same messes over and over, and wiping poopy butts, and not sleeping through the night even though my youngest child is almost three. And I'm tired of yelling.

I walk around the house whispering to myself, "it could be worse....it could be worse....it could be worse...." It could be worse. So much worse. Everyone's healthy. We have enough, everything. Food, clothing, shelter, wine. We have enough. D. is employed, I have awesome clients, we have a CABIN for pete's sake. A cabin. I have friends, both online and in real life. I even had a friend this week who just stopped by for margaritas. That never happens anymore, and it was so nice. D. and I have gone through some rough shit in the last year and a half, but I think we've come out better for it. We talk more. We COMMUNICATE more (though it's still a work in progress). He's a much more involved father. And frankly, less of a dick. I like him so much more when he's not a dick. We have so much to be thankful for. I have so much to be thankful for. And I am, I swear.

But this day-to-day? It's wearing me out. Things are better than they used to be. I'm just still so tired.


About twenty minutes. Only slightly condensed.

There are approximately seven hours between picking the boys up from school and them passing out at night. This represents about twenty minutes. I'm not great at math, but I think that equates to this basic series of events occurring 21 times, every....fucking....day....

Peanut: Mom. They keep saying the "s" word.
Me, in the kitchen making dinner: Who?
Peanut: This song.
Me: Oh. Yeah. Don't listen to that.
Peanut: Okay.
Henny, coming downstairs: Mommy, I pee in my pants.
Me: Why did you pee your pants.
Henny: I dunno.
Me: Let's get you cleaned up. Moon, can you get some new pants for Henny?
Moon, rolling eyes: Urghhhhhh!!!!
Me: I know. Just help out, okay?
Peanut: What's for dinner?
Me: Greek salad with chicken.
Peanut: I hate that.
Henny: I heet that!
Me: You do not.
Peanut, poking and hitting Moon: Moon, play with me. Play with me! PLAY WITH ME!
Moon: Ow! Mom, he hit me!
Me: Don't hit your brother.
Peanut: He won't play with me.
Me: Of course he won't. You're hitting him.
Peanut: I want him to play with me.
Me: Nobody wants to play with someone who's hitting. Be nice.
Peanut: I don't want to be nice. I want him to play with me.
Me, bending over: He's not going to play with you if you're hitting him. Moon! Can you get some pants for Henny?!
Henny, hopping on my back: Piggy wide!
Me, falling over: No. No piggy ride. Get off of me. Moon! Get Henny some pants, please!
Moon: Urghhhhh!!!
D, calling on the phone: Gurgle gurgle gurgle.
Me: What, I can't hear you. You're breaking up.
Henny: I wan talk a Dad. I wan a talk a Dad. Lemme talk a Dad.
D: Gurgle gurgle gurgle.
Henny: I wan talk a Dad. I need talk a Dad.
Me: I can't hear you at all.
D: Gurgle gurgle gurgle.
Henny: I need talk a Dad!
Me: I'm going to go.
Henny: I need talk a Dad!
D: Gurgle gurgle bye.
Me: Dinner's ready. Come and eat guys.
Henny: I heet that.
Me: You don't hate that.
Peanut: I don't want any salad. I hate salad.
Me: Don't eat salad.
Henny: I don't wan chicken. I heet chicken.
Me: Don't eat chicken.
Henny: I spilled.
Me: Okay. I'll clean it up. Let me grab a napkin.
Henny: I lick it?
Me: No. Do not lick the table.
Henny: I lick it.
Me: Please stop licking the table.
Henny: I need salad. I wan scoop it.
Me: I'll scoop it for you.
Henny: I wan scoop it. I need scoop it!
Me: No. Let me do it. Here, here's a scoop of salad for you.
Henny: No. I need more. I need scoop it.
Me: If you eat all that I'll give you another scoop.
Henny: No. I wan scoop it. I can't eat all dis. It's too much.
Me: That makes no sense.
Peanut: Can I have a dessert?
Me: I do not even care.
Henny: I wan ice cream!
Me: Have ice cream. I don't care.
Henny: Can I have more ice cream?
Me: Don't care. Hey, we need to go pick up Dad from the train. It's raining.
Henny: I don't wan pick Dad.
Me: It's raining. We need to pick up Dad.
Henny: Can I bring my ice cream?
Me: No.
Henny: Why? I wan bring my ice cream.
Me: You can't take ice cream in the car.
Henny: I bring my ice cream.
Me: You're not bringing your ice cream.
D: Hi! How are you?
Me: Eh.
D: What's wrong.
Me: Just. You know. They're just.
D: Dinner smells good.
Peanut, running around corner: NAKEDSTUFF!!! NAKEDSTUFF!!!
Me: Where. are. your. clothes?!?!


Haitians totally need Shrinky Dinks

True story: my therapist yawned today. It was somewhere in between telling her about my kid's totally normal, average, uneventful birthday party and talking about how I STILL don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Okay, maybe it wasn't so much a yawn as a barely audible sigh, but I could tell I am boring the shit out of her and she's only still seeing me because I look like a dollar sign. And I'm only still going because I'm not assertive enough to tell her that I probably don't need to see her anymore (And if she's reading my blog, "Hi!" also, we should probably revisit my "fear of confrontation" issues).

Before going this morning, I asked friends on Skype to make up something for me to talk about because I am fresh out of material. The best anyone could come up with was to tell her that I eat toilet paper (thanks ANGIE, glad you guys are so creative). Aside from a general malaise brought on by six months of shit weather and raising three sons that make me want to eat Xanax like Altoids, I'm freakishly normal from a mental health perspective.  But that sigh?  That hurts.  Because therapy?  It's like a cocktail party.  I am there to entertain.  And eat all the pigs-in-a-blanket.

When she sighed, I knew it was time to up my game.  Haul out the big-guns.  Really blow her away with the depth of my insanity.  So, I blurted out, "Last week I paid $10 for Shrinky Dinks.  For Haiti."

Have I mentioned that I am shit under pressure?

"You bought Shrinky Dinks?  For Haiti?"  She wanted to kill herself right then and there.  I could tell.  But when I commit to something, I see it through.  So I spent thirty minutes telling my therapist about my hatred of the local Home School Association.  That's the PTA, by the way.  But here they call it the HSA.  Because it's apparently classier to use a name that makes NO FUCKING SENSE.

I hate the HSA for multiple reasons including their fund-raiser abuse, their ridiculous committees,  the expectation that every woman in town should want to put in 40 hours a week on meaningless projects for NO PAY, and the fact that it's a small-town social power play in the guise of "helping our over-privileged children."  I hate them because they use the meetings as an opportunity to make other women cry.  I hate them because last year at ONE SCHOOL (there are four in the district) they raised $110,000 through fund-raisers, of which the school got to keep $30,000.  The rest went to pay for the shitty chocolates and over-priced wrapping paper they made our kids pimp out.  I hate them because they're too crappy at math to realize that if each family sent in a check for $100/year they could do away with these stupid-ass fundraisers.  I hate them because since I got home from therapy, I've gotten three e-mails asking for money via new fundraisers.  (Except the one about the fundraiser at a bar.  I can get behind that).  But mostly I hate them because they made me buy Shrinky Dinks.  For Haiti.

My therapist might as well kill herself.  Or drink before our sessions.  Because I am going to ride this HSA crazy train for weeks.

How about you?  Is your PTA an objectives focused organization?  Or a social clique machine?  And does anyone else have one called the HSA?  What does that even mean?