Friday, October 28, 2011

Jeannie's Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day

Do you ever have those days where you somehow find yourself just sitting back and watching as you make bad decision after bad decision?

Have you ever felt the urge to call Child Protective Services on yourself so that your kids can be given a chance at living a good life?

Do you ever find yourself screaming in your car, in front of your kids, and just can't seem to stop the downward spiral?

You haven't? Well, consider yourself lucky. Here is my day and why I am writing this at home in a bathrobe rather than at work doing my job:

I spent last night in blissful excitement watching one of the best World Series games ever. It went into 11 innings and demanded I jump up and down on the couch several times in my giddiness and frustration. So, even when the game ended, there was no way I was going to fall asleep anytime soon.

After about 3 hours of sleep, I woke up to get my kids ready for school. Today was field trip day, so I had to time everything right and provide proper outdoor attire for the kiddos. Today also happened to be negative 30 degrees and pouring down rain. As I was pulling out the parking lot, actually on time - shocking, I backed right into my dumpster. Hard. Jeremy politely informed me that I broke the car and Daddy would be mad at me. Thanks for the support. There is a huge crack/hole in our bumper now.

I yelled a bit, still high with the adrenalin of getting two kids into the car with extra clothes, bottles, baby food, Mr. Moo, rain gear, and my work stuff. After the yelling, which involved some punching of the steering wheel, Jeremy started crying and told me to stop being bad.

That did not make me feel at all guilty, horrible, or immature.

Oh, and Violet's new thing now is to scream bloody murder anytime she is placed in the carseat. So, that lovely background noise did nothing to help the situation.

I proceeded on my drive, hit a red light, paused, and made a right turn. Oh, fun! A police car. Jeremy was thrilled. Then he thought I was going to jail, and again told me to stop being bad. Luckily, I managed to suppress my rage while the cop informed me I did not come to a complete stop before turning. The screaming baby did nothing to invoke sympathy. Thanks.

So, I was late. I missed the carpool to the field trip. I headed to Halls on my own with the kids to find the pumpkin patch. And find it we did. I strapped Violet to my chest and watched Jeremy jump in every single mud puddle around. The incredibly helpful other parents and teachers made extremely nice and supportive comments like, "Why is your son the only one without rain boots? All kids need rain boots!" "Oh, that poor little baby! She will catch pneumonia out here." "I'll sit by Jeremy on the hay ride, I can see you can't handle it." "You know, that coat is fine but in the rain, he really needs a rain slicker, not just a coat." "I would never bring my newborn baby out in this weather!"

Really? Well, your kid is ugly and eats paste.

Is what I wanted to say.

Instead, I silently fumed as my son got wet feet, fell out of a hay ride, and suffered immeasurable indignities while wearing only a coat and my daughter silently died of pneumonia in my arms.

None of that actually happened, but I was certainly led to believe it would.

I finally gave up and left the field trip without a pumpkin (I could not carry it anyway). On our way back to school, we were literally run off the road by a car. I had to swerve onto the shoulder/grass when some idiot pulled right into my lane. I should mention again it was POURING DOWN RAIN. AND I WAS DRIVING MY KIDS BACK FROM A PUMPKIN PATCH. COVERED IN MUD.

Back at school. I took Violet to her class and her teacher told me the classroom was a safe space if I needed to cry. Bless her. Too bad I was too busy yelling at Jeremy to keep his muddy feet (sans the magical rain boots) off the infant carpet area to appreciate that she was honestly trying to help me.

I tried to take Jeremy to his class and found I only had extra shorts, not pants, in his cubby. Back in the car. Back home. Screaming for Halloween candy. Strip change in the hallway, frantically digging in the dryer for clean pants. Success. Back to school.

You would not believe how much that kid wanted to get away from me. He made a beeline for the classroom door and did not even say goodbye. I managed a half-hearted wave.

At this point I finally looked at myself. Mud and water up to my knees. Hair soaking wet plastered to my face. Coat collar half straight up, half stuck under. Crazy eyes.

I decided to go home and just skip work. Thank God. Otherwise, I would probably be adding "got fired for screaming at innocent students and making them cry and eat their hair" to my list.

I have been wallowing at home ever since. Here are my thoughts. I made some bad decisions. I stayed up too late. I did not organize the kids stuff the night before. I should never have taken Violet out in that weather (in my defense, she was completely dressed properly). I certainly should have been paying attention and not backed into the dumpster. I should have stopped completely at the red light before turning. I should not have let my bad mood affect the children or myself so much.

That being said, I never had rain boots, I think I am fine. I don't own a rain jacket, and I think I am fine. Will Jeremy die because he does not own these all-important items? No. Will I be guilted by other parents into buying them? Yes. Was it too cold for Violet? Not really. She was actually quite happy the entire trip and never once cried, other than when I put her in the carseat. I have good kids, I do my best, I am not always perfect (or even close), but I am not a bad mother.

Today, however, was most definitely a bad day.

But, tonight is Game 7 and tomorrow morning is Saturday. I am looking forward to both!


  1. Jeannie, I felt your pain...however, I must admit, I did giggle...well laugh out loud a couple of times at your blog... Jeremy probably had more fun than those kids trying to walk in rain boots that slipped up and down on their feet. Plus they missed all the muddy puddles, what fun was that. I am sure Violet enjoyed her first pumpkin ride. If she should have not been out there, probably no one should have. I hope you enjoy the game tonight. Ms. Debbie

  2. I am with my Mom...I was totally laughing, because I know that you are an AMAZING mom and your kids are the luckiest kids out of all of those stupid other ones (who probably do eat paste). Who has a rain jacket for their kid?!?! Where do you even buy one of those? Whatever. That is stupid.

    You are a really good writer!!

  3. After reading it, again, I am pissed. How dare someone judge you by your kid's coat?!?! Maybe they need to worry about their own kid and not spend so much time being a fashion critic. That is just weird. I never even notice what other kids are wearing. Who are these stupid moms?

  4. Jeannie, William doesn't have a rain coat either. And I would have forgotten everything he needed and completely relied on other people and not felt guilty. You have that Catholic guilt. Also, he does have rain boots but has only worn them once in the rain for a picture. Finally, you are the best mother I know. I wish you would raise William too. Hope to see you tomorrow!

  5. Your writing is awesome. Good job. What a day. I am enjoying my paste as I write this. You totally rock as a mom. Love you.

  6. Mmmmm...paste. I don't remember having rain boots, but I do remember when I was around 6 or so having this really cool green rain jacket.

    Sorry your day sucked! I still think you are a good mom. Love you!

  7. Don't hate me that I am laughing just a tiny bit. And, I am a firm believer that people who judge are destined to have kids who eat paste. Anderson does have rain boots that I got used and when he wore them, someone decided to tell me that kids should never wear used shoes. So, clearly the people who judge are going to find something to judge. And, what kind of worse mom would you have been if you didn't let Violet go on the field trip? She wanted to go, too!

  8. Sorry to hear you had such a bad day! I never had rain boots until I was in graduate school and I think I turned out just fine! That seems kind of ridiculous expect all kids to have rain boots as their feet are still growing and they will need new boots constantly. Those parents sound pretty uptight.