We have four sprinklers that my husband can rig up at whim. I could figure it out, but he needs something to do, right? Yet, I was out there, hose in hand, spraying the green grass (brown spots too thanks to the dry weather), flowers, trees... basically, anything I could I reach with the sprayer. I spent over an hour out there, the most therapeutic hour of my day! Why was standing around in the freshly cut grass, getting clippings all over my feet and cute little jelly shoes? I was doing everything in my power to keep from blowing up at everyone in the house, that’s what I was doing!
It was a hot, hazy, and humid day with a heat index of 105 degrees with a humidity level of 61%! It felt steamy! Now, I’m fine with this weather. I love it, in fact! I’m just as happy as I can be sitting outside with a frosty cold fruity beverage. However, my daughter isn’t.
The second she gets out of the car it’s:
“Mom, it’s too hot.. When are we going home?”
Then when we’re inside:
“Mom, it’s too cold in here. I don’t like the air renditioner... When are we going home?”
“conditioner... air conditioner. We aren’t going home for a while. Here, snuggle up beside me.”
Walking out to the car, she says:
“ Whoa, it’s hot!” “Yes, I know.”
Getting in the car, for the fiftieth time this summer, I hear:
“Oh my! It’s too hot in here!! Can you put on the air tonditioner? Let in the cold air!”
“Sure thing... we’ll roll down the windows for a minute too.”
Needless to say, she was briefly cranky with every weather report. I was determined to get a little shopping in for myself today since I was awaiting my son’s tutoring and camp to finish up, and she would just have to put up with the temperature fluctuations for the time being. I was successful, at least at first!
Now my son doesn’t seem to notice the heat as much. At least he’s not a reporter like his sister. No, his job is to block out much of what I say while he notices everything else around him or filters through a menagerie of his own thoughts. I know, he can’t help it thanks to his ADHD, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating. I begin a sentence and he talks over it. I give advice, he disregards it. I give explicit directions, they get lost in the shuffle. And that's what happened today...
We arrive home and I hand over the house keys to my son with this information -- “I have to carry some bags in and check the mail. Go ahead and let yourselves in. Just don’t let the dogs out yet. I’ll do that.”
The kids start getting out of the car, I grab my purchases and my handbag out of the car and set them down next to the car, then I collect the mail. Walking back towards the car, I lift my eyes from the mail to see one of my dogs dart away from my car. “What?! Oh NO! YOU LEG LIFTER!!” Yep, my suspicions were confirmed. He had peed directly on my bags and accurately aimed for my pricey (to me at least) handbag and a couple of my new purchases. That’s when I made a grunting sound aimed toward my dog ( I learned that noise from my daughter), carefully picked up my packages to be placed aside for cleaning, then I had a one sided discussion with the culprits. The dog, who knew he was in trouble, slipped off to his crate while I carried on about my packages... It went something like this:
“I finally take the time to actually buy myself a few things and no sooner do I get them home, you go and pee on it! Seriously?! I don’t pee on your stuff!! Grrr, just go to bed!”
Then the children got to hear:
“I mean come on guys! I specifically asked you not to let the dogs out yet! I said I would do it and yet there they went and now I’ve got pee on my bags! MY BAGS HAVE PEE ON THEM! Look, you guys have to got to listen to what I’m saying! I said not to let them out, you guys let them out. I ask you to put away your clothes and yet there’s underwear in my living room. I ask you to put away your dishes and low and behold, there’s a plate with dried up banana on it! And I don’t even want to see your room right now because I’ve asked you guys to clean that up too. Seriously, I’m so tired of you guys not listening to me and now my pocketbook has pee on it! Great!” And off I go to clean the goods, mumbling to myself about how I’ve been running these kids around back and forth to various places, buying them all sorts of things, listening to them complain and bicker all the time and this is how they repay me? Mumbling to oneself during anger leads to saying things you’d never say otherwise.
Then my husband called to tell me he was going by the grocery store to pick up batter for some fish he was grilling up tonight, so he’ll be late getting home. I was irritated already, wanted a break and he was going to be late so he could grill up fish that I wouldn't be eating! I was ready to blow up from my anger, and yes it was irrational, but I was angry all the same. I told him about Leg Lifter’s offense, how the kids were unwitting accomplices and I was ready to be done, a break was needed promptly and I wasn’t thrilled that he was going to be late. *Click. I just hung up. Next thing I knew, I was outside watering the landscape.
I don’t think I spoke a word for about an hour. No one disturbed me and I was calm. I just made myself a mobile lawn ornament with a job. I was able to regain my composure, settle down and not take out my frustrations on any one while I settled down. My son saw that I was on the edge, but saw that I stepped away without going overboard, and returned in control of my emotions. I needed a break, I took it and we were all happier for it.
So when did I have my smile moment? When I was hosing down the yard, I took a second to stand still, smile and try to look like a garden gnome... picture it... you’ll smile too.