So my choices today were to either write this blog or cry myself to sleep. And you are now reading my choice. It is now 3 days before Christmas and you would expect everyone to be excited about the coming Holiday and waiting in joyous anticipation to the promises of presents and Christmas meals and treats and gathering with your families to share this magical holiday season together, right? Well, not so much. Let me tell you about my day.
It begins at 5:30 with Nate crying in his room. When Nate wakes up, no one will get him to go back to sleep. So the alternative is to sleep on his floor while he babbles to himself and tries not to wake up the other 2. He finally starts talking loud enough at 7 that we exit the room to find out everyone else has been up already. Nate then joins Drew in a beautiful duet of whining and crying for food while breakfast cooks (and by "cooks" I mean microwavable sausage). So this is the first sign of a "good day." I leave for work, thankfully, and begin my day with 2 phone calls from my wife before I even arrive to work. They are not stress calls...yet. But the third call at 9:15 is. She and the kids have all officially lost it. In the hour that I have been gone, Drew hit Nate across the face with a foam nunchuk, Drew gets disciplined, Drew fights against discipline, Nate cries and screams at Lindsey, Lindsey cries and screams at me, and at the end of her irrational rant I get blamed for not doing the dishes or buying her a COSI/zoo membership, and get hung up on. I call back and tell her I will be home early. Not by choice but by necessity. After this phone call she takes the kids to the grocery store. When she is there, Zachary and Drew are put in the Eagle's nest. Nate stays with Lindsey and whines 85% of the time. Zachary and Drew get in a fight and the Giant Eagle worker breaks them up only to get back-talked to by Zachary. Lindsey gets paged to come pick up her unruly children. Once Drew is released, he runs to the candy aisle and steals 3 gummy sharks. Lindsey sweeps his mouth with her finger to clear it of the stolen merchandise and informs the Giant Eagle worker of the theft while Drew throws a fit on the floor screaming for everyone to turn and look. Then Drew gets up and runs out of the store. Lindsey leaves the other two to chase down the sprinting 3 year old, drags him back into the store, kicking and screaming, to join Nate who has started his own screaming chorus of the popular toddler anthem, "I Want, I Want, Gimme, Gimme, Why, AAAAAAAHHHHHH." She checks out and takes them to the car. Zachary begins to cry because not only did he not get a free cookie but he is not allowed to watch TV as a consequence for his behavior toward that adult worker. So she has achieved the "Crying Tifecta." All 3 losing their minds. It was at this point I had conveniently called her to ask for a recipe for a co-worker. I have perfect timing.
I came home and luckily avoided the trio of banshees because they were all down for their afternoon naps. Lindsey was able to join her mom to get her nails done as a stress reliever from this morning's chaos. I eat lunch and lay down on the couch to take a short power nap. I have 40 minutes until Zachary comes out of his room and no joke, 5 minutes after I close my eyes, Drew crys out. I run up, give him the Ipod touch to play a game, and I go back to lie down, 35 minutes left. At 5 more minutes, Zachary comes out and says he is so hungry he cant stand it. I tell him to stand it and get back in his room. 30 minutes left. I fall asleep. At 25 minutes left, Drew calls out again cause he is bored. I get him out and put him in Zachary's room. 25 minutes left. I fall asleep. Zachary opens his door. I tell him to shut it and if he opens again, I am adding time to his quiet time or to him, sentence. 15 minutes left. The door opens again. Now Drew is checking on the puppy. I tell him to wait. 10 minutes left. At 5 minutes and every minute after I hear loudly from their room, "5 more minutes. 4 more minutes. 3 more minutes..." So much for the power nap.
Lindsey comes home from the nail appointment and everyone is up and crazy. I tell her we are going to the store. She says "I hope not Target or Toys R Us 3 days before Christmas." And I say, "yes, because you know why? Because it is not here!" We run some errands and go to a nice dinner at Olive Garden. No mishaps or horseplay like the Mexican restaurant. The kids are great but Lindsey is not feeling too well.
We go to CVS to pick some medicine and while there Lindsey runs to the Minute Clinic to get checked out and I wait in the car with the boys. I leave the TV running in the car and the lights on. Drew also likes to have his overhead light on even though I've told him to turn it off while I am driving and while parked cause it could drain the battery. Lindsey is taking longer than expected at the Minute Clinic so I tell her we will still wait cause the boys are content with the TV in the van. But I notice the check engine light and oil light start coming on. Then the lights flicker. So I try to turn the car on and like "Up on the Housetop," click, click, click. But instead of "down the chimney with old St. Nick," the car wont start. To which Zachary immediately yells, "DREW!!! YOU BROKE THE CAR!!!" Now usually he is to blame for almost everything, but not this time. The alternator broke. So here we sit in the parking lot, stranded, 3 days before Christmas, with no TV. Well, it comes on for 10 seconds then shuts off, giving Nate a 1 second delay to begin screaming about it. And to top it all off, Zachary gets the farts. Now our windows have all steamed up as Zachary hot boxes the van while we wait for Lindsey's parents to show for a ride back home. The van will now need to be towed and get a new alternator 2 days before Christmas. When we load the kids in the back of my mother-in-law's small sedan in the rain, Zachary gets caught on Nate's left leg which we think he broke on Saturday. (the x-ray was negative, but he still wont weight bear and has been crawling around everywhere.) So as Nate cries so hard he cant make a sound, Lindsey picks him up to cradle him. By the way, she also just found out she has a double ear infection. Sing with me now, "Its the most wonderful time of the year!"
I am not writing this blog for sympathy but for acknowledgement of "Really??!!" I mean, 3 days before Christmas? I can guarantee you this was not the kind of White Christmas Bing Crosby was dreaming of. More like a broken leg, double ear infection, broken alternator, Drew screaming, Zachary blaming, Nate Crying, Dutch Oven Christmas.
Looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with an x-ray technician and a car repair man,
The Joyful and Tired Dad