Month: January 2012

Strange Things are Happening

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Help! My family is acting weird. It certainly isn’t me. Right? I’m always quick to think everyone else is acting strange, when unfortunately it’s usually me. Like the time I accidentally went into a men’s restroom and wondered what all those men were doing in the ladies’ room. Or the time my family arrived at church and the parking lot was completely full. My first thought was, “Wow! Everyone really got here early today!” It turned out my family was a half hour late! I forgot about the new start time taking effect.
Sometimes I blame my behavior on being tired. Although I think this excuse may have already run its course. I’ve been sleep deprived since 1996. That’s the year I had my first child. Almost 16 years later, and I still haven’t recovered any of that lost shut-eye. I believe it’s taken a toll on me. I’m always amazed when couples tell me they can’t remember life before children. I can. I got a lot more sleep then. I remember those years better than I can remember what I had for breakfast yesterday.
It occurred to me recently it might be something else. Can a person suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder if they’d never had it before? Sometimes, three of my five children are firing questions at me all at once. It’s overwhelming. They speak over one another with booming voices, acting as if their question is an emergency. When I’m on top of my game, I can point at each one individually and quickly fire answers right back like “yes,” “no,” and “Let me think about it.” (For some reason, they always interpret that last answer to mean, “yes.”) It’s the other times when I really get myself into trouble. When they’re saying, “Mom, let’s go. We’re going to be late.” And I have no idea where in the world I said I’d take them. Or when I catch one of my children eating sweets before dinner and they tell me they already asked and I answered “yes.” I can’t even argue because I’ve done it so many times. I need to attach a tape recorder to myself to play back when my brain decides to vacate the premises.
I’m not the only one acting strange. My 15-year-old is in on it, too. While visiting her former grade school this past week, she decided she wanted to go back to the eighth grade. She says she misses it. Maybe I should go back to the eighth grade, too, and study a little harder.
My 3-year-old is really acting weird. A month ago she threw out her baby blanket, simply stating, “I don’t need it anymore.” I felt like I needed to be consoled. And now she’s decided to talk like a baby again. Normally she sounds like a teenager trapped in a 3-year-old’s body. Sometimes I think she’s going to grab the car keys and say, “Be back soon, Mom.”
I’ve decided my options are limited at best. Until my family starts acting normal, and my brain is fully functional again, I’ve decided to take a sabbatical (without pay of course). I’ve decided this is better than early retirement. I’ll promise my family to come back a new woman, ready to face the world again.

Compliments of the Atchison Globe.

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Post-Christmas Procrastinating

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Some people pay others to decorate their home for the holidays. I’d prefer to pay someone to take them down. It’s something I dread. Maybe because it marks the end of something I’ve looked forward to all year. Maybe it’s because there are decorations everywhere! Or maybe, it’s because I have to climb in and out of the attic ten times to get the job done.

Recently, I’ve developed a slight fear of those things. It started right before Christmas when I fell off the top of a six-foot ladder while climbing into the attic. Ouch! My older friends told me the older you get, the longer your body takes to recover. Wow! They weren’t kidding. Needless to say, I’m greatly procrastinating putting away the decorations. I find it tedious and time consuming, and no one wants to help. It’s funny how the children immediately scatter when I ask for a helping hand. Instantaneously they’re too busy when moments earlier they claimed to be bored.

To make things a little easier, years ago we switched to a fake tree. We did it for safety reasons since I’d prefer my house not burn down, and it’s less messy…in theory. I’m constantly baffled how a fake tree can lose so many needles. My mother told me it’s because it’s getting old. That is, until I told her it’s always done that. I find needles in my house year round no matter how hard I clean. With their static electricity, they’re a joy to pick up. The garland is no picnic either.

Thankfully, my husband’s job every year is the outdoor lights. One less thing for me to do and I get to stay off the roof. Lucky for him it’s not snowy and icy this year. In year’s past, we’ve had a little too much excitement when he dangled from the roof after slipping. Did I mention we have a two-story house on a steep hill? After much frustration with lights continually going out, he recently declared, “We’re done with icicle lights!” This is fine by me, as I always think it looks like my house has eyebrows. Weird, I know. Now we can look forward to the pricey purchase of new lights next year.

On the bright side, one decoration did get put away immediately on Christmas day. Chippie the Elf, who visited the North Pole nightly to report my children’s behavior, went back to live with Santa. Boy, did that little guy cause some undue stress. I’ll never forget the first day Chippie arrived. After being placed on a shelf he loses his magic if anyone touches him. Not knowing the rules, my husband grabbed it off the shelf when he got home. This was followed by shrieks from our six and three-year-old. Also, Chippie was supposed to be moved in our house every night to a new location. My husband and I usually remembered the moment our heads hit the pillow at midnight. We would groan, “We forgot to move Chippie again.” Then I’d tell my husband it was his turn…practically every night. I’m so thoughtful that way.

I guess while taking down the decorations, I’ll focus on special memories from the holiday. I’ll think about the late nights by the Christmas tree listening to my father share childhood stories. Or my family watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the hundredth time as though it were the first. Also, watching my little ones proudly carry up shepherds and animals to the Nativity scene at Christmas Eve Mass. And at home, seeing them gently place baby Jesus in our manger while singing “Happy Birthday.” Not once, but twice since I forgot to turn on the video camera the first time. Yep, this is what I’ll focus on instead.

Compliments of The Atchison Globe