There's something that happens during cookie season, if you're a scout leader, a cookie coordinator for your troop, and even sometimes if you are a cookie mom with inventory on hand. You go a little crazy. And I don't mean the cookie sales crazy that you see as an innocent bystander. I mean the internal "I'm trying to keep it together while constantly tallying and subtracting and balancing bank deposits and inventory and cookie supply and demand information in my head." I've already gotten there, on day two of cookie sales, when usually I don't get there until a couple of weeks in. I am disturbed. My brain won't shut off. The house has long ago fallen apart, and I just need to clear my head.
Blogging, is the way to clear your head. I don't get to do it much anymore, but this morning, on Sunday, I decided I would just sit down and dump my brain, pour my heart out, and feel much lighter.
I realized that I needed my laptop, which was in the van, in the locked-up-like-a-fortress garage, and that I wasn't dressed. I tried to get dressed, which became a huge chore. My jeans are all dirty. Like so dirty I won't tell you how many times I have worn my favorite one pair of jeans without washing them. Nope. Won't say. Can't tell. So I gathered all the jeans up to wash a load, at which time I realized I needed to throw in the new boy scout uniform pants of M's. I use the term "new" lightly. I am trying to be money conscious (always) and so instead of dumping the ridiculously outrageous $24 on a pair of blue pants, I found a pair on ebay for $10. M doesn't like jeans and has been begging me to buy him uniform pants because they are more like khakis and less rigid. Sometimes jeans make him freak out with the rubbing on the skin and the rawness on the waist. So I found the $10 pair on ebay. Then they arrived. Then I saw that the seller did not disclose the poorly hemmed bottoms, and the fact that they were 4" shorter than any average. They were also really washworn and not nearly as new blue as the photo showed. I spent the morning watching M in the tub while I used the seam ripper to tear out the hems and then discovered that even if they are now long enough, they have been worn and faded enough to have two very white-ish horizontal lines across the legs where the hems were folded. Ugh. In the process of getting these pants ready for the wash I thought I would open A's new swimsuits. I never buy Justice clothes. They are too much for me and I usually have a great friend (two actually) who sell used Justice clothes at a price I can handle, and then I don't have to shop. But I saw an advertisement for a cute swimsuit that's right up A's alley, and I thought, I will get that as her "good swimsuit" for this spring. So I ended up ordering two suits and a rashguard that matches both. She has a used Justice suit that was a size 12 and it surprisingly fit her perfectly. It's the only justice suit she has, she normally wears a 6/7 in suits and I thought we might finally get into an 8 this summer. She's slim. But since the Justice suit I have is a 12, of course I ordered all size 12's from Jutice. They swam on her. We were both so sad. I wanted to return them and exchange then for an 8, but of course they are "online only items" and the return form is just a return form, not an exchange form. And I call Justice and they "don't process returns" but would be happy to make my life a living hell by placing a whole new order where, you know, I pay them again with my unlimited funds and then later on (you know like two months from now when they get through their "processing time" i can have my original money back. Good times. I may lost it just a bit and tell the woman on the phone that if she can't process a return I don't want their junk and I will just send it back. Yeah. This is because I am supposed to be blogging by now but I haven't even gotten dressed.
I package up the RETURN and take the load of jeans and boy scout pants down to wash. At which time I am interrupted by kids who want to talk about Spirit Week. Which starts tomorrow. Because on Friday when I picked them up from school, M gets into the van and says "I can't wait to see all the costumes you are going to sew this weekend for us" and I think he is confused because HALLOWEEN IS NINE MONTHS AWAY and I swear I thought I got a year before I have to do that again. Then a paper is thrust at me with excitement and I see that on top of the TWO cookie booths we are running this weekend, the birthday party, and the Girl Scout meeting to prepare for World Thinking Day, we now have Super Hero Day, Disney Day, Mismatch and Crazy Hair Day, School Spirit Day, and Blast to the past day. I digress. (That's the moral of the story, you see.)
So the kids get told that their mother is offering no assistance for Spirit Week. It's every big kid for themselves. Their outfits have to be decided and laid out the night before. Mom isn't sewing, buying, or crafting ANYTHING (hear me, ANY. THING.) for Spirit Week. That's not very nice of me, is it. Not very spirited. But I grew up when Spirit Week was in high school and the participants were self sufficient enough to figure it out with minimal help from parents. I want my kids to start this self-sufficiency early, like they are starting Spirit Week early. I explain to them that they can create their own super hero! Won't it be fun! and M starts literally crying, and telling me that his teacher told him he has to be a boughten super hero and that it has to be a real one not a made up one (which I absolutely know isn't true, but he takes things very literally and is always concerned that he will be in trouble) and so eventually the tears get calmed and today we are tearing the house apart (more) to find costume pieces. We have one spiderman glove and one spidey suit. The mask is missing but I declare that *not my problem* because It's not my job to keep track of masks and the only real reason there is one glove and a suit is because of my attempts to organize and keep things in labeled bins (which means those two important pieces were in the costume tote where they were supposed to be.)
A Plays along beautifully and creates her own superhero, Called "Anime" pronounced AnnaMae.... who is a Japanese Anime Artist who can draw things and snap her fingers so that those things come to life. She finds an Indian/beaded/silkish gown from the Goodwill Halloween Costume buying spree, puts her hair in pigtails and sticks pencils in them, and takes paper and colored pencils in hand. I'm so proud of her own creativity and my lack of involvement that I go right down and put on a t-shirt and my clean pair of unflattering black fleece pants, my sweater slippers, and slip outside to the Fort-Knox Garage to get my laptop from the van. In my haste to finally get home last night, and out of my clothes and into my bed, I didn't pull the van up far enough in the garage so the back hatch is too close to the door so I can't open it to get the laptop out of the back, but eventually I get the laptop into the house and onto the sticky and overcrowded dining room table.
I open it, I log on to blogger, and I am READY! M comes out and says "are you hungry mom? I will make you some cereal" (So sweet is he. Always my helper. He loves me, this I know.) I tell him, "sure buddy, I would love some rice chex!" and I thank him and sit down. And he says "Hey mom, we are out of milk." So I have him just make his own cereal and I will run up to Caseys in a few minutes and get more milk. (you know, I was JUST out in the van. Seriously. JUST.)
"Anime" comes out in full costume, and suddenly wearing the pink pair of glasses that she *lost at school* two months ago, that I cleaned her locker and her desk and crawled under part of the dirty bleachers in the gym and looked in the smelly lost and found box and begged the office to look out for and posted on the school facebook page. They are ON HER FACE as if they never left, and she is a nonchalant about it as though I didn't just go on a month-long rampage looking for them. I just look at her incredulously and say "where did you get those glasses" and she responds with "I don't know, I just found them somewhere." Yeah.
All of this, and I haven't written a word. Then E tears himself away from Planes Fire and Rescue long enough to have an argument with me about why he wants to watch more music videos on You Tube, and then to ask for a snack (he hasn't had breakfast, we don't have milk) and he announces that he will eat pretzels for breakfast and I say "fine. Eat whatever. I don't care." and start to write.
THIS, Is why I never get to write. This is my life.
I love my life, I truly do. I am surrounded with people who love me, even if they also sometimes drive me entirely insane. We are healthy. We have a warm place to sleep, even if it's a disaster.
The laptop is surrounded by dirty dishes, the paint for the Little Free Library I haven't gotten to paint yet, the Mod Podge and supplies leftover from the Pinewood Derby car two or three weeks ago, Three opened cereal containers getting stale, a role of paper towels, an IH tractor, an open container of pretzels with a missing lid, a letter that my recent PAP came back clear, The offending list of Spirit Week activities on yellow paper, A hanger, and a bowl of slowly rotting blood oranges that my kids HAD to have and then REFUSED to eat. I look on the floor and I see a page of Christmas Stickers, a piece of aluminum foil, a non-winning scratch lotto ticket, a ring from a milk jug, a foil peeled back top from a to go butter container, a sprig of grape stems with no grapes attached, and a green top from a squeeze applesauce container, one child slipper, and a ziploc bag of markers.... all within two feet of my person. Where do I start? Who can I hire? How would I pay them?
Maybe I just need to eat some Girl Scout Cookies?