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Yin & Yang

6:00 a.m.: I wake up. CRAP. Once again I didn't get up in time to go for a run. I'm such a slug.

6:30 a.m.: Cool, I get to wear a snazzy new suit to work and hopefully make my boss paranoid that I have a job interview, since I never wear snazzy suits and I just asked for a raise and am in the middle of a big stall tactic. Since I slept in, I have the energy to play these games today.

6:40 a.m.: Bryce is up. How's his mood? Please don't let this be one of those mornings where he's right on the verge of a nuclear explosion and nobody knows the secret code to prevent it. "Hi Bryce." "I want dad to be the teacher." "Well, we're getting ready right now, but you can play and pretend by yourself for a while if you want to." "NOOOOOO!!!! I want DAD to be the teacher. I don't WANT to play by myself." There's the high pitched voice. The alarms are going off: BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. Meltdown alert. CRAP.

7:30 a.m.: Yes! My boss is in the office today , and people are commenting on the suit. Maybe if I'm really lucky, someone will jokingly say, "wow, do you have a job interview or something?" right in front of her!

8:30 a.m.: Despite my best efforts at getting out of it, I am roped into going to a cheap discount warehouse to buy client gifts. This is after fighting to no avail for 1.) a bigger client gift budget and 2.) a smaller list of clients to receive gifts. CRAP. I hate this. What a joke. If we're just getting pathetic gifts for a big group of people, why bother at all? Why not get decent gifts for the bigger clients? "Oh, we don't like the logic game. Logical people think they're so much better than everyone else. Get thee to a Sam's Club."

10:00 a.m.: When I return to my desk, a friend from my old company has e-mailed me with lots of exclamation points. I call her, and she tells me the group I've been trying to get on with there for the past 9 months is going to call me about the position I want. COOL. Cheap gifts for a whole lot of clients - I don't care!!!

11:30 a.m.: Right before lunch, a certain hated project, which will henceforth be known as The Project That Refuses To Die rears its ugly head. The details are unnecessary. The main point is this: CRAP.

11:45 a.m.: Crisis averted. Yay! Maybe it's really dead this time. I clubbed it in the head several times for good measure. It's also been shot, hung, and electrocuted. Please be dead... oh pretty please.

1:30 p.m.: It's baaa-aaa-aa-ck! CRAP. This Thing is the Spawn of Satan, there is no killing It. Accept it now and the pain is much more bearable.

3:00 p.m.: I laid it to rest again and now I get to spend the afternoon re-organizing archived material in my office. Yes, I'm actually happy about this. I like checking off lists. Just leave it alone. It's all I have at this job. Okay?

4:30 p.m.: SIGH. I really hate The Project That Refuses To Die. It always wants to wake up and play at the end of the day. ARGH. I'm really running out of steam for this. CRAP.

5:10 p.m.: Time to go home, woohoo!

5:40 p.m.: I walk in the door and immediately hear Bryce and Quinn fighting over Thomas the Train flash cards in their growly, out of control voices. It's a really effective fight, too - it's mine! No it's mine! No it's mine! I feel my heart rate increase and I try to push the stress down. CRAP.

6:00 p.m.: Despite the fact that John has clients coming tonight and that the kids are on his last nerve too, he volunteers to give them their baths so I can go for a run. Yay! Good husbands are cool.

6:45 p.m.: I come upstairs to take over so John can get his office ready for his meeting. The kids' rooms look like a bomb has exploded. I am too anal to let this go, which means I'll force myself to clean it up, but I really don't feel like it. CRAP.

6:50 p.m.: Quinn brings me a CD he wants to listen to and I put it in - hey, guys, it's clean up music, FUN!

6:52 p.m.: Quinn decides this CD is abhorrent to every fiber of his being AND IT MUST BE TURNED OFF NOW, WOMAN. NOW, DAMN YOU!!!!! (John and I pronounce this 'daahh-m yoo") Bryce therefore, can't live one more second without hearing the entire CD. CRAP.

6:55 p.m.: To distract him from the hated music, I enlist Quinn's help in putting away toys, and he digs it. COOL. No more fits, AND he's helping me clean this sty up. YES!

6:58 p.m.: While my back is turned, Quinn sneaks into John's office. I go to get him and he cries like I've just flushed his pet fish down the toilet and made him watch. He's in absolute agony. "I WANT DADDY. NO! I need Daddy!!" CRAP. Blood....pressure....rising...

7:05 p.m.: I get Quinn some water. Oh Blessed Quencher of Thirst, we bow to your greatness! Quinn is a big drinker. It's pretty nice to have a kid who thinks a glass of water is a treat.

7:08 p.m.: On the way back to the bedroom, we pass John' s office and Quinn remembers the trauma I'm causing him by not letting him hang on John's thigh while he prepares for his meeting. Tears. Kicking. Threats. CRAP.

7:15 p.m.: Quinn gets over the injustice of having to be stuck with the second-rate parent, and he pulls himself together for a bedtime story. Then we have a little laugh when I sing the wrong song at bedtime. What am I thinking? It's not Jumbo Elephant, it's the Halle-lu song (thanks to my mom, the Baptist Nursery Song Whiz who has convinced my kids they must hear these songs every night before they sleep)! He goes down peacefully, whew.

7:45 p.m.: The sleepy time music in Quinn's room stops as I'm typing this, and his pacifier-stuffed mouth mumbles, "want my music on please." I think he'll doze right off, it's just a fluke. Then the voice gets louder: "want my MUSIC ON PLEASE!!!" If I don't go up, he'll wake Bryce up and then the whole night is in jeopardy. If I go into Quinn's room, though, I have to walk through Bryce's room and then I might wake him up. CRAP.

7:46 p.m.: I go up, sneak through Bryce's room without waking him up. SCORE! That never happens.

7:47 p.m.: As I'm coming downstairs in an oversized sweatshirt, unmatching striped pajama pants, and socks with holes in the heels, John's clients come out of his office and see my urchin-looking self sneaking back into my room. CRAP. How embarrassing.

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