Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

Between Hypocrisy and Survival

Did you like how I said, in a mild Soup Nazi fashion, "no banners for you!" right before I slapped up a new one on our site? That seems cold. Sorry about that. Without belaboring the issue or providing you with the boring details of our Friday nights, I'll just say that it takes about 25 minutes with a glass of wine and the inability to focus on reading or doing any other business function to create a banner and change the colors on our own site. I wouldn't feel right about charging someone for me to slap something together in under half an hour while drinking, though, and that's about all I'm capable of when it comes to banners (or really anything blog-related) right now. So, there's my excuse. You can leave your written complaint in the box over there - it's that really huge cardboard one stuffed to overflowing, sitting on the floor littered with the ones that couldn't squeeze into the slot - those are mostly Bryce's, because Quinn prefers to scream his directly into my ear.

Oh, hey! Speaking of screaming, or, to use Bryce's rendition of that phrase, "speakin' about screaming" or alternatively, "talkin' about screaming," there is a story I should tell, but it isn't funny - at least not the screaming part - and I have been working on how to make it funny, not because I wanted to write it in a funny way, even though I do, but because if I can make it funny in my mind, looking back, then I can somehow let it go and not see myself as the genetic reason for my kids' tendencies to jab me with scepters of evil every chance they get. The details are boring and identical to almost every other story I've told about going out in public with my ever-plotting sons: Blah blah, we were at the grocery store. Blah blah, Quinn ran away with the cart and Bryce exploded with laughter. Blah blah, my blood started boiling. Blah blah, the other grocery store patrons grinned and made comments about how "cute and giggly" the kids were and looked at me like I was an evil hag when I said, "Yeah, I can't take them out in public together." Blah blah, this particular patron defended the kids and said they were being "good" and repeated the word "giggly" which wasn't exactly an accurate statement, as the word "giggle" implies a soft, quiet laughter, and what the kids were doing in the store, IN MY EAR, was not soft or quiet or anything resembling a giggle at all, and so I replied to said patron as politely as possible, while attempting not to injure her with the laser beams of hatred from my eyes, "Yes, well. It progresses from here," thus sealing my own stupid fate. Blah blah, by the time we got to the cash register, even though I had strapped Quinn into the cart, my attention was diverted to the grocery purchase and accompanying logistics of purse-digging, bank card-grabbing, payment, loading, and re-loading when the cashier destroyed the wooden cart that the clementines were packed in, and this presented the perfect opportunity for Bryce to turn into a complete raging psychotic, echoing Quinn's bellowing chorus of POOPY POOPY POOPY HAHAHAHA, waving his hands in the air, writhing around on the floor of the cash register lane, keeping the people behind us from being able to move up, going limp when I tried to move him - good times. Blah blah, I almost exploded. Blah blah, we walked to the car and the kids kept laughing and screaming, ecstatic in their disrespect. Blah blah, I morphed into Satan and burned the kids alive with my shrieks. When they laughed at that, I morphed into Satan's Pure, Unfiltered Rage and at that point I blacked out and awoke moments later with a throat raw from screaming, the car parked in the driveway, Bryce silently, calmly hopping out and running inside for his blanket, and Quinn still sitting in his seat, watching me and wondering at what point I would use my inside voice to communicate my "disgust" with their "horrible, unacceptable behavior in the store."

Hmm, I was right. That just simply isn't funny. Morphing into Satan's Rage is bad, right? Doing exactly what I tell my kids NOT to do while criticizing that same behavior is definitely going to fall under the category of "horrible" and "unacceptable." The thing is, what I want to say is that the 20-minute horror of completely losing control has now overshadowed every other positive experience I had with or provided for my kids this weekend. I can't decide if that's because I'm letting my own self-centered guilt blow it out of proportion (I don't think so) or if it's because that 20 minutes was just the culmination of two non-stop days of deep breaths and time outs and starting over and counting to ten, and it seems a little ridiculous, or sad, or mind-numbingly discouraging to me that two solid days with my own children should be such an effort, such an exhaustive exercise in anger management. The phone rang within minutes of walking in the door from the grocery store / car ride experience, and it was my mother-in-law, who is not exactly on my list of people I would normally (read: EVER) confide to. But she asked how things were going and Bryce was on the couch with his blanket for time out, and Quinn was upstairs in his room for time out, and I was surrounded by groceries and an open refrigerator and general physical and emotional chaos, so I bawled into the phone, I don't understand why it's this way. I try to prepare myself, to prepare them. I read. I think. I work really hard at this, but it's like I've never done anything at all. People say it's just "kid stuff" but it's not. It's NOT. This is beyond that. And now it's time for their lunch, and so I better start ramping up for the fight that will be nap time. "No," she said. "You don't need to 'ramp up' for anything. You just deal with the hour you're in right now. It's just survival." And I thought of my last session with the trainer at the gym, where he asked me to hold my body up, facing down, by my toes and forearms, and alternately lift one leg with the opposite arm, so I'd be balancing first on my right leg (my right set of toes, actually, holy crap that's hard) and left arm, then on my left leg and right arm. I have done this move before, but never with my toes elevated on a ball, which they were this time. I was struggling the same way I struggled with the jump rope at my first session; I was bewildered, frustrated, even a little angry. "It's a very small point of balance," he said. "You have to practice; sometimes it takes a while to find it." We switched to a move where I only had to lift one arm at a time, and I accomplished it, but it was sloppy and more challenging than I could have imagined; I thought I was strong enough for that move, but apparently, not yet. "You don't seem like yourself today," he said. Normally when I finish one exercise, I hop up and we move to the next one, but this time when I dropped my arm for the last time, my entire body slumped to the floor, my face flat against the mat, my head shaking back and forth in disbelief and disappointment. I forced myself up and he asked if I was okay. "Yeah, it's just really disappointing; I don't understand why I couldn't do that." "Well," he said, "you can't be 100% every day."

Sometimes there are no answers, I think. Just survival and some sloppy, shaky, awkward attempt at balance. At least that's what I'm telling my kids so they don't disown me or have me locked up.

Labels: , ,