Foul Ball

Not sure why I’m so impatient tonight since I took the day off today and can’t decide what was more taxing, shopping or getting a pedicure. Maybe shopping because it was more like power walking since I didn’t actually buy anything, just did a lot of running around. But then again, the pedicure kind of tickled.

But then I had to spend time with my family and sometimes they can just wreck my entire night. It’s not like anyone did anything terrible or egregiously wrong, but a series of little things compounded on top of one another can drive a person to the edge.

5:12   David, Cameron, Justin and I pile into the van to take Cameron to his baseball game. I have to fight off Alex at the doorway because he wants to go with me and not with Barry. I’m not taking him because my intent is to drop Cameron off and then run over to the grocery store to get something for them to eat for dinner and I’m not doing that with two pre-schoolers in tow.

5:18  I pull out a chair, bag, bat bag, and quilt from the back of the van. Cam grabs his bat bag, David takes off. I ask him to take either the chair or the blanket. He says no. “David!” I say, shooting him a look of death and he reluctantly grabs the quilt.

5:20  Justin and I walk across the street to Byerly’s, he refuses to hold my hand and almost darts out into the street where the psycho drivers insist on blowing through at 40 mph even though it’s right next to a park where there are kids all over the place.

5:25  Justin has a hissy fit because the car cart we have selected apparently has a malfunctioning horn.

5:35  I just spent $29 on string cheese, blueberries, milk, mini-muffins, bananas, summer sausage, and Cheez-Its. So much for trying to be semi-healthy. It’s easier and cheaper to just hit the Wendy’s drive-thru.

5:40  Justin jumps in a puddle on our way back to the ball field and splashes water all over me, and despite my multiple directives to stop, he keeps singing a song about farting. We get back to our spot and David is sitting in the chair where I left my white hoodie, which is now on the damp ground and he has his feet on it.

5:50  I’m trying to watch the game and get two little kids fed and David insists on standing in front of me, regaling me with tales about elementary school bathroom usage.

5:55  Alex hands me a half-chewed piece of string cheese.

6:05  Justin takes the last muffin, Alex wigs out.

6:10  I just want to watch the baseball game in peace and David is still babbling on about something someone said to somebody somewhere sometime, Justin is singing a Black-Eyed Peas song, and Alex won’t stop crawling on me.

6:11  I tell them all to stop talking, find something to do, and stop touching me. Barry asks why I’m so grouchy.

6:15  They find something to do. They all fight over a piece of orange yarn David found on the ground.

6:25  Justin and Alex go play in the trees. Soon a lady comes over and says they’re near the street.

6:35  They’re not near the street now, but they are playing Harry Potter using sticks as wands and are circling around my chair and I’m wondering who will be the first one to be impaled or lose an eye. Probably me.

6:40  Justin pokes David with his stick, David takes the stick and breaks it in half. Brawl ensues.

6:45  I pick up the plastic grocery bag with the food in it and someone has put their loosely capped bottle of milk back in it and I am now sitting with a pool of milk in my lap.

6:50  Mercifully Barry has to drive David to his baseball practice and takes Justin with him.

What I was trying to watch in between all of this was Cameron’s team finally winning their first game. Cameron went from playing in the dirt last year to being one of the most heads-up players on the team. Gold glove caliber fielding the last couple games.

Once we got home I planned to run up to the garden center for some filler plants so I can get some annuals planted tomorrow. Barry didn’t want me to go without Justin. I couldn’t convince Justin to go with me so I ended up not going anywhere.

Alex was all ready to put his pajamas on until he saw Justin out playing with Cameron and the neighbor kids and insisted on going out too. I took him outside and he ran into the backyard. The little girls immediately took him on so I ran inside to grab my headphones and escaped for a walk.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve gone on a walk without having to pull a wagon or carry a bike halfway home. I cranked my iPod and finally felt at peace. Ideal walking conditions, sun setting, cool temp, smell of lilacs permeating the air…perfection. I took my usual long path and got to the park and saw all the kids down there. I thought about stopping to grab mine and go home since it was getting late, but figured since they all appeared to be getting along and staying out of trouble I would just keep going. I pretended not to see them and extended my walk (Good thing I didn’t stop because Justin told me when I got home, “I was yelling ‘Jennifer! Can I come?’ but you didn’t hear me!”).

So I felt a little bit more relaxed after walking out some frustration. Barry turned bedtime duties over to me and I really only had to yell once and they knew I meant business. Once they were situated, I took a quick shower and felt like I’d cleansed myself of my impatience and tension.

Until I came out of my room and Barry was standing there waiting for me like a little kid, “What are you doing?”

Really? I can’t take a shower in my own house without offering an explanation? I can’t even write this without David coming over every five minutes telling me about the show about river monsters he’s watching on Animal Planet. I get an update every two minutes.

David: “Mom, snake heads are giant monsters that can eat a child.”

Me: “That’s nice.”

David: “We’re safe because they only live in Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Illinois and Florida.”

Me: “That’s good.”

David: “Mom, I’m scared for Ben because he lives in Pennsylvania.”

Me: “Ben doesn’t go in rivers.”

David: “But they can walk on land.”

Me: “Oh, well they’ll have to be careful then.”

David: “I’m going to be up until midnight because I’m also watching the part about the alligator gar.”

Me: “Ok.”

I’m having a Greta Garbo moment. I want to be left alone.

© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2010


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