Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Welcome to my breakdown. Enjoy.

Rashed walked in through the kitchen yesterday and came upon a surprising scene. The kids are sitting down for dinner, looking up at me with startled eyes. I'm standing at the head of the table, wild-eyed and disheveled, practically shrieking at my #2 son. "Pray, just pray! I don't care HOW his arms are folded, just say the prayer!" Rashed gives me a slightly reproachful look. Now, I realize at this point, I'm out of my mind. I can tell I'm channeling the Queen of the Harpies, I just feel powerless to stop it. I do, however, have the presence of mind to know that screaming at someone to pray is absurd, so I do the only rational thing to do and send them all to their rooms. Again, there's a look from Rashed that says "You call yourself a mother?" I take a deep, calming breath. I take another one, because the first one doesn't work. Then, with a voice of forced calm, I call them back to the table. The little guys come, but the big ones don't hear. Gentle Rashed asks me quietly, "Should we call the big boys?" I can't remember exactly how I answered him, I was in a swirling vortex of stress and tension. It's all a blur to me now. So this morning, I'm asking myself, how did I get to such a place?

First of all, I'm suffering from a wicked case of jet lag. I'm exhausted. I also came home absolutely certain that NOW was the time for me to start waking up at 5am to exercise and read scriptures. Our clocks are fast, so it's like, 4:40. I also am in the middle of a cleaning mania where I, again, am certain that NOW is the time for my house to be spotless. I had grocery shopping, hours of parent-teacher conferences, and not only all my children home WAY early from school, but every child within a ten mile radius in my house. They were inside, or building huge structures out of garden tools, boulders and firewood in my front yard. And leaving the door wide open, AND tracking leaves onto my freshly swept floor, AND getting my couch pillows on the ground. Add to the mix that my husband was working late and wouldn't be home until the kids were in bed. And Thanksgiving is at my house tomorrow. And I had a screaming toddler who missed his nap, AND a reluctant viola player who was supposed to be practicing but was instead forcing me with that evil power of his to nag him about every note he played.

It was indeed a rough day. How did it end, you ask? Did I pull from my vast stores of experience, wisdom and patience a solution? Did this day end in love, acceptance and in a glow of family bliss?

No. I sent them all to bed at six, took a hot bath, all the while stuffing my face with chocolates from Germany.