Monday, August 23, 2010

A rotten weekend

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
—W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”

Have you ever had one of those days that turns into one of those weekends?  Well this was one of those weekends. Now, I suppose I should be careful when making such a statement; there were a few good things that happened: Dave and I went out to a nice BBQ get together on Saturday night, Kirkham was able to attend a party that was previously thought un-doable because a few things got cleared from the schedule, Heath auditioned for and was invited to join Symphonic Band; But mostly it was bad.

It all started coming apart on Friday morning at Cora's birthday party.  Yes, a birthday! Birthday's are typically joyous occasions and this one wasn't expected to be much different.  We awoke to the usual chores and duties.  The kids were great about pitching in and getting a few extras done before the guests arrived.  The small group of 6 girls, 3 sets of sisters, headed straight out to the backyard while I worked on a few last cake decorations and Cora's requested lunch menu: macaroni and cheese. That doesn't sound too bad  . . . . until they start jumping on the trampoline. Fighting immediately ensues.

"Your jumping too high!"
"Your in my way."
"If you don't like it get off!"
"Let's crack the egg."
"I'm afraid of jumping high!!"
"Wait, wait, wait, wait, WAIT!!!!!"

All the girls were screaming and bouncing and jumping and crying all at the same time.  It was chaos! But I have a strict "limited intervention" policy and decided to let them go for a few more minutes, perhaps they could settle their differences on their own before the neighbors called to complain about the racket in the back yard.

Nope.  The fighting continued.  I suggested a game.

A tumble of screaming, wild girls rolled into the house all suggesting different games.  It being Cora's birthday I let her choose the game: Slamwich. The girls went along with it, two begrudgingly. After about 10 minutes, and only half a round of the game, the shrill voices had raised to a fevered pitch as they discussed and debated the outcome of a play.  "I'd prefer the trampoline noise to this cacophony," I thought to myself and suggested if they couldn't resolve their differences they should play another game.  "We have dozens to choose from." I piped.

That was the wrong thing to say because then bedlam, mutiny and a major falling out resulted.  Chaos ruled for about 15 minutes through a barrage of tears and minor name calling (by Cora), a time out and a stern talking to (for Afton), and a mix of murmuring and shocked disturbance (from all the other girls). I tried shoving one more game down their throats to calm them down but that didn't work and so lunchtime was announced.  Lunch can save anything, can't it?!

Not this party.

Cora had requested homemade macaroni and cheese.  As the girls sat down two of them declared loudly that they didn't like macaroni and cheese.  One of them backpedaled and asked if it was homemade and then tried to recover by saying "Oh, well I'll eat it if it's homemade because homemade is always better." Good girl!  No backpedaling from mac and cheese hater #2.  She demanded something else.

Hold on a minute--before I go any further you have to know something about me--I do not give in to the threats and demands of children.  I am proud to be a mean mother who demands her children try a little bit of everything and NEVER make them something else to eat, NEVER.  If they were really hungry they would eat what I have prepared.  I refuse to be a short order cook and feel it is my responsibility to teach them to eat and enjoy a variety of foods and to be polite and respectful when they have come across something that they don't particularly enjoy but has been prepared for them.  Again, I repeat, I NEVER make my children something else to eat.

Back to the story--I offered to make hater #2 something else to eat.  That is how desperate I was to turn this party around.

She wanted something that I didn't have but settled on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with my delicious strawberry-banana-blueberry freezer jam that I made last week. (Not even all of my family members have been so honored as to have received a PBJ with this coveted and choice recipe, yet).  The other girls were nearly done with their macaroni and cheese and were picking at the veggie tray using the carrots and broccoli as veggie dip delivery devices.  I ignored them and served the freshly made PBJ.  Hater #2 took a bite and exclaimed while glaring down at the sandwich, "It has blueberries in it. I don't eat blueberries.  I haven't had blueberries before.  I won't eat this."  I glared at her. Hadn't the name strawberry-banana-blueberry jam tipped her off?

"Well, I'm not really that hungry anyways so it's ok."

"No it's not" I thought, "I just wasted 2 tablespoons of my family's favorite jam ever, which just so happens to be in very short supply this year, on a little girl who wasn't really that hungry anyways?!" Just a thought.  I did not say anything. I took a deep breathe, smiled real big (or at least as big as I could muster; I probably looked sick) and sang out "Time for Birthday Cake!!"

Hurray's and hurrah's finally rang out through the house as the little group clapped their hands together and prepared their voices for a rousing round of "Happy Birthday to Cora". The verse finished, the cake was cut, ice cream scooped, plates delivered and a little voice calls out above the murmur of busy mouths, "I won't eat this.  I don't eat chocolate." 

Yep, you guessed who it was.  She asked for another cake. I told her I only made one cake and I only had one flavor of ice cream.  She was astonished and declared, "Well, I guess it's good that I wasn't really hungry anyways."

"Yep", I thought.

Other things that fell apart this weekend:

  • Did I mention that my first batch of birthday mac and cheese burned on the stove while I was settling a dispute between party-goers?
  • Got the bill for the brake repairs on the motorhome--$200 more than expected--the total was already ridiculous before.
  • Trying to sell an extra car, silver 1992 BMW 325i.  Driving around town and the check engine light came on.  The oxygen sensor has gone bad.
  • The garage door broke.  One of the middle panels jammed, the top panel bent inwards and the rollers jumped the track and punctured the garage ceiling in 4 spots.
  • Purchased some of the needed frozen food items for the upcoming bike trip with my brother and crew. Freezer stopped working.  Everything defrosted.
  • Woke up at 4am Sunday morning with a crushing headache. Couldn't get back to sleep.
  • Dave accidentally backed over our mailbox and crushed it to smithereens.  One good note: the truck is no worse for wear.
  • I burned Cora's birthday cake for Sunday night's family birthday party with gramma, grampa, etc.(It was chocolate too). Ran out of time to remake it.

I'm ready for Monday.


  1. oh huney I am so sorry for you and Cora! I don't think that that "friend" should be aloud to come over anymore! Who lets their kids behave that way!! I hope that your week gets better! Lots of love and Prayers,

  2. Did you happen to mention that whole incident to the mother of the picky eater? If I were a mom, I would definitely want to know if my child were acting so haughty and obnoxious.

    I hope your week gets better.

  3. Oh Dani, That sounds absolutely awful (everything). When it rains it certainly pours. When you are desperate for Monday to arrive you know it's bad. I pray that this week fares better for you. But on the bright side, you know who NOT to invite to parties in the future...

  4. Dani, so sorry you had such a horrible weekend. That little picky girl at the birthday party is one reason I expect my kids to have manners and don't make something different when they don't like what I have made. How frustrating! And the JAM! The horror!! Hope the week goes better & the bike trip was fun!

  5. While catching up on your blog, I finally got to see what had been upsetting you on the day of Cora's party. I wish I had been able to stay and help you with them, but I had a baby's Dr. appt. That being said, I don't know if you still need one, but I have an extra mailbox that just needs a post and you're welcome to it if you want it. I think you were lucky. Last time Tom backed over a mailbox, it put a 9 inch dent in the car!

  6. Lisa, RU serious?! Dave propped up our busted up box on an old sawhorse with a couple of bungees wrapped around to keep it all together--just so our mail would still be delivered. It looks pretty trashy though and I'm anxious to replace it. However with a broken garage door, a broken car and a broken front door (the door knob jammed while we were gone and so Heath took it off. now we only have our deadbolt to keep it shut) the mailbox has been relegated to the back of the list.
    How much do you want for it?


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