Thursday, March 31, 2011

sittin' downtown in a railway station, one toke over the line

Remember how we moved up here to "chuck it?" How we were going to be all earthy and primitive and embrace a simpler way of life, in which we could count fireflies, calmly make gleaming rounds of chalk-white chevre, welcome new animal life into the world, and teach our children imagination, respect for life, and a strong work ethic? Boy, what a mare's nest THAT has been.

You guys, I had such lofty aspirations. We were casting off the shackles of suburbia and its attendant always running getting nowhere. Our kids were going to dig for worms, pull weeds, show pigs at the county fair, spend their summers outside getting all leathery and glovelike, like mini Robert Redfords. We weren't going to have any of our peers' problems of kids watching too much TV, playing too many video games, doing poorly in school, whining and sassing and swearing and downloading porn as fast as they could get their hands on it. None of this running to lessons and practices and meetings for us!

I don't know where I went wrong, but I'm failing on all of those counts except swearing and porn (as far as I know!), and sometimes school. My kids love TV maybe even more than I do. They loathe the out-of-doors unless they're hiding from work. When allowed, they play video games for five or six hours at a stretch without even getting up to go to the bathroom, and I allow it every time we go to visit John's parents, because they're so much easier to tend that way! I can't be a responsible parent in these modern times! Even if I do live in a quaint little town where everyone is on a first-name basis and we have Fourth of July celebrations where the firemen stock a makeshift straw-bale pond with trout for the kids to catch (albeit a town which is currently stabbing me in the back, but we won't talk about that now biodiesel). I am in the middle of all the mess I didn't want, the pressure to pile on responsibility upon activity upon lesson upon sport upon errand upon calling upon blah blah blah killing everyone now.

Today I did visiting teaching, saw some brand new pit bull puppies which I did not steal, failed at exchanging my sexy new stockings for the correct size, bought goat chow, petted the goats and got grossed out by Traci's goopy eyes, saved the chickens from all being murdered by Aggie, "made" kippered snacks and frozen peas for lunch, did more visiting teaching, drove in our car with newly broken air conditioning to four different stores in Ogden to buy cleats and shin guards and pants and fruit, went back into Costco for Willa to fake pee, bought two rotisserie chickens, spilled the chickens on the ground, drove home with the melting frozen food, threw it all in the freezer, discovered that the grapes I just bought from Costco are full of greenish-white mold, found Willa who had snuck over to the neighbors' house, grabbed the dog and rushed Ike to his soccer game twenty minutes late, rushed over to Grant's game to give him his new shin guards but not his cleats because I forgot and anyway I bought football cleats on accident, drove back to Ike's soccer game with Willa, found Willa who ran away while I went to find Ike and got a puncture weed in her foot which she deserved because she won't wear shoes and runs away, drove home and snarfed some spilled-in-the-parking-lot chicken with Ike and Willa, crated the dog, went to pack meeting in time to miss Emmett getting his bobcat, saw Grant get his Arrow of Light, got bitten by hundreds of mosquitoes in March for some reason, came home and began damage control of our disastrous house so I can save face with the dog behaviorist/trainer who is coming tomorrow, sent my filthy children to bed without showers because it was a half hour past their bedtimes, glowered at John as he walked out the door to go and record a hymn about drawing nearer to God, walked the dog and got creeped out by what was almost definitely a cougar but maybe a horse in the bushes by Bryce Tolman's house.

This is not a special day. It's a pretty standard day for any regular old mom, I would guess. But I wasn't going to have this kind of life! My life was going to be so different. Most days I like my life a great deal, and I can't imagine how I lucked out to such an obscene extent. But days like this where I forget to go to the bathroom because I'm so harried? Man. That is for the birds.

A few days ago I heard a thing on NPR about how people who exaggerate their misfortunes and describe minor setbacks as terrible calamities tend to die earlier. So maybe John and I will die at the same time after all! That makes me feel better.


Sarah said...

Oh, man. I don't know how many times Eliza has asked me "what's funny, mom?" while reading your post, but seriously, I'm crackin' up over here. It's probably not really nice to find humor in your misery, but it pretty much helps me to keep things in perspective. When I have a crappy day, at least mine didn't involve scouts, soccer, or goopy-eyed goats. So there's that.

Jenny said...

I know- crazy. I think it's just a ridiculous time of life. I'm feeling many of those same things and I don't have all the extra animals to care for. I think I need a nice, big break to recharge! Wanna come? Oh yeah, I don't have any money. Nevermind. Let's do lunch sometime instead...On a Saturday when our hubs can have a few hours with the kiddos. Jill and Heidi are invited too. BTW- the word verification is CURAP.