Off The Edge

Have you ever had one of those sequences of events where it just snowballs out of control into a hilarious mess? That was yesterday morning. Little did I know when I finished procrastinating that it would turn into such a scenario.

The Players: 
Littlest: Was woken up too early by Biggest. Went back to sleep but still crabby. Made crabbier by having Mom turn off the TV.
Biggest: Woke up at 5:00am. Went back to “sleep” until 6:30am. Crabby and clingy, but trying hard to be helpful nonetheless.
Me: Was woken up by both kiddos at 5:00am. Sent children screaming back to bed, went back to sleep crabby because I couldn’t figure out why Biggest insisted on screaming dramatically about “cheerios gone” when it was essentially the middle of the night. Slept poorly until 6:30am. Attempted to wake myself up by dozing on the floor for a bit. Had coffee, but it wasn’t enough. Tired from previous day’s events, played video games too long as a result.

The Scene:
The house exploded. Mess everywhere. Cheerios, mittens, and junk mail strewn on the floor. Ease of access to key areas of the house is impossible because of exhaustion upon returning home the day before. Therefore, there is several piles of outerwear in need of cleaning, dishes everywhere, and the buggy is not yet folded down. I’ve made my way to the living room with my basket of wet laundry, I’ve weaved my way around the piles to hook up the clothesline, and Biggest is in position to hand me clothespins.

Act 1:
Me, upon starting to hang the laundry, discovered that there was hair all over my wet laundry. Realizing that this was because Hubby and I had thoughtlessly put all of the clothing we used during last week’s home haircuts in this bucket. Aggravation Level 1 ensued, as this was the load I didn’t dry (the dryer would have collected all that hair as lint), therefore I was going to have a heck of a lot more work to do to get the hair off my clothing.

Act 2:
While in the middle of Aggravation Level 1, Biggest and I had an argument about the clothespins.
Me: One, please.
Biggest: How about 2.
Me: No, thank you. I just need one.
Biggest: Two.
Me: Just one, please.
Biggest: How about three.

Aggravation Level 2 occurs.
It wouldn’t have been as frustrating if that was the only argument we had, but it went from conversational to I’m-glaring-because-you-won’t-take-the-second-clothespin-and-now-I’m-mad-enough-to-try-to-prevent-you-from-taking-them-out-of-my-hand-and-I’m-also-having-an-attitude-because-you’re-correcting-me-on-my-behavior.

Act 3:
After Aggravation Level 2 is achieved, I realize that the only way I have to get rid of the hair is to vacuum it. Yes. Vacuum it. I attempt to do so with the dustbuster, only to realize that it won’t work when it’s wet and I will have to use the big vacuum once they’re dry because my dustbuster doesn’t have enough suction. Aggravation Level 3 occurs.

After finishing the laundry, I then realize that I have to clean the laundry hamper because it is also covered in hair. I attempt to do so awkwardly, further increasing my tension because this is the tall hamper that doesn’t fit in the bathtub nicely.

Aggravation Level 3 is the point where you really should be trying to calm down, preferably alone.

Act 4:
Once I realized my Aggravation Level, I attempted to channel my anger productively, and started cleaning up. Biggest, being the adorably curious child he is, decided to see what I was doing. Biggest, being the tired, crabby child that he was at the time, did not use his curiosity well.

Biggest: What are you doing, Mommy? (2″ in front of me as I’m about to start sweeping the floor)
Biggest: Whatcha doing, Mommy? (2″ behind me as I’m about to turn around with a load of dishes in my hand)
Biggest: Where are you, Mommy? (in the middle of my dirt pile, while standing right in front of me)
Biggest: I’m allllloooooowwwed in the kitchen, Mommy. (said with the quality of a thirteen year old girl struggling with an eye-rolling issue)

Aggravation Level 4 arrived. (entering volatile stage)

It should be noted that anything higher than Aggravation Level 1 is exacerbated by children sprouting right where you are trying to go.

Act 5:
Biggest: Whatcha doing Mommy?
Biggest: I don’t have to go play. (said coyly specifically to push buttons)

Aggravation Level 5. (not pretty)


Act 6:
I wish I could say that was the end of it, but while I was attempting to calm myself down after Biggest decided that pushing my buttons was definitely not worth it at this moment, the sink clogged. I couldn’t get the blender apart to wash it properly. I couldn’t decide what to make for lunch. We didn’t have anything I wanted to eat. I was stepping on crumbs. I swept the crumbs out of the way only to realize that I swept them right where I needed to go.

Aggravation Level 6. (steam erupting from ears and nostrils comes to mind)

Me: I don’t want to wash dishes anymore. (leaves kitchen)

Hubby, having been woken up by the ruckus, is furiously reassured that I am only having a bad moment and it’s really no one’s fault. Hubby intervenes.


I am really proud of myself that I didn’t blame it on anyone, but I’m also dreadfully embarassed at having a full-on adult tantrum and stalking out of the kitchen. Did I mention all of that happened in less than 20 minutes?

I’m pleased to report, however, that the rest of the day was significantly less awkward, and no one was scarred for life. I was also able to have an evening tea visit with my mother, who has been sick for several weeks, and had an excellent and informative discussion that has led to a significantly less awkward morning today.

And with that, I promised Biggest we’d do his fish puzzle as soon as I was done writing, and from what I can gather, he’s been about as patient as he can be, so I’m off. I also have to vacuum my laundry.

The Handler.

(Note to self: put haircut laundry in one of the hampers that actually gets dried. Saves self lots of frustration.)


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