More Crabby than Not

Forget sleep. It's never going to be enough.

Every day something happens that messes with my time, with my sleep, with time I get to spend here with you, with the dog at the park and other dogs. Yes, I actually like going to the park with Teddy to see other dogs. They are so cheerful there.

On Monday, a holiday, I spent half the day cooking and cleaning for our friends who came to stay, and stay, and stay. Then, I spent the second half of the day sleeping and cleaning up after them again after they left.

I already told you about that, didn't I?

Sorry. I think I did.

I'm convinced that my main goal in cleaning after they left was to get the stink of their laundry detergent and deodorant out of my foyer and bathroom. They didn't leave a mess, just a smell.

Most people like those flowery and fruity smells that come in cleaning supplies and personal hygiene products. I don't. I guess I don't mind a mild citrus smell, but I try to keep the rest out of my house, along with the odor of wet cat litter. They both give me a headache.

Try having two cats and not have a wet cat litter smell in the house now and then.

Right, sorry. I'm back from my tangent now.

So on Tuesday morning, Nick came down with a cold and couldn't go to school. The fourth day of school and already I could imagine a day coming soon when he'd been out sick as long as he'd been back to school. Top that off with Mike refusing to kiss me good morning because he had a sore throat and didn't want me to catch it. You know, it's sweet, really, but I depend on that affection. I'd almost rather catch cold than go without it for a week to ten days while he spreads his germs.

I also hate calling the school attendance line to say Nick is going to be out. Why is that recorded voice always judging me? First, they list a bunch of things you have to remember, name, spelling of just the last name, reason for absence, birthday, the date you called. That last one is always the one that gets me. Think about it. It's 5:56 am. I have rolled out of bed after a night of waking up with a sick kid, checking on his breathing, making tea, hugging him. He is technically an adult now so I know he's sick when he leans in and wants me to hug him.

When I'm at that point in the recorded message, I have to try to remember what the date was the last time I noticed, then try to calculate if it's the same date or if midnight has happened since I then. So, I invariably hang up half way through the announcement, go check my calendar, then call back again. At the announcement, I mentally click off the list of stuff I need to remember, wait for the beep, and talk to the voice of the woman from the office, at least in my head. I picture her face, bored and bothered. She never did like me, so I get all nervous, spell Nick's whole name instead of just his last, pause on the birthday because I so often have to report Mike's birthday for insurance, and then ramble on about how Nick really needs this day off because his asthma makes every cold a misery of breathing issues. It's embarrassing that I go on like that. Then, I tell that answering machine, "Thank you," because when the woman in the office recorded the call, she said in a monotone voice, "Have a fantastic day."

Imagine the voice of the worm lady in the office of Monsters Inc., for the type of attitude you hear. Then, tell me if that voice will do anything to incur a fantastic day when you hear it. Face to face, this woman would say the same thing, no cheer in her eyes, no interest whatsoever in who I was or what I was doing, so that knowledge of the face-to-face never helped the picture that came to mind when I listened to her recorded voice.

Three times this week, I had to approach the task of listening to her before I'd had breakfast or imagined a mug of tea.

So, no. This is not my day yet. I do not get to sit down with a book. I do not get to dawdle at the computer. I do not get to sit on the deck with the cat to watch the chickadees splashing in the birdbaths like children at the community pool.

Thank you for listening, jules