Yesterday started out well. Beautiful March Sunday in Phoenix. I woke up with a wild hair to bake some scones. It happens. Then made the last minute decision to take the kids and the Man to the Phoenix Children’s Museum to celebrate Thatcher’s birthday. I stopped worrying about planning a party or coordinating anything with his father. He can figure it out on his own time.
It was excellent! I had brought some cupcakes to surprise the kids. Never thought they would move around and get ruined. Clearly, I’m not in the business of transporting baked goods. Really? Cupcakes don’t survive a backpack? huh. Weird.
So we decided to come home, get MAM’s dogs, go to the park and have cupcakes. Cupcakes are ruined. MAM already got his dogs. Dogs stay with me and he runs up to the store to get more cupcakes. The doggies are happy in my backyard and everything is fine. I take their leashes off so they will be happy running around. We go inside and I think I hear MAM’s truck. So I grab a drink of water and realize his favorite dog (the Akita!!!!) is missing!!!
The kids had left the front door wide open. So she helped herself right out of it. Thankfully MAM was pulling into her driveway and she just walked right across the street. But then I come out holding both leashes and feeling like an idiot! I really can take care of a dog!?
We are all trying to gather kids and helmets. Kage invited anyone he can see. Then there’s no sign of Thatcher. No ONE else watches for him EVER. After only a few minutes of complete panic expecting he’s around the corner by now, I find him lying down on a porch swing happily swinging away. Grr.
I finally coax all of my kids, plus one, down to my house. Searching for helmets for everyone when I hear Kage wailing like I’ve never heard. The Man immediately heads down there and I’m close behind. Kage is shirtless and bloody all over his chest and hands. At least he had his full-faced helmet on from his quad when he was 4! Sheesh! And he somehow did not bang up his knees either.
The Man helps him gently wash his hands and chest. Then we spray him with bactine which was torture. We prop him on the couch where he stays for the next several hours. Willow and I sing to Thatcher while Chris (you know I mean MAM, right?) takes pictures.
I did not eat at the museum so the Man went to get us Chipotle (addicts, anyone?) I’m trying to entertain the younger two while keeping them away from Kage. It’s all a blur. I don’t recall what happened. The Man returns and we eat. At that point the kids are finally ready to eat I play short-order cook and make them quesadillas or reheat pizza.
I have my first glass of wine.
We are sitting outside and enjoying the weather. The younger two are playing around having fun. Kage is propped up on the couch watching countless episodes of anything that will keep his mind off his pain. He only cries out every once in a while when the nerves start firing. (I had Tylenol in him before he was done being washed up.)
I decide it would be fun to have a fire in our primitive fire pit. Doing this would bring about way too much anxiety for just me to handle and since it’s Sunday and the ONE day the Man doesn’t work, he goes up to the gas station to buy some cheap wood because the nice wood we got from my parent’s house isn’t technically ready to burn. While he’s gone I went to pee, when I return to the kitchen I walk in on a very specific type of scatter and panic situation: the kids have gotten into the wrecked cupcakes and they, with their neon frosting, are on the floor. The younger kids have the neon blue and green evidence all over their hands and faces.
Text to the Man: Stop everything! The kids got into the cupcakes. (They had each eaten TWO after we sang to Thatcher! It’s not as though they were deprived.)
I pour my second glass of wine.
He was already on his way home with the wood. We are now prepared for the next time I attempt this. We are all (sans Kage) back outside still enjoying the beautiful sunset when Kage comes to the back door, “Cupcake is throwing up!” Shit.
We race inside to see to the excitement and grossness. The cat had thrown up what appeared to be an entire f’ing mouse, fuzzy gray tail intact and all. I clean up the mess and already threaten glass number three of wine.
Some time passed when it was finally time to start herding children to showers. This was surprisingly painless, although I did let Kage off the hook with just brushing his teeth. Loaded him up with ibuprofen and propped him in bed. He sweetly asked me if he could sleep in my bed and in my head I’m screaming, “hell no!” but outwardly I asked him why. He said he was afraid of rolling over in his sleep. Which made my heart hurt for half a second before I convinced him that he would be fine because the body is amazing at protecting itself.
Then I went to Willow’s room where I brushed and braided her hair while she read a book out loud. The Man assisted Thatcher in teeth brushing and then read him a book…melted my heart! After Willow’s kiss goodnight I was walking to say goodnight to Thatcher when the Man said, “So 8:00 walk tonight.” Not stopping my pace I went and kissed Thatcher goodnight, but inside I was more deflated than I had been in quite some time.
It was Sunday. I forgot the day because the kids are officially on spring break and the chaos of the entire day. But it was Sunday and that meant the Man left to go walk and talk with his longtime friend. This is what they do and what they have done for a very long time, long before I was around. They have been friends since childhood and make it a point to stay in touch in this manner. Only, I had forgotten what day it was and as we were in the last details of putting kids to bed on what was such an awful evening, I just wanted to end the day with him. But it was Sunday and that means he leaves. I was empty and livid and wanted him to leave in that moment.
I shut down completely and he saw this. This Man is incredibly perceptive and knows when I am feeling something, anything. And he will not let up until I share something. In the moments I am shutting down, he is being triggered and assumes the worst. When really, I just want to be left alone to figure it out. Besides, I don’t really have this “partner” thing down very well and am more used to my being wrong and figuring it out on my own anyway. But he won’t let up. Which triggers me more, and then we are in this ugly cycle.
And then I figured it out: I never have him to myself for an entire day. Ever. He works six days a week. And although he is off early on Friday and Saturday, he is up and off to work super early on Saturdays. Sundays are his only day off and he usually has to catch up with some kind of life at that point. Laundry and such.