First, if you haven't already played my game, go back to this post and be clever. I think I'll take NG's challenge and write a story using all of your words, so get in there and make it brilliant! I'm just the word arranger; you guys are the stars. (I will not be accepting profanity at this time. Maybe for Christmas.)
So, I was feeling snarky last week, my default condition even during the other three weeks of the month, and I read this post by Annie, whom I adore and who in fact is coming to visit me in June, although now it may be to punch my lights out. (I'm just glad that by the time she gets here she'll be, like, 30 months pregnant, so I can probably take her.) I don't remember if I commented - wait, it's coming back to me. Yep. I commented all right. Sheesh, DeNae, do the words "give it a rest" mean anything to you?
And then my Crazy Catholic Neighbor, Sheri came by to drop off my Avon. (That's how she introduces herself to all my friends: "Hi, I'm DeNae's Crazy Catholic Neighbor." You can totally hear the caps.)
And being in the P-leasant M-ental S-tate I was in, I decided to share my snarkiness with her.
You should know, this was proof of how hormonally insane I was. Sheri has five kids; the last four were born in under five years. She calls them her "birth control" kid, her "rhythm method" kid, her "Catholic Services Family Planning" kid, and her "Matt sleeps in the garage now" kid. Something like that.
When her kids were younger, life at their house was like Disney's "Peter Pan", only Wendy was a chain smoker. Remember how the Lost Boys basically traveled everywhere in a human tumbleweed, throwing punches and calling each other names like 'numbwit' and 'yogurthead' and, when things got really diabolical, jerks? That was pretty much a documentary of Sheri's family. The best day of her life was when number five went to school, although she spent the first three hours terrified she'd gone deaf. It took me nearly a month to convince her that one of her kids wasn't suddenly going to dart out of the bathroom and take a bread knife to the kitchen chairs. At least not on weekdays between nine and three.
And THIS was the woman to whom I said the following:
"I'm getting tired of listening to mothers whine that staying home and raising kids is the hardest job in the world.
"Seriously?" I continued. "It's harder than neurosurgery, or scraping bird crap off suspension bridges?"
And I went on, because some people don't even see the volcano 'til they're hip deep in lava. "I mean, yeah, it's demanding, and it can be tough at times. But tougher than spending 18 hours dragging a water buffalo through a rice paddy? Please. Give me a... give me ... um ... is something wrong? Your face is all red and stuff..."
Hoo boy. Pompeii DeNae was in for it now.
"DeNae," Mount Sheruvius began, "do you have no memory of the last eight years? None? Do you not remember what it was like for me to load five kids, a diaper bag, a purse full of coupons, two light sabers, extra shoes for when Shannon's mysteriously disappeared between the parking lot and the shopping cart, a Ronco Pocket Taser, and my cyanide capsules into the van and head to Wal Mart?"
"And have you forgotten that we repainted the front door six times before we finally decided it was just easier to get rid of the meat tenderizer?"
"Or were you just in a friggin' coma when my two boys came at each other with baseball bats while you were sitting in my living room blathering on and on about you, you, you and I had to turn the hose on them myself, no small feat when you consider the hose was on the side of the house where Dom had used his GI Joe to knock a nest of Africanized bees off the roof?"
"So y'know, DeNae, I gotta tell you, after eight long years of staying at home, raising the kids and cleaning the house and shopping and cooking and diapering and disciplining, that water buffalo gig is looking pretty damned nice!"
Properly humbled and begging her forgiveness, I reflected on the valuable lesson I had learned that morning.
I'm going to start ordering my Avon online.