By: Shannon Ralph
I have always believed that my problems begin and end with me. I have always assumed that the craziness—the chaos that makes up my life—was my problem. My inability to handle stress. My disorganization. My poor child-wrangling skills. Tonight, however, I have come to the conclusion that my assumptions up to this point have been flawed. It is not me. It is not simply my issues and my problems. No. It is them. Them. It is my deranged children that push me to the precipice of madness. Case in point: Today.
This afternoon, I came home from work to find Sophie with barrettes in her hair. This is completely out of character for her. Since birth, my daughter has refused to let me put barrettes/pony tails/headbands/ribbons of any sort in her hair. She complains that they are uncomfortable. This afternoon, when I questioned the barrettes, she excitedly announced to me that she wanted to let her hair grow long. We typically keep her thin, stringy hair cut in a bob for the sake of convenience. However, if she wants long hair, I am certainly not opposed to it. We chatted happily about what we would do with her long hair. Later, I was talking with my boys about scheduling an appointment for them to get a haircut. Sophie overheard the conversation and quickly chimed in that she wanted a haircut too. “But Sophie, I said. “I thought you wanted to let your hair grow out. “No,” she replied. “I want a haircut. I want to get a lollipop.” Sophie was willing to toss aside her lust for long hair in exchange for a lame Dum-Dum sucker. My daughter is sugar’s mistress. Crazy.
This evening, as I walked into the bathroom to bathe Lucas, he appeared a little disturbed. He was shivering and looked a bit pale. I asked him if he felt ill as I instinctively placed my hand on his forehead to gauge his temperature. He responded, “No, I am okay. I am just cold.” I began to wash his hair. Lucas is eight years old, but he is of the filthy-stinky-I-just-don’t-care variety of little boy, so I have yet to trust him to adequately bathe himself. As I was lathering up his hair, he looked at me quizzically and said, “Mom, when I get cold, this little thing on my left side gets really big.” Yep, you guessed it. He was pointing to his left nipple. Crazy.
As I sat down in my chair this evening after finally getting the kids to bed, Nicholas came running out of his bedroom in a complete panic. His skinny little legs were a snow-white blur. He had his index finger up in the air and terrified look on his face. As he sprinted past me toward the box of Kleenex on the end table, I heard him exclaim, “Oooh! Oooooh! A booger with hair in it!” Crazy.
I think I have adequately made my case. Today was not unusual. These are the odd and utterly bizarre things I hear all day every day. It’s not me. It’s them. Am I right?