i’m kind of evil. sometimes i can’t stand it when, say, i’ve had a really rough day with the kids. it could be any day….let’s say, well, like yesterday, for instance. we finally got our second car fixed and i thought to myself, “self, it’s a rainy day, self. you and i should take the kids to michael’s and get some art supplies and stuff to keep them busy.” great idea. i had it all planned out. i would just put joel’s carseat in the big part of the cart and then ruth could ride in the seat part. one problem. michael’s is a craft store. tiny, tiny baskets. we’re not there to get groceries, i guess, just some paper and fabric flowers. joel’s carseat wouldn’t fit. ergo, i had to wear him while ruth rode in the cart. which was helpful when he started to writhe and fuss because, i dunno, i guess he, at that particular moment didn’t want to be worn, because she was basically face-to-face with him and could talk him off his ledge a bit. ok, so i had a somewhat fussy and very heavy baby strapped to my chest like a personal explosive devise. and then, i had ruth. is it an age thing? she’s usually pretty “good” in the store. i guess we haven’t been to michael’s in a while. i’m not joking. everything she saw, she wanted. and had to tell me loudly just how much she wanted it. and in case i didn’t hear her the first time, she would tell me over and over again. it’s a miracle we made it out of there with more than a couple of colored pencils with the way my head was swimming. but we did. and, small babies, wouldn’t you know. as soon as i got joel strapped into his carseat, he felt, wait is that? yup. ravenous. starvingly hungry. and he began to cry and wouldn’t let up. i kept driving, but, eventually, even though we live a ten minute drive away, gave in and pulled over to feed him. i did so and then got out to burp him. that’s when he threw up all over me.
pair that with ruth’s sudden inspiration to redecorate the living room and move all of the furniture around, hiding the baby’s diapers and wipes from me, plus joel being extra fussy in general either because he’s getting teeth or just getting old enough to get frustrated that he’s a baby, and finally, for her finale performance, ruth took out every single one of her books from her bookshelf and piled them in a huge heap between the living and dining rooms, and you’ve got a little taste of the type of day yesterday was. so, let’s say i have a day like, well, yesterday, and then greg comes home and has a great freakin’ time with ruth. call me evil, but that somehow makes my day seem even a little worse.
sure, it’s great to see her happy. everyone is happier when ruth is happy. but there is a little part of me that crosses her arms over her chest and goes and pouts in the corner at this. and then, when things get a little rougher, like while greg is trying to give her a bath, and i hear him in there getting agitated, “no, ruth! don’t drink the bath water! i said, ‘no’! you have to let me wash your hair. it’s dirty. ruth, stand up. stand up so i can wash you! stop drinking the bath water!” and i hear ruth screeching, i inwardly smile. that’s more like it, i think, now you have a little taste of what i go through all day.
it’s not that i don’t want greg to have a good time with his daughter. but i want to have a good time, too. and i need people, mainly greg, to understand me when i said i’ve had a hard day, and why. i don’t want to be all alone in dealing with the worst ruth has to offer. so, i’m kind of evil. but more, just human, damn it.