Friday, August 18, 2006

Take a Deep Breath

Well, we all made it to Friday. Whew! I woke up this morning a little more stressed this morning. So I remind myself to take a deep breath. I stop to blog a few minutes and remind myself that some things are out of my control (cats getting hit by cars, children waking up early, husband working overtime). And I think about the things that are in my control. The plug for the television set. The pull cord for the drapes that let in the morning light. My ability to feed the cats so they stop meowing SO LOUDLY, and therefore lessening the chances that Little One wakes up.

I find myself this morning tip-toeing around, trying to get things done before Little One wakes up. Once she wakes up, then there's breakfast to be made, and another day of what I call toddler negotiations. For whatever reason this week, Little One has stood her ground, and not much has been able to motivate her to do the simplest things she usually does with joy and gusto. Things like going potty, putting on her velcro light-up Strawberry Shortcake sandals, talking in complete sentences. Now I know she is barely 2 and a half, but this kid talks up a storm. So I don't feel bad making her say, "Help, please" instead of incoherent babbling, screaming, and crying. So this may be one reason to add to the stress pile this morning. Oh, if she would just sleep until 8 am. (ok, stop laughing at me, I mean it)

The other stress was that I have known all week that today was garbage day and this week I had to deal with something really gross (alert: graphic story ahead. If you are eating your breakfast, you may want to skip to another blog and come back later. I wouldn't want anyone hurling their oatmeal...oh, wait, that was last post).

Over last weekend (Saturday afternoon, I believe) we had to deal with a white kitty dead on the road around the corner. So here's how it goes....

My husband comes home with the bad news. He distracts the kids while I go out with bags and box to pick up kitty off the road. I set her carefully in the box with the bags on a table in our carport. Husband, who is the official digger and cat-burier, does not want to tell the girls, and has to leave to go back to work. So I think, and cry and keep it to myself all Saturday night and Sunday morning. After church, I tell husband, please can we tell the girls and bury the kitty. So we tell the girls (insert Dancer Girl, much crying). Husband goes back to work Sunday afternoon, still having no time to bury the kitty.

At this point I see lots of flies as I walk past the box. So on Monday or Tuesday husband comes home early to bury the cat. He is not happy with me because the cat is not actually in a plastic bag, but on top of an old vinyl tablecloth inside the box. So by the time he got to bury the kitty, the whole thing was not very pretty and did not smell well. So husband buries the kitty in a hurry, and because the whole thing is so gross, and smells so bad, he leaves the box and the tablecloth in the backyard near the burial site in a corner of the backyard. I am not mad at him, no ugly comments please, that is just what happened.

So here's the part that stressed me out. All week, I knew I was going to have to deal with that tablecloth and that box, because garbage day is Friday. I knew I would put it off til this morning. So picture me going about my business.....I wash my hands after going to the bathroom, glance out the back window to see my pretty flowers in the back yard.....and there is that box and tablecloth (on purpose I have not gone into gory details as to the exact state of the tablecloth). All week, I have not let the girls go in the backyard to play on the swingset, because of this box and tablecloth. All of this is silly, I know, but neither husband nor I wanted to deal with the little white squirmies. He reasoned that they would grow up and fly away.

So, then comes today. I wake up anxious and full of dread, knowing that today was the day. So I went out there (nothing touched with bare hands, mind you) and took care of it. It is done, the garbage is at the curb(insert multiple hand washings). There were no white squirmy things to deal with, though there was a lovely smell.

I suppose I must apologize for dumping this on you first thing in the morning. It is just that I woke up a little stressed (i know, i know, stress of my own choosing). The good news is that I more caught up with laundry than I usually am. There are only a few small loads to wash, and a few to fold and put away. We have had a busy and productive week at school. Some days I kept up with house things, and other days, they got left behind. I know I will feel better once I get the dishwasher loaded.

Isn't it silly how we let the external things in our lives control our stress and happiness? I say to myself, I will feel better when the dishwasher is loaded, when those clothes are put away, when the cat is buried. It is silly, and it is not. I actually find that I do feel better when I can see my counter tops and find clean underwear in my drawer. I feel better when there is nothing to trip over in the living room.

So again, I tell myself to take a deep breath. Though some of those things are in my control (laundry, dishes), there is no point getting yourself all stressed out before the day has really started. Um, I mean, myself. So I stop and think. What would God really want me to do today? What will the best things to do be?

get the family clean and dressed (including myself), feed the family good food on clean dishes, say Good morning with a smile and be glad to see them as they wake up, be patient with childish behavior (jumping, tickling, forgetting, going potty at all the wrong times at the wrong places, wanting Happy Meals every day, asking for every pretty doll on every commercial), sing songs to my family and with my family, play outside, let the children help fix the meals, let the children vacuum the floor (or clean the television screen or bathroom mirror) and not complain at how long it takes, read books, play games, get off the computer the first time my children ask me to, turn off the television, tell them the truth, etc.

I could go on and on, but this is my list for me. So, sorry for the gross story, but I really hope you have a good day. I feel better already.


Alissa said...

Gross is what I do for a living. Really. You didn't bother me in the least. If you needed to get it out then I hope you feel better. Sorry about your kitty.

Glad school went well this week! I do the same things, with the dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc... It's hard sometimes to just relax, isn't it?

Alipurr said...

yes, hard to relax, and yes, I do feel better. ha ha

Motherkitty said...

Well, daughter, I'm glad you finally got that taken care of. No wonder you were so vague whenever I asked if you had buried the cat yet. Now I know. I won't say anything further because I've been there and done that. At least husband got the cat in the ground. Man, I hate those white wigglers!!!

Glad you are feeling a little less stressed. In the whole vast scheme of things, what you are experiencing will pass and will resolve itself on its own. In the meantime, enjoy your kids (even if they have daily temper tantrums) because they grow up so very fast. I know. I raised you and your brother, and now look at you!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Sorry about your kitty...we also lost Skunky this week to a car, although we weren't as affectionate to him as we are to our cats...but I did enjoy seeing him come around.

Little One is just going thru a phase and things will work out. Maybe now that the girls can go outside to play with their new swing set things will be better with Little One. Maybe.

I'm glad you are feeling better after your vent...that's another thing blogs are good for! *LOL*

Leish said...

It's always good to get it out! I always feel better after letting my stress out.

Michelle said...

Sorry about your cat. It is always hard to lose a pet.

Your mother sent me your link because yesterday I posted about giving children milk and/or nursing/formula, and she thought you would have some insight for me. I look forward to hearing from you. We also live in KY, outside of Lexington. Have a great day!

AlmstHvn said...


Toddler Negotiations. Phew. Makes me tired just thinking about it. K is 5, it hasn't gotten any easier!

Alipurr said...

Toddler negotiations are certainly exhausting. I am finding with Little One that it comes in waves. Just when I think we are over something, it is like she sets her little feet in concrete. It is kind of like going to peace negotiations not knowing the foreign language of the country you are going to, with no interpreter. Ha

Schmanny said...

I am so happy you found me and now I you. Your post was hilarious and somehow familiar, even at 5 something a.m. You seem to be up early this morning as well. I hope that has provided you the solitude you need--both in mind and body--now that the cat is taken care of.

Franny said...

Yes, that was a gross story, but I would react the same way, putting off the 'gross' until I could no longer take it.
Also, God has a lot of expectations for you, it seems. I think it could all be summed up into: love your family, or love one another. It always comes back to the golden rule, doesn't it.
I will be thinking about your 'external things' comment all day. It was very wise.