Three Kid Circus : Restless Jenny Recounts Her Day

Monday, September 27, 2004

Restless Jenny Recounts Her Day

I don't know what is going on... my whole family was squirrelly today. Lots of twitching and spastic flailing, leading to a whole lot of nothing in the productivity department.

A few days ago, I ran out of my makeup base - which of course sends a come-on-down signal to the acne fairy. Hello!?! I'm days away from my 32nd birthday and while I'd love to recapture my 16 year old verve, spots were NEVER a good look for me. I'm also retaining enough water that I could fling myself onto a burning building and save the day. It's like a bad Wonder Twins episode. Add to this vision of loveliness the fact that I've been too harried to buy my good shampoo and have been using my husband's all-in-one, rendering my tresses lifeless and dull.

Nevertheless, having rock-solid self-esteem and a bent towards procrastination, I prepared to go fetch my kindergartner at the appointed hour wearing purple yoga style sweatpants and a t-shirt, finished off by my ratty Target sneakers and barrette holding my limp bangs off of my face. I looked like holy hell, but figured I could at least excuse my lack of cuteness by arriving on foot. You know, like this was my workout look. Hah!

The stroller had a flat tire when we went to leave, and despite repeated attempts to fill the tire, it became apparent that we would be taking the van. During this repair interlude, my son took it upon himself to climb to the highest peak of the swingset, where he sang Baa Baa Black Sheep at the top of his lungs. I was able to coax him down with the promise of an Oreo.

I grabbed the baby and the dog, and loaded kit and kaboodle into the van. We arrived, were able to retrieve the big girl quickly, fetch her bike and load back into the van. We left, my daughter bubbling over with enthusiastic descriptions about Johnny Appleseed and Baby Beluga. We rounded the final corner to our house, and there was my mom in her SUV, waving.

She toodle-loo'd at me, and said "Can I come play?" This was really bad. I've been slacking on my housework. And despite playing catch up this weekend, I'm far from company ready. In fact, I should get my heinie off the computer and go clean. Right now. But I'm bad like that. Panic was shooting through every fiber of my being. My mom is a professional real estate stager. She makes homes look like model homes for a living. I didn't want to expose her to the chaos that has overtaken my home after several days of funkitude.

We entered into quick negotiations and decided on ice cream. Since the ice cream parlor is located in the shopping mall, I figured I could Clinique and perhaps replace my ratty shoes, since Grandma would be there to help out.

Normally, taking the kids to the mall is a hair-raising event, executed at a sprint with kids on lockdown in strollers and slings and a minimum of horsing around. Grandma apparently took her cue from my hair, weighed down with crappy all-in-one conditioners, because there was to be no hair-raising, nor any sprinting. She loves to show off the kids, and to let them have 'fun' by wandering free of restraints.

In the royal snit/state of fashion disaster I was in, I developed an eye-tick watching my 22 month old toddle into the path of other shoppers, causing them to lurch around her at the last minute while shooting the evil eye at me. I'm just sour to the core today, because they really had a wonderful time, and I'm sure I was imagining the dirty looks, because really, everyone was busy looking adoringly at my children and their young and cute grandmother.

After a refreshing, sugary treat, the children were primed and ready to take advantage of Grandma's good graces. I Cliniqued while Grandma took the kids up and down the escalator. I wandered the purses and shoes while Grandma took them to the bathroom. Hobo bags are in. After a brief questioning - "Jenny, did you know your son is wearing underpants with ballet slippers on them?" I had to 'fess up that he had soiled the last clean pair of boy pants and I had to improvise, while reassuring her that I'm not trying to raise a cross-dresser.

We let the kids play at the toy store. All three were excited but mannerly, and we made it out of there without spending a dime. Hooray for Grandma! I also got new sneakers, which will clash horribly with my purple pants. But, as I'm thinking on this, purple is really close to pink, and I can't do pink sweats. I have issues, I know. So maybe I need to get some new workout pants too. And a hobo bag. And a poncho. And a housekeeper.

Once we made it home, I was treated to a five hour long bad pun and knock knock joke extravaganza from my five and a half year old. She's got a real dorky streak. She comes by it honestly, what with her parents and all. My son napped, and woke up feeling extra energetic. In fact, he spent close to an hour bounding up and down on the mini-trampoline, kicking himself in the butt and saying "Look Mommy! I'm a pain in my own butt!" Over and over.

The wee one followed me around as I aimlessly loaded the dishwasher and folded laundry. She is in the rapid acquisition phase of language learning, and she speaks with a rising tone, so every word sounds like a question. It's adorable, and I try my best to keep my head in the game, but I was just weary. My slackitude netted me sharp pokes in the thigh from the baby when I failed to parrot the word she was schooling me on. I've got a bunch of pinpoint-sized bruises on my leg as proof of my wandering mind.

We read and logged our books for the evening, packed lunches for tomorrow, chose outfits, ate dinner, did the baths, played with daddy, brushed teeth, even got to bed at a decent hour. I think I will blame this restlessness on the weather.

Oh! That's the other funny thing my daughter said: she said that I'm Deciduous. She must have overheard me talking about needing to mulch my entire wardrobe and start fresh with some Fall Colors. Hee!