Category Archives: anger

Perfect Insanity

There are certain things that drive me to the brink of insanity and they are these:
The sound of the dog licking her paws at night when I am trying to fall asleep.
The sound of cellophane crackling.
The sound of Snags playing Perfection in his bedroom at five o’clock in the morning.

That last one?  Heard it this morning.

The rule is, the kid is supposed to stay IN BED, and preferably in bed ASLEEP, until 7:30 a.m.   And that is the sole reason why I bought him a digital alarm clock.  So there could be no mistake on the hour. 

When I decided I’d heard enough, heard enough plastic pieces rattling around, heard enough small explosions as the timer ran out and the Perfection pieces flew into the air, I shakily climbed out of bed and opened his bedroom door. All the while repeating to myself, “it’s just a noise, don’t kill him.  It’s just a noise, don’t kill him…” 

GO.BACK.TO.BED! I nearly barked. 

He looked at me mildly, said, “But Mom, I’m just playing Perfection.”

GO.BACK.TO.BED!” I said again, perhaps a bit louder this time. “You don’t play perfection in the middle of the damn night,” I added as I turned out his bedroom light and yanked the door shut behind me.

“It’s not the DAMN NIGHT!” he cried back at me from behind his closed door. 

He’s been crying a lot lately, this child of mine.  I’m not sure but I think it’s the stress of first grade. Summer is over and now he can’t spend endless hours playing video games or building starships out of LEGOs.  In first grade, unlike kindergarten, there are no naps.  The kids have to be up and alert like the rest of us, for a full six hours straight. That kind of paying attention can wear you out, wear you down.

Snags comes home from school in the afternoons and lies upon the sofa.  He watches whatever cartoon he can find on Nickolodeon, his eyes glazed over.  He denies being tired even as he yawns, even as he “rests” his eyes.

And little things are getting to him.  Little things are setting him off.  Like yesterday, when I made him set the frog free. Snags caught a frog, or maybe it was really a small toad.  I don’t know.  I’m calling it a frog.  He brought it home and made a home for it inside an old aquarium that he set out on our front porch.  He put in some water, and some rocks and the frog.  And then he more or less left him there, in the aquarium, all alone.  He played with the frog sometimes, but he didn’t feed him.  He dropped the frog at least half a dozen times on its head, on the pavement.  I’m sure the frog, if he had the ability to think, must have wondered if he’d been captured and sent to Gitmo.  There was the small room where he was kept, Snags the guard who occasionally tortured him by manhandling him and dropping him on his head, and there was the isolation. Left all alone in the aquarium, in the bright sunlight, for days on end.  Five days to be exact.  And then there was the starvation. I’m not sure what frogs eat but I assume they eat bugs.  And no bugs were flying into the aquarium.  And the frog wasn’t let out to hunt on his own.  By yesterday I’d had enough and told Snags he had to set the frog free.

He went out to do so, but reluctantly.  I followed him out to make sure he did as I had instructed. He told me that he’d opened the frog’s mouth and looked inside.

 “HOW?”  I asked. 

“Want me to show you?” He said. 

“Yeah,” I said, curious now. 

But Snags wasn’t having any luck.  The frog’s mouth wasn’t opening.  In fact, the harder Snags tried to open the frog’s mouth, the harder he pressed upon the frog’s… chin? neck?, the more I feared he was going to rip open the flesh of the frog’s throat. I couldn’t bear it and so I asked Snags to stop.  I yelled at Snags to STOP.  Let the frog go NOW.

And Snags got upset.  “YOU NEVER LIKED FROGGY!”  He screamed, tears streaming down his face. “YOU DIDN’T LIKE HIM FROM THE MOMENT I GOT HIM,” he cried.  His face was red, contorted in anger.  His eyes bulged. Except for the tears I think he was a perfect picture of me, the way I felt when I heard him playing Perfection in the middle of the damn night. In the blink of an eye, the leap is made from peaceful calm to perfect insanity. Over a noise. Over Perfection.  Over a frog.   



Filed under anger, boys, frogs, kids, life, parenting, Snags

Food for Thought

Yes, I did in fact eat a hunk of cheese, two pepperoni sticks (think Slim Jims) and a triple scoop of chocolate ice cream for dinner.

Horrified?  Me, too.  But don’t worry. That’s NOT what I fed my kid.  He had leftover fish, some rice, and green beans with a healthy dose of ketchup (it counts as a second vegetable – so said Ronald Reagan).

Actually, maybe Snags only had the aroma of dinner for his dinner.  It looks as if he hardly ate anything, perhaps a bite of ketchup, before he declared that he was “full” and wandered off to play the Star Wars Lego game on XBox.

My husband, having finished all of the rotten steak he cooked a while back, ate leftover spaghetti and ratatouille before wandering off to a physical therapy appointment for his bum knee.  An appointment that he had canceled last night and rescheduled for tonight because last night he needed to go to the chiropractor for his bum back.  He wondered whether the PT exercises for his knee had caused the back pain, but his Chiropractor and I both voted no.  The sudden back pain was more likely tied to the hours spent with his body curled into the shape of a poorly written letter, perhaps a C or a U, or maybe an S, as he played one too many games of XBox over the past week with Snags.

So all this left me with cabinets full of healthy healthy food everywhere, but not a drop to eat.  Or something like that.  And I was too lazy to cook anything and too lazy to reheat anything, so I took the easy way out.  Besides, if I didn’t binge on this junk tonight, it would still be around here tomorrow, and I’d end up eating it then instead of starting to eat healthier, like I’d planned.  And also, I deserved this junk (that’s a lie I tell myself; don’t call me on it). 

After all, the day just started off bad.  As I was about to step into the shower this morning the power went out!  Which meant that after my shower I couldn’t dry or style my hair.  And I couldn’t iron my clothes for work.  So I had to let my hair air dry and hope for the best which didn’t turn out very best looking.  And then I had to find something to wear that looked like I’d only slept in it half the night.

I had to use the emergency release to open the garage door so I could back the car out  rather than it drive through the door itself.  Then I had to park the car and get out again to close the garage door and lock it, by hand.  Because, folks, the door won’t respond to the remote when the power’s out!  Also, closing a garage door by hand isn’t that easy when you are kind of short and have to resort to jumping to reach the door handle over your head.  See what technology has done to us?  We love it when it works but oh how it makes us me bitter when it doesn’t.

Next came the battle of the traffic as stop lights near and far were also out and drivers suddenly forgot how to drive when the lights weren’t working.  Here’s a hint:  treat the intersections as you would a four-way stop.  Got it?  Thanks.

Then… THEN, I arrived downtown to find the anime convention had arrived.  Really, I have nothing against those that want to “celebrate all anime, manga, and all facets of Asian pop culture!”   But OH!  How that convention MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL.  I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s because the conventioneers dress up as their favorite cartoon or video game character then parade around town crossing against lights and stopping in the middle of the street to adjust their fish net stockings, or their wig, or pick up the sword or the dungeons and dragons cards they’ve just dropped.  Many of them have wire antennae on their heads, or devil horns, or tinfoil eyeglasses, or bunny tails fastened to their back sides and I guess I just don’t understand any of it. 

Every year I moan and wail and complain to my friends and co-workers about this convention and every year I swear to myself that NEXT YEAR I will be forewarned and take a vacation day the day the convention comes to town so I won’t have to witness any of this and spare myself the agony of watching geeky teens and young adults dress up in ridiculous costumes and think they are suddenly cool. But then here I am fuming again because nobody warned me this was coming to town today and I got stuck in the freak show.

Mostly I think I get so irritated because the costumed, uh, people take up all the parking spots in the garage where I pay $150 a month to park and at that price I really expect to find a parking spot without having to resort to creating my own in a fire lane. 

A friend suggested we should eat lunch at an outdoor café and laugh at those in costume, but I declined because watching all of this on purpose would surely sour my mood even more.  And you see, I want to be in a good mood this evening because I am going to the midnight release party for the final Harry Potter book tonight! 

Okay yes, I realize that sounds like the pot calling the kettle black, me whining on about the anime fans gathering together, all the while planning to attend a fan event myself.  HOWEVER, I am not dressing up for the Potter release.  In fact, I am only going because if I don’t, some 8 year old will, and then he or she will be interviewed on the TV news tomorrow morning and will spoil the entire book for me.  So I have to get the book first thing tonight then take it home where I shall lock myself in the house and not turn on the TV or radio until I’ve finished reading it! 

To make matters worse, I had a long day on a conference call where the speaker on the phone kept cutting out and the people on the other end couldn’t hear me.  So I spent most of my day asking “Can you hear me now?  How about now?” and feeling like the star of a Verizon Wireless commercial (albeit one harboring much anger from a power failure and an anime convention).  Which reminds me, I ought to call and tell Verizon how I acted out their commercial for hours on end.  Because if they get sudden new business tonight or tomorrow from folks who mention a long, bad conference call, then I think they owe me a referral fee or at least a free month on my cell phone service.

So all that stress, you see, led me to eat the junk in the first place.  And now as I sit here stuffed, I feel like I’m one of the actresses in a Lean Cuisine commercial, the one where various women are describing what they had for dinner – a bowl of popcorn, a freezer burned popsicle, or in my case, two pepperoni sticks, a hunk of cheese and some ice cream – only to hear Miss “I Ate Healthy” spout off about how she ate the chicken with roasted vegetables and penne pasta with ginger sauce.  But oh!  It was a Lean Cuisine!

So I’m left kicking myself and thinking I might have to unbutton these pants and how I need to go running only it’s still 90 degrees out and I’d get all sweaty and have to take another shower and get dressed again so I can head over to the local Barnes & Noble to get my copy of  Harry Potter.  Or  maybe I ought to put it all off until tomorrow because I think if you exercise on the day you start over with healthy eating and a good book in hand, that’s doubles or maybe triples the points you earn.  Collect enough points and you can eat more pepperoni sticks. 


Filed under anger, anime, food, Harry Potter, junk food, Lean Cuisine, power outtage, rant, Verizon