Sunday, November 25, 2012

Black Saturday

On Black Friday morning I opened up my email to find about 50 messages and all of them were from retailers offering up holiday door busters (which, maybe should have a new name when they're for on-line stores. Portal busters?). I deleted all of the sale messages. I get so overwhelmed by all the offers that I just can't begin to sift through everything to separate the good deals from the bad deals. I'm also convinced that if I wait something better might come along. Sometimes I'm right about that.

The one thing I did do was to order our holiday cards because there was a 15% off deal at Minted on Thanksgiving Day. While everyone else was watching football, I jumped on the computer to order the cards and get the discount. Imagine my irritation when one of the 50 messages I received on Friday was from Minted with a promotion of 20% off holiday cards. As Sister would say, "Son of a biscuit!"

As for actually going to the stores on Black Friday, the thought never crossed my mind. The Baby will get homemade lip balm (a real thing) before I stand in a seven hour line for a Doc McStuffins doll.

Last week a friend mentioned that she was going to remodel her kitchen soon and was planning to get all her appliances on Black Friday. "That's so smart!" I said, even as I was thinking that I'd rather host a children's archery party at the High Art Museum than shop for appliances on Black Friday.

Small business Saturday is a more manageable concept and I would have liked to patronize some of our great local businesses, but instead I was stuck in the monkey house with one sick monkey and two cranky monkeys. I also learned that the only thing worse than having a kid with strep throat is having a kid with all the strep symptoms, but a negative strep test, and a doctor who tells you to expect a phone call the next day because he can't imagine that the test won't turn positive. Don't these doctors understand that if the Baby doesn't start antibiotics until Sunday, she can't go to school on Monday?!  When you've been with your children for eight solid days this is significant.

The Baby spent the day being sick or well, depending on which condition suited her purposes.
The Baby: I want to go outside and play.
Me: You're sick, sweetie. You need to stay inside.
The Baby: (screaming) I'm not sick! I feel okay! I weelly, weelly, weelly want to go outside.
Me: (defeated, worn down by the whining) Fine. At least put on some shoes.
 Cut to five minutes later. Baby's screaming grows louder and louder until she appears, shoeless, hurling herself against the back door.
The Baby: [The Boy] tackled me! He tackled me and I'm sick! I'm weelly, weelly sick and he tackled me. (tears, carrying on)
Sigh. You know, I've always thought that as you get older you become more and more like yourself. So, if your tendency is to be critical of others, you will become super critical of everyone as you get older. I think this theory also applies to families who spend a lot of time together without organized activities or outside influences. In our case, the Girl, who is a natural instigator, will instigate more. For example, the house next to us is for sale and the Girl told the Boy that the realtor and the clients viewing the house yesterday were burglars. (This is funnier if you saw the people who could not have looked less like hardened criminals.) The Boy becomes more violent; tackling and tripping his sisters. He also gets more randomly ridiculous. He stuck the Baby's hairbrush into her cup of lemonade and then sucked the lemonade off the brush. Why?  I have no clue. The Baby becomes more sensitive and likely to dissolve into tears if someone looks at her. As you can imagine, this makes for a charming dynamic.

It also dovetails unpleasantly with the salient features of my personality and the K's personality. The K gets impatient and frustrated with the children more easily and quickly than I do. I'm not sure if it's the children becoming more like themselves that makes him even more impatient and more frustrated than usual, or if it's his personality traits becoming more pronounced, but it is decidedly un-fun for all. At heart, I am an introvert who likes to have time alone. I also like everything neat and tidy. To misquote "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," I'm not obsessive, I'm just drawn that way. When everyone is cooped up in the house it's pretty hard to get any alone time and it's impossible to keep anything neat. So, then I get cranky and the children feed off of the crankiness and we all end up arguing and the children end up crying. Usually I'll remember that I'm the Mom and that job confers some responsibilities, like pulling it together when you feel like hiding in the basement with your iPhone and a snack. Typically, I'll come up with some random thing to distract everyone. This is why our Elf on the Shelf has been creating mischief for two days already and why my children spent some time watching several iterations of the "Gangnam Style" video on YouTube.

Words to live by!  I have to think that I wasn't the only parent who resorted to entertaining children with the South Korean video over the long Thanksgiving weekend, since Saturday it pushed past Justin Beiber's "Baby" for the most watched YouTube video of all time. Poor Justin. First he splits with Selena Gomez, then he gets surpassed for YouTube supremacy by a video in a language that the vast majority of the viewers don't understand.

So, things could always be worse! Ah, schadenfreude. It always makes everything better. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!



  1. Child number 2 has has had a low grade fever and is not feeling well. I will kill myself if he has to stay home from school tomorrow, especially after going on a family shopping trip to Lenox today. What was I thinking. Same child came home from school the day after the election asking to watch Mitt Romney Style. Everyone at school was talking about it. So I let him watch it. Big mistake. Have you seen it?

    1. Oh no. This hasn't been a good year for illnesses for you all. Turns out that the Baby doesn't have strep, so it was probably hand, foot, mouth. Gross. I haven't seen Mitt Romney style. I'll check it out when the kids are in bed since I'm guessing it's NSFK (not suitable for kids). Am I ready for back to school!

  2. Well now I know what you were talking about at the grocery store. I'm so sorry! My "baby" has been up and down with a low grade fever for over a week, also complaining of a sore throat, but negative for strep. Just when I think it's gone, it's back! I am also *praying* she goes to school tomorrow. Both girls were crying because they "don't want to go to school tomorrow," they "need just one more day." And I'm thinking, I don't think I can make it through one more day of quality family time! I wish us (and by us, I mean the moms) the best of luck.

  3. My boys LOVE Gangnam Style and I love the word schadenfreude - great post!

    1. Thanks! I only wish I knew how to pronounce schadenfreude.