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Tonight was awful.
Just awful.

We had another weekend of basketball. Getting up at 5am to get to the tournament. We're so exhausted.

We did some shopping. I find myself spending money I don't have to get the kids things they want. I know it's wrong, but I sometimes find myself wanting to make up for their loss, wanting to do something to make them smile. I think it's backfiring, as it was bound to.

I looked around our house. It's a WRECK. I mean, really. Horrible. We have 2 big dogs, 2 cats, a kitten, 3 kids and me and too busy a schedule. And we forgot to take the garbage out on Sunday, so our can is still full and there's no place to put the garbage. Straw 1.

Zach stayed home sick today. I got a report from his math teacher. He's getting a C in a class he should easily get an A in...because of multiple missing assignments. But he told me his homework was done so he could go to see "I Am Legend." Straw 2.

I looked around the house. You can see every little thing that Kate has done for the last two days. She doesn't pick up a thing. She leaves a little trail behind her. She needed new jeans, she's outgrown the old ones. But I look in her room and you can't even see the floor because of all the clothes scattered everywhere. Straw 3.

The dogs ate our tree. And several ornaments. And a basket. And drug the garbage all over the kitchen. And the dining room. And the living room. And the family room downstairs. Straw 4.

So I ask Kenny to unload the dishwasher. He cops an attitude with me. STRAW 5.

Enough straws. I blew up. I mean really. I told Kenny he was selfish. I told them all they were unhelpful and inconsiderate. I told them they were spoiled. I told Zach he'd never get a scholarship with C's and did he think I was going to be able to pay for college? And I told them that I asked for very little of them and I resented that they watched tv, revamped their MySpace pages and played Madden 08 for hours but couldn't seem to find time to unload the damn dishwasher, pick up their socks, feed the dogs or do their homework. Then I left to go to the store. Slamming the door on the way out. Saying something along the lines of, "We'll see how you do without me."

Sigh. Who told me I could do this? Obviously, today I can't. I just can't stand it any more. I can't stop crying. And I can't get past feeling "Why us?" and knowing that it would be different if Dave were here, and being so resentful that it's so unfair, so wrong and there isn't a single thing I can do that will make anything right again.

I'm just empty and tired, and there isn't anyone in my corner. No-one to back me up. Or take over for a while. Or just to be there.

So, while I was at Safeway picking up prescriptions and replacing the cheese Kate left out and the light bulb the dog ate, Zach punched the wall. And locked Kenny in the garage. And Kenny proceeded to destroy everything in the garage. And Kate got scared and called Tami, who brought McKenzie and came over to try to calm everything down. Thanks for being there, Tami and McKenzie, when I simply couldn't. I'm sorry. And embarrassed.

I just want to go to bed and sleep for a week and wake up to things like they used to be.

Not that there aren't some good things now. There are.

Zach did bake McKenzie a cake. She helped. Their first attempt turned out flat as a pancake (well, almost). But eventually he got it right and wrote her name on it and put candles on it and took it to her house.

And he also baked cupcakes for Kate's team. With their jersey numbers on them.

And Kenny bought Zach a WSU Santa hat. It's very cool.

And Kate and two of her friends bought these dumb purple hats that they were wearing all weekend. They were so cute.

And going with basketball friends to Starbucks and iHop and Red Robin.

Oh...and the laundry is caught up.

And the carpets are vacuumed.

Trying to breathe. Tomorrow is another day, right?

I'm not sure if that's good or bad. And I won't say it can't get worse, because it always can, but maybe it will be better. Zach has a game, and it's at home. That should be good, right?


  1. Oh Shelley, we all have those days - even with someone to spell us for a while - but I know it's harder for you. My family does the same thing, until I blow up and basically "guilt" them into doing the things they SHOULD just do. And then I hate myself for it. But then, like you, I see the good in them and all the kind things they do for each other, and I can't help loving them more.

    Hang in there. Life is rough sometimes, but it really is good. (At least, I keep telling myself that!)

    --Patti in NJ

  2. You are such an inspiration. Although I've never met you in person and can't even remember how I came to Dave's orginial CB site, I feel like I know you. Sometimes I'm having a rotten day and sit down and read your site and just shake my head that you handle it all and handle it very well - even those of us who have someone to share lose it, need a break, walk away, yell at our children - you do it with grace and dignity and somewhere up above I know Dave is shaking his head and saying "I knew she would handle it". You are so strong, even when you aren't feeling that way. When life is really throwing me a curve ball, my husband looks at me and says "this too shall pass" and he's right. Don't beat yourself up, you do more and handle more than any person I know!!!! I'm sending you a big pat on the back :)


  3. Don't be too hard on yourself... it does suck to have to do all that stuff alone. However, there is a magic that exists in your home that every kid for miles around recognizes: no uptight grownups in residence. And that's all you, Shell--remember it used to drive Dave crazy when things were too nutty? But you love it 99% of the time. Then there's the 1% of the time when you look around and go "this is clearly madness!" and lose your cool for a moment. So what? You're still the coolest mom on the block and alwasy will be. Tomorrow it will be fun and amusing again instead of intensely irritating; it's all perspective. I wouldn't change a thing about you, my friend.

    Love, -Deb

  4. Oh Chelle,
    How could you NOT lose it? I would have lost it long, long, LONG ago if I were in your shoes! What kid DOES pick up their room??? You're entitled to lose it. You NEED to lose it once in awhile. I'm so so sorry you had such an awful day. But, you are right, tomorrow is always another day (how WAS it???), and soon, the awful day is forgotten. The mess gets cleaned up and life goes on. It always does. And, sometimes, it does get better. I pray it does for you. I always do. I wish I were there to spell you. You know I would. In a heartbeat, I would. Love u my friend.


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