I have talked about the full moon before . . . the bad moon rising. But it never ceases to amaze me how that amber-colored rock can seem to throw my kids off the deep end.
Today was worse. Today she was blood red from the eclipse. No, I didn’t see it, she was obscured by clouds, but that just delayed the inevitable. It really did.
Think I’m wrong? Well then . . . the day’s events:
Abbi, my oldest, had another improv night, one I didn’t think she was going to be on stage during, so I skipped it. She came home telling me I’d missed her – she performed more tonight. This, after she had a massive headache and drank all my coffee. So . . . no morning java for Dad. Love that, now I predict my headache until I either get to the grocery store or Starbucks. Then she proceeded to tell me that her homework wasn’t finished and she’d be up all night trying to finish it all. Don’t get me wrong, I empathize, but I also know that it’s the verbal “feeling out” of Dad to see if there’s any way that, again, she might be called out sick. I could very well be wrong, and probably am, but regardless . . . she’s been out so many times this semester I’m waiting for the truant officer to knock on the door.
Then there’s Hannah and the boys. I got home, pizzas in hand because I was lazy tonight, and there wasn’t a single inch of space to put two large pizza boxes down. The kitchen is filled with crap. I mentioned (read shouted) I was more than a little upset that playing the Wii seemed more important to them than cleaning up the kitchen. It fell on deaf ears.
Then came notification that I should have bought paper lunch sacks because the boys were having their field trip and needed a bag lunch. This, since it was not precariously late and past closing hours for the grocery store, followed by the inevitable screaming fit because I broke out two Target shopping bags and told them to put their names on them. That didn’t go over well – not with them, and certainly not with me. Next, in the middle of the lunch bag tirade Hannah comes down and informs me the one bit of good news in the night – that she’s managed to change her Social Studies grade from an F to a C. Now, that should make me really happy, except, in the middle of the arguments and screaming she wants to get her guitar back. Losing her guitar, you see, was punishment for failing the easiest freaking class that you take in middle school. (I mean, if you can’t find the answer to a social studies question in your textbook there’s probably some Wikipedia page that has it! It’s not like this is Newtonian Physics, for God’s sake!)
Now comes the time when arguments over the uniforms began. The boys have to wear jeans, but they have to have a “hoodie” to wear. But wait, the kids are told they have to have a hoodie, but it can’t be a “home hoodie” it has to be a uniform one. But there are no uniform “hoodies” because that’s called “spirit wear” since it’s not the regular uniform. I ask, stupidly, how they expect you to have a hoodie but then tell you that you can’t wear same said hoodie because it’s not the uniform.
“Daaaad, you can’t wear it in class!”
“Oh…well you’re going to Sutter’s Fort, not the classroom wear you school hoodie”
“Daaaaad! We start in the classroom! You can’t wear it there!”
This follows Noah telling me he’s wearing his regular uniform sweatshirt – the one he grabbed was 2 sizes too small, by the way – and then pulled out a hoodie.
“NO! You’re not wearing a sweatshirt over a damned sweatshirt!” I was losing my cool by now.
It’s here I blew.
“If you two give me one more attitude-fueled tirade about your uniform crap I’m going to . . . ”
Then Hannah came down the stairs.
“Hey Dad, I don’t know what this song is but it sounds familiar!”
This entered the fray of:
“musical interlude of bad version of Stairway to Heaven”
“I’m WEARING THE SWEATSHIRT!!!!”
“You know what this song is?”
“Dad I’m wearing my plaid sweatshirt”
“more stairway . . . ”
“Daaaad! Sam can’t wear plaid it’s a home hoodie!”
“Why don’t I know this song, Dad?”
“Why can’t I wear this and the hoodie?”
“It’s Stairway to Heaven, Hannah, how can you not know that?!”
“Dad! Hannah hit me with the headstock from her guitar!”
“Dad! Noah threw my guitar out of tune! And it is not Stairway to Heaven!”
“Dad! Why can’t I wear plaid?!”
I shouted here.
“Knock it off!”
I grabbed Noah by the cheeks: “put the sweatshirt away! You’re wearing the hoodie because the teacher told you to and you can just carry it until it’s time to go on the field trip!”
I looked at Sam and said: “Same damn thing goes for you! Take the sweatshirt and put it in your backpack!”
I looked at all three: “If you’d told me you needed paper bags I’d have bought them. It’s a little late now!”
I then yanked the guitar off Hannah’s shoulder and played the entire intro to Stairway to Heaven and began singing the song.
“Oooooohhhh! Yeah. I guess it is Stairway to Heaven!”
I chased them all upstairs, Noah getting angry and giving me that depressed, indifferent, ticked off look and I told him if he didn’t knock it off I’d slap it off his face. (I wouldn’t, but it sounds good)
I got them into their pajamas, teeth brushed . . . only to realize they’d stolen my toothpaste from the bathroom . . . and then read them a chapter of Harry Potter. Hannah was forced to put her guitar away.
I looked outside and the clouds covered the stars and moon . . . but I knew they were there. I finally took a deep breath, considered drinking a glass of 18-year-old Glenfiddich . . . and stared out the window.
I know you’re there, you witch . . . I just want you to know . . . you haven’t beaten me yet!