I’ve made no claim, throughout my adventures in parenting, to be even close to perfection. This weekend was proof positive in that . . . well, in a lot of ways.
The Saturday had all the indications of being problematic, from the moment my eyes opened. I don’t know if any of you get headaches, particularly migraines. I get a cousin to that kind of headache called a cluster headache. I wish I could say always can sense these coming but it’s not always the case. The problem is that I woke up with the pain already starting to creep into the veins and nerves in my head.
The thing with being a single parent is the fact that you don’t get to make excuses. I woke up, having slept about an hour beyond my normal time, and had to get breakfast going. I got coffee going and prayed that the medicine I hate taking wasn’t necessary. It was. The problem with that medication is that it also tears my stomach up so you tend to trade pain relief for stomach problems. One problem for another.
The other side-effects are what you’d think: haze at the edges of my vision; sensitivity to light; nausea; and blinding, searing pain in the forehead.
The tangential effects are that I’m scatterbrained, lethargic, unable to stand the light . . . and I am short-tempered. I try very hard to keep that last one under control.
But as the pain seeped into my head, even with the stomach-killing medication, I lie down on the couch in the hopes of sloughing off some of the pain. As I started to thankfully drift off to sleep . . . the boys turned on our X-Box system.
“Turn it down,” I told them.
It wasn’t the X-Box, it was the noise from the children that did me in. I’d ask them politely to keep their arguments with each other to a minimum. That worked for about two minutes. Soon one was yelling at another . . . while the third sand Christmas Carols while shooting the other in the game. You’re not supposed to do that, I guess. Each time I’d get close to nodding off the volume would exponentially increase.
I lost it. That’s not an excuse, I felt horrible. After yelling at the kids I told them to keep playing and headed upstairs.
The farther I got from their volume, the louder they became, it seems in an attempt to ensure that I heard them not getting along.
I got up. After wasting about half an hour in an unsuccessful attempt at trying to avoid the sounds I put another load of laundry in the washer. I headed downstairs and in the middle of the game, pain and anger infusing my mood, I turned off the Xbox in the middle of some Lego-oriented scene.
I abruptly shoved them all into the backyard. I took my Prilosec to try and stave it all off . . .
And then I ushered them together, grabbed my camera, and we went on a walk.
That picture you see up there is from the walk. We headed out the door, down a dirt trail, and found this rock wall next to a creek. While they rolled their eyes and bemoaned their technological loss for the day the three of them as we headed down by the creek it was like Huck Finn had invaded their minds. They had sticks in their hands and were leaping across the creek (unsuccessfully, in on instance, but I let it slide).
I make no claim to perfection. I am far from that. My temper was short on Saturday. My head hurt quite a bit. As we walked up the hill and back into a far part of our neighborhood I was calm. My head still hurt, I wore sunglasses for part of it . . . but when we got home and I sat rubbing my temples, the boys grabbed their sister. They went upstairs, unbidden, and folded the laundry I’d done and more than once I heard a “shhh…Dad’s still not feeling very good.”
At that I got up, went upstairs, rubbed their heads and put another load into the washer. After they got it all put away we went downstairs. I got dinner started.
Then I sat down and turned on the Xbox . . . and told them it was my turn to start shooting at them.