Just Give Me Back My Pieces

I am having one of those weeks. By one of those, I mean a fighting through depression week. It feels like this: two sandbags attached to my forehead, a thrumming in my chest, a bad attitude. I am not the kind of depressive who takes to my bed. I am the kind that gets cranky, edgy, stomping. A lot like The Little Asshole. I’m trying my best to keep it together, but I’m struggling.

The depressive funk started, I think, on date night. My husband and I were in one of those huge, vinyl booths at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro enjoying Chicken Lettuce Wraps when I looked up and saw a women sitting at a table nearby. She looked like my mother. I did a double take. For a minute my brain betrayed me and I thought: MOM! And then I was snapped back to reality. It’s not her. She’s dead. Still. Always.

I was suddenly filled with the most intense longing.

I want my mom back.

In a matter of seconds fast and furious tears started streaming down my face. I hate crying. And I especially hate crying in public. I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with crying or with crying in public, but I just feel like if I start to cry I’ll never be able to stop. That I’ll be swallowed up by the grief and carted off to the place they keep people who have a chronic weeping problem.

So there was that. The missing. The longing. The grief. Like a rusty anchor holding me in place for days.

I decided that since I was pissed off and sad, it would be good to take action. Do something rather than just tweeting and stewing. I decided to tackle the playroom.

For a few weeks I’ve been ignoring what has been going on in the playroom. The big kids have been having fun up there and we’ve been allowing the 2-year-old to hang out with them because he seems to have passed the put everything in your mouth phase. Well, I had no idea. The concept of “wreaking havoc” has never been so well-defined.

When I opened the door I seriously could’ve passed out. It looked like toy hell. If I was the OCD type I would’ve required instant institutionalization.

Every single game that we’d amassed in the last eight years via birthday gifts, holiday presents, etc. had been unceremoniously tossed out of the box, across the room, in every corner.

The cherries from High Ho Cherry-O were mixed with Candy Land cards, Bingo chips, and Tiny pieces of the U-Build Mouse Trap Game. Game boards were stomped on, spinners and dice were in the doll house, and I can’t even begin to describe the state of those slutty Bratz dolls.

Let’s just say that it looked like the Bratz dolls had been through a war. They were missing feet, arms, legs. Their hair was matted and random High Ho Cherry-Os were sticking out at odd angles. Someone had tried to replace a Bratz head with a Barbie head. Polly Pockets were naked. Barbies were face-down, shoved in a corner of the doll house like a bunch of passed out heroin addicts.

The games weren’t the only thing that got tossed across the room. Every puzzle, too. Hundreds of tiny puzzle pieces mixed together on the carpet. Those teeny tiny Polly Pocket clothes and accessories mixed in with the puzzle pieces. And apparently the dog had been allowed in the playroom, too, because a handful of the puzzle pieces were chewed to bits. I was sure somewhere under all the toys I’d find a dried up dog turd. It was only a matter of time.

I had two choices: 1. Freak the fuck out. 2. Burn down the house.

Burn down the house was my choice, but I couldn’t find matches, so I took a box of industrial sized floral scented trash cans up to the playroom and tossed every single thing on the floor into a bag while singing Missy Elliott’s “Work It” at the top of my lungs.

Between singing, “Love the way my ass go bum-bum-bum-bum/Keep your eyes on my bum-bum-bum-bum-bum” I swore to myself that I would never buy my kids more toys ever dammit, and that I would be selling them to a soup kitchen for a lifetime of volunteer hours, and that my two-year old would be enrolled in an early therapy course for the tiny sociopath.

You know what happened? After tossing all of those toys, and trying to pluck the High Ho Cherry-Oh cherries from the Bratz doll’s hair, I started to feel a little better. And a little part of me felt like my mom was probably watching and having a good laugh (at me, definitely at me). So, I may not have all my pieces, but I think it’s going to be okay.

The Great Hanukkah Melt-Down

A friend and fellow blogger had the brilliant idea of bringing together the Jewish blogging community by creating #hanukkahhoopla – an opportunity for those of us of the Jewish faith to blog about Hanukkah this holiday season. I’m jumping in with a little kvetch about Hanukkah melt-downs. There is also a nifty give-away tied in to this post (please see below & don’t forget to comment!)

Holy shit my kids are so freaking crazy. So. Freaking. Crazy.

I mean they are really, really bat shit crazy sometimes.

Tonight was the second night of Hanukkah. My kids are like aggressive animals about Hanukkah presents. It’s not like they are in need of more toys or books or anything whatsoever. And it’s not like they are brats on a regular basis. It’s the wrapping, the surprise, the suspense. It just gets under their skin. And the waiting until sundown is just too much.

(Aside: Last night, after the Eldest made a small complainy noise about wanting to open more presents after she had already opened a bunch from my brother & sister-in-law, my husband got The Concerned Psychotherapist look. I saw him take the Eldest aside and talk to her. I got his Marital Look of Disappointment thrown my way. It read: Reign these brats in. I know, I know. I break the one gift per night rule every year. It irks the husband.)

Anyhow, tonight was a whole new level of crazy. My father, Papa, took the kids to see the godawful new Chipmunk movie and brought them back home to give them his Hanukkah presents. (My husband was working late and thus didn’t get to see that they each got one and only one present) This is what ensued:

The Eldest got a really cool, but very goopey and smelly, Make Your Own Slutty Lip Gloss set. She was stoked.

The Middle Guy, whom you may remember from this post, got a Put It Together Yourself Solar System Mobile. Now let me tell you, this kid is completely obsessed with all things planetary. He also has extremely bad fine motor skills and the patience of a jittery heroine addict who needs a fix.

Here is an example of his dedication to the solar system:

Anyhow, the Middle Guy, who was still coming down off all the sugar that Papa gave him at the movies, had quite the reaction when he opened the gift. He tore half the paper off, saw a picture of the solar system, started screaming at the top of his lungs, ran to me and burst into tears of joy. Then he ran to Papa crying, Thank you, Papa, thank you!!” It was weird. Very, very weird.

The Eldest, who has Asperger’s, was completely freaked out by this display of Middle Guy emotion. She didn’t like the Middle Guy’s loud excitement, so she covered her ears and put her head down smack in the middle of her stinky, gooey lip gloss making stuff. Then, when she saw his tears of joy she launched into a 15 minute discussion about tear ducts, and the varying reasons that one might cry, and asked me ten to twenty times if she’s ever cried tears of joy.

The Littlest, seeing that the Middle Guy had gotten something with planets (a.k.a. colorful balls), abandoned his cool new recycling truck, and began to beg loudly, Gimme Sun! Gimme Juperterter! Gimme Saturn!

All the while I was trying to make dinner. I really wanted to get some chicken nuggets into the Middle Guy before his blood sugar plummeted even lower and there would be no return from the pool of tears/Solar System induced hysteria.

So Dear Old Papa tried to put the Put It Together Yourself Solar System Mobile together with the hysterical Middle Guy (whom I’d given two Calm Yourself Down Time Outs already). But Dear Old Papa is an engineer. And engineers are never in a rush. They analyze. They inspect. Not quite the speed of a hysterical glucose deprived freakish Middle Guy.

Here’s what it sounded like:

Middle Guy: (wailing) It’s never going to work. We’ll never figure it out!
Me: It’s okay. (Trying to shove a chicken nugget in his mouth) Just calm down.
Littlest: Gimme Sun! (Launching his body across the table) Gimme Jupiterter! Sun! Sun!
Eldest: Have I ever cried tears of joy? I think maybe in 2009! Maybe when you got me that Pillow Pet. I was really happy. I might have cried tears of joy. Remember?
Middle Guy: (whimpering) Papa, you’re doing it wrong! That’s not where Saturn goes!
Littlest: Gimme Shaturn! Gimme Sun!
Eldest: Can you help me with the lip gloss?
Papa: (Working quietly, trying his best)
Middle Guy: (Crying) The labels won’t stick! OH NO WHERE IS VENUS?!
Littlest: (Running out of the room with tiny, sized for choking model Venus)

And so it went until the solar system was put together, albeit crooked and with labels falling off. Exhausted, the Middle Guy retired to the sofa with a book about the solar system as the Littlest tried his darndest to sneakily pull the tiny planets off the newly constructed solar system. Dear Old Papa, lips shiny with slutty pink hand-made lip gloss, took his leave of the hysteria, and I wrapped up the second night of Hanukkah with thoughts of a gin & tonic.

Thank God I will be at work for the third night of Hanukkah. Good luck, honey!

By the way, #HanukkahHoopla would not be possible with out the generosity of our sponsors.  I would like to thank Streit’s and Doni Zasloff Thomas a.k.a. Mama Doni, the lead singer/songwriter of The Mama Doni Band for providing each of the 16 bloggers involved in #HanukkahHoopla with a little cyber-swag. Their cross-promotional alliance is designed to celebrate Jewish culture with the young generation, a mission of both Mama Doni and Streit’s.

How can you win?  Leave me an awesome comment on.  On January 5, 2012, I will select one winner at random.  Be sure to subscribe to my blog or subscribe to the comments on this page so that you can find out if you are the winner!  If I don’t hear from you with 48 hours after announcing, I will select another winner.  Please don’t make me work hard to find you.

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Not interested in winning?  You can still leave a comment!  I love to read your words.  Just write: “No prize necessary” in your comment.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments.

Happy Hanukkah!