All work and no play....

... does make Sherri (me) a dull girl. And.... I'm not going to lose it a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining (as my segue to a rant indicates here), but.... I am snippy these days.

After days of folding laundry, emptying the dishwasher, making dinners that no one likes, and getting my winter frump on (UGGs, yoga pants, jogging bra, long-sleeved T, scarf, and hoodie), I get .... well... like I said, snippy (see, I even have advanced brain fry - not good for a writer who needs to be able to.... um.... use words).

I am torn between reveling in the fact that my boys want me to play card games with them, and want to perform holiday-inspired plays for us, and want to "help" me with everything in the kitchen lately... AND .... getting frustrated because I take five min. showers, don't even brush my hair, never watch anything I want to on TV, and .... do NOT get a single minute alone. My teen wants, wants, wants.... my just turned three year old is demanding as kids that age are. And... really .... none of this warrants complaining, but.....

It's just that, after doing the laundry, the dishes, the blah, blah, blah, I do NOT handle things well - even the smallest of skirmishes or late night requests pushes me over the edge these days. I snapped the other night when my five year old Milo (so new to that age, I almost said 4 :-) had the nerve to cry over a hang nail at 4 in the morning. I also snapped at him tonight (after the sweet boy washed his dinner plate for me - which will need to be... ahem.... washed again, btw - and drew me a picture and a holiday card all so I would "be happy") because, when baby sis Lil went to give him a card that she made for him (and had lovingly colored and taped and glued for quite some time in response to the card her gave her earlier :-), he said, angrily, "I don't like pink." And... when her little face fell, I just started to yell at him. He hid his face in his covers (it was bedtime), and... THEN - after the inappropriate, dramatic reaction... I soothed him, explained my position, gave a mini-lecture on the merits of saying thank you to gifts of any kind but especially of the heart. Truthfully, in his preschool mind, he probably just didn't want big kindergarten brother, Enzo, who was right next to him, to think he liked the card if it was pink (clearly a "girl color", right? ;-).

And.... speaking of big brother (a new 6 year old and experienced kindergartner, as you all know), I feel like my attempts to comfort him fell flat tonight. See... all day, they would NOT leave me my space in our 100 year old city victorian (i.e. narrow and close downstairs) house. I wanted to begin to clean up the dining room for our impending Christmas Day dinner with family, but they wanted to do art projects and had paper, markers, paint, glue, and glitter strewn from one end to the other. It is, currently, beyond me. I cleaned their room (on the third floor), put out games, laid out art paper, piled their favorite books, put their favorite Disney show on the TV and, still, they would not leave the first floor for the glorious playroom of a space on the third floor. Instead, they were downstairs, dragging Indiana Jones and Mario / Luigi costumes all over the place - changing into one, then the other (and each "quick change" required help, of course) - loud-talking, even screaming, crashing into an antique table when they tried to be a donkey under a comforter with a handmade donkey face (HIGH points for creativity and fortitude in execution on that one, but... come on.... my favorite table - broken? Screaming? REALLY? Help).

So... back to Enzo ... while he did "doctor" me back to health today with back rubs and ginger ale when I had a headache or drew me pictures and wanted to sit next to me and hug me most of the day, he is the ringleader in all of this. When I say go upstairs to play, he has the big fit, and he forbids the other two little ones from listening (secretly, of course, but I know what they're whispering about). So, I firmly told him that the bags of ice they had all filled in response to imaginary "head injuries", all had to be thrown away because they were melting and creating puddles. I cleared the dinner dishes (total crap tonight - soup, egg rolls, granola - whatever we could scare up with hubby at Steelers game), reminded him about the ice bags, and went about my business. He, with good intentions, took his soup bowl into the kitchen for me (and I know his technique - take the soup bowl, maybe she won't be mad about all the melted ice - but it is still appreciated :-), and... slipped on one of THOSE ice puddles (no "I told you so" here - it was quite apparent). Soup everywhere (like out of a movie everywhere - noodles on his head and all over the front of him - I stifled laughter, btw... and did assist him ;-)! I had to take the opportunity to hit home the lesson, so... the comforting fell a bit flat. We had tears all the way up the stairs to bed. And I tried to make him feel better - I did. BUT..... the other two little ones were nagging me AND poor Olivia needed to have an important paper proofread, and I was having trouble getting to it all.... Just stretched too thin. And not for just that moment.... ALL THE TIME lately.

Sigh. Geez... I really don't know what to say. Do I even HAVE a point? Anyway.... so... the photo: Not my delightful Irish Coffee. Texted to me by someone who did get out tonight (did I mention my hubby froze his ass off at the Steelers game and stopped by an Italian place in Bloomfield for warm food - so... locals, you know it's good :-)... tonight? Did I mention that?).

So .. do you guys lose it? Do you ever feel stretched too thin? OR, worse, like you've just scarred your child by committing some horrible act of indifference or insensitivity? Humiliation (yikes)? I know you're all busy.... this season is nuts. If you have input, please, by all means, fire away. I need a spanking - or a shoulder to cry on - not sure which yet. Trendy Mom @www.trendymomcafe.blogspot.com,

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