John and I are sick. Mine is a gurgly stomach/all-over itchy rash/virus-y/sore throat-y/cold-y kind of thing. I basically feel like shit, to put it mildly. All I have wanted to do since last Friday is curl up in a warm bed and take a not-insubstantial amount of knock-me-unconscious cold medicine (which I have not been able to do, because Sam and John would sack the house). Last night John couldn't sleep and lay whimpering pitifully in my arms until I gave him a dose of Motrin. I have no idea what was wrong with him, but I'm guessing he has whatever I have.
And then we wake up to what can best be described as a monsoon. It is December 1st in upstate New York. If we're going to have precipitation, by now it should be white and fluffy. I bought a sled, for crying out loud. I learned how to build a fire in the woodstove. I have a new down coat. Rain, at this point, is a sick and twisted joke.
So nobody sprang joyfully from their bed ths morning. And when it was time to go out in the deluge, John refused to wear his coat, and Sam insisted that I carry him from the car to his classroom because he was tired. This did not bode well for the rest of the day. I'll explain why in a second.
Before I do that, I want to interject what I was thinking at this point. I was thinking that today being December 1st, and Christmas being a mere 24 days away, we should do something special tonight to ring in the holiday right. I figured I'd make burritos for dinner (which the boys love), and after we ate, we'd put up the tree, and after that, Patrick (our Elf on the Shelf) could make an appearance with some holiday goodies sent to us from Santa (I was in the mood to make cupcakes).
This was a great idea in theory. But I left Sam out of the equation.
Four-year-old Sam is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When he is well-rested, he is the loveliest, most charming, and funny soul imaginable. He's like a little dancing sunbeam in the room, full of happiness and light. But when he is tired, woe be unto the poor soul who crosses him because Little Happy Dancing Sunbeam Boy turns into the Menacing Mushroom Cloud of Doom. And guess who was on the other end of his wrath today?
Yeah, big surprise. Mom. (And the good patrons of the Glenville Wal-mart this afternoon.)
I made the grave error in judgement to take him and John to pick up a few groceries after school, having already been warned by Ms. Sue at the preschool that Sam fell asleep briefly during afternoon playtime. If I had had my wits about me, I would have hustled him home and to bed post haste, but I had to get a few things for dinner, and figured it wouldn't be that bad...
I'm pretty sure Custer was thinking something along those lines as he approached the Little Bighorn.
Sam started tantruming in the parking lot because he could hear a train in the distance but couldn't see it. I had to drag him screaming (while carrying John) through the parking lot (monsoon, remember?) and then he proceeded to stop that tantrum and begin a new one, on a new subject, every thirty seconds, as we made our way through the store. He was angry that we bypassed the toys, that John wanted to sit by him, that I wouldn't get him pudding or chocolate milk or cookies or cheese. He and John started to repeatedly hit each other over the head in a fight to the death over who got to hold a bag of dumdums (John's potty treats). And then John stepped on a container of fresh salsa, which broke, and leaked salsa over everything in the shopping cart (including two t-shirts).
So I brought the boys home, and put them both straight to bed. And then I made cupcakes. Why? Because damnit, I needed to feel festive.
And then my 10 year old, ridiculously expensive Kitchenaid mixer started leaking oil into the batter.
If you need me, I will be in my Happy Place, eyes shut, fingers in my ears, belting out We Need A Little Christmas as loudly as I can.
Because we really do.