Saturday, February 07, 2009



I had a total breakdown yesterday. Complete with screaming. Throwing things. And storming off.

yup. sure did.

I haven't been sleeping. Ben has been moaning in his sleep. Not like snoring where the noise is on the inhale. But moaning, loudly, on the exhale. I can fall asleep because I usually go to bed before he does. But after Jack wakes up at 3am for another bottle, and I return to bed to sleep for the rest of the night, I can't fall back to sleep because Ben is moaning. It even wakes up Jack after I just spent an hour trying to get him to fall asleep again.

So I've been on edge because I've only been getting like 4 hours of sleep a night. And it's frustrating because everyone else in the house is asleep. Nobody needs me. It's dark. I should be able to sleep.

So yesterday. OH, yesterday. Get behind thee, yesterday!

Have you heard of Freecycle? It's a community-based recycling group. Someone has something that they don't need anymore, and instead of throwing it away, they offer it to the community. There is probably a Freecycle group in your area. I've gotten tons of stuff off of it - a free couch, a set of Encyclopedia Brittanicas, a credenza, an exersauser for Jack - lots and lots of books and clothes. It's fabulous. Well, this lady offered a portable high chair which would be perfect for feeding Jack in. I drove 30 minutes to her place, since she lives outside our city, and it wasn't there, and no one answered when I knocked. I came back home, emailed her, and she emailed back, apologizing all over herself saying she was putting it out on her porch right then and there. So I go back the next morning, and It's. Still. Not. There.

Normally, this wouldn't bother me. But see, I haven't been sleeping...

Ben was working from home yesterday, so when I got home from trying to pick up the stupid high chair, I decided to take Jack and a bottle into the bedroom to catch some zzzz's. But then Josh ate some grapes.

The boy isn't allowed to eat grapes because they turn his insides into goo and then proceed to shoot out of his little body in unbelievable quantities.

I very rarely buy grapes because of this. But recently, I've been really craving grapes. And not just any ol' grapes - frozen grapes. Which is perfect since Josh can't reach the freezer door.

At least, I thought he couldn't reach it.

He took a kitchen chair over to it, grabbed a few fistfuls of grapes and downed them like they were candy. The forbidden fruit is always the tastiest. Apparently.

I only know this because of what happened next.

If you've been paying attention, I'm sure you can figure out that he filled his poor Pull-Up to beyond capacity. And for some God-Only-Knows reason, he decided to sssssmmmmmmmear it ALL OVER OUR TV.

with. his. hands.

ok - breathe.

For a brief few moments, I was blissfully unaware. I was finally, FINALLY, getting some much needed sleep. I had been asleep a whole 5 minutes before I hear Ben shout "WHAT THE....?" I don't let it faze me. Why should I? I'm sure he's frustrated with something on his computer. He's working on a project. Yes, that's it. Just go back to sleep, honey.

I hear him stomp up the stairs.

Uh oh.

I hear him open the bedroom door.

Please let him just be getting something. A phone maybe. A chocolate bar, hidden in his underwear drawer, perhaps.

"Lisa. You need to get up. Josh just painted the tv with his poop."


"I'm working. You need to get it, Lisa. Lisa? Lisa? Can you hear me?"

play like you're dead. don't move a muscle.


you know that it's going to be there until you get up and clean it. and if you don't get up now, Josh might not still be there.

So I go downstairs, careful not to wake the baby because I'm planning on returning to bed as soon as I'm done.

I've never seen such a sight. Josh, COVERED in poop, cowering in the corner. The tv, COVERED in poop, stinking up the entire house. Ben, running outside, faster than even I would have thought posssible.

I grab the baby wipes and proceed to wipe down everything that the little poop goblin might have come into contact with. I could not believe how much poop was in his diaper. I could NOT believe how much poop was on the tv. Like, you couldn't see the picture anymore. Seriously. It was soooooo nasty. And Ben's just pacing around the house, holding a phone to his ear, every once in a while saying something cryptic and techie, just knowing that I'm not going to be able to tell whether he's actually working or if he's just being cruel.

Soon, Lysol is burning each and every one of our throats. Josh is waiting for me to turn on the water in the bathtub. Gillian has left the room because she is like.totally.grossed.out. and Jack is still asleep upstairs. Thank you, Jesus!

After I give Josh a very, very thorough scrub down, I take a bath and climb back into bed. I realize that it's almost dinner time. But I don't care. Let them all starve. McDonald's has a Dollar Menu for just this type of situation.

But I can't sleep. With the tv off, and Ben trying to work, the kids have been banished from the downstairs. So they're running wild upstairs, without any parental guidance. Mayhem. Utter chaos ensues. Naturally, it wakes up Jack.

I go downstairs to get dinner started. I notice that the house is a disaster and the dishes have yet again stacked up in the sink. As the lasagna is cooking, I start getting the house in order again, and by the time I start the dishes, dinner is done. I make the kids' plates and a plate for Ben and hand them out downstairs. I don't want them near me. That's how bad I had gotten. So I insist on them eating downstairs, in front of the VERY clean tv. I continue to wash dishes.

About 6 seconds later, Ben comes upstairs and puts his plate in the sink. I hear him mention that he barely managed to finish dinner (since he was holding Jack in his arms). He asks me if I'm free to watch Jack so he can go outside and smoke.

(ok, yeah I'm reading Twilight. Yeah, I'm even liking it. Yeah, teenage vampires and werewolves fascinate me. I'm a big fan. But that has nothing to do with my next reaction. At least, I don't want to think it does.)

I growled at Ben. Like felt my lip rise up over my teeth and everything. I'm about to burst. I'm shaking. My vision is getting all blurry. I haven't had a bite of dinner because I'm trying to get the dishes done. My hands are covered in suds, and he's going to make me stop so that he can go outside and SMOKE?!?!?!

At the exact same moment, Satan decides to step in and say something to the effect of, "There, there, sweetie. You look tense. You've had a rough day. Hell, you've had a rough life. That boy right there doesn't have a clue what it takes to be the wonderful, strong, passionate woman that you are. He just doesn't get it at all. He's a big-fat-jerk for not only keeping you up at night, but for waking you up when you had the chance to rest this afternoon. You know what you need? You need some wine. Just a glass or two to take the edge off. Wouldn't that feel just soooo great right now? Man, I know I wouldn't be able to handle everything you've dealt with today without a little drinky-drinky. It's not like you need permission. You're 32 years old. You haven't drank in, what, four years? You are soooo due. Sure, God has you convinced that you're an alcoholic. And maybe you used to have a little problem with drinking, but you're so much stronger than that now. You're like super mom. You can handle anything. You typically don't get this worked up. So it's not like you're going to feel the need to drink after tonight. But I don't see how you're going to manage one more minute without doing something to relax."

That whole thought lasted like 2 seconds. The next 2 seconds were spent with me wondering how I could get out of the house to go get some wine. Would I spend cash or credit? Do I tell Ben or keep it a secret? God wouldn't really be that upset with me, would He? I'm sure He would understand.

I must have looked like a looney or worse. I don't remember why he said it, but Ben called me "real mature" as he sat Jack down and went outside for his smoke. (maybe it was the werewolf growl)

Thank goodness, Jack was content. He sat in his little bouncy seat and cooed and looked around. I calmed down a little.

Then Ben comes back in, grabs Jack, and says, "Look, I understand that you didn't get much sleep last night, and I..."

I have no idea what he said next. I took the omelet maker that was in my hands and threw it at the sudsy water. Then I curled up into a ball (while standing up) and screamed with all my might. I then ran out the front door and into the dark garage.

not my best moment.

I could hear Jack inside. I had scared him. I could hear the kids running around. Daddy, what was that scream? Is mommy alright? Where'd mom go?

I could hear Ben not saying a word.

I took a time out. I grounded myself. I HAD to get a grip. I prayed. Then I prayed some more. Then I thought that I should look for that hidden bottle of scotch that Ben keeps in the garage because if he kept it in the house, I might get too tempted. And then I cried and cried and cried. And prayed.

I went back inside and didn't make eye contact with anyone. I wasn't yet ready to explain myself, but I needed to get out of that garage and at least let them see me calmer. I just went back to the sink and finished the dishes. Ben came up to me before I was ready to play nice. He asked if I was ok. (isn't that nice?) I stopped what I was doing, faced him full on, dripping suds onto the floor, and said "Tell me again that you understand that I didn't get much sleep last night. Go ahead. Do it again. I dare you."

He didn't. He ain't dumb.

He played with the kids while I cooled off. Still wondering whether I should get my hands on some beer or wine or whatever. And if I didn't drink, should I cut myself instead? At least no one would have to know if I did that.

What's amazing, what was absolutely astonishing to me, is that I was tempted, sure, but I KNEW in the back of my mind that there was no way I was going to give in to those temptations. God had too firm of a grip on me. I had vowed to Him to be an example for my kids. I stopped smoking, doing drugs, cutting, drinking, popping pills, all because God told me that it was what was best for me and my family. When I asked Him what He expected me to turn to when I was uber stressed out - He simply said, "me."

When I was praying, I was telling God that He needed to keep His end of that bargain up. He needed to be faithful if I was going to be. I was calling Him out, making certain that I wasn't abstaining for nothing. I needed him to show up big time.

And even though I didn't feel anything special or mystical or whatever, I knew He was watching me. I knew that He knew. Ben couldn't possibly understand what I had been going through recently (I've been keeping my stresses from him because I didn't want to upset him when he was having so much fun at work), but God could. Sure God probably never had to wipe Jesus' poop off of His flat screen tv, but He knew what it was like to see His children misbehaving. He has seen His children dig their grubby little hands in more piles of shit than He'd ever want to. He knows what it's like to be overwhelmed and then tempted by Satan when He was at the end of Himself. He knows.

He knows.

And for whatever reason, I was able to have a rational, civil conversation with Ben for the rest of the evening. It was actually sort of lovely. We got the kids to bed, and I had Jack fall asleep on me. I was sitting on the couch explaining to Ben that I'd been tempted and didn't follow through because I know people are watching me, just waiting for my faith to falter. They're just waiting to prove to me that He's not enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. And it's not like I don't sin. Believe you me. I sin plenty. As evidenced above. But regarding those particular sins, God has held up His end and I'm holding up mine.

And Ben slept downstairs on the daybed last night, so all is well with my world.

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