This is one of the dreariest days of the year--the first Monday after the holiday season. There's just no way to put a good spin on it. It's like the first day of school without all the fun. It's just the first day back after a nice break with no relief in sight. Add to it that January is perhaps the bleakest month of all with no real holidays and you're looking at a long stretch of the doldrums.
Knowing that this day was looming as the vacation was waning I decided to be pro-active. This year, I made sure the tree was down, the decorations were stowed away, and I even vacuumed up the tree needles. Because if your house has a hangover when the kids and hubby head out the door it makes it just that much more depressing. That way, I thought, I could focus on making sure everyone got out of the house and in to the new year on the right foot, with a hot breakfast in their tummies, and a big encouraging kiss from me.
But that didn't really happen so much. First, Jeff could not find his parking pass. It got lost in a holiday-car-switcheroo and is no where to be found. He quietly stormed around the kitchen looking for it, sucking the life from the room and mumbling until I reluctantly got up from my NYT and coffee to pretend to help him look for it. How do I know what he did with it? This man is notorious for losing things. He loses his wallet at least three times a year. He has lost two wedding rings. A parking pass is nothing. After a few moments it was clear it was not going to reappear so I went back to my paper, silently willing him out of the house. (Oh come on, like you've never willed your spouse out of the house before?)
Next came Grace who was in a tizzy because she could not locate her gym shirt. Really people? Can none of you gather your belongings the night before? Anyway, she found it under a pile of Atticus's dirty clothes in the laundryroom. This means Atticus had committed two egregious crimes: 1) he had kept her shirt in his room after I had mis-placed it there and 2) when he gathered up all the dirty clothes on his floor and chucked them into the laundry room yesterday he gathered up her clean gym shirt too. Grace was not letting this crime pass unnoticed and pointed it out to one and all rather voluably. But then another crisis arose and fortunately for Atticus, she quickly turned her ranting on her little sister who had the nerve to have misplaced her favorite pink mechanical pencil.
"I CAN'T FIND MY PENCIL AND IT'S LILLY'S FAULT!" she screamed as she stomped around the kitchen. I pointed out that there were four perfectly good pencils in the drawer but she kept screaming that she cannot write with a regular pencil. Okay, now I had put up with her nonsense up to this point but here I had had enough and I decided I needed to put an end to her tantrum.
First I threw the pencil at her head then I "calmly" explained that she needed to learn to use a regular pencil. The words "spoiled brat" may have entered into the "discussion". (Oh, like you've never called your kid a spoiled brat.)
Ahhh, good times.
Finally, I got the big kids to school and only had Lilly left. She mercifully is a low-maintenance person so I got her to the dropoff line without incident. Unfortunately, the automatic door had frozen on the van so I had to get out of the car to give it the hipcheck it requires (Oh like you never had to hip-check your frozen van door). Most unfortunately for the man in the car behind me who was dressed nicely on his way to work, I wearing my usual morning driving clothes: slippers, pajamas, a really long robe, and a winter coat. I looked like a deranged escapee from an Arctic insane asylum. I smiled and gave him a nod. He did the same back. Probably he was thinking, "Wow, I'll bet she's hot underneath all those layers." Yeah.
So that's how we started off the New Year.
I hope yours got off to a better start but if it didn't, rest assured, you're not alone.