The sarcasm is strong with one, folks. You have been warned.
God. Fucking. Christ.
Sometimes it doesn’t seem like things can get any better. And by better, I mean really, really fucking awful.
Let’s start with the yard. Oh dear Lord, the yard. People, if you ever buy a house brand new off the shelf, make sure the builder includes the backyard. Seriously. The location we wanted didn’t have this perk written into the purchase, so we’ve been stuck with a pile of dirt in the backyard for 8 months now while we wait for spring and pray to god that we can find the money to pay for something as simple and natural as GRASS.
Between us, the kids, and the dogs, tracking dirt into the house has become a tradition celebrated with vacuuming and mopping parties that last far longer than any of us have the patience for (yes, I realize I ended a sentence with a preposition – fuck you).
So this week felt like the Second Coming – finally, we’d get our yard put together and be able to keep the floor clean for at least one day (we can dream, can’t we?).
You know what they say: when you piss, it pours.
First of all, my husband and I were fighting. And when we fight, I can’t sleep. So the week started off with hardly any sleep. Strike One.
Second of all, I’d finally started potty-training our 3-year-old (I know, if you don’t have kids this probably boring as fuck, but bare with me) and then he got diarrhea. So we had to put the kibosh on that for more of the week. Strike Two.
Third of all, we had planned to go on vacation this weekend so I was taking a few days off work – as a consultant, that means cramming in as many hours Monday-Wednesday as possible. I had also made plans to go to Water World on Wednesday. What is wrong with me??
And my daughter had pink eye. In both eyes. Strike Three and Four.
Early in the week, a client called me up for a last-minute five hour job that was due in 48 hours. Clearly remembering that I was packed to the minute for the entire week, I emailed an enthusiastic “YES I CAN DO IT!”.
Cue more not sleeping.
Then, quite literally hours after I turned in the project and went to create the invoice, she texted me to let me know she’d just been laid off.
Okay, that’s fine. I can take a hit every now and then. Back to work.
Oh, did I mention that I didn’t even have time to make the commute to Denver so I could drop the kids at daycare and focus on work? Have you ever tried working next to the train tracks during the passing of a extremely long train with an overzealous horn enthusiast? That’s working at my house. Come try it out sometime. I’ll probably ditch you with the kids and never come back.
So the dirt for our backyard finally comes on Wednesday. Yay! Not only do I get a brief, but welcome break from my computer, but we are one step closer to having a yard we can lock our kids in when we go on vacation.
So we shovel. And we wheelbarrow. And we rake and spread. And we hurt. And we forgot we were angry at each other somewhere in there – silver lining? Maybe a dull grey one. As I’m lulling myself into a calming stupor of physical exhaustion, my husband looks up at me, a deep question looming in his eyes. “Where is our son?”
That’s the non-potty trained 3-year-old he’s referring to. I shrug and say “In the house somewhere.”
He nods and then his eyes wander to the far off corner of the street that runs adjacent to our backyard. “Oh shit.”
Guess who’s plowing around the corner on his glider bike with no shoes or pants on, and a look of accomplishment on his face?
Now, it’s not a busy street, but it’s busy enough that we don’t send our three-year-old out there biking alone. Especially when it takes working the front door open (which we thought he couldn’t do), opening the garage (which we thought he couldn’t do), grabbing your bike (which we hoped he wouldn’t do), and gliding four houses down to the corner, and taking two turns before even coming into sight from where we were standing (this kid would’ve been eaten by the gorilla before we even knew he was gone).
So now I’m going on a run. I guess.
Okay, child is back home, bike is stowed, and he’s now locked outside with us for the duration of the work.
Late afternoon hits and I’m thinking I should probably get a little more marketing work done now that I’ve recouped my ability to look at a computer. I wander back to the front door to leave my shovel by the dirt pile where my husband is shoveling arduously, when I come across a rather odd sight.
A lake. At the base of my driveway. And a huge pile of mud where there once was dirt.
Fuck. Thanks neighbor for your optimistic lawn watering. Our nice, fluffy dirt pile is now basically a pile of shit. And we have to get it all moved by tomorrow before the sod comes.
I think somewhere in there my back broke. It’s hard to say where.
In the midst of all this, my daughter is back and forth between home and her friends’ houses, always back with a new dramatic meltdown over an argument. I suggest over and over that she take a break from her friends, but she continues to hop on her bike and ride back, perhaps realizing that a little drama is far more interesting than hard labor.
Thursday comes. My husband and I are hurting, but at least the remaining pile of dirt has dried and the last few hours of effort are somewhat less torturous than a good old fashioned water boarding at Guantanamo.
Then the neighbors sprinkler system turns on again while we’re busy in the backyard. More mud.
Three o-clock finally rolls around, the dirt/mud cocktail is moved, and we get a break! Well, sort of. I’ve got to hit the computer again for another project. I consider just burying the laptop in the yard and pretending it never existed. I won’t say whether I made an attempt at making that happen.
Then the sod comes. Ah, the sod!!! The final stretch. It goes much easier than the dirt did, and what’s more, we get to play Tetris while we lay it out! My cousin and his wife and kids stop by that evening on their way to Yellowstone and help us put in the finishing touches on the yard. We’re happy; jovial. Drinking beer to celebrate.
And then my daughter walks in. Bawling. Covered in dirt. A huge bruise on her head.
The crying lasts for ages. But once the pain passes, she seems to be okay, no obvious signs of concussion so we let her sleep and keep and eye on her. We kill the evening with my cousins, having an amazing time with two of my favorite people that we pretty much never get to see (another dull grey lining!).
Then this morning after my daughter becomes excessively lethargic, starts vomiting, and can’t remember what happened yesterday, we decide to take her to urgent care. I’ve got projects to finish so Daddy takes her. Meanwhile, my son is throwing a shit fit over literally everything. Not joking – I just put a clip in my hair and he threw himself to the floor screaming. Think you’re in an abusive relationship? Try raising a 3-year-old.
Daughter had to have a CT scan. We’ll have the results this afternoon. Just need to make sure her skull isn’t fractured and brain isn’t bleeding or something – no biggie.
Daddy and daughter get home. We walked in the backyard literally minutes ago to take a moment to enjoy our hard work.
Oh what a lovely sight: Half the yard is flooded with water. Walking in it is like stepping on muddy grassy sponges. Now hubby is trying to figure out how that happened.
Me? I’m over it. Vacation is cancelled. This weekend, I will be drinking in my muddy grass, listening to my kids scream, and thinking: “well, at least I’m not Mormon anymore”.