Living the Dream… On Drama Behind the Scenes

Today’s post is brought to you in total transparency. It’s so easy to see things that are Insta-worthy without seeing behind the scenes. A perfect snippet of someone else’s life is never the full story and while many people have it all together, I don’t think anyone has it all together all the time. Not me. Definitely not me. We’re a hot mess over here and I’m not even sure about the hot part.

Today was one of those days. I’ve written about them before. It started out with potential, but slowly went downhill. I quit running my errands because I thought life would be a bit smoother from the comfort of my home. Alone.

I had about 10 minutes. Then I heard rattling in the drawer under my oven (I keep nothing in this drawer anymore.) Child #2 came in off the bus. No big deal. Compromise over snacks and how many episodes of Bizaardvark he could watch. Told him to check the drawer before sitting his butt down on the couch.

We’ve caught a mouse… but he’s a feisty little guy and somehow only got his back leg trapped. I cried. (I hate mousetraps, but I hate mouse mess even more.) Little buddy decided to try and escape the drawer while dragging the trap and he is frantic and fast. I ended up bagging him and slipping him out of the trap out the back door. I have no hopes for him and now think I’m the worst kind of person. At least I didn’t poison him and the birds of prey too.

Things settle down. Cue the drama surrounding chores and homework. No more negotiations. Child 1 comes in off the bus and stirs the pot. Okay, then… it’s going to be one of those nights. Cue the raised voice reminding both brothers to leave each other alone and do. their. things. without causing a hassle.

Child 2 decides that instead of chores, he needs to use the bathroom. Fair enough – except he always seems to need to use the bathroom ONLY when he should be doing something else. It’s remarkable how his 12-year-old body rhythms work with hardly an interruption to TV or other screen time.

While in the bathroom, he got bored. Bored! So does he finish and go about his (other) business like any child who isn’t interested in driving his mama to near-meltdown status? NO. He starts playing with the spring-like doorstop near the baseboard (with his stinky toes, I’m assuming.) He’s pushing my buttons. He’s irking his brother. For the love of pizza, please just use the toilet quietly, wash your hands, and GET. TO. WORK.

Silence. Sweet blessed silence. Followed by a frantic, “Mom, you’re not going to be happy.” (Hate to break it to you, kid. Mom’s already unhappy.) What did my darling delight of a child do? Not use too much toilet paper. Oh no, he did better than that.

He managed to get the doorstop IN THE TOILET with his turds. Thank goodness he didn’t flush. That would have done a number on our pipes… Mom to the rescue with fury on her face (“Why didn’t you listen and stop when you were told to???”) Trusty tongs in hand and problem solved. Apparently, he has grounded himself for a month… plus the dishwasher was unloaded in record time and he’s now doing his homework quietly. Does that count as a victory?

So parents, when you’re feeling like you don’t quite measure up and life isn’t always picture perfect, at least your almost-teenager didn’t make you stick your hands in the toilet today. Dad says he’s not sure whether he’s angry or proud. Mom thinks we have more than one pest problem. We’re living the dream, right here.