I was arrogant and foolish. I was haughty and proud. I said God had given me patience and he struck me down, as if to say, "So you think you have patience, huh? KAPOW!!!!!!! Here's a cranky toddler who needs a nap. KABAM!!!! One snotty four-year-old girl, coming up! KABLOOEY!!! How about a sleepy, grouchy boy who wants to beat up his sister? And if that's not enough, let's have all this fun at church." On a scale from one to ten, I would give my children's behavior in church this morning a -20. And it wasn't just one of them, it was all three...a conspiracy between them and God to take me down a notch or two. I noticed Sister's behavior first, when people were talking to her before things got started. She had her head down, brows furrowed and gave everyone the silent treatment in pouty overdrive. When class got started Brother kicked things off with a classic I-Don't-Want-To-This-Is-Boring routine, interjecting whines here and there. Then almost got into a knock-down-drag-out with Sister toward the end. And not to be outdone, Baby cried through most of it. Patience? What patience?! When it was over, I gathered our things, gathered Daddy Dear and found the door as quickly as possible, with two of them in tears behind me. We marched to the car in a sad parade while I fought with everything in me not to scream at the top of my lungs, "I CAN THROW A BIGGER FIT THAN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!" My anger was like a boiling pot of stewing chicken. No matter how I tried to keep the lid on, steam kept forcing the lid to clatter up and down, making an annoying little racket. To make matters worse, we were having company over to watch the SuperBowl and I had done zilch to prepare. More steam. Clank. Clank. Clank. This became my husband's fault because...well, because he was there. The closest target. We stopped at the store and I ran in to get something for lunch while the rest of the family waited in the car, my lid clanking all the way. Suddenly I didn't want anyone coming to my house. I didn't want my family at my house. I didn't want to be at my house. I wanted to run away. I went to the dairy aisle to grab a package of cheese slices for sandwiches. A man pushed his cart to land right in front of the cheese, just the right spot to block everything I needed. And he stood there, looking and thinking. Thinking and looking. I sighed. Clank. He reached up and fingered some string cheese, obviously pondering the very important decision he had to make. Clank. I finally went around the front of his cart and grabbed what I needed. I didn't even say "excuse me". But it didn't matter, because he didn't even know I was there. Clankety clank. I made my way to the salad dressing aisle and grabbed a jar of mayo. Then I proceeded to try and find the shortest checkout line, which didn't exist, because everyone at the grocery store was in on the conspiracy with God and my family to make my life miserable. So I found the slowest possible checkout girl who was ringing up a little, old lady with a basket overflowing. Clank. Clank. Once the little, old lady finished paying for her things. She just stood there. Waiting. She said something to the kid who was trying to help her out with her groceries. He just looked at her. Clank. Then he looked at the checkout girl, who was smacking her gum and looking at me as if to say, "Well?" Clankety clank clank. Grandma wasn't moving. Clank clank clank clank. Smacking Checkout Girl went ahead and rang me up with Grandma standing in my way. "Three sixty two," she smacked at me. Grandma is standing right in front of the thing I need to swipe my card. Clank. Smack. Clank. Smack. Why Smackerella didn't pay attention to Grandma and find out what it was she was waiting on, I don't know. So I reached over in front of her and swiped my card. She then realized she was finished and apologized sweetly. I felt bad. I smiled and said, "That's okay." As I was leaving I heard the checkout girl saying something about the bad day she was having.
After a quick lunch at home, I put the kids to bed and sent hubby back to the store to pick up food for the SuperBowl gathering. I found my "zone" and began to clean. I also turned the fire down on my boiling pot. It was good to have that time alone with my thoughts and put things into perspective. People came. We ate. We had fun. And it wasn't such a bad day after all.