I've been in a bad mood for a while now, at least nine days. The only way for sure to tell how long would be to start on January 1st and add 26 days over and over until I got to the date in June when I got my period and had one crabby day followed by four pretty depressed day where I couldn't get even mildly excited about anything and everything was meh, followed by a string of crabby and then rage-filled days. Yesterday, I was just throwing shit at the wall over and over in my mind's eye as I lied on my back and tried to take deep breaths. I was on such a hair trigger.
Earlier in the day, Max had asked me to look up something online for him. My opinion was that he whining-ly ambushed me with a request for a time-intensive and pointless task while I was in the middle of doing yard work which was desperately behind, and his opinion was that he had politely asked his mother to help him with something super important. While helping him, two of them got into a fight about (seriously) who had bit whose arm harder and left deeper marks and thus proved something about bravery. One of them was locked in the bathroom screaming while the other one was banging on the door and yelling insults. This all happened in about a second, and my sensible response was to throw my keyboard across the room and start screaming along with them. Or at them, really. Until, it dawned on me that I'm the oldest and thus the most able to control my emotions and I tried to get some order in the place.
I keep thinking that I was crabby this time last year (and I was), but then, I remember that I was crabby (or depressed) in January when I got back from Minneapolis and then again around Easter and probably on many days between those days as well as on many days between then and now. So, maybe I'm just crabby (or depressed).
Today was perfect though. We went to the reservoir and hiked down to our "secret" swimming spot and swam and hiked on rocks and climbed up another trail and explored the graffiti cave and went swimming again and did some fishing. And I barely worked but made all the money I needed to, and I just generally felt pretty happy and didn't really notice that the kitchen needed to be cleaned or that we all ate chips, leftovers, or fish sticks.
People who don't live with boys, or these boys in particular, have no fucking idea about the constant energy levels, and sometimes, when I'm having displaced anger, I get really upset with people who only have one kid or people who see a kid running and say stupid things like, "They'll sleep well tonight." No, no they won't. Are you fucking high? They have a limitless amount of energy which is both awe inspiring and annoying.
If we ride four miles to the BMX track, spend two hours riding up and down the hills, and then ride four miles home, they will maybe be tired for twenty minutes. Then, they will spend no less than three hours running in circles and doing back flips from the dresser to the bed. It's also impossible (apparently) to shut off the bedroom light without it involving a series of huge jumps from bed to bed until the switch is slammed down as they drop towards it mid-flight.
I'm really trying to make peace with the dirt and the action. The more distance I give the action, the harder it is to tolerate. If I'm spotting front flips, for instance, my life is easier than if I'm telling them to calm down and do whatever, but it's annoying. I can barely walk across a room without having someone catapult themselves on top of me. Oh, but so it is. When I don't feel like murdering them, I think it's pretty cool. On a bad day, there's probably a 90-10 (murder-cool) split, but on average, it's probably more like 50-50 (I'm not actually sure if I can quantify how often I want to murder the action out of them, maybe it's less, maybe it's more--they probably perceive the murderous contingent as higher than I do, and I should probably keep that in mind), but today was a 5-95 (murder-cool) split if I have to pick a number.
Maybe today was the first day of the rest of my month, maybe I'll get a few good days in until the vengeful 26 day cycle comes back around.
One of the reasons that I don't blog often is because I prefer to make a relatively cohesive statement (which is time consuming), and here, in these post-sun-hike dehydrated musings, I've ruined my well planned/partially-written-in-my-mind posts on boy action, moods that don't correlate with reality, and some other things, but at least I've reminded myself that the boys will always perceive more murderous emotions than I emit so I should try to emit fewer. And if all else fails, fake it.
That's really fabulous advice that should be cross stitched on a pillow. If you feel like murdering your kids, just pretend that you like them. Just fake a little love. It's better than throwing your keyboard at the wall.