Grumpy

Have you ever noticed that children are under your feet and in your hair every second of the day except when you bring groceries home? Whenever I walk into the house with groceries, only the three-year-old can be found (because she would like a banana and goldfish and cheese, please). If you call out the names of the children who think they will be eating this food, they can’t hear you and the house is quiet.

There are times when the house isn’t quiet, and that’s when Mom is on a rampage. (I’ve read about this sort of thing.) Prudence Mackintosh once wrote, “There are many Supermoms (at least two on my street) who can throw a birthday party for twenty-seven kids without becoming a shrew or a martyr.”

I am not one of those moms.

There are many things I can’t do yet without becoming a shrew or a martyr, but I’ll start with a short list: clean out the van, help with science homework, clean out the other van, sell a house while the children live in it, and get the flu. And live through the winter without looking at real estate in the tropics.

While everyone is talking about the Great Blizzard of 2011, I think we ought to focus more attention on The Great Flu of 2011. This flu has caused more near-death experiences, more delirium over the course of a week (or a month, in my case) than a little snowfall in the driveway. And everyone has some version of this flu. Don’t you?

Achoo!

Sure, school is cancelled when there is snow, along with the blessed cancellation of all evening committee meetings. We should try this more often. But in the hype and excitement of The Great Blizzard, I think The Great Flu of 2011, which we’ve nicknamed The Beef Nacho Flu (I won’t elaborate), is getting short-changed. I think we should all just stay home for a month and Skype and quarantine this thing out.

The flu is the great equalizer among women; sickness is able to turn normal housewives with a June Cleaver personality into the sweetest version of Martha Stewart. It can take a toll on the family. When mama is not happy, the kids run for the hills.

So, I admit, I’m a terrible patient. I’m grumpy when I’m sick (and in the winter, and on April 15, and when my vehicle breaks down), so I guess this means I’m basically doomed for however long this lasts. The sky is gray, the sun is hiding, and the wind is bitter cold. Have you ever seen someone smiling while they shovel snow and scrape ice? That’s what I mean.

I think I’ve found the answer to this pressing question: what could be worse than being sick? Being sick in winter, the worst season of all.

18 Responses to “Grumpy”

  1. 1

    We all have our moments! Being sick is the worst, especially when everyone else still wants to you to cook meals, do laundry, wipes their noses, etc. No fun! I hope everyone feels better soon.

  2. 2
    Sue

    Love love love your honesty. I have 6 kids, some adopted, and ran across two blogs today in which the family is adopting more kids (way more than I have), doing fun projects, decorating a beautiful home, homeschooling everybody and boy I can’t imagine how that works. And, running fantastic blogs with large followings. And writing devotionals and what not. I don’t even have time to read the blogs unless it’s a snow in type of day. I think I will just keep coming by here, where there’s encouragement and some reality. Blessing to you, as you sent some to me today.

  3. 3

    “Beef Nacho Flu”? Maybe when you feel better. I think your idea about everyone just staying home until flu season’s over is very wise. I’m in. Hope you are well soon!

  4. 4
    Debbie

    And I was just asking the question today, “Where can a mom get some personal space?” Are we on the same page? I’m grumpy too. But we’re leaving the house tomorrow, and I don’t care that my boys still have a slight cough. They’re probably not that contagious anyway. I need to get out.

    And since we’re in disclosure mode: I can barely cook dinner without getting slightly shrewish.

    You hang in there! You’re doing a great job!

  5. 5
    Nonna

    Have you seen the commercial for Vicks Dayquil…tough enough even for the Man Cold? Makes me laugh every time. Women don’t get sick days, it’s as simple as that. Maybe when your kids are in college you’ll get to rest whilst ill…oh, wait a minute. My daughter called from med school sick needing her mommy. I guess it never ends. Sorry. But I do agree with you about the committee meetings.

  6. 6
    Mary

    Hey Amy,
    You might try what we did with our six kids when I came home with groceries. I would honk the horn when I pulled in the driveway (‘me thinks’ you’d be heard for a bit!) Then whoever didn’t get their rears in gear and grab the stuff out of the car and get it into the kitchen first had to put all the stuff away!
    We had kids literally jumping over couches to beat each other to the door to get to my car, running without shoes, sometimes even various articles of clothing, etc:)
    It totally worked and does even today (and they are all grown)if they are home! Quite a sight but sure turned things into fun instead of a chore. Except, I guess for the mumbling from the one stuck putting things away:) By the way, the bigger/older kids didn’t always win-the little ones were smart!
    Hope this brings some new excitement into your life:)
    Mary

  7. 7

    Mary, that’s a great idea!

    I just come in the house and announce, “Time to bring in the groceries.” The kids go out and get them and bring them in and put them all away.

    My secret? A head-on collision four years ago that left me unable to lift and carry.

    But you could put your back out, Amy. Not that I’m recommending the pain.

    :D

    I love Mary’s idea, though. I think it’ll work.

  8. 8
    Amy Scott

    Mary, Sounds like a good idea. :)

    Just to be fair, my kids help …once you find them. The rule in our house is that you can’t eat anything until it’s all put away, so that helps.

    Janet, I got no sympathy when I was blind for a few months, so I don’t suspect a back injury would help (I had sciatica when I was pregnant). It’s a tough crowd.

  9. 9
    Ouida Gabriel

    I love Mary’s idea too. We don’t have trouble finding help to carry in. Hubby have a really good way of motivating the kids to carry stuff in ;-) Our two youngest are always there to help since they like to see what we bought.

    I can’t find a place to post about your sidebar links Amy. Just wanted to say the Darth Vader commercial is hilarious. The children laughed out loud, even the 20 year old!

    Ouida Gabriel

  10. 10
    Ouida Gabriel

    P.S. We are having a heat wave here in Amarillo. It is 26 degrees today. And the washer pipes have finally started flowing again. Clean laundry! Yay!

    Ouida Gabriel

  11. 11

    We were all sick for most of Dec and Jan. I finally just put up the white flag and we didn’t leave the house for a couple of weeks. I was insane at the end there – or maybe at the beginning – but at least we stopped getting re-infected by all those people who stop us to say “are these all YOUR kids? are they ALL SICK.” No I pick up sick kids in the neighborhood and bring them to the grocery store – are you high? And yes, they are all sick, back up or I tell them to sneeze on you. See I’m kind of a shrew in day to day life:)

  12. 12
    Lois

    Just got to read the comments on this post. they’re all good; especially loved Sue’s.

  13. 13
    Sherri

    My kids once told me that, of all the seven dwarfs, I was most like Grumpy. Ouch.

    Thanks for having (public) feet of clay.

  14. 14
    Michelle

    Oh man, I’ve been both a shrew and a martyr this week, and I haven’t even been sick. The kids all had colds–that’s it! We did have our power out for little less than a day, and I don’t like winter either–can I use that for a (very lame) excuse? Thanks for making me feel a little better about my grumpiness!

  15. 15
    Steph

    After the storm, we’ve had the most beautiful couple of winter days! Don’t you just love those bitter-cold, bright, sunny winter days where everything sparkles? I can’t help feeling happy. I drive to work through the country, and some mornings with the sunrise, everything looks purple and blue and white and gorgeous. And I’m happy for the functioning heater in my little car. So winter’s not all bad!

    But yeah, those scrapey-snowy days can go away for sure.

  16. 16
    Kari

    LOL – we have three littles under four, so we’re still at the stage when we wish they’d go away instead of “helping” to unload the groceries!! :) Thanks for being transparent, as I think this is something we all struggle with at some point! I honestly think one of the things I find most challenging about parenting is taking care of someone with the flu when I also have it. Yuck! I just want to enjoy my pukey patheticness, which is awfully hard to do when your combing supper remnants from a toddler’s hair. :)

  17. 17

    With all due respect (and I really mean it), you obviously haven’t lived in Minnesota. A lot of people do smile (and wave) while scraping ice off their cars or shovelling many feet of snow. But, I appreciate your honesty. And I too am ready for winter to move away and take these wretched viruses with it!

  18. 18

    I am crabby when sick. When I read “A Mother’s Heart” by Jean Fleming, that helped me, though, because she wrote about how they all got sick with a stomach bug, and because they were in the USA instead of on the mission field, they were able to think back on the former days and be thankful for running water, flushing toilets, a washing machine, ice and popsicles. I certainly had never seen it that way before, but it really helped me. That and when I figured out that offering the kids $1 for every time they puke in the bucket and $2 for every time the puke in the toilet has a drastically positive impact on the way things go. Oh, and the van… I never clean out the van. When we plan a road trip, their dad tells them, “You are going to be stuck back there for hours and hours together, so you’d better get it cleaned up now to make room for yourselves and your stuff.” They go to town then. And we go on a road trip almost once every summer.


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