I had several ideas for the title of this post like a possible headline, "Heroic Dad Leads to Serious Nightmares," or perhaps what you already know, "Rachel is still crazy." I couldn't decide. Here's the story.
Hail to Troy! Yesterday he took a day off, the first of many, I think, due to the fact that he has a ton of PTO left and he wants to keep working on our little house. He decided to give the first day to me. All to me. Isn't he fabulous? Of course I had images, dancing like sugarplums in my head, of movies or a nice long nap or bath, but I forced myself to let them go and face reality. What I wanted most was to check off as many things of my uber-list as I possibly could, most importantly finishing the Christmas shopping. In the morning we all kind of hung out together, Troy entertaining the kids while I did the filing and stuff like that. I think I checked off like four things...joy!
One funny moment of the morning was CTP informing us that he would not be going to preschool that day due to the fact that Miss Valle, one of his two teachers, had yelled at him. Upon our questioning as to why she had been yelling, he got very sheepish and didn't want to tell us. The poor kid hung his head and slunk away like a little dog. We talked to him for a while, and he finally confessed his major transgression. "I tweaked Caleb's nose." Does this strike anyone else as being extremely funny? It did us.
Anyway, in the afternoon I did take C to school to help him do a little presentation about our family's favorite Christmas traditions, but after that, I had hours to myself to shop. I still had a glimmer of hope in my head that it wouldn't be too bad, that I'd have time to take a book into Paradise Bakery and sit down for a while or something heavenly like that. It was not to be. I'll just say that when any shopping trip involves trips to two separate Walmarts, you know you're screwed. The Romney family is doing some sub-for-santa gifts this year, and I was doing quite a bit of the shopping, and had a real problem locating some of the gifts. Does anyone know what a "matchmaker" is? One list just said, "matchmaker" and I can't find, even on line, what that is. And it's hard to randomly choose clothing for someone you've never met before. I know, I'll be okay, but I was going to a lot of places to try to find what these little girls wanted.
I have been shocked at the crazy-ness of the stores this season. Every time I've tried to nip in a store, in the middle of the week in the middle of the day, every place I've been has been packed. Yesterday I was going a little nuts waiting for parking spots, getting stuck in traffic (no kidding!) and being in long long lines behind little ladies who want to apply for credit cards to get the extra 10% off. I remained grateful to be doing the shopping without my kids, but my mood did slide downwards all afternoon until finally I was about to lose it. I realized that I wasn't thinking about Jesus very much as I was racing my shopping cart down the isle and hurling things into the basket, or as I was speeding down the street starving and finally giving up on my dream of a pleasant solo lunch, pulling a little too quickly into the drive-through of the first fast-food place I could find. I tried to breathe calmly and remember why I was racing around like this, and I felt a little better.
That is, I thought I did until I woke up nearly screaming from a nightmare this morning. Does anyone besides me have "out of control" nightmares? In my dream our family all woke up this morning and it was suddenly Christmas morning. We went into the empty living room, whereupon I panicked, realizing that I hadn't wrapped a single gift. I told Troy to distract the kids while I ran upstairs to wrap stuff. That's when people starting coming over - like some know-it-all guy who watched me try to wrap gifts and yell at the kids at the same time as they kept coming upstairs. His offerings of useless parenting advice about made me crazy. More and more people came, friends & strangers, and just sat and watched or wanted to talk or wanted me to feed them. No one wanted to help, which would have been nice because none of the tape would come off the roll, none of the wrapping paper was big enough to go around the boxes, and my children insisted on continually coming upstairs to see what I was doing... Please tell me you have these kinds of dreams too. It was similar to the Easter Dinner dream I had where Oprah was with me in the kitchen to "help" but spent the whole time tasting my cooking and making witty comments to her camera crew, as more and more people showed up for dinner, the only food items they brought being things like a dish of olives or a box of toothpicks. Also the ovens didn't work. Stuff like that.
I don't know what else to say now that I have further revealed my mental problems. All I know is that I'm getting the wrapping done this week. Now that the shopping is done, I can do that. Thanks again, Troy. Next year, I'm shopping in June.