When I get stressed out and cranky, I have a lot of not-so-savory impulses, like being short with my kids and getting mad at my husband and eating all the ice cream in the freezer. When this happens, I try very hard and very consciously not to get mad (the ice cream, forget it, the ice cream I just eat). I count to ten a lot. I breathe deeply. I stop and say to myself, okay, what's really more important right now--getting the dishwasher emptied or letting Barak help you? What's more important, a dishwasher that is empty Right Now or a child who knows that you want and value his help? One, two, three, four, five...
And when I get stressed out and cranky, my tolerance for disorder of any kind plummets. I do not want dishes in the sink. I do not want toys in my bed or laundry on the floor or an apple core on the kitchen table or shoes in the back hall right where I will trip over them when I come in and am holding the baby and can't see the floor. No no no. I want tidy.
We had a guest last week, a friend of my family--one of the two links I have left to my biological past. (The other one is 84 years old and in Hungary.) She's nice, she likes us, she's known me since I was seven, and when she's in town she makes a point of stopping by. I like seeing her. My husband likes her too, but every time he finds out she's coming he groans a little because he knows that after she leaves I'll get all sad and morose about the whole no-family business. And I say, no I won't! This time I won't, really!
Um. Yeah. So.
Did I mention I like the house tidy? Last week I cleaned and cleaned before she came, and then after she left I cleaned some more, and on Thursday night I went to bed with the food all made and the house SPOTLESS. It was a very nice way to go into Shabbos, but of course 25 hours later it was all gone.
Speaking of all gone, there was a whole tub of ice cream in the freezer just a couple of days ago. Haagen Dazs Caramel Cone. It vanished sometime around Shabbos afternoon. Yes, folks, I married a guy who keeps three hours and eats chalav stam. With all my worrying about my boys not getting shidduchim because I wear purple shoes, they should be in demand just because of that.
Okay, so, time for the good news. The good news is that we have been invited to visit friends for all of Pesach. Did you catch that? All of Pesach. Me, I do not need to make Pesach this year, and this, my friends, this is a mighty relief. We will be staying with friends with more than three times as many kids as we have, and in a home where we don't have to worry about what Barak breaks because, as my friend told me, "Anything that can break around here, my kids have already broken." I don't have the vacation for leaving town that long, but I am working so much overtime right now that I can take the time unpaid without any end financial hit, and my boss is okay with that. Well worth it. Right now I am trying to figure out the logistics of who we will and won't manage to see, and whether we can visit other friends for the last days, including Grandma E, without making ourselves insane with the shlepping of car seats and luggage and strollers and children through Penn Station.
So, something to look forward to.
In the meantime, I am going out grocery shopping with a friend, and this is the social high point of my week, so excuse me while I go put on makeup (ha) and find my shoes (yeah, that could be a good idea, it's cold out). I need to replace the ice cream in the freezer.