Five ticks past 11 at night. I’m liable to argue with myself about how to roll out of the bed when the alarm sounds and the neighbor’s rooster crows a calling response in the morning. I greet the day, a habitual grudge, as the morning is forever coming too soon. A whispered, “Fffffucking hell” upon waking, or a happy thought for the two minutes I still have to rest until the alarm goes off again. Five minutes before 7 is as early as I have been able to force myself to wake.
Monday through Friday after the last minute moment of rest is caught, I fling my legs off my bed in groggy and immediate search for the pants and t shirt I wore the day before and the day before that. I allow myself 35 minutes exactly to greet, breakfast, and don the children in their outfits. Quickly weaving out of outfit arguments, rhythmically encouraging swift cereal spooning, eschewing the notion that socks should match, brushing a quick tooth, inevitably yanking a hair too hard mid sweep. Tears. Sighs. Kisses. 7:40. Public school starts too early.
There is supposed to be a blood moon tonight, and there likely is somewhere. Here there is only an orange glow casting off some low clouds to northeast. Can’t see no blood moon. Only stars I’m seeing is the glowing lights on the tops of the cell phone towers across the railroad tracks up Lee Street. Can’t see nothing. It’s quiet out, though.
Blood Moon. AKA Total Lunar Eclipse. Somewhere Else. Not currently visible to me.
Spring is in the air. Injury season is upon us, Fern is apparently allergic to injury season. Yesterday, while on a jaunt around the house, chasing her big sister, she got her finger slammed in the door. It rose up big and purple. I was not here at the time, the children were with their (unnamed) babysitter. Finger is not broken….And today, something that was likely bound to happen, happened due to the impossible positioning of the ceiling fan in the girls room. There is no way to position their bunk bed in the room so that the top bunk is far enough away from the ceiling fan. Neither of them sleep on the top bunk, I’ve kept Fern in her crib because of this accursed wind blower. However, the girls do take delight with wrestling and coloring the wall, playing on the top bunk. Certainly, why hell, of course I’ve warned them hundreds of times about the dangers of the top bunk bed. They could fall. They could get chopped in the head by the ceiling fan. They could come crashing through the frame and get shards of busted wood shoved into their kneecaps. Nothing seems to stop them. Fern actually pushed Ollie off the top bunk this week. Luckily the brilliantly close positioning of the door frame (the damn room as 4 doors, 3 of which are exit points) broke her fall and she only screamed about her hit head and her mean little sister for a little bit. But anyways. Today the inevitable happened. While choosing a path of not valuing sage advice, she was on the top bunk this morning, playing with the speed chain dangling temptingly from the ceiling fan and CHOP. Big LOUD horrified yell. The ambulance warning thump of Ollie’s feet running to my room. I was on it already. I walked in to see Fern, arms outstretched, bleeding from her forehead. “Oh, Lord,” I thought as I reached up and cradled her, then grabbing a towel to stop the blood. The cut doesn’t appear to need stitches. It’s half a pinky fingernail long, and will come together with a butterfly bandage. She didn’t cry long. I’m watching her for signs of a concussion. Guessing we will likely have to skip the AMPFEST at the bookstore. I imagine her head is hurting and loud noises won’t do much to soothe the brain. Poor Poopie-Pants.
Tonight was family fun night at Fern’s preschool. There were dollar slices of pizza, free drinks, a baked goods sale, and dollar raffle tickets you could buy and drop into varying prize buckets with hopes of having your name drawn and winning. We bought several tickets, dropping most into the bucket for free passes for Tweetsie Railroad (a $156 value), quite a few in the “Frozen” gift basket bucket which held the movie, dress up clothes, books and other memorabilia, and some here and there in other baskets that caught the girl’s attention. There were about 50 prizes in all to be raffled away. With the anticipation of each name drawn and each prize given away, Ollie danced and hopped with excitement. Fern, too little to care about the prizes, was more into hugging on Mrs. ‘Silla at the baked goods table , glowing at the novelty of seeing her preschool teacher at night. One by one, names were drawn and called, prizes collected. We didn’t win the gift certificates to the restaurants on Walker Ave. We didn’t win the collection of art supplies. We didn’t win the summer fun basket. We held high hopes for the Tweetsie Railroad tickets, but alas, we didn’t win that, either. Ollie was sure we would win the Frozen basket. “Mama! I just KNOW we are going to win the Frozen basket! I really want that DRRRESS!!” she exclaimed numerous times happily jumping in my face. She held her hands together as they spun the basket that held the tickets around and around. She stood stock still as the lady pulled out the lime green ticket that held the Frozen movie gift basket’s fate. There was a slight pause as the lady squinted to read the name written on the ticket. Ollie raised both her hands up high in the moment of hope. And then collapsed in utter defeat when the name that was read was not ours…. As soon as we walked out the door of the school’s fellowship hall, nearing 8 o’clock, both girls fell into inconsolable distraught. Fern hollered, squealed, flounced, “I wanna hug Mrs. Sillaaaaaaa, I WANNA HUG MRS. SILLAAAAAAA!” I’ve never seen Ollie so disappointed in my life. Ever. Over and over and over through her high pitched cries that lost breath, “I wanted to win the Frozen baaaaasket! AAAAAaaaahuhuuuuhuuh! I wanted to win it! Mooooommmmmmy! It was so special to meeeeeeee!” …It was a long long 8 minute drive back to our house. The red stoplights mocked me. The woeful wails of my children widened my eyes to full circles, I am sure, as I directed our vehicle over the potholed roads back to our house. At some point I began singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All”. “I believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess insiiiiiide, give them a sense of pride, to make it easier…” The singing did not help much to stop the girls howling, but it unquestionably calmed my nerves that were unraveling from the din of their bawling. So grevious in their broken hearts, I undressed them, put them in their nightgowns, held one each knee, still singing til they went silent, “…And if, by chance, that special place that you’ve been dreaming of leads you to a lonely place, find your strength in love.”