This is one of those posts that happened back in May 2018. It has taken me this long to see the funny and be able to write about it.
We celebrate the boys birthdays big at our house. After all, it’s a celebration of their life! Some years it’s a celebration that we all survived another year, but it’s always a time to reflect on their life so far and what a blessing they are to our family. 2018 was the year to celebrate the start of Hoss’ 7th year.
Anyone who has spent more than 15 seconds around Hoss in that year knows that he is obsessed with the solar system. He will sing you a song about the planets and the order they are in or he will regale you, ad nauseum, with facts about our solar system. Not interested? Yeah, it doesn’t matter. He’s got jokes for that. Needless to say, we planned a solar system party. Now before you go getting all jealous of the dorkiness of that concept, keep reading.
We picked a Sunday afternoon in May. That time of year when Boom has baseball about 8 days a week, end of the year school projects are wrapping up and due, parent/teacher conferences must happen, everyone you’ve ever known since birth has a kid graduating from something or performing in some sort of program you really should go see…let’s squeeze in a party.
And so we planned an Out of this World Pool Party. Kids have more fun when they are wet, right? Area 51 – check, space themed play list – check, space foods – check, party favors – check, balloons – check, six foot alien – check, space ship in the tree – check. Cake? So Hoss wanted a 3-D scale model of the solar system made of cake. Not happening, but we did agree on a sheet cake with orbit lines for the planets and a rocket ship. It was a compromise and a combination of about 87 cakes he yelled, “that’s the one!!” as we looked for ideas on pinterest.
We planned for months. I would do the food, music, favors and planning, Mom and Dad bought a bunch of the decorations for us and Vinniehoney was in charge of executing area 51, building the alien space craft and hanging it from the tree. No problem. Bases covered. What no one planned on was that one Sunday afternoon about a month before the party, I got out in the yard and cleaned out from under a hydrangea bush. It had been neglected too long and I really went after it. I sat down with my little claw digger and pulled out weeds until it was breathing fresh air all around. About four days later, I realized I was COVERED in Poison Ivy.
Apparently I had uncovered some roots, proceeded to sit on them while I was working, scoot over them as I worked my way around the bush and then, just because I never half do anything, when I got up off the ground I had dusted off my thighs and fanny, then my arms and I even wiped the sweat from my brow. I was miserable. It was truly all over me. ALL.OVER.ME. My Dr. gave me a shot to dry it up. A week later, still covered and spreading, I got another shot. One more week later, and now just a few days until party day and I was still covered and spreading poison ivy. So the Dr. gave me a steroid dose pack. It began to work and I focused my undivided attention on the party countdown.
By Thursday before the party I had my house pretty close to company ready. On Friday I baked the cake and did as much food prep as I could do in advance. All I had to do on Saturday was put the icing on the cake and cut the rocket ship out and a few other incidentals. I was in good shape. Saturday morning, I got up and got the butter out to soften. Boom took Sassy the Wonder Dog out and got her some food. I fed Hoss and swapped out laundry loads. Vinniehoney left to go drop off the balloons to be filled with helium for the next day. While the butter was softening I thought I’d be extra productive and fold the clothes that had just come out of the dryer, so I went in my room, spread them out on the bed and folded them into neat little piles for each family member. When I walked back into the kitchen is the moment I lost my mind and pitched what we southerners refer to as a conniption fit. Beyond temper tantrum, beyond hissy fit. This was a full blown, no holds barred, look out conniption fit.
Sassy the Wonder Dog ATE.THE.CAKE.
I lost it. I started yelling things like “I don’t know why I bother to try to do anything nice for anyone in this house. Nobody cares! I’ve killed myself to get this house ready for this party and y’all can’t even watch a dog for 15 minutes! I ‘m over it! Y’all want to live in a pig pen, have at it!!” It was at this point that I decided I needed to emphasize this verbal tirade so I snatched up the lazy susan full of candy and flung every last piece across the dining room in one sweeping motion. Boom instantly started trying to calm me down. I was having no part of that. I stomped into the office and flung about three stacks of papers into the air. Then, with Boom hot on my trail, I marched through the den. Hoss was in there watching the ipad and didn’t have his hearing aids in. He saw us and thought we were up to something fun so he jumped up and followed Boom down the hall as I barreled down on their rooms. It was about now that my normal inner Carie started getting loud. She was telling me not to do this, there was not time to recover from this if I destroyed their rooms, calm down and take a deep breath, you’re going to hate yourself in just a little while. Conniption fit Carie heard her and slightly adjusted her course of destruction. Instead of the devastation I had intended to lay down on their rooms, I merely grabbed the bookcase at the end of the hallway and dumped out every last book. I then headed straight for my room, threw on some clothes, grabbed my purse and keys, told Boom I was done and he was in charge and I left. I just got in my car and drove away.
To the barn. You see as I was heaving my mad self into my car, that normal gal in my head just kept talking.” You CAN’T leave those two boys at home by themselves and with all that mess you just created in your fit of madness. You aren’t that mom. You may have lost it, and they may be slightly scarred for life, and you’re going to have to ask for forgiveness and the dog only ate a tiny edge of the cake and you can bake a whole new cake if you have to. There’s time and you majorly overreacted.” Conniption fit turned up the radio and went right on to the barn. I don’t think I have ever been that mad. I called my mom and loudly and angrily recapped the events of the morning. Y’all it wasn’t even 10:00.
Mom held back her laughter and told me to stay put and she’d be right there. She always has my back, even when I’ve lost my mind. On her way to the barn she cut through the pool where dad was pulling weeds. She gave him the Reader’s Digest version of what she knew and he started laughing so hard he had to sit down. His only comment was that he wondered why I had gone to the barn at 60 m.p.h.
Mom got me calmed down and rode back to the house with me to see how to fix the cake. “Holy Cow” was all she said as we walked in to the utter destruction. Boom was on the ground gathering candy from under the dining room table. There were lollipops in the chandelier candle bases, there were chocolate eggs on top of the china cabinet. Across the hall, there were papers dangling from various places on my embroidery machine and cabinet and down the hall, Hoss was diligently shoving as many books as he could back into the bookcase in whatever manner he could. Boom had put Sassy the Wonder Dog in her kennel for her own safety and he had tried to trim and shape up the edge of the cake. Mom pitched right in and helped us recover the house, I figured out what to do about the cake and we were quickly back on track for an Out of this World party!
So what’s the purpose of telling this story on myself.
- ‘Roid’ rage is real y’all. I’m not using that as an excuse so much as an explanation. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve got a temper, but this was a temper on steroids. Literally.
- Even though I absolutely lost my cool and acted a fool, my family had my back. My mom and both boys jumped right in and Vinniehoney would have if he had been there. Surround yourself with people who’ve got your back.
- Asking for forgiveness is so important, especially with your kids. If you don’t take away anything else from this story, remember this. They see how you act. They learn how to act from your actions. Pitching a fit is never ideal, and I am in no way condoning violence or lack of self control. Don’t make this something that it’s not. But we all lose our cool sometimes. We all say things we don’t mean. Some of us fling candy across the house. The important part is to recognize that it was not an appropriate response. I had to stop the clean up with each boy in order to get their undivided attention and apologize and ask their forgiveness. They weren’t scarred for life. They don’t have fears about accidentally spilling the milk, causing Mom to lose her mind again. They do understand that Mom’s reaction was not normal and it was not ok. They do know that I was very sorry that I acted that way and not just because I was sorry I made the mess. I was genuinely sorry for my conniption fit. They also know that I asked them to forgive me and I promised to do my best to not ever fling candy again. Kids learn what forgiveness looks like by being asked to give it and by receiving it. It’s a two way street folks.
- Keep your perspective. One of the first things Mom said when she got me calmed down was, “someday, this is going to be a funny story. Not today, but someday.” Best I can tell, it takes about 60-90 days for the funny to kick in but in the grand scheme of things, what appeared to be devastating and the end of the world, wasn’t.
When the party was over and the presents had all been unwrapped, Boom came in the kitchen to tell me goodnight. He hung around my neck for a while and just loved on me. Then he leaned back and said, “I’m really sorry that I wasn’t watching Sassy and let her eat the cake, but THAT.FIT.WAS.AWESOME!!!” So grateful that God’s love, patience and forgiveness is bigger than my failings every day! So grateful God and my kids love me in spite of my candy flinging ways.