It's been nearly a year since I've written a blog. Part of the reason is the usual busyness of life. Another reason is that my copy editing skills are a little rusty, and I cringe whenever I find mistakes a week after posting something. The main reason I had stopped blogging is that my kids have reached the age that they are mortified when I talk about them. Never mind that I think everything they do is awesome, cute, funny or (at their worst) "a good life lesson/learning experience." To them, my desire to share their childhood ups and downs is embarrassing. Trying to respect their privacy has given me a serious case of writer's block, so the only way I know to get over it is to sacrifice myself by sharing memories my kids enjoy rehashing at my expense.
When I was in college, my roommate and I use to marvel at how moms shopping with young children seemed to completely forget they were in public. Their children would have screaming tantrums that the moms didn't seem to notice. Some moms had screaming tantrums right back at their kids, and some moms just looked like walking zombies. We reasoned that there must be some sort of sanity switch that gets turned off during the baby's delivery, or else the deterioration of a mom's sanity occurred gradually, either from sleep deprivation, excessive noise or a combination of the two. As a mom of three boys, I must confess to having my own mom freak-out moments. The following one is my oldest son's favorite.
During the summer, Steven (then 10 years old) asked if he could eat his lunch in the living room. The fact that I said yes exhibits the first clue of temporary insanity, since his plate held a corndog and a puddle of ketchup. I was in the laundry zone, though, so I left him to eat in the living room while I went downstairs to get laundry out of the dryer.
About 15 minutes later, I came back upstairs with my folded laundry. As I was walking down the hall, I spotted a small, red left footprint. Then another. Then another. At the end of the footprints was my youngest son Isaac playing in his room, his left sock covered in red goo. I ran to him to take the sock off. He was completely unaware that he had stepped in anything.
I ran back down the hall to see where the footprints began, and found Steven playing video games. On the floor next to him was his plate with the puddle of ketchup. Right next to the plate was the first Isaac-sized footprint. While running through the house to fetch the carpet stain remover, I launched into a five minute rant, which may have been all in one breath. I can't remember everything I said (I probably went into some sort of stress-induced blackout), but I know there was some yelling about Steven leaving "a plate full of KETCHUP on the FLOOR OF ALL PLACES!" I decreed that NO ONE would eat in the living room EVER AGAIN! And I'm fairly certain I laid out a guilt trip about a ruined white sock--as if it was Isaac's finest church clothes--and how "I would love nothing more than to spend my ENTIRE DAY cleaning ketchup spots out of the carpet!" The rant ended with me repeatedly uttering, "I HATE ketchup! I just HATE it!"
By the time my husband Todd came home from work, the spots were out of the carpet and I got my sense of humor back (and part of my sanity). I confessed to my complete loss of cool over what our family has now dubbed "The Ketchup Incident."
I think Todd and Steven conspired on the dinner menu that evening. Todd grilled hamburgers, which we ate at the kitchen table, of course. As Steven was pouring ketchup on his hamburger, he said, "I LOVE ketchup." He emphasized the word "love" and drew out for three seconds. Then he smirked and bowed his head. There was a collective snickering from all the little men at the table while they stared down at their plates. I had to admire the perfection of his timing, and I laughed too.
Well played, Steven. Well played.
I searched YouTube for other great mom freak-out moments. There were plenty to choose from. Some were deliciously funny, but I refrained from posting them due to the not-so-mom-like bad language. I settled on this one, because my family is always telling me how much I act like the mom in this commercial, to which I respond with a long, non-blinking stare.