Earlier this evening I posted this on Facebook:
Today’s been one of those days where I’ve had to have an inner monologue, “I love my children, I love my children, I love my children” playing on a loop in my head. Otherwise, they’d have probably both been catapulted into the lake.
It’s not much of an exaggeration. Helen and I had wanted to go to the indoor garage sale that was held today at Sanford Center for awhile now, so we all rolled out of the house about 8:15 this morning and headed over there. Millie survived about one lap through the booths before she just lost it; there was toddler rage over every single thing she could see and was then not allowed to touch. Even buying her four little trains out of a quarter box only kept her at bay for a little while. We eventually just rolled her screaming right out of there. Much shorter morning than we were expecting.
We got some food in her and things turned around a little, but then Helen decided she was going to fall into her “I am going to put my hands on every piece of food in every grocery store we visit” mode, and it got to the point that each store led to three or four demands to keep her hands to herself and stop picking things up before threatening to unleash some manner of doom upon her.
Things settled in a bit after we got home and had some lunch, but it was a short-lived reprieve. Mel and I had a couple of appointments lined up to look at houses, continuing our Star Trek-like eight-year quest to see if it’s even possible to find a better house to move into in Bemidji that we can actually afford. The first place was like a ranch you’d see in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie; the house was just bizarre in the way it was laid out (the dishwasher was in the laundry room, and not in the kitchen, for instance), and it had four outbuildings — three of them were massive — and everything was just completely full of some combination of stuff and junk (mostly junk). It was a ridiculously inexpensive property with an amazing amount of potential, but there wasn’t a single square inch in the house we could identify that didn’t need some manner of renovation or, more likely, a complete overhaul. So, pass. But, it there were cats everywhere, and Helen loves cats. So we were yelling at her constantly to stop hunting cats through the house by climbing all over the stuff of whomever lived there, to stay with us and not run off to chase cats when we were outside, etc., and then had to endure about 15 minutes of crying when we had to leave the cats and not take one of them with us, and also deal with the reality of returning to a cat-free home.
Second house visit was thankfully uneventful (more on that later, maybe — the house was fantastic, and in stunning fashion it’s a house that feels like a significant trade up that would actually cost us less than we’re spending on this place. And we’d be getting all but maybe one thing that’s on our wish list of “stuff we’d have to find in a different house in order to seriously consider moving.”).
Then we get home, and Mel naps on the couch, Millie’s watching TV in the living room and Helen’s watching TV in our bedroom. So I went upstairs to work on a drawing that I started Friday night and did some more work on during the course of the day today. By the time I quit, I had about four hours into it, and it was going really, really well I think. But at some point, Millie snuck upstairs, got into my markers, destroyed the drawing, drew all over the subwoofer for my computer speakers, and trashed about four walls. Just a two-minute whirling dervish of toddler destruction.
I had thoughts about restarting the drawing tonight, but I just don’t want to. I’m going to have to come up with something else to do, because it’s a drawing I was doing for someone else (and it’s quite a story — a story for another day).