Paul has had to go in at 5am the last few days which means I have to wake him up at 3:30am because even at 47 he still cannot "hear" the alarm. I started that when we were dating, me calling him up to wake him up, thus relieving his poor mother of the duty. We both have spoiled him into a deaf monster as far as alarms go. Yesterday morning after he was up and around (not happily, I might add) I gently reminded him that he needed to drive my van because I needed the truck to move some furniture to the consignment auction. This threw him into a tirade of epic proportions at 3:45am. That, Constant Reader, is WAY too early to put forth that much effort into a blood-pressure-raising rant at one's spouse. It's also too early for the spouse to endure such baby whining. Dude, it's my truck, too. I shouldn't have to borrow my own truck. Just sayin'.
When he stormed off to work, driving my van entirely too fast down the driveway, probably changing my radio station to country I might add, I went back to bed for that whole 30 minutes. Then when the alarm started going off I snoozed it for an entire hour. Now, let me clarify that I have overslept two times since Paul started working at the casino and it traumatized me for life. I hate that feeling of waking up late and knowing that it's making someone else late. I have my cell phone alarms set for 5:05 and 5:12, my iPod set for 5:00 and 5:15 and the regular alarm clock set as a backup for 5:24. Snoozing all these alarms isn't remotely conducive to any form of rest, yet I laid there curled up in bed, reaching an arm out of my mountain of covers every 4.7 minutes to smack, tap or slide something. For an hour. Yes, it's pathetic. I'm aware of that.
Finally rolling out of bed at 6 meant that I would not be showering, but that was fine because I hadn't planned on going anywhere until later that evening and I could just shower after Paul got home from work. (My kids are old enough to be unattended, but I'm not keen on letting a 20 month old wander the house while I'm otherwise indisposed. And naked.) I looked like a skank, but Conner's used to that occasionally. As long as he still gets his juice and banana and the occasional iced animal cookie he could care less that I'm not fresh as a daisy.
I have been driving the kids to the end of the driveway in the mornings because it's too cold to stand out there for too long. I was ushering everyone out the door at 7:15, like always, and Abby had forgotten something so I was standing at the door hollering at her to hurry and hollering at Kady and Sam to get in the truck. By the time I got out to the truck Kady was looking frazzled at trying to hoist herself and her gigantic backpack in that big ol' truck. Then she slammed the door - on her hand. Sam and I were on the other side of the truck and knew instantly what she had done. She started squawking and Sam and I were hollering at Abby, who was standing on her side NEXT TO HER DOOR, to "OPEN THE DOOR! OPEN THE DOOR! NOW! NOW!" And Abby in all her teenage glory goes, "Why? Why do I have to open the door? WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME??" I was about *this* close to reaching my arms through the truck to strangle her. Eventually someone (Abby? Kady herself?) opened the door and the real screaming began. I turned off the truck, calmly said, "Everyone in the house. I'll just take you to school." Then I picked up my wailing 8 year old and took her in the house where I wrapped her hand in an ice pack and sat down to soothe her sniffling, sobbing, hiccuping self. After Abby finished pouting that she didn't know why everyone was yelling at her when she wasn't the one that had shut her hand in the door, I told her to call Courtney and tell her to just bring Tater's tots up to the house and I would just drive everyone to school. Then about three minutes later it hit me - I was in the truck and therefore didn't have room for six kids. I hollered, "You have to ride the bus! Go! Go! Get out the door! HURRY!" which prompted another round of stomping and heavy sighing from my teenager. (Later I saw a tweet from her that said "I'm having SUCH a great day. NOT." She may not survive to 14.)
The big kids made it onto the bus, Kady's hand eventually came out of the ice pack and it was determined she had not broken anything. I took her to school and came back home where I discovered that the washing machine drain had backed up and the utility room floor was soggy.
Fast forward to 12:30 when I laid Conner down for his nap. I have to sit at the other end of the couch while he goes to sleep, otherwise he gets down and makes a run for the border. While sitting there I turned on my laptop to charge my iPod and started playing Bookworm on the iPod to kill time while he fell asleep. I, myself dozed off. I normally don't do that, but I totally blame the events from this point on in the story on PMS and that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. I just get so tired when I have PMS these days and it happened. Sue me. And my ovaries. Apparently at some point during my FIFTEEN MINUTE nap the processor in my laptop burned up. I woke up to a computer that was obviously somewhat on, but the screen was blank. I turned it off, manually, rebooted and then it just started rebooting and shutting down repeatedly, except it would never fully boot. I said a few choice words under my breath. I fixed a glass of tea. I shoveled about 487 Hershey's Kisses into my hormonal body and like an idiot, kept trying to reboot the computer. I eventually gave up and did some laundry and loaded the dishwasher.
When it was time to get Conner up I opened the blinds on the front picture window AND SAW THE BOX THAT HELD MY NEW DVR RECEIVER IN THE YARD IN A STATE ONE SHOULD NEVER SEE A BOX OF ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT. Amazing what happens during a 15 minute unscheduled, hormone-induced nap followed by angry housecleaning - the laptop takes a dive and our ninja UPS man drives up, leaves a box, DOESN'T KNOCK and the dog eats the box.
I busted out the front door and dragged the dog by his collar to the chain on the far side of the yard and chained him up, all the while calling him names that would probably get me fined by the ACLU, PETA and any other organization that monitors the rights of living beings. I then finished my tirade by telling him I hoped that when he took a drink of water ALL THAT CARDBOARD in his stomach would swell up and give him horrendous gas and that he would die. I didn't mean it. Okay, yes I did. I was mad.
I got back in the house to find a very bewildered Conner looking at his crazed babysitter with a still-sleepy look. He heard the dog bark and hollered, "HUSH!" Yeah. You tell him, buddy.
I inspected the receiver, it appeared to be fine. Had he started chewing on the other side of the box he'd have gotten the power cord right off the bat, but as it was he just got packing foam. I hope that swells up in his guts, too.
I then started unplugging the old receiver and plugging in the new one. I got to the point where I had to call DishNetwork to active the receiver and SmartCard when Mom and Pops drove up, Paul got home from work and the kids got off the bus, followed closely by Courtney coming to pick up Conner, so I hung up. Things went from crazy, hormonal, stinky lady and a baby to a house full of people to stress me the heck out. Pops took a look at the laptop (he rescued the desktop from a dusty death a few weeks ago) because he is our family computer repair dude. He said, "Hmh. I don't know. Might be the processor. Might be the power source. Not sure. I don't work on laptops." ARGH! Fortunately, though, my brother owns a computer store and apparently has some awesome guy that works on laptops and Pops said he could take it to him if I wanted.
And it was at that point I just started bawling. And I couldn't stop. I know I freaked out the kids, frustrated my mom, bewildered my husband and dad and made my cousin worry that leaving her son with a mentally unstable person was probably a bad idea, but I couldn't help it. It all just hit me and I lost it.
Mom took the kids home with her (Paul and I were supposed to go see the local little theatre's production of "Greater Tuna" that evening, but I was really in no shape to go out in public) and said she'd bring them back later, unless I wanted them to spend the night. Since it was a school night I said they should probably come home. She kept offering the sleepover. I must've really had The Crazy in my eyes.
After everyone left and it was Paul and I alone I picked up the phone to call DishNetwork again. Normally you're greeted by an automated voice dude who tries to interpret your verbal answers, but usually just ends up saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't catch that. Could you repeat your answer please?" but that time the call was answered by a person. He asked who he had the pleasure of speaking with and I told him. He asked for my address. I told him. Phone number. The same. I figured he was just confirming things with me. They normally ask for a PIN to the account, but I didn't give that omission much thought. He then asked for my email address, which I thought was strange since they send me reminders when
DishNetwork's number is 1-800, DirecTV's is 1-888. Someone totally messed up with that one.
Finally I got hold of DishNetwork to activate the receiver and was told by the customer support person that they have no training on that particular receiver and she would have to transfer me to AT&T customer support because, as I mentioned in the previous post, we have an AT&T Homezone receiver although NO ONE KNOWS WHY. (Yes, the new one has the AT&T logo on it even though she said it wouldn't) The guy at AT&T, of course, couldn't access my account because we don't have any services with them, but thankfully he was a stand-up guy and tech supported me anyway even though he said he probably wasn't supposed to, but who else was going to if not him? He got me to a point where I could take it on my own then transferred me back to DishNetwork and the rep there activated my card and then, in such a stereotypical Southern Black Woman fashion, so stereotypical it was utterly comical, informed me that "Mmm mm, hunny, you need to git rid of that receiver soon as you possibly can becuz that ol' thang ain't nuthin' but TROUBLE. Mm hmm. I mean it, hunny. You gotta INSIST on a new one when yo' contract is up in Jan'yary, okay? 'Cuz, see? We cain't work on it and I don' know why dey send you one of doze anyways."
Paul couldn't understand how I had gone from sobbing uncontrollably a half hour prior to sitting on the end of the couch, biting my lip, trying not to laugh like a loon in that sweet woman's ear.
I finished getting the receiver set up, handed my husband the remote, took a long, hot shower and finally sat down to decompress a little. Mom and Pops came back around 8:30 with our three sugared up kids .... and life seemed to get back to as normal as it gets around here.
That is, until we put a DVD in to watch and the sound wouldn't work. Fortunately I just jiggled the cord and it came back. Courtney has a theory that electronics create a mass suicide pact and that when one goes, they all follow suit. If that's the case, I'm putting every other electronic in this house on suicide watch immediately.