Yesterday was one of those days, the kind that pop up and make you wish you'd followed your muse in college and now spent time chain-smoking on SoHo balconies, participating in performance art and living in charming Bohemian poverty while writing The Great American Novel, instead of cleaning up cat barf and finding creative ways to re-use leftover mashed potatoes.
It was just one of those miserable days where nothing goes right. It all started the night before, with another charming round of cough-and-sinus-yuckiness, a continuation of the Parade of Sickness that has run through our house for months. This one came on almost overnight, knocking out both Ryan and I. It's one of those awful things where you feel generally horrible and want to sleep for days, but the body aches and restlessness won't allow it. So I was tired and feeling like crap but unable to sleep it off, and Piper woke up at 3:00 in the morning and didn't settle back down until 6:00. She got back up at 8:00, and Ryan got up with her so I could catch at least a little sleep. This meant that I did not get the ball rolling to take Piper to storytime at 10:00 like I wanted to, so I tried for the 10:45 storytime and she was being a real pill about getting ready. I must've told her at least five times to get dressed, and eventually Ryan had to go hover over her while she did it to make sure she saw the task through. Then it took ten minutes to get her to put her shoes and coat on, so we finally left the house with five minutes to make the fifteen-minute drive to the library.
We got 1/4 of the way there and discovered the railroad crossing was closed, so I had to turn around and go back. The next crossing was closed, too, so I had to drive 15 minutes out of my way and it didn't occur to me until a phone call from Ryan that I should've taken the freeway. When we finally arrived at the library, storytime was half-over and the door to the room was shut so we just played in the kids' section for a while. Piper ignored my requests to stop jumping and climbing all over the chairs, until she finally fell off and bonked her head. We'd already gotten a few looks from the librarians because my daughter seems to think that "Piper, please, please be quiet, please please please stop yelling and use your inside voice" means "scream as loud as you can and generally make as much noise as possible." Now that she was howling about her head-bonk, I figured we should make a hasty path for the door.
At the grocery store, the bad day continued, with Piper refusing to sit in the cart and instead attempting to push it around, which meant crashing into things and finally running over my foot. It was the kid-cart, with the giant plastic car attached to the front, so it was not a light load. I scooped her up and deposited her in the basket among the groceries, then barreled up to the checkouts. The self-checkout was uncooperative and hated TWO of the cards I tried to use, and after almost ten minutes of the robot-voice repeating "please put the item back in the bag" and "would you like to try another form of payment?" while Piper giggled and climbed in and out of the cart (twice climbing up on TOP of the plastic car and trying to stand up, thus giving me a heart attack), I was ready to either start crying or start smashing things.
We somehow managed to make it home, where Piper refused to sit still long enough to eat more than two bites of her lunch. I finally sent her in for a nap, which she did not take. She instead chose to spend those two hours completely and totally trashing her bedroom. She took all the blankets off her bed. She took the clothes out of her drawers. She took all the books out of her bookshelf and piled them on the floor. When the hours usually designated for afternoon rest had elapsed without so much as a drooping eyelid on her part, I made her clean up the mess(es) and took her outside to play.
She wandered out of my sight constantly and refused to come when I called her back. I tried to clean the knee-deep pile of junk out of the back of the car while she played in the driveway, but she climbed into the car and treated its interior like a jungle gym. We went into the field behind the house so she could splash in some mud puddles, and she picked up a discarded basketball and dropped it on my camera case. I tried to take some pictures of her and she ran away from me. I looked up from changing lenses to find her running towards me, waving one of her boots in the air, yelling "My boot! My boot!" Her formerly-white sock was now red from the muddy field. She stripped it off the muddy, soggy bit of fabric and handed it to me. "Here, could you hold this, Mom?"
I had to talk her into putting her boot back on and then escorted her inside, fixed her a dinner she refused to eat, and spent the rest of the evening following her around trying to get her to clean up the rather spectacular messes she made. Every time I turned away for even five minutes, she had dragged out something else and made it as disarranged as possible. I finally sent her to bed early, without a bath or so much as a bedtime story, because I'd had enough.
She gave me a good-night kiss and hugged me. "See you tomorrow, Mom!" she called out as I shut her bedroom door.
Yeah, kiddo see you tomorrow. Whew.