Friday, January 18, 2013

Taste the pollutants

The children are, overall, becoming more pleasant and fun as they get older. But when they have a bad day, they really go for gold. I am now writing a cookbook called 45 Creative Ways to Eat Your Young.

As always, it's not any one terrible thing. Today is not a tsunami. It's more like a light hail storm after you've left your brand new car in the driveway. This morning I got up 25 minutes early because I'm tired of rushed, stressful mornings and starting my day with a solid hour of anger. It really fuels my workouts, but I don't enjoy sending my preschooler off after a morning like that.

Everything went beautifully, and I was patting myself on the back for being such an awesome mom (do you see the foreshadowing?). Then in the last ten minutes before we had to leave, the poor dears became so exhausted from all that diligence that their motor skills failed. Shoes and coats took twenty minutes.

Really, child? You can eat two eggs in less than five minutes, but you cannot place your arms into a coat without flopping on the living room floor and moaning about it first?

I've been sick since forever (yay inversion, we'll talk about that later), and today was my first day back at the gym in a week. I went to yesterday, but really I was just taking advantage of the free childcare to take a shower and then sit by the pool with my book. Today I ran a few miles very slowly, and the endorphins really improved my mood. I had a nice time after at TJMaxx with Slimy the Younger while we waited for Whiny the Elder to get done with preschool. The key component in this pleasantness was that my children were not together.

Then it was grocery shopping, and it was like the clock had gone back two and a half years. Whining. *Asking for things. Fussing when told "no." **Refusing to act politely when people said "hi." It was all quiet rebellions. No one screamed or ran naked through the oranges. But it was immensely frustrating. Like pulling a Chevy through a pool of jello.

*This is not allowed. They get treats sometimes after the grocery store, but if they ask for things, it's a guarantee they won't.

**They don't have to give hugs and kisses, but jeez, kid, smile or wave even if you're feeling too shy to talk.

They are asleep now. There have been more shenanigans today (tattling and fighting, mostly), but those were the highlights. I have no idea what got into them because they're normally really pleasant when we're out shopping these days (I feel that this makes up for the year and a half where we couldn't leave the house with Grace unless we wanted her to scream at anyone who made eye contact). It's like the one thing I can count on behavior-wise.


So. This inversion. In almost every other respect, Salt Lake is one of the greatest places on Earth, and I would be happy if I lived here until I died.

The air during the winter can get really bad. You don't think of Salt Lake as being a center of pollution, and it's not so bad during the warmer months. But in the winter, if a warm front comes in over the mountains, it will sit on the cold air in the valley and trap all those particles in. It's the most wonderful time of the year.

We had a really bad one a couple of weeks ago. It was the longest, grossest one we've had since we moved here. We live really close to the mountains, but I couldn't see them for a week. I could taste the air when I went outside. Almost all of my illnesses are air quality related, so I got something funky this time around and have been completely useless for the last week. It was kind of nice to lie in bed all afternoon Monday and most of Tuesday.

Despite its start, today is still a good day. I am finally caught up on housework (I even did extra), and tonight I have a ladies' dinner to go to at a friend's house. I keep forgetting about it and then remembering and getting happy over the surprise over and over again. There are benefits to having the kind of brain that I have.