Earlier today, at pretty much any hour that ended with o’clock, Alex treated me to a symphony of screams and tears from the floor, where he lay, prostrate with grief over some unseen slight. He rolled angrily, this way and that, his back arched and head occasionally making contact with a toy carelessly tossed about.
I’d try and pick him up every couple of minutes as he thrashed about in the throes of a massive tantrum, but he’d arch his back away from me, and I’d nearly drop him from the sudden shift in weight.
In his defense, which I must remind myself of every 20 or so minutes, he’s getting approximately 4,000 teeth (give or take a few), which is standard M.O. for my poor kids who go from being toofless yokels to Jaws from Moonraker seemingly overnight.
Pleasant, it’s not. But it’s remarkably similar to how I’ve been feeling these days. The stuff I histrionically mentioned last week and then refused to elaborate on has gotten better, but not enough to ease things enough. Since it’s not something serious enough for me to blog about; it’s not cancer or a death in the family, no one is even physically sick right now, it’s hard to admit how much I’m struggling.
Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to try and rationalize away most of my upsetedness (totally not a word. Or if it is, it’s misspelled) by reminding myself that things could always be worse. And it’s the truth. No matter how hard things may be for me, someone somewhere may be dying a slow painful death by chocolate or pinto beans.
But rather than remind myself of this fact over and over and over until I feel like a shameless pile of goo for being upset about something so minor in the first place, I’m just going to go ahead and be upset. I’m not moping about the house, flopping aimlessly onto couches and sighing deeply anytime anyone talks to me or anything. I’m not crying in the shower–or anywhere else–or contemplating wording for my suicide note (although that would be a fantastic writing exercise).
No. None of those things.
Instead, of throwing things at walls or destroying box fans without mercy I am cleaning. I’m cleaning it all. Laundry that hasn’t been touched in weeks? Done. Car that hasn’t been cleaned in so long I’m too embarrassed to even write it down? Check.
It’s all clean.
When I was a kid, I could always tell when my mom wasn’t doing particularly well by the state of the carpets. The house would fall into disrepair, disgusting filth would pile up, and as a 8 year old, I would be stuck cleaning it with a bucket of hot soapy water so that my friends could come over without being disgusted.
As an adult, I associate dirtiness in my home as a sign that I am Not Doing Well. So, as a combatant to that, I clean the living fuck out of everything I can think of, when the going gets rough. I might feel sorry for myself a tad while I do it, but that’s how I handle things. Cleaning.
I wonder if my children notice. I wonder if when they grow up, they’ll become militant slobs when the going gets hard just to counteract the engrained idea that Clean House = Things Aren’t Well.
Or maybe they’ll just take after their father and be slobs no matter WHAT the state of the union is.
My carpet hasn’t looked this good since Alex was a (terrible) baby.