Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral

I originally wrote this post in 2010. Apparently my life has not really changed at all in the past 3 years. My kids are bigger and more self-sufficient so I was under the false impression that, I would re-read this post and be all - I was so adorable and flustered with my tiny little kids.


That's right, Ricky Gervais. It's funny. It's hilarious. Go on and laugh. At me. At my expense. Because I just figured out that it doesn't matter how old my kids are or what stage of the parenting cycle in which I find myself. I will remain a jackass who is forever frenetically flapping about.

Welcome to the Death Spiral, my sisters. It is upon us.


I just realized that Halloween is next week. Crappitty CRAPNASTIC craps. You know what that means? It means the Halloween to Holidays Death Spiral has officially begun and I am totally screwed. I am now officially behind on everything and will get more crazy and manic every week from now until right after New Years. At which point I will settle into a week-long depression where I irritably stare at the Christmas decorations and contemplate starting a bonfire in the backyard so I don't have to put the stuff away yet again. 

Every week there will be more stuff for me to deal with - in addition to the stuff I already deal with (or procrastinate doing).  For example, class parties and random events like book fairs where I am the helper mom and Girl Scouts and a baseball-end-of-the-season-hoo-haw and a near constant need for me to bake things that I want to cram in my mouth but can’t because if I fall off the diet wagon now I will weigh 567 pounds by New Years.

It all starts now – with the jarring realization that I have only 2 somewhat free afternoons (that are not already filled up with crap) in order to get ready for Halloween. Then I’ll blink and it will be mid-November. And then just when I think I might have my head above water, someone will get strep throat and I will realize that Thanksgiving is a week away which means damn it all – it’s the Holidays and out comes the 4,324 item to do list. Whuck happened? School just started. Where did September and October go?? I’m now headed into the busiest time of the year for a Mom, and I look forward to it like I do cold and flu season (which just so happens to occur simultaneously).

Maybe you think I’m exaggerating. Maybe you think I'm making it out to be worse than it is. I am not.

School is now in full swing.  Every day or so, two of my three children are required to complete a lengthy, time-consuming project of some kind. This means I must make several trips to the store, spend more money that I imagined possible, and dedicate hours of my time helping them paste random things to other things, while interfering just enough so that they get a good grade while not handing in something that is clearly my work (a violation of 18 U.S.C. 1358 -- Project fraud by mommy or daddy).

Seasonal holiday activities means baking copious amounts of sugary deliciousness that I can’t eat because of my commitment to radical ass reduction and also not triggering a diabetic coma. It means showing up to all of these events with an unruly toddler in tow, who manages to look like an angel while smashing things and setting them on fire. You know what’s more fun for a kindergarten class than watching than my youngest child steal cupcakes and then smash them into electric sockets while screaming "NO NO MOMMY NO!"?

Nothing. There is nothing more fun than that.

Fall sports are winding down, which means that there’s all sorts of end of the season things that must done. Emails must be sent, parties organized, money begged for collected, presents for Coaches purchased. All this work is made so rewarding when the child in question whines that they would rather stay home and watch Scooby Doo. YOU’RE WELCOME, you little ingrate.

Yard work takes over my life (or at least feeling schmiddty for not doing it when I know I ought to). Leaves must be raked. The garden must be “put to bed” for the winter. All of this either takes hours and hours of time that I don’t have or costs of hundreds of dollars to pay someone else to do for me. Except that I’m married to a man named Cap’n Coupon, so guess which option he is in favor of? Except the Cap’n works about a million hours a week and has no free time. Consequently, if we do it ourselves it will get done in January. Or, if we’re lucky (like last year) it will start snowing in December and by the time all the snow melts in April all the leaves we never got around to raking will have composted themselves as if by magic.

Cold weather apparel for the children must be assessed and procured. Because one minute it's warm and sunny, and the next it’s as cold as a motherless bastard and there’s about fifteen minutes in between. And here’s the other thing – if you don’t buy snow boots and gloves in November, you’re screwed because Target stops stocking them in favor of bikinis and flip flops in early January. Because that makes total sense.

The pre-holiday/mid-November OH SCHMIDT moment arrives when you realize that people will be coming to visit, new toys will be replacing old toys, you just paid for 6 months of car insurance and a massive shipment of heating fuel just when the checking account needs an injection of cash worse than Lindsay Lohan needs a nourishing soup/sandwich combo.  And the next six weeks are going to be such an overwhelming cluster that you had better whip that house into shape right now. Except it’s too far gone. You need that Niecy Nash lady and a humiliating half hour on reality TV to get it knocked out in one day so that you stand a chance in hell of being prepared for the holidays.

Then comes all the work and preparation for the actual holiday season. But I can’t even think about that yet because I need a drink. . . and to bake pumpkin bread . . . and to clean out the hall closet . . . and the sink drain. I’m in the death spiral.

See you in January.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011