Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cause and Effect. The snowball that created the avalanche.

One lousy event; one miserable moment can start a snowball effect so horrible, so out of control, that one might as well just lie down and roll with the avalanche.

Cause and effect. This is the only way I can possibly describe Monday’s awful, terrible, chain of events. The irony was, I was partially responsible. I was, in a sense, daring Karma to bring it on.  “God,” I repeatedly asked, “can it get any worse?” I couldn't hear the snow crackling in the distance.  No.  Not at all.  I was constantly whining and weeping over the current calamity at hand.

I’ll take you back over 48 hours ago to Monday morning, April 2nd, 2012. My thirteen-year old, 153 pound, Aspergian son determined that he wanted a longer Spring break from school. The best way, in his mind, to avoid returning to 8th grade was to trap himself underneath his bed. I wasn’t falling for it. My maternal instincts told me that if my genius son could squeeze that big ole' body under his bed, he was going to squeeze that big ole' body out.

Screaming that he was stuck and I was a horrible mother for not collapsing in fear did not persuade me in the slightest to call 911. I merely explained that his breakfast was getting cold and warm (in that order) downstairs. Nothing inspires my kiddo more than hot food getting cold and cold food getting warm especially when it comes to Pop-Tarts, orange slices, and a cup of milk. Within moments, a miracle occurred in Thornton, Colorado!  Austynn Potts appeared in my kitchen without serious bodily injury; however, there was one small problem, he did not adhere to the house rules before coming down; he was not dressed and ready for school.


“Get upstairs this very minute before I eat your Pop Tart AND DON’T YOU DARE USE THAT TONE OF VOICE WITH ME, DUDE!” I guess I wasn’t in the mood for Austy's sass on Monday. He ran upstairs screaming in terror. My bellow can sometimes have that effect on him.

Until 8:15am he hid in his closet refusing to cooperate. I completely ignored the situation. I knew what my next move was. At 8:16am, I very calmly, yet loudly stated; “Austynn, you have 9 minutes to get dressed, eat breakfast, brush your teeth, and get ready for school. At 8:30am, either I’ll be driving you or the Thornton Police will drop you off.” At 8:30am we were on our way to school.

Following that lovely exercise in nastiness, I had a hair appointment at 9:00am. My friend, who normally styles and colors my hair, is on vacation so it was necessary to schedule with someone new. This was truly the beginning of my avalanche. Obviously, my morning had started out rough. I was looking forward to a quiet couple of hours getting my hair done and then settling into the day - picking up the house, working on laundry, and packing for my trip. All my plans flew out the proverbial window with the crackling of snow up above.  Dammit, I still couldn't hear it.

I have no problem with anyone being late for my appointments. In fact, I'm notoriously late myself so when my stylist showed up 20 minutes past due, I was ok with it. My issue was when she walked in with no apology, no recognition, nothing. I went with it.  The owner of the hair shop is a friend of mine. I’ve been going to her shop for years and I could tell that she wasn't happy with her employee. When the stylist asked me what I wanted to have done, I tried to explain the color and style as best I could.  She didn't understand and didn't hesitate to let me know it.  She was awful to the extent of being rude. She walked away almost disgusted with me. No, absolutely not acceptable. I told my friend and owner to please reschedule me later in the day with someone else. She knew that I was beyond annoyed.

As I was stepping out of the hair shop, my boot caught a crack in the cement and I went down. Not a little slip, but a full on, down-goes-Bri-knees-over-ankles-fall. As I laid there contemplating how ridiculous I looked on the sidewalk, my friend the store owner and her husband came running out to check on me.  Did the hairstylist in question show any concern?  I think not.  This was just the beginning of a seriously fucked up (pardon my Sudanese) day.

After years of breaking and spraining this same ankle, I’ve become very proficient at how to take care of it before it becomes a major inconvenience – which, might I add – it already had. The moment I came home, I put it up with ice, took Ibuprofen, and stayed off of it for the rest of the afternoon. I laid on my bedroom recliner with a bowl of buttered popcorn for lunch (a terrible no-no for my personal sewage system but was the only thing I could make on my foot) and watched hours of afternoon TV re-runs in tears. I hated that stylist. I cursed her name. I secretly hoped upon hope that she was having as bad a day as I was having. More metaphorical crackling overhead.  I called Eric and wept to him. I was pathetic.

Since the only other available appointment was at an inconvenient time during the afternoon, I did what all selfish, horrible mothers do..I took my youngest out of school early to accommodate my needs. YES I DID!  He’s in a Special Education Class so for all of you mothers out there tsk, tsk'ing me, please hold your tongues. Besides, it did come back to bite me in the ass, Karma that is.

My day was getting a little better. I was attempting to find my quiet, serene pond of still, blue water.  The awful stylist must have been sent home because when I arrived she was gone. My foot was still aching but the swelling was down.  The new stylist was a sweetheart and did a great job. Things were looking up. Wheew..was I dodging the proverbial cosmic bullet?  No, I spoke too soon.

When Eric came home, he was a love and picked up some tacos for dinner. The avalanche started to roll again but this time it was in an oh-my-God-what-is-happening-to-my-stomach? sort of way. Before bedtime, my stomach started to toss and turn like a great rocking sea. The boys started arguing. Go away! Leave me alone! Stop looking at me!  I hadn't started the laundry.  I hadn't packed for my trip the next day. Oh, gosh. I’m going to be sick!!

From 8:00pm to 4:00am I was hovering between my bed, a bucket, and the toilet. By the time I finished, my final contribution was…yes, that's right - buttered popcorn. I finally heard the thunderclap of snow sliding down above me.  I broke into uncontrollable sobs.

“What’s wrong now, sweetie?”

“Oh Eric. Banshee just arrived!”