Last Friday, a friend commented that my day had included the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. I’m pretty sure she was correct. For the good of the order, however, I should probably explain. According to the Bible, the four horsemen who shall herald the end of humanity’s existence are: the Antichrist, warfare, famine and death. However, according to the “Life as a Parent” (which is a little book that exists only in my head) the heralds of the end of my existence are: traffic, head lice, head aches, and constant rain. You can decide which horse to assign to each of my sanity’s nemesis. I’m partial to thinking that Head Aches is wearing the horn hat, but then maybe I’m just projecting here.
I live in a metro area that has 12 bridges to carry auto and foot traffic from one side of a body of water to the other. Yes folks, 12 bridges. Oh, and there are over 3/4 of a million folks living in this area. So that means there are lots of auto and foot traffic using all those 12 bridges. Friday I was frustrated by a whole passel of them.
My youngest had an appointment 16 miles from our home. With “normal” traffic, that trip takes us about 25 minutes. However, when it’s a Friday, there is no such thing as normal. The trip home took us almost 2 hours. Good thing we hit the potty before heading back home.
As a parent, you just hate getting certain phone calls. Like from the principal or another parent. Neither typically is full of good news. And in this case, it wasn’t. You see, when my oldest kids got home from school, I got the really special good time of treating all three kids for head lice. Now, I need to set some things straight here. Head lice is not a symptom of hygiene or economic status or whether you sport critters or logos on your shirts. Head lice is a symptom of living in an environment that includes other humans. It’s pretty much that simple. Whew. Now you can stop judging me.
There ended up being no creepy-crawlers (actually, they’re jumpers) on my kiddos, but that didn’t stop me from feeling like there was a full-on invasion happening on MY head. In fact, I’m feeling itchy just typing these words. Of course, if my kids had hair this thin, it would have been way faster to get that damn nit comb and toxic waste through their hair. But no, my kids have thick hair. Well, the boys do. My daughter not so much. Of course, her’s goes down her back. Grumble.
And since my head has been my least favorite body part of late, adding itching to its ailments isn’t my idea of a good time. Some folks regularly eat fast food. Others hit the movie theater on a regular basis. Me? I get head aches for a good time. I’m that kind of crazy-fun. And last Friday was a head ache inducer of significant proportions. And, sure enough, by the time I decided a Mai Tai was just what the doctor ordered, I had a head ache. Mostly due to the day’s driving experiences.
My oldest was invited to a play date and I needed to drive him to their house. A house I’d never been to and one that is in a nearby town. So I call for directions. Which I received. Four of them. Yes, driving directions with only 4 steps. Which is fine aside from the fact that there are 3 unmentioned stop signs between the freeway exit and their house that need to be correctly navigated. Which wouldn’t have really been much of a problem if there hadn’t been an Escalade a mere 8-10 inches from my bumper, honking and flashing lights at me the entire time I was trying to find either the fracking address or a place to pull over and let the insane mother pass me.
It got to the point where I was actually hoping she would run into me so I could beat her insane-bouffant-hairy self sense-less. And normally I err on the pacifist side. But some driving situations bring out the worst in me. As well as lice-shampoo fumes. So after the first Ford 250 jacked-up truck with a gun-rack and NRA decals nearly drove me off the shoulder-less road, I was already a little low on idiot-patience. The fact that she probably had melting ice cream in the back didn’t really matter to me. Within seconds of her flying up on my hiney like her Escalade had the optional jet engine add-on, I was pissed at her for merely respirating. Her flipping me the bird every two seconds (or perhaps she was merely showing me her bling?) made me a bit cranky.
Plus, you’d think she would have realized I really was trying to get out of her way when I did attempt to turn off several times, but the gated private driveways impeded my plan. Seriously people, near me is like mini-LA. Where once cows grazed to their four-tummy’s content, there are now 8000-20,000 square feet mansions sprinkled across the rolling hills like folks have delusions of grandeur or something. And apparently, those folks live in a “look but don’t touch” world, because they all have those rolling iron gates keeping the riff-raff out. Or in this case, one frazzled mom trying to pull off the road before the road ragers did her in.
Oh, and did I mention that our little neck of the woods has had a bit of rain lately? I grew up on the Oregon coast, so some precipitation doesn’t typically get me down. But weeks of it does. Especially at this time of year. Yeah, it’s wet here. And cold. So even if taking a Honda Odyssey off-road was a grand idea, since I didn’t get the party-barge model, I didn’t really think hitting the ditch should be part of my trip. Especially since I don’t have AAA.
So please forgive me if I’m less sweet-natured than usual. I guess I’ll just have to have another glass of “grape juice” and put on my heat lamp. With a bit of imagination and psychokinetic prowess, I’ll send all the neighborhood children’s head lice to that Escalade driving witch. That will slow her down and make my head ache all better.