It doesn’t take a well-rested individual with an average IQ to figure out that Monday started off with ‘crappy’…written all over it.
The baby, who will be called ‘baby’ until he’s probably eighteen, woke up many more times than he should have during the night. I’m blaming it on the fact that it was roughly forty degrees (Fah-ren-heit) outside and we should have turned the heat on in the house, but the professor refused. ‘I’d really like to wait until September,’ he suggested. Which makes sense, but if I was freezing underneath a giant down comforter, there’s a good chance the baby was, too.
Or maybe he’s getting another tooth. Whatever the case may be, neither parents nor baby slept well that night, and the older boys woke up earlier than usual. Which means nobody was in a good mood on Monday morning. And I, least of all, when my oldest made a few gulping sounds before dousing my bed with puke. Mostly on the professor’s side of the bed (thank goodness for small mercies) and really, the kid had consumed nothing but water since the previous day’s lunch so it was more like water-puke. But still.
The sheets I had just washed two days before had to be washed again. And it wasn’t even 8.30am. ‘Did he puke?’ the professor inquired? Yes, dear, I don’t normally start laundry quite this early in the morning.
A friend had sent me a link to a video clip of a little girl standing in front of a mirror, jumping around and yelling about how much she liked everything and everyone. It was very cute, if the antithesis of what I felt. I considered sending my friend an email: ‘I don’t like anyone and today is going to be vile.’
But I didn’t – self-fulfilling prophesy and all that.
The professor was lying comatose on the basement floor while the Hen played beside him. The Gort came into my office where I was nursing my bad mood and checking Facebook. ‘Remember when you made those crazy dolls for us?’ he asked, after seeing a magazine clipping of one on my bulletin board.
Ah yes, Christmas 2008, I believe. When I made one for each niece and nephew.
‘Maybe we can make some of those again, sometime,’ my oldest hinted. And, before I could stop myself, the words ‘do you want to make one today?’ flew out of my mouth. Blame it on lack of sleep and general stupidity, because I can’t think of any other reason why I’d offer to whip out my sewing machine and heap pounds of frustration and mess upon myself.
Seconds later, we were in the basement. Grabbing fabric. And the sewing machine. And my sewing kit. And looking online for ugly dolls. And I was at the dining table, drawing shapes on fleece with black permanent marker. Because I don’t really know any better way to do it. All while mentally kicking myself in the shins. Repeatedly. If I could have said ‘stupid, stupid, stupid’ out loud without setting some sort of awful precedent, I would have.
The Gort settled on a blue, cat-like ugly doll. And the Hen decided on a red one resembling a pig. I cut out the first shape and set it aside. I drew the Hen’s shape on his chosen red fleece….and then he changed his mind. He wanted something bat-like, instead.
So I flipped over the piece of fabric and drew the shape on the other side. Without realizing that, when I sewed it, one side of the stuffed toy would have black marker……all over it. And to think a friend actually said to me ‘you’re quite good at crafts,’ the other day.
Imagine my surprise when, after sewing the two red panels together and turning it right side out….I saw the unwanted black marker outlines from the rejected piggish design.
Such was my level of professionalism and dedication, that I said ‘I don’t even care,’ and continued with the project. What three year old would complain about black markings on his homemade ugly doll? (Actually, the three-year-old Gort probably would have said something about it.)
Later that night, after I’d abandoned the fleece carcasses with the hope that the boys would forget about our project, the Gort asked me to finish his. Before he went to bed. So I sewed on the eye and the black line for a mouth. And I stuffed it with white poly filling. And I sewed it shut.
And it looked awful, but he acted like he really loved it.