Yesterday I slammed a cabinet door so hard in an aggressive act of frustration that I broke the hinge. Let (drink) me rewind. It was a beautiful afternoon and the kids spent the bulk of it turning into raisins in the pool.
The pool is a metaphoric microcosm of our house. Somehow, it goes from tidy and serene to a medley of boogie boards, floats, diving toys, goggles, and water balls strewn all over the pool and surrounding yard. I'm super anal about organizing all the paraphernalia when we go inside and while I try to enlist the help of the kids, sometimes I'm just too tired to nag and wind up doing it myself even though I know I am failing on teaching them to take responsibility for themselves. I also get grouchy as I gather wet towels and articles of clothing, and use noodles to lure items from the middle of the pool to the edge where I can reach them and fish them out. I turn into a total martyr but can't seem to control my passive aggressive patterns. (Drink)
So I was in a bit of a mood when James arrived home with our new shed (to contain said objects), but my mood quickly shifted when the kids raced out to meet him full of excitement, not because of the shed, but because of the Home Depot flatbed he cruised in on. They all took turns riding shotgun and even went for a spin around the neighborhood to showboat their cool ride.
By the time we had unloaded the shed and satisfied everyone's fervor for trucks, James headed back to Home Depot to return it and it was dinnertime at the zoo. Since I had been outside all day and James was busy procuring the shed, the indoor chores had been tabled so there were dishes and laundry to contend with in addition to five kids who had worked up a raging appetite.
While I unloaded the dishwasher, things seemed unusually quiet. Rather than investigate, I reveled in the silence. Mistake. Kaleb and the twins had been busy emptying the entire bin of outdoor toys I had just put away and were now Scotch taping a few cracks in the bottom so Kaleb could fill it with water and wash his old, disgusting shoes in it. There were wods of Scotch tape everywhere because you know how kids can't seem to manipulate a roll of tape? It was a nice sentiment to wash his dirty shoes, but Kaleb has a long history of creating shoe projects that escalate and create deep cleaning projects (drink). I was not in the mood. I made my point through clenched teeth and spun around to continue unloading the dishes when I spotted Cynthia's sneakers on the kitchen counter. WTF? It was the last straw.
In a (drink) flood of expletives, for the millionth time, I asked them, "Why? Why on earth are these here? What possessed you to put SNEAKERS on the KITCHEN COUNTER?" I turned and slammed a nearby cabinet door shut, all my outrage over the socks and shoes and dirty clothes and blankets of the last three months (well, twelve years, really) concentrated into the vigor of the slam. Off came the cabinet door.
My fury intensified. The kids scattered. I was hopping mad, mostly at myself. Then my rage turned to tears. (Drink) It was a meltdown of epic proportions and I sat on the kitchen floor sobbing, the cabinet door hanging precariously by one hinge, evidence of my own shameful unhinging.
Luckily, I am able to rally just as quickly as I collapse. I splashed water on my face and pulled myself together. In a supermom comeback, I made dinner and tackled the laundry and when James arrived home, he was none the wiser. Aside from the broken cabinet which I didn't admit was my fault until (drink) I had poured him a stiff drink.
Unfortunately, the hinge is (drink) a rare breed. James is at the hardware store now trying to find a replacement, but my hopes aren't very high. I imagine the sales guy raising an eyebrow as he scrutinizes the damaged hinge. "What the hell happened to this thing?" All James would have to say is, "Wife. Five kids." The sales guy would nod in pity and say, "Enough said, man. God speed."
Meltdowns are normal, I know. Healthy, even. After all, we're only human and there's only so much we can take. I just wish I hadn't broken something in the process. Now, until we hunt down the limited edition hinge we seem to have, I'll be reminded of my outburst every time I'm in the kitchen. Which is always. I snapped....and so did the hinge.
Maybe a stress ball would help. Or a voodoo doll. Or maybe I need something that can really take a beating. Like a proper punching bag. Or perhaps I should go a different route. Like meditation or yoga. The problem with that is the kids won't leave me alone long enough to pee let alone reach a point of meditative bliss. Conceivably, I have anger management issues and should consult a professional. "Hi, my name is Jill and I break cabinets when I'm angry." But let's face it...the real solution here isn't boxing gloves or self-reflection. It's an adult only resort in the Caribbean with a cabana by the pool where there are no floats and someone comes by regularly to bring fresh towels and frozen drinks. A girl can dream, right?