As a general rule I'm fairly uptight. By the end of most days I am so tightly wound that the children know better than to suddenly bump or touch me, because if they do? It's quite likely I'll start quivering and scratching at my face in a not so reassuring way. This sucks for them, I'm sure, to know their mother is such a freak that simple day to day life wigs me out. It's not uncommon for Cass to ask me, "What gives, Mom? It's just a normal day: work, school for us, homework and dinner. Nothing bad happened. Nobody died today. We all still have our complete set of toes and fingers. That's a good mom thing, huh?"
To which I reply, "Um, yes, but do you know the incredible amount of work needed for me to simply breathe in and out from hour to hour? Toss in the fact that you and Devon need lunches made, Loren needs food money, you all have to get out of the house and to school before 8 am, then I have to go to work where I have to interact with other adults without either stuttering, spitting my food on them or appearing to be a dundering fool. Then. Then there is the afternoon of pick ups, homework, bitching kids, errands with more bitching kids, then I have to entertain you all. And then? THEN? You all want dinner. Like with meat and veggies and fiber and crap. Yes, at the end of the day I have to pull a nutritionally balanced meal out of my ass. Then it's homework, reading and tender tuck ins for you guys."
This sort of reply always takes Cass back a step or two while she mulls it over. Inevitably she ends up shaking her head and walking away from what is obviously a train wreck. Can't say I blame her. Sister is a survivor and she knows that just standing next to me marks her as vulnerable in the herd. But after a spell she will often return, give me a hug and say something along the lines of, "It's okay, mom. I love you even if you are a weirdo. But can I have that dinner, like now?" And then, then I quietly itch at my arms while the task of cooking sustenance looms.