Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Latest Outfit

Loyal Readers, I can honestly say that I cannot recall having a worse day in ages. Today took the cake. If you had stopped by my house at about 3:30, you would have wished you had the garment at left at the ready. Believe me.

Earlier today, I blogged about my poor parenting and while I did so in a manner that might lead someone to believe I had no guilt about making less than stellar choices for Jack and the friend with whom I was entrusted for the day, don't get the wrong idea.

The whole time Jack's little friend (let's call him Fred) played computer games, I was guilt ridden and stressed out knowing that I was doing his emotional and mental development a disservice. And worse, I was worried that he would go home and tell his mother that he had hours of screen time at my house and that would make me look really bad. But, clearly I didn't feel bad enough to try to coax and cajole the kid into doing something more constructive. I just wasn't up to the sulk-fest I knew would ensue.

Just in case you are wondering, I didn't feel too stressed out about Jack playing computer games. After all, he is my kid to ruin and that is my business entirely.

Anyway, we made it through the morning and at 11 I rounded up the screen zombies and hauled them off to the pool. The pool time started off swimmingly (sorry, couldn't resist) and I was planning to stay until 30 minutes before Fred's father was to pick him up at my house. I was starting to feel as if the kids were doing something wholesome and healthy and that I could actually relax a bit.

Scratch that idea. At about 1:00, my cell phone rang. A realtor on the other end wondered if her clients could see our house at 4PM. This particular realtor had previewed the house and discussed it with her clients so I knew that they were serious buyers. Also, they had tried to get into see it last Saturday but between the other showing and my party, it didn't work out for them. So, I decided to say yes to the showing on short notice.

I had to round up the guys an hour earlier than I had intended in order to have time to clean the house and to keep them out of my hair while I did so, I had to allow more of the evil screen time.

I know what you are thinking, Loyal Readers. My house has been clean, clean, clean and fairly show ready for weeks, so what was the big deal? Well, for the last couple days, I sort of let down and today my house was definitely NOT in show ready condition.

As I always do, I underestimated the time necessary to straighten up the place and as the showing time approached, I became more and more frantic, whirling around the house working up a sweat. It is entirely possible that I was foaming at the mouth as well, but I didn't have time to check that out in the mirror.

A half hour before ShowTime, Fred's father rang the doorbell to pick up his now ruined zombie of a son. I was upstairs making Jack's bed in a frenzy, muttering unprintable words under my breath.

Zoe, as is her custom, was going absolutely berserk at the arrival of Fred's father and his sister. As I flew down the stairs, I saw Fred's father trying to calm Zoe down, which only made her worse. I jumped into the fray and started chasing Zoe around the foyer and dining room, always missing her by a hair. As I was running around, I was trying to be gracious to Fred's dad and speak with enthusiasm about what a great day it was. I explained that I was a little crazy trying to get the house ready for a showing. Zoe continued to bark like CRAZY and elude my grasp. She turned and went into the kitchen and I followed her.

At that moment, it really did occur to me that I might actually lose it even more than I had already. Right then, I lunged toward Zoe only to fall flat on my face on the floor. Fortunately, I was alone in the kitchen and nobody ran in after the loud BOOM of my fall. My guess is that Fred's father was completely mortified at having left his treasured son with a lunatic.

Finally, I got Zoe under control and Fred and family departed. Fred's dad was incredibly nice about all the chaos, but looking back I can see now that he was talking in measured calm tones the way someone talks a person down from the ledge.

By the time they left, it was ten minutes to show time. I began to gather up Jack and Zoe. Then, the phone rang.

It was the realtor wondering if they could postpone the visit until 5:30.

I graciously said yes and was amazed at my self-restraint.

Long story short, we vacated the house for the showing. I took Jack to over to his "second family's house". The mom took one look at me and said, "Wow! You have had a bad day. I've got beer, wine & tequila." She took pity on me and kept Jack for dinner and dropped him off close to his bedtime.

I myself stayed for about an hour and by then, I figured the buyers had to be gone. Wrong. Their car was in the driveway when I came home, so I drove around some more. When I drove up to our house again, the buyers and realtor were coming down the driveway. We waved to each other as we passed.

At first I thought it was a good sign that they were here so long. But upon observation, I am not sure. They seemed very elderly and I was left to conclude that they were in the house a long time because they couldn't navigate it more quickly. I can't for the life of me imagine being as old as they looked and wanting to buy a house this huge. But, as Oprah says, 5o is the new 30 and that makes 80 the new 60 and 60 is plenty young enough to own this house.

What's next? Will dead by the new 70?

I am off to bed to dream of a better day tomorrow.

Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

OK, first of all, you really aren't doing them any lasting harm leaving them to their own devices with computer games while you go do what you need to do to stay sane. I type this as my lovely children sit in the basement watching a movie.
Secondly, I can only imagine how stressful it is having your house on the market this long, knowing at any moment that not only will it be invaded by strangers but it will have to pass their inspection.
Jeez Louise! Give yourself a break. You're a damn good mom!

Steph said...

I'm sorry to laugh at your expense, truly! I'm glad you've survived the ordeal, and thanks for sharing it! ;-)