Thursday, April 19, 2007
I'm trying very hard not to let this be a bad day. I'm not meeting with wild success so far, but it's only 1:30 and there's still time for improvement. Right? Right? I'm not naturally all Pollyanna, but I'm trying here. I want an "E" for Effort, anyway.

See, Thursdays, I wake up in a crap mood anyway. Most mornings, my alarm goes off at 6:40, I beat it into submission twice, and am on my way into the shower shortly after 7:00. Thursdays, I hit the snooze more than that - more than I should - and after I turn the alarm off I continue to lie there, lumplike and grumpy, and hide. Under my pillow, under my hair, under whichever child has found its way into my bed, it doesn't matter. Then I proceed to bite my husband's head off for a misguided display of affection on a staff meeting day. He should know better by now. My inner praying mantis comes out, and no one needs to go there.

After much muttering and glaring, I dredge myself off to work. I don't see clients on Thursdays - I have a four-hour staff meeting and then I go home and consider assessing myself for suicide risk. Because, yes, really. Four hours. And there's only about 6 or 8 of us in a room any given week. It's not okay.

These meetings are so chaotic and argumentative and pointless that I literally cannot think of a single thing we talk about over those four hours. It's mostly just Curmudgeonly J and Perfect J and Sanctimonious P snarking at each other and lecturing and pontificating and interrupting and generally behaving like a bunch of sleep-deprived monkeys, only with less hurling of feces.

You learn to be grateful for the small things, after a while.

Most Thursdays, I'm able to come home and shake it off by noon or so. But this week, I'm feeling frazzled because Willem thinks that the house is a total disaster area and wildly inappropriate for us to receive guests in, and we're having Emily's birthday party this weekend. I just spent an hour doing dishes and picking stuff up, but honestly, I don't know what else to do. I can't go shopping because DCYF frowns on me leaving the house for extended periods of time while Jacob naps. So I'm sort of at loose ends, willing to be useful but not quite sure how.

And then there's the issue of the mother-in-law. I've been quiet about her in recent months, have you noticed? It's partly because I'm trying to have some respect and, while I cannot sympathize with delusions, I want to accept her right to have delusions of grief and misery since my father-in-law's death in August '06. And partly because she's wildly wrapped up in her own issues and routines, and so it doesn't often occur to her to call us - and we certainly don't go out of our way to expose ourselves to her. Trust me, there's been plenty of insanity and passive-aggressive masterwork in the past few months, I'm just holding it all in so that I can adequately explode one of these days.

But she's coming here tomorrow, planning on actually staying here instead of in a hotel, and I'm not doing cartwheels over this. She has invited herself to stay until Monday, and I cannot convince Willem that, seeing as how she is his mother, it is his responsibility to tell her that Monday mornings are too hectic and complicated around here and it would not be a good thing for her to be here.

Ugh. I can't even think. Staff meeting and mother-in-law on consecutive days. Horrifying.