Have you ever wondered how you got to “that” place or stood somewhere and wondered “when did this happen and when the hell did I turn into this person?” I remember standing in our bedroom on Christmas Eve having an argument with my husband, Leo about who was going to pick up the shoe from the neighbour’s lawn that had been launched through the window moments before the argument. This is when I first realized my life had become a mix of adult temper tantrums, poor parenting, and ridiculous fights with my husband who seems more like a fourth child running around the house.To put things in perspective, I was attempting to single handedly get our three young children ready for Christmas Eve Mass. We were going to be wearing colour coordinated clothes- blue suits for the boys and the navy blue Taffeta dresses with velvet tops for the girls and my dress picked up the hues in the boys’ ties.
Michael, who was ten at the time, was dressed in the clothes that I insisted he wear and was eager to please and be cooperative, which was more than I can say for the rest of my family. Leo was downstairs yelling his usual barrage of commands and questions like “Hurry up we are going to be late”, “What is taking so long?” and “How long can it take to get ready anyway?” Meanwhile I was upstairs dealing with Emily who could not wear tights without writhing in agony from the sensation of them on her legs. While I tried to throw myself together, Anna decided that taking baby powder and putting it on Emily’s legs first would alleviate the itchy sensation of her hyper sensitive sister. It seemed like a good plan until I saw a cloud of baby powder erupting from under the bedroom door. I opened the door to see two shocked little girls with now very white dresses holding a container of baby powder.
I am not proud of what happened next and I cannot change it, my only option is to laugh about it. I couldn’t believe it- I started to have an adult temper tantrum and in that very moment Leo decided he should help by yelling for the millionth time “What is taking so long?” Furious that my hard work at planning the perfect coordinated outfits was ruined and that I had a husband that apparently had two broken legs, I had a moment of awakening, stormed into our bedroom and tripped over Leo’s steel toe work shoes that were in the middle of the room stubbing my toes no, maybe breaking my toes. I picked up the shoes and pitched them toward the wardrobe which happened to be next to a window- one shoe stuck its landing after colliding with the wardrobe door but not before making a loud bang and shaking our entire 100 year old home. The other one kept going right through the window and stuck its landing on the neighbour’s side lawn.
After hearing utterances such as “You better get up here and fix this &*%$ window that has a hole in it and snow is coming inside”, Leo finally clued in and ran upstairs to analyze the situation by staring at the window and questioning how and why this happened and what did I expect him to do about it on Christmas Eve. “Leo! Fix the $#%^ window so we can get to church!” Within minutes there was duct tape holding cardboard over the hole in the window, glass had been cleaned up and the baby powder was gone and we were rushing out the door. An hour later we were standing in Church looking like a family that should be in a Hallmark Commercial. When we returned to my in-laws, we paused to pose for a picture to commemorate the joy of Christmas- oh the ‘freakin’ joy was more than I could stand! This is not how my life was supposed to be.
To this day, if I cannot find the picture and I want to remember that Christmas, I can go look at the scars on our bedroom wall that the duct tape left twenty years ago. So far, there have been two phases to hide the scars. The first time I cut out wall paper flowers with stems to hide the missing paint from the tape. Years later, I took down the flower cutouts and cut out squares from a different wall paper border to hide the scars. Leo looked at it and said “What the &*%$? Why is this here? This looks ridiculous!” But seriously is it more ridiculous than peeled paint and chunks of drywall missing from an incident that happened years and years ago. I never get an answer to this question. In case you are wondering, I have not painted our bedroom since we moved in 20 years ago, I have been banned from painting and Leo also suffers from broken arms and a serious case of “I will get to it later” but, that is a story for another day. Welcome to my blog and my life, “Flying Shoes and Baby Powder.”