Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Think I Hear a Caravan Coming This Way....

Did your mother ever threaten to sell you to gypsies? You know, that empty threat parent's stereotypically throw at naughty children in old books and retro television shows;  if they don't behave they will be sold to... gypsies?

No, my parent's didn't... but I sometimes mutter comments about doing such a thing under my breath when I turn my back from the fray my offspring have created and  rub my temples or glower menacingly.

Today I think I broke out this threat pretty early on in the day, and not with quiet mutterings... with loud banshee like shrieking so that my children probably thought to themselves that some mysterious gypsy mama must surely be a better deal than the crazy lady with the evil eye they've already got whose crawling around on the bathroom floor in her messy hair and pajamas....

crawling because I was trying and find the contact lenses that my two year old son somehow got into and removed from their sealed tin-foil packaging.  I caught him merrily peeling back the seal on each little plastic cup and dumping out the saline solution that my only means for eyesight rests in like an embryonic fluid until I am ready to open a new package and insert the sterile little disks into my eyes.


I thundered with great dramatic emphasis ( in fact it would've been handy to have my own sound effects specialist standing at ready with a big tin sheet to simulate a thunderclap)

WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A guiltier little face, you have not seen. 
He stared at me with his big blue eyes, pointed down at the little puddles he'd created on the floor and uttered the  one word he knows is my favorite in his repertoire.


Of course the day only got better from there....

I installed a baby gate at the door to my bathroom and another on my bedroom door so now there are two levels of security separating my children from the treasured contents of my bathroom cabinets, all much to their dismay. They sat on one side of the fence on the outer perimeter, sticking their fingers through the grey plastic, wailing that they had been shut out and exiled from the land of plenty.

"Gypies don't let their children play in the grown-ups bathrooms either . " I felt I should mention.

Rummaging that baby gate out of the junkyard that is my garage right now, lead to my attempts to clean out some of the debris in there later after naptime, so naturally I took my children along and instructed them very sternly that they were to stay in my eyesight and not leave the driveway while mama worked away at the mess.

Within moments of trying to clear boxes away from the upright freezer I have not been able to adequately retrieve meat from, I hear my daughter's voice a yard away chatting merrily.

She had made fast friends it seems with a very sketchy looking housepainter having a break on my neighbor's stoop with a cigarette.

Now, he may have been a very nice man for all his distasteful tatoos and greasy ponytail...but my back was up as I approached my daughter and said over brightly, "Come on sweetheart, leave the man alone, he's busy and doesn't need to be chatting with little girls...."

I dragged her back to the garage and gave her a scolding about talking to strangers when her mom is not with her, solemnly looking into her eyes (more like boring into her... but that's beside the point) and caught for a flash out of my peripheral, my little son venturing out into the street after a soccer ball he had pried loose from his dad's gym bag.


I lunged down the driveway faster than you can say "scared",  securing forever my reputation as a psycho-mom in  chatty-tatoo-man's eyes.

As if he could tell at all what I was saying, I reprimanded my baby sternly, telling him he had proven himself untrustworthy to play on the drive way....

"Gypsies" I reminded the children, "have no driveways.... at all..... so there."

Once safely enclosed in the back yard, the whining and fussing to go to the park began and finally in a frazzled state I ushered them out the back gate and to the swings where Ava fell off a swing while I was pushing her and Jackson came very near to toppling headfirst out of his....

Miserable from the misquitoes and barely consolable after her fall, we headed back to the house and I stopped to inspect my new tree ( on whom I have bequeathed the name Mavis) while the kids went ahead of me into the house.

Poor Mavis has taken quite a beating in the last week from all the strong winds we've had, and most of her lovely blossoms were whipped right off. To add insult to injury the dry winds had accelerated the amount of moisture she's been losing... and right then I felt like shaking a fist or bursting into tears; had I now killed Mavis too with my neglect?

I turned, dejected and disgusted toward the back door, sighing deeply in the quiet of the yard before entering the kitchen where my two normally loving children were probably fighting to the death over a marker or a magnet.

I reached for the handle and twisted.

Only the knob didn't twist.

I jiggled it and pulled...

Only the knob wouldn't jiggle or pull.

I was locked out.

A growl from inside me, originating in that primitive place where mankind meets animal erupted with all the fury of raging volcano.


I screamed with more than a frantic edge in my was all frantic and there were no edges...

I began beating the door with my fists,

TO THE GYPSIES!!!!!!!!!!!

The empty threat having been delivered, I heard the latch click and met her giant eyes looking up at me with feigned innocence. 

"oh.     mom.       there you are.           I didn't know you were outside."   she says nonchalantly. 

Before I can even catch my breath, she continues,

"Can we have a snack?"

Later that I day I commiserated to my husband on the horrors of my day, 

"first they get into the off-limits medicine cabinet...
then they strike up conversations with strangers...
 they dart into the road to retrieve a ball....
And lock their mother out of the house!"

We sound like the negative examples on a safe parenting special 

"What's next?" I wailed "playing with matches?".

Kevin couldn't hide the smirk on his face.
Then I couldn't help but giggle at the absurdness of it all.
Finally we were laughing together at the ridiculousness of days like this....
Days when I catch in my mind's eye a pile of gold coins falling into my hand (gypsies always pay in gold coins)

Okay, some of you don't think that's funny at. all.

Some of you do, because you too have days like this and you know  it helps to laugh.

A sense of humor is what keeps us going

"And" I can tell my children, "Gypsies don't have a sense of humor like I do.... there . "


  1. This was my day like that:

    This was my week like that:

    What would our lives be like without kids?! :)

  2. Everyone that has gone before me and has been fortunate enough to hear my horror tales always say the same thing....
    "just wait until they're 15...."
    For now, I'll just rub my temples, hold my tongue and thank our holy God for his mercy!
    Thanks for making me laugh and reminding me that I am not the only psycho-mom out there!

  3. I love your writing. My parents did threaten to sell me to gypsies, I was always a little disappointed that they didn't;)
    I have not threatened that to my own kids.....outloud....yet! But some days....:)

  4. Ah Ash - we did have a nice time at the Farmer's Market right? lol



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