Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The WORST Day Before Halloween I've Ever Had....

Today is the day before Halloween. And every year on this day, I think back on a time that goes down in history as THE CRAPPIEST day before Halloween. I still cringe when I think about it. It was one of those days I wish I just hadn't woken up because it got screwed up so badly! I shoulda, coulda, woulda, been better off hiding in my bed.  If only I'd known. I had 3 little monsters, and their sweet and very tolerant older sister. And It was the day before Halloween.

 All the freaking costumes were done, dinner was finished, I was more than exhausted but pushing myself on fumes (you KNOW what I'm talking about), and I was holding a board meeting down the street at a friend's house. I was the Stake Primary President at church and we had the children's choir singing at Stake Conference soon. And as if THAT wasn't enough I was directing said choir AND we had to do a stake primary (back in the day they did that, and yes, it was insane then) and were planning for more than 100 little kids. It was that kind of day.
Busy church activities sometimes took over my life...sometimes.
I knew I would only be gone a little over an hour and my husband was on his way home from work. I had called him and he had assured me he would be home by 7:00. My hubs is a happy go lucky guy, but he didn't always keep a great calendar. It was before the days of cell phones and he traveled a lot. But this particular night I had told him about my meeting and I knew he'd be home to cover me.  So I left my 11 year old daughter Tiff in charge of the 3 other kids aged 2 to 8. But I  forgot, (excellent mom that I am) to give her the phone number. I left the kids playing with play dough and Oreos and took off.
Me on a much better day...
I remember SO looking forward to getting out of the house. I thought being a mom of young kids was and is still the hardest, most demanding, most underappreciated, and frustrating job on the planet. I admit that I did not always enjoy it. My toilets did NOT sing my praises. My children were never neat as a pin with shining faces and all put together. I was lucky if their socks matched and they brushed their teeth in the morning, not to mention getting them all to school on time WITH their homework done!
Halloween brings back some fun memories...and some not so fun. 

I remember being so lonely for adult company that some days I would just attack my hubs at the door when he came home from work. I'd follow him around the house like a duck asking him who he talked to that day, where he went out to lunch, who with, and what did they talk about. I would just whine, "Talk to ME!" I just wanted adult conversation after a day cooped up at home with a terrible two year old, a preschooler and most of the boys in the neighborhood constantly camped out at my house.
Now I get to play with Little Bees and Ladybugs! Lucky me! 
And with 3 rowdy boys, some days I'd meet him at the door to weep and wail about the constant fighting between my 4 and 8 year old. One was the merciless teaser, the other one was a noisy screecher. He had a piercing owl screech you could hear from anywhere in the house. As a 28 year old adult he still makes funny loud mouth noises. And he was a clicker-tapper. Do other moms get deranged with the clicking tapping sounds that make you want to blow a gasket? Maybe it's just me. Don't get me started on that, though, Back to my story.
And I just love this cute little Snow White. Who wouldn't?  
Well, About an hour after I'd gone to my board meeting, I got a call from a neighbor down the street. She said the words no mom wants to hear, "Pattie, I don't want to alarm you, but you'd better get home RIGHT THIS MINUTE!" And she didn't tell me why. I jumped in the car and tore home (about 2 blocks) like a crazy person. As I turned the  corner of my street I'll never forget the scene. My eyes  met with  police cars, paramedics, and the fire department all in my driveway with lights flashing....and no cars of ours (or adults for that matter) to be seen.
The hubs and I...he always made the hard things easier for me....we were in it together!
And just about every neighbor in my entire neighborhood standing out on their front lawns wondering where in the heck the parents were, and what terrible disaster had struck inside the house while those no-good parents were gone who knows where!
Yeah, it was a memory I will never forget....all those flashing lights on my front lawn...UGH! 
When I got there I ran inside my house imagining all sorts of horrible scenarios, with my heart in my stomach, praying all was well. My front door was open and there were several police and firemen inside. The first person I saw, thankfully, was a fireman that goes to my church and I asked him what had happened. It is comical now, but at the time, not so much.  My 4 year old had put some of the playdough in his ear and the kids had tried all sorts of things to get it out. When they couldn't the screecher had started wailing, they got worried and decided to just call 911 and ask the nice lady there  how to get playdough out of somebody's ears. Funny right?

Yeah. A real emergency, play dough in the ears. I couldn't even believe it!  I learned later that my 11 year old daughter had told the police, "My mom is at a church meeting." So the nice officer had taken her in his squad car down to my church and paraded around asking where I was.  (Yeah. I know! It just gets worse and worse).   Not only was my reputation completely shot in my neighborhood, but now I was toast at church too! It was Complete humiliation!  It was a really bad night for a mom, I remember it well. And it wasn't funny. Nope.

Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! 

The funny part comes later when all the hoopla had left my house. I had pulled all the curtains. The kids had gone to bed.  I was sitting in the dark crying the ugly cry with a whole box of tissues used up all around me in a weepy circle. When who shows up but my happy go lucky hubs, all smiley and chipper. I seriously wanted to clock him!  He'd forgotten HE ALSO had a church meeting. He was a high counselor at church and also had a 7:00 pm meeting he'd forgotten AND neglected to tell me about. So he simply went straight to his meeting thinking the kids would all be OK for an hour. So we BOTH blew it!

The very next day was Halloween. Yeah. I remember trick or treating through my neighborhood THAT year. (sounds of sniffling...)
At Halloween last year with my 3 granddaughters....MUCH more fun! 

So I guess, time + crisis = humor, as they say. I can laugh about it now, it's actually hysterical! But 24 years have passed so...it's about time I got over it. I should have gone to therapy.  But every year, on the day before Halloween, I remember it, kind of like a zombie apocalypse bad dream. And it makes me chuckle just a little bit.

One of my favorite little monsters....kiss kiss 
Nowadays  I watch my own kids who all have their own "little monsters" to make messes, squeal like pigs, play with playdough, and hopefully not push it up into some orifice where it doesn't belong. And at the end of the day my cute grandkids crawl up into my lap and give me a big, wet kiss with their sticky faces, and a warm chubby cuddle, and I say, " It's the hardest time of your life....but it's soooo worth it."

The screamer-playdough pusher, the teaser, and the 911 caller, not in any particular order.....
I get to play with pirates,  bumblebees,  Minny Mouse and Snow White now, and memories of all the fun stuff rises up to the surface. And surprisingly, the worst days, the embarrasing things we endured,  and the daily crises and drudgery fade into a distant memory.

Tomorrow night I look forward to passing out the trick or treats to all those little devils who will knock on my door. Maybe I'll send them all home with little packs of Playdough? (snicker...) Have a Happy Halloween! Enjoy those little monsters!

Cute Little Devil......


  1. Loved the story!!

  2. Hahahaha. Devin does make the weirdest noises. Now I have a mini Devin that does the same thing. Our house is never quiet :).

  3. Hey man, where's the love?! I brought the gift of shrill music into the home!

  4. Hahaha shrill music is a really positive spin on that creative pig squeal you used to have Dev. Every time I see happy Lena I am reminded of your big happy face smile. She gets that from you. :D Those were good times.


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