I have only one reason to write today.
I’m calling My Parasitic Twin out.
That’s right. I was having a stressful day what with my kids being constantly at each other’s throats. I swear. Every day this week it has been the same thing: Scratchy is red faced and on the verge of tears, I’m trying to figure out why, and Itchy is stonily regarding me from behind half lowered lids of disdain.
I know there are at least two sides to every story so I am careful about swooping in and passing judgement on whatever incursion du jour is happening, especially when I wasn’t there to personally witness it. Frankly, it would be easier to play King Solomon because the alternative is to get them to come to some kind of consensus. It is exhausting.
So I was extra stressed and it was a gorgeous day and My Parasitic Twin was all, “C’mon, have a drink. What are you trying to prove?”
Me: That I’m not an alcoholic.
MPT: You are not a fucking alcoholic. Case in point, what are having for dinner tonight?
Me: I’m trying this recipe out for gnocchi and kale soup. I found it on the internet.
MPT: Aha! You see! Alcoholics don’t plan their meals!
She might be right. She is right. But someone once told me that only alcoholics say they are going to stop drinking and then don’t. So if you don’t want to be an alcoholic, don’t say you are going to stop drinking. It’s twisted logic but it stuck.
So I turned down the glass of wine SHE WAS TOTALLY PUSHING ON ME and she said, “You’ve passed my test.”
I looked at my handy dandy app and I’m at 27 days of not drinking. I said I’d go a full month which, if this were February would mean that I’m done tomorrow. But since it’s January I have to wait until Monday.
But I’m telling you, today made me want to drink.
Like really bad.
There’s the general sibling warfare and then Loony looked at Itchy’s report card (which was fine) and launched into a speech about doing one’s best, not being average, and trying extra hard and I could just tell how criticized Itchy felt.
I remember feeling that way when I was a kid. I hated report card time because my mother always looked past the six A’s and focused on the B- in math, my nemesis. And I always felt like dog shit, like the things I did right made no difference at all. That B- was the measure of my self-worth. Anything less than an A was bullshit. She would threaten to not let me see my father until I brought my scores up. It sucked.
And now that I’m an adult, I get it that she cared about me and wanted me to do my best. But I was a kid and couldn’t see it that way.
I saw where Loony was coming from. Yes, Itchy’s grades are okay, above average, but there is always room for improvement. Why set the bar at beating the average? Why not try for the best? Especially when we have so many resources at hand to better ourselves.
It quickly escalated into an argument with Itchy yelling, “I did fine, why are you mad?” and Loony yelling, “I’m not mad, I just want you to do your best.”
Me. Headache. Knot in my stomach, for both of them because I totally got what each was feeling and thinking.
I did the only thing I knew how. I had everyone get out their notebooks, including me, and the task was to draw something and write something. See? We can make ourselves better by practicing our eye-hand coordination and penmanship.
Loony retreated to his office, Itchy drew a sword, Scratchy drew a fox jumping over a dog and wrote The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog, and I drew this …
Then I took two ibuprofins, got in bed with Scratchy and read until we fell asleep. I guess it worked out okay.
I am still excited about Monday.