Lights Out

Remember outside?

It’s been a wild Wednesday over here, with an internet outage derailing hours of virtual school and kicking my husband out of a Zoom meeting for five hours. Without school, the kids devolve into fighting and crying and screaming and antagonizing and I feel like running through the wall like the Kool-aid man and escaping.

My mom used to yell at my sister and I all the time for fighting and I know exactly what she was feeling now that I have kids of my own. It grates on my nerves more than anything else they do. I’d rather they poured crackers on the floor and then walked over them. The fighting sends me through the roof.

Of course, when you’ve been stuck in the house for over a year with only your siblings, there is A LOT of fighting. Constant fighting. Verbal fighting. Passive aggressive fighting. Physical fighting. ALL THE FIGHTING. And I’m tired. Like, in my soul, from the pandemic and the death and the doom scrolling and the political fighting, so please, no more fighting. There is no break while they’re at school or doing Kung Fu class. It’s just around the clock fighting.

Everything in the pandemic is magnified. Our dishwasher is broken, right? We know it’s broken, and suspect it’s something to do with a power surge rather than the dishwasher itself that had recently had it’s motherboard replaced and then fried itself again in just a couple weeks (goodbye $200) and we are still deciding what to do next and whether we need an electrician, etc. If we weren’t home all day every day, the dishwasher wouldn’t be such an issue. But we are eating 100% of our meals at home, and when the city recycling employees all got COVID at the same time they cancelled recycling pickup for weeks, and when they finally resumed pickup they only did it half as often, so we can’t afford to fill up our trash with paper plates (also bad for the environment obviously) because we have to make room in the bin for the recycling that isn’t getting collected.

When the internet goes out, it’s a pain. It happens in high winds or bad storms, and sometimes when it’s insanely hot (like over 110) the power goes out altogether for a few minutes several times a week when everyone in the city cranks up their AC at the same time. All our “TV” is streamed so we can’t watch the news or a show after the kids go to sleep. But now, if they internet goes out the kids are missing school and my husband is missing work and I am rapidly losing my mind.

There are things about our house I don’t like, that I’ve never liked, but now that I am staring them in the face all day every day I fantasize about moving, temporarily forgetting that a new house would have new problems that bothered me. Our hood vent over our stove doesn’t vent out of the house, it just shoots the air out the top of the microwave. I cook every single day, often using the stove for two out of three meals, so instead of being moderately annoying, it’s becoming a huge problem.

We have carpet on the stairs that will not fluff no matter what I do to it. It’s the same carpet that’s in most rooms of the house, and the more we walk on it the worse it gets. I vacuum all the time and have shampooed it to try and undo the traffic patterns, but I’ve had no success. Having all five of us home walking in the same patterns every day has not helped the situation.

There are small issues like these in every house, in every workplace, in every school. Usually, we have a break from thinking about this stuff, though. In the pandemic, there has been no break. If I’m heading to the grocery store to pick up milk and bananas, I’m probably taking a break from thinking about the screen door that doesn’t slide evenly or the windows that won’t stay clean (sometimes it rains mud). If I can’t run any errands and I’m home all day every day, I’m always thinking about the things that are going wrong all around me.

It probably sounds like I need padding on these walls, but now that I have reached full immunity after being vaccinated, I just want to get out of this house and, like, hear someone else’s kids fighting in the aisles of Costco. Or eat food that someone else made, even if it’s not very good. I’m looking forward to finding new and different minor things to be upset about, basically.

One thought on “Lights Out

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  1. Oy!! You poor thing. I can not begin to imagine how hard this has been. Come to my house and load our dishwasher that does work. Sit by the pool with a margarita or beer. Play with your children rather than being their teaching assistant. Maybe that will help!

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