For those of you scratching your heads, David Banner was the fugitive scientist who suffered the curse of transforming into The Incredible Hulk when subjected to extreme emotional stress. After wreaking massive destruction and chaos, Dr. Banner sits in an alley with his head in his hands. He has only a vague recollection of what happened. His clothes are tattered and he is filled with regret.
The day before was filled with activity. We spent the entire Monday at the beach and the entire night at a BBQ. The kids went to bed later than usual on Monday and I stayed up late into the night to make a batch of cupcakes for Liam's birthday, which was to be celebrated the next day at camp.
Despite my lack of sleep the previous night, Tuesday morning was actually going according to plan. I dropped off the kids. I did my five-mile run. I ran some errands. I picked the kids up. I walked in the door. That's where it all fell apart.
Our beach bags, from Monday's day trip, were sitting on the table. Another set of bags, from Monday night's swim and BBQ, were in the kitchen. The kids lunch bags and backpacks from camp were lying on the floor, which seemed to be covered in a thin layer of beach sand. There were dishes in the sink and the countertops were littered with junk mail and papers. And toys, as usual, were everywhere.
The kids were full of energy. Will was following me around the house, wanting help with his Transformers and his racetrack and his Legos. Meanwhile, Liam was following Will around the house, generously "offering" his help with all of these things. From time to time, Liam would get a hold of a track or a robot and all hell would break loose.
It was almost 1 pm. Bill would be home at four. The plan was to leave for on overnight trip to PA shortly thereafter. We were supposed to be packed and ready to head out.
I hadn't eaten since before my run. I was exhausted and I was overwhelmed.
My memory of what happened next is foggy at best.
I briefly distracted the kids and put the baby gate in the kitchen doorway. Alone at last, in what can only be described as Hulk-like behavior, I ate my way through two and a half of the three remaining cupcakes.
I stared down at the plate. All that remained were smooshed cupcake liners, fallen sprinkles and a few drops of icing.
As I started to regain my sanity, I wiped my face with a napkin and made a hot cup of coffee. I hopped the gate, sat in the playroom with the kids and sipped my coffee-- trying to get the thick taste of frosting to dissipate. I played and transformed and built and picked up. I was doing the calorie math-- the bagel from this morning, the run, the cupcakes. I put the boys down for naps and set about cleaning and unpacking and packing. Should I eat lunch on top of the cupcakes or just skip it, I wondered? In the meantime, I found a piece of candy in the pocket of a duffell bag and ate it without thinking. Not incredibly suprising, I know.
As my energy began to fail me, I made another cup of coffee.
Caffeine and sugar. Lack of real food and decent sleep. Too much to do. A recipe for disaster that I know all too well.
As an adult and as a parent of two children, I wonder when will I learn? When will I learn not to over schedule? When will I learn to manage my time so that I can get a decent amount of sleep at night? When will I learn to set aside time to prepare and eat healthy food, rather than reach for whatever is easy and tastes good? When will I learn not to sabotage myself?