Yesterday we went to a nursery. To buy babies! I made that joke to, oh, eight people yesterday. “Get it? Babies? Nursery? Ho!” No one laughed. I am surrounded by jerks.
Anyway, yeah, we bought plants and stuff. Unfortunately, I have absolutely no idea how not to kill plants. On the other hand, I am excellent at killing them. Here’s my method.
1. Bring a plant into my house.
2. Attempt to care for it. You’re supposed to water them, right?
3. As it begins its slow journey to the grave, alternate weeks of avoidance and denial with bursts of panicked and clumsy tending.
4. Throw it out. Vow never to buy a plant again.
I walked up to a gaggle of nursery people and asked for their help. I was looking for some lovely yet not-easily-murdered flowery plantiness I could perch on our front stoop. I was hoping one of them would get up, pick out a plant and place it in my hands.
But they kept providing me with information. I couldn’t process it. My mind wheezed.
“You could get a zerbertifora, or a ferfilligan,” they mused.
“Well, isn’t that the obvious choice?” I said.
“Really, you’re safe with any annual,” one of them said.
“What’s an annual?” I asked. They laughed.
“No, really,” I said, and they looked concerned for me.
I ran away from them and continued my disorganized, roundabout search for pretty crap to plant. I grabbed some stuff, but probably it was all the wrong kind. It was hard to concentrate, what with all the yelling at my son I had to do.
These days I like to yell at Henry at least five or twelve times an hour. I feel that this builds character. If I continually address him in a high-pitched shriek, he’s sure to be filled with love and respect for me! So: “WOULDYOUSTAYSTILLYOUCAN’TRUNINHERE.” Or! “STOP. TWIRLING. RIGHT. NOW.” Alternately, “OH MY GOD I NEED TO LOOK AT THIS. THIS PLANT THING. STOP PULLING AT MY ARM. LISTEN. ARE YOU LISTENING. YOU’RE PULLING AT ME SOME MORE. GAAAAAAACK.” When I wasn’t losing my shit, I was tsk-ing at my husband for the loss of his. “He’s just a baby,” I would murmur calmly to him. “Please, have some perspective.” It’s amazing how much more tolerant you can be when you’re merely observing the irritating behavior.
Sadly, most of the time I'm more than an observer. It seems these days that anything I want or need to do will be frustrated by Henry’s opposing desire. I am either being yanked one way when I’m trying to go another or sat upon when I need to get up or pulled off a chair when I need to sit down. He aims to thwart me. All the time. And I’m not enjoying it.
I find myself employing the horrible Clenched Teeth Hiss and the Strangled Cry of Blinding Rage. I am becoming that horrible mother who holds her kid’s hand a leetle too hard and walks a little too fast as he trips behind, yelling “You’re hurting my hand!” These episodes are usually followed by the need to weep or throw up. Or, hell, both! Every day, several times a day, I marvel that I’m not locked away somewhere.
It doesn’t help that I’m enjoying some rather breathtaking back pain (did you know that your back can hurt so much you can barely breathe, and yet you still remain conscious? I know it now! And yes, I’m getting medical attention, thank you concerned readers). And the constant pain is reducing my tolerance to, oh, about none.
It never fails to amaze me how someone I love so very much can incite in me so much anger. That I can be so angry at someone who is so goddamn adorable. When he goes to bed every night, he announces, “It’s time for me to tuck up,” and he pulls his blanket up over his head. Tuck up! Every time he says it I want to eat him. And his little candy toes.
I know we’re all under a crazy amount of stress, and I’m clinging to the hope that we’ll all begin behaving better, and soon. That’s what I’m doing right now—I’m clinging. I know this will pass.
At the end of the nursery trip, as we stuffed our car full of assorted plantery (I made a word!) Henry turned to me and said “I always love you, no matter what.” And then we sure as hell got some ice cream.