Yesterday was weird.
I just couldn't seem to keep up. My thoughts lagged, my response time lagged, everything about me was slow. I wasn't sick. I wasn't in a bad mood. I was just... I don't know, stupid? Does anyone else ever have stupid days?
It started shortly after breakfast, when I decided to give Caedmon a bath. It wasn't until after I had washed his hair that I realized he still had his socks on.
It continued mid-morning when I could not figure out why Atticus was crying. It took me way longer than it would any other rational adult to realize that his very favorite song was playing on the radio ("Oh, Holy Night" as sung by Josh Groban) and he couldn't hear it because I was running the vacuum, had a load of laundry going, and Caedmon was playing with a really loud musical toy. After pantomiming for a full minute, Atticus finally yelled over the vacuum, "If you would turn the vacuum off you could hear me, Mommy!" Oh. Right.
Then before naptime, I told Atticus to pick out a book to read, and reminded him that it was not to be a long one. I automatically accepted the book he brought over and read it twice before I realized that not only had he chosen The Little Engine That Could (and not any of those incredibly-abridged versions they've been publishing for the past twenty years, but an early, full-length edition that came from an old school library), but he had dragged a step stool out of the bathroom to reach up and pluck it off one of the shelves where I keep our older, more fragile books.
During naptime, I went upstairs into the bathroom. I had mistakenly left Caedmon alone for two minutes, and he had used that time to unroll all the toilet paper, fill the bathtub with toys and bars of soap still in their boxes, and throw a plastic medicine spoon in the toilet.
And finally, after Adelaide got home from school, I was in the bathroom, plucking my eyebrows. She was sitting on the step stool, watching me, when she declared, "I think I should pluck my eyebrows."
I retorted with the brilliant reply of, "No, you shouldn't."
"Because this is really only something adult women do- and besides, it kind of hurts," I appealed to the pansy in her.
She was not going to be so easily dissuaded. "But I think I would look prettier if I plucked my eyebrows!"
"Adelaide, you look pretty now! I like your eyebrows just the way they are!"
She thought for a moment, then asked, "Do you think you look prettier when you do it?"
Boggy ground. "No, not neccessarily..."
"Then why do you do it?"
How was I losing an argument with a five-year-old? What was wrong with me today?
I fell back on the standard, "Well, I'm an adult, and sometimes adults can do things that perhaps kids shouldn't do while they're young."
She paused again before saying, "Mommy, I think that's a double-standard."
That made me stop completely and gape at her in astonishment. What pathologically foolish person had taught her the term "double-standard"? Why would you ever teach it to a kid? Childhood is nothing but double-standards! "Here, kiddo, you can have one cookie, and don't pay any attention to me eating half a dozen," "Yes, you're still going to bed at seven tonight. And yes, I'm still going to bed whenever I want," "I know you want to sit up front, but you have to sit in the back. I'm sitting up front."
I managed to conceal my building fury and nonchalantly asked, "So who taught you the words, 'double-standard,' Adelaide?" Oh, someone was about to feel my wrath.
"You did, Mom. Don't you remember? You told me all about it a few days ago."
Oh, yeah. A dim memory came floating back.
Apparently yesterday wasn't my only stupid day.