Occasionally though, when I am under pressure my anger bubbles very close to the surface. It doesn't take much to let it all loose. Post ovulation is pretty much always one of these times. Yep at that time of the month, I am a bitch. My body is obviously mad at me for not conceiving, so it makes me into a total rage filled bitch. I am primed for a fight. A 'meet me on the field at lunch and hold my earrings Rose Matafeo' kind of fight.
I had a few crazy outbursts in my teens and early 20s where I would whip out the C word at full volume if someone rubbed me the wrong way. Though, I think my insanity really came to a head when I had children. All those years of being a slightly repressed kooky person were set free with the help of wonky hormones and sleep deprivation.
The first incident was a Friday morning. Me and my baby son who is now five had playcentre. At this stage Cohen was around 7 months, so still pretty little. He was still not sleeping through, still breastfeeding and now onto solids (meaning mooshed up real person food) and he was also still crapping himself silly.
After at least a two hour mission of changing, feeding, re-changing etc, packing all the little pottles of moosh he'd probably refuse to eat, we were ready! Hooray. Oh wait - there is baby shit all over me, quick costume change for me and now let's re-feed and change him again. Now we're ready. Yes! Ready! Lets go!
I strapped him into the car in his carseat and we were off. Except there was a problem. A tradesman was parked in my way. He was working on the place next door but his van was parked in such a way so that I could not get out easily. Though, I could possibly squeeze through? If only he'd parked a little further forward! I decided to try it. I really should have just gotten out of the car and told him to move please, but the sleep deprivation had made me a little afraid of talking to people. So I soldiered on.
I turned the wheel hard this way and that. I reversed again and again. I scooched, I sciddered. And then I started to get stressed. The car was inching dangerously close the house and fence and garden. I couldn't get out. But for some reason instead of just accepting it, I felt like it was my fault. I felt like this tradesmen was hiding somewhere laughing at me. That's when I snapped. I leaped out of the car, ripped up to the neighbours and banged on the door. A sheepish man came out in builders garb and I let him have it. I can't even remember what I yelled but it was ugly and snarled. He looked scared. I was glad. At one point I figured I was officially insane so I may as well let him have it. Why not let out the last seven months worth of sleep deprivation and madness on this poor fool? Better out than in after all.
That's when the property managers drove up the drive. Unfortunate timing on their part. The yelling continued. I may have said something about smashing the windscreen of any trades vehicles parked in my way but I can't be sure.
That was the first major episode. The second was not long ago. It was early. 8.30 in the morning. It was also school holidays. The house was a tip. I'd been on guard 24/7 for the last four weeks and I was at breaking point. I had called in a favour from the Grandparents and they had agreed to take both my boys for the day (bless them). I clothed and shoed everyone amidst fights and fidgeting and we were all set to head off to the grandparents. The kids and I started trotting out the door. That's when I smelled it. A tangy smoke that took me straight back to my teenage years. Where is that coming from? I wondered. I rounded the corner and discovered the latest set of transient tenants were clustered on the driveway (which we share) sharing a joint for breakfast.
It was something about seeing my kids so close to a joint, at 8.30am, practically on my very door step that made me snap. Unfortunately I remember every word of what I said at this particular altercation.
"YOU HAD BETTER NOT BE SMOKING WEED IN FRONT OF MY KIDS! YOU PUT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW!"
Three petrified stoners looked up at me with ashen faces. Apparently crazy Lisette is a little scary in the morning. One of them muttered something about it being synthetic canabis, which was met with:
"THAT'S EVEN WORSE! AND DON'T BE STUPID THAT DOES NOT SMELL SYNTHETIC TO ME!"
The actual tenant of the place chimed in, insisting that they would put it out.
"WELL YOU BETTER! I CAN CONTACT YOUR LANDLORD YOU KNOW! GET YOU KICKED OUT OF HERE! YOU DON'T WANT TO MESS WITH ME! I'M CRAZY! I HAVE TWO BOYS! YOU DON'T MESS WITH A LADY WHO HAS TWO BOYS!"
It was then that I picked up my two year old, grabbed my five year old's hand, turned on my heels and trotted off. I was shaking with rage and adrenalin. But I was also ashamed and annoyed. I was now known as 'the crazy woman next door'. I started to rethink my hair colour of manic pink. Perhaps a less crazy colour would calm me down? Or just help to maintain a less than crazy status amongst the neighbourhood.
The worst part was of all was that after I dropped my kids off at the Grandparents' I had to walk home. I had to walk right back up my driveway passed the stoners, who, shamelessly were still milling around on the driveway. "Good Morning" I muttered as I passed them, pretending our previous interaction hadn't taken place. Perhaps they didn't recognise me?
The third and most recent act of insanity occurred today. Today (Monday) was the beginning of the second week of the school holidays and also happens to be bang on post ovulation week. It had been a bad morning. Constant bickering between the boys. Fighting over anything and everything. Nagging. Refusing to wear pants. Finally, after hours, we were all wearing pants and socks too, which at our house is always a challenge. We piled into the car. Oh wait. Cohen forgot his latest favourite toy. A beyblade. The red one. No mum! Not that red one! The other red one.
Finally we found the toy and grabbed snacks cus apparently now Donnie the younger one is hungry.
We pile into the car again. We are ready to go! I turn the key. Nothing. It's dead. I head butt the steering wheel out of frustration and the horn goes off. Donnie gets a fright and cries. We are not going anywhere. I try to explain to the kids but they are now desperate to go out. I call the mechanic. Fifty dollars to come jump start us or tow the car to the shop! I call The Lover-Man. He comes home. Donnie cries cus he wants Dad to play with him. Dad jump starts the car. By now Cohen had disappeared and taken off his pants, which linger on the driveway to taunt me. He's gone to his friends place next door. I go find him and re-pant him. Dad goes back to work. Donnie cries and screams for Daddy. We finally get in the car and drive away. Dear God.
We take the car to the mechanic and he tells me it will cost $147.00 for a new battery. It could be worse. I take a deep breath and hand over my credit card. I am grateful that my car will be ready in only 10 minutes. It really could be worse.
I take the kids to the park. They complain about the cold and won't play. I try to convince them to run around. They start hitting each other. We leave.
We head to The Warehouse for some nice tulip bulbs so we can all do some jolly gardening later today. At The warehouse Cohen insists on picking up everything that he sees. He bounces a bouncy ball that narrowly misses a woman's face and a vase. I ask him to stop. He laughs at me. I breathe. After approximately 4 minutes at the warehouse we must leave before I snap. "Let's go to the mall for a coffee!"
We get to the Muffin Break and argue over why Cohen can not have the double chocolate muffin and a Ben 10 Juice and instead must be happy with a fluffy and a Blueberry muffin. We find a table and struggle to find enough chairs. Finally the three of us sit around the table with our drinks. I start to cut the muffin up for the boys. Just then Cohen somehow knocks over his fluffy. It goes everywhere. All over the table. All over Donnie and me. I grab paper towels and tell him it was just an accident. He helps me clean up. One of the staff offers to get him another fluffy. I regain control though my stress levels are still peaking. I fish a sandwich out of my hand bag and start eating, thinking perhaps my stress is low blood sugar related. The boys are eating their muffin. Calm is restored.
That's when it happens. An old women who has been sitting at the table next to us for the whole ordeal suddenly turns to me and in a most pompous English (?) accent says:
"Excuse me, your children have spilled their drinks all over my trousers! They have splashed me with milk! My eyes pan up her trouser legs where I can see no such splashes, though I smile apologetically.
"Sorry Cohen spilled his fluffy."
"Well they have splashed my trousers!
I took a deep breath. "Is there something you'd like me to do about it?" This may not have been said very nicely.
"Well no! But it's annoying! I have milk all over my pants" (she didn't). She started muttering something about "if they can't sit nicely and behave... " It was at this point that something snapped in my head. Suddenly my normal shy aesthetic dissolved. My usual need to deter conflict eroded. At this moment I wanted blood. Her argumentative tone sparked in me a fighters instinct. All I could think was "Oh yeah, you want a go bitch? Well fuckin' bring it! I opened my mouth and this came out:
"LOOK! DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT IS TO BE AT HOME WITH TWO YOUNG BOYS FOR YEARS? DO YOU?" She was stunned. The rage had bubbled to the surface and now there was no stopping it. It was erupting.
"YES! THAT'S RIGHT! IF YOU GIVE PEOPLE SHIT, THEY MIGHT JUST GIVE IT BACK!"
Then the bitch said this:
"How dare you speak to me like that!" As if she was so high and mighty no one may ever call her out on her shit. All I could say was "You started it!" But then she said this:
"No wonder your children are so awful if that's how you speak to people."
No fucking way. I could not believe it. That's when I screamed at her.
"WHO THE HELL DIED AND MADE YOU QUEEN WHORE-BITCH?"
Not my finest moment. Though in my defence, Bitch spoke ill of my kids. I seriously used all the willpower in my person to refrain from picking up my butter knife and stabbing her in her stone cold heart. Luckily she left before I could do the world this favour. NB. Just to be clear I am joking. I would never actually kill anyone. Unless they were a zombie.
What the nasty old woman said to me cut deep. I suddenly felt like the worst mother in the world. Oh my god. I can't believe I just yelled at an old woman in the middle of a crowded mall in front of my children. I was ashamed. I felt tears welling up in my eyes. What kind of role model am I if I teach my kids to yell at old ladies? Oh god! I'm the crazy pink haired lady who screams at people! What have I done?
But when I looked up at Cohen it was him that was really upset. He had tears in his eyes as he said "Mum, that mean old lady hurt my feelings, she called me awful." That's right, I suddenly realised, she did. That bitch. Though, I tried to resolve my bad mother status.
"She wasn't very nice honey, but I shouldn't have yelled at her like that, it wasn't right."
"Yes it was mum! She was rude to us. I didn't mean to spill my fluffy, it was an accident and she was really mean about it. I'm just a kid for crying out loud! I'm glad you yelled at her, she needs to learn not to be mean and sometimes people need to be yelled at to learn."
I love my son so much. He's clever and he always puts things in perspective. It was at that moment that I realised that my crazy outbursts while a little displeasing are not all bad. Sometimes people need to be told that they are assholes. And thank god there are crazy people around like me to call them out on their bullshit.
Sure, it's not ideal that I yelled at an old woman in front of my kids. That's not so cool. But if perhaps I managed to teach my kids to stand up for themselves today, well that, I can live with.