I’m constantly amazed at the number of ways there are to send an evening down in flames, many of which can be accomplished in twenty minutes or less.

This isn’t getting stuck in your typical gee, this is pretty lame rut, staring at M.A.S.H. reruns while you eat tv dinners.  Nope.  We’re talking volcanic eruption, extinction level event meltdowns that leave children in tears and adults wondering what the hell just happened.  Arguments that go from zero to ninety in less than a minute.  Bizarre catastrophic clashes that end in slammed doors and intense sobs.

And that doesn’t even count my crazy.

How to detonate your evening in 3 easy steps.

Scenario 1:

  1. Walk through the door with melted ice cream after getting stuck in traffic on the way home from grocery shopping.
  2. Find Gracie skulking in the family room, surrounded by pieces of Ziplock and a box of allergy pills.  At least three seem to be missing.
  3. Spend the next few hours inducing vomiting and monitoring dog’s status, all the while cursing the day we brought this freaking dog into our home.

Scenario 2:

  1. I’m watching Netflix while folding my fourth load of laundry (three clean from last week, one washed today).  Kids bang through the door screeching about who did what to whom.
  2. Attempt to mediate yet another fight about the go kart, its time allotment, general bossiness, or tween discontent until I realize it’s the thousandth time we’ve had this exact same conversation and I lose my shit.
  3. Send the children out of sight for their own safety.  Remind myself they won’t actually starve if they skip dinner, and who knows what will come out of my mouth if someone gives me the side eye.  After twenty minutes I realize I have to suck it up and be the adult.  Grumpily call them back out and feed them; catch myself acting like a pouty tween.

Scenario 3:

  1. Collapsed on couch, flat on back, pillow under knees, trying to decide if I need back meds or if the pain will eventually subside.
  2. Hit BrightSide between the eyes when he gets home with the insanity of my day.  He comes back with the crazy at the office.  Frustration flares.
  3. We find ourselves embroiled once again in that most inane of all marital arguments: Who Worked Harder Today.  Ha!  As if you get a prize for that one.

Scenario 4:

  1. BrightSide walks through the door, tells Bear she’s left her bike outside, and asks her to put it in the garage so it’s not out overnight.
  2. Bear flips out.  Foot stomping, face flushing, eyes bugging, fists clenching as she fusses that it’s not her fault the bike’s outside, the garage door was closed when she got back, T-man always does that to her, he hates her, he wants her to get in trouble, life is never fair, EVER.  Cue stomping off to bedroom and door slam.
  3. BrightSide looks at me like wtf? and I’m all like I’ve got any clue? so we wait for our daughter to reemerge after the demon possession has passed.

Scenario 5:

  1. BrightSide walks through the door and apparently breathes wrong.
  2. T-man bites his head off in one of a million ways – Geez, dad!  Whatever… I’ll do it in a minute.  I will!  I didn’t leave it out.  That wasn’t me.  It wasn’t!  You always think I did it.  
  3. BrightSide’s caught off guard and T-man’s attitude is contagious.  Now BrightSide’s triggered and feeding off the boy’s annoyance.  Cue surly tween attitude and frustrated dad who’s thinking What the hell, I just got home.

And that’s only five off the top of my head!

I hold onto the hope that surely we’re not the only ones.  Surely others houses have this level of crazy going on at the end of the day, it’s just hidden behind their pretty front doors.

No?  Oh, okay then.  Us neither.  Nope.

Totally normal here.