Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Post Traumatic Seth Disorder

We had to go get family pictures done last night. Some of you may remember that we had them done last fall,
and that they came out rather nicely. Well, our church decided to redo the church directory, as they do every couple of years and Dan, being the frugal soul that he is, didn't want to pay the $10 to have our current family picture inserted, so we had to go and have it done again by the photographer that church hired.

Have you ever tried to convince three teenagers that they need to dress up for a family photo, for the second time in less than a year? Well, let me tell you, it's not fun.

First of all, you have to make sure that everyone is actually going to be around for the picture. Wednesday night was a good bet, because a) it's youth group night, so odds are that two of the kids will already be at church and b) LOST is on, so no one makes plans. This is the logic that I used, however Dan just planned it for a Wednesday by sheer luck. I told him that HE was going to be the one to break it to the kids, which he did, two nights in a row, at the dinner table.

I was rather surprised at the lack of response to his announcement, till I realized yesterday afternoon that no one had been listening. Jill called from work. I reminded her about the pictures, and she got a bit testy, saying that she was going to have to rush home from work and take a shower so that she didn't smell like the barn when she went, and why were we getting the pictures done again anyway? I tried to use the youth group thing as a rationale, and she even more testily informed me that she didn't get off work in time to go to youth group, and wasn't going to be able to go. Oh, and she was "in the mood for a good dinner." Whatever that means. She ended up hanging up on me when she found out that her father and I had made plans to go out to dinner with friends, thinking that the kids would be at youth group, so her "good dinner" was going to have to be prepared by her.

Seth was no problem, except he seemed to be having trouble understanding the English language, as usual. I told him to wear his jeans (Dan said he was wearing a suit and tie, and I informed him that he was going to be sadly out of tune with the rest of his family, because we'd only get them there if they could wear jeans. Jeans it was.) and to put on the blue polo shirt I had bought him last week. "What's a polo shirt?" he said. Oye and vay -- this could take a while. "It's the light blue shirt that matches the yellow one you wore to church on Easter." "The one I can wear to school? That's not against the dress code?" "YES!" He was also informed to take a shower and wash the hair that was sticking straight up from the back of his head. (He has a Dennis the Menace cowlick. You will see its importance shortly.) He showered. He brushed his teeth. He came out wearing jeans and a turquoise polo shirt that was a couple of sizes too small. "Is this it?" he said. "Uh, no. Doesn't that feel tight? You want the light blue one that matches the one you wore to church last week." "Oh," he said. "The one I can wear to school? The one that's not against the dress code?" (Can you tell he's more than mildly obsessed with the dress code in the high school he's going to in the fall?) "YES!" He wanders off to his room, then yells back, "is it the button down one?" "No! It's pale blue. It matches the one you wore to church last Sunday." "OH!" he says. "I found it."

I wasn't holding my breath that he was going to come out in the right shirt, but miraculously, he did. Two down.

Thomas had been warned multiple times of the countdown to the pictures, when they needed to be there, where they needed to go, etc., because Dan and I were going out to dinner, and expected to meet the kids at church afterward. I told Thomas to wear jeans, and some semblance of blue, as far as a shirt. I knew he didn't have a polo shirt, because he thinks that they are old men shirts, so I told him if all else failed, wear the shirt he wore for family pictures in the fall. I knew it was clean and hanging in the hall closet upstairs, so I figured I was safe, since he lives upstairs, right next to the hallway closet. The hallway closet that he asked me to clean out of all of the junk, so that he could store the stuff that he's bought for his apartment (then never used, but that's another story).

Well, Dan and I went to dinner, and got done early, so we went home to get the kids. One dressed, one in the shower, and Thomas nowhere to be seen -- not that that is really all that unusual. He's kind of a ghost around here. Jill finally got out of the shower and went upstairs, then promptly yelled down that she didn't have anything blue to wear. I told her just to find something blue-ish and that would be fine. She yelled back some unintelligible reply that expressed her unhappiness with life in general. I was in the kitchen straightening up when Thomas flew in and said "a button came off this shirt and it's the only one I have to wear, then disappeared. He left me holding a red plaid shirt, sans one button. It was now 7:20, with pictures to be taken at 7:50. I yelled out to him to look in the hall closet, because he had at least three shirts there that would work for the pictures, and he said he was getting in the shower. Nothing like waiting till the last minute. Thomas came back into the kitchen at 7:35 with soaking wet hair and said that he didn't have another shirt to wear. Another one who doesn't understand the English language. Oye and vay.

I told him to check the UPSTAIRS hall closet, you know, where you live, because he was going to find several other shirts that would work, and he disappeared upstairs yet again. Meantime, the next door neighbor stopped by, asking Dan to help, of all things, with opening a jar of artichokes, so in the midst of everyone getting ready, there is an exhibition of brute strength going on in the kitchen. Seth wanders in at 7:40 barefoot, carrying his socks, and Jill said something about her phone and went out the back door. I told Seth to get in the car, Dan yelled up to Thomas that the bus was leaving, and several honks of the horn, and a tight fit in the back of the Yarus later, we did, indeed, make it to church on time. It was at this point, standing in the hall of the church, that Thomas asked why we were doing family pictures again. "Because they're updating the directory." "Why couldn't we just use the other pictures we had done." Dan replied, "because I didn't want to pay ten bucks for them to use that one."

"Buddy," Thomas said, "I would've spotted you that ten bucks, just so we didn't have to do this again" -- a reply that was quickly echoed by the other two kids and the wife.

Took a couple of poses with the little family, and then got one of just the brats, since we'd forgotten to do that in the fall. We even managed to get one with Thomas almost smiling -- how that happened, I'll never know, since he was most unhappy that his hair was still wet. I just figured he looked like a good conservative Baptist, with his hair gelled back. We're Presbyterian, but oh well. Everyone was even in a fine mood on the way home -- probably because Dan sat in the back going home, to help keep the peace. Jill's lament, because at this point, she lives in a constant state of lament, was that "back in the day, it wouldn't be proper for a girl to be in the backseat with two guys," to which my response was that back in the day, a girl wouldn't BE in the backseat of a car with a boy unless her father was there, so it was all good.

We were joking and carrying on, right up till we pulled into the driveway. I was the first one in the house, and had just put my purse down when I heard Jill laughing, glass shattering, and Dan yelling frantically that someone needed to get a towel. Yep, it's not Utter Chaos till blood is flowing. Turned out that Seth was running to the house, because Jill has a penchant for playfully locking him out if she gets there first, which she had. He had his hand out to push the door back open, when Jill tried to slam it shut, putting Seth's arm right through the glass in the door, completely shattering it, and cutting Seth's arm in four or five places.

Dan yelled for some gauze, which Thomas got. Jill disappeared. I stayed away from the hallway because Dan didn't bring him in the house right away, and there wasn't room for all of us in there, and the dogs needed to be corralled. There was lots of yelling, dogs barking, blood, glass, you name it. Somewhere along the line, Thomas ran upstairs to get something, and informed me that he'd had to go online and tell his crew about what happened. Because, you know, it couldn't wait. Oye and vay. Jill finally showed up, and never would admit if she disappeared because she felt bad for trying to kill her brother, or if it was because she throws up at the site of blood -- which would have only added to the mayhem. A quick inspection showed that Seth had several areas that maybe could use one or two stitches, by my assessment, but Dan of course told Seth it'd be fine. He could just man up and it'd heal just fine.

So yeah, we now have Seth's arm bandaged up with a patchwork of gauze and bandaids, there's no glass in one panel of the back door, I've told Jill several ways that she could kill someone that would a) be less messy and b) wouldn't irritate her father in having to repair the door. Personally, I'm surprised that glass survived the last sixteen years we've been in this house, especially with three kids, but I guess all good things must come to an end. At least we're no worse for the wear.

And so I had to go find something appropriate to show you, and what else better than a brother-sister outfit from Simplicity? The pattern itself is a wounded bird, meaning it's missing pieces, but it's cute as all getout. It just wouldn't be ok to wear with the high school dress code this fall. Click the image to shop.

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