Drink water, plenty of water.

"Tell me why I don't like Mondays...I want to shoot the whole day down." ~Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats


I need to preface this entry by saying, I am extremely stubborn.  I can be really really pig-headed and stupid, especially when I get frustrated.  That said, read on, if you still want to. 

Monday, ugh.  How did it begin?  It was Monday morning and it was crummy from the beginning.  Tim and I were stressed about filling three weeks worth of work due to a project cancellation with payday only four days away.  We had plenty of work to keep everyone busy, but we needed to contact homeowners to move them up on the schedule, get materials deposits, get everyone lined out on where to go and what to do on the new jobs, and get all the tools and supplies set up for the new work...the joys of small business ownership. 

Annarose had been invited for a play date at a friend's house, Max was upset because he hadn't been invited.  There was a subcontracting job to wrap up: call for dumpster pick up, get ridgecap there, take returns to the store for credit.  The sub called wanting to know if his ridgecap was there and he was disputing whether some of the work we wanted him to do was in his original contract...I won't even go into this any further. 

I was trying to get myself set up for a new job I was starting.  I needed to stop by a different job to do some finish work, then go to another site to pick up some tools for the new job.   Get AR to her friend's house by 10, well maybe 11, or 11:30...we'll be there when we get there.  Answer phone calls.  Answer emails.  Fix the kids breakfast.  Pack lunches.   Deal with the sub situation.  Get the check for a job from a homeowner who was leaving at 4AM next morning.  Tim had a hundred things on his plate to deal with, as well.  

Tim left early that morning getting jobs setup. I was trying to call him about the sub situation, hoping to have him return the shingles and pick up the ridgecap. I couldn't get hold of him, his phone was turned off, who could blame him?  I didn't know what to do about the sub deal...subs are usually Tim's area.  I didn't have a truck, the roofing supplier is about 8 miles from the job site.  We had 9 bundles of shingles to return, each bundle weighs 88 pounds, you do the math. Suffice it to say, it's a bit more than my bike cart capacity of 100 pounds.   I was trying to figure it out, get the kids ready for the day, and get started on my own work for the week.  The sub was giving me a sob story about how he had to be paid today so that he could pay his guy who was going to be evicted from his mom's house if he didn't give her some money today for the phone bill.  I had a hard time understanding how this was my problem, but apparently the sub thought it was. 

Finally, somehow, the kids and I managed to get out of the house. 

We rode over to the sub's job site.  I called Solid Waste for dumpster pick up.  Then I called the sub, told him to take the extra shingles to the roofing supplier and pick up the ridge cap and lumber in his truck.  While on the phone with the sub, I heard the kids yelling at each other from around the side of the house.  I don't even know what the fight was about, just a fight.  I explained to them that if they want to work with us this summer, they have to get along.  Daddy and I cannot spend the summer mediating fights...any more fighting and they will be going to summer school. 

Next, we rode to another job site to do a bit of finish work.  The kids were getting restless.  "Is there any thing we can do, Mom?"  "How much longer before I get to go to my friend's house?"  "Why can't I go to a friend's house?" "How long will this take?" 

I managed to get the work done.  As I was washing up in the kitchen, I told Annarose that I was about finished.  I warned her not to step on the threshold, as there was wet paint and caulk on it.  Then Max came in.  By some miracle, he stepped over the threshold and didn't mess up the work I had just finished.  Just to be sure, I stopped him to check his shoes and the threshold.  Good, everything was in order.  I told Max to be very careful going out the door, be sure to step over the threshold, do not step on it, step over it.  Max turned to walk out the back door and stepped directly in the middle of it, marring the new paint and caulk, getting it on the bottom of his shoe in the process.  Argh.  OK, I had to go and get the paint, the brush, the caulk and tools out again, and re-repair it.  Max was all upset. "I'm sorry, it was an accident.  I didn't mean to."  I offered typical Mommy responses to a situation like this.  Finally, I got it fixed and cleaned up for the second time.   We headed out for the next job site where we picked up tools for the new job.

It was time to take AR to her friend's. It 's a 2.5 mile ride through town from the job site to AR's friend's house.  We made it in 17 minutes, pretty good for two little kids and a tool laden Mommy.  When we got to AR's friend's house at 11:30, her friend's mom invited Max to stay and play as well.  I was a little sad, as I had been looking forward to some Max - Mommy time, but Max was glad for the invitation, so he stayed and played too.  Thanks Esther!

The morning had been extremely frustrating.  I felt I had been spinning my wheels, but not getting anywher.  I was glad to put it behind me and looked forward to getting some work done.  Twenty minutes later, the phone started ringing.  It was the sub...again.   "We're done.  We took back the shingles, but couldn't get the ridge.  It'll be in next Monday, we'll put it on then.  I need to get paid now.  I have to pay my guy today, he got in trouble with his mom because of the phone bill.  If he doesn't pay it today, his mom will kick him out of the house." 

Wait, wait, wait.  We just got the check that morning.  It hadn't even cleared our bank. It was Monday, Friday is pay day.  I didn't have the checkbook.  I would have to go to the bank to get the cash to or go back home to get a check.  I needed to get my work done too.  The sub didn't care; he insisted.   I called the bank to see if the check had cleared.  The check had not cleared yet, it had to go to Jefferson City where it would clear that night.  There wasn't enough cash in the account to pay the sub with right now. 

"I have to get paid now.  Can't you just give me a check?  By the time it clears my bank, it will be in your account." , he reasoned,  "I can pay my guy so his mom doesn't kick him out.  We're at your house.  Do you want me to come pick you up?"  The implied 'I know you're on your bike, and bikes are so slow' left unsaid.  At my house?  Crap. "NO, I'll be there.  Just wait." I told him.  It was hot.  I was frustrated beyond belief.  I had a splitting headache.   The last thing in the world I wanted was to be shut up in the cab of a truck with the sub and oh-so-broke-guy making small talk.  What I needed was some intense exercise to work off some of my frustration.  I got on my bike with cart in tow (I don't know why I didn't leave the cart at the site, probably for dramatic effect, knowing me) and headed home to meet them.   I cranked it hard all the way to my house averaging 20 mph. 

I arrived, sweaty and out of breath. I didn't say anything but 'hi' to the sub and his guy.  It was clear I was ticked.  The sub mumbled something by way of apology.  I walked on by afraid of what I might say.  I looked for the checkbook, couldn't find it, called Tim, it was in his truck...figures.  I disconnected the trailer, told the sub and his guy they would have to wait while I went to get the check book.  It was roughly 3 miles each way to Tim's job site.  Unhindered by the bike cart I flew topping 29 mph on the way.  While riding I started thinking,  "It's really hot, I should probably stop for a drink.  No.  I'll be OK.  I'll get a drink when I get home, after I deal with the sub and his guy."  I knew I was being stupid, which just made me more frustrated and stubborn.  Oh yeah, I was pre-menstral too, did I mention that?  I grabbed the checkbook out of the truck and cranked it on home.  I didn't even go in to say hi to Tim.

I got back home, got off the bike with major jelly legs, and gave the sub his check.  The sweat was pouring off me.  I felt it running down my calves, I felt it soaking through my shirt.  I really needed to get in and get a drink, but I didn't want to until the sub left.  Some screwy idea about looking tough or something, I don't know. I think it had to do with the notion that the sub and his guy think I'm crazy for riding bikes all the time.  Who knows?  I was not really thinking clearly, as my body tried desperately to drink my blood for lack of any other available fluid.  

The sub was really apologetic.   He looked at me intently with this strange expression I couldn't identify.  His eyes were moist.   I realized I had made him cry.  Geez!  Now I had this big burly guy in tears, because of my obvious irritation.  Meanwhile, oh-so-broke guy made quips in the background..."Here I sit so broken hearted..." You know the rest.  I am not kidding, he litterally said that.  "What am I doing with my life?"  I wondered standing there my driveway with a crying sub and outhouse poet.  "Why don't I get a nice office job where I can sit in AC all day?  Do the easy thing and quit riding bikes and drive everywhere like everyone else?  Why didn't I major in accounting like my dad had recommended all those years ago?"  I desperately needed water, but now I had to placate the tearful sub.  

I stood in my driveway apologizing.  "Hey don't worry.  It's OK.  It's been a really hard day.  I'm just frustrated.  It's not you, its me.  It's alright.  It'll be OK.  You do really good work and we want you to keep working for us..." 

The sweat was just rolling off. It was running down my arms, my back, my scalp, my neck, my legs.  My denim shorts were soaked.  My t-shirt was soaked.  My hair was soaked.  I was covered in goose bumps.  I started feeling chilled, despite the heat.  I really needed a drink.  Just another minute or two and sobbing sub and oh-so-broke poet would leave, then I could go in and get a drink.  I started feeling shaky.  I leaned against the wall so I wouldn't fall over, my legs were getting weaker and weaker.  "Don't worry about it." I told him.  "We'll call you.  You guys have a good day.  Thanks for the good work.  I gotta go." 

They were getting in the truck to leave, finally.  As I turned to walk to my front door, it happened.  Everything started spinning and the edges of my vision started going black.  Crap...so much for looking cool.   A history of fainting spells in junior high taught me what  I had to do - get my head down between my knees, quick, or I would be waking up on the ground in about 5 minutes.  I grabbed the door knob and doubled over, standing there breathing deeply and looking at my knee caps.  Sub and his guy asked if I was OK.  "Fine!" I called waving them on with my free hand head between my knees, bum in the air.  "I'm fine."  I stood there doubled over for a minute or two before I could stand up and go inside.  I raced to the kitchen where I doubled over again. 

About 10 minutes later, I was fine.  I could have avoided the whole humiliating dizziness dehydration thing, if I had not been so stubborn, if I had just stopped for a drink.  I rode back to my jobsite and actually got a little work done before it was time to pick up the kids.

The moral?  Drink plenty of water when it's hot outside.  Don't be a stupid pig-headed show-off, or you'll be sorry.

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