Thursday, July 29, 2010

Busticate: Requiem for a Sock

Busticate is the dictionary word of the day. I feel like I have busticated. Busticated? Is that the proper form of the word? It means falling into pieces. Sometimes, that’s me. I feel like I’ve been busticating for years.

During pregnancy, I busticated over everything. I busticated over the lonely sock that was suffering alone and miserable at the bottom of the laundry basket, forced to lay there with all of the happily coupled socks that were dwelling in blissful sock matrimony. That poor sock, so alone in the world. Missing her partner, no doubt a victim of my own foul laundry play. The spouse was writhing someplace where a week ago I had mopped up a coffee spill or stuck under a hastily made fitted bed sheet in the closet. Just knowing the agony that sole-surviving sock was feeling placed me in a borderline state of bustication.

Now that the children found their way out of utero, the act of bustication is a shared experience. Both of my walking, talking and demanding children will create a sense of chaos with the slightest thing. The last peach-flavored popsicle, for example, will incite the most vigorous flailings and whinings, that often wreak havoc on my sanity. It begins with a quivering of a lip. Two sets of eyes on the last surviving popsicle. The sets of eyes ultimately fall on the mediator--a.k.a. mom. Each child then begins to lobby for precious corn-syrupy ice cube. “I deserve the popsicle because I cleaned the toilet, and the kitty litter, and I have been forced to put up with my little bother [brother] all day, and I haven’t hit him once,” my daughter notes. Her persuasive argument is well thought out. My son, four, approaches the argument by way of pathos. “I-I-I,” he begins indignantly, and whines. Then he changes his tactics, “I [sigh] love you mommy.” His methods of manipulation are at an accelerated level for his age, my therapist told me. My therapist also noted, albeit in a more esoteric manner, that my son’s talent at such a young age has more or less screwed me for life. I want to busticate.

If one of my children were to receive the peachy popsicle, than the other will busticate, and vice-a-versa. There is only one thing to do. We split it. Each kiddo gets have of their daily dose of hardcore, after-lunch sugar and within twenty minutes, curtains are being pulled down and legos are being planted in the carpet for the vacuum and flash cards are being used as ninja throwing stars. The spillover aggression within the toy room has made all other rooms war-spoiled. I attempt to pick up the remnants of my home as the children begin frothing at the mouth, looking for their next sugar fix. I hold my breath for their inevitable after-sugar comas when they sit, transfixed at the T.V. The house busticates.

I begin reclaiming the house as the lull hits the two feral children on my couch, and I think about how “falling to pieces” has changed for me over the years. Now solo socks seem trivial. I hardly mourn the lost sock, but now trow the orphan in the “dust rag” section of the closet, where I’m sure it’s love awaits. Now bustication means broken limbs or holes in walls or coffee spilling on library books. The time to “fall to pieces” is gone, and left for my children. Perhaps I’m getting an emotional catharsis from their tantrums and ruckus. I’ll just have to trust that socks will mourn for themselves and leave me to pick up the real pieces in life.