I ran up the steps two at a time to get my charger. I left it upstairs and needed it before my computer died.
As I ran into the playroom/office I could hear the humming of the printer. It was shooting out a printout of something. I didn't print anything so I curiously glanced over to see what it was. I was shocked to see page after page of full-color printouts with one word on them. And when I say full-color I mean the entire white page is now red except for one teeny word. Lily.
When I saw all these pages printing it just caused my brain to spasm and I freaked out. Money is tight. The ink in the cartridges is getting low. I've been smacking them against my palm to loosen every bit of ink powder.
I ran downstairs "Ellllllllllli! WHAT are you doing? What are you printing? You're wasting all our ink. What is this?!" I shouted.
Elli just stared at me like I was some sort of psycho mommy and her eyes immediately welled up with tears. "I'm sorry, I just wanted to make a picture for my friends. I'm sorry. I didn't know." she cried back.
"This isn't a picture. It's a name on a piece of white paper that is now covered in red ink!" I blurt back.
She just stared at me frozen, then her head sank.
Before the words had finished spewing out of my mouth I wanted to take them back. I was losing it.
It's six pieces of paper.
We will not go hungry because of six pieces of paper.
The world as I know it will not end because of six pieces of paper and one red ink cartridge.
All the stress of being unemployed and pinching pennies is really
starting to affect me.
Of course I immediately apologized to Elli for over-reacting and explained to her as calmly as I could that all the color ink she printed comes out of the cartridge, and cartridges are expensive. I'm glad she wanted to make pictures for her friends, but blah blah blah..........
Crap. I suck. I'm the worst mommy ever.
So I started thinking about the last 8 weeks. I'm clearly in the third phase of unemployment on the Mulkey scale.
Phase 1 - shock
Phase 2 - grief
Phase 3 - cranky and pissed off
Phase 4 - motivated
Phase 5 - accepting a job offer!
The next day Elli came downstairs rubbing her eyes. "Mommy, I feel really guilty about the ink. I'm sorry." she whispers to me.
Uh, is my crown for worst-mommy-of-the-year in the mail? Sure hope so.
"Elli, I'm sorry I got upset with you. Please don't feel guilty about the ink. It's ok." I promised.
Apologizing to your kid for an outburst about printer ink is not cool. But I'm not going to beat myself up about it. It's over. And believe it or not, Elli had no idea how printers work. Now she does. It's all good.
I better get a job soon.