This is why we can't have nice things.

You'd think it was my kids right??

I mean, there are four of them.



That's too many a lot of children running around.

Sometimes I don't know what to do with them all. There are just so many of them. And they're close in age. My oldest is eight and my youngest will be three in August! I mean, what was I thinking????

People actually ask me that a lot. Complete strangers think it's up to them to remind me how babies are made and what I should do to stop this fertility train.

I usually agree with them.


Just kidding. I love my huge family! I love all of these rugrats running around and creating havoc on my sanity.

I've even wondered if this is enough kids? Or maybe we should add another.

I've also said, a lot, like maybe every day, that this is way too many kids. Usually those statements alternate back and forth.

In one breath, I can wish for another baby and in the next, I can look at my husband, eyes wide with hysterical terror and confusion and demand, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?

It's a lot to deal with. And it's not just the fighting and the screaming, the sheer noise they're capable of generating or the cost. Dear lord the cost.

It's the destruction.

The utter annihilation of property. Of things. Of personal possessions.

I'm often asked at events why I didn't bring the kids? My usual response is because by now they would have burned this place to the ground.

The other person laughs and goes merrily on their way, thinking that I'm just trying to be funny.

They have no idea that I'm completely serious.

My kids are like Tasmanian Devils. They walk into a place- any place- and start spinning around at the speed of sound, obliterating anything in their path.

Sometimes it's on purpose. Like this week when one of them, whom shall remain nameless because I can't figure out which one is lying, scratched three of their names into the center of our table.

They look ridiculous there, etched permanently into the wood in the scrawl of someone too young to write neatly. I'm thinking of decorating with a center piece. And we all know how I feel about decorating.

Clearly, I'm desperate.

I've narrowed my list of suspects down to the only two that know how to write, but each of them are firmly in denial. They refuse to take responsibility no matter what I threaten.

They might be in cahoots.

Sometimes their wreckage is on accident. Like the time my four year old tripped in the upstairs hallway and his huge, hard poor, little head went through the spindle of the railing and snapped it in two. Or the time my six year old stumbled in the bathroom and took the shower curtain with her to the floor.

Accidents happen. That's life.

They just happen more often when there are so many people for them to happen to. We're like a study in statistical probability.

The Statistical Probability of Breaking Things.

When it comes down to it though, when we really get to the bottom of it... I have to be honest.

It's not their fault.

And I'm not just saying that because I'm their mother and I'm hard-wired to excuse all of their faults and short-comings.

No, unfortunately this is a consequence of genetics and they were just unlucky enough to be mothered by me.

That's right. Me. The Queen of Klutz. The Empress of Accidents.

The First Female President of... Breaking Things.

Are you jealous of all of my prestigious titles??? You should be.

It's taken me a life time to learn them and I hate them more than anything am super proud of them.

I can't touch something without it breaking or shattering or turning to ash.

It's true. My record speaks for itself. I have thirty-one years of proof backing me up.

My dad used to use the phrase, "You kids are why we can't have nice things!" And when I was younger, I thought it was because that's what every dad was supposed to say to his kids. It's like a right of fatherhood or something.

Since I've grown up, gotten married and live in a house of my own, I've come to realize that my dad wasn't just speaking out of father-child tradition, but from truth and experience and slight premonition of the future.

I am the reason I can't have nice things. ME. This is solely on my shoulders.

Just a few months ago, I went to open the microwave, a simple, easy task that most human beings are familiar with and I ripped the handle off with my huge ogre hands Hulk strength.

I don't know what happened. I pulled, maybe a little bit too hard, and the whole bottom half ripped off!!

Granted, I don't use the microwave very often. Because.. cancer. But I should be able to open it! That's like one of those life skills you learn in kindergarten.

I passed How to Tie your Shoes. I aced How to Raise your Hand. I struggled, but succeeded with How to Share your Toys.

I miserably failed How to Open Things.

Or maybe I only half-failed. I'm really good at pushing doors open. I just have to be careful when I pull. Lest I turn into a giant, green, rage-filled monster and start wreaking havoc on downtown Omaha.

That was several months ago though. I learned my lesson. I am now very gentle when I pull anything open. I am consciously aware that my biceps are like granite rocks and I should possibly have a comic book written about me. I am more aware than ever.


Let's take the last twenty four hours into account and put me on trial. Lately I'm not sure I'm fit for society.

Like. Any society.

I love the idea of being an eccentric recluse that hides away in her home, writing bizarre stories and never showering.

Just kidding. Every few days I will consistently shower .

But putting that idea into practice has been difficult.

So, until I find a way to ferret away in an actual writing cave, I am forced to live in the regular world and behave like the weirdest person you'll ever meet a regular person.

The truth is though... I'm not a regular person. I'm a walking disaster. If my kids are Tasmanian Devils, I am an actual force of nature that leaves a wake of destruction in my path.

Like I said, the last twenty four hours.

It all started so innocently.

I recently published a book, aka Friday, and I'm in the middle of finishing another one, aka The Heart, so my house has fallen into a state of disrepair.

I am a Goal Oriented person. I mean, I really focus on finishing that goal. I can't see anything else between that goal and me. I will do anything to get to that finish line.

The little details along the way are ignored and mowed over, all in my attempt to finish.

I've been deep in that psyche for months now. And especially over the last month, I haven't paid attention to the house like I should.

So with L&D, Ep. 10 Live, I decided to spend the weekend scrubbing my house. And not just a gentle, routine scrub either. No, we're talking deep down, dirty, spring cleaning kind of scrub.

I knew it would take me at least two days. So I dedicated Saturday to the main floor and Sunday to the upstairs.

Yesterday I tackled the downstairs like a boss and made that filthy domain my bitch.

That's right, it sparkles like a Disney cartoon and I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that the EPA isn't going to show up at my front door, wearing HAZMAT suits and popping a tent over my neighborhood.

Phew, the world is saved from the Higginson Apocalypse Plague for one more month.

During those epic hours of cleaning, I did something that most house-cleaners do. I dusted.

That's right. I dusted. I pulled out my dusting mit and my super long dusting stick-thing and I dusted everything and anything that could be dusted.

I even dusted children. And toilets and literally anything that could be dusted.

Including my computer.

Sounds simple right?? I used my mit and gently ran over the screen and keyboard. I closed it and dusted the top of it and underneath. I cleaned my desk and dusted all around it. And then I opened my laptop and dusted the screen a second time.

You know. Just in case.

Only, it wasn't just in case. Just in case was a freaking lie! Because instead of giving myself a clear picture and making my work place feel organized and spectacular, I BROKE MY COMPUTER!!!!!


I did something to the screen. It went completely bonkers and split in half. Now it flashes like a strobe light at a rave and shows at least four different versions of my documents.

It's not good.

In fact, it's the end of the world as we know it very inconvenient.

I spent hours in denial, hoping it would just magically go back to being normal.

This might be a big surprise, but that tactic didn't work. So then, I did the only other thing I could think of, which was to restart it and hope that it would just magically go back to being normal.

When that didn't work either, I enlisted my husband. He said, YOU DID WHAT?

I dusted my screen.

To which he said, WHY WOULD YOU DUST YOUR SCREEN????

To which, I said, Because it was dusty?

He spent the next two hours taking the stupid frustrating thing all the way apart, examining it the best he could and then putting it back together.

It didn't work.

I broke it for the reals.

Meanwhile, Zach and I are now sharing a computer until I have time to pick up another one. It's really obnoxious special bonding time for us.

(Don't worry. All of my documents are safe. For now...)

Then. This morning.

It was a lazy Sunday morning for us. He had to work today, so we skipped church and hung out as a family instead.

Translation: He got up early to watch a soccer game and I slept in until 9:30 because I'm awesome.

Anyway, when I finally got up, he decided to make breakfast. (I'm telling you guys, he is the best husband in the entire world. There is not even a competition. He just wins it.)

Only... our eggs were expired. And not just a little expired where you can justify that the sell-by date was close enough that you'll only get slightly sick.. no, like really, really, really expired.

So, I offered to run over to Sonic, which is like two minutes away, and grab him something to eat.

Also, I had really been looking forward to breakfast and they have super delicious Breakfast Croissants.

I gulped down my coffee, threw some sandals on over my green socks and jumped in the mini-van.

It should be noted that I am not exactly a morning person. I'm more like... the anti-morning person of all morning persons. I just don't function well before... noon.

But I got to Sonic without crashing into anything or driving anyone off the road. Then I ordered the food without getting confused or confusing the cashier. Then I paid and put the food in my car without starting the Apocalypse.

But this is where things get a little hairy.

On my way out of my parking lot, I braked. I had anticipated a gently slow-to-stop motion that I can sometimes achieve when I'm fully awake. Instead, I got a jerking slam that sent my bag of breakfast delicacies flying.

Cursing PG-13 words, I stooped over, scooped the tater tots back into the bag and pulled onto the road.

I held onto the bag all the way home because I didn't want a repeat of flying tots.

I reached my neighborhood. I appropriately slowed my speed and navigated the roads to my house. I tapped the brakes and pulled into my driveway.

Then I made the epic mistake of letting go of the bag of food to open my garage door.

I stomped on gently applied pressure to the brakes again while I waited for the garage to lift and was forced to watch in abject horror as the bag of food launched off the ground, somersaulted in the air and dumped tater tots and breakfast burritos all over the floor of my recently-vacuumed Nissan Quest.

My PG-13 curse words turned into something they could get away with on FX.

But, determined not to let a little frustration ruin my morning, I parked the van, bent over and started to carefully return the spilled food into the stupidest now-empty Sonic bag.

This was not easy. In fact, they had been so violently catapulted that they were EVERYWHERE and super difficult to reach.

Still not deterred, I unbuckled and reached as far as I could. When that wasn't far enough, I practically crawled across the passenger's seat to reach the rest.

The subtle pop and whoosh of ice didn't bother me right away. I knew I'd bumped my cup of orange juice in my frantic and more than a little scary gymnastics routine attempt to reach all of the tots. It would be okay though. I was almost done hunting and gathering all of the escaped breakfast food.

Only it wasn't okay.

When I finally sat back, I realized I hadn't jostled my orange juice. I'd squashed it.

With the power of Thor's mighty hammer, I'd managed to squish the Styrofoam cup into a pathetic, crumpled, split-open version of its once glorious self and all of the orange juice that had been previously contained inside its white borders, now filled my cup holder.

Oh, sorry. Not just my one cup holder. But my second cup holder as well.

Orange juice was everywhere. There was an explosion of orange juice strong enough to create its own atmosphere and lightning. (Anyone else fascinated by the videos of Chili???)

Oh, no! I thought. This is a disaster!

I grabbed the bag of food and the broken orange juice cup to keep it from spilling more and sprinted into the house, dripping orange juice the entire way.

I threw the cup in the sink, grabbed the roll of paper towels and then set the bag of rescued food on the counter.

The bag of food, which had been poorly packed, let's just get that out in the open right now, tipped over on the counter and dumped all of the contents for the third time on my freshly cleaned kitchen floor.

It was at that point my PG-13 curse words graduated to an NC-17 rating and my husband sent the children upstairs.

Away from their psychotic mother.

Don't worry, I did manage to clean up all of the orange juice and tater tots. The floor has been re-swept and mopped and even the icky garage floor got a wipe down.

Because I will be damned before there is an ant problem due to that cursed orange juice.


But that, right there. These last twenty-four hours? Yeah, that's me in a nut shell.

These are not new problems. These are not even since-I-had-kids-and-pregnancy-ruined-my-brain problems.

This is just me. A walking disaster. A tornado of chaos and destruction.

The Seventh Sign of the Apocalypse.

Rachel Higginson, property destroyer at large.

Beware all who spend time near me. Be warned those brave enough to lend me things or gift me presents. Turn back all who value their material possessions.

You have been sufficiently and thoroughly warned.



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1 comment:

  1. Girl, I can totally relate and had to ponder on how this is something I could have written. Every time something ends up broken by my kids I say yup you are my child. Luckily I only have two! There's not a time I don't end up with at least one tater tot on my car floor from Sonics wonderful packaging and I've heard a few pops of a squashed sonic drink myself lol. I also know about breathing a sigh of relief of not hitting anything. You should see my car. I've even backed into and side swiped my own gate posts. Don't ask how many t.v.s and laptops I have replaced lol. Girl enjoy these moments even when theur costly because once your babies are grown there's no amount of nice things that will replace having them little. Also, look at the sense of humor it gives you and how it shines through in your books. If anything it is a blessing.