Saturday, October 11, 2008

All Hell Breaks Loose On Saturdays

Monday through Friday we are on a tight schedule in the morning to get breakfast, take showers/tubbies, get dressed and ready for the bus. Our little system usually works quite well, and the down time that's left gets used up peacefully; quietly watching a quick episode of Sponge Bob, or playing a video game, or setting up matchbox cars all over the hallway for an unsuspecting parent to step on, and rather ungracefully skate into a wall, leaving an array of ugly bruises and sore feet. Sure, there may be small quarrels over the t.v., or who gets to use the laptop, or what to wear for the day, but they're usually small and smoothed over easily enough.

Saturday blows in like the stink from the sewage treatment plant on a windy day. While I look forward to Saturday all week, it never fails to arrive like a kick in the ass. I wake up to Miles screaming about something that doesn't meet his expectations (his choice of breakfast, someone else watching a television program, the dog chewed his Lego's, he peed his pants and a parental figure is insisting on him changing his clothing). Max is heard in the background complaining that there's nothing to dooooooo and he never gets any time on the computer, and Miles is bothering him. This usually prompts an argument between the two in which an action figure who goes by the name of "Red Power Ranger-with-the-missing-hand-because-Sammy-chewed-it-off-and-ate-it-then-pooped-it-out" is used as a weapon upside the face. Someone wails. The other retaliates by karate-chopping his brother with one of the many "play" swords we have kicking around this house. The other one wails. Meanwhile, we discover the pile of poo that Sammy the dog has left because it's Saturday and we didn't get him out first thing in the morning like usual. And by "discover", I mean someone has stepped in it.

All this is happening while that first sip of coffee is being consumed and we're trying to clear the fog from our brains. I have decided that the easiest thing to do is lock our children in their own rooms until I feel like letting them out. It actually worked quite well for us this morning. Sure, there were some tears initially, but in all fairness, they were both crying already. I have no pangs of sympathy for them, their rooms are stocked full of interesting toys, books, video games etc., with no one else to bother them, take their toys and get into what they are trying to do. However, it's at this moment of solitude that they suddenly realize they sure do love their brother and feel bad about that black eye and do, in fact, want to play nicely. They will exit their rooms with a renewed sense of familial love and may even hug their sibling affectionately before launching into a new battle over who gets to watch what show and sit in the choice sofa section.

By this time in the morning Rob and I are already perfectly annoyed with our children and thinking about if there are any pressing chores or errands to do that will extract us from their presence. It's just something about Saturdays, always so pleasantly anticipated, so hard to wake up to.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Oh, how times have changed.

Two weeks ago, I was a chaperon on Miles' preschool class field trip to Cook's Orchard. Although Max has had many field trips since starting his schooling, I was never able to be a parent volunteer because I had my little Miley. Well, seeing as how little Miley is now getting on to be school-age, I can now tag along. The day was sunny and crisp and perfectly fall, and we all loaded onto the big yellow school bus. This was wildly thrilling for Miles, and I felt a strange flashback to high school climbing up the steps. We settled into a seat (Miles kneeling to see over the seat, and me, with my legs twisted sideways and my knees crushed into the green plastic seats.) and even I felt a twinge of excited anticipation and the bus rolled out. I was chatting with Miles about the bus, and how "awesome" it was when I noticed this above the front window.

Now, I sure as hell don't remember that from high school. I know it's been around eleven years or so, but c'mon, it's only been eleven years or so!! Do bus drivers nowadays really have a big problem with bodily fluid? I know, I know, we have to be careful in this day and age. It just gave me a laugh, is all. A funny little choked-in-the-back-of-your-throat kind of laugh. The kind where you look around at all the other adults on the bus and think "How can they not notice this??". I took this shot and passed my camera to my friend Jen, who smiled and shook her head (probably thinking I was a lunatic or a sicko). Am I the only one who thinks this is creepy??

Saturday, October 04, 2008

On Sanding Spackled Walls...

When your intentions are to help a friend out with fixing up their new home, don't get all gussied up before hand. There's just no sense it. Or, is there?

Since starting my own Mary Kay business, I have determined that the best way to peddle my wares is to be beautiful 24/7. That entails waking up each morning, cleansing, moisturizing and becoming beautiful (not sure how? just ask!). This readies me for the task of making breakfast, or waiting for the bus with Max, or walking the dog. 'Cause darn it, you just never can tell when someone will see you and you may or may not have an opportunity to hand out your business card. And girlfriends, ain't no one gonna buy beauty products from a haggy momma who hasn't gotten perttied up. Seriously, it's a fear of mine that one of my many friendly neighbors will stop by on a walk and we'll get to talking and there I'll be all crusty-eyed and rumpled. SO, I've made a point to put make-up on each and every day (barring sick days, of course) as a way to feel fabulous and to represent. Today was no different.

At 10am, I was showered, blow-dried, and done up with no where in particular to go. I had scheduled today to help a friend move, but they pushed their plans back a week because they weren't ready yet. As I looked around at more laundry to be done, and my kids bickering, I declared we were going over to see if we could help out. So, Rob and I brought the kids over to entertain their kids and offer ourselves up as helpers for the morning. Our first assignment, sanding the living room walls. I said, "no problem!", grabbed a block and some sand paper and went at it. After about 15 minutes another helper came in to see the progress, took one look at me and laughed. People, when someone takes a look at you and laughs, that's not good. There are plenty of times in my day when I act like an ass to get people to laugh, but this wasn't one of them. I looked bewildered at Rob, who gently informed me I was covered in white dust. I thought that was obvious, we were sanding spackle. Apparently, though, I was really going at it, and as the dust settled all around me, it settled perfectly on my make-up. My face was perfectly powdered with white, seeing as how my Mineral Powder Foundation in Ivory #2 had set the perfect foundation for spackle dust. Annoyed, but determined to be productive, I plugged away and finished up. Then I shook myself out outside and rinsed my face clean. After a quick assessment, I established that I was still presentable, and went to scrape out nasty old bathroom caulking.

Most people don't feel glamorous digging moldy old caulk out of a bathtub, but I felt fairly sure I looked put together doing my dirty work. After finishing up my work and calling it a day, I returned home with Miley while Rob and Max went off to a Cub Scouts function. We've walked the dog, eaten our dinner and Miley had his tubby. And you know what? I still look fabulous!

At this point in the day, with no plans of going out, I feel fairly safe in cleansing my face, applying my night solution and moisturizer, and hopping into my pajama pants for a hot night of watching Spongebob Squarepants. Whoot!