Friday, June 19, 2009

A taste of the crazy

I swear, I'm pretty sure I don't have ADD. And I most certainly don't have ADHD. Anyone who knows me can attest to my ability to hold still, on the couch, for long periods of time. Being hyper is SO not an issue of mine.

A long, long time ago someone once asked me why I don't seem to be able to keep a clean house. Especially given that I was a stay at home mom. Here's how it went for me.

I have the best of intentions when it comes to keeping my house clean. I actually used to make a LIST of things I had to get done during the day and the time frame I had to complete it in. I still love lists. I just don't use it like that anymore.

My morning would start at 6:15am. I would get up, shower, get Kylie up. Get Lizzie up, prep breakfast, pick up a toy in the living room. Yell at Kylie to brush her teeth, have her completely ignore the bowl of breakfast on the table and we'd be late because she couldn't find her other shoe. Or Lizzie suddenly had to pee. Or both. And I forgot to put on a bra. (Forgot is putting it mildly. If I had changed out of my jammie shirt I would have noticed) But school starts at 7:15am and we have to leave absolutely no later than 7:08 and it's already, crap, 7:11. So we gun it, with Lizzie still wearing her princess pajama dress and no shoes and Kylie snarling the whole way about why don't I wake her up earlier even though she went back to sleep when I woke her the first time like I'm a snooze button.

Get Kylie to school and make her jump out using a duck and roll technique and speed back home. Ahh peace at last, right? Except now Lizzie is hungry. And has to pee. She can't decide which to complete and she gets upset and cries. I take her to the bathroom and start getting her bowl out and pour in her favorite cereal. She comes out (No flush?) and announces she does not want cereal. She wants yogurt. So I hand her the yogurt and tell her to sit at the table while I do the dishes. I begin to put the glasses away when Lulu starts telling me she would like to help. I try to distract her LET'S COLOR! LET'S PAINT! LETS WATCH VEGGIE TALES! but no. She's my helper. How can I possibly do the dishes without her. So I let her help. The unloading of the dishwasher now takes 30 minutes instead of 10. She decides that silverware do not need to do in their drawer but rather she thinks they would look great under the sink. More redirecting. Now I have to LOAD the dishwasher.

"Lizzie, can you bring me your spoon and juice cup please?" Famous last words.

Suddenly the yogurt spoon drops to the floor and in her distress she also drops her chocolate milk cup. I walk away from the dishwasher and survey the damage. Instead of just cleaning with a rag I decide I should mop the floor. So I grab a broom and start sweeping AROUND the mess. To prep for mopping. Except I need a helper. Who grabs her toy broom. And sweeps THROUGH the yogurt and milk. Now I REALLY have to mop.

Take child out of room and tell her it's TV time! YAY! TV TIME! YAY! She's not buying it. Whatever. But I need to mop and if she helps it'll take 3 times as long. And I still have dishes to do. We spend 10 minutes going through EVERY movie she owns to find that ONE movie that she wants. Of course it's the first movie I offered but whatever. Cinderella it is! I can choose to be a feminist and object to this Princess stuff or I can mop. I'm going to be lazy and mop. Sorry mom.

We start the movie and I decide to take a pit stop to pee. It's edging up on 9am and it's about that time. So I head to the bathroom. While in there attempting to do my short business I notice that the bathtub is sporting a ring. And is that mold in the tiles? GROSS. I need to clean the bathroom. No biggie, I can do a quick clean in here, head to the kitchen, mop, and finish dishes while Cinderella is finding Prince Charming. Right? Except I realize I need to take everything OUT of the bathroom to clean it. Like shampoo, toothbrushes, everything is making a mass exodus. I can't JUST clean the bathtub after all. Might as well clean the whole thing. I'm so proud of myself.

As I start to take everything out of the bathroom I notice that we have 10 half empty shampoo bottles. That seems ridiculous so I grab 2 and decide to put the other two under the sink for later usage. Except the under sink area is a mess. So I sit down on the floor or take everything OUT of under the sink and then organize it. How long can this honestly take, after all? About 5 minutes into it I discover we have expired medication under here. Vicodin from my 2004 baby delivery? Migraine medication from the 90's? That in the world? As I proceed to dump them down the toilet I realize I now need to dump the bottles. So I walk to the kitchen to throw them away.

Except I need to take off the labels. Or permanent marker out the information. Identity left and all people. So I search for the junk drawer for a marker. Except it's REALLY looking junky. WAY junky. So I decide to organize it. I mean, Cinderella hasn't even made it to the ball yet, I've got PLENTY of time. So I take out the draw in the kitchen, dump it on the counter and start to go through it. Man, we have a lot of tools in here and why do we have 100 pens, only 2 of which work? I'm about halfway through the drawer when the phone rings.

It's marketing research. I hate to hang up on these people because they aren't trying to sell me anything, they just want to know what I think. Except I spend 20 minutes with them trying to remember the answers to all of their questions (sometimes, a lot, not often, occasionally, once in a while, once a year AREYOUKIDDINGME?) and now Lulu has decided she needs me because she has the kid sense that once mommy is on the phone she NEEDS me. RIGHT NOW.

I get off the phone and realize it's almost 11am. How did that happen? Cinderella is over for some reason (that movie went FAST!) and we promised to meet up with the other moms at the Mommy Group story time and lunch. Crap. So we grab a purple shirt and orange sweat pants for the little one and I'm STILL in my jammie shirt and head out the door. I get her buckled in the car seat and run back inside to grab a hairbrush and apparently a snack even though we're going to lunch because Lulu is DYING from starvation. We start driving and I'm trying to open a fruit snack, brush my hair and drive to a Borders 20 minutes away in 10 minutes because we're late.

Just as we pull into the parking lot my cell phone rings. It's Mommy Club member #1 reminding me that the story time is at Barnes and Nobles, not Borders so we RACE across town the other way and arrive late. Whatever. There are 30 kids and what feels like 5 moms listening to story time which is not a story I am familiar at all but some very odd story about a polar bear and a leopard. I think.

We moms head over to the lunch counter/Starbucks and try to negotiate what our children will consume from this menu. Whose idea was it to bring small children here again? I order a PB&J that costs almost $6 and a juice and a soda for me which gets FROWNS from all the moms because what kind of example am I setting for my child drinking juice. And soda. Whatever. I haven't eaten yet. The sandwich comes with something like 5 potato chips and we all head back to story time. The story leader has the kids up and dancing and doing a very weird version of the hokey pokey. Maybe. When story time is over we try and corral children to a safe eating area away from expensive books which fails pretty miserably. Lulu isn't hungry. She takes 2 bites of her $6 sandwich and decides to wander off. I munch my ridiculous lunch and chat with the moms while I listen to the evils of cornstarch and liberals. Those crazy liberals. They want to make all the children gay. Or something. I stop listening because well, I carry a DEMOCRAT card in my wallet. And I don't want to turn children gay. Not that there is anything wrong with gay children. But why are we discussing children and their sexual preference? Doesn't that seem wrong?

I realize I'm missing my child. So I get up and start to just walk around the nearest magazine racks, nicely saying my child's name. She's not there. I move to the left and start looking among the ancient history literature and she's not in those book stacks either. I go to the children's area, saying her name louder but no answer. Hmmmm. One of the little boys in the group comes up and tells me that my child walked outside. Out the big doors. Oh.My.GOD. Suddenly the Mom's group JUMPS into action and like a sloppy looking, overly fertile A-Team they start fanning out in all directions calling her name and keeping me calm but also telling me horrible stories about their mailman's high schools coaches best friends daughter who walked out of a bookstore one time and DIED.

15 minutes later child is recovered in the CD section of the store. I thank my A Team mommy hood members and we depart. At least it'll be interesting gossip for them for the rest of the day.

We get home and it's edging on 2pm. How did we manage to spend 3 hours at story time? Oh right, I lost a kid. We walk in the house and now I REALLY have a lot of work to do. Hey Lulu. Wanna watch another movie? 10 more minutes picking a movie for quiet rest time and we select The Little Mermaid. I hate that movie. Ariel is so whiny. Whatever. I can be a feminist or I can get my house together. In goes the movie and child must lay on the pillow and be covered with a blanket.

What do I start first? Kitchen and mop, dishes, junk drawer? Bathroom under sink, or in general?

Kylie walks in the door and drops 2 metric tons of crap on the living room floor. Book bag, coat, shoes, teenage angst, etc. I ask her to clean up and she kicks her shoes to the side of door. Nice. Informs me that she has homework and needs help. Okay. I'll help. Let's go to the kitchen and I'll do the dishes or mop or finish the junk drawer while we do that. She wants a snack. Okay, I'll get you a snack, what do you want? Burritos. Okay. Sit down, I'll do burrito. Burritos. Whatever.

As the burritos cook, I load 2 dishes in the dishwasher. I take them out of the microwave, place them in front of the child and she complains about her homework. Mom, look at this. I look at her math homework and honestly, it's Greek. I don't understand a WORD of it. And I took college algebra. And ACED College statistics. I'm not stupid but none of that crap makes any sense. As I politely suggest that perhaps the male figure in our lives would be better for this than me. And she tells me I'm stupid. No, I'm not kidding. I'm the most stupidest person on earth. Ever. She gets up to storm off, walking THROUGH the coddled dairy products on the kitchen floor and tracking it through the house. Crap.

I grab a towel and attempt to manually clean the soon-to-be-stinky dairy off the carpet while trying not to dream of ways to hide the oldest child's body and thinking about how short that stupid Ariel movie is. I think I have MOST of the pink yogurt off the carpet so I stand up and decide to throw the towel down the stairs. When I do I notice the mountain of laundry at the bottom.

What the heck, it can't take more than a minute to start a load, right? I'm so proud of myself.

I go downstairs only to realize that I need to at least quick sort the laundry. I decide I need towels in a bad way so I start the washer with hot, dump in the soap and start grabbing all the towels out of the pile. I get 5. How can I only have 5 towels in this pile? I dump them in the washer and head upstairs to find the rest. I look in my room, the bathroom, (Still not organized OR clean), the youngest child's room and knock on the oldest child's door. She begrudgingly opens it and is listening to some horrible sounding disease named rock band and moping. And not doing her homework. I tell her to go back and do her homework and she rolls her eyes at me which leads to a lecture about disrespect and in my head I'm thinking about how far I would have to drive to dump her body and which friend I can count on to help me do it.

I grab 18 towels from her bedroom and begin to walk towards to basement and I see that Lulu isn't on the couch watching her now over movie OR resting. I place dirty towels on the coach and go to find her. She's not in her room. Or bathroom. Or in my bedroom. She's not in the living room. I search and scream her name for 6 minutes getting more and more hysterical only to discover her playing outside in the backyard. I smile and think how cute she is and head back to the living room.

Suddenly I remember that I have to make dinner and it's, oh shoot 4pm. How did THAT happen? I search my fridge and nothing pops out so I do to the freezer in the garage. While I'm out there I remember the tools from the junk drawer and head back inside to grab them. I grab them and attempt to put them in the tool box but can't find the right drawer and decide that I should probably grab the trash cans and take them out to the curb for garbage day tomorrow. That takes 10 minutes of hauling 4 garbage cans down to the street and rounding up the garbage in the house. I head back to the garage and start to rummage looking for more food for dinner. I need to go grocery shopping but can't right now. I finally come up with tater tots and chicken nuggets. I am so creative. Ketchup is a vegetable, right?

I head back in the house and turn the oven on. I prep the nuggets and tots and throw them on a baking sheet. Suddenly I hear the garage door open and I realize it's 5pm. What the heck?

In my walks my man to see me standing there with frozen nuggets and tots on a baking sheet, the kitchen floor covered in nasty dairy products and dirt that my preschool JUST dragged in from her time in the backyard, the junk drawer dumped all over the kitchen counter, the dirty dishes from this morning still in the sink, the dishwasher hanging open, 2 burritos cold on a place at the kitchen table, homework not finished also on the table, a washing machine full of water and only 5 towels NOT spinning because I didn't put the lid down, a teenager screaming horrible lyrics in her bedroom, pink yogurt on the floor, the bathroom completely emptied with all contents in from of the door, the under sink area completely scattered on the actual bathroom floor, a backpack and shoes dumped on the living floor, a pillow and blanket still on the couch and his youngest child telling him about how she made mommy cry in the store and disappeared and got to watch movies all day and is SO hungry because mommy ate all of her lunch.

I'm exhausted and I haven't finished ANYTHING yet.

And that's my day. And also, why I'm divorced.
And mostly why nothing gets done in my house.


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