Monday, May 12, 2008

A Day At The Mall

A few days ago I wrote a heartfelt letter to my children encouraging them to handle life's difficulties with dignity and grace blah, blah, blah-de-dah. I have decided that as soon as I compose something heartfelt such as this, I will in some way suffer disappointment at their young hands.

Here's the deal. When I was still in college, we really had teamwork going on in this house. Now we have what I call Momwork. Which means that mom does all the work. I am not happy with this new phase in our family. Melissa is working into the evenings so she is basically not here. I am responsible for ALL the housework around here. At the mere mention of helping out, Keri will launch into some long tale about why she can't help. What if I decided to just not do anything? What if I decided that I no longer have the inclination to prepare the lunches, or do the laundry, or scrub the toilets. How long would take to reduce these children to the slobs they so want to become?

I really think if it didn't go against every fiber of my being, I would do just that. Honestly, Melissa is not the problem. Her wayward younger sister is. She leaves crap stuff everywhere. All the time. Every day. I am so tired of talking. I am so tired of asking her to pick up her bookbag, purse, jacket, lunchbox, shoes, notebooks, cups, clothes, towels and everything else she leaves lying around that I could pour lemon juice into my own eyes. If I tell her to clean her room, she will half heartedly clear a path in the floor. She thinks that is cleaning. Really, she does.

In happier news, Saturday my sister and I headed to the mall to do our part to stimulate the economy. You know, us being patriotic Americans and all. Bath and Body Works had hand soap on sale FIVE FOR TEN DOLLARS. While I didn't have much money to spend, I could NOT resist that deal. We went into another store so I could replace the shirt that I dropped in bleach. I couldn't find the exact shirt that I had ruined. I found another one and we were off to Dillard's so my sister could give her first born in exchange for some Clinique makeup.

After that we decided to treat ourselves to a nice pre-Mother's Day lunch. She had Taylor, who is eight weeks old now. We could do it. After all, it would be MUCH easier to take the baby since there were two grown women to take care of him. There was about a fifteen minute wait. We decided to take the baby in the ladies' room and change his diaper. We get in there and there are two little girls in the stall with the baby changer. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. My sister finally decides that we will just change his diaper in the stroller. She had no more than taken his diaper off, when I saw the most perfectly arched stream of pee that I have ever seen. We start cleaning up the mess and get his clothes off when the little round disk is beeping that our table is ready. I go flying out of there as fast as I can. If you don't claim your table quickly they will give it to someone else. And we were starving, having only consumed a small muffin for breakfast. As I was flying through the restaurant, I narrowly missed plowing down one of the waiters. He looked at me like I was completely insane, then went about his business. Meanwhile, my sister is cleaning up the baby and changing his clothes.

It doesn't get worse from here, thank goodness. We enjoyed a very lovely lunch and took turns passing the baby back and forth. But one should never become to cocky in dealing with babies.

In all my infinite wisdom, I had started dinner in the crock pot so I would not have to go home from a hard day of shopping and cook dinner. Melissa was working and Keri was with one of her friends, so I enjoyed a quiet evening at home, all alone and enjoyed a savory yet nutritious beef stew for dinner.

I later found out that the shirt I bought for Keri was one she already had. So I must go back to the mall for the THIRD time to try to get her a new shirt. If not, her outfits would be out of balance, and that would simply be tragic, and drive me up a wall. By the way, am I the only parent who buys outfits together? I would never buy Keri a new pair of shorts without a shirt to go with it. Is that obsessive? Or compulsive? Or obsessive/compulsive? mmmmm....if you take into account my five bottles of handsoap I have stashed in the closet, my innate desire for my house to be spotless, and my outfit matching, I don't think it's looking to bright for me.


HW said...

I finally reached the point where I stopped cleaning up after my daughter. She has to keep her stuff out of the rest of the house but her room is a pig sty. She strips her bed and I wash the sheets then she puts them back on. That' it. I swear when I enter her room I can feel myself having a stroke. But I just keep her door closed and have quit dealing with it. For her bathroom, she has to empty the garbage and make sure her sink is free of clutter before I will go in and clean it. No clean bathroom - no company. It's her choice. But when she's at church camp in June, my husband is taking time off work and we are doing a joint clean up. Boy will she be sorry.

I used to buy outfits together until I realized they were never worn together, which drives me absolutely crazy. My daughter won't even wear a matching top with her pajama pants because "uh...that's like not the way we wear them, MOM!" Her clothes usually look ok, regardless of how she pairs them.
My son? Oh my. It is a painful thing to see him leave for school in his burgundy shorts and orange shirt. But I think he's improving a little. He usually just requests black or gray shorts now so that he can put anything with them.
I'm glad you had such a happy day at the mall.
And beef stew? Sounds delicious.

Susiewearsthepants said...

I imagine that she won't have as much stuff as she did when she left. I bet some of it disappears. I "clean" and then when Keri asks me if I know where something I threw out is, I look at her blankly.

Karen Deborah said...

When your done come over nad give me hand. I bought 10 bottles of the soap, at same sale. If my house is not clean I am flipping out. I cannot RELAX in a pigsty. CANNOT. Why can't everybody wipe off the ounter where they made crumbs so they don't end up on the floor? Why is Piglet the tiniest person in the house the biggest mess maker? Why does she always say she is too busy to clean up, make her bed or put away her piles? Because she is spoiled rotten that's why. If it's not the kids it's the dogs, if it's not the dogs, it's the cats, you know a nice goey hairball on the nasty rug. My solution when my nerves get into this state is to clean house and then eat chocolate. The messy kids do not get to eat my secret stash, they do not deserve to have the chocolate covered banana chips. They are MINE,,,,, wicked Grenfield laugh.
Yep, you are not the only one.

Karen Deborah said...

ps your stinkin brilliant to buy OUTFITS! It took me years of buying the one piece on the clearence rack that goes with nothing, and never does get worn, to realize the only really good shopping is to put together an outfit! KUDOS!!!

Susiewearsthepants said...

LOL-too funny. Don't you love the excuses as to why they can't help you clean? It drives me nuts!

JMC said...

Five for ten dollars? I wonder if they're having that sale at the B&BW where I live. Those foaming hand soaps are one of the few luxuries I have around here. All of my kids are slobs. And there are twice as many of them. I feel like I'm always wading through crap. Because I am.

Susiewearsthepants said...

jmc-I think you must be one of my people too!

Farrell said...

I always - err, my mom always - buys sophie's clothes in outfits, and I love it because i put everything together in the drawer then she just has to pick out one outfit; neither of us has to think about what goes with what.
except she's totally picky and will mix and match anyway and one week only wants to wear sundresses and the next week only pants despite it being 85 outside.
And she's only THREE.