It’s a balancing act.
Today I’m home on the first Monday of my new life. I get my exercise in and do my Internet rotation of checking email, comments, messages, yada yada yada. I’m going to vacuum the house and actually remove the mattresses spread across the living room from the 7th grade sleepover held on Saturday night.
Then Jennifer calls and tells me youngest is in the nurses office at school. For the last four years a sick kid has required Jennifer to bail out of work and go get them. I couldn’t go because someone has to be having a genuine 911 emergency to leave my shift. I gotta be honest, when Jennifer called me and told me youngest was sick, I totally missed the cue and was in nurse mode like I was dealing with one of my staff reporting one of my clients was ill. Crap I mean ex-clients. Dammit ex-staff.
Anyway, half of my brain is running the circuit where I
tell the kid off patiently teach about faking illness to get ginger ale from the sick food cabinet and/or a day off school. The other half of my brain is wondering why Jennifer is even calling me about this without knowing what youngest’s temperature is. I need vital signs.
Oh… oh… duh. Sure I’ll go get youngest. No problem.
I go back to email for about twenty seconds and…. holy crap I can’t sit here, or I’ll zone out and be here for another two hours.
To the Atholmobile!
/Spinning TV Transition Effect
I go collect Princess Nausea and bring her home. She immediately plops on the mattress in the living room, pulls a blanket over her and falls asleep. She didn’t give me a chance to get vital signs. She didn’t even ask for ginger ale. I have a speech I want to give.
Anyway, youngest is a pain and suffering trooper so I’m good with all this. But sleeping in the middle of the living room floor is messing with my vacuuming plan. So I Plan B it and start cleaning the kitchen.
Well I mean I’ll start cleaning the kitchen after I get all this email cleared away… and maybe one more level.
/Spinning TV Transition Effect
Crap is that the time? Cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the kitchen…
I actually mildly enjoy cleaning in the “bringing order to chaos” sense. I’m not a fan of scrubbing, but I do like having completed cleaning something. About halfway through the process Jennifer comes home. About two minutes of being home, Jennifer is getting in my way by attempting to finish the process of cleaning the kitchen. She probably has a mixture of “dirty kitchen guilt” and a mild fear that I’m perhaps angry about something… probably the dirty kitchen, plus she asked me to pick up youngest from school. Like I’m about to go all Hulk and break shit.
I’m standing there holding a dish towel unloading the dishwasher etc and now she’s physically standing between me and the sink/dishwasher. She blocking me and starting to wash dishes in the sink…
In days gone by I would have simply gotten pissed off about this and… well… literally thrown in the towel. “Fuck you bitch if my cleaning the kitchen isn’t up to your standards” I would have said loudly and firmly in my internal monologue. “Do it your own damn self.” would have been a great follow up too. I would have just grumped away in reality though.
All I did was shoo her out of the kitchen. “I’m just cleaning, let me finish. I told you I was going to do one chore a day and youngest is sleeping in the living room so I can’t vacuum.” Jennifer looks disoriented. I tell her again, “I’m not mad or anything. It’s over. We made it.” She still looks semi-lost but she prompts me to use the old baking soda I’m about to toss out to clean the sink. I do. Holy crap the sink shines shines like Excalibur. I did not know that would happen.
Eldest comes in and looks around at the shiny kitchen. She looks concerned. “Are people coming over?”
Damn you people.
“I’m just cleaning the kitchen!”
I twirl the dishtowel and SNAP! it against the cutlery drawer like a whip.
Peace at last.
Jennifer: It’s going to take some getting used to lol. Fear the whippy dish towel LMAO.
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