Today was rough around the edges. After being jilted for a playdate and the corresponding company and distraction it would afford me and my (almost-throttled-by-9 AM) kids, I decided to head out of the house in hopes I could change the horrible inertia of the morning. My destination: the Farm for a little veggie harvest (kale and red lettuce) and some pool play. The pool there is in a greenhouse and is about fifteen feet in diameter, 3 1/2 feet deep, and wonderfully tropical. Plus it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the Berpuba Triangle, if you show your boobs getting into your swimsuit, or if you even have a swimsuit at all, because it’s a pretty au naturel scene out there as I have explained before (my shit was tight on all accounts, though). Anyway, I had two non-swimming kids to wrangle which was a pain in the ass, but for the most part it all went great – except for the nasty and extra “earthy” evidence of a hair clot that floated by midway through our swim (hair wads gross me out more than almost anything else). Anyway, when I finally was tired of carting my little ones back and forth like little monkeys, it got tricky: getting the kids out of the pool, dressed, and please God Nels stop throwing stuff in the water almost undid me. I lost it in small but ferocious episodes. I grabbed hair; I shook the little bastards. I hissed in their sweet little conch-shell ears. I left with my fangs bared in feral anger at my progeny. I buckled them in their seats then headed to the kitchen and grabbed some popcorn for them to make amends.
Well, we got home eventually and, for one of the first time in months and months, I could not wait until I got the li’l devils into their beds and pried them off me. A girlfriend showed up and, besides bumming cigarettes and kettle corn off her, I was mostly a wretch. I just couldn’t handle “it” today. The children themselves were, after the post-swimming incident, not particularly difficult; it was I that couldn’t rise to the occasion. I felt guilty, soul-sick, and listless. Add to my difficulties in feeding, parenting, and remaining civil to them: I could see all the dirt and grime on my floors and surfaces, detritus that irritated me more and more as the afternoon went on and I felt my bare feet getting gritty and my energy waning and my life deflating with a flat and agonizingly long “Pffftttttttthph!”
Contrary to any ideas about hiring housework, asking the Husband to do some extra chores, or just “relaxing one’s standards” (this from my mother), the only real solution to hating one’s dirty home is to clean it oneself. Sweeping. Mopping. Folding. Wiping. Washing. Tidying. This last is almost the worst. Why should I have to carry a cast-off musical shaker or such through eight rooms to it’s rightful place, the only break in the endless tedium of this duty being the possibility you will come upon something you haven’t seen in so long as to forget it exists? Oh wow, there’s the little bookshelf tab that I thought had been missing, and such. Did I mention I carry stuff back and forth in my own home one million times daily?
I have often told myself my children do now and would grow to appreciate my housekeeping, as relatively rigorous, but by no means anal-retentive, as it is. I tell myself they feel peace falling asleep in and waking up to tidy, clean, dust-free rooms and fresh sheets. If someone were to tell me it completely doesn’t matter how orderly I maintain my home or how lovingly I craft family dinners, I would probably fold in on myself like a black hole. The importance and moral soundness of my efforts are the only things that keep me trudging along, daily.
Well, that and “Strangers With Candy”, my new favorite TV show. Speaking of which… !!
Maybe Ralph can do the dishes tonight as I sit on my ass and enjoy my most recent viewing of depravity.