Photo: I think I have a date with our first heirloom tomato tomorrow. I think. It’s so close to ready!
I woke up yesterday and knew I wasn’t going to Wegmans. Truth be told, I wasn’t trying to do anything “Mom” or “Wife” yesterday. I had a bad attitude, decided I didn’t give a damn that the milk was low, and decided we were just gonna stick it out and shit. No reason to do all that driving and nonsense. Shiiiitttt….
Then I stepped into the upstairs bathroom and came to an understanding: I was gonna have to do Mom and Wife stuff. I was gonna have to scrub that damn bathroom and if I was gonna scrub one bathroom, I might as well scrub the other. And if I was gonna do those two annoying things, I might as well clean the coffee maker because it needed it.
And that put me in a mood, Dear Reader.
Having been with me for long enough, The Husband understood that the number one thing he couldn’t do was sit down and stare at his phone. He made himself busy doing some nonsense with the vacuum cleaner. Something about cleaning the windowsills. Totally useless. But whatever, he was doing stuff.
Oh, but the boys.
“Gentlemen,” I called down the stairs from the upstairs bathroom. “I strongly suggest that you get with that playroom. It’s outrageous and it needs to be cleaned.”
Ursa Major has not been around long enough to understand that I was in a mood. He decided to answer me without reflection or tact: “Oh, well, no thank you. I’m very busy right now. I’m building things. I don’t need to clean the playroom.”
I let out a little chortle. Maybe it was a scoff. It was one of those “oh no he didn’t” sort of sounds. I might even have said, “oh for real?” as I laughed. It was just… that child is six, right? I think it was the casual nature of his dismissal that made me have to stop and laugh at it instead of going into insta-rage. Sometimes the children simply take you by surprise.
When I recovered, I brought the fierceness. The good, deep Mama Warning Voice with just a touch of Southern twang for good measure: “Little sir, you will have plenty of time to play after you are done cleaning. That playroom is ridiculous and I done told you both to stop dumpin’ all your toys out when you play and not put anything away! I suggest you come up with a plan to get it done. Because you don’t want me to have to come down there and micromanage you.”
This is my six year old. This is exactly what he said to me. He said it with childlike glee, a pure innocence that only a six-year-old can have under the circumstance. He, too, was chuckling as he issued the challenge: “Oh, you are going to have to come down here and micromanage me. I’m very busy.”
Ooooooooooooooooo Lordy… Oh, Lord in Heaven he didn’t really just say that, did he?
I did one of those classic things straight out of a Key & Peele episode: I kinda clapped my hands together, walked away, let out one of those whooooooo sounds. I took off my gloves and stomped down the stairs.
And the first person I saw was poor Ursa Minor, who had started to pick up some toys. Bless his little heart. He feebly picked up two or three random things and put them in a random box. Oh sweetie child… Sometimes big brothers ruin it for everyone.
I towered over my beloved first-born, glowering down at him. “Ask and you shall receive, sir! Here I am to micromanage! The first thing you are going to do is pick up every single Matchbox car in this room and put it in the bin. You’ve got 6 minutes.”
And from there, it was pretty easy. The Matchbox cars were leverage for every other element that needed to be picked up. “Let’s play a little game, shall we? I’m going to tell you what to clean. Every time you whine about it or start to play or fail to get the thing clean before Alexa’s alarm goes off, I’m going to get rid of a car of my choice.”
It took about 40 minutes of me barking orders in timely intervals, but that room was spotless.
“What did you learn?”
“Not to tell you to micromanage me?”
“Yeah you did.”
I hope Ursa Minor learned a little lesson, too: don’t let Ursa Major’s mouth get them both in trouble like that again.
It has been a long summer, ya’ll.
One of the drawbacks of having quick-witted children is that every single teeny tiny detail of any given day is up for negotiation. They don’t even really mean to do it. They just do. Every word from me is treated as a request that can be ignored or changed. Every word from them is expected to be treated like a command. Each of these commands have multiple facets and contingencies because, of course, “no” is an unacceptable answer. The result is a long series of negotiations over every single minutiae of the day from the moment the boys wake up until the very moment they go to bed.
Every single time either one of the boys starts a sentence with “why can’t you/we just…” I want to jump out of the nearest window.
But I don’t. That would be dramatic. But I want to. Or pull out my hair, at least. I want to do something other than negotiate with my children!
…. breathe…. breathing…
School is just around the corner. I’m so looking forward to the first day of two little boys going off to drive some other woman crazy for a few hours of the day. Let their little brains concentrate on negotiating other problems!
Anyway, the playroom got clean, the bathrooms got scrubbed, I mom’d like it was just another day (because it was) and here we are on a Monday. The start of yet another week. I have so much due. So much to get done… including a complete outline and character/setting dossier to my story coach by September 4th. Are there enough hours between now and then to get all the things I need to done? Hahahaha, silly reader! You know the answer is a resounding no!
I’ll make it. You will, too. Let’s have a productive week together, Dear Reader.
Until Wednesday, take care.