Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson vs. Peggy and Pam

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Emerson.

There are many drawbacks to working from home. Here’s but one example: Ella has, for whatever reason, removed all of the erasers from my Papermate pencils. Curses!

On the domestic front: lately, my house looks just like the shack featured at the end of The Blair Witch Project. Dingy with children’s hand prints all over the walls. There are no dead or possessed people standing in any corners, however.


We’re having serious problems over here. Like biblical plague-type problems.

We had a moth infestation in our pantry. I had to open the pantry doors and then duck for cover, lest I should inadvertently consume a moth. They got into the flour, cereal, pancake mix, oatmeal, rice, etc. I had scrub the shelves, throw out a lot of food, and vacuum up larvae (yes larvae) attached to the ceiling.

Our front yard is also crawling with moths. (A completely different type of moth, by the way, which you have to admit is a little freaky.) They burrow into the dirt and subsist on our already plagued-with-weeds grass. If you look, it appears that our front yard is mobile. So, we have to call the lawn people in to spray more poison all over the yard. I don’t get why no one else in the neighborhood seems to be suffering. I hired a lawn service this year just like everyone else.

Something is eating the leaves on my large maple tree in the front yard. This appears to be a different type of insect. I love that tree. If something happens to that tree, so help me God, I will throw a fit.

But you know what’s really disgusting? Going to get some meat out of your freezer to find that said freezer apparently died a couple of days ago and all of your food is rotting. The smell of death is overwhelming. You might throw up a little in your mouth. Which will happen again after you go get the rubber gloves and begin pulling decaying chicken carcasses from bacteria-ridden water at the bottom of the freezer. Goodbye ice-cream sandwiches, fish sticks, freeze pops, hamburgers, and hot dog buns.

I’m contacting a priest to exercise the demons.

That doesn’t look right.

Exorcise the demons. Though exercise works. Run them around and really wear them out, then give them a mop and bucket and put them to work in the kitchen.

I shouldn’t joke about the demons.

The messy dirty house is of course mostly my fault. Well, my kids’ fault, but I haven’t been on top of things. I need to get proactive. I’ve contacted a maid service, but I feel compelled to clean before they come. I don’t want them to think I’m a slob. God forbid.

So I ordered another self-help book. This is why self-help books continue to fly off bookshelves, or rather, electronic databases, faster than copies of The Bible: suckers like me who truly believe one truly excellent self-help book will solve all their problems. This particular one is called Sidetracked Home Executives. I was drawn to the term “Home Executive.”

The authors, sisters Pam Young and Peggy Jones, are funny. They list a “table of excuses” messy people use to avoid cleaning, which include:

I don’t have enough energy.
It’s too hot.
It’s too cold.
I’m not in the mood.
I’ve got too many kids.
I’ve got cramps.
My house is too big.
My house is too small.
We just moved in (three years ago).
I don’t have enough time.
Nobody cooperates with me.
I’d rather play solitaire (updated for 2011- Angry Birds).
I don’t want to do it.
I’m too intelligent for such remedial work.
I hate housework.
Nobody appreciates it anyway.
Creative people are messy.
I’m pregnant (I’m not).
I’ll start tomorrow.
I was up all night with the baby.
It’s the flu season.

My additions:

I’ve got moths.
I’ve got rotting chickens.
I have no more edible food.
We’re recovering from hurricane Irene.
I have an excessively hairy and destructive dog.
I’m currently very busy creating a playlist of New Wave love songs.
My husband works too much.
I think my house is haunted, and I don’t want to be in it.
I’m exhausted; I’ve been exercising the demons.

People keep telling me I need a routine. That sounds horrible. I don’t want to know what I’m doing every Monday, especially if it’s: “cleaning the upstairs bathroom, washing all the whites, making lasagna for dinner, and changing the sheets.” How very the opposite of droll.

Nothing scares me more than thinking that all the weeks of my life will ride the never-ending waves of laundry, dirty dishes, grocery shopping, and scrubbing stains off the toilet seat.

Yet, Peggy and Pam insist that if I get a routine going, cleaning will take up a small portion of time, and I’ll have the rest of the day to read romance novels, watch Dr. Phil, and take naps.

They said that. I’m not even joking.

I don’t like Dr. Phil.

But there’s no other month like September to get it together. I think I’d be happy if it was September all year long. And the other day, a friend called to ask if I could keep an eye on her son for a few hours, and I almost said no because I didn’t want the seven-year old kid to see my house. This is a problem.

Honestly, I’m tired. I go through dramatic mood changes. One day, the sun is shining and I truly believe: I can do this! Today, I will prepare three meals, dress my children in appropriate attire, put them on the bus, workout, take a shower, play hide-and-seek with the twins, write for three hours, do three loads of laundry, make doctor and dentist appointments, update my calendar, clean at least one bathroom, correct Caleb’s homework, scrub the crayon markings off the wall, sweep the kitchen floor, fix my hair before greeting the husband, and floss.

Other days: This is pointless. I am useless. Who ate the last oatmeal cream pie I will kill you. I hate flossing the dental hygienist can kiss my @#$.

The doctor calls it bi-polar disorder.

I call it motherhood. Some days are decidedly better than others. Would a routine help? Or is it just another goal I will fail to meet?

Also- someone has broken into my house and taken ½ of every pair of socks. I am sure of this, but the policemen think I’m crazy.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely...” Emerson.

(The serenely part is really funny.)


Anonymous said...

This is exactly my day! I want to know when we actually do spend hours scouring the house why it doesn't stay that way? I mean, is it really that difficult for my 7 year old, 5 year old and 35 year old to pick up their clothing left across the dining room table? And does my outlandishly hairy dog really need to shed and entire dog's worth of hair every day for me to sweep up? And can't they use the same dirty dish with yesterday's crusty dinner still stuck to it for tonight's dinner? These seem like perfectly reasonable requests to me, but no one else in this household seems to think so. I guess I can't complain. At least we don't have moths. :)

Liz said...

Oh this was good. The moth thing is totally gross and you have my sympathies. I loved the exercising bit b/c I looked at that word a sec and was thinking, "I think that's the wrong word" and then I felt like a fool and had to smile at myself as I kept reading. And I completely understand all of this. Washing the kitchen walls has been on my to do list far too long. *sigh*. One day we will have all the time in the world to clean... why start now?!

Beth said...

Oh, this post made me very happy. You described exactly how I feel, without making me sound like a psycho. Or at least... I'm not alone, in sounding like a psycho. :) Thanks!

Holly said...

I don't think we're psychos. But I can't be sure. Thanks for visiting...