Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Seven Day Switch

I've been thinking about writing a script for a movie.

Sort of like a Freaky Friday meets Mr. Mom flick.  It would be loosely autobiographical, of course, but there would also be a SciFi element to it.  There would need to be a way for my husband and I to switch places for one day, or perhaps a week, so we could REALLY see who's day is harder.

Right now we're both convinced that the other is completely insane for even SUGGESTING his or her day might have been just a smidge more challenging, a tad more tiring, than the other's.  I think a Freaky Friday experience might set the record straight.

My husband truly wishes that he could stay home with the kids while I went out into the world and brought home the bacon.  I've asked my friends if their husbands have this same, sick wish, to which most of them shake their heads vigorously, saying something like, "there's no way my husband would last five minutes home with the kids."  And while I think Jeff may last a few rounds, I also believe he would wind up face down on the mat, down for the count, by the end of the day.

I say this because whenever we're all together on weekends, I catch glimpses of what a disaster it would be for Jeff to stay home.  Oh sure, the day starts off fine....we all congregate in our bed, a big people pile, laughing and giggling between the sheets, playing peek-a-boo and wrestling and tickling for upwards of 30 minutes.  It's like a freaking fabric softener commercial.  But once the whining begins (and it always begins sometime), Jeff turns into Daddy Bad Cop.

Daddy Bad Cop has no patience for whining.  Or crying.  Or lolligagging.  Or peeing on the floor.  Daddy Bad Cop's threshold of tolerance for misbehavior is laughably low.  Like, to the point of non-existent.  Daddy Bad Cop doesn't have a coddling bone in his body.  And Daddy Bad Cop will appear at a moment's minute Jeff will be trotting around the house with Rollie perched proudly atop his shoulders, but as soon as it's time to switch into a more productive mode, and Rollie begins to protest--BOOM!  Daddy Bad Cop suddenly swoops in and squashes any whimpers of dissent with a swiftness that I have to admit I'm a little jealous of.   With a tone of voice and glowering stare, Daddy Bad Cop will whisk any perpetrators into Time Out so fast all I see is a blur of blond hair and flailing legs.

I only see one chink in the armor:  Daddy Bad Cop's persona requires an incredible amount of energy to sustain itself.  Like a star going supernova, if Daddy Bad Cop stayed home with the kids, he would burn out and collapse in on himself long before Rollie tried to change his own poopy diaper, long before Elsa ate a dried ladybug carcass she found in the foyer, long before the dog dug a hole large enough to bury Jimmy Hoffa in the backyard.  Jeff has yet to learn the art of marathon parenting.  He can handle the kids in spurts, but I have my doubts that he'd make it from 6 am to 6 pm.  I have the feeling that by 9:50, right around the time when I try to leave the house but Elsa decides to take a Monster Truck Dump and Rollie decides it's much more fun to run down lizards in his tricycle than get into the car, Daddy Bad Cop would assume a fetal position and choke to death on his own tears of despair and defeat.

To be fair, I'm sure his day is harder overall.  I've no doubt it's heartbreaking to have to leave every day at the ass-crack of dawn to go make beer.  And talk about it.  And drink it.  And take it home to drink later.  What a bitch that must be.

But, until the day comes when he gets home from work with spit-up on his shirt, bite marks on his nipples, the theme song from Olivia in his head and utter exhaustion soaking deep in his bones from manhandling fifty pounds of children all day long, the only way we'll know for sure who deserves to sleep in on Saturday is to switch places for a week.

So be on the lookout for The Seven Day Switch, coming soon to a theatre near you....

disclaimer: the author would like to add that she loves her husband dearly and appreciates everything he does for her and her family.  especially when he brings home free beer.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'll Never Leave Your Pizza Burnin'

All I wanted today was some leftover pizza.

Was that too much to ask? A nice, lukewarm, slightly soggy slice of pizza and a somewhat cold can of diet coke. And some time in front of the computer.

Things were on their way to working out nicely. All I had to do was get the kids to take naps--something I was certain would happen based on their eye-rubbing, bi-polar demeanors, and the fact that they'd both been up since 5:45.  So certain was I that they were minutes away from crashing that I even optimistically pulled my pizza from the fridge, placed it on some foil and stuck it in the toaster oven.  I would soon be dining and writing in peace and quiet.

Except that Elsa was having a total freak-out in her crib after I put her down. I think she banged her face on the railing, but I can't be sure. Lately, whenever I put her in the crib when she doesn't want to be there (like, all the time), she kneels in front of the bars, grabs onto them like a wrongfully imprisoned captive, and wails. Only I think she may have gotten too big for her britches and actually tried to pull up, thus hitting her chubby, tear-streaked face on the wooden bars.

This happened while I was trying to get Rollie some lunch. I've been employing this new discipline technique with Rollie (which I'm sure you'll be hearing about soon), and part of the idea is to give him choices throughout the day so he feels like he's got some sort of control over his life (unlike mommy, who feels like she has absolutely no control over anything whatsoever, except for possibly her bladder). So the choice he was grappling with at the moment was if he wanted to take a nap now, or eat his lunch first and then take a nap.  He chose to eat first.  But that was part of the deal.  To actually EAT.

Apparently he didn't get that part. Because as I returned from settling Elsa back down (ie, loosened her Kung Fu grip on her crib bars, popped her pacifier back into her mouth, replaced her horizontally in her crib and rubbed her back until she stopped hyperventilating and passed out), Rollie wasn't upholding his end of the deal.  Oh no.  I entered the kitchen just in time to see his peanut butter and jelly sandwich sail through the air and land at our dog's feet.  And before I could snatch it up and cram the sandwich into his sweet little mouth (thus abiding by the Five-Second Rule), our dog gobbled it up.

Without a word, I snapped Rollie from his booster chair and hauled him into his room for some Time Out (also abiding by the new discipline technique--calmly placing the offender in Time Out until he's ready to behave like a human being--meaning that Rollie will be in Time Out until he's twenty-five).

Unfortunately, this new technique does not coincide well with Potty Training.

I realized my mistake as soon as I closed his door.  I barged back into Rollie's room to see him lying on his tummy, a dark spot spreading across the carpet beneath him.

He looked up, eyes wide, and said, "I went pee-pee, Mommy."

I closed my eyes, breathed in deeply, began counting to ten...and smelled burning pizza.  Sigh.

Eventually they both took naps.  And I had a bowl of cereal for lunch.  But at least I got in some peace and quiet time.  Somehow, that always eclipses everything, doesn't it?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Last Sunday I was childless for three glorious hours.

My husband and I had tickets to the Jaguars game, and for a few, ridiculously brain-dead minutes we actually contemplated dragging our kids along with us. This would have been a terrible idea for many reasons, including the fact that they would have come home deaf, sunburned and smelling of beer. But for some reason the cost of a ticket for a forty-two-year-old man who follows the Jaguars like a hippie following The Grateful Dead is the same as one for a nine-month-old who doesn't know the difference between a football and a bologna sandwich.

So the kids stayed with my mother-in-law. And Jeff and I were free. At last.

And for someone who equates a solo trip to the grocery store to a weekend in the Bahamas, I was THRILLED to go to a football game with just my husband. Sure it was a hundred degrees out. Sure we'd be sitting next to Jeff's boss and surrounded by shirtless drunk guys screamingDe-Fense! De-Fense! Sure I don't even really like the Jaguars (I mean really, is there anything other team in the NFL with less of an identity? Our colors are Teal and Black for God's me those colors embody making a friendship bracelet while watching Saved By The Bell on Saturday morning). But man, I was PSYCHED to be out of the house, away from my children and nestled in a hard, plastic, teal-colored seat for Three Whole Hours. Drinking Beer. Awesome.

The first thing I noticed being without children was the ease with which we got out of the car and walked across the parking lot. No diaper bags to haul around. No strollers to lug from the trunk. No car seats to mess with or Baby Bjorns to put on or sunscreen to slather onto squirming bodies. We just hopped out of the car and walked, unencumbered, to the stadium. It felt so weird.

And we were able to stand in line to buy food without trying to decide if it would be a giant waste of money to buy Rollie his own hotdog, because he would either a.) not even take one bite, or b.) take one bit and drop the rest. The only thing that reminded me that we even hadkids was that I couldn't stop doing the Mom Rock as we waited. If you have kids, you know what I mean. Even when I'm not holding a baby, I still do the Mom Rock. It's so freaking annoying. And I know it will never stop because my mother STILL does the Mom Rock, and she hasn't had a baby in 25 years.

Also, I found myself almost asking my husband if he had to go potty before we went to sit in our seats. It's a hard habit to break.

Anyway, we sat and drank beer and watched the game, but mostly we basked in each other's company for two hours and forty minutes (I mean, as much as a couple can bask in each other's company over the screams of rabid, drunk football fans, angry that the Jags were playing like crap...also, I think the heavy-set man with the oversized headphones beside me was trying to sort of hit on me...he kept offering me his drink holder, but because it meant I would have come pretty close to his big hairy leg to set down my beer, I held it the entire game....). Still, it was so nice to be alone with my husband and sixty thousand other people. It almost made me wish we had season tickets. Almost.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


This morning, as I got on my hands and knees to clean up the second warm puddle of urine my darling son decided to leave for me on the carpet, I was inspired to write a song.

I felt a bit like Francis Scott Key, imprisoned and watching a battle wage out his window (or in my case, my family room), and then deciding to pen the words to what would become our national anthem (at least according my sixth grade music teacher Mr. Smith--someone please let me know if this is one of those things we learn as children but turns out to be waaaaay wrong--although I don't know if I want to know that's not how our national anthem was written. Finding out I had it wrong this whole time would be like when I discovered Pluto was no longer considered a planet: Excuse me? Pluto's not a planet? Well, that throws off my whole mnemonic device....Dammit).

Anyway, without further ado, here is my song. If you know the tune to 'Blowing in the Wind', please feel free to hum along....

How many times will he pee on the floor
before he is potty traaaaiined?

How many times will she bite my shoulder
till she knows that she's causing me paaaiiiin?

How many days will he go with no nap
until I'm declared insaaaaane?

He's two-and-a-half, and drives me up a wall
and she's finally learning to crawl.

How many times will he sit on her back
till I rip all my hair out and screeeaaam?

How many times will she poop in the tub
till we call in a hazmat teeeeaam?

And how many nights will I skip my rem sleep
till I forget how to dreeeeaaam?

He's two-and-a-half, and drives me up a wall
and she's finally learning to crawl

How many times will I go to Target
before every cashier knows my naaaame?

How many trips will we take to the mall
to ride on that goofy-ass traaaaiiin?

And how many times will we watch Wonder Pets
till it's forever tattooed in my braaaaaiiin?

He's two-and-a-half, and drives me up a wall
and she's finally learning to crawl.

Yes, he's two-and-a-half, and drives me up a wall
and she's finally learning to craaaaaawwwwl.

Thank you...I'll be here all night....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Inefficiency Expert

I think I need to teach a seminar. I think I need to bring my knowledge about how to be totally inefficient to the masses. It's too special a gift to hide under a bushel. I'm gonna to let it shiiiine.

Sometimes I wonder what I would look like if someone mounted a few time-lapsed photography cameras on the walls of my house, and then broadcast the footage on TV or YouTube. I imagine it would just be hours and hours of high-speed footage of me moving around the house, picking things up, throwing things away, rinsing things out, scrubbing things, dropping things, occasionally pulling my hair into a bun that keeps coming loose, and then sitting down to check my email and blog while the house comes undone behind my back. There would need to be some fun music in the background, like the saxophone diddy from The Benny Hill Show, or an up-tempo Beetles song.

Surely there has to be a better, more efficient way to get things done around here. It's not like I'm trying to be inefficient. I don't like going into the pantry every five seconds to either retrieve a snack for one of my kids or throw something in the garbage/recycling bin. I wish I didn't have to run back inside the house for fifteen items I've forgotten as my children sit, strapped in their car seats, hitting each other and whining.

I've often thought about trying to get more organized, but I don't really know where to start. I kinda like the idea of storage cubicles, but I know I could never get my house to look like a Pottery Barn catalogue (I mean, besides the fact that my house doesn't have nearly enough books, candles or throw blankets lying around). Have you ever really looked through one of catalogues before? They're hysterical. Especially Pottery Barn Kids. I mean, who the hell has a house where the kids rooms are that organized? Even the kid models in these catalogues are sporting clean, unwrinked, stylish clothes. They're even wearing shoes. Everyone knows that a house that clean and orderly is a No Shoes Inside house. But I digress.....

I say the easiest way to organize things is to have everything where you can see it. Keep mail spread across the counter, toys strewn across the floor. Don't ever make the bed--you'll just mess it up again. Keep clothes in the laundry room--that's where they end up after you wear them anyway. Don't bother putting away the dishes--just retrieve them from the dishwasher when you need them and pile them in the sink when you're done. And place your garbage can in the middle of the kitchen where's it's easily accessible. Think of all the time you'd save if you didn't have to keep rushing around to put things away and take things out again. The five minutes here and there would really add up. You'd have enough time to blog, check email, eat, watch a little TV, maybe even have a little sex. Remember, you could just tumble into bed--you wouldn't even have to pause to pull down the comforter! Talk about efficient!

So yeah, that's my advice, the basis of my seminar: Get rid of the Pottery Barn Organizing Cubicles. Get rid of your dressers and your mail holders and your silverware drawers. Keep everything in sight and within reach. And then go get laid.

That'll be three hundred dollars, please.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Moms' Motivational Posters

Ever see those Motivational Posters that seem to be part of every generic office-job's decor (along with artificial ficus trees and putty-colored cubical desks)? You know, they have pictures of snow-capped mountains or hot-air balloons with captions like 'Endurance' and 'Inspiration' with corny definitions? Well, I've come up with a few of my own....

Baby Gap: Because My Infant Daughter Needs A Thirty-Dollar Pair Of Low-Rise, Boot-Cut Jeans
Potty Training: The Reason Tile Floors Were Invented
Dog Food: Apparently Sometimes It's Better Than What Mommy Put On Your Plate
Ni-Hao Kai-Lan: Five Episodes In A Row Is Never Enough
Boogers: Hey, At Least They're Eating Something
Baby Sisters: Nature's Speedbumps
Matchbox Cars: The Eleventh Plague
Coffee: Salvation For The Bratty Child At 6 A.M.
Goldfish Crackers: Still Good After 8 Months Between Two Couch Cushions
Pacifiers: A Silicon Plug In The Dam Of Mommy's Sanity
Teething: Finally, Nursing Is Exciting!
Toenail Polish: Someday It Will Look Nice. But Not Today. Or Tomorrow.
Carpeting: Rollie's Wall-To-Wall Napkin
Wading Pools: The Greatest Invention Of All Time
Backwash: Even If It Is Your Own Son, It's Still Gross
Grapes: So They Do Turn Into Raisins After Baking For Two Weeks Inside A Carseat Buckle
Bubblegum: Eventually It Comes Out The Other End

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jekyll and Hyde Ain't Got Nuthin on Rollie

So apparently Rollie has acquired a split-personality.

Yesterday, sometime around 3 o'clock, my darling son transformed himself from the happy, agreeable, only slightly rambunctious and this close to potty-trained little boy he'd been all day into a spitting, toy-throwing, floor-peeing, sister-squishing monster.

It was quite miraculous, really. One minute he was diligently building his train set and occasionally glancing up at the TV to catch glimpses of his new favorite character (Wubzy) while I checked email and puttered around in the kitchen, the next thing I knew, he was jumping up and down on the couch, and when I told him to get down, he did a flying leap into the middle of his train tracks and started kicking over bridges and overpasses he'd just set up. And when I asked him to stop doing that, he attempted to do a cartwheel over Elsa, who up until then had spent the last five minutes trying to pick up a piece of grass embedded in the carpet. Unfortunately, Rollie is not a gymnast--he ended up doing a barrel roll and fell flat on Elsa's back.

I sent him to his room, where he stayed for a total of twenty seconds before running out clutching every blanket he could find from his room and flinging them over Elsa's head. And then he went for another cartwheel, though this time he really didn't make it, and kicked Elsa in the face (at least I think so--it was sort of hard to tell which end of hers was up beneath all the blankets).

The only reason I didn't immediately bind Rollie to his booster seat with duct tape was that I knew exactly why he was behaving this way: No Nap. On days when Rollie decides he'd rather play with every conceivable toy in his bedroom (and hence scatter them around so that by the time I discover what he's up to I can hardly see the carpet beneath the mess), his personality deteriorates. Rapidly. Perhaps you, too, have noticed the final stage in what I like to think of as the Stages Of Consciousness. The first few stages, Awake&Normal, Borderline Functional, and Whiny I can deal with fairly well. But all the Over-Tired stage makes me want to do is get in my car and drive. Away. Like, super-duper fast.

Let's examine this fascinating final stage more closely, shall we? Since we all have so much time to read anything longer than instructions on the back of a box of macaroni and cheese.

Over-Tired. We can break this stage into two sub-stages. Your child’s disposition will determine which sub-stage he falls into, although some children will vacillate between the two, or in special cases, occupy both at the same time.

Over-Tired Silly. This stage is when appendages flail for no apparent reason, when any instructions you may give will bounce off like pebbles off bullet-proof glass. This is also the stage that will most likely result in a trip to the ER, because while there is normally little regard for his own well-being, when a child is Over-Tired Silly, there is absolutely none. While he might be somewhat cautious when he scales his baby gate, when he is Over-Tired Silly, all bets are off. Distance judgment becomes severely impaired or vanishes completely; a child in the Awake&Normal phase might see a three-foot leap from the coffee table to the couch as risky and dangerous, an OTS child sees it as an absolute hoot, and will perform the jump over and over until he either injures himself and becomes Over-Tired Miserable, or you scream I can’t take it anymore and retreat to your bathtub with an entire box of wine. If this is the case, he will still be performing this maneuver, but will no longer have you to torment with it.

And while the OTS stage is annoying, exhausting, yet somehow kind of amusing all at once, it is by far a better stage to deal with than…

Over-Tired Miserable. This stage is exactly as it sounds. Your child is over-tired and he is making you miserable. He’s miserable, too, of course, but Over-Tired Miserable has a Midas effect. Everything and everyone an Over-Tired Miserable child touches will also become miserable. This is when tears spring forth if the child is so much as breathed on the wrong way. When any suggestion is met with a ‘no’, even if you’re suggesting a visit to Santa Claus himself coupled with a promise that every wish and dream the child has ever had is about to come true. This is the absolute last stop on the express train to Unconsciousness-ville. Not much can be done with an Over-Tired Miserable, except to deposit him in the nearest bed and hope sleep comes soon. And then you can have a drink, because anyone dealing with an Over-Tired Miserable child for any amount of time deserves to be richly rewarded. In my book that means with alcohol. Big surprise.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Public Displays of Correction

Here's one for you.

My entourage and I are at the mall the other day, and I stop at the restroom in one of the department stores (the ones in the foodcourt skeeve me out....I guess because they smell like burgers and the floor is always wet and dotted with sopping globs of TP).

Anyway, I'm sitting on the porcelain throne, doing my thing, and Rollie decides to get down from the sit-and-stand and wander around the handicapped stall (I feel bad taking the big stall, but a.) how often do I really see a wheel-chair-bound person in the restroom anyway? and b.) I feel like I'm handicapped in a sense, because I usually only have one arm free and usable...sort of like an amputee but without the phantom-limb syndrome.).

Rollie peeks in the garbage bin, runs his hands along the stall wall, kicks at the door, all the stuff that boys his age do when they're bored and trapped inside a public restroom with their mothers. And I'm doing a sort of running commentary the entire time:

Rollie, don't touch that please, it's dirty. Rollie, no kicking, okay? Rollie, let's leave that alone please. Rollie, Hon, come over here please. Rollie, those are toilet seat covers, we don't need any more right now. Rollie, don't touch the latch, okay? I don't want the door to open yet. Rollie don't look under there--that's rude.

Remember, I'm slightly incapacitated at the time of these instructions--sitting on the toilet with my pants down. I have to be as polite as possible with these orders...God forbid he decide to go right on peering beneath the wall and into the adjoining stall. The poor lady with the crooked toes and orthopedic sandals would not find my child nearly as adorable as I do.

He's doing a good job of listening to my borderline-pleas to obey. That is until he discovers the toilet paper:

Rollie, put that down, please. Rollie, you don't need any toilet paper. Rollie, please stop unrolling that. Rollie, listen to me. Stop. That. Rollie.

Meanwhile, Rollie has grasped the end of the roll and proceeded to spin slowly around and around, a long sheet of toilet paper wrapping itself around his middle like a python squeezing a giant, disobedient rat. And all I can do is watch. I'm still sitting, now unable to grab the toilet paper my son is unraveling. He's out of my reach, and I don't want to sit there and yell at him. It's so damn echo-y in this bathroom, which is tucked away in a quiet, sleepy corner of a department store, the door propped open so anyone trying to shop for over-priced, 500-thread count sheets will hear me screaming at my kid to stop unrolling the freaking toilet paper and get over here Right Now.

So what do I do? I take a picture of him with my cell phone. So I can remember this moment and make sure I strap Rollie in his seat before I assume such a vulnerable position next time.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Opposite Day

Is it Opposite Day and someone forgot to tell me? I've checked my calendar, but couldn't see anything about it. Weird.

I'm only asking because every time I've asked my darling son Rollie to do something, wouldn't you know it, he goes and does the EXACT FREAKING OPPOSITE.

So our day started at 5 a.m. My husband deposited Rollie in our bed as he (Jeff) was getting ready for work. I was barely conscious, but I knew that a.) it was still quite dark out, b.)Lazytown wasn't even on yet, c.) Rollie was kicking me in the back so as to thwart my attempts to get back to sleep.

I rolled over and croaked, "Rollie, please stop kicking me."

He stopped momentarily, but just as I was drifting off to the slightly effeminate voice of The Ferocious Beast on TV, I felt little toes digging into my back again.

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the morning....

We're getting ready to go on our morning walk, and in our garage is a large puddle from the recent rain. I ask Rollie to go around the puddle, even phrasing it all cutesy and sweet, even though my head hurts and all I want to do is lie on the couch in the AC and drink coffee.

Me: Rollie, sweetie, go around that yucky puddle so you don't get your toes all wet. (I know, gag me, right?)

What does Rollie do? Walks right through it. Stops in the middle of it and stomps, sending dirty water up his legs and onto his shirt. Sigh.

Me: Rollie, what are you doing? I asked you to go around the puddle. Now come here!

Rollie looks up at me, stomps again, and then turns and walks in the opposite direction.

Me: HEY! I said come here! What is with you today?

Rollie stands on the other side of the garage, just looking at me like I'm crazy for yelling. I start to feel like I am crazy, my angry voice echoing in our open garage as neighbors walk by with obedient little dogs on leashes, pretending not to notice the power struggle two houses down.

Me: Rollie, come here and get in this stroller right now or it's no tricycle today (lately he loves his tricycle more than life itself).

I think that's what did it. A little threat never fails, right?

But then later this morning, Rollie and Elsa are in the family room playing as I'm dashing around the house in preparation for our morning outing, when I hear Elsa start to cry.
I drop the armload of laundry (my dirty, horny laundry) and hurry to the family room, where I see Rollie sitting on Elsa's back like he's at a rodeo.

"Rollie, get off her--you're hurting her!"

Rollie looks up at me like I'm speaking Italian. And he doesn't budge.

"Rollie," I say, striding across the room, "you are way too big to sit on Baby Elsa. Get off!"

Finally, as I'm about to grab him and physically remove him from his perch, he rolls to one side, his foot purposely bumping her head as he dismounts. She lets out another yell.

"Rollie!" I grab his arm and yank him to his feet (dear God, I've turned into an arm-yanker again). "Get in your room!" Lately it is the only thing I can think of to do...send him to his room. I don't want to spank him, yelling is clearly ineffective, and all the toys in the vicinity of his latest crime are Elsa's, so I can't take one away to make my point.

But instead of shuffling off to his bedroom in a cloud of defeat, Rollie stands firm, looks me in the eye and yells back, "No!"

Arrrggghhhh....Did I mention it was not yet nine o'clock when this was going on?

Anyway, I pick him up and deliver him to his room, where I tell him in as calm a voice as I can muster that he has to stay there until we leave because he's being way too naughty to be around me right now.

He pops out two minutes later, stomps into the family room and proceeds to throw his Geotrax train set around the room.

Okay, so let's assume that he's trying to get my attention. Or that he's ridiculously over-tired. Or that he's got some sort of beef with the Fischer-Price company and has decided to take it out on their merchandise. Whatever is causing him to behave like Satan's Spawn, I am pretty clueless what to do about it except envision myself alone on a beautiful white-sand beach somewhere, Mai-Tai in one hand, latest Dean Koontz book in the other, hearing nothing but the sigh of gentle blue waves and the occasional seagull cry overhead. That is my happy place, that's how I'm not turning into an arm-yanking spank-machine. That's how I'm going to get through the rest of the day....

But seriously, if it IS Opposite Day, will someone please let me know??

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Half-Ass Wipe

Housework is like treading water....

It sucks, but if you don't do it, you'll drown in a sea of toys, dishes, laundry, pet hair, garbage, dust, and God knows what else. Just think of what would accumulate if you just decided to laze around on the couch for a day and watch all your TiVo'd episodes of 30 Rock. Can you imagine? Just sitting there, watching your beloved little children tear around the house, flinging toys, dropping crumbs, spilling juice and spitting up and you're just sitting there, digging into a box of Wheat Thins, calmly cruching away as the TV slowly disappeared behind a mountain of GeoTrax accessories?

But in a way, housework is a good thing. At least it's a form of exercise. I would love to see how firm my butt would get if, instead of bending at the waist to retrieve every wayward toy, I performed a deep-knee lunge. You'd be bouncing quarters off my ass in no time.

And speaking of asses, let me tell you my little housework secret. The simple trick that keeps me from becoming a slave to all things Swiffer, Endust and 409. Ready?


Dishrags are your friend. Your best friend. Dishrags can do so many things, have so many uses, that if you have a few in your house, you can get rid of your vacuum, mop, broom, lint-roller, dishwasher, dog, car, and remote control.


You can clean anything with a dishrag and a little water. Your darling child spilled fruit punch on the carpet? No problem! A damp dishrag with wipe it right up. Your precious, precious husband left toothpaste film in the sink again? Go get it, Mr. Dishrag! Oh, your drunk friend accidentally punched a hole in your drywall and bled all over the tile floor? Not only can a dishrag mop up the blood, you can ball it up and stuff it on the hole, too!

Dishrags and wiping. That's the only housework you ever have to do. Except of course, laundry. But we all know why that mountain of dirty clothes never ends (see the entry Clothe-us Interruptus).

I think I'm going to start a series on HGTV for everyone with kids. Kinda like The Thirsty Traveler, except it's going to be all about cleaning. I'll call it The Half-Assed Housekeeper, and on it I'll have all sorts of short-cut cleaning tips for those of us who'd rather not sacrifice that precious nap time to clean our house (we'd much rather be reading, emailing or blogging). Of course, none of my friends will want to come over anymore, out of fear that they're walking into a dusty, dirty, bacteria-laden pig-sty. The great thing about wiping with dishrags is that no one can tell this is how you clean. You might as well have disinfected your entire house on your hands and knees. As long as no one brings a blacklight over, you're in the clear.