Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Tale of the Headless Chicken

Today I ran around like a chicken without a head. From 6:20 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. My head is still spinning, but then again I could just be tired. Ya think?

The day started with stumbling out of bed and into the kitchen to prepare Wizard's lunch for camp. While I was at it, I prepared Wild Thing's and Moose's lunches, too. I reminded Wizard that I'd be picking him and the neighbor kid up after camp today. This reminder was prophetic ... more on that later. The neighbor picked Wizard up at 7:00 for camp, and I sat down to read the paper.

Three lines below the fold I hear the rest of the herd coming down the stairs. On time, dressed, and teeth brushed for a change. I was encouraged it would be a good day, esp. since a new housekeeper was starting. Fed WT and Moose their breakfast and leisurely got dressed. Drove WT to camp. When he arrived, the kids were already running out to the field for warm-ups. The coach later chided him (and me) for being late. Moose and I went off to Starbucks for a Grande Half-Caf Mocha, my fave. Then I drove Moose to camp.

I raced home, intending to beat the housekeeper (let's call her HK), who was supposed to be there at 10:00 a.m. I arrived at 9:45, and she was already there, ready to work. A good sign. Amen! We went in the house, and I showed her around. As I walked around my own house, I realized how messy and filthy it was. Not just 2 weeks w/o a housekeeper, but piles of crap in every corner, on every counter, and stuff that had been sitting there for too long.

We went upstairs, where the boys' rooms are, and had to completely ignore WT's and Moose's rooms. Moose hasn't picked up a toy or a piece of laundry in longer than I'm willing to admit. Some floor was visible in his room. WT took every last piece of laundry I did for him last weekend – probably 9 loads' worth – and dropped it on the floor. He didn't put a stitch of it away, even though I gave him small loads to hang up and put in drawers. There were 16 layers of crap on Wild Thing's floor. I couldn't even see the floor, let alone walk on a planar surface. Ugh. I told HK not to go in those rooms at all.

Wizard's room, much to my chagrin, embarrassment and humiliation was little better. His floor was clear. His bed had sheets approximately on it. His closet was piled with clothes and G-d only knows what else. There were food wrappers stuffed in corners, dirty clothes and yuck stuffed under the bed. And this was after, he swore he cleaned his room. I should mention that before the 9 loads of WT's laundry last weekend, I did about 12 loads of Wizard's laundry. One doesn't need to bring down laundry on a regular schedule; one should bring it down only when one has run out of clean clothes and worn every piece of clothing at least twice. Ewwwww. HK agreed to clean Wizard's room and collect all food wrappers, etc. She piled the other flotsam and jetsam on his chair and in his closet.

I left HK to her own devices and spent the remaining (and only) free 55 minutes of my day straightening the kitchen and picking up small messes around the house.

Left home at 11:50 to pick Wild Thing up from baseball camp. He ate his lunch in the car as I ran errands. First to the library, then to get gas, to AAA, then to BBB to get yet another mattress pad and vinyl sheet for Wizard's bed. WT convinced (read "conned") me into buying him all new hangers for his closet and a shoe organizer. Then to the bank and then over to pick up Moose from camp.

I drove back home again. I should have had about 2 hours to oversee summer homework, etc. Nope. The cable co. called to say the tech – the 3rd in a week – was on his way to fix a new problem with the phone service. Cable guy shows up, reviews everything, and tells me I don't need an electrician to fix the problem. I need a small adapter from the hardware store. I agree to run down to Lowe's to get the adapter, if he'll come back later in the day to install it. Some 25 minutes after I walked in the door, Moose, WT and I were back in the car on the way to Lowe's. I found the part and brought it back home.

Meanwhile, HK is still cleaning the house, some 5+ hours later. Every room she walked into needed far more work than either she or I expected. Apparently, the overpriced Brazilian woman who had been taking my money weekly for the last 6 months, was just an actress. Grrrr.

As I am walking out the door to pick up Wizard from the camp bus, my cell phone rings. It's the camp director asking me where I was. "Home, on my way to pick Wizard up from the bus." Camp Lady ( a college professor of economics) says Wizard is standing there at the university, 15 miles away, thinking I was coming up to the camp. NO! Camp Lady, er Professor Camp Lady, says she won't allow Wizard to ride down to our area with another camp advisor. A liability problem. I agree, but I am PISSED. I couldn't just go get Wizard b/c my carpool share was to bring the kids home in the afternoon. Now, I had to get the neighbor kid, bring him home, go back to the highway, in rush hour traffic, and go fetch my kid.

Think quick: I called The other Mom in Southwest Florida and begged her to pick up Wizard. His camp is right near her office. She couldn't b/c she was picking her own kids up from camp clear on the other side of that town. Then, I called the neighbor to see if I could bring her kid back to the camp with me. She said not to bother but to drop the kid at the salon around the corner from the bus stop. She was on her way over to get her hair cut. Woo hoo, a small break! Drop the kid at the salon, call Prof. Camp Lady to tell her I'm on my way, and get on the highway.

Amazingly enough, there was light traffic and no back-up on the way. I got to camp in 20 minutes. I pulled up to the arena, and there was no sign of Wizard. Of course not, he was sitting in the air-conditioned lobby with his back to the parking lot. Prof. Camp Lady brought him (and her 3 children and husband) out. I told Wizard to apologize to them all, and he did.

Wizard was reluctant to get in the car. He expected me to "rip his ears off," as I am wont to do. I didn't. I spoke to him rationally. He admitted he screwed up. I specifically told him what the exact carpool plans are for the next 2 weeks. I hope he heard me.

We stopped off at McDonald's for dinner. Wizard took his brothers inside to the bathroom while I went through the drive-through. He brought them out as I asked, but he let them run, unattended, through the driveway to the car. [The common sense of a flea that boy has.] We all ate dinner in the car on the ride back home.

Home ... where HK was still working at 5:30 p.m. I had left her money and a key for next week. I finally shooed her out the door so I could have some peace and quiet. The 3 boys played and stayed away from me for about an hour, while I conked out on the couch.

Wine Guy came home late from work, whereupon I regaled him with this misbegotten tale. At bedtime, Wine Guy once again shirked his "put-them-to-bed" duty, for the nth time in months b/c he didn't feel like it. [Our long-standing agreement was that I was off-duty at bedtime. That was his responsibility. He's blown it off for months, and it shows in the boys' behavior and sleep habits. Bad daddy.]

Sooooooo, I haul my tush out of the chair and escort Winken, Blinken and Nod upstairs. I discovered that Wizard had already trashed his room. It hadn't even been clean for 2 hours: clothes on the floor, books all over, bed unmade, crap everywhere. 3-2-1, prepare for explosion! I kept my cool and told him to make it spotless and to sort the mess in his closet. I also discovered that neither Wild Thing nor Moose had picked up a scrap in the 30 minutes they were supposed to devote to cleaning their rooms this afternoon. I yelled a bit at that point, revoking everyone's TV and computer privileges until their rooms were clean. I get WT and Moose into their beds, one with sheets and one without, and drag myself back downstairs.

Wine Guy and I had a brief discussion about his abdicating bedtime responsibilities and upstairs oversight. I was calm; I didn't scream or accuse. We're going to work out a new schedule: he'll still have to put the boys to bed, but he won't have to supervise room-cleaning at that hour.

And now, it's tomorrow. I need some rest. Whoever thought summer vacation would be anything but?


Mimi said...

Oh my WORD. What a day! I'm exhausted just reading about it.

Anonymous said...

I am tired just reading your days activities. And I was complaining about having to spend 3 hours at the dentist office with Kurtis. (at least I wrote 6 weeks worth of lesson plans). I get to have another day just like that tomorrow too. Boo, I wanted to go to the beach.

Christina said...

Nice job minimizing the yelling. I am rather certain that I would not have done as well. For sure Daddy would have received an earfull!