My first day sans kids, and I end up cleaning their playroom. How do these things happen?
The day started well. I slept in until 7:30, had breakfast—how decadent can you get?—took a shower, crockpotted a turkey, and fired up my laptop. After a half hour of reading my bloglist and webcomics,* I actually got to work and stitched together another chapter—Oo-rah!
I’d earmarked the hottest part of the afternoon for a movie or a nap or even more WIP, secure in the knowledge that offspring would not be descending in all of their delightful, yet distracting, joyful noises and my next obligation would be dinner for an appreciative audience.
But then my MIL needed something from the big floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinet** and my husband ended up pulling half of the contents out . . . and then the other half . . . .and somewhere along the line it was decided that enough was enough.
Watson and I were sitting there in the coolest part of the living room, minding our own business and swapping LOLs when we noticed the sounds of other people being conspicuously industrious.
I’m not saying I felt guilty . . . but I like to avoid situations where people can tell me with that certain smile, “Well, we’re all tuckered out because while you were on the couch all day doing whatever it is you did, we worked so hard.”
Watson allowed herself to be recruited and we headed for that brightly colored Den of Iniquity, the kids’ playroom.
While she tackled the closet, I scootched around the perimeter of the room, gathering rosebuds as I might, as well as a platoon of army men, a Mardi Gras-worth of necklaces, a menagerie of stuffed animals, an Alexandria of books, a fancy dress ball worth of costumes, a mystery of puzzle pieces, a plain waste of dried markers and broken crayons, a Pleistocene epoch worth of plastic dinosaurs, an insanity of lost marbles and loose beads, a stupidity of Barbies and all their accoutrements, an assortment of very small rocks, deathless macaroni artwork, and enough tiny handbags and purses and baby doll diaper bags in which to store it all.***
No, my kids aren’t spoiled—why do you ask?
It’s not all sorted out among the fabric bins, as Watson called me to a halt mid-OCD frenzy before I started pairing doll shoes by size, but it is all off the floor. And a lot of it is in garbage bags destined for donation or dump. I couldn’t bring myself to throw away a single stuffed animal—they can’t be donated—but at least they’re restrained for now and a few have been removed from the general population for any grandkids that might eventually—and we’re talking at least a twenty year eventuality, thank you—make an appearance.
And then we collapsed with iced tea and Doctor Who, wherein Doctor Ten fought Daleks who were tinkering with DNA using toilet plungers, as they’d already blown the budget on the twitching tentacles and valiant chin prosthesis of their Fearless Leader, plus pig masks for their flunkies. Good ep.
Once I hit publish, I’m going to lay me down to nap and not get up until someone asks me if the turkey is done.
After dinner, during which no one will say ick or stick their fingers in the food, I will get back to my editing . . .
And wait fretfully for my children’s bedtime call so I can hear about their day.
*Okay, okay, forty-five minutes tops.
** Also known as the Improbability Closet of Calcutta, since everything you can possibly need is stored in there, but finding it when you need it is demonstrably unlikely to the power of Gah—The Big Flashlight Just Hit Me In The Head Again!
***I was not the one who found evidence that our elderly cat has spent some, ah, quality time behind the desk. But I did find Janie’s play medal and I’m awarding it to Watson.