Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flat Kermit

This morning as I was juggling my million things I have to carry in one trip from the house to the car, because we are always late getting off to school, Mozely says, “What is this?” and picks up a dead frog.

Let me say that again. He picks up a DEAD. FROG. Peels it right off the road.

I immediately quit juggling my million things and say, “Ew! Ew! Gross! Don’t touch that! Drop it drop it drop it drop it!” while flapping my arms in the international hand sign for “drop that nasty thing right this instant,” emphasized by the dance of the feet named “I’m freaking out because you are touching a dead frog” but he just stands there, and in all truth I do not want to touch him (dead frog germs!) and I don’t want to grab the frog away from him (dead frog germs!).

He looks at me in alarm and says, “What is it? Ew? Is it poop? Is it poop? Ewwww, poop!”

After he finally drops it, I wipe his hands. He asks me again, “Was it poop, Mommy? Ew, gross. Don’t touch that.”

Blessed be the name of the person who invented the wet wipe. Amen and hallelujah.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Clutter of 32

I used to think that at some early adult point in my life, my ability to grasp both sides of my plate, firmly, would develop.

In my view of the future world, homemade eggplant parmagiana would be a weeknight dinner, my dishes would be washed and put away, the beds would be made (without any protruding sheet corners), my children would have a bed time routine that included cuddling and stories and nightlights, and my writing career would develop late into blissful nights of inspired words like “feathering.”

The to-do lists of my mind are horribly cluttered and put me in a frenzy. The immense number of things that have to be done for living in this moment makes future moments feel heavy.

Spending an hour cleaning reminds me that there is dust under the couches, books in disarray, and a bathroom mirror to wipe. Grading 4 essays an hour calculates out to more hours than I have in a weekend. Knowing I only have a few minutes until Mozely wakes up from his nap before he is hanging on my legs, crying, makes me want to avoid dinner altogether. I am constantly counting my moments, until my eyelids collapse while I try to get one post written or even one paragraph. Then I count the number of hours I have until I have to wake up and start it again.

I don’t think I’ll ever be caught up. I’m running the treadmill and it’s just about to trip me up.

I have two goals for 32. And maybe I’ll feel like I’m moving forward instead of in the same place.

*I will exercise, every day, except Sunday.

*I will begin writing. Something.

When I hang out with people with clean houses, calm kids, and dinners on tables, I think,

When was I supposed to learn how to do this?  These people have sewing projects, and family game nights, and yoga in the mornings. They have Halloween decorations up and manicures and dress well. They also have kitchen towels without stains that actually add a decorative touch to the place. They return their library books back on time. They go to dance class, soccer games, and even buy the shoes their kids need for these. Their kids wear actual pajamas instead of just randomly assorted stained cotton clothing. I am seriously impressed with these people.

I’m not sure I need all of that. But maybe I need a maid.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting a Brainful

Lately my brain feels a little like it’s got a few leaky spots. Right in the back, against the nape of my neck, some future dentist appointments are slipping out in steady drops.

I don’t like planners and never look at them so I prefer to just run through, constantly, the list of things I have to do that day, that week, that month, in my head. I have a very good memory. It used to be that if I said I forgot something I had to do, I was probably lying. These days it’s true. It’s very disconcerting.

Things I’ve said “yes” to, only to get you off my back, whizzed out of my ear like a balloon losing air. It was noisy enough to wake me up last night, and left me wondering where those excuses I’d already made up were supposed to land.

The to-do list for work has gotten lost under the mess of papers that spread like whitewash over my desk. I find that while you’re looking for one paper you were supposed to fill out by the 15th and put in someone’s box, you find three more notes with numbers of people you were supposed to call back. While you’re checking your email for the information you need to call those people back with, you see that the flags you created on your messages as priority are long past. All of this reminds you of that data chart you started three days ago and promised to your Principal by today, which will take more hours than you have that day. Your phone rings and it’s someone who needs you to do something. While you’re talking to that person your phone rings on the second line. All of those things I’ve forgotten are really just temporarily displaced. 

Just yesterday I had an award winning short story in my head. Now I can’t remember if I was dreaming that I had the story, or if I really had it, because the unnamed character died in the fog, and I can’t even bury him properly or notify his next of kin. I’d like to have something to lay him to rest, but I am only assuming he’s a he, because I’m sexist about my main characters wanting to be men, unless they’re me, and I don’t think I would like to be in a short story.

It makes me feel even more frantic, not knowing where I am forgetting to go, or what I was supposed to be avoiding, or thinking I’ve lost something I’m not sure I had.

Sometimes I’m arguing with Devon after school about his homework that he has not yet done and I say, “We’ve had this conversation before” because it seems very familiar but I’m wondering if there’s a detail I’m missing, like, maybe it was Lesson 3-2 on page 143 we were talking about, and not Lesson 3-7 on page 156. Or maybe we were talking about Art. Or last year entirely. 

When you’re a teenager you’re sure that you’ll remember everything, but if you don’t it’s because you have waves under your board and friends to meet at the bus stop and nights to stay up late in and ipods with new music.

When you’re an adult you need to remember everything, but you can’t because you have children who talk while you’re checking your bank accounts and eyelids that can’t stay open past 9:30 and a pile of papers that whisper to you when you’re trying to wash the dishes that have been giving you stink eye for three days.

My head is so full of students’ names, lesson plans, data that proves nothing, students’ mean words, Amaya’s last shoe drop, Mozely’s tantrums, minutes until Jake gets home, and my next meal,

that it’s amazing anything else fits.

I’m fixing a hole, where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering…. where it will go….

----Paul McCartney