May 31, 2016 by Marj Hatzell
Warning: super long post.You’re welcome.
When Bugaboo is on a long break, it typically takes me a few weeks (or a month, one of the two) to catch up on the housework when he goes back. Because no matter how clean my house is when the break starts, he undoes that and then some in about two days. Sometimes less. Then he’s off again, so back to zero again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Summer schedule is coming up (in four weeks) so that means he’s off for a week every five weeks. For those of you not good at math, that means I’m not going to bother to clean until September. I KEED. Maybe.
My house wasn’t clean when this break started (busy week, appointments, plague, life, etc) so it is currently movie-theater-floor-level. And he is off until this Thursday. My dogs are completely useless, because I raised these two without table food, unlike certain unnamed canines who previously dwelled in our humble abode (*cough* Shadow *cough*). No, seriously. They’ll take the occasional dropped meat scrap or cheese but otherwise? USELESS. They really aren’t doing a very good job earning their keep. *eyeroll*
I try to keep him busy. We do activities, run errands, go swimming, but there’s only so much time one can spend out of the house. Those times often include public meltdowns, and rude public stares, while my newish teenager darts away from me in Tarjay, loses his iPad,or rips open candy bars while I’m checking out. He’s big, y’all. Huge. DUDE. PUBERTY. but that’s a story for a different day.
Just to give you an example, I went upstairs this morning to get the dirty laundry, ignored the five loads I currently have to fold, pulled the covers up on the beds, and heard a shriek. That was less than 30 seconds after I climbed the stairs. I came down to find Bugaboo noticed I went upstairs and he took the opportunity to get himself a snack, but ripped the GIANT bag of veggie sticks and they cascaded down from the shelf of my closet, like a veggie stick water fall. This picture is after I cleaned most of it up, which was smashed all over the kitchen floor, because OF COURSE he had to step on them. Stepping on them is a GREAT sensory activity! CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH. See? So! much! fun!
He helped me clean up as much as he could but let’s be real, folks. He can’t take care of his own personal hygiene (yes, I shave him and brush his teeth, and bathe him, so the giant veggie stick pile kinda ain’t happening, mmkay?) When I finished up, he went outside and picked all the fronds from one of my spider plants, which used to belong to my mother. You know, the one that died three years about? Her. Oh, and ate arborvitae (yes, I’m aware it could make him sick, he also eats dandelion and clover and Kentucky blue grass and I’m pretty much over trying to stop the pica). Yesterday it was an entire giant container of salt and a bag of shredded cheese. It was hot yesterday. Yep, the cheese stuck to the floor.
The next time someone tells me how nice it is I stay home (Actually, up until six months ago, I still watched other kids and until recently still did dog sitting. I also used to tutor. So I’ve never JUST stayed home), or asks me what I could possibly do all day, or insinuates that we must have a lot of money because I stay home, or tells me I’m so lucky, Imma throat punch them. And I’m not a violent person in any way, so when I say throat punch I mean I think about it and smile and nod and say something polite, while sending imaginary miniature daggers out my eyes.
But this housework? I NEVER finish. It’s like Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the hill over and over and over, set to the tunes of Mary Poppins, Thomas, and Angie’s favorite Jazz Christmas Toddler tunes. With more dog hair. Much more dog hair.
THIS is also why I’m always so tired. That and the middle-of-the-night wake ups, while he flops around on the bed, terrified of his dreams but unable to tell me what happened. He needs 24/7/365 supervision, 100% of the day. I’m not getting any younger, folks. This shiz is hard.
I’m not telling you this because I want sympathy, or because I want you to tell me how awesome I am, or because I’m in a foul mood (I’m not, I rarely am) or because I want you to send me hugs or tell me you’re sorry. In fact, I don’t want any comments. I’m just telling you this to keep it real, so folks actually know a fraction of what this is like. I love my kid and I’ll defend him fiercely for the rest of my days. He cannot help being the way he is. He’s a joy to parent, his smile rivals no other. But just put yourself in our shoes once in a while and realize we are doing the best we know how.
Now, back to your regularly scheduled dog and pool pictures.