Like Tears on My Soul
Saturday, July 08, 2006
I know, that's a rather melancholy title, but it's been one of those days. A day like a bad country song, but without the big hair and beer.

It started out so promising, this lovely mid-July Saturday.

Then, I woke up to a freak rainstorm that has lasted all day. Now, Colorado has been in a drought for at least 3 years. You may remember seeing the Rocky Mountains on the news - those dim shapes hiding behind the billowing smoke as mile after mile burned? We should be glad for the rain. We need it, for sure. However, three consecutive summers of water rationing has left me with a front yard any New Yorker would be proud of - hard as concrete. A few tenacious blades of grass courageously poking their heads from the hardpack, loving trampled by my mob of chronically barefoot ragamuffins.

Twenty four consecutive hours of rain on barren earth = mud.

This might be fine, if I lived in a picturesque little house on the prairie, a modern day homestead where we are close to the earth, farming organically, sewing aprons, and drying healing herbs to soothe wintertime aches. The reality is, I live in a "transitional" neighborhood, which means we hide the bikes before locking them up and don't have NetFlix, just in case someone swipes them from the mailbox. It also means that many of my neighbors are either over the age of 70 or work at strip clubs. This limits the opportunity for my children to find suitable playmates, playmates with clean houses and moms who bake cookies and who invite my kids over to play Connect Four so Mama can finish cleaning/sorting/packing/weeping/wailing.

So, a yard full of mud. Six restless children. Moving truck arriving in 10 days. Already it's the makings of a disaster waiting to happen, or maybe a Ben Stiller movie (or, lately, both). Let's add a nice little case of tonsillitis for Mom, and also a nagging sense of guilt.

It was the guilt that did me in. I realized that I had been sick all week. Sick and trying to declutter 10 years of crap - I call it like I see it - and this had made Mama not much fun lately. I'm nothing if not the "fun" mom, so when my little dears begged me to play outside, I agreed. I told them to jump, and squish, and make mud pies and boats and create golden childhood memories that would last a lifetime. I also hoped it would give me a chance to get a couple more boxes done.

Well, the Guilty, Fun Mama forgot to check with Logistics Mama. Logistics Mama would have pointed out that due to sickness and packing, not much laundry had been done and everyone was wearing their last pair of underwear, except the 5 year old girl, who was wearing her brother's last pair of underwear. Logistics Mama also would have noted that, tomorrow being a church day, perhaps we should conserve our underthings. Logistics Mama knows that not only do we have one bathroom for 7 people, we also cannot wash clothes and take baths at the same time due to various plumbing woes.

Guilty, Fun Mama is paying the price now.

Guilty Fun Mama had a few tricks up her sleeve, however. Coupons for pizza, a rented cartoon feature, Cinnamon Graham crackers for bribery, uh, dessert.

All was well. The naked baby was settled, happily eating pizza bones while Mama cleaned fat little elbows and knees. Learning to crawl causes dirt in weird configurations on a baby. The children were settled with pizza and their babysitter, Lilo and Stitch. Mama settled into a corner to label the box she had packed earlier in the day, before she completely forgot the contents.
Me: Hey, no tape. Kids, where's my tape?

Hoodlum Children: Oh, we used it for bait.

Me: Bait?

Hoodlum Children: Yeah, we thought we saw a fish in the front yard. But he didn't like the tape so we had to use the car keys. They didn't float so got some plastic spoons instead.

Me: (Can't be repeated.)
I did mention we lived in the city, right? A city with a muddy house that looks like a Dairy Queen exploded on the front lawn.

As I waded outside to survey the damage a mud puddle did to the one item critical to packing efficiently, the tape gun, a wail pierced the soggy night.

Apparently, when Pizza Pudge says zesty sauce, they meant it. Glasses of water all around, and a speech encouraging my children to compete to see how much heat they could take. Hey, peer pressure's gotta be good for something, right?

Off to the living room, to induce a Disneyfied stupor on my lovely offspring while Guilty Fun Mama serves her sentence washing walls and floors and bathtubs. Another cry - the DVD player ate Lilo.

Another crisis averted with judicious use of whacking and a little plug pulling. Mama's Standard Technology Fix works it's magic once again. Off to whatever it was I was doing - what was it? Oh yeah, sorting Spanish tapes in my bedroom. Why are they all wet?

More yelling. The two year old is stinking out her brothers. They can't stand the smell of her, although they have no problem sleeping with three week old cheese slices and furry apple cores under their bed.

Ok, time for a diaper. Where's the new box of wipes? Oh, right, left them in the car last night, it was raining cats and dogs and didn't feel like making another trip to the car. Ok, out to the car. Hey, where's the car keys?


Tags: Family Life, Mama Says
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 7/08/2006 09:01:00 PM | Permalink | |