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9to5to9: Summer messes win, muddy hands down

Submitted by on Monday, 2 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published Jan. 7, 2008, thehive.modbee.com

Before the Fourth of July, I’m sure someone will remind me of my brashness, but I’m going to climb out on the limb anyway: I can’t wait until summer messes are back.

Except for muddy footprints in the kitchen, down the hall and in the bathroom, summer messes are so much tidier than winter chaos. And if by chance things do get out of hand, in the summer, I simply hose the guys off and then let them back in the house.

Not so in the winter. I’ve spent a good chunk of my life of late putting Hot Wheels, Thomas trains and puzzle pieces back where they sort of belong. It’s a futile pursuit, really – I know every night that I’ll be doing the same thing again in 24 hours.

And that’s if I even see the toys through my end-of-the-day haze. Oftentimes, I won’t find them until my pre-dawn wake up the next morning, usually when they impale my arch. “Oh (word I don’t say in front of the guys)!

I’m going to throw every one of these (word I don’t say in front of the guys) trains in the garbage.”

In the summer, though, there’s nothing to pick up. You can leave the balls in the yard and the trucks and shovels in the dirt. The swing set never has to be disassembled, and once in a while you can even get away with skipping a kiddy pool cleaning.

The guys can run, climb and yell like banshees. Since the shouts aren’t reverberating off the walls and ceilings, the only one who complains is the neighbor’s dog.

We’ve been lucky the past three evenings, in that it’s been clear enough to play outside for a while when we get home. It’s been sort of a summer preview, but with more nagging.

“Leave on your jacket.” “It’s too cold to turn on the sprinklers.” “Get your hands out of the birdbath before they turn into ice cubes. No, not the birds. Before your hands turn into ice cubes.”

We only have half an hour, though, before the chill and darkness set in and we’re back in the house and each other’s hair. It makes getting dinner ready a real challenge, especially when you have a kitchen too small to swing a cat through.

I love having them there – really, I do. Some of my favorite moments of “life is good” contentment lately have hit as I’ve washed dishes and had to dodge a crashing airplane or pillaging pirate ship or derailing train.

Imagine that – contentment while washing dishes. Pre-Mommy me is belly laughing at that one.

There are times, though, when I’d like to have them out from under foot for just a few seconds. Like when the plane and the pot I’m carrying are battling for the same airspace. Or the ship drops anchor too close to my shin. Or the train crashes the Tupperware cabinet – again – and scatters its contents all over the floor.

Ah, to be able to just throw open the doors and let them loose.

How many days until June?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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