Monday, March 26, 2007

Kids and Poop. Perfect together.

So, here's a little something I wrote when my younger son was, well, even younger. Ok, Ok, so he's not in kindergarten anymore and maybe he wouldn't want the world knowing about his particular pooping proclivities, but I think it's cute.

My morning, or: Why Plan?

Ok, so here's the deal -- life, kids, grad school, jobs -- it all marches on with or without your OK. I had a rocky semester in my MFA writing program last fall. Now, everything's jake. My father died five months ago and I still feel it, every day, many times a day. In August and September I lost 20 pounds, in December and January, I gained back 30. (Oh, sorry, that's business as usual.) Up until this past weekend, my older son, 13, would not spend a night away from home except for Grandma's or a family vacation. Now, freshly returned from an overnight bike outing in Manhattan and Staten Island, he has signed up for another and this morning I noticed suspiciously darker hairs at both corners of his upper lip. So we Moms go with the flow and try not to get bogged down.

Take this morning. I had it all figured out -- drop kids at school, write for 4 hours, pick up groceries, learn how to use the new printer/scanner/fax/copier, plan out meals for the next week and give the house a once-over before Mom arrives for a two-week visit.

What's that expression about making plans?

While the boys ate breakfast, I opened the cupboard to put away the clean mugs from the dishwasher. I'm not sure what happened first, whether I heard something crash and then ducked, or if the two chunky beveled glass mugs thudded into my forehead first. I know only that I quick-stepped backward just as the mugs hit the counter and floor, sending pellets and shards in every direction -- inside the dish drain, fruit bowl, toaster, sink, cupboard shelves, the open dishwasher, and in my hair, as well as on the floor and the full length of the countertop.

"Put on your shoes right away and get me the broom," I shouted to one startled boy.

And, I might have added, drive yourself to school, I'm busy.

The just-got-back-from camping son retrieved his sneakers from the back porch, and then tracked mud chevrons, in the perfect shape of the sneaker-bottom grid, throughout the kitchen, hallway and bathroom. I know I can't get to it until I return from the school run.

"Get me the dustbuster," I shouted to that boy.

And, I might have added, walk home today, now I've lost a half-hour at my desk.

Finally, we settle in the car, only 15 minutes behind schedule.

"What's that?" younger son asks, pointing to the digital diagnostic message display on my dashboard, the one I rarely pay attention to because I'm a word person and what the heck are all those little symbols anyway?

"Tire pressure," they both pronounce, certain of their interpretation of a digital dingbat in a way anyone over 40 will never be.

Nevermind, I think, I can't entertain another delay, and we drive to school. Back in the driveway, I make the acquaintance of an oversized bolt protruding out of the tread on the right rear tire. But I am "lucky" and can get it fixed for under $25 (a bargain in northeast NJ, and for a bloated SUV) I'm told, that is if I can wait until after 10:30 to bring it in and wait for about 45 minutes.

Sure, why not? I have nothing else to do.

And, I might add, no plans either. Because you know what happens when you do.