Friday, April 10, 2009

Attack of the Slacker Mom

I was supposed to host our neighborhood's monthly BUNCO night last night, but on Friday, I called my neighbor and asked her to switch months with me (She has May). I was sorry to call her on such short notice but my house, and my life, were literally falling apart at the seams. Sam was sick, John was sick, Tom was sick, nothing was getting cleaned, the house was a cesspool of germs, and I just didn't have it in me to clean and disinfect the house and whip of a variety of hors doerves in less than a week. (Because these things take time you know.) I have to plan my cleaning sprees around nap time, otherwise we have a situation like I had yesterday, where I dusted all the furniture, and then when my back was turned, Sam climbed on to the dining room table and did snow angels in the Murphy's Oil.

So I go to BUNCO yesterday, and my neighbor's house is spotless. She's put out a delicious spread of food, her house is immaculate, her plastic silverware is wrapped prettily in a napkin with a little bow around it, and she's also printed out little labels for all the food dishes. Oh, I did I mention, she has a four-year-old, an almost two-year-old, is four months pregnant, and her husband travels for work?

It made me hate myself. It really did.

And it made me hate my lot in life. She and I have played "Compare the Children" before, and I'm pretty sure it has never occurred to her angelic older son to make Murphy's Oil angels on the dining room table, grease his sibling's hair with a piece of buttered toast, or say, whip off his dirty diaper during naptime and decorate his bedroom with poop smears. No, neigbor's older son likes to sit and color for hours, then take a nice long nap in the afternoon, and when he's feeling really frisky, angelic older child likes to swing on the swingset in their backyard. I've never heard my neighbor raise her voice, and certainly never heard her shrieking in dispair. Angelic older child comes the first time he's called, follows directions the first time they're given, and has never had the urge to play in traffic.

Then there's Sam. When Sam's feeling really frisky, he runs half-naked through the house, screaming unintelligbly, clearing any surface in his path, dumping arm fulls of laundry to the floor, and tossing all manner of objects down the stairs. It's like he's possessed with the temperment of an ancient Viking berserker and he's intent on sacking the house. I can ask him to do something ninety-seven ways and ninety-seven times he will ignore me. He also seems to have a death wish, choosing to lie down in the middle of traffic, run headlong into the street, investigate potentially toxic cleaners and medications, and leap from high surfaces. I used to be a relatively laid back and agreeable human being, but more and more I find myself in a permanent state of being at my wit's end.

I hope and pray that John isn't taking notes because I'm pretty sure that the two of them together will kill me.


  1. thanks once again for sharing what we've all been through with a great dose of humor!

    both my boys at similar ages had deathwise joyful traffic runs. you should have seen the one incident of me at 8months preg darting down a front porch 2 steps at a time, screaming stop at the top of my lungs to prevent 3yo k from being run over. thank goodness the driver had his windows down, b/c he never would have seen the little guy exit from between 2 parked cars.

    in fact, approaching 11, s still cannot be trusted w/o a firm handhold in a parking lot.

    as for your neighbor: she has a cleaning service and must beat her kids in private for them to behave so well in public. ;) (truly i hope that is not the case and that they do have serene personalities)

  2. I think that your kids are smarter and more well adjusted. It takes creativity and intellect to do some of the things they do. And I agree jokingly with Cath too about what happens behind closed doors. Be on the lookout for an unmarked car (the cleaning lady) and enjoy the personalities of your boys. :)

  3. OMGosh -- love this post! Don't let your neighbor fool you. She might look perfect, but she's not. I wonder about people like that. Chances are she's totally high strung and everyone walks on eggshells around here to make everything appear perfect.

    Real life is just what goes on at your house. It's the same way at mine and most everyone else I know.

    But I am LMHO @ the printed food labels. I didn't think anyone could possibly be as neurotic as I am!

  4. Um, yeah she totally has some help. Just remember that is isn't possible to do it all- but it is possible to pay other people to do it for you!
    And what I tell myself when Anne is into something is that it is just proof of her creative mind and the interesting person she is becoming! (Usually after I sit down and count to a hundred)

  5. Kristine9:50 PM

    I know exactly how you feel. From my experience, it's always the "perfect" moms who seem to have the most to hide (like, uh, housekeepers and caterers). LOL!

    Don't let it get you down. Your house sounds totally normal to me! Who wants to live in a boring place where everything is perfect anyway?

  6. I thought the Murphy's Oil angels was a clever concept. Someday, he'll be doing it with paint.

    Hmm, don't let him read that.

    Are you disinfecting your toothbrushes? We always did that when kid-germs ran amuck in our family.

  7. I love this post. My house is embarrassingly messey too, even without the sick kids. I always make sure to clean it before company comes though. I think that we all try to portray our lives as better than it really is. Which makes everyone else feel like they are doing something wrong.

    My husband was a very creative child too. He almost burned down their house, flooded a neighbours basement, hacked up neighbours' bushes. But now he and his family have the funniest stories to tell.


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