Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's not me; it's you...

I love textiles.
My children must each have somewhere in the vicinity of 20 throw blankets in varying size, weight, and texture.
When I move or redecorate, the first thing I tend to focus on are the drapes. I have way more bedding than anyone could ever need, including 4 sets for a Queen size bed, which I no longer even own. My attic is full of boxes of fabric both vintage and new. I know some day I'll use it all for some project or another. No matter what the condition of the rest of the house, I make my bed EVERY DAY, in a manner that only I can do perfectly. Brett does his best to help me out, but I just end up re-doing it anyway. Duvet pulled taught; no wrinkles across the bed. Pillows lined according to case color; darkest in the back closest to the headboard, lightest in the front.
And when it comes to housekeeping chores, of which I am most certainly NOT a fan, I can safely say that I love to fold laundry. Not only do I enjoy the task, I actually can't stand for anyone else to do it. There is a certain way that I like t-shirts folded. When done properly, it resembles a tight, smooth square of fabric. Almost brick-like in appearance. My methods make even the dingiest, ripped clothes look orderly. I am immensely proud to say that I can fold the shit out of a fitted sheet.
I'm working on my crazy, really trying to scale back my OCD, or "model being flexible" as my pediatrician and bff would say. But there are certain things, like the laundry, that I feel completely unprepared to let go of. So, what happens when my territory starts being invaded? I will allow my husband to fold his own clothes when he chooses. However, I prefer if this is done out of my sight, as it is nearly impossible for me to resist physically taking over.
When my mother and mother in law pitched in to help after I had my last two children, they mistakenly thought that handling the mounting piles of laundry would be a no brainer. A welcome helping hand. But could I be grateful, smile, and put the clothes away? No. I felt completely violated. Not that they saw my "unmentionables", for I had just practically died giving birth to my twin sons. I could've cared less about modesty at that point. But it was wrong. All wrong. The pants, shirts, socks and all needed to be refolded. My way.
And now, my oldest, bless his little heart, wants to help me fold laundry. He loves the sorting and stacking, and the cracking noise it makes when you shake the wrinkles out from a pair of jeans. It is seriously an anxiety attack in the making for me. He is so proud of his job well done; a crumpled, wrinkled mess. Facecloths folded inside out so that the Spiderman graphics are barely visible. A blurry mess of red, blue and black silkscreening on nubby terrycloth.
I have lots of dreams for my sons. Most are just your average run of the mill kind of things everyone wants for their kids. I hope they grow up knowing they're loved so much by so many people. I hope they aren't bullied, or even worse, become bullies. I hope they find true love with a great partner. I hope that they all stay close throughout their lives, even when I am dead and gone. Some involve him being a chef, or a career in MLB, where he takes the home team discount to play his entire career for the Red Sox with Gabe Kapler as GM, but I digress. I'm trying to bear in mind that they need to live their own lives. And I will love all of my kids, even if they suck at folding as bad as their father does. But, like anything you do with your children, whether it's baseball or reading, my wish is that by participating in this activity with me, he will get better and better.
Some day he may even be as good a folder as I am! Together, we could develop new folding techniques, be featured in the "Housekeeping Section" of Martha Stewart Living, rendering the majority of our ironing useless!
But for right now, for his sake, I have to push myself way out of my psychopath fucked-up laundry comfort zone, bite my tongue, resist refolding (which only happens occasionally now- baby steps) and simply smile and say, "Thanks. Great job."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ridin' Dirty

When did my car become a filthy, roving snack shack? And why do I find its' perpetual disgusting state acceptable? Like an eating disorder, or drug addiction, perhaps, I think it has spiraled out of control for some time now. And, while those around me have witnessed its' descent, masking their disgust when forced to be a passenger, I have been only mildly embarassed or sickened by it. I have now hit rock bottom, but instead of becoming ridiculously thin (oh, Heaven forbid!), it is my car that needs to be brought back from the edge. My mother staged an impromptu intervention on Sunday. And, really, who else can you expect to call you out when a week old bagel with cream cheese languishes in the passenger side rear door's cargo compartment?

I don't drive a luxury vehicle. It's pretty much the most fuel efficient crossover I could find that would fit the three car seats across one back seat. And, I don't typically drive long distances; grocery store, karate lessons, library. But, for whatever reason, I always make sure my children have a snack and drink before we set off. Perhaps it's because I have 3 kids, each one a unique pain in the ass, and everyday I do whatever the hell I can to ensure, at the very least, a relatively peaceful car ride. Five fucking minutes without someone asking, or in the twins' case, whining for something. I realize now that I have created a monster with my on the go snacking, because not only do the wrappers from all of these not so healthy choices wind up on the floor, but the snacks and drinks do as well.

Chewed up gummy snacks have been stuck to my windows; the car mats are multi colored and littered with Goldfish, bits of donut, and french fries. There are crumbs deep in every crevice, and at this point, Ben's car seat buckle has had so many different treats spilled on it that you need to use the strength of Hulk Hogan to make it "click!".

And it's not just the fact that it's dirty. The trash is a shameful sort. Not apple cores and water bottles, but donut bags and empty soda cans, Happy Meal boxes and wrappers from Fruit Roll Ups and candy. Constant reminders of things that neither I nor my children should be eating.

We are not filthy people. With the help of a professional team, I keep a clean house. Although they may sometimes look a bit messy, and I a bit dissheveled, my children and I are bathed nearly every day or night, and I rarely leave the house without makeup. So why am I able to remain blind to my car's condition? I don't know. But, I will tell you this; I know I'm not alone.

My sister in law, who is one of the most fastidious people I know in terms of her and her home's appearance and condition once had a cup of her children's milk spill in her Suburban's third row seat. After a few days, the stench was almost enough to knock you out, and it lingered. Forever. Who lives like that?

As I was picking up my son's friend for a play date the other day, her mother instinctively reached for the Goldfish scattered on Ben's carseat, greatful for her good fortune, ready to chow down on a found snack. She stopped herself in the nick of time, but only because it wasn't her car. How is this behavior in any way acceptable? Have we all lost our fucking minds?

Beyond the mess there are even more problems hidden throughout the Vue. My car has always been relatively "off limits" to my husband. So, it made perfect sence to me that any purchases that could raise an eyebrow and elicit a "Did you really need that?" have always been stashed in my car, leaving behind their Hansel and Gretel trail of price tags, hangers, TJ Maxx and Marshalls bags, and those little plastic things that keep the tags on.

My CD collection, which has remained basically unchanged since, no fucking lie, 2004, except for the ones my mother burns for me resides in the Saturn as well. How fucking pathetic am I? I have my mother burn my CD's? Seriously.

My gas tank is always either empty or very empty, and I never get oil changes until the light is BLARING. Not just the nice indicator light that blinks when I first put the keys in, but then shuts itself off. "Hey, just letting you know, it's almost time. No big deal. Whenever, I won't bother you. You've got a lot going on right now." Oh no, the fire engine red light that constantly stays on, basically letting me know that my engine is going to fucking seize if I don't make it to Valvoline PRONTO.

It's shameful and it's lazy, but you will not find me pledging to change "once and for all" on this blog. No, I am aware of my limitations, and this is simply how I roll.