It's all coming back to me. The thrills, the joys, the moribund relaxing afternoons, the waiting-to-hear-Daddy's-car-in the driveway stay at home Mom days.
There has to be a better way.
I shouldn't have to choose between a completely frantic, pressurized, tidal wave of work job or stay at home and rinse the hard sticky rice off the fork tines because no one else did and then everyone will shriek with disgust when they get to the bottom of their glass of milk and see what's living on the bottom of the cup.
Surely, I thought, they've improved things in the 9 years since I went back to work. For one: home delivery of groceries! That's a big one! Except the twenty bags that the guy shleps in along with whatever he stepped on at the curb getting out of the truck, the twenty bags that I put away, then disposed of non-environmentally friendly (like what: make a braided doormat? Afraid to google because I just know there's one out there and then I'll have to feel guilty about something else I'm not doing), disappears into the cabinets and refrigerator like needles in a haystack apparently, causing all those who expect food to appear lovingly plated and already cooked for them to exclaim, "There's never any food in this house!".
Has anyone learned how to stop unwanted junk mail? Apparently we have not. And now that there are almost 4 adults living in this house, there's a lot more individually addressed junk mail, like some catalogue for shredded jeans, which cost $295, and will cause some almost-adult to scream when she sees it in the garbage can (oops - I mean recyling bin) under the sticky rice (see above) and leavings of the dog's food (not that there's any leavings with two labs; I made that part up). So that means sorting the mail for five minutes only to have Mr. Pom come home and resort it whereupon someone's Explanation of Health Benefits sits in a pile of matte-finish 4-color catalogues advertising outdoor furniture more expensive than any I've ever bought for inside, just long enough for the 30-day appeal period to elapse.
Then there's the tide of "stuff". As in: where's my stuff? I left it here. I left it on the dining room table. Right in the middle. Yes, my backpack, purse, lunchbag, set of keys, sweater, raincoat, and sunglasses. Why did you move it? There was only two of you; you could've eaten at the other end of the table. Why would you hang it all up in the hall closet? Well how am I supposed to know that?
Oh, and the cleaning of the clothes domestic drama? Still being played nightly with three matiness a week in the bowels of the damp, rotting, god knows what's behind those cartons basement. Your ticket, however, is for a specific time slot and does not guarantee a seat in the washing machine for 48 or even 24 hours, so when your father puts your silk dress in the dryer, (why it was in the washer in the first place, I cannot explain), please do not address the audience in the loudest voice you have whilst you climb the three flights back up to your balcony seats, proclaiming how many days, weeks, and months until "you are outta here". My clothes? The ones balled up half-damp next to your clothes that were neatly folded by me? Now have mildew? And I would add it to your rent if any of you paid any.
Speaking of non-rent, whilst the house rules are that no child pays for rent or board regardless of their age as long as they were gainfully employed and/or in school, and sustenance continues to appear in the larder without cost or effort by you, the proprietors would appreciate it if the 20 "take out" containers containing three French fries and a quarter of quesadilla are disposed of before the glowing green mold makes the need for a refrigerator light unnecessary. On the same topic, should your father happen to eat five forkfuls of General Tso's Chicken from someone's 3 day old leftovers, , there shall be no Wanted: Food Thief posters with rewards magnetized to the door of the fridge, even if said container "belonged" to a boyfriend.
As for the hours kept by the social inhabitants of this household, including those who do not like it when the parents go away without them, it's good to know that all those years we worried about your sleeping patterns were for naught: you still never go to bed and you still never get up. Only now, when we have been up taking dogs for runs, eating breakfast, getting the dry cleaning, washing up the kitchen, putting in loads of clothes, sorting the mail, picking up newspapers and backpacks, defrosting food that we shall cook and you shall eat, running to the store for more food, mowing lawns, entertaining dogs, and making medical appointments, we have to jockey cars in and out of the driveway to do so becauses the still-in-bed-at-1:30-people came home last and took all the good parking spots.
But seriously, work starts on Monday; the dogs go back to daycare cause otherwise they'd be in the kitchen behind bars until 3 in the afternoon; the house will be quiet all day; the mail will go uncollected; the newspaper lay on the front walk till we get home; and we will have a slight chance of seeing one of the boarders on the stairs as they rush out to work or to play, and when they pass, they may stop and chat long enough to make us remember why we decided to have kids in the first place.
Or they may just need to let us know that there's a light out in their ceiling fan and the third floor toilet is broken and oh, by the way, no one better eat the brownies "they made" with the ingredients you bought.
NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING NOR DOES THE ABOVE REFLECT THE VIEWPOINT OF THE MANAGEMENT
In fact, truth be told, if the art and writing was going better, if I was able to make progress on my painting skills, hell, even if I was able to replicate one stinking painting that I did last week, none of the above would matter now, would it?