Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Working Moms' Mornings

Somewhere back in time, women stood up and said they wanted it all. They wanted to be mothers and wives and executives and business owners. To have all of this would be great, but what they forgot to mention was that it still required having a wife at home or at least a husband that could cook, clean, do laundry and more. At our house, a common expression heard is "I can't do it all!" Now, my husband says this and we all laugh. I say it and people disappear from sight. My version is a little more scarier and intimidating because I actually am doing it all. My husband moves the dishes from the table and piles them in the sink and exclaims that he has cleaned the kitchen. He wants a thank you and a pat on the head. I actually load and empty the dishwasher, scrape up the hardened remains of red suckers from the floor, bleach Kool-aid stains out of the counter, sanitize the liner of the freezer, fish refrigerator magnets out of the cat food bowl, and sweep up bird seed that the Parakeet who lives in our kitchen has tossed out of his cage in acts of rebellion. Now, that's cleaning the kitchen! The toughest part about being a working mother is the mornings. Working mothers around the world shudder at the sound of the alarm going off. It's not because they require additional rest, but because they know what awaits them in the next two hours. Mornings at our house could drive the most grounded woman mad! I strive for order, but it just doesn't come. Our daughter has a menagerie of pets that she cares for. She is very responsible in her pet care duties, it's just that there are so many of them. She loves them equally, but it takes a lot of time to hug and kiss 4 kittens, two cats, a caged bird, 4 fish, a flying squirrel, a dog she claims is a wolf but isn't and a pet deer. This morning as I was gluing together a model of the skeletal system, my husband managed to shut the door on a kitten's head - don't worry- the kitten is fine. Pete, the rebel Parakeet would not stop his incessant chirping (he's obviously just gone mad living here) and my daughter's hamster, July, who is the Houdini of the rat world, escaped again and kept darting across my kitchen with stolen almonds. I informed my husband that I had to go to work early, so he would have to take the kids to school. He informed me that his boat was hooked up to his truck and he had a flat tire. He didn't mention the unpleasant smell of deceased bait fish that was coming from the boat, but we were sure to notice this before too long. The cab of his truck was filled with hunting and fishing gear (note hunting season ended two months earlier) and there was no room for passengers that didn't want to exit the vehicle smelling like fish bait or deer scent. I had a board meeting to get to and the parenting duties had to fall to my other half. The kids were out of luck. They were going to school in the Deliverence truck. "Just pretend it's a ride at Six Flags, I told them." As we all headed out of the driveway to school and work and play, the belt on my car slipped and began screaming, the bird was screaming, my daughter was hanging out of truck screaming, and the voices in my head were screaming. My husband is limping down the driveway with one flat tire, still pulling the boat, as little dead bait fish fly out of the tank with each wobble from side to side. When I was in elementary school and drew the picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up, I don't think this is quite what I drew!  It's even better!

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