Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dirty Jobs challenge!

There are some really dirty jobs in life. The ones on TV are ok, but honestly, some of them, not so bad! Today I scrubbed toilets, cleaned puke off the carpets and seats in the van, picked up dog crap from the yard, did 4 loads of laundry (so far) and sludged out the utility sink (that the washing machine dumps into). Is it just my family, or is doing laundry GROSS!? I am definitely of the opinion that Mike Rowe should be a Mommy for a month. I bet he TOTALLY makes us laugh cleaning up blow-out diapers, scrubbing vomit off the wall by the bed, cleaning out the fridge (after how many years?), or cleaning up the bathroom after a gang of kids. Disgusting!

Cleaning bathrooms is a mom-job that is not, perhaps, my forte. Loving my kids is just not enough. Neither is cooking for them, washing them, nursing them back to health, or reading to them. Not to mention keeping them clothed, teaching them to speak, walk, jump, skip, hop, paint, write, love, share, rock in a rocking chair w/out tipping over backwards, ride a plastic dinosaur, empty their pockets before putting pants in the laundry, and about 3 trillion other skills that everyone expects everyone else to know. Speaking of which: in the laundry crap bucket this morning:

1 dinosaur
1 astronaut
36 cents
1 acorn top
several very clean dollars
1 sticker of an apple
1 bus pas (probably no good any more anyway, but ya never know!)
1 movie ticket stub
1 small yellow eraser
1 black pen
1 lip gloss
1 bouncy ball (small)
a pr of blue sunglasses
and a koala bear.And some clothes - I swear!

I know that there is satisfaction to be taken from having a clean house, clean, well behaved kids, and at least something to eat round about sunset (or before, in these parts). I know this in my head and heart. But it doesn't feel very satisfying to me. I'm not sure what would work better, since going to a job wouldn't mean that JAC would stay home and do all this work. It would mean me yelling at him and them to HELP OUT, and still doing most of it myself, and going to work. Not really positive change, imo. But honestly, the level of grossity that we have reached (you do NOT want to know what blueberry pancakes look like after about 2.5 hrs. of digestion) is beyond anything I may have ever imagined being a parent would be, when we started on this journey almost 12 yrs ago. It's amazing, the crap I bag and tag. I'd be much better off in the ME's office, except I couldn't STAND cutting into a body, even a dead one. I love being a mom, but there are some SERIOUS drawbacks - one's even Mike Rowe is too scared to take on. :D

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day Revisited

I was 35 weeks pregnant, had just survived my first round of sciatica (and was bound to have 2 more gruesome events before the pregnancy was over) and was, as I recall, feeling pretty great! I woke early as usual, about 6am, and went for my walk - a neighborhood walk up to Blundell, past the Safeway Plaza and down into the residential section South of Blundell and West of No. 2 Rd. Walk walk walk heading mostly South, out onto Francis, and up Minler. When I got back home, that Sunday, Jerry was up, and I didn't even realize the sanctity of that moment, he and I (with my big ass and bigger belly) alone, together. He cooked breakfast with his sure strong hands, trying not to speak with me too much, to just enjoy the morning. He brought me a card, signed from the Greeble, and some flowers he'd picked up the night before and cut and laid into a simple vase. He poured me juice and whipped the eggs. He was overwhelmed, I knew, as was I, with the enormity of our endeavour - this baby, the greeble, was going to be here by Father's Day, but not (hopefully) Mother's Day. So instead of waiting 11 months for my own celebration of parenthood, Jerry made this day special for me. I have lost to the memory vault many of the specifics, I remember going to Van Dusen Gardens, a place we celebrated quite a few birthdays and events, and I remember his efforts over the stove that warm Mother's Day morning before I was even the mother of the girl we know today. I remember feeling loved, and that being a mama might be scary and stepping into a great unknown, but it was also filled with potent love, deep and steadying.

Today, as I walked around the neighborhood, a different neighborhood in a different country, 12 years later, my children (and husband) sleeping soundly and warm in their beds, I have not a whit of regret for what got left behind in my life, in order to make this work. I know there are real moments of frustration and feeling fed up with all that it takes to make everything run smoothly - or at least sort of smoothly! - but I would not trade this job for all the accolades, awards, or gold in the world. When I came in, Jerry was in the kitchen, cleaning up a sinkful of plates from Chinese food last night. He asked me if I would like breakfast before taking the older one to her religion class, before teaching there myself, and I said I would LOVE breakfast - his breakfast. Because he may not be mushy or say I love you enough to me or make love to me often enough or remember to say thank you for dinner or the 8 trillion loads of laundry or for wiping the piss off the toilet, but he sure makes a mean breakfast!