It's 8 pm and I’ve just plopped down on the couch. I want to write. The kids are finally in bed. Not sleeping, but they are quiet. The dinner plates are still on the table, and somehow K tracked spaghetti onto the couch.
I can't clean up the spaghetti because it’s dark in the living room. The genius architects who designed our townhouse over 30 years ago, no doubt didn't think you'd need over head lighting. I reach to turn on the lamp, only to remember that I knocked it over with the mop this morning and the filament has detached.
I head to the kitchen to retrieve another light bulb. Halfway there, I meet Chunky (full name: Chunky the Death Cat) who is pathetically looking at her bowl. The dog had, seizing its opportunity, cleaned it out while I was tucking the kids in. I refill her bowl, then set out to clean up the litter that she'd kicked everywhere in protest. Outcome the dust pan and the broom. I finish cleaning the litter and return to the living room, without the light bulb.
Back to the kitchen. Then I realize I neglected to put away the Chicken
Fettuccini Angel Hair Alfredo we had for dinner. I had
accidentally tossed the wrong pasta in while I was settling an argument
earlier. Dinosaurs vs. pirates - it got pretty heated. (Pirates won.)
While I put it away, I worried if my husband would like it. The noodles could hardly stand up to the sauce. I'm a terrible Italian. He won't get home from class until late tonight. He's amazing. I peeked in one of his recent textbooks. The diagrams look like Doc's wiring blue prints for the flux capacitor. He could easily CLEP his way to a PhD in American History. But he's following his passion, which means classes like aerospace physics. The math alone makes me feel ill. Kind of like the pile of clean clothes that have yet to be folded, and are shoved, at least 3 loads deep, into two laundry baskets next to the couch in the playroom. At least they're clean.
I'm jarred from my thoughts when Chunky starts attacking the garbage can. I go to investigate. It sounds like something is trying to crawl out. I stare at Chubby and she commences licking herself. I guess I’ll handle this one. I tediously approach. Expecting something awful. Like the time at work when a roach slopped out of a bottle of newly opened coffee creamer into my coffee cup. I screamed and embarrassed myself because the Principal thought something actually terrible had happened. I haven't bought that brand since. The garbage shifts again. Gritty noises come from the garbage can as I lift the lid. It’s the kitty litter settling. I shake the garbage can and the noises cease.
Triumphant, and relieved, I look around the kitchen. What was I doing? Oh, light bulb. Crap. It’s our last light bulb, the incandescent kind. I guess the $1 off coupon inside isn't going to help with the government's decision to switch to CFL’s. I wonder who made a buck from that deal and when they stared putting lighting facts (like nutritional information) on light bulbs? Seems odd. Who calculates how much it will cost $5.33 to run a light bulb for .9 of a year? I carefully throw the packaging away into the suspicious garbage and eye the dog on the way to the living room. She has been approaching the cat's food bowl again.
I feel historic as I replace the light bulb. Like the blown glass light bulbs, that are now eclectic design elements, will my grandchildren look at these and laugh? Like we do about A-Track's? I clean up the spaghetti and collect my phone from the charger back in the kitchen. I want to finish my ironic post about being an effective parent, and how I broke the outlet cover in the hall with a baby gate. But my notes are gone. And like a ghost station, I can’t seem to remember my clever wording. I forgot to save them in the midst of conversation about Sky Landers, and Disney, and holding a sweet girl who asked for cuddles.
Then I recount my mistakes. The number of times I raised my voice. How I should have played with them. How I should have engaged them more, and pinned less educational crafts that I will likely never get around to doing. More of them, less of me. It all just goes so fast. C calls me Mom now. What happened to Mommy?
I have to get busy folding the clothes, packing lunches, and prepping for tomorrow morning. I drag an overstuffed laundry basket into the living room and pass a mirror. My hair looks awful. My husband will be home soon. Poor guy, this is what he's got to look forward to. I try to smooth down my frizzy locks, but it’s futile. Maybe I should cut it short again? Bangs maybe? My sister will likely berate me if I do. Oh my sister. I have to call about reserving the clubhouse for her baby shower. I hope she’s not still snowed in. I go to text her, but as usual, my phone is telling me I’m roaming, when actually, I’m standing in the living room.
I plop down on the couch. Its 9 pm.
Chunky jumps into my lap and curls up. She begins to purr and tap her tail. I pet her head and she burrows into my leg.
Maybe I'll write tomorrow.