Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Writing, Cleaning, Procrastinating, Not Writing At All

Rather than writing a story on a Chicago celebration, which I am supposed to have finished next Monday,  I am organizing my drive, which has never before been touched. Technically it's not happening now either, but I am discovering a bunch of things I wrote when the girls were much younger, scraps of notes on the floor of my disorganized google drive. I'm having a wonderful time!

Time Out April, 2009

There are several things in our home that are automatic time out offenses: hitting, screaming, spitting and often throwing. Today at lunch, for no real reason, Mary spit out an edamame. Time out.

After two minutes she was allowed to return to the table.

“Why were you in time out?”
“I would rather not discuss it”

Back to time out. Two minutes later she returned.

“Now, why were you in time out?”
“Let’s just say I’m sorry and move on.”

Time out is clearly a very effective method of punishment.

Book Time May, 2008

One hour of relative quiet each day, one hour to myself while the girls coexist in quasi peace in their bedroom amongst an enormous pile of books. Naps may have faded to the occasional but praise the Lord and pass the sanity, we still have book time, in theory. Today they compiled their allotment, 10 or so books apiece and marched in order to their assigned space, promised calm, and opened to the first page.

Foolishly I decided to sacrifice my hour to repairing our Internet connection, akin to me thinking the best use of this precious time would be to rotate the tires and check the brake fluid. I called India. A wonderfully patient and kind woman with a very strong accent answered, it took five minutes for me to explain that the problem was the Internet connection, I started with “my computer doesn’t work”.

“MOM, Kate is climbing on the bookshelf!”. The kind woman kept talking, “excuse me, one moment, just, excuse me”. I sent the child back to book time. Next we had, “MOM, Eleanor just threw up”, the woman continued. And then a scream, a piercing scream, which I assumed must have meant that Kate fell off the bookshelf and directly into the vomit. The woman kept talking. This tragedy allowed me five minutes of time in which I was directly confused and quite overwhelmed, and no closer at all to finding the problem with my computer.

“Mom, I have to go potty”, fine, yes that is fine, acceptable, preferable really to other options, off you go. A few more minutes, “MOM, come quick, MOM, the toilet is spilling”. While I may not know much about computers, or India, or auto maintenance, I do know that when one puts an entire roll of scrunched up tissue into a toilet it quite likely will cause a problem.

The woman was still talking. “Excuse me, I’m sorry, thank you for your help but my children have flooded my bathroom and I’m going to have to hang up”.

The flood waters have receded and I will be posting from the coffee shop tomorrow, again.

Meet the Flintstones August, 2009

To combat our open run on illness, I recently introduced Flintstone vitamins to Mary and Kate’s daily diet. At breakfast each day we discuss Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty, creating a great curiosity in the girls as to the daily life of the Flintstone family. Recently I discovered an old episode on a far off cable channel and the three of us sat down to watch Fred and Barney at the lodge while Wilma and Betty were at home with Pebbles and BamBam. They loved it, as did I.

Today I overheard this recap:

Mary: Kate, did you see the telephone? It was round, no buttons, you turned it to call someone. Funny!
Kate: Well Mary, they lived a very long time ago. Things were different.

Really? The car propelled by feet got by you but that archaic phone, similar to the one I used as a child, that was the ancient indicator.

It's been a wonderful afternoon. I always feel so accomplished when I write.

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