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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I'm Glad My Tupperware Cupboard is a Booby Trap and Other Reasons Why I'm Happy at Home

Being a stay at home mom can be a mundane job, but then there are those days that just rise above to be either extremely frightening in their disgusting-ness, never ending in their tasks, or just plain surprising. Today is not one of those days, but I've just got to tell you about a some of those experiences that stand out in my memory as particularly noteworthy.

  • I bet you didn't know that baby mice can both travel and swim? Well, I found that out shortly after a camping trip a few summer's back. Camping is dirty work and I was just finishing sorting the mountains of laundry that we had accumulated in the woods. While shaking out our sleeping bags (a task I now know to do outside of the house!), a family of funny looking field mice shook out of one of our bags. I shuddered to think that I had been sleeping with them and panicked for a short time wondering if Young One had contracted rodent rabies or some other mouse malady from them. That proved not to be the case, however the little gray critters scattered throughout my basement in the blink of an eye. I had not only freaked myself out, but I had infested our home in less than 5 seconds. Well, I resigned myself to trapping vermin (OK, I resigned Hubby to trapping vermin) and moved on to the laundry. After washing the mouse filled sleeping bag, I noticed a little gray fuzzy thing on top of the bag in the washer. Yep, Squeaker had swum and spun through a wash cycle and sat there looking quite furious at me. It took a lot of courage to pick him up (with some old leather gloves on, thank you very much!) and take him outside. Yes, the rest were rounded up later.
  • I can singlehandedly destroy my kitchen in less than five minutes. While putting away groceries, I dropped a glass jar of honey on one counter top, spilled an entire bottle of 100% organic grape juice in my refrigerator, and tripped on the dog while putting the flour canister away spreading the fine, white powder over every surface (including the honey spill). Yes, we went out for dinner that night. Yes, I almost cried. Yes, it took almost a month to remove the stickiness.
  • Young One LOVES to help. And he's a great helper too, well, for the most part. I remember when he first learned how to empty the dishwasher. I used to remove the knives and he'd do his best to put everything else away. He was so proud, right before Thanksgiving as I was busily preparing for a house full of in laws, that he did it "myself." And he did, what appeared to be a great job. The doorbell rang and a girlfriend was there to help me with some of the advance cooking. We were busily wrapping up our cooking session when she opened my Tupperware cupboard to get some containers. It literally exploded with bowls and lids scattering all over the floor. Young One walked in and said, "Sorry about that mom. I couldn't figure out how to put it away except for making it a booby trap." It's still a mess, doesn't spring all over the floor anymore, but I'll never forget the booby trap.
  • Eagles can mistake your dog for lunch. I really love watching the Eagles sore over our house. What an awesome sight! And for a bird that was formerly on the endangered species list, it's a real treat to see them thriving. But, please don't eat my dog. We have a timid, nervous Upper Class Mutt (yep, that's a breed, right up their with the Poopiedoodle and the Wirehaired Doxiecocker). He was out "helping" me weed the landscaping. I stopped to stretch and rest my aching back and watched a beautiful Bald Eagle soaring high up in the sky. He circled lower and lower, giving me a closer look at his bright white head. Soon, he was close enough that I could see his sharp, yellow beak. I was overjoyed. I'm a birder. I love watching birds. I love feeding birds. Hey, he's really close now and swoop, he makes a pass close enough to see his talons baring down on my Nervous Nellie of a dog. Nope, he didn't swoop Tucker up and take him for lunch. I think my speaking in strange, alarmed tongues while sort of screaming and running for my pup's rescue not only frightened him off, but solidified my backyard neighbors' opinions of me being an odd sort of person.
  • Making homemade bread with a kid is really fun. Answering the doorbell with Young One's tiny flour handprints strategically placed on the front of my black t-shirt will get the Jehovah's to go preach at another house without any comment.
  • Ten, ten-year-old boys can take a home from pristine to armageddon in less than ten minutes. It's the ten-ten-ten rule.
  • Amoxicillin induced vomit stains never come out of carpet.

I am so very happy at home. Today I planted some flowers, cleaned my kitchen, made lunch, cleaned my kitchen, did a load of laundry, planned dinner, worked out, took Young One to cello lessons, did another load of laundry, cleaned up the kitchen again (don't ask), watered some plants, answered some emails, cleaned the kitchen again ("I'm not doing this again, YOUNG MAN!"), looked at some fireworks, chased a butterfly, looked at the garden and thought about weeding and rationalized that this wasn't a good time for weeding, got my haircut, visited a collector's store, and watched a TiVo-ed show about Meteorites sparking some very interesting discussions about the possibility of finding meteorites in the Suburbs "probably at parks". And all this, done, and it's only 2:30 in the afternoon.

The great thing is, I get to do it all and differently, tomorrow. Yes, there are days when I could just scream from the monotony, but I think that's the price I pay for having the priviledge of staying home. It's pros so outweigh the cons. I get a lot of grief from people about being a stay at home mom of one child, but these sweet summer days, I know I'm doing the right thing for my little family. Making a home is an art. Managing a home is an extremely hard job. Being at home is where I'm supposed to be.

It's great when you find your little place in the world, isn't it?

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