When I arrived home from church yesterday, I couldn’t walk. There was nothing wrong with my legs – there just wasn’t enough cleared floor space for me to put my feet. Such was the state of our home. Whenever this happens, it sends me into a tizzy – and I start cleaning and stomping around like a madwoman. Threatening to take every toy we own to Goodwill; threatening to convert our house into one of those minimalist homes with no ‘stuff’ in it – a couch, a table, a few chairs and beds. That’s it.
The professor has grown accustomed to these rants and hardly bats an eye. At some point he suggested I take a nap. But I was too fueled by my outrage to even consider resting.
When you meet an attractive dark haired man in the cafeteria on campus during your freshman year of college, and you (eventually) contemplate being married to him, you really don’t think: ‘I bet we’re going to fight over some seriously dumb stuff.’
As I was stomping around the house, blaming my men-folk for littering my living space, I thought of all the weird stuff we’ve come to argue about over the last thirteen years.
Like pumpkin slash sweet potatoes slash squash. And unlined muffin tins.
Without fail, nearly every time I make food or baked goods with pumpkin or sweet potatoes in it, the professor carps about it. A revelation which would cause an objective outsider to say: ‘so stop making things with pumpkin/sweet potatoes/squash in them.’ But it’s not that straightforward, of course. Living with another in holy matrimony rarely is.
For example, I made sweet potato muffins yesterday. And the professor ate three of them. If I make sweet potato chipotle soup, he pronounces it his favorite. And if I make pumpkin bread, the loaf manages to disappear even as he protests its existence. When I make curried squash soup he eats it, too. Even if he makes choking sounds while doing so and, inevitably, regales me with the tale of how as a young child he’d gag on squash.
Luckily I’d used paper liners in the muffin tin. Because Jason has gone on some serious rants when I haven’t. As was the case on Tuesday. I’d made mini frittatas in the muffin pan. Without liners. Because, frankly, there’s something strange about peeling paper wrappers off baked egg, There were violent sighs and accusatory stares at the sink that night. Culminating in his oft-used threat: ‘I’m throwing this away.’ I interceded. Possibly vowed never to make the frittatas again. And the pan was saved. He’s thrown away at least one or two pans over the years.
As I was cleaning the upstairs, I was confronted with the culprits of several more dumb fights. Open drawers, for one. I, apparently have this annoying habit of leaving my dresser drawers partially open. And I really don’t know why or how. Possibly because they’re too full to close? Or because I’m just too ‘busy’ to push the drawer completely shut?
The thing of it is…Herr Johnson is as guilty of this as I am. His dresser drawers are so crowded with balled-up clothes that it is not possible for them to shut all the way. Sure, he could quote that infamous public service announcement: ‘I learned it by watching you!’ but, really? I’d argue it was the other way ’round.
On the other hand, my major peeve with him is that he considers the bedroom floor – actually all floors – his personal laundry basket. A lovely habit he has passed on to our children: wherever you happen to be when you remove an item of clothing, just drop it right there. Someone (moi!) will pick it up and take it to the laundry basket. Eventually.
Honestly, I drop my share of clothes on the floor. But the difference is I eventually take the items to the laundry basket. Which is why I feel justified in pointing fingers.
Once I’d finished cleaning up the bedrooms, I made my way to the basement – where there’d been an explosion of toys and moonsand. The professor and I have long argued about moonsand; he’s publicly vilified me for purchasing the stuff and allowing it in our home.
While I tend to loathe the stuff, it has in its favor one little thing: it keeps my kids busy for a long time. Even the Hen can sit at the table for 30 minutes, maybe even an hour if I’m lucky, playing with the stuff. And the Gort. He could spend half a day playing with the sand; making roads and who knows what else. Surely they’re becoming more creative and genius-like by being exposed to these nano-particles?
But clean-up, as I’ve stated previously, is a pain. And that’s an understatement. Which is why I’ve always made sure the moonsand is used at a table. Set upon a floor covered in an easily swept surface like wood. Or linoleum. Never carpet.
But, apparently, Daddy-o didn’t get that particular memo. And when I got downstairs, the train table was covered in red and grey moonsand. As was the beige carpet beneath it. And every toy within a fifty foot radius.
While I appreciated the opportunity to utilize every one of the vacuum cleaner’s attachments, I still think unsupervised, out of sight moonsand is a bad idea.