Wednesday, January 18, 2006


The three bears

Baby Bear goes downstairs and sits in his small chair at the table, he looks into his small bowl. It is empty. "Who's been eating my porridge?" he squeaks.

Papa Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl, and it is also empty. "Who's been eating my porridge?!!" he roars.

Momma Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells, "How many times do we have to go through this with you idiots? It was Momma Bear who got up first, it was Momma Bear who woke everyone in the house, it was Momma Bear who made the coffee, it was Momma Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night, and put everything away, it was Momma Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper, it was Momma Bear who set the damn table, it was Momma Bear who put the friggin cat out, cleaned the litter box, and filled the cat's water and food dish, and, now that you've decided to drag your sorry bear-asses downstairs and grace Momma Bear's kitchen with your grumpy presence, listen good, cause I'm only going to say this one more time.



Worth a snicker at least, eh? I post this one a little bit sheepishly, because in all honesty, it's Beloved who does a lot of this stuff around our place. I'm out the door to catch the bus by 6:30 each morning, and he either stays home with the boys or gives them breakfast, gets them dressed and brings them over to Bobbie's house. By himself. Not bad, eh?

As I mentioned before Christmas, he's been asked to teach in a new faculty at work, so he's teaching almost full-time this term, but he managed to arrange his schedule so he's still home one full day with the boys. I'm so grateful for this, not only because I want to maximize the time the boys spend with one of their parents at least, but also because we need all the help we can get on the domestic front.

I have to admit, in a "you don't know what you've got until it's gone" kind of way, I never realized how good it's been. With Beloved home two days out of five, there was someone to feed the dishwasher, perpetuate the endless laundry cycle and stem the tide of toy trains that threaten to take over every inch of floor space on a daily basis. Heck, he even made the beds every now and then. The house is never spotless, but at least it's within arm's reach of presentable most days. Sheesh, we even let our relationship with our cleaning lady peter out after the summer. I've been spoiled.

Now that we have to switch gears, I think we're in trouble. With Beloved covering the daily tidying and minutia, I used to spend the little window of precious time I am willing to waste on devote to housekeeping and chores on deep cleaning. Now, by the time I make dinner, clean up after dinner, load the dishwasher, sort the laundry, and pick up the daily toy dump - let alone pay attention to the boys for a minute or two - the evening is done. Lord knows when we'll get around to cleaning the bathroom, or picking up the clutter in the bedrooms. And I can only cringe every time I see the the bare gypsum board and bits of torn wallpaper in three rooms, where we peeled off the wallpaper border with the intention to paint - last fall.

All this to say I didn't realize how lucky I was to have Beloved at home, taking up the slack. He's done a great job with the boys, but he's also taken on a big chunk of the other domestic stuff that keeps a house running smoothly. It's been a year this month since I came back to work, and it looks like we'll have to start again from scratch, finding a way to make all this work. I think the first step is to find another cleaning lady!

How long is it until the end of the semester?

So here's a question for you, because I am enjoying all the activity in the comment sandbox recently: if someone offered you a gift certificate for a year of any kind of domestic service (cleaner, cook, gardener, valet, personal shopper, masseuse, hairstylist - whatever) free of charge, which would you choose?