I recently began working more. (The paid variety of work, that is.) Eight extra hours per week. Doesn't sound like much when you put it that way, but for anyone who knows me, you're probably wondering which night of the week I stopped sleeping, because it's unclear even to me where those additional eight hours are coming from.
Not that I generally sleep for eight hours at a stretch, but you know what I mean.
So if you break it all down - market work, home production, leisure, and that vital yet oft overlooked (by economists, anyway) category, sleep - which Peter am I stealing from?
Judging by the bags under my eyes and the sound of dust bunnies frolicking under the couch, it's easy to guess. I didn't really have any leisure time to steal from - you're actually reading what becomes of my leisure time these days. (Note that I haven't posted in three weeks.)
On Monday mornings, people invariably ask how my weekend was, and I invariably fiddle with the dosage on my caffeine drip and mutter, "Oh, you know - busy." Then they say something inane like, "Cool! So what did you do?"
Seriously, people? Why do you ask? Perhaps you think I'm kidding when I say 'twelve loads of laundry', every single week, and you just haven't gotten tired of the (presumed) joke. Or maybe it's like watching reality TV, and you're just relishing the idea that someone out there is even lamer than you - I'm not sure. But I am tired of always being the person with the most pathetic weekends. So on this fine Sunday evening, I'm going to write a little song all about what I did this weekend, and if you really want to know, you can just sing along and save me the bullshit Monday morning inquisition. Here goes:
On this most recent weekend, here's the stuff I did...
Twelve loads of laundry! Grocery shopping!
Three dozen muffins! Scrubbed down the bathrooms!
Vacuumed the carpets! Mended the garments!
Mopped all the floors! Helped with the homework!
Wrote ten letters! Managed expenses!
Potty trained the Small One! Cleaned up the fallout!
Shaaaaampoooooed the coooouuuuuuch!
Bread for the week!
Vat of refried beans!
And wiped fingerprints off all household surfaces under three feet in height!
I can tell that people with no kids don't think the math adds up. They think, 'Gee, there are two of us in the house and we only have two loads of laundry per week, and wash the floor once a month, and golly I can't even think of when we last shampooed the furniture - how can twice the people add up to six (or eight, or twenty) times the work?' But that's exactly my point. I challenge anyone to give a two-year-old a banana chocolate-chip muffin in such a way that doesn't result in having to wash the walls, floors, child, upholstery and everything both you and the child were wearing at the time of Muffining. It's just not possible.
But I'm certainly not resentful of the little beasts, or even really all that irritated - after all, they're just kids, and muffins do stick to the walls in a very compelling fashion if you pitch them with enough force. I'm just that I'm so very tired. I keep thinking, only sixteen more years to go, then I can relax a little. Maybe my parents can advise on how true that actually is - hey guys, did you stop worrying when we all turned eighteen?
Hmm, didn't think so.
Okay, rev. 1: Only sixteen more years until my youngest child is an adult and... and what? And I am no longer legally obligated to fuss over him. Not that that'll stop me, I'm sure. So rev. 2: And if my kids still want to live in my house after they turn eighteen, they can darn well pay rent and wipe up their own fingerprints. Yeah, that's more like it! And they can cook me muffins for a change! Plus, I will get myself a soft-serve ice cream machine to celebrate my new, easy-peasy, child-free life, because I will have all the time in the world to exercise off all those extra calories.
Oooooh, and since my kids are seven years apart, maybe by the time Small Fry moves out, Medium Fry will have children of her own, and won't my little red-haired grandkids just totally love coming over for swirl cones?
Oh... damn... the circle of life. Right.
You know, if I named the dust bunnies I'll bet they'd be more like companions...