Saturday, April 22, 2006

Elbow deep in blue food and Mr. Clean

Before the Teenager-Formerly-Known-As-Pumpkin came into my world, my house was always clean. Spotless. Impeccable. So clean, in fact, that my friends hated coming over for dinner lest their husbands expect them to live up to the standard I’d set.

And then, my son was born.

Along with the joy and happiness of being a new mom, came laundry that was never done, floors that rarely got mopped, baseboards that were never dusted, clutter that was never picked up, and refrigerators that were never cleaned.

It's understandable that my housekeeping skills slid while my son was young, but what makes it so difficult now? After all, he’s a teenager, he drives, he has a girlfriend, he's in sports, he’s in theater, he’s hardly ever home to do much other than eat or sleep or talk me out of gas money.

This morning I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with just one goal on the day's agenda: clean the refrigerator. Hours later (ok, there was a lot to do), elbow-deep in Mr. Clean and blue food, the phone rang. It was my son’s orthodontist. Yesterday, while cleaning up after a theater project, the Teenager clocked himself so hard in the jaw that he nearly knocked four of his teeth out. His orthodontist wired his teeth back together and was understandably concerned.

“What did the emergency room doctor say?”

“Well, Dr. W., after we finished at your office, we went over to the ER only to find it packed to the gills, with ambulances lined up and down the street waiting their turn. Everyone else looked so sick, and my son looked fine, so we decided to just watch him at home for the evening. He looks great, you did a wonderful job!!”

“Oh no! You didn’t! Oh my, this is serious! He’s a strong kid, and if he was hit so hard that he blacked out, never mind nearly losing his front teeth, you really need to get him checked out immediately. He could have broken his jaw, or cracked his skull or his neck, who knows!?!”

Guilt rushed through my bloodstream like storm surge after a hurricane. I’m a bad mom, a terrible mom, my son’s face could fall apart at any moment just because I didn’t want to wait in line!

Dad-Who-Would-Be-Outlaw knew better than to argue. He raced the Teenager to the emergency room, and, as my penance, I was nominated to host the gaggle of teenage friends who had shown up for the weekend’s film project.

Several hours, a CT scan, a clean bill of health and buckets of teenage angst later, and it’s now 4:30 p.m. I’m again elbow-deep in blue food and Mr. Clean.

Maybe, with luck, I’ll finish by Sunday night.


Mindy Tarquini said...

Man. In pPhilly, I had one of those houses. LIke something on one of the decorating shows. An historic house we'd done cool things with. People paid money to take a tour of the place, the funds went to rehab our historic train station. Everything was beautiful and perfect. We had dinner parties twice a month, dinner with real napkins and candles every night. We had art.

Then we had children.

Game over.

Elizabeth Krecker said...

I can only dream of having a house so cool people would want to take tours!

Cheetarah1980 said...

I've never cleaned a baseboard and I am childless. What's my excuse?

Elizabeth Krecker said...

Hon, you're too fabulous to every worry about your baseboards!

M. C. Pearson said...

Elizabeth, that was so funny (not your son being hurt but the rest!) I remember when my house used to be clean. *sigh*