As Long As It Looks Clean, It’s Good Enough

This is what 7am on the first Monday of DST looks like.

This is what 7am on the first Monday of DST looks like.

Not long after we all got up and moving this first Monday morning of Daylight Saving Time, I heard strange noises coming from the direction of our laundry room. When I went to investigate, I found my fifteen year-old son ironing his school shirt.

This would be more impressive if it hadn’t been the dirty Friday school shirt that had been sitting all weekend in the huge pile of laundry on his closet floor. But still, for any fifteen year-old boy, this is something of a marvel. Especially for the child who is too lazy to carry the aforementioned dirty clothes down the hall to the laundry room to be washed by someone else – me.

All my boys learned to do laundry at an early age. When I say, learned to do laundry, it simply means put clothes in the washer, put the soap in, and turn on the normal cycle. There’s no sorting, buttoning of pants, or stain removal included. Nor do they usually remember to check pockets.

It seems that, with each child, the motivation to wear clean clothes has waned substantially. So much so, that the youngest two would rarely wear a clean article of clothing if I hadn’t decided to wash their clothes for them during the school year, provided they get them to the laundry room.

I have a suspicion that Axe Body products were created by a mom of boys.

If I knew there were elves in my laundry room that would sort, wash, dry, fold, and return my clothes to my bedroom, you’d better believe I’d take advantage of that on a regular basis. Like every time I ran out of clean underwear. My boys have yet to appreciate and utilize their elf.

(Did I really just refer to myself as an elf?)

This ironing revelation (which turns out isn’t a new thing – my husband says this child irons several morning a week) comes not long after finding out this same child doesn’t know how to write in cursive.

What! How can that be? Yes, imagine my overreaction. I was stunned at how I could miss that for so many years and could feel my good mama status slipping away like a mudslide. And I considered giving him a crash course that very minute.

I had to let that one go because, after all, he knows how to do laundry and iron a shirt, for crying out loud. (Good mama status, still in tact.)

He may not wear another clean shirt this school year, but at least he won’t look like his mama let him sleep in his school clothes.



Hard Times Call For YoYos

It used to be that I hardly ever caught the sicknesses my children brought home. Our household was like any other in that if one kid got sick, they all got sick. They would pass it around to each other and sometimes back again, but I managed to stay away from most of it, even being the head caretaker.

Those days are evidently gone, and it seems they’ve taken my immunity with them.

Now, if one of the kids gets so much as the sniffles, I can pretty much count on not only catching it, but it’s guaranteed to morph into something multiple times cruddier by the time it gets to me.

One kid brings home a cough, I get the flu. Another kid starts the chain with sneezing and, by the time it circles around it me, it’s turned into World War III for the sinuses.

I am not one of those brave, selfless, does-it-all-anyway moms, who puts on the happy face, does all the laundry, sterilizes every surface and handle, and still has a hot meal on the table at the end of the day.

I also do not live with any nurturers. Not that any one of them wouldn’t do something for me if I asked them, but there won’t be any volunteering going on. I don’t get offended, I just understand this is how many boymen are and claim YoYo.

I love YoYo, which stands for You’re on Your own. It means I take care of me, and you take care of you. It’s also known as Every Man For Himself – EMFH – but that isn’t as acrostically friendly.

Yesterday I started having symptoms of the colds my children have been tossing around the last couple of weeks. I did what I usually do, which is spend the first three-fourths of the day trying to convince my body that it’s wrong and my mind not to listen to it. Then I did something I never do and never allow my kids to do – I took a decongestant at dinner time. Big-time good mama no-no.

By six o’clock this morning, when I hadn’t slept at all despite what my little activity tracking wrist friend said (serves to show it doesn’t know the difference between still and sleep,)  I was reminded why I have a rule never to do this.

Pseudoephedrine works great for two things: as a decongestant and a stimulant. The latter is why buying it requires a photo ID, a blood sample, and your first-born child – kidding, sort of – and is the steam behind the train that is Breaking Bad. (Or was.) And it will keep you awake all night long. Believe me.

Then the dilemma becomes: don’t take it again so you can get some sleep but then not sleep because you can’t breathe except through your mouth, or take it again so you can breathe but not ever sleep again.

(These are the times that try a mama’s soul. Ok, maybe not her soul, but probably her sanity. And definitely her mood.)

This mama chose to take another one first thing this morning. Right out of the gate I cleaned a toilet, did a couple of loads of laundry, and purged my closet (because me and those clothes both know there’s no going back.)

But now it’s mid-afternoon and the Mucinex-D is wearing off, which means I’m tired and I can’t breathe outma nose. Twelve hours, my eye. Back to the dilemma.

I’m going to go take a nap, the YoYo card tucked in my back pocket. We’ll see if it gets played tonight.