Spin Cycle

Sometimes E and I can’t believe we lived through our children’s baby and toddler years.  We see younger yet much more frazzled adults than we are everywhere and we pity those poor, sleep deprived bastards.  Without fail, we look at each other with looks of mixed sympathy, relief that we are no longer being bossed around by a 28 pound tiny human, and unadulterated panic at the thought that we could, technically, still be able to produce one of those needy, demanding 28 pound tiny humans.  I won’t lie.  I’ve thought about manually ripping out my own uterus numerous times, mostly in Wal-Mart.

I know, I know.  Your little angel is the light of your life.  You pity me and my boring, sleep filled existence.  Alone time to poop and shower?  Overrated.  You like the company anyway.  Sex with your significant other more than once a year?  Way overrated and that’s what got you into this, damn it.  Meal times where no one shits themselves or pukes (under normal circumstances)?  Where’s the excitement in that?  8 continuous hours of sleep?  That’s for pussies plus you’ll sleep when you’re dead.  We smug little shits sitting at the next table, eating a quiet meal with our teens and actually having a real conversation with them, are who you really pity.  I understand.  Been there, done that twice.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids are my greatest blessings.  We had fertility issues with both of them, life threatening medical issues after birth with both of them.  I did things I know I couldn’t do today, all in the name of having my own child.  I overcame extreme panic and claustrophobia to ride, unmedicated and strapped down, in a medivac helicopter to Dallas, Texas, to give birth to Gracie.  I’ve been told by a Doctor that Gracie probably wouldn’t live through the weekend and I somehow managed to not crawl into a corner and die myself.  I’ve watched Landon get other people’s blood pumped into him dozens, if not a hundred, times.  I changed his colostomy bags and E gave him his twice a week shots until he was almost 1 year old.  During all that, there was nowhere, NOWHERE, we wanted to be more, except for maybe trade places with the parents who took their children’s health for granted.

Some of you may be struggling today.  Maybe you’re buying dry shampoo by the case because you don’t have 90 seconds to take the world’s fastest shower.  Maybe you’re in a hospital room, answering the exact same questions for the 100th time for medical students who don’t look old enough to be your kid’s babysitter.  Maybe you’re about to lose your shit if you have to yell with your toddler one more fucking time because that little clepto Swiper is sneaking up on Dora’s ass once again.  When the hell will that bitch learn?

I’m here to tell you to keep your shit together.  Keep it together, sister, for all this will pass, and when it does, being a parent is glorious.  Yes, glorious!  You will one day be able to take hot showers for as long as your hot water heater can last.  You may even be able to simultaneously have sex AND a hot shower because you will enjoy sex again.  It’s not a myth!  Your husband may even have to invoke the 72 Hour Rule.  The 72 Hour Rule was created by E about 8 years ago and is the mandatory fluid recovery period required after 4 days of being at my sexual disposal so that he could possibly live to see the next week.

But none of that tops what I have experienced this week.  Brace yourselves.  Are you sitting down?  Sit down.  You can put lanolin on your nipples later.  Hell, do it and keep reading this.  It won’t be the first time a reader has rubbed their nipples while reading one of my blog posts but the restraining order and my therapist say it’s still too soon to talk about that.

But I digress, yet again.

We’re going to Universal Orlando next week on vacation.  Gracie came to me last week, panicked over the fact that she has not been saving her money to spend in the gift shops at the parks.  She asked if there were additional chores she could take on so she could earn more money than usual.  It was then that I had the most brilliant idea I’ve ever had.  I taught her how to do laundry.  Go ahead and hate, hater.  I’ll gladly take it.

I’ve been working out at night then I come home and take a shower.  A few nights ago, I almost sobbed with joy when I reached in the towel basket after an exceptionally long, hot shower (I know, now I’m just bragging) and saw clean towels not washed, dried, and folded by my own hands.  When I picked said towel up and it was STILL WARM, I did sob.  Like a marathon runner finally reaching the finish line.  True, this finish line took me 13 years to cross but it was worth every damned second of it when I was enfolded and caressed by clean, warm cotton.

Gracie and I have negotiated a rate of $3 per dried, folded load she brings upstairs from the basement.  I should be arrested for violating child labor laws, I’m so grossly underpaying her for this service, in my newly formed opinion.  But don’t tell her that.

I hope this post has encouraged you to keep your shit together today.  Don’t let that little fucker Swiper get the best of you because in 13 years you will be checking Google like I did this morning to see if he’s still even on television doing hood rat shit and paying your little angel an inordinately low amount of money to do your chores.  You’re welcome.

To ensure that I’m universally hated by unshowered Moms currently drinking cold coffee and rubbing lanolin on their nipples while reading this, I’m also paying Gracie 50 cents for each cup of coffee she reheats for me.  Between the reheated coffee and laundry, she just informed me that I owe her $37.

Best $37 I have ever spent.  Without a doubt.

Ancient Chinese Secret My Ass

I’ve very recently had an epiphany.  I am 44 years old and I still don’t know how to do laundry correctly.  I think if I listed E’s complaints about me (I know you’re shocked, who would ever complain about a model wife/Mom such as myself?!) laundry would top the list.

We purposely live in a small home.  When we moved here from Texas, I was determined to find something more manageable than the brand new five bedroom, three bath, three living room beast of burden we had there.  Our realtor here in Alabama told me I drug her to rural parts of Alabama she had never even seen before.  One house we looked at had its own yard chickens.  Another house had a couple of dead birds in it and I was shocked there wasn’t a hexagram drawn on the floor.    We finally settled on a small house in a suburb of Birmingham.  It has exactly what we need and no more.

When it comes to clothes storage, however, our house is definitely on the “less sucks” side.  Our closet space is very limited so I have to store off season clothing in storage tubs in our basement.  When the weather changes, I go through every tub and rewash everything to work it back into our closet rotations.  It may seem excessive but the clothing has been stored in the basement for a good 6 months and I just feel better knowing everything is clean.

Last fall, however, some lids were left off a couple of the tubs and our cat, unbeknownst to me, made the tubs his home.  White cat hair covered everything.  At the time I was using those little concentrated gel packs of detergent which were apparently made for lumberjacks, industrial paint strippers and occasional North Korean nerve gas.  I threw in five of those little packs per load, just to make sure the clothes were “extra clean”.

E and Landon started breaking out and itching all over their bodies.  I didn’t breakout but I was itching like a country hound dog with fleas in the summer – all over.  The only skin in our family that wasn’t saying “Oh, hell no” to my excessive use of concentrated and possibly banned chemicals belonged to Gracie.  She got nothing, no breakouts, no itching.  I have since concluded that she is an alien sent here to integrate amongst us humans and then lay her eggs when the Mother Ship gives the signal but I’m on this shit now.  I’ve watched the Alien movies and Prometheus.  I can totally handle this now that I know what I’m dealing with.

Ultimately, I had to rewash everything twice and with extra long cycles and rinses.  I had to switch to that super sensitive laundry detergent made from baby angel tears and bunny kisses.  E has a panic attack every time I tell him I have to go to the laundry detergent aisle and feels the need to verify that I am truly still using the tears of baby angels/bunny kisses stuff.  Sometimes I want to throw in the North Korean nerve gas shit just to test for the placebo effect but I don’t think I’m quite ready to hear all the wailing and gnashing of teeth again so soon.

Another one of E’s laundry complaints is “unexplained” stains on his clothes.  He insists they weren’t there when he put them in the hamper.  He’s been accusing me of deliberately planting stains on his clothes for years now.  I let him think that because it distracts him from my real psychological terror/general mind fuckery sabotage scheme I’m using against him but that’s a whole other blog post.

Just yesterday, he woke me from my sound sleep to ask how the hell I could possibly get a “no iron” shirt to be as wrinkled as Shirley MacLaine’s 80 year old ass.  Okay, he didn’t throw Shirley’s 80 year old ass under the bus, I did, but that’s what he meant.

You got me, E.  My life’s mission for the last 23 years has been to thwart the shirt manufacturers by reversing their carefully planned “no iron” qualities, thereby making your shirts wrinkled as hell so you have no choice but to iron them.  I’ve also spent the last 16 years as a stay at home Mom  covertly concocting various impenetrable stains, impregnating your clothes with the stains, all while blaming you.  Mission completed.  I’ll be leaving today.

In the meantime, this is my new motto whenever I screw up as a wife/mom.  Anytime it’s my fault for hives, itching, general life threatening situations and minor to major inconveniences, I’m going to show my family the following video.  Chow’s “BUT DID YOU DIE?!” should put it all into perspective for them.

So I have a lot of free time now.  Who needs some laundry done?