Laundry canary

Last night we made pizzas.  Not my favorite choice, but you made pizza at your school or someplace on English muffins and asked to make it at my house. I went to Trader Joe’s and got their bagged dough glop (2, just in case) and collected cheeses, bell pepper (red is our favorite), mushrooms and salami (but I got a hot spicy kind and we didn’t use it). It was easy and fun.  You could do every bit of the process and were so proud and competent-washing and cutting mushrooms, grating cheese, de-seeding and slicing the bell pepper, flattening and stretching the dough, spooning and spreading sauce and then laying out all the parts. What fun!  I called daddy and mommy to bring toppings they wanted and make one too.  We had a pizza party.  (Grandpa is out of town)

All of us have good times.  Mommy and daddy are relaxed after their tax return finally arrived and they somehow seem smarter.  Well, they access their smartness more often, I should say.  Worry masks our best selves. A little ship came in with food and cash.  No bank would let mommy and daddy open an account because of some black list and so I helped with liquidating their ck.  They got food stamps, too.  But there’s no “stamp” about it anymore. The credit is put monthly (after eligibility re-determination) on a card that they use like “credit” at the grocer.  They came in holding it and gleeful.  We can eat! You looked confused. They chanted, “Mickey in the night kitchen” style.  “Food in the cupboard,  food on the shelf.  We make food and nothings the matter.” Then last night walking late to feed the horses, flashlight in hand, I found the valuable and special card laying in the dirt alongside the driveway.

“Oh, I must have left it on top of the car!” mommy explained.

Today is laundry day.  I dread this day, buddy.  But its good that we designated a day for mommy and daddy to accomplish the task.  With them its very different than my laundry routine and I have to hold my tongue. They leave dirty clothes outside the tent, the piles fill with tree droppings, millions of needles scatter across my floors on the way in and fill the machines, and get all over the dog’s curly hair.  I clean it up for a week only to have it start again.  Of course, I say to them… Please get up the needles.  Please shake out your clothes before bringing them in. Maybe keep your clothes in the big basket I gave you or use a trash bag.  Where’s the sheets?  I haven’t seen them since I gave them to you in May….How come there’s never any underwear in your laundry?

I love that they have to figure out things like laundry.  It’s good training ground for them.  Inherent in the chore, is a natural consequence.  If you don’t wash your clothes, they are funky, dirty, stinky and wrinkled.  So when they see one another wearing them, put you children in funky clothes, people notice.  You yourself probably notice. They run out of sissy clothes before anyone else’s.  She eats with her hands, drools, pees in them. Liza is their laundry-canary.

It’s nearly noon and no laundry started yet.  Daddy has been working full-time (that little ship brought good luck, too) and mommy gets more tired right along with him.  They took you to swim lessons today.  Hope it goes well.  I wanted to tell them to watch, not cheer, talk to you or rescue you.  That you and your teacher (there are only two of you in the class) need to work together and your attention needs to stay with the teacher.  The pool already has so much going on with all the various lessons, kids and parents. But I didn’t.  I asked if I could take you today, but daddy really wanted to (even though he got home from work at 5 am).  Cool.

I get garden private time today.  I am beginning to hate garden time.  It seems so silly a way to spend time.  Who cares? Hands in the earth seems like a bunch of crap.  When I was with people all day and kids all night it was a refuge.  I am in a new phase of identity-seeking, I guess.  Okay, who am I now? So I started a little story.  I wanted to write about a gopher and illustrate it for you grandkids.  Not Toad of Toad Hall style, but to honor the little special lives of garden visitors.  Hmmm, interesting.  Like Mary Warshaw’s Jay. Well, anyway, I started character descriptions, then added some animals, and their descriptions, a story line and now 10 pages later of writing and no illustrations, I am still writing.  This is what I needed.  Or maybe its taking me to the book I want to write for teachers of young children…then again, maybe not.

My favorite is just hanging out with your and you wild cat sister. Can’t get enough of that.  (or can I?) Mid, old age crisis…. gma

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