Thursday, August 19, 2010

You're Not the Boss of Me

Perhaps Merrick did not read his letter.

The Matron watched with no small degree of fondness while her youngest devoured a big bowl of ice cream at the kitchen table last night. He licked the bowl. She's sure lice fell off his head into the bowl, but that's another story. He rolled the spoon around in his mouth.

Then he put the spoon on the table and dashed off to play.

Matron: "Merrick, please put your bowl and spoon into the sink."

Merrick: "No! You'we not the boss of me!"

Matron: "Merrick, please put your bowl and spoon into the sink."

Merrick: "I TOLD YOU YOU'wE NOT THE BOSS OF ME" (remember, he's seven).

Matron: "Actually, I am. I am the boss of you. And you need to put the bowl and spoon into the sink."

Merrick, stopped dead in his tracks: "Weally? You'we the boss of me? Weally?"

Matron: "That's right. The parent is the boss. Like any good organization, underlings have input, but I'm the boss."

Clearly stunned by this revelation and contemplating something, Merrick slowly slugged back into the kitchen and dejectedly put the offending items into the sink. Then he fell into the couch with a serious look.

Ten studied minutes later.

Merrick: "Mom?"

Matron: "Yes?"

Merrick: "Is Minnesota pawt of Amewica? I thought I was a fwee man."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Actual Conversation

The Matron spent another day combing hair (see The Lice Chronicles), cleaning upholstery, washing bedding (after attending a three hour workshop for her job) and contemplating, more less non-stop, the odd feeling on her own scalp -- a sensation that shifts and morphs and grows, sort of leaning into every spot that she THINKS about. Which is the whole darn head.

For new readers, let it be known that the Matron is a bona fide hypochondriac. The emergency room? Sort of like heaven. There is diagnostic equipment there.

Matron, at midnight, exhausted: "I am SO tired."

John, moving closer: "But aren't these bugs sort of an aphrodisiac?"

Matron: "Touch me and I divorce you."

John: "But doesn't trial and tribulation bring us closer together?"

Matron: "Not when it means touching the head of anyone else in this household."

John: "How about other body parts?"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Open Letter to Her Family

Dear Family,

You know that bed, and how you sleep on it? This bed does not magically make itself in the morning, nor do the shades open. Yes, we all wish there were magic wands and wrinkled noses (remember Bewitched?), but sometimes life requires actual physical movement.

Speaking of which, no your mother cannot get up from dinner, walk to the fridge and get you a different beverage than the one selected; if you're ambulatory, you can do that yourself.

And the sort of silver thing stuck into the middle of the kitchen counters? This is a dishwasher. Dishes move in and out: dirty ones go in and clean ones come out. Now that this concept has been explained, she's certain you'll be excited to test out its practical application.

HWCBN? If the dishes appear unacceptably dirty after being run through said simple instrument, you might choose to rinse your plates and glasses thoroughly after using them.

The washing machine operates with the same mystical system that the dishwasher does, only this device cleans clothes. Wait! There's an extra burdensome step: the wet clothes go into the dryer. THEN you can take everything out--and remember that whole magic wand thing, wherein there's isn't one? Again, here too, physical movement --the folding and putting away of clothes--is also required.

Dropping toys, books, iPods, Game boys, and clothes on the floor isn't putting them away. She knows this is a bit of a surprise, but it is possible to put books on the shelf, toys in the box, and electronic devices in your bedrooms. The Matron knows this feat --unimaginable, yes--is possible because she does it all the time! Surprise!

If you have a sense of disdain and wounded pride because the van needs vacuuming and de-cluttering--and you're old enough to wield the vacuum cleaner--it is perfectly acceptable to pick up the papers and scraps on the floor and vacuum the van. She thinks it is entirely possible to manage this trick, as well.
Corn on the cob, apple cores, orange rinds and all those other organic materials that are so good to eat? That's why they end up in the compost bucket by the sink: you ate them. It might be a fun nature walk to take the twenty steps from the back door to the outdoor compost.

Yes, lice will set your mother over a dark edge. Yes, lice --and all its labor right at the beginning of the new academic year-- means that the other household work is writ large and has come more closely to the Matron's attention.

Family, she hopes this letter finds everyone well and enthused about expanding horizons and experiencing a few domestic adventures. There is nothing more exhilarating than clean sheets, right?

If making a bed doesn't kill you, it WILL make you stronger.

She promises.