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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Like Shoveling During A Snowstorm

When I was out running errands on Sunday, euphemism for hiding from my family, my husband and kids raked the leaves in the front of the house. They loaded up several tarp fulls of leaves and dragged them to the way back of our property. Please keep in mind that 90% of the leaves have not even turned color yet, much less fallen to the ground.

So when I came home about three hours later the first thing I was asked was how did the front yard look. I honestly had no idea why they were asking me this other than I *did* notice that all the toys were put away. I didn't have to swerve a single time to miss scooters, skateboards, Cozy Coupes, bikes, balls etc. There was not one piece of neon colored Little Tykes apparatus to be found.

So I answered, 'You guys did an AWESOME job cleaning up all the toys. Wow!'

They looked at me puzzled and asked, 'But what about the leaves???'

'Uh, they look really nice too. All those colors...'. Though I sensed this was not where they wanted me to go with this.

Then the story poured out of them...the rakes, the tarps, the multiple leaf blowers, the enforced child labor ;-)

Even Rob was incredulous. 'We worked so hard on the yard, can't you tell at all?'

Uh, not really, because in the amount of time that they had been finished and gone inside the lawn was again covered with leaves.

I wanted to remind him that it was the same thing as when he comes home from work and I tell him I am exhausted from taking care of the house and kids all day. And he looks around the house with that look of what the heck did you actually do all day. Not that he would ever say it aloud. He isn't that brave ... or stupid ;-) But the 'hmmm' along with the raised eyebrows and head nod is clear enough.

But I have to admit that I sometimes wonder also. There are days where I literally never sit down and I go from thing to thing to thing, and then at the end of the day I look around and it looks just the same as when I began in the morning.

It is a mind numbing exercise in futility.

It is different laundry waiting to be put away, different dishes waiting to be unloaded from the dishwasher, different toys littering every corner of the house, different muddy footprints leading from the mudroom through the house, different pee all over the toliet seat, different crumbs waiting to be swept from under the table.

And like the leaves, unless you were the one who experienced it, you can not explain the amount of work you did because there is literally nothing to show for it.

Today there was one of my 3 yr old son's Rescue Heroes that I kept putting away. I have no idea how he kept getting out of the container he lives in because I never actually saw anyone playing with him. But after stepping on him and tripping over him for the gazillionth time, I opened the front door and threw him outside. Clearly he was trying to escape the insanity.

I screamed, 'Save yourself, Billy Blazes. Run, Run!'

I shut the door to see my 3 yr old looking me. My kids better never come to me and say I didn't scar their delicate psyches equally.

And to prove my theory once again that only those children who are not old enough to do a chore effectively are willing to help, here are some pictures of my younger children raking, using the leaf blower, and in general spreading the leaves around the yard. Note the lack of any children old enough to actually be helpful.


Blogger Lisa said...

My dh has given up asking me what I've done. I think he believes i eat bonbons and watch Oprah all day.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

AMEN! What have I done all day?

9:48 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

ROFL! If only Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello (not to mention Shredder, various foot, and their minions) were trying so dedicatedly to escape
*this* house!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Ash-bray Etty-hay said...

bwah! I just have the one really egregious he'e tree, and we don't have seasons here, so it manifests as me picking up a handful of leaves every time I walk from the car to the house or vice versa.

But yeah. There are times I want to show DH the garbage can -- it may look like I did nothing, but look, here's all the dog hair I swept up! and the empty Purex bottle from the four loads of laundry I did! and the empty packages from all the food that was cooked and eaten and digested!

1:48 AM  
Blogger Jody said...

What a great analogy. I ditto what you said. Sometimes I feel so defeated. I have a house full of boys too, and only one bathroom, so I am in touch with the endless "pee on the toilet seat" that you described.


12:32 PM  
Blogger song said...

one day don't do anything and see if they notice. Once I decided to just sleep all day (because I am lazy like that) while my son was at daycare and the man came home and didn't notice. I thought it was funny - if the house is half clean he notices that I've only done half, but if I don't do any and the house looks like a bomb's hit it, he doesn't say anything.... wisely.

And I see your pee on the seat and raise you a shaved-stubble-stuck-to-the-bathroom-sink-with-cemented-toothpaste. Charming.

10:57 AM  

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