Seriously. Summertime. Thank God for camp. If I only get three hours of work time every other day, I’m STOKED! Of course a TON of that time gets eaten up with daily routine items, people seeking freebies, advice, critiques, “I just need help resizing this graphic for my kid’s….” and “can I ask you your opinion of…” emails, but occasionally I get to work on paying stuff and my own art and writing. Not often, but occasionally.
The drama of the leaving and the coming home make those three hours a challenge though. Typical flaming hoops we jump through in our morning routine trying to get out the door on time:
- Getting out of our pajamas
- Using the potty (could be three minutes, could be three hours)
- Having to kiss each article of clothing before putting it on.
- Insisting on brushing our own hair and working through one strand at a time.
- Throwing a tantrum that Mom put it up in a ponytail to save on time.
- Getting toothpaste down our shirt resulting in a wardrobe change.
- Throwing a tantrum that the Minnie shirt was in the wash.
- Saying goodbye and giving hugs to everything that exists between the kitchen and the car.
- Looking for a stuffed animal to take on the ride.
- Changing our mind as to which animal.
- Changing our mind back again.
- Insisting on using random available garage tool to bat at the parking marker like a piñata.
- Kissing the car bumper because “The car is beautiful!”
- Counting every goldfish cracker on the floor of Mommy’s jeep before getting in the car seat.
- Waiting until I close the door before sending me back in the house for the water bottle.
- Waiting until I come back with the water to ask that I get her blanket.
- Throwing a tantrum that the blanket is taking a nap and will be here when we get home.
Besides the chaotic bookends framing my painfully limited uninterrupted computer time, I’m also experiencing a phenomenon I’m calling Doorbell Olympics. When I lived in Florida, I made a sign for my door that said “Please no soliciting. The dog is getting fat.” I think I might go back to that.
The door bell rings.
That’s right – the doorbell positioned directly under the “No Soliciting! Thank you!” sign.
So the earth must be coming to end and this must be the National Guard warning me of the impending zombie invasion so we can evacuate. All hell breaks loose. Maddi runs for a tutu. The dog starts barking. I’m wondering who I must have seriously wronged in a past life.
Child comes out of her room in her ballet outfit and upside-down tiara and begins the fight to the death with the dog over who gets to be at the front of the line with mom to open the door. I’m holding this one by the collar while barring the other one with my leg while attempting to work the child-proof doorknobs with hands covered in dish soap. The door is barely open before human child starts showing off her dance routine and 4-legged child wants to knock down new stranger. World outside is looking strangely non-apocalyptic for the end of civilization as we know it.
And then it begins. They always say they same thing “Oh My God! That dog is huge! Is that a Great Dane?” 2-legs starts tap dancing and singing her own unique hybrid of Old McDonald and the Spongebob theme song while pushing at the dog for being in her way, while 4-legs almost has my arm out of its socket. In a voice loud as I can manage with my teeth clenched together I ask “Is this an emergency?” to which I get back from man-who-was-abscent-in-English-class-the-day-they-taught-the-word-soliciting “Oh no! I’m going door to door asking if you’d like to talk about home security systems.”
I look down at the chaos around my feet. Captain Catastrophe and Princess Run Amok show no signs of slowing down. There is a distinct lack of Zombie devastation on my street. My clothes are now wet with suds and I swear to God the No Soliciting sign just winked at me. I look at cheery Mr. Non-Policeman and slowly scrape down the chalkboards of my happy place with my fingernails.
What can I possibly say? I’m trying not to swear in front of 2-legs and if I just let 4-legs take care of it I’ll get blood all over my doorstep (I’m renting, security deposit). Maintaining civility I say “Not interested, but the guy over there on the corner was just telling me he needed one!” It’s always good to have one of those heavily-armed religious-nut neighbors nearby for emergencies.
Collectively, we slam the door and slink back to our corners to rest up for the mailman… Maddi wins the Gold, Bats gets the Silver, and I get the dunce cap.