There was a mess at my house this morning. Not the usual mess that’s shovable under a bed, or prone to get crammed into the hall closet.
Today’s mess was not so easy.
I woke up early in the morning to get a head-start on the housework. I got showered and dressed before the kids woke up, and had them off to school on time. (“On-time” is a big accomplishment for me. Just ask my first grader’s teacher. Or the secretary in the school office. I’m sure she gets tired of writing tardy slips, if only because of me).
But just as I thought I had gotten a step ahead of my usual self, I reached into the washing machine to discover my newest disaster.
There, on my 100-percent Egyptian cotton bed sheets, was the most widespread epidemic of fluff I have ever seen. There was a sea of papery fur clinging to every fiber of my bedding. Yes, even the pillowcases.
The more fabric I pulled from the tumbler, the more soaked, shredded paper I found. I hunted for a handwritten note that might have gotten carelessly thrown into the wash by one of my children.
Finally. There. At the bottom of the washing machine. I found it.
A light-brown piece of cardboard, now flat, that had once been a toilet paper roll. It was empty. Empty because the two-ply that once occupied it was now ready to cushion my next night’s sleep.
Removing the paper was a laborious process that involved shaking, rinsing, repeating. Oh, and lots of tape.
In my angry mind, I imagined my four-year-old sneaking a roll of toilet paper into the washing machine. I pictured a sneaky grin spreading across his otherwise-innocent face.
Then I wondered what my seven-year old could have been thinking when he threw a roll of toilet paper in the laundry pile. Was this his vengeance for not receiving the most recent “Captain Underpants” book?
It had to have been one of those mischievous boys, because there is no way on this earth or anywhere else that I could have put a roll of toilet paper in the washing machine.
Of course I blamed the kids.
Isn’t that why I had kids anyway?
“Oh, I’m so sorry I’m late. You know how it is to get boys ready for school in the morning. I swear, they won’t even take a breath if I don’t tell them to. I have to nag them constantly all morning!”
“I would LOVE to come to your (insert product here) party, but my kids have to be up bright and early the next morning for school, and it would just be impossible to find a sitter on such short notice. Maybe next time?”
“Oh, honey! Not now! The kids!”
(Ok, so I admittedly don’t have the opportunity to use that last one, but I’m being creative).
Well, I think it’s about time I start taking responsibility for my own actions. I’m almost 30, and I’m turning over a new leaf.
So I’ve come up with a Mother’s Day resolution: to stop blaming the kids.
When I’m late in the morning, it’s my fault.
When I say I can’t find a babysitter, it’s really because I don’t want to.
From now on, these are the excuses... no, the reasons... I’ll tell.
“I took a long time playing with my kids at breakfast. We made smiley faces with the syrup on the pancakes. Then we blew bubbles in the milk with straws. That’s why I’m late.”
“Tonight, I’m going to watch “Waterhorse” with my kids for the tenth time this week. So I can’t make it to your party.”
And I plan on making those and many more creative possibilities all come true.
Together with them, we will discover new reasons to miss out on the not-so-important things in life.
Isn’t that why I had kids anyway?