I just finished folding five loads of laundry. The Captain returns tomorrow from a business trip, and I'm trying to make it look like I actually accomplished something while he was away. Yes, I know it's ridiculous. But the truth is, the Captain does my job better than I do.
When I was in Florida, I checked in periodically to see how things were going. Everyday, there was another glowing report about fantastic Mr. Four and cooperative Mr. Five. Four was up in the morning, happy to go to school. He would hop right in the van, even though he was battling a cold. He got his homework done in fifteen minutes, before the evening commitment of Tae Kwon Do, or Five's baseball practice. He studied every day for his spelling exam, and on Friday, he got his highest score ever! They both went to bed without snuggling!!
On the following Monday, this is how our day began:
Four: "Am I on Spring break?"
Me: "No, honey, that's next week."
Four: "Then why did I get Monday off?"
Me: "You didn't. Today is Monday."
Four: "Oh, man. I don't want to go. Can I just have one more day off?"
Me: "No, sweetie."
Four: "But I'm tired. I can't go."
Me: "Listen, Four, you're making me look bad. All last week, you went to school with no problem for Dad. You did a great job, you got your homework done lickety split every night, and your points were good, too. Can we please NOT make Mommy look like a lousy parent?"
And you know how the next few days went. Except for Tuesday, when the Captain took Four to the dentist. He was great. The hygienist had to really take her time working on his teeth. A water pik was involved. Then, the Captain convinced Four to let them use real paste on his teeth. The minty kind. Four hates mint. But he did it anyway. They took x-rays, and discovered a huge cavity in his molar. Apparently, I was supposed to take him a few months ago to have the pictures taken. Instead, I get to bring him next week to have that sucker filled. Let's hope it works out better than when I brought Five.
The only thing the Captain didn't manage to accomplish while I was gone, was a clean house. This is an anomaly. Usually, the rugs have been vacuumed, the refrigerator's been cleaned, and the kitchen floor mopped. I know it's twisted, but I was happy none of it got done.
The Captain will read this when he lands. He'll come home tomorrow morning, and reassure me that I am a great mother, and an awesome wife. He'll point out that he was able to work so closely with Four because none of the other children were in school that week. Yeah, yeah.
We've been married for twenty-one years, and parents for eighteen. He knows how I prioritize my day, and he just works differently than I do. The Captain is very goal-oriented, and routinized. He likes systems. I am much less structured in my approach to daily living. And I am rarely motivated to clean. If the Captain catches me with the Swiffer in my hand, he has to leave the room. It's too arousing.
Logically, I know all of this doesn't matter. But I'm still going to fold that last basket of laundry. And remove that huge cardboard box that's been sitting in the living room since Monday. If I'm very motivated, I might mop. And those damn kids better not screw me over in the morning.
Wait. The Captain should arrive home right around bus time. No worries. I'm sure they'll be angels for him.