Monday, May 16, 2011

The Usual Run of Things. Shocking, I know.

Todays' Guest Post is from Tara over at Two Hands and a Roadmap. I'm pretty sure that we are twins, separated at birth and raised in two different cities. If you like my humor, you'll love Tara, because she swears and has mediocre goals just like me. Plus she preserves tomatoes and cans fresh peaches. Another reason to love her! I'm guest posting over on her blog today, in case you want to take a read. Enjoy!

I should be offended by this. I should rail against gender stereotypes in general and the use of "Mr. Mom" to refer to a man who nurtures children and keeps house in particular. I should, at the very least, be disdainful of the country twang and cliches.

But I'm not. I enjoy this song. It makes me happy to know there's someone out there as bad at the stay-at-home thing as I was. With a procrastinating nature, a fundamental inability to stay organized, and a phobia of the telephone, I wasn't exactly a natural. Plus multi-tasking is physically painful to me. Make dinner while entertaining toddler? No way, no how; I could do one or the other, period. It all added up to a hot mess of crayon-marked walls and smoke detectors announcing that dinner was done.

Now that both kids are in school full-time  and I'm away at work -- leaving my husband in charge of a lot of morning household tasks -- you would think I have limited opportunities to screw stuff up. Yet I manage, over and over.

A classic bonehead maneuver involved an elementary school Christmas party that I volunteered to organize for my younger son. His teacher gave me a list of names and numbers of people who had signed up at the beginning of the year to bring stuff to the party. My job was to call them (uh-oh), and organize all the dishes coming in from different parents (holy crap). Oh, and not to lose the list. Teacher chuckled as she handed it to me; it seems the parent who volunteered to run the Halloween party LOST THE LIST and the whole party had to be run in a most unacceptable way. How ridiculous. We're not letting her do that again. Ha ha, freaking ha.

The smart readers just figured out where this is going.

I shoved the paper, cleverly stapled to thick purple construction paper to make it unlosable (um, ha?) in my van and forgot about it. Plenty of time.

Two weeks later and a mere three days before the event, I decided I'd better remind the people who signed up (in September, remember) to bring stuff. I knew I'd have to apologize for being so scatterbrained and late, but it would be OK.

The paper was gone. Gone. While I sorted various piles of paper in my kitchen and office, I imagined the humiliation of calling the teacher and telling her that another mother has lost a party signup sheet. I saw my picture up in the teachers' lounge, with blacked-out teeth and surrounded by epithets scrawled in Sharpie markers. When I had to move my paperback copy of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life to continue searching, I had a private laugh. It sounded like the giggle of a madman.

I finally found the paper. It was on the floor of my van. There were no staples. No thick, purple construction paper. It was a regular printout, on green printer paper. I picked it up and marveled at my ineptitude. There wasn't much time, though, to figure why I had mentally manufactured such a strange and erroneous detail. I made calls; I made apologies; I made recommendations for party contributions. I did not lose the list. My mind is another matter altogether.

So if you need me, I'll be the one folding laundry and laughing like Renfield. It's the only multitasking I can manage.


BIKE LADY said...

It's been a while since I've had to do any of these things, but I liked the song, too, because in the end, he realizes the job just ain't that easy. Funny. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anjuli said...

You had me laughing (as usual)- I loved the song-- that started me laughing- and then when you were going on about the list...I laughed so hard, because of course I've done that...even to the point of manufacturing what type of paper it was on..."It was in the blue folder in the wooden drawer" (only to find out it was in the ORANGE file in the STEEL filing cabinet)

Thanks for the best laugh ever!

Bach said...

I need genuine in my life. Mary Poppins' moms just make me feel inadequate, and quite frankly I just listen and KNOW they are lying when they go on about their perfect parenting and perfect children. I so much more trust anyone who can just be honest about the difficulties. Combine honest and humor, and I'm your friend for life! Well done!

Tara said...

Thanks so much guys.

Bike Lady/Jackie, it really isn't easy, is it? Especially for some of us.

Anjuli, we can be short-term-memory-loss sisters! Thanks for laughing.

Tia, I have to admit that I don't trust those types either. I'd rather laugh with friends over the things that didn't go so well than erroneously elevate my self to expert level.