Okay… the last two days… where to begin, where to begin, where to begin…
Let’s start in a school bathroom.
Let’s start before that.
Let’s start Thursday morning, as I was running around, tripping over laundry, thinking about laundry that needed to be done, looking at the giant pile next to my bed and worrying about dusting and all the shit I never do.
“What?” Mate asked.
I was almost in tears. “Would you believe I fantasize some day about taking an entire week off just to clean house?”
“Well,” Mate said, very practically, “just an hour a DAY. How’s that?”
I walked away, laughing hysterically, wondering where he thought that hour was going to come from. I mean, I had a lot to do that day! I was supposed to be the Art Docent for my son’s class, and then go grocery shopping, and I’m trying to make a deadline and then Zoomboy had dance.
And that is the day I started to have. I went to prepare to be Art Docent, reading up on imaginary animals and Chagall in the little volunteer prep room, with some guy who thought that listening to Rush Limbaugh rant about lazy minorities in a school with 50% Hispanic population was just a dandy thing to do. (I asked him to turn it off and claimed it broke my concentration. It did, but only because I was fighting the urge to throw the boombox at his head.) I finished my preparation, moved all my supplies to my son’s classroom, and then went to use the potty before I spent an hour running around helping kids paint imaginary animals.
While I was in the bathroom, which, by the by, shares a wall with my daughter’s classroom, my cell phone rang.
It was the school. (I shit you not!) Squish had lice.
Anyway, I washed up, walked out of the bathroom, and caught her walking out of her room as she was on her way to the office to wait for me. She was in tears– the other kids gave her a hard time about the cooties, and I reassured her that we’d gone through this seven years ago, right before she was born. Together, we walked up to the classroom where my stuff was and told Zoomboy’s teacher that we couldn’t make it to be Art Docent, and told her why, and then she did the oogie-oogie-three-steps-back, and Squish started to cry more.
We groomed Zoomboy for a moment behind a classroom, and we didn’t see anything crawling (although after the mayonnaise treatment he got after school we did find a few eggs) and I left him at school to take Squish home and start cootie-a-geddon at my house!
We stripped all the beds, vacuumed all the rugs, sprayed anything our head touched that couldn’t be thrown in the washing machines, bathed all the kids–including the nineteen year old with the 24″ melon and the uber thick, long curly hair– picked all the nits (well, not ALL of them since we didn’t pass inspection the next day) and swept all the floors and sanitized all the hairbrushes and… oh hells. I’m sure I missed something there somewhere. (Seven years ago, the only way we got rid of these little fuckers was to buy this uber-thick, oil-based gel that took a MONTH to wash out of Chicken’s hair. By the time it was out, everything next to her scalp had suffocated and died. I looked for that shit– I did– but apparently, they don’t make it anymore. Fuck.)
And the whole time I was cleaning the house and the children to the point of numbed brain exhaustion, I was thinking, well hell. This?
This was God saying, “You want to clean the house? Clean THIS, bitch! KAZAAM!”
Be careful what you ask for. Sayin’. And hope we pass inspection on Tuesday morning, or I may just have to shave us all bald!