My husband and I recently gave a talk on our respective immigration research in Bend, OR as part of the Deschutes Public Library's program, A Novel Idea. We had planned this months in advance, and our friend Kendall was going to watch the kids while we were away. Since Kendall (who I've written about before) has been out of work, this was going to help her, too (earning money to stay with ourkids).
Well, she GOT A JOB! And her first day coincided *exactly* (and, for our perspective, amazingly inconveniently) with our days away. She still said she'd watch the kids, and between her schedule, our older child's AMAZING help, and the local community center, we made it work.
But, as all plans must, things went a little awry.
On her second day of work, Kendall told me she was in the bathroom, getting ready, when our youngest son comes in and starts pulling on her shirt.
As all working mothers know, this encourages the following responses: "Stop pulling on my clothes!" and "I'll talk to you in a minute!"
My son says, "Kendall, there's a problem." (Houston, we have a problem.)
Kendall says, "I'm sure it's OK."
Son: "No, it's not."
Kendall (trying to be creative and funny): "Oh, it's probably a mouse!"
Son: "IT. IS. NOT. A. MOUSE!"
Son: "It is BAD. You need to come."
Kendall, thinking that she has *almost* gotten through her first two days of work without any kind of catastrophe from my kids (she's had the barf and blood night with them, the exploding-things-in-microwave experience, and the GOD-help-me-my-stress-ball-just-exploded-all-over-Mom's-computer-keyboard), walks into the kitchen like a soldier being led into battle.
The kitchen floor (which we recently refinished, to the tune of $1500) is COVERED in soap bubbles.
Seems our oldest, in another attempt to be very helpful, thought she'd run the dishwasher.
But she used Palmolive soap. The hand kind.
Kendall now has 20 minutes to a) finish getting ready, b) get the kids to the community center, c) save the kitchen floor and d) get to work on time.
She and our daughter started mopping up the floor with towels and stopped the dishwasher and pulled everything out, in order to scoop bubbles out of the bottom and put them in the sink. Then Kendall instructed our daughter to keep running the rinse cycle until all bubbles were gone. She monitored this from her new job. Thank God for cell phones.
When we came home, the sink was full of dirty dishes but the dishwasher was SPARKLING clean! :)
And the floor was saved.
And everybody survived.
The talk went well, the experience marred slightly by a speeding ticket, which, when you add the cost of that to the cost of babysitting (Kendall) conveniently equals the amount of our honorarium.
I still think it was worth it to get away.
But it was NOT a mouse.
- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.