Sunday, August 9, 2015

The fireworks didn’t really ignite until I started crying…

Years ago we lived in a small house in a suburb of Chicago with two cats, a new puppy and a toddler.  When I say small, read small enough that one thing out of place was a BIG deal and I had both a changing table and a ball pit in my living room.  Seriously, the place was small.  Which is why my decision to host a dinner party was an odd one but nonetheless, you know how the story goes.  I sent out the invites then started cleaning like a woman possessed, shaking my head in disbelief halfway through the first round of dusting.  There was no way we could entertain ten people (with two cats, a puppy and a toddler in tow).  When I asked the dear hubster for help, I was overjoyed he not only agreed to pitch in but asked for my to do list and said he’d get started right away.  Praisealleluiah!  The Calvary had arrived.  Two hours later I found my husband in our pantry closet re-organizing the spice rack and the largest fight we've ever had ensued.

The toddler & the puppy in the little living room (Chicago, 2002)

Until yesterday, we’d only had three major blow-ups in almost 22 years of marriage and I can name them all:  bed sheets (first time I’ve slept on a bed without them), my son’s red sweat jacket (worst anniversary dinner, ever), and the spice rack incident (the sole event all other events are judged against).  Sadly, a fourth has been added to the list…  The washing machine.

School starts Thursday, which means it’s crunch time in my world.  As life would have it, my washing machine broke early last week but I didn’t sweat it.  The repair service was scheduled to come out yesterday and while mounting dirty laundry was a small set back in my routine, I had no doubt he’d fix the machine and I’d be merrily on my way to another afternoon of fluff and fold.  Or not, which I hadn’t planned on.  So I lost it, right in front of the poor A & E Factory repair tech that had the misfortune of standing between my husband and I in the middle of our laundry room when he delivered the blow.  My washing machine won’t be fixed until Monday the 17th at the earliest and three things have to happen in lockstep to make that date work. 

When I heard I’d be without a washer for yet another ten days, I blew a gasket.  But the fireworks didn’t really ignite until I started crying, which is exactly what I did.  I stood frozen, trapped between the dryer sheets and a bucket of used wash water leftover from my attempt to hand wring a load of bath towels (bad idea), and  I fell apart.  How was I going to deal with what would amount to just over two weeks worth of dirty laundry by the time the machine might be repaired?  What about the start of school, sports practice, and all those kitchen towels I use in the process of shining everything in the kitchen a hundred times a day?  Just as my brain hit full-tilt, the Calvary (dear hubster) stepped in in an effort to save the day.  Hello, major blow-up number four.
The ball pit (Chicago, 2002)

In his effort to help, the hubster offered everything he could think of from hiring out the laundry to building me a new laundry room complete with three of every machine they make, all to no avail and we argued for nearly an hour.  I didn’t want to hear the plan or brainstorm or think through options.  My mind instantly snapped back to our Chicago days.  How dare he re-arrange the spice rack while the whole house is falling down around us?  The hubster finally grew silent as I ranted and raved and just when I’d shut up long enough to catch my breath before starting in again, I heard six little words I won’t soon forget.  “Is this really about the laundry?”

The new must have
“You know it’s not,” I hiccupped, and truer words were never spoken.  While I’m frustrated at the hassle factor involved with not having a washing machine for a couple of weeks, none of my tears were marked for dirty laundry.  It was the abrupt change in plans revolving a daily routine that did me in.

The kiddo starts high school Thursday and to say I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed is putting it mildly.  It’s the dawn of a new season for me as a mom and I’ll be honest, I haven’t gotten my hands around all of the changes taking place in our lives just yet.   But I know this—I adore my boys and I’m sold out on helping the kiddo have a great freshman year.  Which is how I also know that Woolite works just fine in warm water in the kitchen sink and is good to have on hand for that time your kiddo wears his new school shirt (you know the one he was certain he’d die without because he wanted to wear it for school pictures?) a week before school starts.

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