With about two weeks to go until we leave this house, there are many, many things I ought to be doing. I am neither a lover nor a maker of lists. They bore me. They almost bore as much as the people who love to make them. My usual tactic of organization resembles synapses firing off in a toddler brain — a rapid spurt of activity in which I remember scores of things I ought to do, followed by a protracted period of nothing at all.
But last week the move caught up with me, and while tossing back a margarita with a friend, I was forced to make a list.
From time to time I just stare at the list. Occasionally I add something to it. I have yet to remove anything from it. Once in a while, to placate myself, I add items to the list that I accomplished about six months ago (schedule swimming lessons for summer, clean the barbecue..), and then I cross them off. It’s remarkably soothing.
Here’s the rub: As much as I love a good cross-country move (and I do, I really do), It seems as though I still have to parent while I’m moving. I think back to all the glorious moves I made single, or newly married, when I could spend a day drowning in my accomplishments, when I could clean the house one room at a time, when I could find homes for all the items I didn’t want to bring with me. (For someone who buys NOTHING without asking “how will I move with this?,” I have a remarkably large amount of crap.)
No matter how much cleaning I do now, every surface of the house looks like this:
The boys came back from a week of day camp (sweet respite!) brimming with “prizes.” The absolute last thing I need in this house at the moment is 14 pairs of Groucho Marx glasses, 23 Chinese finger locks and 6 pairs of plastic maracas. I cannot keep the crap at bay.
And it’s not just the stuff they carry, but it’s them as well.
I took Sidney to the park this morning, trying my damnedest to get some time alone with her, hoping that’s all she needs to cure her of these insufferable terrible-twos (which in my experience last until four). Turns out that a cat took a shit in the sandbox, and then Sidney herself (newly potty trained) had to take one in the skeevy public toilet.
I truly do not belong anywhere near one of these.
While I was in there, holding my breath and flushing with my foot, I got a text:
Text: “Hey Efram.”
Me: Who is this?
Text: This is Miguel. You recently responded to our ad about making money from home.
Oh, I did.. did I?
Me: Efram is a nine year old boy.
Text: I am texting today to see if you are still looking for an opportunity, or if you have found one.
Me: I repeat — Efram is a nine year old boy. He recently lost his new retainer within 22 hours of receiving it. Occasionally I tie his shoes for him. I’m quite sure you don’t want to entrust him with what I’m sure are high level business interests.
Text: Maybe you are interested? Would you like to work from home?
Me: No. Thank you. (What I did not write: I already work from home, and I’m not sure I’d write me such a stellar letter of recommendation at the moment. Bark elsewhere, buddy. This tree is all wrong for you.)
Really Efram? This is almost as good as the stunt you pulled last summer when you signed up for information from about 20 unaccredited universities online and I spent all of July fielding phone calls from admissions offices. (When I asked him about this, he said: “The ad asked if you were smart for your age, and I kind of am.”) I told him that if he gives out my number again to some online yutz while he’s playing fantasy football, then I’ll cut off his thumbs.
At least that’ll be two less things to move with.