Irreverent Mama

Monday, July 09, 2007

"LAURA!!! Laura, Geek Boy spat on your bra!"

Damn. I should have known that would happen. As you know, the girls are substantial. The cheap bras from Zellers are just not up to the job. Nope, I need the expensive (and, such a happy coincidence, very pretty) ones from La Vie. (See that beige one? I own that one. I also have the same one in black.) One does not toss such confections into the laundry with the sweatsocks and blue jeans. One coddles them. One lavishes TLC and Forever New upon them, and soaks them delicately in the bathroom sink, prior to pressing the water out gently and hanging them to dry over the bathroom rail.

And then one's youngest stepson spits frothy toothpaste foam onto them. Guess he didn't notice that sinkful of bubbles and lace an inch in front of his navel. Guess it didn't occur to his empty head to launch that gobful of sputum into the toilet rather than onto a hundred and some odd dollars' worth of lingerie.


Welcome to my summer.

Five extra children pile into our home for four out of the first six weeks of summer. Lazy summer days are a dream.

It's getting better, year by year. My eldest lives on her own now, and the next two children - my son, and Matthew's eldest - have jobs and are very autonomous. Matthew's daughter, Drama Girl, has lived up to her cognomen very well this year, and in a passionate flurry of "I HATE having parents and I'm NOT a child" (a very childish flurry, I might add), she has, at the age of 17, pretty much flounced out of both her parents' lives, and lives mostly with her boyfriend. Gawd help him.

(I keep out of these things. But do I miss her? Does her absence leave a gaping hole in the fabric of our lives? Not so's you'd notice. Even at her best, her energy level is well-described by the DSM, under "manic". The house is much calmer without her.)

Still, that leaves four teens in full-time residence, with another two who live here officially and make regular appearances.

Six. Teens. (Nineteen, eighteen, sixteen, fourteen, fourteen, and thirteen.)

For the most part, they are cheerful, easy-going, biddable. They don't party, they don't play music at ear-shattering levels (thank GOD for MP-3 players; if any ears are being shattered, at least they're being shattered privately), they don't drink, they don't do anything more illicit. (Or if they do, they're very, very discreet.)

So, I have little to complain about, right? No petty crime, no horrific rebellion, and, apart from Drama Girl, no significant conflict.

Just six teens. Which means 27 pairs of ENORMOUS shoes cluttering the small entry way at every moment of every day. We have a shoe rack that would fit about 21 pair. The shoe rack currently holds three pairs: my sandals, my runners, and Matthew's runners.

It means socks littering the house. (Yes, they're still doing that.) This weekend, setting a new record in sock-strewing, we even managed to leave a balled-up pair of dirty sweat socks on the NEIGHBOUR'S lawn.

Thankfully, I spotted them before the neighbour (I hope), and sent the offender out to collect them.

But, Ugh.

It means enormous amounts of food consumed. Which means food, food containers, and food consumption mechanisms also litter much of the house. (I might add here that my children keep food consumption to the dining room.)

It means six people in the house who can and do stay up far, far later than Matthew or me.

Which meant that last night we were woken at sometime after 11 - a good hour and a half after I went to bed - by a tap at the door, and a teen telling us there were ants in his bedroom.

No! Ants?!? In your BEDROOM? Could this have anything to do, anything at all, do you think, with the plates still littered with crumbs under your bed? The plates that I have repeatedly asked you NOT to bring into your room - because you'll get bugs???

And now, at eleven-something, he wants someone to leap out of bed and fix it for him? NOW?


It means no space to sit. This is a small house. I wander the house with a book and a cup of tea, looking for a spot to have a quiet read... two teens fill the two love seats in the living room to capacity. Two more lounge at the dining table. One is on the front porch. One is in the (sole) bathroom. I find myself holed out in my room for much of July and August...


I do love summers, really, I do. And I'll love them even more five years from now.

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  • Bwwaaahh! That's funny! BUT...Your own It's enuogh to make you start smoking.

    By Blogger john.g., at 11:20 a.m.  

  • This is a wonderfully funny post!

    And I am glad to see that I am not the only one this happens to; for some reason, my possessions are given bottom priority in this household. My eldest once asked me if she could borrow my shoes to take out the trash. 'Sure,' I said, imagining that she meant the scuffed-up old pair I leave on the porch for that purpose, especially given how muddy it was outside. But no, it turned out she meant the brand-new, pale beige pair of expensive pumps I bought to wear (once) to a wedding.

    By Blogger Mary Witzl, at 11:24 a.m.  

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