Monday, August 6, 2012

Wondering: Magic Mondays (1) Ants and Expectations

So I try hard not to complain too often about life (I also start too many sentences with 'so'), but the truth is that there are hard days.  There are days that I want to pull my hair out, scream at the top of my lungs, and potentially drop kick the cat out the front door (aren't you glad I didn't say kids... the thought may have flitted through my subconscious).  I try to push past these days and not dwell, but honestly without acknowledging them I would be dishonest to the life I live.

SOOOOOOOOOOOO (see, did it again), I am going to start 'Magic Mondays'.  The first monday of each month will be open to my ranting and raving about the hardships of life as a mother - who knows, maybe by sharing I'll get some good advice to help me have fewer difficult times in the future.  And then, by wednesday I'll be back to my upbeat, hopefully  humerus, possibly poignant normal postings.
Why 'Magic Mondays'????  Well, when I was in grad school I was engaged to Hubs.  He was in PA, I was in NJ and we only got to see each other twice a month.  We would spend the weekend together having mini dates and cuddling on the couch watching movies; but no matter how much fun we fit in, Sunday afternoon would roll around again and we would have to part for two more weeks - we came to call them 'Sad Sundays' because the anticipation of having to soon separate would seep into the WHOLE day.  But still, WHY 'Magic Mondays'????  You see, there is something magical about the really bad days - they end, they pass, they only last for 24 hours (even if it feels like 72) - and then the next day comes and you have the opportunity to start over, a clean slate, a happy day - or at least a slightly easier day.

Ants and Expectations

I HATE ANTS.  Hate, loath, despise.  The disgusting critters are the bane of my existence and should be smite-ed from the earth.  I am not afraid of ants (that is spiders) I just HATE them, they carry more diseases than any other bug and they are gross.
Long story short, we get ants about once a year, always in the summer, always in the kitchen.  I've done everything, ajax sprinkled along the edges of the wall, Raid, stomping.
So, the ants came again this year - resulting in me frantically clearing everything off half the kitchen, furiously scrubbing cleansers and then spraying poison.  Which leads to desperately trying to keep A&B OUT of the kitchen, because there is POISON.  While hubs looks on obviously thinking 'Meh, it is just an ant'.
I think I have it licked - I keep all food off of half the kitchen counters (which reduces me to working in roughly on one square foot of counter top and on top of the stove (which is NOT a flat top).  I watch daily for the creatures and start to breath a sigh of relief as I do not see them re-emerge on the counter top.  Then I reach for a cutting board in a bottom cupboard..... AHRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRG  ANTS!!!
2 ants to be exact, but dang it, what are they doing IN a cupboard?????  Hubs walks in to see me furiously scrubbing.  "Ants" I exhale in an angry breath, "Oh yeah, there have been a few in that cupboard" is his casual reply.  WHAT!?!?!  I freeze, hands plunged in soapy water wringing the sponge in a manner that wishes it was a NECK.  Excuse me, you know there are ants and you have been letting them fearlessly frolic through my cupboard???  I take a deep breath, I say nothing - it is just two ants.  I finish prepping dinner and feed my hungry family.  I am exhausted.  For one evening, I let my war against the tyrants lapse.
The next night, in the midst of the cacophony of screams for a toy taken, cries for a bottle not quite prepared quickly enough, and constant 'mama, up'; I attempt to make dinner.  I have plan, spaghetti, apple sausage, and biscuits.   Good plan.  I go to grab a baking sheet for the biscuits....  ANTS!!!
But not 2 ants, TONS of ants.  I look in the cupboard that I had ignored in my haste the previous evening.  Scores of ants, ants crawling and marching, and laughing at me (I can hear it, I can hear their horrible laughter - ok maybe the poison in the kitchen is getting to me).  With tears in my eyes and my head pounding I pull everything from the cupboard out on to the floor.
Hisssssssssssss - the water pot is boiling over.  The sausage is almost burning.  CRAP, I still need to get the biscuits IN the oven.  Scrub the sheet, plop the biscuits in the oven.  Spray the cupboard with windex - yep it instantly kills the suckers.  Clean it on my hands and knees, spray MORE poison inside the cupboard.  Wash my hands, run out to the screaming children to administer a bottle, return a toy to it's rightful owner, BREATHE, run back to the kitchen, flip the sausage, start the sauce, stir the noodles.  I hear the door open, 'honey I'm home'.  I want him to rescue me, I want him to intuit all that has happened in the last 20 minutes (as well as the whole day), I want him to say 'let me take care of it honey'.  But he doesn't.  He greets the boys with snuggles and kisses, adjusts the baby's bottle, and runs upstairs to change into comfy clothes. BREATHE - stop strangling the pasta spoon.
 Here's the thing, Hubs hasn't done anything wrong.  I want him to fly in like a super hero, to take care of the ants (so that I am not breathing in sprayed poison on a daily basis), to remember how hard it is for me to do my job 8 hours a day while he does his.  But ants don't bother him, he rarely uses the kitchen for more than operating the toaster (so he doesn't recognize what a challenge it has been to function in a dysfunctional kitchen), and he works hard all day too.
My expectations are MINE, not his, and I've never communicated them.  After the boys are in bed, we talk.  Talking doesn't instantly change the world or make the ants disappear, but it is healthy (much healthier than abusing my poor kitchen tools), it allows us to laugh as Hubs makes 'A Bug's life' and 'Ants' references, it allows us to reset.  And maybe next time the battalion of ants attack, I'll have someone at my back.

they are prepared for battle - are you???

(*I will never complain about hubs in a post that we have not discussed already.  He is my number one reader, my help, and my love) 

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