Helluva Friday

If the lawnmower had just started I wouldn’t be having this Paula Cole moment.

The locust tree took over my yard and threw up shoots.  I broke one mower trying to bludgeon them to death. Friend Richard came and ground the stump into submission so now I can mow. This is great timing because the grass is about eight inches long and it’s spring. It’s also alternating hot and jungle rain, so it’s growing about three addition inches per day.

Another dear friend dropped off a mower, but I’m a girl goddammit and I can’t start the fucker. My sons held the handle together while I tried to pull it. After about three minutes and some of the most effective profanity heard in parenting, Matt finally laughed at me and said, “You really do need a guy.” (Turns out you have to push a little button to get it started.)

The kitchen sink leaks to the point that I have three buckets dispersed beneath it, scattered amidst the forest of mushrooms. I turn on the cold water only when I need it which means we get drinking water from the bathtub spout. The hot water scalds anyone who pushes it past the middle of the sink – or all the time now since the cold water is turned off generally. If I don’t empty the bucket daily, it oozes over onto the cupboard. Pretty sure I could push the pointy end of a toothbrush through the bottom of the cupboard – it’s so squishy.

To be accurate, it’s not three buckets. My plumbing solution is one small bucket, one small plastic bowl, and a towel because just yesterday when I was doing dishes I realized the water was leaking out of the cupboard door. “Well, that’s not good,” I said to myself. “I wonder what new excitement is happening underneath there?” I asked myself. “Oh, how interesting,” I said as I opened the door to see that not only are both lines dripping but the connector between the right and left sides of the sink just plain old detached. And water was basically just overflowing straight into the bucket. If I wash dishes quickly and hold the pipe up with my right foot, then it works pretty well.

My life is like camping but with a comfortable bed, flush toilets, wifi, and some really high crab grass.

Ants in the bathroom. And I’m pretty sure that the kids’ friends at school take off their smelly socks after recess and give them to my children who wake up in the middle of the night and litter them about the house. Because NO ONE can possibly have THIS MANY smelly socks in their house with three children who are only here every other week. It’s simple math.

On the plus side the rats seem to be finished shitting all over my garage and eating my TVP. I feel fairly confident about the TVP part because there is none left to eat. Bastards.

Drove the boys to school today. We were a little early but I was still stressed out because of 1) dirty socks and 2) Matt asked me to get him milk. “You are going to get eaten in the wild,” I told him by way of encouragement. “Get your own damn milk.” As I drove, I was considering what a stellar mother I am in all ways. A bus ahead of us decided it wanted to change lanes at a really shitty spot, slowing down traffic for a block and a half behind it, so even though I had time, it made me cranky.

Once the bus moved over, I saw why it was changing lanes. Just in front of it on the street was a woman stuffing a bunch of dirty clothes into a laundry basket. She’d been crossing the street – a really busy street just off of I-5 – with an overflowing green plastic laundry basket of clothes. Maybe her clothes were clean, maybe dirty. Maybe it was all she had – maybe she was going to the Laundromat. Maybe going home from one. But I felt like that lady. And it scared me and I wanted to cry.

I resented that I had to take my kids to school and couldn’t turn around to pick her up and drive her somewhere. Maybe we could both inhabit one body and share resources. At least I have a car and a washer.

When you are poor, there just isn’t enough.

I need to finish school and get a job. I don’t like it here right now. Someone come mow my damn lawn.

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