Captain Schenanigans dropped his car off at the mechanic’s today, and took my freedommobile to work. I can not recall the last day Manchild and I spent at home without going anywhere, and I had a list of piled up chores. It raged from little things like putting the kid’s new portraits in frames and finding a place to hang them, to bigger things like mowing the grass and painting metal lawn chairs. It was the perfect catch-up day.
The day started out strong, with me permitted to start the lawn mower only after Manchild found his long-lost ear protection. I wore safety goggles due, to the zillion sticks and trees in our yard (plus I enjoy my sight), but not ear plugs. My husband teased me about not protecting my hearing the way Manchild does, but I am quite certain I don’t actually want to hear everyone around me. So I happily proceeded sans headphones.
I did, however, take the time to throw some Benadryl and an anti-histamine down the hatch before getting started. Pollen in Maryland acts more like a nasal terrorist than a gift to the field crops. This decision will come back to bite me later, I know, so I chased it was a mug of tepid coffee. Mmmmm…tepid.
With Manchild following a safe distance behind me pushing his plastic mower, and protecting his ears, we mowed like champions. Half-way through he resigned his championship status, and laid on the back of the couch in the living room to watch me through the bay window. Light weight.
After I finished I was dying. The day was warmer than anticipated, the grass more prevalent (we usually have more helpful bare spots), and the Benadryl beat the coffee like it stole something. I was dragging. I happily put the mower in our tiny barn, and moved on to re-locating the chicks to their new outside pen. I re-enforced their screen door with an extra piece of scrap wood and the help of a 4-year-old with a screw gun. At one point I hit some difficulty, but then Manchild reached over and flipped off the reverse mechanism, and we were back in business. I am firmly aware that Manchild and I are on the same level of DIY prowess, and I’m okay with this.
After a looooong lunch break, including breaking glass in several picture frames and eventually hanging a few, Manchild and I attempted to spray paint. This is where the arguing started. After spray painting the old yellow metal lawn chair from my grandparents farm in Iowa, I had enough paint left over for a quick touch-up on the 30-year-old metal dump truck we retrieved from Iowa for Manchild. Technically, the paint is mine, I bought it and I didn’t want to waste the little bit left. Also note worthy, the dump truck belonged to Manchild and therefore he felt entitled to paint it. I pointed out that I had already given him a turn painting my chair (I do this so that when the paint dries crappy and drippy, I can simply say that Manchild helped me, and all accusations of impatience and lack of stamina magically waft away). In the end, I fork over the can of yellow paint and left Manchild go to town. His small meaty paws are not strong enough to depress the nozzle. Thus, he resorted to leaning on the nozzle with his belly, and aiming from the navel. I simply waited for him to grow tired of this, so I could rescue back my can of paint and touch up the spots he missed. It took longer than I expected for him to tire of this activity, apparently he has abs of steel under that squishy exterior!
By now I was on a painting roll. I love to spray paint, and after 2 chairs and a dump truck, I hefted the clear glass shower doors off of their track in the bathroom, and hauled them out to the backyard. In a fit of frustration about never having any true privacy in this house, I purchased a can of spray frost last month to frost the shower doors and make my personal hygiene time less of an interactive activity, and more of a one woman circus. I know there will still be people calling my name and throwing faux emergencies at me like army grenades, but at least now there will no visual aids for which to haunt their childhood memories. I pray they never mentally scrapbook any of those moments.
Now I am officially dragging. A friend called me and offered me 7 free year old hens. My favorite kind of phone call. Unfortunately, I don’t have a car. Aw, man. Another friend would enjoy them, and I’d like nothing more than to make a chicken deliver that involves effortlessly driving through the country. Driving is the ultimate parent easy chore, since everyone is strapped down and there is no chasing, plus you get to remain seated for minutes at a time.
Unfortunately, left on my list is to return a camping coffee pot I picked up at a second-hand store yesterday. It was vetoed by my better half. Apparently it will not do on our up coming trip, and the strainer will clog. Back to the store we shall take it. Now, technically the second hand store is within walking distance of our home. But I would have to bring the wagon for Manchild since we no longer keep strollers, and I don’t want to run the risk of having to carry him home. The lack of sidewalks and various sized hills in our neighborhood are actually quite noteworthy.
Buuuuut, now it’s kinda late in the day, and Manchild has me making water balloons on the deck, plus I don’t have a car… so suddenly walking there is less than inspiring. Seeing as there are no friendly truckers rambling past to give Manchild and I a lift down the road, the errands will keep til my wheels come home.
Besides, I liked that coffee pot purchasing experience, it was fun to buy. See, there were 2 chairs along the wall by the checkout lane. One holding an old man, the other a newspaper. I was ringing up my new books and coffee pot, and Manchild got a hankerin’ to rest his footsies. He marched over to the chairs, looks at the newspaper, looks at the man, says nothing but lifts up the newspaper and sets it on the man’s lap. Then Manchild proceeds to crawl up on the now empty chair and make small talk with the stranger like lost kin. Mission accomplished, social graces dismissed. That’s my boy.
So perhaps removing the temptation of freedom did help me get some chores knocked out in the long run (I did a few other things too boring to talk about). But I’m used to free ranging, and enjoy leaving the property. Next time I may take Captain Schenanigans up on his offer to drop him off early at work (groan), or simply rent a horse and buggy for the day. I’ve always really dug the Amish, and Manchild said he wants to haul pumpkins somewhere!