It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Just doing my job

It’s a half-hour to lunch time. The meal is ready, prepared yesterday evening and needing only to be re-heated before being served. The children are playing quietly (really!) in the kitchen, Duplo scattered from one end of the room to the other. Rory, Grace and Jazz build towers. Poppy gnaws on a block, meditatively. Daniel fills a large coffee tin with blocks, then dumps it out. Over and over. The children are happily occupied, all in the same room, and I … am at loose ends.

What to do?

Well, according to Flylady, I need to clean my fridge today. Though a full half-hour is more than enough time for the task, I doubt the peace will last long enough to allow me the whole fridge. However, I’ll bet I can manage one of the shelves in the door before all hell breaks loose they require more active supervision.

An open fridge, however, means FOOD, so I am soon surrounded by “help”. Poppy and Daniel remain oblivious, but Rory decides he will hold the door open for me. Grace, the original Echo Girl, thinks that’s a great idea, so she holds it too!!! That door? It’s not going ANYWHERE.

(Jazz? Jazz is NOT a food girl. She is still building the World’s Longest Duplo Snake, a project far, far more interesting than the possibility of (ugh, boring, you’re not going to make me eat that are you???) food.)

Within a minute, a miscellany of pots, jars and bottles sits on the floor as I wipe the shelf with a damp cloth. Less than a minute after that, I’m putting stuff back. (See? NO TIME AT ALL.) The children comment on each item as it’s returned. Jam — “I yike booberry jam!”– marmalade — “Dat is yukky, but my daddy yikes it.” — salad dressing — oops, that’s expired! “Can you throw this bottle in the blue box, please, Grace?”

While Grace toddles across the kitchen, Rory peruses the contents of the next shelf up.

“I have that at my fridge!” he says, tapping a can. A can of Bud Light. A can which has sat on that same shelf since Halloween. Since the daycare Halloween party, to be accurate, when it was brought to my house by … Rory’s father. Brought, and sat, unloved, unwanted, ignored. For over two months. (By all members of our household, even the 18-year-old, an age at which one is more driven by opportunism than taste, at least in matters alcoholic.)

“You have that at your house?”
“Yes. That is my daddy’s beer. He yikes a drink it.”

I grin. “Your daddy is a lightweight. You can tell him I said that.” (I know this is safe, because I already did tell him that. At the Halloween party. This, I must make clear, is totally, absolutely, completely, unequivocally the pot calling the kettle black. I enjoy my single glass of wine at the end of a day because, to all intents and purposes, that is my limit. Sad, I know.)




“That’s right!”

Because what’s a good caregiver for, if not to expand their wee vocabularies?

January 11, 2012 - Posted by | food, Mischief, parents, Rory | , , ,


  1. Haha! Nothing like helping then learn the English language…

    And kudos to you for sticking with FlyLady. I like the idea, but the compulsion to read all those emails really cut into my cleaning time (like, uh, reading blogs? Naaaahhhh…). Also, I just couldn’t take being told to put on my shoes every day. (cuz I hate shoes)

    Ha. I picked the stuff that works for me. Though I did actually purchase shoes to wear in the house this winter, you know what? I don’t wear them. For several reasons, I don’t like wearing shoes in the house, couldn’t get used to shoes in the house, and, like you, I get annoyed being told to put them on every damned day. So, I don’t wear shoes in the house. Neener, neener. (In these parts, it’s borderline bad manners, anyway.)

    I also found the endless emails a bit much, so I chose the “digest” option, so I only get one, sometimes two, emails a day, which I read (or don’t, depending on my mood).

    However, I *do* like the 5-week Zone system, the morning and evening routines, the “I can do anything in 15 minutes” idea, and I love using a timer. So I use those. Identifying my home’s “hotspots” has also made an enormous difference in my attitude and the overall tidiness of my home.

    Martha Stewart perfect I’m not, but my home is no longer an embarrassment to me. (At least not too often!) Even better, I know how to get very quickly from “sloppy” to “tidy”, and I know how to maintain things so I’m not often in “sloppy”, and never for long. And that? Is good enough for me!

    Comment by rosie_kate | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  2. I was expecting you to put the unneeded beer in his little bookbag to take home!

    It’s occurred to me, but given that he left it behind deliberately, that veers too close to ungrateful. (Which, of course, I am, but after all this time, it would be rude to say so!) Think I could switch Bud Lite for Guinness in the “Guinness-braised short ribs” I have on the menu this week?

    Me, neither. Sigh… 😀

    Comment by My Kids Mom | January 11, 2012 | Reply

  3. If you have the Better Homes and Gardens Checkered Cookbook, there is an excellent recipe in it for Cheese and Beer Bread that would use that can up in a flash. If you don’t, I can send it to you, if you like.

    Comment by Tuesy | January 12, 2012 | Reply

  4. I like your approach to the FlyLady, same as mine. Incidentally, I found Flylady when I was prearing to open my home for daycare while living in Calgary. I mentioned to a friend that my biggest struggle was going to be having my home “business ready” every day. That’s when she said, “Oh honey, you need FlyLady!” Not that I was sa disgraceful house keeper by any means. I originally did the whole daily flood of e-mails and tried my hardets to wear shoes in the house, but eventually, I mellowed and succumbed to my own good sense!

    BTW, a Bud Light would also still be in my fridge after months, had it been a Creemore though, wouldn’t last a week!

    Comment by Carrie | January 12, 2012 | Reply

  5. You can use the Bud Lite. to get rid of snails if you have a problem with them in your garden, just put little dishes of the beer by your plants and they’ll climb into them to drink and get super drunk and drown. Other than that, I can’t think of anything useful to do with a Bud Lite. Also, is Rory’s dad American? Because I can’t imagine a Canadian drinking that stuff voluntarily (I say this as an American myself, but a New Englander, so we drink Sam Adams).

    Rory’s dad is indeed Canadian, and normally I’d say he has pretty solid taste, in a sweetly geeky, absent-minded professor type way. My former in-laws, also lovely people (and 5th-generation Canadian) drink Coors light (when they drink beer at all, which isn’t often). So, much as it pains me to admit it, we do have our lite-weight drinkers here, too.

    No, I don’t have snail. My front yard is very sunny and thus too hot and dry for them, mostly, and the back yard too acidic, because of the pine tree. (I can’t even grow mint back there. I’ve no idea what’s wrong with the soil!) I do, however, have a recipe for beer stew, basically just beef stew with beer in the broth. Maybe I’ll just whip up a crock of that. Good comfort food for a winter dinner!

    Comment by Kiki | January 15, 2012 | Reply

  6. I have been reading (from start to finish), your blog for the last 2 – 3 weeks. I have got a lot of good ideas both craft wise and child wise (I am also a Family day Care Mum [from Australia]). However this idea is one of your best! I signed up and now I shine my sink and do the 15 minute tidy thing, my house is clean (I have four children of my own that live at home and 5 daycare children) and tidy and I have more time and space to spend doing the fun stuff! So thanks for the laughs from the blog and the great idea of the flylady’s! Oh, and of course have a wonderful year!!

    Comment by Cate | January 19, 2012 | Reply

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