Friday, August 20, 2004

Future fodder

It's the last free week day before school begins on Monday. Downstairs, I hear gun clicks, Playstation, Cody talking typically nonstop in a loud voice, and other kids. Lots of kids. How many are down there now? I think I only admitted four from the neighborhood. There is an extra basement door, though, to admit people (as my teenage daughter has observed). There could be twenty. I hear one of the kids saying, "Cody, I'll give you $5 if you will just sit down and stop talking." Another one is saying, "Cody, don't! Cody, don't!" Commotion. Ah, parenting ......
I am walking around, wiping things down, and slipping into my bedroom (door shut, fan on) to read our next book club selection called "Naked" by David Sedaris. Yes, he's encouraging me to see all of this chaos as normal, as fodder for future jokes. I should write down all the nitty gritty for storage when life gets hard.
For instance, this morning, Cody forced (he's incessant!) me to rate the girls in his third grade class according to how pretty I thought they were. Later, I was forced to answer jokes like, "Why did the toilet paper run down the hill?" "I dunno" "So, it could reach the bottom."
"What's yellow, brown, and hairy?" "Hmmm...." "A grilled cheese sandwich that dropped on the floor."
My daughter is at a neighbor's house whose little brother is bearable, has a paper route, doesn't squeal still, doesn't own a book called "The Grossest and Yuckiest Jokes" and can be touched without a return punch. Her friend's parents are probably more organized and together than me too. They make lunch instead of scrounge. They draw posters commemorating a birthday child. They don't invite stress over carpet lint (hey, that's not my stuff). They know what papers to bring to a school meeting. I'm sure her van is cleaned.
I have the pie edge, though; I must remember that. On Wednesday, 17 women came to my house for a women's ministry leadership meeting. I brought out five of my pies. Lots of exclamation: chaos was controlled in a forkfull. It's a wonder that I'm not obese because of that last statement.
It is quieter now downstairs except for a few, "Cody!" They're tolerant probably for about 10 minutes and then I'll be soothing some tears.
School begins on Monday.....

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