Friday, January 14, 2011

Where you are

In my mind, I've been doing a lot of nagging lately, half of which comes out of my mouth. It's petty stuff, mostly, about leaving socks on the table, Legos on the floor, exploded yogurts in the lunchbox. Yet, when you combine these endless little nuisances (not caused by me) with the increasing stress of a job that thinks it can squeeze blood from a stone, a lover who thinks sleeping is a hobby akin to being a concert pianist and getting buried in snow every 5 seconds, you've got a bomb.

And there is nothing on earth more frightening than a Mom Bomb.

This is completely unrelated to the bathroom by the way.

Mom Bomb takes a lot of B vitamins and Kava Kava and chamomile tea and has recently begun exploring the use of Malbec as a sleep aid. So far, nothing has worked. With each sock that Mom Bomb flicks off of the table, with each shower argument she has, with each slam of the door she is seconds closer to putting a handkerchief on the end of a stick and heading off into the frozen, 3 p.m. sunset.

So, it was in this mindset that I was conducting an interview with a man, a leader really, who works with African-American youth and adults in the community. He has twin boys, he was a stay at home dad, he is funny, he is real. And we were talking about how communities these days tend to hold up their hands like surgeons, like somehow no one, despite being neighbors and classmates and parents, really feels like they are part of something larger than the scope of their living room. That's when he laughed ironically.

"Don't act like you don't live here," he said.


I explained this phrase to the kids and I've been using that one all week, especially with the preteen who thinks that Cinderella lives in the kitchen.

"Anna, can you please put those dishes in the sink?"
"WHAT?! But I put them in the sink this morning!"
"Lucian, can you please put your dirty skivs in the hamper?"
"Why? I don't want to, they're not dirty."

"Um, guys, what'd I tell you in the car."
"We know, we know, don't act like you don't live here."

Seems to be working so far. I haven't stepped on a Lego all week, and the laundry basket is overflowing.

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