Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Girl Power!

Last night My Beloved saw a mouse. As the kids and I were out of town he went to the hardware store down the block and bought everything they had, no mouse was going to share an address with the Malloy family!
No school today for Little Monica, so we ran some errands, Costco, the library then home. Walking into the kitchen with an armload of goods I heard a SNAP! I thought for sure one of the 10 mousetraps set by My Beloved had gone off mistakenly. So I look under the sink and it was not a mistake. I quickly slammed the cupboard door and started to quietly whimper, when I realized I had no audience for the squeamish damsel in distress act I felt a little stupid and stopped whimpering. My decision was made, I would leave the dead mouse in the trap for My Beloved to deal with when he got home.
I began to move on with my day when my mom called, I told her the plan with the mouse and instead of supportive and understanding she said "Isn't Little Monica home with you today?" I said she was, which unleashed in my mother all the girl power opinions I've never heard from her before. Her primary concern had nothing to do with the dead mouse under my kitchen sink, it was the lessons I had clearly missed growing up. What kind of an example was I being for my daughter? Hadn't she taught me independence, self-reliance? That girls can do anything boys can? That women don't need to wait for a man to handle the dirty work? (For the record I am ok with waiting!)
After realizing the importance of the lesson for Little Monica and that this was somehow reflective on my mother's parenting of me, and knowing I was made of tougher stuff, I knew what the right answer was. I was going to have to clean up the icky mouse myself and look like a brave, strong woman doing it. Yeah.
So I made Little Monica get me some rubber gloves from the toy doctor kit and hold the bag open for me to put the mouse carcass in. I proceeded to find the grill tongs, now largely labeled "MOUSE TONGS" on one side and "NOT FOR FOOD" on the other. I was not touching that mouse or mouse trap. No way. I pulled my hair back, put on the itty bitty rubber gloves all the while wishing I had a clean suit (you know, full body suit with helmet and a clear, little square to look out of), covered my face with a paper towel and reached into the cupboard with the long arm of the tong and picked up the mousetrap with mouse attached and gently placed it in the bag my daughter was holding open. We then put it into a larger garage bag, and put it outside in the garbage. After allowing Little M to put the mouse carcass into the garbage, she came back in the house and proudly said
"We sure took care of that Mom! Girls Rule!"
Not sure who learned the bigger lesson today. Probably me.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

This Is It?

Lately we've been in negotiations regarding our future. I've been stressed, my Beloved has been stressed, every conversation has been regarding the upcoming months and what the best decision is for our family. While both of our families have weighed in, ultimately the decision is up to us. The past 5 years have been so many changes, in no particular order; a cross country move, then back, a new baby, new jobs, a period of unemployment, the loss of a dear grandparent, discovering our sweet Norah is hard of hearing, a rental home or two, and the lowest point our marriage has ever experienced, and the recovery from that.
Finally we are leveling off, we are reaching a point where we are feeling comfortable, and dare I say, settled. It's a new place for me and while some days I love it, other days I look around and think "This Is It?" I wonder is this what all the fuss is about? Is everyone else having a meaningful life, making daily contributions to the world, and the highlight of my day is a perfect spelling test? Truly, is this it?
Don't get me wrong, I adore my children, think my Beloved was a pretty great catch, but now as we close in on the purchase of a home that we hope to live in for the next ten years and beyond, I find myself thinking about the next step. In your ordinary checklist of life, if there is one, I am struggling to figure out what the next thing to work towards will be.
I know there are thousands of books, websites, refrigerator magnets, pod casts, etc. encouraging me to live the simple life, and enjoy the small things, and most days I do. OK, some days I do, but on the other days, like today, I look at the toys Baby Henry has scattered around, or the kitchen needing cleaning, the to do list that can be done tomorrow and think, "Wow, is this boring."
These may sound like and may be the lonely ramblings of a stay at home mom in a snowstorm deep in the heart of the Midwest in February, and you may suggest taking a vacation (please send money), seeing a counselor (please provide childcare for appointments), or even anti-depressants (no thanks), but those are things I've considered and discarded, because this is my life, good or bad, this is it. Tomorrow will be a better day or at least different, and I think I might try a Vitamin D supplement.