December 23, 2012

This is motherhood.

The other night I was getting The Geel into her pajamas when she grabbed a comb and insisting on combing my hair.  I sat obediently on the floor and watched her concentrated expression as she tried to "tame my tresses," which are so short she basically just kept shoving the comb into my hair, twisting it around and yanking it straight up.  I just stared at her face and a million thoughts ran through my head:  how I hadn't really wanted her, how I had to teach myself to stop thinking about what should have been, how I tell her constantly "I love you" in what began as an effort to convince myself that I really felt it MORE THAN I felt like we made a huge mistake, how I can't imagine my life without her even though that was not the case for a long time, how she is SO sweet and loving and clever and embodies joy.  Every.  Day.  I found myself crying.

I cried that cry that comes over you when you feel the unbridled and overwhelming love of parenthood.  I cried that there were days that I denied myself that feeling for her and I cried that I can finally, honestly say that I no longer think about the life we would be living without her.  Somewhere along the line, I have discovered that there is no "we" or "us" without her.

Now, I don't mean to cheapen this moment, because it was (for me) somewhat profound.  I had spent a lot of days thinking about the things we would be doing if The Geel wasn't here; and to be still for a moment, watching her just be and realizing that I couldn't remember the last time I'd had those thoughts, was a pretty big moment for me.  But the reason the title of this post came to mind was what happened in the next moment.

I wiped my eyes, took the comb from her and pulled her to me to hug and squeeze this beautiful little creature that had just unwittingly overwhelmed me.  And then I was unwittingly overwhelmed by something entirely different:  the stench emanating from her rear.  While it was obvious what the issue was, it occurred to me that while I was basking in this motherly glow, crying simultaneously with small regret and great joy, that my gorgeous, wonderful, joyous baby girl was simultaneously combing my hair and dropping a deuce.  I found myself laughing.

For The Geel, it was just another moment in her day filled with snacks and sippy cups, whining and tears, toys and baby dolls, giggles and silliness, and many, many hugs and kisses.  Nothing profound or momentous  for her--just something to do, something to explore.  A comb.  Mommy's hair.  Another dirty diaper along the way.  Babyhood.

And so this is motherhood:  Overwhelmed by something profound, then the moment passes.  Overwhelmed by something so much more pedestrian but requiring no less attention--and as that moment passed I was simply thankful that I had stopped to let her comb my hair before I had changed her diaper and put on her pajamas.
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December 10, 2012


I feel the need to put out an update on this situation.  Although I am quite positive my post did nothing to ruin the reputation of such a fine retail establishment as SEARS (since my hordes of followers are not protesting at their local SEARS in solidarity with my laundry plight), I do want to be fair and make it known that they have tried to make good.  Kinda

If you haven't read 1-800-F-MY-LIFE, you're gonna want to catch up before reading any further....

So today The Sarge tells me he can smell the fun waiting for us when the SEARS repair man opens the washer on Wednesday.  He wanted to clear the mountain of laundry out of the laundry room so the guy has room to work, and he can already smell the moldy, mildewy stench emanating from the machine.  Nice.  I just hope that the machine is worth using once it's back in working condition.

I do have to report, though, that SEARS has made some minor effort (after an hour-plus-long phone call from The Sarge) to make things a little better.  They offered us a gift card to help make up for any of the clothes that may not survive their untimely incarceration in our defective machine.  They also offered us some compensation for laundromat costs.

Now we won't receive that until after the repairman has completed the repair.  Since they have an allowance per week, they want to make sure the problem is solved before they cut a check.  In other words, there's a chance he may not fix it and we will have to add another week's worth of compensation.  In which case they need to think about sending me a big enough gift card to buy a new washing machine.  

If there is a silver lining here, it's this:  the people I work for have an office in their home (where I go to work) and they have graciously let me use their washer and dryer to do a few loads throughout the week to hold us over.  As grateful as I am for that, I can say for the first time EVER in my life (and I don't say this lightly) that I CANNOT WAIT to be able to do all of my laundry.  Here.  At home.  In my own washer.
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December 3, 2012


I used to work at SEARS.  It wasn't a terrible job by any standards, except that to work a commission-only job (Appliance Sales) part-time in a floundering economy just wasn't worth it, so I moved on to greener pastures.  I do still patronize the joint, however and was more than happy to buy my high efficiency washer there almost three years ago.  I even bought "the beef."  Our "insider" term for the Master Protection Agreement that you can buy (that lasts 3 or 5 years) and covers nearly everything including some acts of God, but adds a cost that is prohibitive to a lot of folks.

Being one who abhors waste of any kind, I was sure to use my agreement to get the allotted annual preventative maintenance checks every year so far, and I have even used it a couple of times for actual necessary repairs that arose.  It has more than paid for itself.

Late last night, I got an error code on my washer.  Google tells me it's a clog or something to do with the pump.  Some fix-it website suggested pulling off the front panel and manually disabling the door lock--which I am unable to attempt lest I void my warranty by "opening up the unit."  I try (as also suggested) unplugging it, waiting (while it's supposedly resetting the computer panel or something) and plugging it back in with no change.  The door is locked and the wet laundry is locked inside.  This is when technology sucks.  I obviously would not have had this problem with the old top-loader.

Early this morning I dial 1-800-4-MY-HOME to set up a repair appointment.  The nice lady listens to my story, looks up the error code, orders a part that will ship right to my house to wait for the repair man.  Then we try a few troubleshooting things which consist of unplugging it, waiting and plugging it back in to find the same red light indicating that the door is locked.  So I am resigned to wait for the repair man--who will be coming in 10 days.  10 DAYS?!?  10 DAYS!?!?!

Now, I'm sure SEARS thinks I can just rent a U-Haul, head over to the laundromat with my mountains of dirty laundry and sit there eating bon-bons while reading my latest book club pick, watching the spin cycle and daydreaming about running away with Matt Damon--EXACTLY how I would do it at home on any given day.

What they fail to realize is that I hardly have time to get my laundry done while it's in my own home!  That between the 5,000 things I forget (daily), the 400 chores that never get checked off my list, my three kids, two jobs and a partridge in a f'ing pear tree ('tis the season) I don't have ONE second to even fantasize about Matt, let alone lug my unmentionables to that 'mat for a wash and whirl.

THEN at about noon, it dawns on me that in 10 days (10 FREAKIN' DAYS!?!?!?) when Mr. Repairman gets my washer open, I'll be dealing with what will quite likely be a moldy/mildewed and rank-smelling load of laundry.  Nice.  Can't wait for that one.

Well, since I can't do any laundry for 10 days, perhaps I'll use all this free time to accomplish all the little things I never seem to get done:  like eating bon-bons, reading my book club picks, and daydreaming about Matt.  And a different kind of wash and whirl.

See the rest of the story here.
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