Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nine Days of Summer - Day 1

This is the first in a nine-part series, one part for each consecutive day I'll be home on a vacation from work. "Vacation" in a corporate American-ish sense means I'll still be checking in, checking e-mails, and doing all sorts of work-related things, except without having to put pants on, but with small people draped on me. The following is on our list of things to do for the week plus before school starts back up again, my wife goes back to teaching kindergarten, and all Hell breaks loose:

Clean laundry room
Clean garage
Clean bedroom
Supervise kids cleaning their bedrooms (so just do it for them)
Ensure no other rooms in house get messed up
Re-finance house
Take kids to Ball Game (Wilmington Blue Rocks - Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals!)
Get cars looked at
Clean behind refrigerator
Schedule meeting with financial planner so he can remind us how rich he is
Power-wash house
Go grocery shopping
Complete and analyze 42 Fantasy Football mock drafts
Re-seal driveway
Get back-to-school haircuts
Take kids back-to-school shoe shopping
Go to Sesame Place - with kids

In two good weeks, with focus and determination, I could get 30% of that list done, without kids. So with the extra challenges, we'll be happy with just cutting the grass and getting some of the dishes done.

Day 1:
With that daunting task list in front of me, I slept until 10 AM. That hasn't happened since college, in the days when I could still sleep on my stomach without it taking the Coast Guard and 100 civilian volunteers 3 hours and 45 minutes to move me a quarter inch. I've witnessed the miracle of birth three times but have never once witnessed a Saturday morning when any of them let me sleep that late, much less witnessed the miracle of having no telemarketers from Nebraska, Florida, or Utah call before 9AM. But I did wake up to giggles with a couch cushion on my head. (Honest to God.) So I was knocked out cold.

Refreshed from the best night of sleep I've had since the day after an all-nighter, I contracted some sort of allergy. They say that people are more susceptible to allergies as they get older, and for some reason I have in my late thirties become allergic to the month of August. Something grows in August that doesn't agree with my lungs...maybe it's the No Holiday Tree, the Humidity Weed, or the Pre-Season Football Death Vine, but if there's an allergist in the house, please see me.

I responded to the allergy not by taking medicine to deal with the symptoms but by sneezing so forcefully and consecutively that I thought I crushed a rib. This is why nothing ever gets done in the house...I'm called on for a few simple tasks--and a few complex ones-- and I sneeze my way onto the DL on the first day. So we decided to try things that don't require me to stand all the way upright...we ordered the tickets for Sesame Place, threatened our kids that we'd go by ourselves if they didn't clean their rooms (which is total bullshit because two adults going there by themselves is creepy) and decided to go do the shoe shopping.

(The ball game will wait until Sunday, and this is the first sign that I might have the best kids in the world...we originally told them we'd go Friday when there are fireworks, then backed out because of a 60% chance of rain - it didn't rain - then promised them Saturday, then in the interest of time and health, pushed it back to Sunday, when we now promise them they can go on the field before the game and run the bases after it. If we renege on this promise, we'll have to get tickets to the game where all fans 14 and under get to play an inning of right field. But other than a few mild protests, they've been ok with it. So far. Love these kids.)

The problem with shoe shopping is that it requires all kids present. This runs counter to my attempts to divide and conquer our errands by splitting up the kids and getting double the work done in the same amount of time. But today there was a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale (a BOGOHOS, as I understand it), so we trudged into the shoe store and by some grace of God, all the kids found shoes they liked. Of course, one pair was not available in the correct size, so my wife immediately stepped in and said we'll order those online. If only she had been there for me two weeks earlier when I picked out a pair of dress shoes and, at the tender age of 38, still managed to get taken by the "Well, we don't have THAT exact shoe that's on sale in your size, but we have this one just like it," that happens to be marked up 300% and is not on sale. I'm THIRTY-EIGHT YEARS OLD and still fall for that crap. I hate business, I hate people, and I hate businesspeople.

The middle child was the one whose shoes didn't fit, so we got him a smoothie to take his mind off the fact that everyone got shoes except him. Then we got the other kids smoothies because we got one kid a smoothie. We will run completely out of money before the youngest turns 3. The benefit to this, though, is that he now gets a package in the mail, and he has been known recently to openly weep when he gets nothing in the mail, even though all the rest of us get is a Coupon Clipper, some credit card applications, and a Victoria's Secret catalog addressed to the former residents. (It's been eight years, Vicky, time to update your database.)

So by my early count, we got one thing done today. This puts on a pace to have the list wiped out by late September, when a new list will have blossomed out of the cracks in the plumbing. I did chug a little Robitussin and downed some Allegra tonight, however, so maybe we can hit the ground running Sunday, and maybe even a little before 10 AM.


Oren Miller said...

First of all, BOGO. I went to Stride Rite, and sure enough, their BOGO sale was a BOGOHOS. I went to the cashier and said, "Wasn't there supposed to be a buy-one-get-one sale today?" And she said, "Get one at half-price! We would go bankrupt if we gave a pair for free every time someone bought something!"

I want to go all the way to the Supreme Court for that one.

And also, after ten years in this house, I finally cleaned behind the fridge a few months ago. And of course I found a dead mouse. It could have been there for a month, or a year, or ten years. Or maybe it's been there for 30 years. The fridge came with the house, so who knows.

JC said...

Haha, thanks for stopping by, Oren. My wife was well aware of the BOGOHOS at Stride Rite, so we were spared some sticker shock there. I'm still chafed at the guy at the other place pulling that job on me.

Meanwhile, there is stuff IN our refrigerator that I don't want to see, so behind it is probably something out of a cheap horror film.

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