Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 2

A Day in a House of Children
She wakes up in the morning and she can’t believe her eyes. “What happen to this house? I cleaned all day yesterday!” She stumbles over to the coffee pot she couldn’t do anything without the gift of energy that cup would provide. She pushed the coffee pots way to the faucet. The sink was full of dishes again. She was careful not to break the coffee pot it would surely be a bad day, if that happen.
After she had got out the filter and coffee and pushed the start button she continued to look around. Where had the living room floor gone she wondered she knew that she had found it yesterday. She sighs in frustration.
As soon as she had enjoyed her cup of coffee in relaxing silence she knew that it was time to get to work. The kids would be up soon. The laundry basket was full as was the dryer and the washing machine. She emptied the dryer switched over the wet clothes and added the dirty ones. There one thing started.
Now she had to find that living room floor under all those toys. For a moment she dreamed of a bigger house, and then she realized that would entail more cleaning. She quickly ended that dream.
She gathered the two large plastic totes that the kids had turned upside down emptying all the toys on to the floor. The blue one was for Andy’s toys and the green one was for Anna. She flung batman toys that way and baby dolls this way.
She wondered why two children had so many toys. When she was little she was lucky to have one baby doll, not six or seven that her daughter got for Christmas alone. Kids just have too much these days she thought.
The sun had risen to another cold snowy day. She could hear the banging of the crib against the wall, a sure sign that Anna would soon be awake. The stirring had begun.
Her living room floor had reappeared and everything was neatly in its place. She poured herself a fresh cup of coffee on the way to the laundry room. She walked with robot like actions. It seemed like she had been programmed to complete all tasks. He face had a plain expression you could tell that she did not enjoy cleaning.
The rest of the day went on as scheduled. The kids got up and had Fruity pebbles and toast for breakfast. The man of the house woke up drank a cup of coffee and headed out to work. She did everything for everyone. She made their breakfast and got their drinks even made her husband’s lunch and put it in a brown paper bag.
They played blocks, of course dumping them all over the living room floor. Batman and Spider man fought the Green Goblin and the dolls from the Happy Doll house. Goofy and Mickey climbed to the very tip of the tower built of blocks just to rescue Minnie. The house was full of laughter, fun and even arguments. She sat back a realized how lucky she was.
She headed to the kitchen to wash the dishes and make the kids their lunch. Today was macaroni and cheese with fruit and chicken nuggets. She got the dishes done while the water was boiling and the kids played with play dough all over the recently clean table.
By the time that everyone was done with lunch the kitchen was a wreck and there was a sink full of dirty dishes. The kids had macaroni and cheese mixed in the play dough and play dough in their macaroni and cheese. She was tired and frustrated but remembered that they are kids and laughed at herself when she realized she even had play dough and macaroni and cheese in her hair.
By the time that everyone’s little fingers and faces were washed it was story time. It was time for the little ones to grab their pillows and blankets and relax during quiet time. She was only about half way through the book when they both fell fast asleep.
She quickly got up and continued on cleaning and trying to fit some home work in. She never felt like there was enough time in the day to get it all done. On the other hand her body and mind we tired from the long day that she had experienced.
After a decent nap the children work up and were eager to have fun. She had already started dinner in hope that she would be able to have it done when her husband arrived home from work. This was a goal every day. It only happened about fifty percent of the time.
She excitedly announced to them that it was time to go outside. This was always a great way to fill in the afternoon as the kids were lively and full of energy after their nap. Getting an almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old ready to go outside was a long process with in its self. It was only 15 degrees out so they needed layers. By the time that they actually got outside it was getting dark out. They still had time to slide down the driveway a few times. The whole idea was to just get them outside into the fresh air if even for a short time.
When the children’s checks and noses were as red as the ripest strawberries, she decided it was time to head in. Of course the children didn’t want to go. Sometimes to her it seemed like everything was a struggle. Every Mom know some good tricks though, so after several attempts to get them in she announced to them that the first one in and undressed gets the first cup of hot coca.
The kids took off as fast as they could. They giggled and screeched like the tickle monster was after them. Up the stairs and into the house hats and wet mittens on the floor and one even landed in the fish tank. It was a race. She was done first of course and made them all hot cocoa at the same time. They had some much fun, were cold and thirsty no one cared about getting the first cup.
She finished up dinner while they drank their coca and had a cookie. When they were done they were a mess. Seriously wondered if any of the hot coca actually went to their bellies or if it all just when on them, the floor, the table and even in their hair. It was definitely bath time.
The little one grabbed some dolls and got in the tub. The boy grabs some action figures and gets in the shower. She sits in between the two supervising and getting just as wet as they were. She hears her husband drive in and so do the kids and they rush to greet him.
It was already dinner time and she had managed to have it ready. She would warm it back up and dish it up while Daddy wrestled the kids. During dinner they ate and made messed talking about their day. Everyone was getting tired. They all got in their PJ’s and gathered into the living room to watch a movie. The kids were asleep by 7:15 and she was ready to head there herself. She got up and she took the baby to the crib and her husband took their son to his room. She then looked around at all the mess. The mitten was even still in the fish tank. She walked over and scooped it out. The rest can wait until tomorrow when she does this all over again. Goodnight!


  1. I just read a novel called 'Last Night at the Lobster'--a practically minute-by-minute account from opening to closing of the last day in the life of a Red Lobster the parent company had decided to close.

    It has everything from the cook cleaning the grill to the bartender stealing booze to the little kid puking his dessert all over the floor to the waitress getting a penny tip screaming at the old ladies to a busload of Chinese tourists with diarrhea to a parking lot filled with snow to...well, you get the idea.

    I mention it because your piece reminds me of it--all that concern with detail, all that specificity, good things to cultivate, good things to have in your tool box. A detail like this is golden: "The mitten was even still in the fish tank."

    What I miss is a little more attitude. She's tired, she loves her family, she works hard--and what else? What beyond that? Where's the theme that pulls the detail together in the reader's mind, the house to hold for all these specifics in a pattern?

  2. should I rewrite or just think about it?

  3. This might be worth a rewrite because you have good raw material here, but it's certainly not a failure on its own terms, so I'm not calling for a rewrite.