You might not be surprised if I tell you that you can not eat off of the floors in my house. Well, you could, but then you might not feel very well, and then you might also start to wonder about yourself, about why you would eat off of someone's floor in the first place and not, say, a plate. Oh, by the by, you might not want to eat off of one of my plates.
I clean about as often as I feel that I have to, and you can tell from looking at my place that I don't feel very obligated. Unless someone comes over to visit or if someone tries to eat off my floor and then I have to stop them and say, "Hey, you might not want to do that." "Yes, I really do. I HAVE to," he'll say, because I would imagine that this is how a person who eats off the bare floor would respond. "Ok," I'll say handing them a fork. "If you can find the floor, it's yours. Just kick around the laundry and move those papers. And that dog. There you go. Hey! Look at that! I DO have a floor!"
And to tell you the truth, the kids and I don't wash our hair or brush our teeth as often as we should. Hey look, you asked!...oh wait, no, you didn't ask for that information. I'm just giving you the cold hard facts here. Life is a little crazy lately and sometimes the kids and I fall asleep in our clothes, on the couch, with the dog and the cat and the rabbit. Teeth unbrushed, faces unwashed, pajamas unworn. But we get to school and to work every day. And when we do people are overjoyed to see us! Until they get too close and breathe. Then we might smell a little funny, and truthfully we might look a little funny. The other day when we were running late I told Christopher to put on his socks and he yelled from his bedroom, "Ok, they're on!" He walked into the kitchen with his socks draped over his head. He thought he was hilarious, and even though we were seriously late I still had to laugh. What a smart ass.
We are making each other laugh more. That's been a good change. A few weeks ago I was lying in bed, depressed about something and Emma snuggled down next to me and said, "Hey Mom." "What?" I grumbled back. Then she boasted, "I have 50 electric peanuts in my pants." I smiled. I hadn't smiled all day. "Do you?" I asked. "Yes! Oh - what a minute..." she snuck under the covers and came back up. "I'm not wearing any pants." Somehow Emma knows just what to say to make me laugh. I could be coming home from the funeral of both of my parents and Emma could say the words "electric peanuts in my pants" and I would still giggle. It's not just the ridiculous things that she says. It's that, at age 8, she has mastered a dry tone so she says these things very matter of fact.
The other day I was able to turn it around on her. She, Claire and I went to a mother-daughter yoga class on Sunday and Emma started off class upset about something. She cried quietly for the first 15 minutes. There are so many big changes going on for that little kid and when I saw her crying like that I wanted to make everything better, but I didn't know how. So when we were lying on the floor I whispered, "Hey! Emma!" She looked at me, and she seemed so sad and tired. I probably looked the same way weeks before when she found me in my room. "I've got 50 electric peanuts in my pants," I whispered. She smiled a little, but she didn't laugh.
The class worked on her after a while. The teacher had us doing fun, playful poses and Emma began to giggle a bit. Then in the last ten minutes of class she fell asleep during the meditation. Poor thing really was tired. Since it was Chris's weekend with the kids, he came to pick them up at the end of class. It's always painful to watch the kids get in the car with him and go, just a reminder that our family's split. Even though it's a good thing, Chris and I both agree on that, there's something about it that's just hard. When I was telling them goodbye Emma called me over to her window. She said, in her flat tone, "Hey Mom. I've got peanuts in my pants too." That's true mother-daughter bonding.
We're working on it, this taking care of ourselves physically and emotionally thing. Just a little awkward right now what with all of the peanuts in all of the pants. Atleast we can laugh.