Friday, August 13, 2010

Up To My Eyeballs...

This post comes courtesy of bathtime--and an ability to sit knock-kneed on the lid of the toilet, keeping the lovely laptop out of the tub. It's the first time in days I've felt justified in spending time to blog, largely because I am now up to my eyeballs dealing with More Pressing Affairs.

Summer Break is somewhat of a misnomer. I am finding, in August hindsight, that summer hasn't really felt like a break at all. At current, I have a few tasks tugging at me. Bundles of parent information are waiting to be printed out, tucked into large manilla envelopes, addressed and sent on their merry way. My curriculum is shaping up, and if I could just get Fred Rogers to answer my seance-like questions muttered into the ether--"What Would Mr. Rogers Do?" in so many aspects of teaching--I'd feel like it was completely nailed down. It's shaping up fine in a weird, subject/month/season mandala on a huge piece of white paper that will have to be translated to less-artisitic planning grids.

But what's really kicking my butt these days is The Folly of Home-Owners Past. We have really, really wanted to paint our kitchen nook, and chose the colors four years ago, when Kiddo wasn't even a gleam in his mother's eye. Life plays tricks, makes you drop the paintbrushes by throwing a baby into your arms. And no regrets, but the prep work--well, there's no nice way to say it: It Sucks. It Sucks in All the Worst Ways. I have spent 2 weeks scraping layers upon layers of Each Decade's Most Hideous Wallpaper off one small wall., uncovering spidery cracks on the plaster that cause me to secretly pray that the wall is not, in fact, merely being held together with said Hideous Wallpaper.

My shoulders and arms burn from hours of reaching up higher than myself, which is over half the time as I am of Hobbit-size. My knuckles are scraped up. I've had several slivers of plaster pierce the tender skin right under my fingernails and lodge themselves defiantly, only to be pulled out, bled out, and the hole plugged up with Neosporin. I have never appreciated this ointment so much in my life. And the mantra chanting in my head, over and over as I remove layer after layer with nothing but sweat, a razor blade and determination goes like this:

"Who on earth wanted an entire room of this ugly sh*t?"

We all like decorative details, but we all need to remember that, much like tattoos, wallpaper isn't forever, but it's a bitch to remove. I console myself that I am doing my son a favor, and that when I am dead and he wants to paint the whole house white (because I will have to be dead before any room in this house is ever painted white again), he will not be dealing with endless scraping sessions and insane mantras and the fingernail-seeking plaster slivers.

I am up to my eyeballs in work, and not especially miserable about it. It's good progress, and when each of these jobs are finished, I'll be hustling to transform the house back into school, applying new name tags to the hooks and giving the Marmoleum the three-hour 'strip and two coats of sealant' treatment.

For now, I'll be peeking out from over the paperwork and wallpaper, and of course, Kiddo. I try to imagine my summer looking any differently, but I can't. I'm accepting of it all, even the days I work until 8pm. And that, to steal a phrase from Ms Martha Stewart, is a good thing. Only I'm doin' it without staff. So there, Martha. So there.

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