Tales of a Wannabe Domestic Goddess

pin-upLong before I had children and even before I was married, I said that the only thing domestic about me was that I lived in a house.  I hate housework and don't understand those souls who seem to derive so much pleasure from scrubbing toilets and washing baseboards.  So it surprised everyone including me and my husband when I became a stay at home mom.  Visions of June Cleaver, Carol Brady and Ma Ingalls filled my head - could I vacuum wearing pearls?

No, I'm closer to Morticia Adams than to any of them.  And this realization made me understand that I am seriously uneducated in the methods of home economics.

I'm not saying that I didn't know how to clean.  Everyone can take a rag and a bottle of cleaner and clean like crazy, but I was completely unprepared for the daily routines and just general busy-ness needed to maintain a home.

My mother worked at least part-time for a lot of my childhood so I don't remember her as housewife. And as I’ve mentioned before, she also hated cleaning and housework with her involved the whole family pitching in to get the house in order before holidays or before company came over.  I am a champion of crisis cleaning and can stuff more junk into closets and under beds than you can possibly imagine.

After I married, both John and I worked full time outside the home.  We'd tackle the housework in the same way that my mom did: long marathons just before company or when the kitchen was threatened with closure by the local sanitation department.  I tell the absolute truth when I admit to drinking milk out of a vase because we didn't have any clean glasses.

Once I became a full time mommy, I had to learn to do all those things.  I'm still learning.  My house is mostly clean and on it's way to being completely decluttered.  I have cleaning routines and I rarely crisis clean.  I still have a long way to go but feel like it's not overwhelming.

But for the record, we still call it "excavating" the kitchen.

school age nightmare

I was a bright kid.

In the first grade, I read on a 4th to early 5th grade level.  Instead of being challenged to read more and learn more, my teacher decided that I was a problem and separated me from other children.

In the second grade, I had a teacher who was more understanding of my reading prowess.  However, when I refused to count to 100 - I got bored with the task at around 50 - she decided that I was bad at math and needed to be put into remedial math which only bored me more than counting to 100 did.

My third grade teacher also saw me as a problem.  I was 4 grades ahead of the other kids in the class in reading.  She decided to send me to another class for half of each day for "enrichment" while maintaining that I had to complete all the work from her class too.  I was 8.  I got home from school, took a 30 minute break to tell my mother about my stressed out day and then got to work on 2-1/2 hours of homework.  After 2 months, I was mentally exhausted and told my mother that I "just wanted to be stupid like everyone else".

In fourth grade, I started getting bullied.  I had a great teacher that year but she seemed to have a blind eye for the boys in the class.  We were assigned seats in lunch and I was put next to a guy who delighted in telling me how he was going to rape and torture me every day.  I was in a reading class with two other students which was great because I got the challenge that I needed but it also meant that other students in the class called me teachers pet and teased me constantly.

Fifth grade was a comedy of horrors.  During this year, I was held down by two boys who each felt me up.  I also had two girls hold me down while a third girl hit me repeatedly.  None of these kids got in trouble for their actions.  Instead, I was told to be more careful.

My parents did not believe in designer clothing for young girls and this was when designer jeans were really first in fashion.  I so wanted that stupid swan on my butt.  So during fifth grade, all my differences were pointed out repeatedly by girls who made fun of my hair and lack of designer jeans.

So as you can see, much of what I learned in elementary school was not about the wonder of this planet or about humans at  their best, but about teachers who had no idea how to deal with me, or who wanted to dumb me down to the level of the other students.  I learned that being stupid was preferable to intelligence.  I learned that I wasn't allowed to say no even when I was being violated.