Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Working Mom: Volume 1; Issue 4: Housework

I was up past midnight doing what I loathe - scrubbing the kitchen floor.

It don't do this often. Which is why it needed scrubbing instead of mopping. It's a rare week the floor even gets swept.

Now, you may call child protective services on me, but it's either sweep the floor, or feed the kids, do the homework, spend some time enjoying the family, do the laundry (I have a reprieve for now - the washer broke!), go grocery shopping, empty the dishwasher, give some baths, encourage potty use (19-month old is pretty-well diaper free now, except on excursions. I have to say elimination communication, even in my minimal use of the technique, has made this transition soooooooo easy!), test the pool water, monitor the kids in the pool, give swimming lessons, do more laundry to have enough towels for pool use (hmmm, better get a new washer soon), search for the missing toddler shoe, do a little happy dance with said toddler when shoe is found, hunt down that funky smell, drop the oldest off at school, pick the oldest up at school, talk to the teacher about prostheletizing six-year-olds damning my child to hell, make lunch for oldest after cleaning out lunch box which is source of funky smell, brush three sets of hair, "do" up to six ponytails with accessories, find some clean underwear for three kids even though we must have close to a hundred pair (oh yeah, that washer thing), shop for a new washer, oh, yeah, and go to work.

Big Feat (I'm still working on a good title for The Man of the House) is a good Daddy. He takes the kids to the museum, feeds them lunch, encourages creativity, wipes noses and butts... in short, he loves his kids, and they love him. But, where he excells at Daddydom, he withers at housekeeping. I see pictures of people in their houses, and the first thing I notice is not the cute dress on the little girl or the finger up the nose of the toddler, or the snarl of limbs on a Twister board, complete with donkey, no, it's how everyone's homes seem to have clean floors. Look, no paper snippets all over the carpet! Wow, that kitchen tile gleams, and not a single toy or tossed paper cup on it! How did they housetrain that donkey?

I try to console myself that Big Feat is keeping all the little Metatarsels happy instead of throwing away the plastic Otter Pop skins, or cleaning a dish or two, or, yes, sweeping the kitchen floor.

But, I'd rather be playing with the kids myself instead of cleaning the house. No amount of nagging or pleading seems to help in my cause, and it beats me down.

Thus, my nocturnal quest for walking through the kitchen without getting stuck to the floor.

It's more than just easier navigation, though. My folks are visiting tonight, you see. Mom always had to pester me to clean my room or do my chores, it's not like she expects something out of Martha Stewart's Living. Would I want my daughters staying up late scrubbing their floors in preparation for my visit? No. But, this working mom has a need to prove that I can do it all. I can work full-time. I can have three kids. I can own a home. I can have shiney floors.

Just, please, don't look at the countertops.

Monday, September 11, 2006

And so it begins.... and never ends


It's been five years since the Twin Towers in New York fell and the War on Terror began. Our nation has vowed to "never forget" the senseless death of 2, 996 people in fiery, violent, incomprehensibly abbhorent acts of hate.

The loss of so many people in mere minutes, infant and aged alike, is not to be forgotten easily, or willingly.

In his speech a few hours after the towers fell, President Bush vowed "The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts."

In five years time, Osama bin Laden is still at large. Instead of hunting down and punishing those responsible for the deaths of 2,996 innocent lives on the morning of September 11th, 2001, we have since been responsible for the deaths of nearly an equal amount of armed servicemen and women and over 41,000 Iraqi civilians while hunting down and punishing those who had nothing to do whatsoever with four planes, and the children on board, being used as missiles.

In Bush's own words, in regards to Osama bin Laden, "You know, I just don't spend that much time on him .... to be honest with you." He said that way back on March 13th, 2002, barely six months after he swore unending vengeance on the bastard. It's now been five years, and the person behind the smoking towers, the hole in a field in Pennsylvania, the burning Pentagon, the uncounted tears of billions of people as they learned of moms, dads, babies, grandparents, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons who died a most horrible death is forgotten, left to live his life whereas others will not..


Five years after Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, France was liberated and we were months away from the surrender of Germany and a little less than a year from the surrender of Japan. Five years after December 7th, 1941 when the battleship Arizona lay at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and the US had declared war on Japan and Germany, the War was over and the Baby Boom had begun. We had the good will of most of the world, we were rebuilding countries, we had our sons and daughters back home with us.

Five years after the Twin Towers fell, we have lost the respect of most nations, including most of our staunchest allies in NATO. We have given generations of people in the Middle East blood-earned reason to hate America even more, breeding reason for terrorist attacks across the globe on America and our allies. If we had "stayed the course" and gone after the people responsible for the flags at half-mast today, we might be closer to winning this ambiguous "war on terror." Instead, Bush went after a man who "tried to kill [his] dad!", still thumbed his nose at the Bush family from a war a decade earlier, and also happened to be sitting on a hell of a lot of oil.

This Iraq war was, and is, no hunt for terrorists. It was a family vendetta, with some war spoils thrown in, that has grown into a quagmire we can't get out of and prohibits us from doing what Bush vowed to do: hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. We have squandered the untethered support from the world earned by the blood and fear and tears of those we lost five years ago for a few mens' personal values of pride and greed.

"I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." - George Bush, March 13th, 2002.

And still, the children cry for Mom and Dad who went to work on September 11th, 2001, and never came home.


Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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