Monday, 28 April 2014

Please Wipe Your Feet You Filthy Little Bitch.

It's Canada and we have been waiting for spring since February.  We accept our Canadian winters with poise and dignity, like we do with all things Canadian, eh? We also glorify the arrival of spring with the budding trees and the tulips.  Well this year spring has been fickle.  We have been teased.  It has been tough to remain polite.  Frankly it has been f^$%ing ridiculous!!

Today the backyard is thawing again. This is one of the days (of many) that I question the sanity of getting (the kids) a dog. Even stupider was a cute little white dog.  It is mud puddle season.  Casey "runs a muck" jumping and frolicking.  She is having a ball. The cat observes from a tree, shaking her head and licking
her paws.  When Casey comes in she looks like a drowned rat.  I tell her "wipe your paws you filthy little bitch", but she looks the other way.  This  reminds me of my children. The upside though, to spring with a dog, is that she has resumed the practice of pooping outside, rather than pooping in my laundry room.

Earlier this week, I was out and about, as I try to launch the habit of daily walks.  It was slightly warm and bright and sunny.  Everyone and their uncle (and their uncle's dog) was out.  People were smiling.  Strollers were being pushed through the thawing snow and the resulting pools of runoff. I saw a baby with sunglasses on, out for his first toddle with mom and dad holding
each chubby little hand.  I saw a young girl in shorts, a tshirt and rubber boots.  I saw a couple optimistically and prematurely riding their bikes and yes, I did actually see a guy wearing sandals but just to be fair, he was wearing socks.  I guess this is understandable given the temperature, but a huge fashion faux pas none the less. It is late April but it looked like a lovely day in early March.  I am sure the birds and the Snowbirds are confused as they arrive back home..  I am sure the maple sap is running up and down,up and down the tree over and over again.  Everyone is a bit confused with the fickle start of spring.
As I walked and observed, I noted signs of this confusion.  Like the term Brunch,  I have seen mentions of Sprinter and Wing.  As the snow melts the confusion becomes apparent.  What is the appropriate house decoration for this time of year.  Do we hold on to winter or do we boldly put up our spring lawn paraphernalia with the hope that we don't jinx the arrival of warm weather

Yesterday, just after unpacking,what \K, K and B used to call, "outdoor" shoes, the snow started to blow and I was back in my scarf, pompom hat and mitts. I was going to head to the gym and walk the treadmill for fear of slipping on the frozen pools of runoff..  I convinced myself that if anyone had the opportunity to stay indoors, they would definitely take it.  In all honesty though, I could just not fathom the idea of scraping the ice off the car one more time.
As true spring approaches, God willing, I am reminded of the term I have heard, but yet to understand.  What is the deal with Spring Cleaning?  I thought maybe it meant wiping the mud from the kitchen floor when the dog comes in, but I think there may be more to it than that.  I have never tried to convince anyone that cleaning is top on my list of things I think of doing on a sunny day, or any day for that matter.. When the kids were little I grasped
on to any kind of poster or wall hanging with a "saying" that implied I wasn't keeping a clean and tidy house because I was just spending way too much time being a super mom, who values the times she spends with her children, much more than time spent cleaning.  I loved to quote "the finger prints on the wall just get higher and higher and then they are gone".  This I found so poignant.   I like to think that it was a good thing that I was not fixated on "keeping house"when K, K and B were growing up.   I never would have baked or entertained the idea of any crafts beyond stickers.  Glitter would have been banned and play doh would have gone crusty. There would have been no blanket forts and I would have gone crazy trying to find the floor, underneath the carpet of teenage
clothes.  Don't get me wrong.  There was rarely a peanut butter sandwich stuck between the cushions on the couch. The bathroom rarely smelled like the men's room at Maple Leaf Gardens.

I have gotten away with the whole self-righteous "my children are my priority" mantra but that being said it just begs the question, now that the sticky threesome live elsewhere, "what the heck is my excuse now".  Derek is away.  As I sit here, there are dishes in the sink, my bed is unmade and I see Dust Rabbits everywhere.  Do I feel compelled to stop writing and attend to these things?  Not in the least.

My husband likes a tidy home.  He came from a home where his mother had a weekly day that was ear marked for cleaning. She knew how to keep house.  Carpets were SHAMPOOED!  Apparently this was a scary day for little boys.  I think my mother-in-law ironed socks. Ethel O'Rourke, with great intentions, gave Bridget a toy iron when Bridget was about 3.  I think this may have been her attempt with #3 child to get her young enough, that she
might might learn just what  wrinkle-free blouses looked like.  Much to her dismay and to my embarrassment, Bridget put the small iron up to her ear and began to speak childlike babble into it.  Cell phones weren't even commonplace, but I guess she was more familiar with a mobile phone than an iron.   I don't think Derek's mom ever got my idea of sporadic cleaning, with the schedule mainly dictated by her visits.  Man could I whip a house into shape!  \I barked orders. I was a horror, but that kitchen floor shone. When my in-laws arrived the house looked great, but no one was speaking to anyone.

                                                                                                                                                              Derek has learned to live with me as long as we don't have to share a bathroom. When he decides                                                                                             enough is
enough he takes all the odds and ends that our strewn about and piles them into baskets.  However, that is the extent of it.  Unpacking the baskets is never a priority for him.  For the next week, all I hear is "have you seen the corkscrew" and "do you know where my gloves are"?   I think the key to a successful marriage is the union of 2 people with complementing ideas of "keeping house". This is basically, one piles stuff in baskets and one puts these things away.

Well, today is another bright and sunny day however from where I have planted myself on the
couch, I am pretty sure it is chilly out.  I am happy to have my new found habit of outdoor walks, even if it means that I will have to wear my pompom hat.  It gives me a reason to avoid the taxes and the baskets of odds and ends that need to find their way back to their homes.  I expect these baskets may still be full when Derek returns. As noted, he does value a tidy home, so I will shove these baskets into the empty bedrooms that were once littered with clothes and dishes and art work, and I will feel happy that Spring Cleaning never included washing off those blue smarty finger prints.