all too often, I find myself on my hands and knees cleaning up slimy green peas. or chunks of watermelon. or cottage cheese. all foods that will never make it into ezra's mouth, foods that will meet with an unfortunate fate, foods that will end up in those doughy little fists only to be enthusiastically flung into the air. and it's my job to clean it all up. now, the ez is a fairly good eater but he is (after all) a baby and when babies are finished eating they like to to tell you. they yell, they squirm, they throw the leftovers. they just want those peas to GO. AWAY. which is where I come in and I've got to tell you, I detest the cleaning up of the aftermath. something about being on all fours, my face inches away from a sticky, grimy wooden floor that is screaming to be cleaned. nothing brings on such an unwelcome look at my everyday reality as this (and here's the part where I talk about that bath product called calgon and how they claim to take the average housewife far, far away but it's a lie, people don't buy into it because seriously, you need a plane ticket to tahiti and a private masseuse for that sort of escape). the thought of a hot bath only reminds me of yet another room in the house that needs to be vigorously scrubbed. and who wants to soak in a soup of filth? clearly CLEARLY out of the question. at least until the bathroom is clean. and so there I am, crouching under the dining room table, muttering complaint after complaint under my breath while the kids giggle above me, oblivious to my miserable state (thankfully). I can't help but wonder how my mom did it for so many years with three kids-- all those messes, those runny noses to wipe, the countless dinners to make, the piles and piles of laundry, the daily drama, the hardcore everydayness of everyday.
and I understand why she started painting. I finally get why she was often taking a class of some sort or learning how to make something or getting together with friends to make something. everyone needs to play. I am really understanding just how important that is in our big bad important world of adultness, what with all of our hang-ups and responsibilities, how essential it is to find the time to play. why does it always seem to be at the bottom of my list when it should be near the top? isn't it the the very thing that keeps us from going to that crazy place? to paint, to write, to make a collage, to chase bubbles with ezra, to spin around and around with ava until we are dizzy and laughing and on the ground. this is what keeps me from having a little breakdown under the dining room table with all the peas.