06 November 2005

how to survive

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.


  1. This should be a great reminder to us all. Not having kids...I let myself get bogged down with stress from work...or paying the bills...or whatever...and I need to focus more on enjoying life and finding time to delight in my hobbies.

  2. fabulous collage and post! you are so right! and we should make it a priority! ok - i'm going to go play now.

  3. I love to play and sometimes think I play too much. But the peas.....they are bringing me down man. (this week's peas are in the form of: mucus)

    One form of play for me is my blog.

    Your collage is cool.

  4. I'm so with you. And when your pregnant (as you were with ezra) and doing all that... all the simple tasks seem insurmountable! So hard to do it all with out "grumbling or complaining".
    Blogging is my little escape.

  5. i think you just made it to the quotebook: 'the hardcore everdayness of everday'. that is such a true statement. i have been really stressed lately and then this weekend i went to a costume party and got to play make believe....it was just the cure i needed!

    **and i love your collages! collaging is a big stress reliever for me

  6. yes. yesssss. yeeesssss. I am so right there with you. I cant keep up with the mess! why dont I play more? the peas, oh the peas.

    (and now I am staring at the word varification wondering what in the world that first letter is....v? r? is it necessary to have such a fancy script?)

  7. i totally second that hot bath myth!

    every word rings true and amen on this post andrea.

  8. aj- thanks for always leaving such great comments here... so glad to have inspired you to play...!

    jan- thanks for such kind words about my collage... you should know just how much you inspire me and encourage me to play...!!!

    glam jo- you can never play too much. okay, well maybe you can. but I bet this is an aspect of your personality that makes you fun with a capital F... I totally agree-- the blogoshere is great playtime for me as well! oh, and sorry about the mucus. bummer.

    zabs- I know you can relate! the belly can make cleaning up peas next to impossible, eh? relieved to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with the grumbling and complaining... blogs are so great for playing (and grumbling and complaining)...

    meridith- oh man, I'm HONORED, so honored to have made it to your famous quote book... which I just know is stinking AMAZING. and so happy you got the chance to play this weekend. dying to hear what you ended up going as...??? nothing better than playing make-believe! thanks for the compliments on the collage...! it IS stress-relieving, isn't it?... is this yet another thing we have in common?

    lulu- we are forever bonded through our misery over the cleaning up of the green peas... and sososo much more. seriously, so glad to have you in my life to share in these things with...! and yo, seconds to the crazy word verification! can't tell you how many times I've gotten the verification WRONG... what's the deal there? it's a little out of control.

    jenny- so glad you enjoyed this, I know you can relate and appreciate... oh, and so glad I'm not alone on the whole hot bath scam...ha!

  9. I am proud of you for feeding your children green vegetables.

    This collage is so beautiful!

  10. I have paint under my nails right now, and pots from last tuesday that need to get cleaned. You're in good company Andrea!

  11. Hallelujah

    i wish we could go get a pedicure together... and sip tea... and look at art....

    playing is so so important! and completely underestimated!

  12. You know, my uncle is a painter and while my Mom's sister was in the hospital for depression, he was painting these wonderful southern, peaceful landscapes. It was almost like he was projecting himself into that world...

  13. so true, 'the hardcore everydayness of everyday', ah, I struggle :) and escape often. I tried to tell myself it was part of growing up (finally), thanks for letting me know it's NOT! I'll keep on playing :))))

  14. Oh I totally agree about detesting housework. If I ever "make it" that's the first help I'm going to hire! And as for play: YES, YES, YEs! I love your collage too!

  15. as usual, you kill me with these posts--so true, so real, so stinkin' funny! The part about a hot soak in the tub only reminds you of another place that needs to be cleaned. EXACTLY. Let's just say, I barely get my downstairs clean each day, so my upstairs rarely sees the touch of a cleaning cloth or the sweep of a vaccuum or the scrub on a sponge. Sometimes my bathroom gets to "bachelor status". What would martha stewart say???
    Great post. Great art. I love this new display of talent from you!


    but no, seriously: everything you said. ditto. yep, yep. i'm fully on-board.

  17. Andrea... a fantastic surprise always awaits me when I peek into your blog. I get to "PLAY" when I read your blog, a much needed break from the mounds of work.

  18. again, thanks to everyone who said such sweet things about my collage. I don't always feel so comfortable posting them here but with encouragement like this... starting to feel less cowardly and more brave-like.

    nance- I try... boy do I try with those green veggies! thanks for noticing.

    katiek- so glad to know I'm not alone...

    lisa- yes to that pedicure, I say! now if we could only do something about those pesky 3,000 miles between the two of us.

    james- so interesting about your uncle... I love hearing things like this.

    karin- keep on playing, sister... I'm so there with you.

    christina- can't tell you how many times I have dreamt of someone coming into clean my home... just once... I would be in HEAVEN.

    molly- really, it just helps me so much to know that I'm not alone! (especially when we're talking dirty bathrooms)...

    sweetney- glad to have you on board. always ALWAYS a pleasure.

    pepper pea- thank you so much! and I'm honored that this little blog provides you with play time... I'm thrilled!