Sunday, May 29, 2011

Altered To-Do List


The other night I took Drew to Insta-care.  After receiving his diagnosis, I was told by the doctor that Drew would be contagious for 24 hours and should stay home the next day.    The doctor, obviously wondering what that could mean for our schedule questioned, "Do you work?"

With a slight grin, but sarcasm in my voice, I replied, "Yes, I work very hard."

The doctor with a twinkle in his eye, knew that I knew what he had meant, and he knew of course what I meant.  And so with friendly commaderie he said, "What I should have asked was, 'Do you leave the house for a few hours each day to have a break from your kids and house?'"

We both laughed, and it was a very friendly exchange.

Do I work?
What kind of question was that?

I fix breakfast, lunch and dinner. I drive children to lessons and appointments.  I sign permission slips.  I keep our bank accounts reconciled.  I empty and load dishwashers.  I grocery shop.  I pack home lunches.  I pull out stinky sippy cups under beds and soak them in the sink.  I match socks.  I pull weeds.  I call insurance companies.  I fold pajamas.  I clean up spilled juice.  I apply band-aids.  I do load after load of laundry.  I file papers.  I keep the sheets on the beds clean.  I wipe stinky bums.  I dust pianos.  I read the same picture books over and over.  I wipe down cupboards.  I pay bills.  I make sure a goat gets fed each day.  I charge Power Wheels batteries.  I empty garbage cans.  I wipe snot off of couches.  I pick up wet towels.  I wipe crayon lines off of the kitchen counter. I water plants.  I clean pee off of places it shouldn't be.  I wash dirty faces.   I scrub marker lines off of tummies.  I put away left out items.  I organize spice cupboards.  I clean ears.  I find lost library books.  I straighten pantry shelves. I....  I....  I....  I....

I might not get a paycheck that I can take to the bank, but instead I get things like:  slobbery kisses, heartfelt thank yous, seeing a child hold a door open for some ladies coming through, sitting on the couch holding fevered children, hugs with dirty hands and stinky breath, and hand-written notes and drawings.

Do I work?
What a stupid question.

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