Was Labor Day a month ago? John keeps commenting how quickly this year is flying by, meanwhile, four measly weeks ago feels like an eternity in my mind. But Labor Day weekend was a pinnacle moment for me in this pregnancy.
It is when I took my nesting hormones and actually applied them to something productive. For real.
I find it funny that the Urban Dictionary definition of “nesting” includes ridding the house of anything “potentially harmful” to the soon to be born child. It turns out, on Labor Day Weekend, this meant the fetus’ father and his older sisters.
Not terribly geared up for the kind of swelling that happens when this body and this belly meet altitudes that make ears pop, and in the face of our end-of-2012-$6K-medical-bill (or maybe only $4K, I’m not entirely sure how “max out of pocket” works in addition to the deductible) a difficult decision was made a little easier and John took the girls home for his grandmother’s 100th birthday without me.
Like the Very Hungry Caterpillar, who, on Monday ate one apple, but was still hungry, on Tuesday ate two pears but was still hungry…and by the end of the week goes totally berserk at what appears to be the state fair, my project list started out as a manageable and meager one apple.
By Saturday I had partially eaten through one piece of pantry, one seasonal-clothes switch, one spice cabinet overhaul, one slice of guest bedroom, three slices of closets, one Excel budget spreadsheet, more than a few posts on Craigslist, one household notebook, two runs to Ikea, and one slice of Outlet Mall.
But behold. It is nearly Sunday, and I will find my nice green leaf. Then I will rest.
In my out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new mode I frequently found myself in front of Netflixed Private Practice episodes with a scrumptious dinner for one, browsing random organizational blogs for ideas. It turns out that just like other people’s lesson plans and pre-made unit exams, nothing was half as good as what I ended up creating myself. And while my house resembled the aftermath of a WWI dugout for a few days, I’m happy to say that things are slowly but surely coming back together.
But not without some casualties.
The first order of official business was to move Carter out of the nursery. When Eliott and Carter were infants, we lived in a two bedroom condo, the square footage of which could easily fit into the downstairs and garage of my current two story house. (This place seemed positively palatial when we first emptied our moving truck and still had two completely empty rooms and a screened in porch vast enough for a three-on-three game of broom hockey.) Though they’ve never shared a bed, they shared a room in the condo. Here, they have continued to share one chest of drawers, but have slept across the hall from one another. Having them sleep in separate rooms for the last twenty-months is a luxury we have apparently been taking for granted.
With the addition of another child (and a new gender, at that) we decided to put both the girls together in the bonus room. Twin beds. New dressers (one for each child). A large book shelf. A closet large enough for clothes, shoes, and toys. Matching linens. A repurposed lamp. An alarm clock and a noisy fan. Room to spare. The room looks great. It has been exactly four weeks.
If you’ve never done it, let me tell you that trying to train a three year old (with what might as well be the body and brain of a zoo dwelling primate) to stay in bed before the sun comes up, any day of the week, but especially Saturdays and Sundays, is at the very top of my “reasons never to have children” list. Add to this the Monday through Friday morning routine, where the five year old needs to be dressed, groomed, fed, and packed by 7:45 for school every morning.
No matter how many times we practice the morning routine I cannot seem to convince her that it is not her job to control the monkey that sleeps in the bed three feet to her left. Believe me, we have practiced, at four o’clock in the afternoon, getting back in bed with PJ’s on, resetting the alarm, and going through each “job” in the hopes that muscle memory will start to kick in and her body can function before dawn, with or without her brain, on school mornings.
It doesn’t seem to be working.
And so, in a desperate post-car-line text to John, I resigned my cause: “I can’t do it anymore. I’m putting Carter in the guest bed tonight.”
* * * * * * *
Bomb number two comes in the form of complete strangers sending me email. Half apologies half hate mail.
I did successfully start and finish all three closets of the aforementioned list, the final task consisting of putting about two years worth of old maternity clothes, fall and winter toddler clothing, pink nursery linens, and minimally worn Stride Rite shoes for sale, both on Craigslist and on an online network of local mothers who buy, sell, and trade things with one another regularly. I wrongly assumed this would be more efficient (and actually easier) than dropping these bags off at Once Upon a Child and/or Goodwill.
The maternity clothes sold on Craigslist in two hours. A record I certainly was spoiled to begin with. It gave me a false sense of hope for everything else.
You wouldn’t believe the fickle nature of mothers buying decent brands of used clothing for little more than a couple cans of honey roasted peanuts (practically speaking). If these women could calculate the amount of time buying an entire SEASON of coordinating outfits would cost them alone, perhaps some would have made the pick-up more of a priority. But alas. Tons of interest followed by nothing. And worse, scheduled pick-up cancelations galore.
When I finally hit the wall (the roof?) it manifested itself in two well-worded public forum posts. One, a friendly reminder to exercise a little more common-sense, business-mindedness, and some basic human courtesy when responding to a “for-sale” ad in the community. The second simply said, “These are going to consignment at the end of the week. If you want them, the first person to arrive with cash before Friday can have them.”
My inbox exploded. Praise and applause for calling out the difficulty of working with fickle-minded and non-committal moms. More than a few apologies with correlating emergencies/sob-stories/excuses any high school teacher would scoff at. And did. More offers and new plans for pick up. I ended up selling more than half of the stuff for my original asking prices, and got rid of all of it in the time span of exactly forty-eight hours. I consider this a win in my book.
But then, the fall out. As “sold” notices went across original sales ads, mommies crawled out of the woodwork to express their disappointment that I did not wait on them, remind them of a pick up plan, hold items they said they were interested in. A few went so far as to chastise me for selling to someone else when I had “promised” certain things to them.
I’m sorry. This isn’t K-Mart layaway here. This is more like online garage sale. Show up with money. Leave with stuff. Take nothing personally.
And how dare you blame me for anything in a personal email, when you’ve never even identified yourself as someone other than a series of numbers and letters and location: “La-La Land.”
La-La Land indeed. Down to the last drop.
*On a lighter end note: local readers, feel free to stop by and admire my glistening closets and alphabetized pantry.*