Betty Duffy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quick Takes: Home Edition

Hosted by Conversion Diary

Several years ago I joined the YMCA at fifty bucks a month with two hours of babysitting per diem included. I sucked the marrow out of those two hours of the day, sometimes plodding along the treadmill while reading a magazine, showering and blow-drying my hair each day, and spending any leftover minutes reading a novel in the women’s dressing room.

I’m not ashamed to admit that the YMCA saved our lives during that little stretch when I had three pre-schoolers at home, and it wasn’t bad for my figure either. Though I’ll never forget the day my friend, Pedge, said to me, “If your butt gets any smaller Betty, you’re going to end up pregnant.” Ding ding—too late. I’d taken a positive pregnancy test that morning (that was kid #4). It’s been all downhill for my butt since then—as evidenced by that yoga picture.

We've since moved, and the only gym round these parts charges for childcare per head. With five kids, the cost is prohibitive, so I have to get comfortable with being home again during the day.

I’m always looking for an opportunity to grasp my coffee mug and say the word, “patina” and so I do every afternoon around four o’clock when the sun comes through this window.

I’ve decided that one of the keys to getting through life as a stay-at-home mom, is to make my house someplace I can stand to be. And while the rest of my house may depress me in its need for a dusting or a disinfecting, this corner never fails to delight.


One of the joys of having a handy husband is that when you walk into our cheery entryway, rather than being greeted by a coat rack, or settee on which to remove your boots, you are greeted by this:

Nothing says "welcome" like a miter saw, especially one large enough for a beheading.

The miter saw is in the entry way because several month ago, our pipes froze and flooded our kitchen. A water mitigation service appointed by the insurance company came and gutted our kitchen with sledgehammers in a period of about thirty minutes. They then departed and were not heard from again.

One is not too hasty to hire another water mitigation service to do the repairs, especially when a handy husband figures he can take the insurance money, do all the work himself, and still have enough left over to purchase a giant miter saw.

One of these days, I'll post a picture of the completed project.

We're all artists here. My husband is a woodworker in his spare time. My oldest son is a tattoo artist.

Here's a picture of the rooster at my parents' farm that my six-year-old did:

I love that picture.

My daughter, however, has crossed the line in her enthusiasm for art.

Some might call this downright vandalism.

My husband and I have wondered if we should just become those cool kind of parents who let their kids draw on the walls (windows, doors, furniture...her creativity knows no limits).

We could have her scrub it off with a magic eraser, but my mother-in-law sent me an urgent chain email letting me know that they are toxic for kids to use.

What would you do with this kid?


Here are the lyrics to a song my boys sing at their school Mass:

In these days of Lenten Journey
We have seen and we have heard
The sound that every heart makes
(Something something…)

Here is their revised version:

In these days of Lenten Journey
We have seen and we have heard
The sound that every fart makes
In a lake of turds.

Special thanks goes once again to Garret G. I know MY children would never use such words.


Jus said...

Good news - that toxic magic eraser e-mail is a hoax.

Loved this - feel like I am getting to know you, again.

Hannah said...

Have you considered getting a big roll of paper (probably quite cheap at an art shop), and covering some bits of wall with it? Then she could scribble away to her heart's content all over the "wall", and you could replace it every now and then (that was how my parents stopped me redecorating their walls).

mrsdarwin said...

Is that your house? IS THAT YOUR HOUSE? Just give me that door, and no one will get hurt.

Magic eraser toxic, my foot. What's infinitely worse for the children is if I couldn't scrub Sharpie off the bathroom tile or crayon off the kitchen wall. (Alas, it does nothing for the purple Sharpie on the green bathroom wall. Time to redecorate.)

Robert said...

Emily said...

Anastasia Krupnik got to paint her walls, but didn't she paint a something cool like a forest scene? The happy triangle girl is cute, but that scary boogie monster should be scrubbed out. Looking forward to seeing pics of the finished kitchen.