household chores


200811-16canopybedcard 

Yes, it is true. Prince Charming and I are sleeping on opposite ends of the house.

“How could this be?” you ask incredulously. “You have told us how wonderful and perfect he is! He is thoughtful and kind. What is going on?”

Well, Reader, everyone except me has flaws. It is just the way it is.

 

Let’s have a little background. You read here about Chicklet’s eyes. I am happy to report that they are better (but here is a better picture of how red they were), but she is not quite well yet.

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And last Thursday the clinic called (because we had to take her to Urgent Care because of course this happened on a weekend) and asked if she was doing OK. They had taken a culture on her eyes (I assume–Prince Charming, he was still charming then, took her), and had the results which were a little disconcerting. She had the flu as well as MRSA. Thankfully Chicklet was acting quite fine by this point, or I would have been a little nervous. She has been no worse for the wear since. But I called to tell Prince Charming, and he nearly flipped out overreacted like fathers of little girls tend to do.

We do not know from where Chicklet’s infection came, but we do know that Chic had some kind of cold-like virus a few days earlier. She probably got it at school, then brought it home for the rest of us. Chic was stuffed up for a couple of days and is fine now. The rest of us are a different story.

Last Tuesday after four days of my own bout with some kind of bug, I went to the doctor. I usually do not run to the doctor so quickly, but I was sick most of last winter and finally got better after going to the doctor in March. I cannot do that again. I cannot exercise when I am sick, and I am too old to start over every summer in the exercise department. So I went. (The reason I do not try to nip things in the bud is because I have not had very good experiences here with going to the doctor. When I actually SEE a doctor, it is not bad, but often I do not have that opportunity. I have some ugly stories of sickness without treatment from earlier in our life here. It just seems like a waste of time and money to go.) The doctor was teetering between virus and bacteria. She finally decided to write a prescription for antibiotics, trusting I would not use it unless certain criteria are met. I have not used it yet, but I am pretty sure I will tomorrow or Tuesday. One of the criteria is that I am no better within 10 days after it hit me. Today is the 9th day. I am no better.

On Tuesday Prince Charming started complaining of being sick. All you wives of husbands out there  know the feeling, the sinking feeling, when your husband says he is getting sick. In my post about Chicklet’s eyes, I put a link to “The Man Cold” on YouTube. We have all been there. We know what it is like. So I inwardly rolled my eyes and braced myself for the worst. Little did I know what “the worst” was going to be.

Prince Charming is actually somewhat not horrible when he is sick. This is ONLY because he knows that I am sicker than him almost always but valiantly, as all women, do not have the option to stay in bed to get well, but do my regular duties and responsibilities without whining or crying like a 2-year-old less-than-sympathetic to his plight, and it will do little good for him to whine. (It was a training, process, ladies. He did not arrive this way.) So although I inwardly groaned at his revelation, I thought that it would not be a large inconvience to me because I would not let it be.

So off to bed we went Tuesday night. Have I mentioned I am a light sleeper? Probably not, but I am. I wake up easily, and just as easily do not go back to sleep for 2 or more  hours if awakened too much. Prince Charming, on the other hand, is a fabulous sleeper. He can wake up, go to the bathroom, cook a meal (hypothetically), go back to bed and be asleep before his head hits the pillow. Prince Charming hit the pillow snoring lightly. I wiggled around so he would adjust himself. He did, and stopped for a while. I was just drifting into sleep, when the snoring got loud.  (He always snores, but I can usually make him stop.) I tried to wake him, but I had no voice.  It is somewhat impossible to wake a sound sleeper when one can only whisper. So I kicked him. He moved AND CONTINUED TO SNORE. I kicked him again (a little harder). Same results. I was too sick to go anywhere, so I spent the next two hours catching a slight bit of dozing periodically, but mostly awake.

Then my coughing fit set in. When I have what I have, it turns into bronchitis quite quickly, and usually sometime during the night I will have a little coughing fit. It is a well-known fact that I avoid cough medicine if possible because I hate it, it makes me feel weird and sometimes makes me sick. So I was coughing while Prince Charming was snoring. After about half-an-hour, he finally woke up. I did not WANT him to wake up, but apparently I can cough much louder than talk when I have no voice, so it woke him up eventually. As if the snoring was not bad enough, he went through the familiar, irritating ritual of trying to get me to take some cough medicine.

“Should I get you some cough medicine?” he asked innocently and groggily.

“No!” was my abrupt, clearly irritated reply.

He waited as I was having a spasm of coughing, then asked (more awake this time), “I would be happy to get you some cough medicine.”

“NO,” was my firm reply.

More coughing.

“I really don’t mind,” he said.

By this time I showed every second of not sleeping that had happened that night. “I do not like cough medicine. You know I do not like cough medicine. I am sorry if I am keeping you awake, but your snoring kept me awake for 2-1/2 hours.” This was said as I grabbed my blankets and went to the loft to sleep in the recliner. (The usual progression of things at times like this.)

I was actually starting to feel rested and relaxed, away from the snoring, when Prince Charming came out to apologize and try to get me to go back to bed. Reader, what IS it about men that they cannot just leave things be? I had not slept ALL night, I was just getting comfortable, and he was there BOTHERING ME!

I do not even remember what I barked (in a whisper) at him, but I am sure it was not sweet nothings.

In the recliner I remained until a hint of dawn woke me up. Then I got up and went about my duties as usual.

So Wednesday through last night (and who knows how much longer), Prince Charming has been sleeping in the toy room. (We have a guest room, but it is somewhat of a work room and the bed is usually only completely cleaned off when guests are here.) And get this, I felt GUILTY about it. I felt guilty because someone who can sleep through a tornado or earthquake (probably even nuclear attack) went to another bedroom because his cold (or whatever) made him snore-without-ceasing VERY loudly. He did not make me feel guilty; that is my own issue. But other than my nightly coughing fit, I have been getting some excellent sleep. (Even though I can still hear the muffled snore behind a closed door at the opposite end of the house.)  I even kept one of the cats inside last night to help me stay warm.

Prince Charming and I are actually getting along famously, just not sleeping together. In a few days he will be well (unfortunately I will not be), and he can come back until he tries to get me to take cough medicine in the middle of the night. It is the first time we have ever done this. I am always the one to go sleep on the sofa or a recliner (guilt thing), but now that I am used to this, I think it is a good plan for future illnesses.

Washing dishes was something I never learned to do as a child.  Don’t get me wrong; my family was not rich.  I was not pampered.  It was the opposite.  My parents believed I should significantly contribute to the household (and outside) chores, and when I was young, my parents were poor.  Dirt poor.  Wrong side of town poor.  

 

So why did I not learn to wash dishes?  It was because my parents were poor that I did not.  They were terrified that I might break a precious dish that they could not afford to replace.  In fact, many of our dishes came from “green stamps” and from the county fair.  When I was little there was a place on the midway at the county fair where one could throw nickels and dimes at dishes.  If said coin landed on a dish, the person throwing the coin got to keep the dish.  My mother mastered a technique that won us enough dishes to get by.

 

(One might wonder if my parents were so poor, why did they spend the money to go to the fair in the first place?  I do not know.  I never asked.  I have a theory that the entrance fee was worth the dishes won.  I also believe that there was pressure from friends or family that all children must have this experience.  We went on Free Ride Day.)

 

But I’m getting way off track.

 

I remember begging to wash dishes, but to no avail.  My mother simply would not risk it.

 

When I was 10 years old, someone gave my parents a portable dishwasher.  That forever solved the issue.  I never learned to wash dishes.  I remember living in one house in which the dishwasher broke.  My brother and I had to wash the dishes one day.  It was horrible.  (I finally made him leave and did it myself so it would get finished more quickly.)  But having lived with a dishwasher for several years, my parents bought one the next day and had it installed as quickly.  (They also were no longer dirt poor.)

 

Every place I lived after I left my parents’ house had a dishwasher.  The last house I lived in had a broken-dishwasher-problem, but I took care of it as my parents had. 

 

My attitude about washing dishes, I will admit, has become a bit cavalier.  I love to cook, and loving to cook usually means getting a lot of dishes and pans dirty.  I do not care.  I put them in the dishwasher.  If it gets full, I run it.  I even will hesitatingly admit that I have been more than a little proud when the dishwasher runs 3 or 4 times in one day because I have made such a feast—and not on a holiday!  I do not hand-wash dishes unless it is of vital importance to re-use an item before I can get it back out of the dishwasher.  This drives my husband, S, a little crazy.

 

Monday night I was out of the house rubber stamping with some friends.  Oh, the bliss.  When I returned home, I could feel the tension in the house and my children were still up!  I must make it clear that Prince Charming never, EVER waits for me to get home to put the children to bed.  He does it every single day (whether or not I am  home) unless he is out of town.  Something was definitely wrong.

 

Our dishwasher was broken.  A part of me was relieved because I always hated that particular machine.  It came with the house and is the type that comes with houses that are put up in just 3 months, like all the houses on our block.  We moved into this new house just under 6 years ago, and we have never liked the dishwasher.  So this was our opportunity to go out and get one we liked better, even if we had to wash dishes a day or two.

 

WRONG!  Oh, so wrong!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS CITY???

 

We My husband did hours and hours sort of enough research online and decided on this model.    We found a reasonable place in town that had them in stock (and gave a discount for a military ID, which my husband has because he is in the inactive reserve), and went to shell out a fair amount of money.  Our plan was that by today we should have been washing dishes in a dishwasher again.  But NO!  So far we have not even received the call to SET UP the installation.  The sales person at the store said that they will call BY FRIDAY NIGHT, and then it will probably be another week before it can be installed.

 

Imagine the sinking feeling in my weary, little, I-do-not-know-how-to-wash-dishes heart.  Almost always S cleans up after dinner because I make the meal.  Mind you I clean as I go and do not leave the kitchen a disaster area, but I clean up by rinsing and putting everything into the dishwasher.  Now I have to WASH DISHES all day long.  And I have actually washed the dinner dishes the last two evenings because no matter what a Prince I’m married to, he just doesn’t wash dishes fast enough.  (It reminds me of washing dishes with my brother when I was younger.)  Needless to say, my lifestyle has been disrupted, and I am more than a little cranky.

 

Today’s menu featured one of the biggest meals I make all year.  (My menu planning might be on another post.  Maybe.  No guarantees.)  I was really busy today checking my blog and reading other blogs getting ready for a stamping class I am teaching tomorrow night, plus swimming lessons and some swimming laundry, and I sort of forgot to start dinner early—which is required for me.  So I thought I should just make it anyway and stop goofing around on the computer being productive in other areas.  Then I remembered the dishwasher.  This meal would require a great many dirty dishes and pans.  Even if we were to eat on paper plates (which we did last night), the clean-up would be a nightmare.  I was tired just thinking about it.

 

So as I write this, S and the girls are at Burg*r K*ng getting food to bring home.  What a wimp I am!