Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sometimes Saturdays

Can a day that begins with Play-doh ever end up not a total waste? Max is a creature of routine which means that he wakes up, pees in his Cars TM potty, eats breakfast and either goes to school or watches Curious George first thing in the morning. Yesterday there was no George. Knight and Day, I think was the show Zoe chose. Zoe, who also loves Curious George, has seen them all and now has moved on to Tom Cruise. Same idea, better hair cut (George). Breakfast came after movie. Then Zoe and Max had some run-around the house plan that seemed good at the time until I looked at the house and saw that all the stretchy bands from Zoe's oven-holder-making kit had been strewn all over the house. I think the name of this version of run around the house was called see-if-we-can-get-mom-to-freak-out-before 8:15. By 8:15, I was just staring at them like they had been recently released from the zoo. Curious creatures. Should have watched George.

The Play-Doh was the cheap kind. It's too soft. Zoe covered a whole kitchen knife with it and said, "I don't think we should eat with this knife for awhile." It is still soaking in the sink, 24 hours later. Max wanted the yellow Play-doh so I got Zoe the orange Play-Doh which then Max wanted orange. Zoe the diplomat gave him some orange but then she took some yellow in exchange which led to actually tears and accusations that Zoe "is so mean."

Max found some old pink and green mixed up Play-doh and made cookies for everyone in the kid's kitchen which were delicious but are still in the kids' oven, probably burned now, because Zoe moved on to copying facts about endangered animals out of the World Wildlife Fun catalog. "Zoe not play with me." Maybe you shouldn't have thrown a fit about the yellow, kid.

Erik didn't sleep well because of some pinched-nerve thing. He slept in so I'd been single-teaming. By 9:15, I was ready for it to be Monday but then I realized Monday is Veterans Day and the kids will be out of school which is why had no patience/they knew I'd be acclimated to their Play-doh ways by then.

At 10:30, I called to see if the woman who were were planning to donate one of our beds to would be there. She said she would be there until about 11:30. I said we'd be there by 11:00. Now we were on speed track but kids love a race. We all do! I think if we hustle, we can get it over to her in time. Erik is thrilled to get one mattress out of the garage!. Max, who routinely would be dressed by now, was not, which to his mind meant he got to stay in his jammies all day and therefore, there would be no changing of the clothes. Fortunately, I found a t-shirt with a tractor on it that had once been his best friend Ian's so it only took 45 minutes to get him dressed. Erik took the kids to his moms and exchanged them for some straps to hold the mattress down on top of Erik's car.

On the drive over, the straps made a chain-saw like noise against the plastic-wrapped mattresses. Erik pulled over to check the straps as he does every time we have anything strapped to the car. I argued that straps can only sound like saws, not actually effect any sawing, but we drive 20 miles an hour anyway. Somehow, we made it there by 10:59 on the dot which made me feel entirely productive but then we go back to get the kids who were eating potatoes with their grandparents and then collected all the blankets and pillows in her house in an effort to make grandma's house match mine in terms of cloth-products on the floor, which made it feel entirely unproductive. We had to bribe them to come with us. Thankfully, we still have Halloween Candy.

As we drove to our house, I reminded Erik we needed dog food. And, if we were going to to the pet food store, we may as well go to Home Depot to look for some hooks to hang the copper pots I spent last year collecting from thrift stores. Erik just looked at me and said, that project is never going to happen. But I convinced him we might as well look at hooks.

Max did not like this plan. We said we were going home. If a man likes a routine, then he definitely likes to know where he's going and to in fact go there instead of on some wild-hook chase.
And then we reminded him about the tiny carts at the pet food store. He agreed to go. For the tiny cars.
At the pet food store, Zoe and Max played airplanes with their carts, running into very few dogs or humans. We got the dog food. Looked at the turtles and the ferrets and then tried to go. Max cried. "Dog food store. Dog food store."
Erik said, do you think we should try this with Max at the Home Depot.
Fortunately, Home Depot has gigantic cars (not TM) carts that he can pretend to drive. Zoe likes these too and so into the cold cart they went.

We looked for hooks in the coat hook aisle. We looked in the shelving aisle. We looked in the plumbing aisle because it's not a trip to Home Depot if you don't go to Home Depot looking down every aisle for a one-inch thingy mabobber you'd rather not describe to one of the orange-apron wearing Home Depot workers. Zoe and Max got out of the cold Car cart and ran around the store, continuing to play airplanes without the tiny carts, making do with the wide aisles full of humans and boxes to steer around.

We picked three different hooks to try out and bought $20 worth of batteries.

At home, I made lunch for me and Erik since Zoe and Max had already eaten potatoes. El and Rick said they would come and pick me and Zoe up for the Navajo rug auction at 2:00. I said I couldn't go. The house was a mess. I hadn't written my NaNoWriMo words. It was snowing out. But El said  that I should come which made me think I might as well. Erik would stay home with Max and make dinner. We could consider hooks at a later date. Zoe was in the middle of washing all the copper with Bar-Keepers-Friend because although she doesn't mind cloth-products strewn about the floor, she cannot abide green-going copper. She wanted to finish this and go to the auction. OK.

Going with Erik's mom to a Navajo Rug auction is awesome because you get to see 100's of Navajo rugs, the auctioneer knows most of the weavers and tells stories about them, and Erik's mom actually bids on rugs. There was one Chief's Blanket from 1890 that one of the Navajo women helping run the show put around her shoulders. If I had $6200 right then, I would have bought it. But I did not have $6200. Erik texted me in the middle of the auction. Could I stop and transfer money from savings? We were overdrafting in our checking account. I made Zoe sit on her hands so she wouldn't accidentally bid until she got bored/her hands fell asleep and she laid down on her grandpa's lap. I gave her my phone so she could play MindSnacks Spanish game.

One of the weavers had come to the auction. She was in nursing school. She brought her toddler-head who cried too and tried to bite his mom which made me miss Max a little, who was, thank god, asleep. She tried to sell three rugs and no one bid on any of them. The auctioneer said, this one rug will pay a semester of her tuition but the buyers of rugs aren't there for altruism. In fact, it seems to make them shy when the weaver is actually there. No one was bidding on anything over $1000, anyway. Some of these rugs go for ten times that outside of Flagstaff but Flagstaff is the first stop since it is the biggest town near the reservation. I love the idea that these women weave rugs, sheer the sheep, card the wool themselves, and sell these for enough money to pay tuition. Well, sometimes.

When we got home Erik was making a chuck roast for shredded beef. Someone had to go to the bank to transfer money. The online transfer system was down and three transactions were pending. I volunteered  He was cooking. I needed butter (we had only a tablespoon of butter in the house. I don't think I've ever let it get so low). I said I'd get 12 of the one hook he'd chosen at Home Depot.

A second trip to Home Depot is the marker of many a wasted Saturday.

It was 5:00 before I got home. I hadn't written my 500 words. I went into the Living Room to write them. Zoe and Max followed. Max wanted to watch Curious George on the old, nearly broken computer, having gone cold-turkey that morning. Zoe wanted to play the iPad like a piano. The typing wasn't going so well but eventually I made it to 500 words. I also sent out a poem a student had turned in late to the whole class. Sadly, I sent it to the wrong class. I sent it to next semester's students. My creative nonfiction course. Twice. With the word "vagina" in it. Anti progress. I gave up computing went to help Erik finish tacos. They were delicious. Usually, the day is mostly over, but not this Saturday. Erik wanted me to come with him to watch football at his parents house which Zoe and I didn't want to but Max did and Zoe and I couldn't find a movie to watch, so we all went.

We found out the game wasn't going to be on until 8:30 so instead we watched Cinderella which I really can't like because it is very full of small mice-voice. A precursor to Alvin and the Chipmunks. But Max thinks it's hilarious when the cat scoots the necklace of beads around with his butt, singing "Butt butt cat butt" as the mice try to keep it together.

We read 5 books to Max when we get home to compensate for the screen time. Zoe is almost finished with Little House on the Prairie. I would like to do some Little House on the Prairie research. For instance, on just a rumor, Pa picks up to move, leaving behind the cabin he'd just built with home-made nails and the newly planted sweet potatoes, that the soldiers were going to kick him out of Indian Territory. He should have stuck around to hear how that all turned out. Indian Territory in Missouri didn't last long. A whole year gone to waste. The chapter ends, "What's a year Caroline? We have all the time in the world." And the rest of the west, eventually. A good lesson though, for white people. Pa doesn't complain about time seemingly wasted.

After I sang songs to the kids, I had only a movie called Tower Heist to keep me out of bed so I went upstairs to finish the book "State of Wonder" which made me cry because the kid in the book suffers and because this is exactly like my novel about the malaria cure and the fertility question and the jungle. Two thoughts: 1) I do not think Ann Patchett stole my idea. 2) If she did, she did it better and faster. I think I write too much. Which might be the point of this post.

Sometimes Erik and I sleep upstairs. Sometimes I sleep upstairs and Erik sleeps downstairs. Sometimes we both sleep downstairs. Last night, I went to sleep upstairs but it was so cold I came downstairs. Except then, in the middle of the night, it was so hot. The heat kept going on every five minutes. It was supposed to be 12 degrees last night but that was a lot of furnace. I woke up every time it went on. My legs itched from the dry air. I got up to put lotion on my legs and vaseline on my lips. Finally, I turned the heat down. Usually, when I go to bed, I turn it to 62 degrees. When I woke up this morning, the temperature was set at 67, which means I'd turned it down from 69! 69 degrees. The waste of the planet on top of a mostly unproductive day.
A wasted day is not a horrible thing. It is,  I think, what you're supposed to do with Saturdays. But today, I'm finishing laundry and mopping the floors and writing the world's longest blog post as well as my 500 words before I go anywhere because even if the house is a mess later and the clothes are strewn all over the floor and the words are written into the void, at least it will feel like a Sunday because the wildness of Saturday is sometimes too much for me.


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