The Dishes Can Wait…Until They Walk Away
by Rebecca Asher
They are sitting there staring at me; both the kids and the dishes need attention. I calculate in my head that if I take a sip of the highly caffeinated beverage that sits upon the pile of papers trying to become a book, I can have the dishes done in 3.5 minutes — but that’s if I skip the personal pre-scrub, and load the dishes into the cranky dishwasher in a disorderly fashion. Typically, I Tetris the shit out of the loaded dishes, but today they are askew.
The kids continue to lull themselves into a TV coma because I’m the bad mom that allows television time, all of the time so that they don’t bug the crap out of me while I’m working. I have finally formed the judgmental opinion that women who work at home must have daily daycare, a live-in nanny and can work in peace, while timing out the perfect Fluff & Fold. Meanwhile, my time management skills rank somewhere on the scale of zero to organized Pinterest Boards, which means I didn’t actually achieve anything tangible today.
My email inbox chimes with 102 emails to be answered, most of them are junk, but there is one from a publisher wanting to know the status of my book and his polite speak of “Keep up the good work,” when I know, the subtext of that text is “Where in the hell is my 108-page manuscript, and what do you do all day?”
The bees outside are buzzing, and the tiny people I’m in charge of have taken the initiative to get their swimsuits on, while ignoring the proper armholes and front-to-back ratio. With swim shoes on the wrong feet and a sports bra and shorts, I’m convinced can pass as a Tankini, we venture to the backyard to drown the summertime boredom that has encapsulated my tiny time suckers.
As I watch my little fish frolic in the sprinklers, I marvel how unaffected by time they are. They have three timetables of which they care about: morning time (conveniently for them, it begins at 5:30 a.m.), nap times — but only if I scream about it, and the dreaded bedtime because ten plus hours of playtime is never enough.
I laugh at how “busy” I thought I was in my twenties with school and work, and languished away my weekends in my thirties due to the wine-induced girl’s night the evening prior. Girl’s nights sure have taken on a different meaning in my forties, even though it may still involve crying, it’s never about how about an old boyfriend who did me wrong, instead it’s because mommy didn’t get an ‘effin nap.
A summer storm comes through just in time and provides the perfect excuse to get inside, even though the mud puddle stompers think it’s still playtime, the lightening in the distance says otherwise.
The husband walks in tired from his day just in time to see two naked babies running around the house refusing to put on clothes or get into the bath. “Screw it,” I think the sprinklers provided enough bath time as I wrangle the four-year-old into her PJs. Our two-year old decides she is going to sleep in full princess regalia — perfect bedtime attire, I think. My hunky counterpart begins to start dinner, “I thought I would make lasagna,” he says.
I point to the sink.
“Pizza, then?” He asks. We exchange brief pleasantries about our day in between the blaring cartoons and the ninja turtle who has decided to sing songs from the Elsa movie at the top of her lungs. He says he’s going to step outside to order dinner, but really it’s so he can catch a breath. I think I saw a sippy cup try and follow him, either that or the dishes finally decided they needed a break too.
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Rebecca Asher is an author, freelance writer and stand-up comedian. Asher holds a master’s degree in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University and a BFA in Theatre from Chapman University, as well as being a graduate from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) in New York City.
Asher is a contributing author of the recently released Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It anthology (Riverhead Books, 2016) by Elizabeth Gilbert. Her other books include a children’s book, Little Mouse and a historical picture book about Keller, Texas, Images of America: Keller, Texas (Arcadia Publishing, 2011). Her one-woman show, Death by Chocolate has played in New York and Los Angeles, and is a coming of age story about dating, dieting and death. Rebecca has acted, directed, produced and written for TV, film, radio and print.
Currently, Rebecca resides in north Fort Worth with her family.