Friday, July 07, 2006
Operation: Medical Vacation: Update
So, how is my mandatory, "minimal physical activity" medical vacation going so far?
Well, I decided this morning that it starts today. You see, it couldn't start yesterday. Not once my husband insisted we all "take a nice walk" with our son to the corner drugstore to pick up my prescriptions for anti-inflammatory drugs. A nice little walk, to placate the child, who wanted to "look at cars!" from the sidewalk. A half mile walk, in 85 degree heat, towing a teetering, tottering, car-chasing two-year-old, to get drugs for my INFLAMED MUSCLES. You know, the ones my doctor wanted me to rest.
Did I mention I had already walked to, and from, the doctor's office earlier in the day?
No. The vacation couldn't start yesterday.
So, I decided this morning that it starts today. Except, this morning, I couldn't find the pants I wanted to wear. The nice, stylish-yet-very-comfy track pants. Cuz you know, I'm on vacation.
And then I remembered, aha! They're in the washer! That's right! They're in the load I started yesterday morning, before I went to the doctor and he told me not to do any housework because I'm supposed to be on a mandatory medical vacation. That's why I didn't put them in the dryer. I meant to ask my husband to help, but after he told me he managed to throw out his back somehow climbing over the baby gate, I forgot all about the laundry. Humph.
Well, let's see if there are any comfy pants in the dryer, I thought. I won't put the clothes in the dryer away; I won't bend over to take them all out, and put them in the basket, and carry it, because I don't think the doctor would want me to do that. He said I should be resting my muscles. I'll just open the door, and look in, and if I see something I want to wear, I'll bend very slowly and carefully, and pull it out. That's what I'll do!
So I opened the dryer door, trying to be as quite about it as possible, but, being, you know, a dryer door, it still popped loudly when I opened it, and, immediately, my son barrelled out of his room screeching "Help Mommy cloooooooothes!"
Did I mention that helping me do laundry is on my two-year-old's top ten list of favorite activities? I know. Strange, but true. (I fully intend to get video evidence at some point to share with any of his future prospective domestic partners).
So he dashed under my arm and immediately started pulling clothes out of the dryer. "Clothes in basket?" he demanded, and I sighed and pulled the basket down off the top of the dryer for him. This wasn't much housework. I started to help him pull out the clothes, but he grabbed my hand and glared at me.
"Isaac do it!" he huffed imperiously.
Seriously? This kid wanted to unload the dryer into the laundry basket all on his own? Sweet! Maybe I wouldn't have to call my male Puerto Rican maid who scrubs floors in the nude (the one who used to be an Abercrombie model, before he decided that the modeling world was "demasiado irreal" ("Desmasiado verdad," I agreed with him, when he told me) and became a surrealist artist by night and housecleaner by day) after all.
I watched with satisfaction, and not a little marvelling, as my pint-sized helper pulled every single piece of clothing out of the dryer and put it in the basket. Hrm, no comfy pants in there, though-- just some lately-seeming-too-tight jeans. Well, I can wear those for now, while I wait for the track pants to dry. If my kid helps me put the wet clothes in the dryer, that's not really me doing the housework, is it? I started handing him wet clothes, and he tossed them in the dryer with glee.
"Push the button?" he asked hopefully.
Well, I knew I shouldn't be lifting him to sit on the dryer so he could reach the start button, but after he helped me so much with the laundry, how could I possibly say no? I hoisted him up on the dryer, wincing briefly at the pain in my side, but then willfully ignoring it. Like I always do when I hold him. Like I've been doing, daily, for over a year. So, I lifted him, up on the dryer, and down.
Then I kicked the basket down the hall from the laundry closet into the living room with my feet. See? I didn't lift it. It didn't count. I sat down in a comfy chair to fold the clothes, and pulled the basket up close so I wouldn't have to reach far. Hardly any work at all.
Then Isaac started joyfully tossing towels, washcloths, socks, and underwear all over the apartment. In less than two minutes there were clothes everywhere. Under the table. Under the futon. Behind a chair.
"Isaac, sweetheart, you were SUCH a good helper to Mommy, and SUCH a big boy when you helped me put the clothes from the dryer into the basket and then put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, but you still have a lot of practicing to do when it comes to folding the clothes, and today is not a good day for practicing. Mommy really needs to fold the clothes by herself now, okay?"
His lower lip trembled.
"ISAAC DO IT!" He screeched. "Isaac can do it. Isaac can fold clothes. NOW!" And he snatched a t-shirt out of my hands, and flung it across the room.
This whole doing housework without doing housework plan was not turning out as I'd hoped . . .
After I finally tracked down the clothes, folded them, and put them away, Isaac, clearly still reeling after being permanently tragically traumatized by my heartless criticism of his laundry folding skills, insisted on sitting on my lap and pouting until lunchtime. Which was actually rather convenient, as I couldn't very well give into my temptation to pick up toys that were scattered throughout the living room with a kid sitting on my lap, could I?
But at lunch, I realized, there were no clean sippy cups. THERE WERE NO CLEAN SIPPY CUPS. The night before, you see, I'd left the whole loading the dishwasher business to my husband. Because loading and unloading the dishwasher in our closet-sized kitchen (which is so small one cannot open the dishwasher and the refrigerator at the same time) involves enough bending and twisting to practically qualify as a gymnast's warmup session. And the doctor told me that's exactly the sort of thing I'm supposed to be trying not to do for ten days.
But my husband sort of didn't wash the dishes.
Oh, I could have just washed a single sippy cup by hand, I suppose. If I'd taken it to the bathroom sink. Because our kitchen sink is so incredibly shallow (it's something like 5 inches deep) that even after one meal for three people, the sink looks so full, with dishes spilling out onto the counter, that it seems like we haven't done dishes in three days. And this sink now held dishes from dinner the night before AND breakfast this morning.
So, while my son was eating, I loaded the dishwasher, and washed the dishes.
And then, of course, I had to wipe the sink down, and clean the counter. I mean, they were sitting there. Dirty. Right in front of me.
I managed to make it back to my chair without scrubbing the stove.
But not before scrubbing my son's booster seat in the dining room, and wiping off the dining room table.
I got a good hour of sitting in, while my son napped, reading depressing news on the internet instead of finishing the blog entry I told myself I would finish, entitled, "A Story About Summer, 1996."
Then my son woke up, and before I knew what was happening I found myself engaged in a 20-minute no-holds-barred cage wrestling match with a miniature cougar when I attempted to change his diaper.
Because I asked if he wanted to wear his new "big boy" pull-up training pants instead of an "Elmo diaper," you see.
BIG MISTAKE, Mommy. BIG MISTAKE.
I am TRYING, people, I am TRYING.
But did I mention my toilets need to be scrubbed? And my sweet basil plant needs repotting, ASAP? And my son needs a new set of sheets on his bed? And there are dishes in the sink again? And there are so many toys and books on my coffee table right now that one cannot, in fact, see the table?
So, I've decided my ten-day vacation starts tomorrow. Really!