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Ack! Or How to Prepare for Company on a Weekday

cleaning“We’re coming to visit,” my mom said. “We’ll be there on Friday.”

It was Wednesday, and I hung up the phone.

Now don’t get me wrong, we are terribly excited to have my mom and stepdad drive out from Arizona for a visit. The boys are home for spring break, my workload is always slowest at the beginning of the month, and we haven’t seen them since Christmas. It really is perfect timing. We miss them and we are looking forward to their arrival.

However, said arrival is in roughly five hours from this exact moment, and while the first of April will find my inbox full of crickets rather than deadlines we aren’t quite there yet. The end of the month, and this is by design (where design equals procrastination), is insanely busy. I have a ton of work due before the clock strikes midnight on March 31, and you are reading some of it.

Thanks for that.

Our house is currently in that state of flux where spring cleaning has begun in fits and spurts, leaving one room fairly tidy and the next piled with items culled for the seasonal sorting. Our yard has been neglected by an apathetic landlord and the lack of lawnmower.

I have got deadlines to meet, a dirty house to clean, energetic boys at home, a yard to tend, houseguests on the way, errands to run, and Guilder to frame for it. I’m swamped.

In a perfect world I would have the boys pull their own weight (which, combined and soaking wet, is roughly 108 pounds), but recent studies have shown that getting my children to feel a sense of urgency toward tasks they hate results in me doing all tasks while yelling for extended periods of time (if yelling lasts longer than four hours I always call a doctor).

To compound matters we decided to keep the pending arrival of their grandparents as a surprise, and therefore our usual routine of “someone is coming over, clean up quick!” prompts more questions than I care to answer.

“Hurry up! Clean your room.”

“Who is coming over?”

“The Easter Bunny. Clean your room or he might trip, and if he gets hurt that’s on you.”

“I don’t want the Easter Bunny to get hurt!”

“Then clean your room.”

Insert montage of boys “cleaning” their room by stuffing toys, dirty clothes, incomplete homework, and assorted unknowns under their bed. That’s my cue. Their next line is most likely said through tears. They’ll probably win an Oscar, and then I’ll have to clean their room and the Dolby Theatre. I don’t have time for that.

The afternoon promises to be a marathon of stress, triumphant stories of overcoming adversity, fresh lemon scents, empty threats, and music I can dance to (I give it a 60).

And then my parents will arrive with hugs, suitcases, and traffic-laden soliloquies. They’ll not care about messes unseen and deadlines pending. They will see nothing but the smiles of their grandchildren, pending days of promise, and long stretches of blue sky that bend slightly in the distance.

My first step is hitting publish.

 

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Whit HoneaRead more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).

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