When I was in college, maybe my first year at Iowa — fresh off the plane from my first two years in HI, I took a video production class – maybe it was a mixed media class (I mean, who really knows anymore?) — and one of our assignments was to make a flip book music video. The trick to making a flip book film is being able to repeat sequences because if you don’t, you’ll end up having to make three bajillion flip cards and while it can be a mindless task it’s also sort of not at all a mindless process. Anyway, I had the brilliant idea to do an Asteroids video to the Styx song Too Much Time on my Hands (probably my favorite Styx jam of all time, Mr. Roboto puts up a really good fight though) — no, not actual asteroids but Asteroids as in the classic arcade game. My aunt and uncle had an actual Asteroids arcade video game when we were growing up and I loved playing it, not to mention it was the perfect idea for repetitive sequencing. I’m not going to say I’m a creative genius but you know…
Cut to today.
I’m on my — wait for it while I count the business days on my fingers —12th day (???) of unemployment and I’m currently sitting in my living room waiting for and watching paint dry. Well, I was watching it dry until I decided to “multitask” and send my regards to the outside world. I WAS *WATCHING* PAINT DRY, you guys. And as soon as it dawned on me what I was doing, I realized I have way too much time on my hands, which triggered the college flip-book memory, prompted me to switch from my hiphop playlist to Styx (because IS THERE ANYTHING BETTER? #styxfangirl<3) and start writing because, again, I’m not going to say I’m a creative genius but – you know…
I have way too much time on my hands right now.
Yesterday, I dropped the boys of at school and went to Target. I went to buy a bunch of cheap poop and potty prizes (oh, the list of things I thought I’d never say just continues to grow) and ended up roaming the aisles for HONEST TO GOD two hours and fourteen minutes. I left with poop and potty prizes galore, a variety of toddler underwear, more storage containers for the boys’ rooms than I needed, a giant file box for all of their artwork we’ve been hoarding in random places (but mostly in our cars because, well, you know), a few crafty things to update their decor in their rooms and one bag of turkey jerkey (don’t judge me). I was in the store so long that I started to put items back on the shelves because I had actually forgotten why I put them in the cart in the first place AND THEN would remember and have to go back around and put them back in the cart. Oh, that’s never happened to you? You obviously have a life, thanks for judging.
When I got home it was almost noon. ALMOST NOON. (Loser alert.) I went right to work; I started with Matty’s room which was a nightmare. There were toys everywhere, no sort of organization or separation or categorization — nothing — just a bunch of bunches of shit, everywhere. At one point I emptied out on of those adorable canvas storage boxes with the felt animals on the front and I found a chunk of probably 430-day old banana just hanging out, rotting and stuck to the container to point that I had to pry it off with a Clorox Bleach wipe and a butter knife. UMMM. It took me 2.5 hours to clean, organize and slightly redecorate his room. I know that doesn’t seem like that long but trust me when I say it felt like a lifetime. Imagine my disappointment when I realized I still had plenty of time to clean Abbott’s room.
Abbott’s room is full of baby-ish toys, you know the ones that stack and nest and light up and make all the sounds. Every step I took caused something to moo or rawror vroom or beep. I never had the slightest idea where the sounds were coming from and it was maddening. Cleaning Abbott’s room made me regret nearly every purchase I’ve ever made on behalf of my children’s best interest. For Christmas I bought him this adorable wooden, three-pegged triple stacking toy – each peg had a stack of different shapes and colors and I thought it would be amazing for his motor skills. Well, one thing is for sure, since yesterday my motor skills and hunting skills are fucking pristine. Abbott’s? Who knows. But mine are ON. POINT. For Matty’s first Christmas we got him this small activity climber with an attached ball pit and, because I wanted it to bring him endless joy, I also ordered about 500 extra balls. Since then we’ve moved the climber and balls into Abbott’s room. Well, me definitely moved the climber into his room – the balls are ALL OVER THE PLACE. There were about 50 in Matty’s room, 35 in the actual ball pit and 415 just around, everywhere. I’m going to start throwing them away when I find them outside of Bot’s room – that’s what I get for thinking bringing 500 plastic balls into our home was necessary. By the time Abbott’s room was done, I had found two half-eaten bananas, four pacifiers and a piece to another toy I had been looking for for the last month.
When I finally went to pick up the boys, sweaty and covered in god knows what, I couldn’t get the boys to leave because they had just added an aquarium in the entryway and the boys were obsessed with the fish. In a moment of desperation I offhandedly made a comment about how we could get our own fish. Twenty minutes later I was standing in Petco having a mental breakdown. Matty had decided he wanted a turtle and crocodile instead of a fish and Abbott was legitimately chewing on dog toys. When Seth called and I asked him if he’d meet me at Petco he laughed an awkward laugh and jokingly yelled into the phone, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING THERE?!” Needless to say, he told me I was on my own and he’d be home preparing fish for dinner. An hour and fifty dollars later, the three of us left the store with a baby fish, a mini turtle statue and the stench of dog food and ferrets on our clothes. On the way home the boys decided to name the fish Puppy and ever since, any time anyone says the fish’s name Abbott looks around for a dog. Can’t win ’em all, buddy.
Today, I’m “busy” repainting the backing for a hutch that we’ve been meaning to turn into a bar for the last six months. I guess now is as good of time as any. Tomorrow, again because I have too much time on my hands and I have to continue to prove my worth to my husband, I’m keeping Matty home to rip the potty training bandaid off. Mentally, I could not be more chill than I am right now so why not spend some quality time with my favorite almost-three year old, right? I can’t wait to report back on our time spent together and our progress – Matty is getting pretty hilarious, there’s never a dull moment.
Wish us luck.