Franny in Pink Sweats
Sometimes, when I'm with my kids, I'll fantasize about the things I could be getting done if they weren't around, like cleaning the bathtub.
Not only is this sad, it doesn't make sense since I am a slob. Only now I'm a slob who is obsessed with housecleaning. No matter how many minutes I steal to clean or straighten, our house is constantly messy, with Play Dough stuck to the kitchen floor and the treads of everyone's shoes; Polly Pocket clothes littering the bathroom and dried cat vomit on the carpet. (We have three cats).
How did I become such a boring drudge? And if I have to be a drudge, can't I at least be good at it? Can't my house be clean?
The mom across the street--a Mary Kay saleswoman --once delicately suggested I check out "FlyLady.Net'' a motivational housecleaning site. (FLY stands for "Finally Loving Yourself'').
The site was heavy on acronyms, pep talks and undercurrents of disapproval. Crippled with shame because of my messy house, I apparently suffered from "CHAOS'' (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome.) The poster girl for this was "Franny in pink sweats,'' illustrated as a frazzled loser in curlers.
The site, a cross between Heloise and Erma Bombeck, was both horrible and tantalizing. While I guffawed with contempt, I secretly wondered if maybe it could work. Maybe if I set aside 15 minutes a day to clean each room,like FLYlady suggested...
I imagine that most of the moms in my neighborhood would find nothing wrong with FLYlady.net. But I'm one of those moms who often feels alienated from other moms.
I wonder how much of it is them or me. Are they all snotty, judgmental and banal? Or am I insecure, condescending and socially awkward? I'm thinking its a little bit of both. Or maybe a lot of both, I don't' know.
Its especially bad with the stay-at-home moms at Lulu's school (I work part-time, so I only see them twice a week). The last time I was in a group of them--waiting for Lulu's Daisy meeting to end--they talked in guilty tones about working out at Curves and low-carb diets, which depressed me.
"I weight as much as I did before,'' complained one mom.
"But you might see the difference in inches,'' another replied knowingly.
The nice thing about being a stay-at-home mom two days a weeks is that after school today, Lulu and I went and got ice cream before we picked up Zeb. She still lets me hold her hand and kiss her unexpectedly. I wonder how much longer that will last because next year she'll be in first grade. It seems to only last until second grade.
Right now, its almost time to pick her up and make her dinner. Regis and I usually eat after the kids go to bed, so I don't do much for their dinner except microwave stuff and make hotdogs. Today, I'll be opening a can of tuna and slicing Lulu some cucumber, just like FIPS (Franny In Pink Sweats) undoubtedly would.