I just vacuumed my kitchen table. Don’t judge me. I was vacuuming the wooden floor, using the attachment, and I noticed some crumbs on the table. Then I went ahead and vacuumed the countertops. They look pretty good. I’m tired, I’m in a hurry, I have more work to do this morning than I can possibly get done, so I’m doing what I can do. I haven’t taken my shower yet but I’m wearing workout clothes, which I hope makes it somewhat more acceptable that I look like crap. I’m in Survival Mode.
Survival Mode is when you just do what you have to do. You wake up and hit the ground running. I get up at my customary 6:30, awakened as always by Molly putting her big Lab head by my pillow. Let out the dogs, feed the dogs, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, give Josh a 30-minute snooze alarm, empty the dryer, load the dryer, load the washer, check on Andy, who is a freshman in college but living at home, to make sure he’s got his alarm set, exchange multiple texts with Blair, our daughter who is at college in Tucson. 7:00, start fixing Josh’s lunch for school, give him one last snooze, fix his breakfast, get Mark’s lunch ready and find a dishwasher-safe travel mug. I hide the ones you have to hand-wash.
Josh and I were up late last night doing his homework. He has just started middle school. I know every grade, because I obsessively check the school’s website. They had a video on insects in science, and Josh was supposed to take 25 notes. He took 11, and got an F. I just realized that he might be able to pull up the grade by fixing the paper and turning it in again. The problem is, he didn’t remember the video anymore.
“What was on it?” “Insects.” I Googled and found numerous possible videos, hoping we could just watch it again, struck out totally. So I started asking about bugs. Were there ants? Yes. Can you remember anything they said about ants? Leaf cutter ants can hurt a forest. Okay, let’s make a sentence about that. Moths? No. Butterflies? No. Termites? Yes, the soldier ones have big heads. Also, the queen lays thousands of eggs a day. We couldn’t find out how many, but we found a sentence in a BBC story online that said the queen lays an egg every three seconds. Somehow we figured out a daily number of eggs that this equals. Cockroaches? Yes, they can make your food bad. So can weevils. Locusts? Yes. Bees? Check.
Butterflies? You just asked me that. I’m sorry, I’m tired. By now we were at about 8:30, I had gone to the grocery store, taken Mark’s shirts to the cleaners, picked up Josh at school, picked up our farm share and made kohlrabi pickles, sautéed the kohlrabi leaves, candied some carrots, and then balanced all that healthiness out with sloppy Joes and Tater Tots. Mailed the signed form required for the roof people to fix our chimney cap, which leaked in the big storm we had this week. Wrote two stories for one of the five publications I’m simultaneously writing for. Wasps? No. There was some bug that lives in the water. Water strider? No. Get back on Google. Water boatman. Okay, what do they do? I can’t remember. Butterflies? Yes. Really? Yes, the Monarch butterfly has a long tongue. Thank God!
We finally got to 19 facts. If the teacher accepts them all, that will be 76 percent, which is better than 44 percent. Josh has A’s in everything else, except for this one bad grade, so I hope we can get this resolved and get on with our lives. Tonight we have choir at church at 6 and hockey across town at 7, so Mark will come and get Josh at choir at 6:30 and take him to hockey, then I will leave choir and spell Mark at hockey until it’s over at 8:30, hoping to God that Josh will already be done with his homework. Also I signed up to bring a fruit plate to school tomorrow. I have no fruit.
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