Monday, January 21, 2008

She quit cleaning for two days and the mess got so bad her son accidentally put his arm through a window

Here's how it happened. Tuesday began my housework strike. Wednesday evening, for reasons best left alone, my fifteen year old son, Mad Scientist, barricaded himself in his room by pushing furniture in front of the door. Eventually, he unblocked the door, but his room was a cyclone of books, clothes, and rubbermaid under-the-bed bins. I looked at the mess. I longed to restore order but I didn't. I was on strike, remember?

Thursday morning, I went for an early run. When I got home, I noticed broken glass on the ground in front of the house. I looked up and with horror saw my eight year old son's skinny little arm waving to me through a jagged hole in his bedroom window!

I rushed up the stairs. What happened was this: Mad Scientist had gotten out of bed, and unaccustomed to a big mess in the middle of the floor (because in the past I had always cleaned his room) he tripped over one of the rubbermaid under-the-bed bins, went flying forward with enough force to put his arm through the window. Miraculously, he wasn't hurt. Not even a scratch. I think this is because his arm went through the plastic blinds first, and they acted as a sheathe.

Glad as I was that no one was hurt, I was still very, very upset. Here it was 7:00 am, a big snow expected, the kids needed to be sent off to school, I had a 9:00am Pharmacology class and there was a giant, jagged hole in the house!

Containing the hole was the first priority. The only cardboard in the house was a six pack box that advertised Hop Hog beer. With this, last week's C'ville Weekly, a rolled up towel and some blue painter's tape, I managed to cover the hole. Only now, not only did I have a broken window, I had a Hop Hog beer box taped to a broken window on the front of my house for all the world to see. Classy. There are HOA's that forbid leaving children's toys in view after dark. I'm sure glad I don't live in an uptight neighborhood like that, or we'd probably have had the deed to our house revoked.

Then it started snowing, and soon the broken glass on the front porch roof was coated with a slick layer of snow. My class was canceled, my children were returned from school before lunch, I didn't want to risk getting in an accident, so Hop Hog had to stay up in the window for a whole day. Friday was mild and Jon had the day off, so we were able to fix the window before it got cold again.

I'm good at finding humor in bad situations, and Thursday morning, it was that absurd Hop Hog box that I focused on. Actually, I was too upset to find it funny at that moment, but I did think that once I'd calmed down, I'd think it was funny, and I was right.

The whole situation was kind of funny, really. I mean come on! I quit cleaning for two days and the mess gets so out of hand my kid trips over it and puts his arm though a window? It's hilarious!

It could have been worse. I broke a lot of windows when I was painting the house this summer, and one of them was the storm window for the boys' bedroom. I'd had the glass replaced in the old storm window frame, but never got around to putting it in the window. If I had, Mad Scientist's arm would have gone through two panes of glass, and he definitely would have cut himself.

FYI: I am still not cleaning, although I made an exception on Thursday and put away all the bins and books in the boys' room. The house is limping along. Some things get picked up, some things don't but overall the house is still livable. Only now, because I'm compulsive that way, I have to say to Mad Scientist every night before he goes to sleep, "Be careful when you get up in the morning so that you don't trip and put your arm through the window."

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