I often wonder why it takes so long. Why can’t I make that telephone call, or pay that bill, or sweep up that mess? Like almost all other mothers I know (and no doubt the people around them), I wonder about this.
I’ve been busier than usual lately, throwing a lot of heart and soul into a fundraising effort to create an outdoor classroom for my kids’ school (thank you so much for the support yesterday – we raised 15% of our goal in less than 24 hours, and due to an internal delay, we haven’t even promoted it within the school yet! The campaign runs for 40 days, if you want to check back in).
It means things are backed up here. No less than all of the speaking members in my family asked me if there are any clothes to wear? (They’ll be directed to a hill (unfolded clean laundry) and a mountain (dirty laundry) downstairs in the laundry area.) I also haven’t been cooking much, and because we don’t buy much prepared food, not cooking is a problem because it leads to not eating.
So this morning I thought I would make yogurt. Halfway through the process I decided to jot down notes, in a research mode, to record how it went. Here they are:
– Look for pot to boil the milk.
– Reach for the right pot and see blackened inch of food burnt on its base. Remember that the night before, I tried to make a bean soup for my son’s school lunch and for general eating, but was working on the fundraising campaign and forgot about it until the burnt smell reached me upstairs.
– Try to scrape burnt food out of the pot. Am unsuccessful. Attract my four-year old, who tries to help. Leave him working on pot to check computer upstairs about how to clean pot with vinegar and baking soda.
– Come back downstairs to find husband scolding son because bits of burnt residue was falling out of the pot and on floor. Advocate (a.k.a. argue with husband) on behalf of son.
– Put one cup of water plus one cup of vinegar in pot. Place on stove to boil as instructed by recipe.
– Return to idea of making yogurt. Look for another pot. Find all pots in use.
– Decide on next best pot candidate, which is full of the oatmeal I made for breakfast. Search for re-usable container to store oatmeal, but none in cupboard or sink.
– Open the dishwasher to look for container. See that dishwasher was not run the night before. Notice food debris on door and bottom of dishwasher. Remember that dishwasher repairman warned us such debris would burn out dishwasher engine again if we didn’t properly scrape. Regret silently that husband does not properly scrape dishes. Clear out food debris from dishwasher while baby toddles to cupboard under sink to get dishwashing detergent. Negotiate with him to put it back.
– Recall that I am trying to make yogurt. Look for pot, see that it is still full of oatmeal. Resume search for re-usable container. Look again in cupboard and sink where there are still no containers.
– Open fridge to find possible container candidate in fridge. Find one containing miso noodle soup and transfer it to bowl. Wash container.
– Hear screams from porch where child is playing UNO with his dad. Provide comfort and guidance.
– Re-enter house, where baby is urgently calling for bowl of miso soup. Lift him into high chair, and feed him all of the soup.
– Check burnt pot which has been simmering on the stove. Remove from stove. Scrape burnt food easily off of bottom, without even adding baking soda as directed by recipe. Delight in my domestic prowess, and show pot to son. Look at me!
– Remember that I am trying to make yogurt.
My notes end there. But when I recall the day, a few facts stand out, like after my husband left for work mid-morning, I was on my own for almost 12 hours with one to three children in tow, plus the baby inexplicably (and painfully) did not take a proper nap. I fell asleep putting the kids to sleep, and when I woke up, I cleaned up the kitchen and living areas (passably, not well). The laundry is still in two heaps in the basement, the only difference that the mountain of dirty clothes would be bigger if had I the time or energy to pick up the dirty clothes on the floor. Combined with my notes from the morning, it does give insight into why it takes so long, no?
Also: I feel victorious to tell you that at 11:50pm, when all was quiet, I did make the yogurt. We’ll have it for breakfast.