Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Five-Second Rule

I wander the earth, since Demon Baby's arrival, in such a state of hypervigilance, constantly trying to prevent--or clean up--mayhem. I am not kidding in that I have recently had to start high blood pressure medication. In the last year, my blood pressure has shot up 20 points.

There is a very rude woman who lives a block away from me. She is someone who never fails to make pronouncements of judgment about other people. I avoid her like the swine flu, but about three months ago, she commented in front of a room full of people that I "clearly" do not supervise my child enough since he gets in so much trouble, with a pronouncement of "What kind of mother are you?" Needless to say, this is why I don't go to cocktail parties.

I work from home as a novelist (and no, I don't make up ANY of the stuff on this blog--he generally has a blog-worthy event nearly every day), which means I am with Demon Baby 24/7. He is never too far from me, but . . . you know . . . mothers have to shower. I use the bathoom on rare occasions. I write in my office. I sometimes have to go outside to check the mail. You get the idea.

If you've ever worked in a restaurant, you know the five-second rule. If it falls on the floor in the kitchen for less than five seconds, you can still plate it up. Now . . . I don't ASCRIBE to the five-second rule, but I have worked as a waitress and bartender. I know it exists. Demon Baby has a five-second rule.

If I am away from him for five seconds, mayhem will result. Books will come cascading off of shelves, the printer in my office will have a pen shoved in it, toilet paper will go floating from the second-story landing. In fact, out of my sight for five seconds, I swear to you, the most often-heard expression is: "Oops!" Followed by: "Don't worry! It didn't break."

I am going away this weekend. It will, I think, be only the third night I have ever been separated from Demon Baby is four years. I know that sounds hopelessly pathetic, as in, "This poor mother NEVER gets a break and clearly doesn't take vacation," but it is what it is. One the rare occasions when I am not around him, it takes my brain and body at least 24 hours to relax. By then, it's time to come home. In this case, I am going to see my dad, who needs a pacemaker and is blind . . . so it's not like I will be dancing and doing the cha-cha on some beach somewhere.

So we shall see what panicked phone calls I get from my adult daughter, who shall be in charge of Demon Baby . . . what mayhem results . . . what I will face when I open the door after the weekend.

That's A LOT of time for him to be without me! (I need to remind Oldest Daughter of the five-second rule.)


Cheryl Kauffman said...

Ignore the judgmental busy bodies that have nothing better to do than criticize other mothers. You have 4 phenomenal children so you must be doing something right.

spyscribbler said...

Oh, Erica, is he getting the pacemaker this weekend? I hope it goes well!

I bet Ms. Judgmental won't refer to her 18 or 19 year old as her "adult" daughter. That speaks plenty.

laughingwolf said...

erica, i can only HOPE all will be well... but it IS db we're talking about, right? :O lol

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Oldest Daughter. She will need it. It IS DB were talking about.

Erica Orloff said...

Thanks, Cheryl. It bothered me for a day or so. Mostly because I don't "get" people that like. Apparently she is a substitute teacher and according to Baby Girl she is very "nice"--so I cannot fathom why she is so rude to me. I have been in her company twice and both times she found a way to insult me.

Erica Orloff said...

Hi Spy:
No. I'm just going for a short visit. I may go back for the pacemaker operation since he is very worried about it,

Erica Orloff said...

Laughing Wolf and FF:

She is more of a disciplinarian than I am--LOL! So I "think" she will be OK. But it is exhausting.

However, I also know she won't do laundry or clean (and I don't expect her to) . . . so maybe only concentrating on DB she will be fine.

Melanie Avila said...

Oh my goodness. First, I hope everything goes okay with your dad. That won't help your blood pressure, either, I'm sure.

Second, good luck to Oldest. Maybe she has a few tricks up her sleeve after watching you.

Erica Orloff said...

She has tricks all her own. DB is "in love" with her and wants her to be his girlfriend. The practicality of her being his sister doesn't matter to him at the moment. He behaves better for her and for me.

pita-woman said...

You never know, this may be a turning point for him (your absence I mean). You may come home to Angel-Baby instead of Demon Baby.
Well, maybe not.
Hope all goes well w/your father!

Erica Orloff said...

Pita Woman:
Well, she's been here 24 hours and she's gotten him DRESSED and put him in time-out. God, I love her!

Richmond Writer said...

Did the vacuum cleaner survive?

There's a woman who is a school counselor who talks to me during music lessons. She turned her nose up at my bad mothering because I have to drive my husband to work and rely on my daughter to get youngest on the bus. This has happened 6 times. It isn't daily or even weekly. Usually I'm back just in time to see him get on the bus.

Ironically last week she was wanting sympathy because her son asked her, "Mom, when is it ever a good time to talk to you?" She is getting a PhD in counseling and doesn't have time for him.

Some people aren't worth wasting your thoughts on.

Melanie Avila said...

Dressed? Wow!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Just caught up on your last 5 blogs and I think AQ2 is not bad at all. Could be a lot worse.
It's tough when you are sandwiched between young children and ageing parents. They both need you and that leaves you with so little time for your own needs.
Good luck to your daughter though it seems she takes no prisoners and will cope brilliantly.

Erica Orloff said...

Thanks for that. I need to hear other moms commiserate with me once in a while.


Robin said...

That really burns me up! I just hate judgmental people. So annoying!

I bet Oldest Daughter will be awesome. After all, "Music soothes the savage beast". Ha!

Hope your dad is OK. I bet everything is more scary when you're blind. I can't imagine how vulnerable he must feel. You're a great daughter.

Erica Orloff said...

He's a great dad. If a little crabby around the edges. ;-)


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