The last week or so I really made an effort to be the consummate housewife. I began wearing an apron. I met my husband at the door with a freshly made cocktail. That last one wasn't true. I did however, make several meals: a roast (though we allege to be semi-vegetarians), pea soup, chicken spinach lasagna, and (wait for it; getting all fancy) tortellini with asparagus and peas in a tarragon cream sauce. We only had nachos ONE TIME all week. But today, I totally fell off the bandwagon. As fast as I made the bed, Frankie tore the pillows off and wanted me to bury her. As quickly as I pureed bananas and squash for Molly's breakfast, she threw Cheerios off the high chair and smeared them in her hair. By the time Dean got home, there was no dinner, Frankie was coated in a becoming combination of red popsicle and dirt, and Molly had been kept up too long and had fallen asleep literally sitting up, biter biscuit crumbs ringing her nostrils. When I turned on the video monitor, she was bent completely in half, her elongated noggin resting on her ankles in a pose she was no doubt able to achieve thanks to the genes of her preternaturally flexible father. He is able to put his legs behind his head in a manner which I find decidedly unmasculine.
I eventually gave up on the 1950's Good Housekeeping illustration I had in my mind and, to save further damage to the interior, hustled the kids outside to hang out in the neighbors' driveway. Frankie rode her Harley round and round the yard and Molly grabbed large handfuls of the cat's fur in ecstatic feline adoration. Everyone was relaxed, dirty, and lazy until Elliott, our two-year-old neighbor, ran around the house yelling "Da bee trying to get me. Da bee trying to get me." The problem is that whenever a flying insect is anywhere within a fifty yard radius, Elliott yells that a bee is trying to get him. He also comes to us, greatly concerned, with baseless accusations: "Da kitty in da road" (when he lounges belly-up on the front porch), "Frankie say bad words" (we liberally sprinkle our conversations with normally toddler-verboten words like poop, stupid, and knucklehead). So, pegging him for little boy crying wolf, I grabbed him and pulled him into my lap and teased him about thinking bees were following him. Unfortunately, he sprang from my lap like a hot poker had stabbed him, which in fact it had, since the bee was clinging to his right butt cheek. That brought the party to a halt right quick.