Thoughts while cleaning out the fridge and pantry

(I know that title makes you expect this post to be scintillating and exciting!   I promise you it won’t disappoint.  How could it, when the subject is housework?)

I was pouring the remaining honey from a nearly-empty container into another, and it was going very, very slowly.  I wondered whether the honey might flow more quickly if it were a warmer day.  That would make a great metaphor.  “As slow as honey in November.”

I’d like to get my kitchen arranged so that the foods we eat most  are stored in the most accessible locations.  So, at arm’s-reach there would be a shelf full of mac and cheese, canned chili, white bread, candy, and Doritos.

I once read an article about organizing kitchens that said you should get rid of any gadgets you hadn’t used in over a year.  That makes sense if the previous year was a normal one, but not if you’ve spent the last year–or the last ten years–sick, pregnant, nursing, or all of the above. I’m still going to use those lollipop forms, the rosette iron, and my Kitchenaid mixer someday!

(Good news!  I’m not currently sick, nursing, or pregnant.  Bad news!  I’m using the hiatus to clean out my fridge and pantry.)

The pregnancy/lactation/illness exception would apply to discarding clothing, but if it’s been close to ten years, the ruthless forward march of fashion will likely force you to get rid of old clothes, anyway.

Years ago, in a misleading stage of pre-parenthood life, I was meticulous and organized.  But once you’re a parent of young kids, you have to cast off your self-concept of a person in control of your surroundings, and learn two essential skills: triage, and denial.  You can’t ignore (for much longer than it takes to finish reading everyone’s status updates on Facebook) the baby with her hands in the butter, the baby with her hands in the toilet, the floor covered in thumbtacks and marbles and broken glass. But if you ever want to write scintillating blog posts (or even sleep a few hours at night) you learn to ignore everything else.

Unfortunately, once you learn to ignore a mess, it’s a hard skill to unlearn.  One quick  re-education tactic would be to invite a religious or political leader, or a member of the media, to your home.  (I do not recommend this tactic.)

This concludes this scintillating post about housework.  I’m sure it met your expectations!

Bonus photos:

This is the outfit we cobbled together for Colonial Day at Mabel’s school.  (Sadly, they wouldn’t let her wear her Native American costume from Halloween).  My sister Mary loaned us the shawl (thanks!), I basted pleats into the waist of an old skirt of mine, and Mabel figured out the rest. Mabel’s teacher also provided mob-caps when they got to school.

I get frustrated when a school asks we provide something pioneer-ish or colonial, and says we don’t have to go all-out, but assumes we’ll just have something around.  On the other hand, my heart did soften after hearing Mabel describe how much fun she’d had today.

Hazel and her toes.

This entry was posted in I think I'm funny, Meanwhile in the real world, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Thoughts while cleaning out the fridge and pantry

  1. Helen Hall says:

    So, what’s my excuse?
    Beautiful pictures of your beautiful girls. I missed Rosie.

    • zstitches says:

      Your excuse is that the residual effects of raising children last about 100 years, give or take.

      Yeah, I’m going to have to an effort for Rose to appear in more blog photos. I do have an adorable little video of her from the other day, so I *only* have to learn video editing. In all my spare time.

  2. Mrs. Organic says:

    6th paragraph down – read like something right out of Erma Bombeck. And you really do have beautiful children.

  3. Lili says:

    Dear Zina, just because I haven’t been commenting lately doesn’t mean I haven’t been loving every last post. Because I have been. Please, never stop blogging.

    your sister

  4. Kristina P. says:

    Hazel is just so beautiful. You actually have all beautiful children. Not fair.

  5. Julie Q. says:

    My favorite line is the one about the misleading stage of pre-parenthood life. (But it’s all good and scintillating stuff indeed). I think I caught a glance of you at Maceys yesterday but you were far down another aisle and rather than yell across the crowd, I figured I’d catch you again at another spot in the store. Alas, I did not, which is unfortunate because I wanted to tell you that when I find the time to catch up on your blog I am always glad I did. You’re lovely and witty and REAL. Thanks. (And I hope you got everything you needed at Maceys. I, on the other hand, have to return today because I forgot brown sugar. Drat.)

  6. Zina, you crack me up as always. I have long argued the merits of housecleaning as far as wisdom and general metaphors goes. Don’t get me started (I could write a book). Oh ya, speaking of that, still want to write a book? What could we call it? “Motherhood…undressed?” too scintillating? I’m glad to know I’m not the only one whose been completely “undone” in the organizational department by being pregnant/nursing/recovering from the first two for the last solid 19 years. 😉

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