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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same


Having Kathleen home has been great, if for no other reason than getting a kick out of the fact that she is turning into her mother - aka "Me."  Poor child.  We have found ourselves on more than one occasion saying the exact same thing at the exact same time and then looking at each other and laughing, or she'll say something to the kids and you'd swear it was me talking.  There has been a lot of laughter.  In so many ways, Kathleen and I have grown up - together, albeit apart for the last 9 years.


Since she has been home, Kathleen has been the "Biggest" help of all around the house, and I didn't have to ask her for help either - unlike the other inhabitants of the household who need me to crack the whip to get them to help me around the house.  When you live in a house with 5-6 people and everyone is home all the time, the house gets messy quickly in ways that I would like to avoid having to face on a daily basis.  Fortunately, we rotate each child's responsibility to clean bathrooms and each are responsible for their own bedroom, but as you can see from last week's post about Sarah's bedroom, that certainly hasn't gotten me very far. 


It seems like the kitchen, family room, and laundry room are in a constant state of disaster.  I can never seem to get them clean and keep them clean.  The laundry is Never done.  The paperwork is Never done.  The bathrooms are Never clean all at the same time.  I don't think I have had one full day yet where every room in the house was clean.  As my mother would say - "Susan, you need a bulldozer.  A bulldozer is the answer to everything."  Strange logic, but I can see how that would work.


If there is one thing that this household of mine definitely needed, it was 2 adult women who aren't going to put up with anyone's crap or excuses.  "Pick up your shoes" "Comb Hannah" "Clean up your bathroom" "Rinse off your dishes and put them in the dishwasher" "Put your toys away" "Do your schoolwork" "Clean up your mess" and the list of common comments goes on and on and on like a broken record.  My brain is tired.


I have to chuckle when I think that this is Kathleen's greatest revenge on her siblings - getting after them the way that I used to get after her when she was little.  I've lightened up a lot as I've gotten older, mostly because I find that it is more work to yell at the kids to do this and do that than it is to just do it myself.  But, now that Kathleen is home things are a little bit different.  Just this morning Kathleen said "Mom, I have the perfect solution - you tell them what to do and I'll follow thru and make sure it gets done."  In other words - Kathleen is going to have to raise the decibel of her voice by 10 notches , discipline with a firm hand, develop a case of pointing her finger and rolling her eyes and squinching up her face.  This should be interesting.  I'm getting a kick out of watching her, you know why?  She's the spittin' image of my attitude and determination at 30.  Back then, I didn't put up with any crap from my girls.  Now?  Oh hell, I'm too tired to deal with it anymore, so I just ignore it - which explains why my house looks like a bomb hit it most of the time.


It hasn't all been crackin' the whip since Kathleen has been home.  Nope.  We've been having fun too.  Yesterday, Kathleen helped me organize my art studio and motivated me to finally put a paint brush to that portrait of Matthew that has been sitting idle for 6 years.  I'm sure you are wondering why this portrait of Matthew has been sitting idle for years, right?  Well, I'll tell ya - because I suffer from a chronic case of inferiority when it comes to my artwork.  No matter what I create, I often think it isn't good enough, or it could be so much better.  I have come to know so many incredible artists and "incredible" doesn't even begin to describe their artwork.  More like "magnificent."  I suppose I look at my artwork with a much more critical eye than others.  Still, that is why I have put off completing this portrait.  I have felt like I couldn't do it.  But, Kathleen cracked the whip and inspired me to face my fear and the portrait with a fresh eye.  And so, yesterday began that adventure in my art studio.


That wasn't the only adventure in the art studio, though.  I set Kathleen up with her own easel, canvas, paints - the works, and she is completely in her element creating a beautiful painting for her bedroom.  Kathleen has been an extraordinary artist ever since she was an itty bitty little girl.  She has never drawn a stick figure.  Her eye and ability for detail has always amazed me.  Kathleen is a born artist.  So, she's all set up in the art studio.  We've got the music goin' and we've both been working on our projects.

Life is good. 


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