In New England, March was always a month to bitch and moan about how spring was clearly NEVER going to arrive. Or there would be a couple of freak 70-something-degree days in amongst the snow storms. I still remember the year we got two feet of snow on April Fool’s Day, and with Chickie’s birthday being in the middle of April, every year it was a waiting game to see if we could have a party outside or not. One year the day of her party dawned warm and sunny, but I still had to go out into the yard with a shovel and break up an iceberg that hadn’t quite gotten the memo about the weather.
In Georgia, March is a mix of warm and cold, though “cold” is relative, of course. We’ll have a bunch of perfect, temperate days where everyone flocks to the outdoors, because by May it’ll be too hot, and April is the Month Of Pollen. For most of April, everything will be covered in a yellow-green powder that turns to thick sludge each time it rains. We are not yet in the “hey, the air is chewy” stage, but it’s time to break out the daily allergy meds and it’s only a matter of time.
Naturally, this means it’s time to Do Stuff and Clean Things because my allergy meds make me hyper AND because I lose the will to live once we start drowning in pollen.
This made for a super-exciting weekend because my family just LOVES cleaning and stuff! (Not really.) (I’m calling it a win that no one killed me in my sleep last night.)
On Friday, Monkey and I spent the afternoon gardening. He was very helpful right up until it was time to get down to serious weeding, and then his enthusiasm began to wane. Because weeds are HARD and he’s not GOOD at it and did he mention that he really needed to go shampoo his cat? (We do not own a cat. But Minecraft is hardly going to play itself, y’know.) I finished the weeding without him, but I’ll have you know he’s a true expert at planting. If you have your own Aspie, I highly recommend installing him as your Official Ploinker, which means that he takes one designated finger to PLOINK each seed the proper distance down into the soil. As long as you can determine the desired depth relative to knuckles, it’s all good. (Sugar snap peas, for example, go just one knuckle deep.)
[Sidebar: I learned the hard way not to plant anything frost-averse before Easter. But this year I've discovered that both kids really like sugar snap peas, and in the past I have tried to grow them in the summer and it's never been successful, probably because I am a moron and didn't realize they need cooler weather. Whoops! So the bulk of our planting is still a few weeks off, and I maybe should've planted these even sooner, but I think (hope) that we may actually succeed this year. Hopefully we'll get peas mid-May and can harvest those and then plant green beans afterward. LOOK AT ME, PLANNING AHEAD.]
Anyway. My garden boxes are ready to go, Otto and I dealt with some Pool Stuff, and in general Friday was a productive day. I try not to complain about the pool, because what kind of asshole desperately wants a house with a pool (me) and then gets said house with pool (me) and then realizes that hey, owning a pool is a tremendous, expensive pain in the ass (me) which will then fall largely to a certain long-suffering husband (GEEZ, what a jerk) (me, not him)…? We are having some work done on the pool, because hey, pools apparently are not expensive enough with the chemicals and the water and the electricity and all of that. Sometimes things happen like THE STAIRS CRACK and you have to call a FIBERGLASS GUY. (The pool is old. This does not mean that I am not alternately amused and horrified that someone can make their entire living, apparently, fixing pool steps.) This year’s tax return: Thanks for the pool maintenance, Uncle Sam! Really, we are hovering right at that income point where the pool is more than we can reasonably afford—I mean, it’s not going to throw us into debt, or anything, but it’s kind of a stupid luxury when maybe that money could be better spent on other things—but I CLING to the fantasy that we will get endless hours of family togetherness out of a zillion gallons of water.
Me, this weekend: OMG, we’re spending HOW MUCH on this stupid pool?
Me, all summer long: GET IN THE DAMN POOL. YOU WILL SWIM AND YOU WILL LIKE IT.
On Saturday and Sunday I remembered that the real reason it’s awesome to have more than one kid is that it offers you twice as much free labor, PLUS if you do it right they don’t even feel like you’re bossing them around. With just Monkey here I’d be all, “Please clean your bathroom” and if he wasn’t in a helpful mood (though, to be fair, he’s often happy to help) would be met with, “But it’s CLEAN ENOUGH ALREADY” or “I don’t FEEL LIKE IT” or “I just cleaned it LAST WEEK!” But with TWO children here I could be all, “Today I need you guys to clean your bathroom and do your laundry. Work it out.” AND SOMEHOW THROUGH MAGIC that becomes them negotiating and everyone doing what needs to be done and no arguing happening. Okay, not much arguing happening.
So the kids did stuff and I did a ton of laundry and Chickadee and I took the dog for a long walk and Monkey finally got to have Lemur over for a while (did Lemur end up with the worst case of the illness going through his family shortly after I SO MEANLY refused to let the boys see each other last weekend? YES. YES, HE DID) and there was grocery shopping and meal planning and granola-making (Chickadee is mostly happy to be home because she likes homemade granola, and I am okay with that) and vacuuming and dusting. Thrilling stuff, I know.
This week we’re going to ratchet the fun up EVEN FURTHER by finally replacing some leaky shower valves/handles that are slowly sending our water bill through the roof. THE FUN NEVER STOPS. Though I do kind wish that while we were at Ye Olde Big Box Hardware Store discussing the relative merits of different faucets I had videotaped the kids very seriously discussing which Corian countertop they wanted in their bathroom. (What can I say? They have excellent taste. Though they were wholly unimpressed with my suggestion that if they pooled their savings, they might even be able to afford the little 3″ square sample of the stuff.)
Regardless, right now the house is spotless and no one is allowed to touch anything. Ever. Well, at least until dinner tonight.