I go into this sort of preparing-for-my-death mode before I take a trip. Normal people, they’re about to go somewhere, they think, “Hmmmm. I should finish packing.” (Or if they’re Otto, they’ll be on the phone with you at 11 at night when they’re leaving the next morning at dawn and saying “I should start packing.”)
Me, I’m going somewhere, I need to Get My Affairs In Order. Because you just never know. I need to have everything I’d need so that if I’m stranded somewhere en route I have clean underwear and reading material and perhaps q-tips. I need to have the house clean because if the plane crashes I don’t want people thinking “Such a tragedy, but would it have killed her to scrape the toothpaste out of the sink?”
The traveling back and forth to Otto’s has largely cured me of this special little pocket of neurosis. Why, I blithely traipse off to Georgia with nary a glance behind me. Scrub the toilets? Baby, sometimes I don’t even bother bringing extra clothes! I just throw caution to the wind and lock the door behind me and figure the mess will still be there to clean when I get back.
(So far, that’s been true. Never have I returned from one of my weekend jaunts to find that the housecleaning fairy has visited.)
For some reason, the psychological stress of preparing for a trip down there WITH THE KIDS has caused me to relapse. I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, wondering if I’ll have time both to mop the floors AND clean out the kids’ closets. Because otherwise civilization as we know it may collapse, or someone will puke on the plane. It’s all about balancing out our karma. Or my insanity. Something.
Anyway, I spent most of the day flitting around the house, bouncing from work to cleaning to miscellaneous must-do activities and back again. The overall effect is one of reduced productivity and increased agitation, which is probably why I continued on in exactly that way despite periodically thinking, “There has got to be a better way to do this.”
Yesterday, I did something brilliant. I decided to defragment the hard drive on my laptop. Yes! Because it was running really slowly, and I thought that might help. Also because I’ve owned this machine for nearly six years and I’ve never defragmented it! Whoops! And with my laptop running faster, I could work faster, leaving me more time to try to find plane-friendly snacks for a child who came home with a list of orthodontist-forbidden foods approximately twelve pages long.
I started the defragmentation before I left for church, and when I got home it was still going. As it was the next twelve times I checked it. It finally finished around 4:30, and then I stopped swearing.
Today I realized I’d only defragmented the C drive. And the drive is partitioned. So today I defragmented the D drive. And because swearing about it only used part of my time, while that was running I also:
1) Did some work on my other computer. Because freelancing is SO GREAT! So flexible! Except for the part where I don’t actually get to take vacation. Um, ever. So in return for not sitting at the computer all day Thursday and Friday, I have to do twice as much work every other day this week. All this AND no 401k! Woooooo!
2) Called to confirm that Chickadee will be going on a playdate tomorrow. Called to set up a playdate for Monkey. (“I’ll be dropping his sister off right near your house, so I could just come kidnap your kid really easily. Okay, that sounded a little more creepy than I intended.”)
3) Made a list of things I need to make a list of.
4) Finished the last of about seven loads of laundry. Surveyed the overflowing laundry baskets and piles of clean sheets on the floor of my room. Wept.
5) Finally took my awesome new jeans to the tailor because I figured having them fixed would be less trouble than stretching my right leg an extra inch or so. Pleaded to have them back before we leave on Wednesday. Thanked the nice lady profusely when she told me they’d be ready tomorrow.
6) Stopped at the store for more snacks, milk, zip-top quart size bags to put our liquids into for the TSA, and then—while saying a brief prayer to ask for forgiveness—two Lunchables so that if when we return on Sunday I cannot muster the energy to run out for groceries immediately, the children can still have a lunch-like substance on Monday.
7) Did some more work.
8) Cleaned one bathroom. Remembered that there are two others. Wondered if I could make the kids clean them.
9) Cleaned out the fridge. Took out the trash, brought in the mail. Made a mental note to go to the bank.
10) Went over the list of documents I need for school preregistration, which is conveniently being held during our visit. Georgia schools require a birth certificate, immunization record, social security card, an original lock of hair, fingerprints, and certification of the ability to spin straw into gold before children may be enrolled in their schools. Otto has already taken care of the realtor’s signed affidavit that we are seeking housing in this here school zone, pinky swear.
11) Spilled a big cup of water all over my desk.
So you can see, it was a pretty busy day.
The house is still a mess, I haven’t packed a thing, and there’s work left to do. Thankfully, the children came home and immediately started bouncing off the walls. And then I realized that I still have a day to get everything done (good) and whether I do or not, I should probably be focusing my energy on the fact that I’ll soon be boarding an enclosed aircraft with two persnickety people, one of whom has already lost Nintendo privileges (bad).
So, you know, I stuck a fresh pack of gum into my purse. If nothing else, I can probably stick the kids to their seats in a pinch.