The defenestration of Berkeley

Wanna know how off-the-charts bad today is? Mid-morning I taught my three-year-old the word “defenstrate.” And used it in a sentence with him as the object.

He wanted to know if you just throw somebody if that’s defenestrating. Nope. If you throw somebody *at* a window, is it defenestration? Nope.

“Please don’t throw me out of the window, Mommy.”

“I won’t babe. I would never do anything to hurt you, and defenestration might hurt. I would never do anything to scare you, and defenstration might scare you. I just really need you to know the word defenestration right now because I really, really, really thought about it a minute ago.”

“Oh. [beat.] Which window you thinkin’ bout, Mommy?”

Any of ’em, sweetie. All of ’em.

Want to hear a few more? Of course you do. All just from today…

Unsolicited, screeching, as I tried to distract by offering to read several new library stories, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! I’m driving you nuts, Mommy!”

Throwing a fistful of toys in the air and yelling, “Rooooooar! I’m really not nice today!”

Clawing at my face, “Mommy I show you how that tree scratch me and then I go out and hit that tree!”

Oh my word, he’s making me earn every minute of child-free rest I’ve been promised this weekend. Virgin America, take me away. [I can’t put this post in the “shoot me now” category, which I reserve for godawful days, because then I wouldn’t get this, my first weekend away. So don’t shoot me now. Please.]

Spouse has a different idea of usefulness

For our last move, I packed an entire 1500 sq. ft. house by myself. Over the course of seven months. And in the final stretch, Spouse came home and asked if he could help. Sure. There’s a cabinet full of ceramic mixing bowls and casserole dishes. Have at it.

Okay. He plops down on the floor with newspaper and a box. Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle…I go off to pack another bookcase full of texts I swear I’ll read again. I already got rid of hundreds of books I know I won’t read again. I’m in the living room and see Spouse walk past with a single AA battery.

Me: What are you looking for?

S: The box with the batteries.

Me: Above the washing machine. [interested that he’s recycling a battery when he was last wrapping bowls]

S: I’m going out to the garage for a few minutes.

Me: Are you done with the cabinet?

S: I need a break.

So I go in the kitchen and see he has wrapped two bowls. And, not to be judgmental or anything (yeah, right), but he did a crappy job. Two or three layers of newsprint between the bowls, nothing inside the bowls themselves.

When he comes back inside later, he goes straight to the kitchen. Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle…”This is bullshit.” He heads back to the garage for a while.

So now we’ve taken a few months to unpack. We’re quite slovenly, really, living amongst boxes for nigh on two months, and no end in sight.

I opened a box today, thinking that instead of working on my conference paper or my novel or any of the things that might return me to the realm of the living and thinking, maybe I should clean this joint up.

Inside the box were hand-selected, and carefully wrapped, items from my Goodwill pile. Spouse must have thought they might be useful and should be rescued. That night of “help” was a night of dumpster diving of the worst sort—stuff I already marked as headed to someone who really needs it had been retrieved by the one person who decidedly did not need it.

Do you think Goodwill will take one slightly used husband?