Thursday, June 7, 2007

How to Pack Less

Well. Today was one of those days. I was busy tending my lists, looking for some easy things I could do and then cross off. Changed a few addresses, made a few calls. Aidan was napping; Kyra was crawling between cabinets, yanking out Tupperware, tossing plastic cups, and generally making a mess. That’s okay, though, because she was leaving me alone so I could get my work done. I admit it: I was ignoring her.

She opened the cupboard under the sink several times. Each time, I told her “not for Kyra” and moved her back to the Tupperware cupboard. The she decided to go for the cupboard full of pots and pans. Technically, I figured, she could pull those pans out, but it wasn’t likely, and hey, did I mention I was getting things done? So I chose to ignore her. I forgot that in the back of that cupboard I had a couple of big glass Pyrex dishes. Note the past tense there. Had. Because I no longer have them. I heard a tremendous crash and looked up to see my tiny, barefoot baby standing in a pile of glass shards. I rushed to pick her up and inspected her toes. All still there, covered with glass but uninjured. I deposited her in her playpen and spent the next hour sweeping up shards of glass. I had to empty out the whole cupboard and wash out every single pot – how did bits of glass get inside them all? Then I had to wipe down the shelves. After sweeping the floor carefully, I decided to vacuum, just for good measure.

By now Kyra was howling. She’d been in the playpen for almost an hour – no fun at all. “Just give me five more minutes,” I told her. “I’m almost done.” Ha.

A mere three minutes into my vacuuming, the vacuum made an awful, grinding noise and started spewing smoke. I pulled the plug, waited for it to cool off and took it apart. Everything inside looked fine to my amateur eyes (keeping in mind that I’m qualified to change a vacuum belt, but that’s about it – I don’t really know much about the guts of a vacuum). So I put it back together and plugged it back in. This time it started right up, but it sounded near death and it was still spewing some nasty smelling smoke.

I set the vacuum aside and started searching for glass on the dining room rug. I found several pieces, far from the original accident site, simply by impaling them on my fingers. By now, Kyra had given up on being rescued and had fallen asleep. But I was still stuck crawling around on my hands and knees, searching for shards and bleeding from numerous tiny wounds.

Two hours after the Pyrex dishes succumbed to the force of gravity, I’m sure there’s more glass on the rug. But I can’t vacuum it up. I can’t sweep it up. So I give up.

And now, because I simply wanted a little bit of time to ignore my kids and get some work done, I’ve created more work for myself. Not just the two hours I spent cleaning up. Now I have to find a vacuum repair shop. And pay someone to undo whatever damage I did. And then I'll have to finish vacuuming the rug. And put all of the pots and pans away again. And, of course, I'll have to start paying better attention to my kids. Sigh.

On the bright side, I now have fewer dishes to pack.

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