Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Winter Heather vs. Summer Heather

As I am in a break between company and trips, I've gotten a big manic. It's all "Winter Heather's" fault. When school is in session and I am racing from activity to activity for kids during the day and then church and school and everything else at night, that Winter me starts making lists of all the things "Summer Heather" is going to do. Winter Heather thinks it will be so easy to repaint the kitchen cabinets, fix the treehouse roof, grow a flower garden, catch up on babybooks while watching Pride & Prejudice. But now that I am Summer Heather, I know how deluded WH is. WH is like certain of my friends' husbands who wonder "what do you DO all day and why isn't the house spotless and dinner already made?" Questions, if I'm honest, I ask myself from time to time...

As soon as school lets out I know exactly why so few projects get done during the break. Kids go to bed too late, sucking up any productive night work; we are either washing/packing/prepping to go out of town, out of town, or washing/unpacking/de-messing from being out of town. Now substitute "company" for out of town (we are addicted to company--it's such a great excuse to have fun).

This last week, right after my sister left, I felt the full judgment of Winter Heather and decided I'd take on the kitchen which Summer Heather flaked on last year. Well, to be honest, WH and my sister-in-law Stephanie ganged up on Summer me. This spring they ordered all the replacement knobs & pulls, bought the paint, and changed the walls from a tired terra cotta to a lovely "Dried Sage," knowing that the cabinets, by contrast, would look so hideous that something would have to be done. Thanks guys. So I stayed up til 2 or 3 for four nights to get my cabinets out of the '80s. One friend said, as nicely as she could, "Hello, Millie Vanillie called and want their kitchen back."

One day I made the mistake of working on stuff before the kids went to bed. Millie sobbed, not because she got "Edwardian Linen" all over her new shirt but because I went all Crazed Mama on her. How hard is it to not lean against the door frame when you have just been told, "Don't lean against the door frame"?

I also repainted our deck chairs, scrubbed clean the basement door, weeded and fertilized the roses I'm trying to grow, got Dave and some boys from the ward to chop down some giant oak limbs that were bugging our sad Italian widow neighbor, sanded the deck railing, prepared a Relief Lesson for Sunday, and reread New Moon.

SH is so elated by the altered kitchen, she made Jen come over to see my cabinet progress. She walks in and there I am covered in paint and baking cookies. The simultaneous aromas of new paint and chocolate chips made her shake her head at me. "You are the Good Mom," she said. "Not only do you transform your kitchen, you still find time to make treats for the kids." And I hate the look on her face because I AM NOT THAT PERSON. If not for Hotpockets & Mac & Cheese, my kids would starve. And I'm not transforming a kitchen. That would involve actual money, granite, cabinets not made of particle board, and a floor that didn't look like dirty mop water. Luckily Georgia walked in the room to grab a cookie.

"Georgie," I said, "what did you have for dinner?"

She stops. It's 9:30pm. "Um, I guess this cookie is dinner."

I stared at Jen, daring her to pursue this as I KNOW she had made some healthy & spectacular meal that probably involved veggies from her garden. Jen later told me that she had made dinner that night but that in kids' eyes healthy meals still pale in comparison to Tollhouse cookies. "Nothing says 'I Love You' like a zucchini fertata," she added with a shrug.

I mowed the lawn & worked on the treehouse today but my energy is spent. I still have the entryway to paint and the upstairs hall is beyond dingy but there's no way I can tackle them now. Instead, I plan to go to Home Depot, buy all the paint and stuff and let it be Fall Heather's problem. I mean, once the kids are back in school, there will be TONS of time to get all sorts of projects done...

"Mamas, Don't let your babies dress up like cowboys..."

Mine & Dave's secret plan to train the kids to do all the work so that we can sit around and eat bon bons may just work after all.


mike and maren said...

Love the SH/WH comparison - I don't have kids, but I still do the same thing and I want to beat myself up when September rolls around. The last two photos rock.

colgoo said...

Hahaha. I needed the laugh. So TRUE! I always get myself in trouble by trying to take on too much...I've got at least six seasons of Colleen who challenge me to take on more. Right now, Summer Colleen is bugging Autumn Colleen to get busy and sew Halloween costumes for the girls. The fabric was bought a year ago!!! So far, the girls have had handmade costumes, and so now it's TRADITION! And, I really need to buy some bulbs to plant in the front yard this Fall....And Winter Colleen is SO sedentary. She can take on some home projects.