Tuesday, July 22, 2008

worm hunter

The hay's here.

Pink boots and a bag full of "rubber band Aids."

Random cabbage picture

I'm not sure if it's the heat or what but I can sit for hours here in front of this blank screen and wait for my brain to download interesting, eloquent insight to my fingers and nothing happens. Just like my computer does on occasion: I freeze and that little spinning, hamster wheel-like Apple icon just swirls and swirls and swirls without end, like a leaf caught up in an eddy pool.

And the heat might explain why I'm so irritable and discontented lately. Why I cried as I was cleaning up the kitchen the other morning and had a deja vu that wasn't really a deja vu at all but a hazy memory of doing the exact same thing-- emptying the dishwasher, emptying the dish drainer, wiping down the stove and stepping in puddles caused by my complete slob of a dog who can't seem to keep her loolly lips closed when she walks away from her water dish with her mouth full of water-- just 12 hours before.

All day long I keep hitting these doggy land mines and cursing as my own dirty, summer bare feet leave mini, foot-shaped mud puddles all over the kitchen. Mad I tell you. Mad.

And when I get really mad. I yell; something pathetic and self pitying, like "I never signed up to be a f-ing housewife!" or "My life is so completely senseless," then, overcome with the guilt of being one of those miserable, guilt-mongering, martyrdom embracing mothers you read about in books, I cry.

And when I cry, my two-year-old comes to my side, looks up at me with way- too- blue eyes, framed by way-too-dark and thick lashes and says, "You kyin, Mum?" while she pats my calf with her fat little hand.
"Yes, Isla," I say. "I'm crying like a baby, because I am a baby. Your mom's a baby, Isla."
"Oh dear," she says. "Don't ky baby."

I've written about this before, but the shame of being consoled by a child is like no other. It just seems wrong.

So I pick her up and tell her we're going outside to look for worms in the garden. The minute we get out there, the heat envelopes us and I remember why we were inside. But we forge on, moving slowly through the thick, moist air and in between the rows of Swiss chard and snap peas, in search of earthworms. In search of life just under the dry, crumbly surface.

I've got some newish posts up at Momformation here, here and here.


Jennifer said...

Wow--those pics are beautiful! Do you live on a farm? I know what you ean about the heat--it just sucks the life right of of me! And the crying days--I'm kind of having one of those today too! Your daughter's name is gorgeous!!

Betsy said...

Not a real farm. Just a typical rural Vermont home, with some retired horses and an unfinished barn and a glorified hay meadow for a yard. I have a six-year old, Esther, as well. Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer said...

Both beautiful names! I went to college in Vermont--love it there! I like your blog!

momma's heart said...

Boy, I can get so mad about puddles on my floor too. And I, too, hate the monotony of repetitive chores. It does feel like life in senseless, when everything needs to be repeated within hours.

Maybe your period is due? Can I say that here? lol Tears can creep up on me at that time. I feel like a failure then too, even when I have no rhyme or reason. Hope this passes quickly. I'll check back and be praying.

Emilyplays said...

Oooh, I'm feelin' you on this one! The thought of trying to figure out yet another (3 a day!) meal sends me to the brink sometimes. I'm not minding dishes so much these days as I am the lucky owner of a fabulous dishwasher - yea Bosch!! The tears have been flowing around here the last few days, but as much as I hate to admit it momma'sheart hit it for me - totally hormonal - blech!

The pictures are gorgeous. Very idyllic! Anabel would flip to play in the barn!

Betsy said...

Of course we can speak of hormones and their power over us here. It's almost embarrassing how often I have days like these, think it's the end of the world as I know it, then wake up a day or two later, slap myself on the forehead and say, "Oh, right. That's what's wrong with me." Sigh.

Kate said...

thank you for reminding me other people cry at the foot of their dishwasher now and then. Perhaps what's even worse than being comforted by a toddler is when your nine year old looks up at you and says "um, mom, I think you need a time out...I mean, maybe just take five or something," while he is inching his three year old brother outside and whispering "get moving, dude, I think she's gonna blow..."

yeah. It was one of those days.

Jozet at Halushki said...

Lovely photos.

And the kitchen deja vu? Totally hear you.

Some days, I fell like a thoroughbred hooked to a huge cart, lugging laundry and dishes around.

Momma need to run sometime, too.

Jane said...

I love that cabbage pictures!

tinsenpup said...

I'm struggling with winter here on the other side of the world, but never fear, we get to swap soon enough and then we'll both be feeling better. You're blog is wonderful. I'm so glad I found it.

Emma said...

I'm jealous to read about your hot days, I am freezing today! (Though compared to your winter, I'm being a wuss). I think we should all get tshirts printed with "I never signed on to be a f***ing housewife!". It's the same old, same old. Miss Isla is looking so big in that picture! She is so cute. I love how they console you, my 3 year old Ruby (and I love that your dog has the same name, lol) says to me, at 3am, "Don't worry Mum, I'll pat you." Hmmm.... comforting.

Jolyn said...

Yes, every kitchen is just one big Groundhog Day. Now if only I looked like Andi MacDowell.

We just got back from "vacation", where the women still had to work in the kitchen in our house (what is up with that, anyway?) that we rented on Lake Huron, and I reacqainted myself with Anne Morrow Lindbergh's "Gift from the Sea". If you are not familiar with it I highly recommend. It is meant for creative mothers like you.

Your pictures are wonderful, too.

Betsy said...

Oh how true. The domestic servitude does not necessarily end when on vacation. I often wonder if there is a gene for domesticity and, if so, if I am lacking it. Pretty likely.

Anonymous said...

Forgive this random anonymous comment on a seven-year-old blog post, but I found it absolutely heartrending. Being a housekeeper isn't for everyone, but it's unfairly expected of women, and sometimes it just seems like there's no way out and you're stuck. I hope things have improved.

Betsy said...

I forgive you, anonymous. I'm amazed, and flattered, you found this old post. Thanks for bringing my attention back to the fact that I have been complaining about housework since life began. (: No really. Things have improved, everything except my attitude. And I think my children have forgiven me for not being a domestic Goddess, not that they ever cared in the first place.