Fly in the Mouth @ The Intersection of Relaxation and You Gotta Be Kidding Me – Webster

Hold on – I need to brush my teeth with Listerine and fire…

k, back..

I finally did a last round through the ole inboxes: making sure I knew my work calendar (blocking myself with tentative forewarning from 8a – 9a “I’ll accept your meeting but may be troubleshooting zoom”) and making sure I knew just what a 2nd grader should be doing during “independent work”.

I truly can’t imagine being a teacher. I had a nice, healthy – helpful response from Maddox’s teacher and I just felt like “man”. She taught these kids all day and is responding to me, on behalf of my kid, in depth. I am just absolutely amazed by their stamina.

I yelled at the girls last night. First time laying into the quad of teens – a signature mom move “I don’t care who, I don’t care when, I don’t want to hear why, I don’t need to know what – all I need is to tell each of you this one time and one time only: go. to. bed.”


Thing is – I don’t do well on little sleep. Any spat David and I have can for sure be assumed to have some degree of “Erin needs to go to bed” at play. My mind gets overwhelmed, I can’t spit words out, I just need people to understand and all I want to do is close my eyes.

So, naturally, when back to school hits and your job as parent becomes: Tech Support, Task Manager, Snack Guardian, Waitress, Secretary, and Accountability Partner (all which are going on my LinkedIn) on top of Cook, Household Operations Manager, General Keeper Upper of Things and Loving Devoted Wife *on top of* a 40 hr week full time job supporting four priority efforts on a team that is new and requiring massive change management communication and your teenagers wake you up at midnight laughing about the internet? Yeah. You take them to task.

If I were a teacher, I think it’s possible I would yell at my students if I was tired.

The one thing I am being careful about is not feeling sorry for myself. I can feel the tendency and I can even, sometimes, feel David’s expectation that maybe I’m in a funk. But even when I am doing something that is not, technically, “my task” – I am doing it not to be proud but because it’s when I need the task done, so I will do it, reminding myself that I am choosing to do it.

I also feel that it is an honor to be trusted with people. Kind of a slap in the face to be be trusted with 3 cats but 6 people? That’s kind of amazing.

And that isn’t me being sunshine and rainbows. I like them feeling both guided towards expectations (really with the Ritz cracker crumbs on the floor? You didn’t see that and clean up after yourself?) as well as cared for and allowed to focus on the things they need to. I care about these things as much as I value a well run house, finished laundry and stocked toilet paper.

I love the feeling of accomplishment, certainty and seeming control that fresh towels in all the bathrooms provides; especially during a global pandemic. During a time where so much is just, well, chaotic; a perfectly folded stack of towels and reliable source of washcloths – inclusive for everybody – is a really meaningful thing to be able to provide.

In a time where I am not “doing my best” only “doing”, towels cleaned and available is my bar.

Ok, my friends. It’s 7:15 and the taste of the fly that drowned in my strawberry, lemon & basil seltzer is finally out of my mouth. The weird “is that taco or is that a fly” sensation still looms a little on my tongue, but it is nothing a four click user path to get to a zoom call link and passcode can’t top as the worst thing ever.

To all the parents out their distant learning, I hope you don’t also have flies in your house.

Honestly? Where did they come from…


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