I usually don’t mind drop-ins. Mainly because it is almost always my friends, and they have lots of kids too and know that the house isn’t always perfect, though I usually try to keep it at least decent.
Today it looks like a bomb hit my house. Jacob was especially destructive, Emily starving, and the baby howling. I had Emily make a couple of quick PB&J sandwiches, and managed to keep the baby happy while the kids ate a half-hearted lunch. I sent them off to quiet time and sank into my chair, baby in arms to nurse.
Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as the baby finishes eating, spits up on me as is his habbit, and I stand to go get something done, there comes a happy tapping on my door. Uh-oh. My friends don’t knock, they just walk in and announce themselves – that’s the way I like it. Door salesmen knock, which are easy to get rid of, and old friends of my parents.
So, I open my door to find a very sweet lady who is the mom to one of my mom’s old piano students. Me with toys flung far and wide, jam dripping off the counter and a half eaten PB&J sandwhich smashed into the table. Me with spit-up stains all over my shirt, my hair disheveled, and clutter on the couches. Me with dishes in the sink, the art drawer open and masses of coloring books hanging out limply -loosing papers to the floor, and shoes boxes flung far and wide from kids playing with them. Why oh why can’t I have that kind of a drop in when my house, and myself for that matter, look good? Why just the other day the house was looking quite spic and span, and my hair was done, though I don’t think I ever appear without spit up on me these days. It was fun to see her, I remember her son quite well – he was very talented – but oh, how I wanted to hide as I invited her in while I found a pen and paper to write my parent’s adress on.
There she stands patiently, as I frantically search for pen and paper, looking around. I am sure she is not thinking anything mean about how crazy the house looks right now, but I am SO embarrassed. Then as I hand her the scrap of paper with the adress scibbled on it, Jacob starts banging on the wall – very loudly. “Um, that would be my son, the three old, who is SUPPOSED to be taking a nap.”
“Loud napper,” she chuckles. I am sure she remembers the times when she had little tykes banging away, but I can’t help feeling moritfied.
Why does it matter that someone should see us at less than our best? Don’t we all have moments like this? I know we do. Maybe it was that I was thinking about how clean my Mom’s house was (I am the youngest, so she had no children at home when this lady’s son was taking lessons) when they would come for lessons, and how not clean it was today.
All I know is how horribly embarrassed I felt, and how the minute she left I wanted to clean from top to bottom, and then the baby started in to cry. And here I am pondering on why we worry so much about what others think, and typing it all with one hand.
P.S. The repetition of “me with” is a literary device called ‘anaphora’ – I learned about it today in my online poetry class – I didn’t even realize I was using it, until I came back to edit something. How cool is that? 🙂 Well, baby appears to be happy, so off I go to get something done. 🙂