When the Queen of England Comes to Visit

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I saw something on Facebook that has given me pause for obsession…I mean reflection…it was a picture of a cat taking a nap on the unmade bed of a friend’s son…her comment: “Guess I will have to make his bed later…silly cat.”

My first thought SHOULD have been (but wasn’t) “Ahhhh….what a cute cat.” I mean I love OUR cat. Even though she tried to eat in its entirety the New Year’s Day turkey that was thawing out in the sink…and barfed up red Christmas ribbon on MY pillow…and LIVES to torment our innocent (sea) turtle who only knows peace and just now hissed at me (the cat not the turtle) when I was talking all nice to her. Seems she understands derogatory words even when they are spoken in a sweet voice. (Cats are smart that way.)

Nor did I think “Swat that little bitch cat off the bed, she’s getting hair all over the sheets!” because I have given in to having cat and dog hair on everything. Our pets have taken over the house…especially the cat that has a different napping spot for every hour of the day, all of which are places I either sit, sleep or eat. I no longer notice pet hair in my mouth or stuck to the bottom of my socks, or on my black work slacks, or in my food…I mostly just keep my eyes closed and hum a little when I am in my house for very long.

Instead, my immediate reaction to this seemingly innocent Facebook post was to think “You make your son’s bed?!?!?! WTF?”

Followed thirty seconds later by: “OMG! I am a terrible mother because I don’t make any of my children’s beds.”

Because of course all Facebook comments, even ones about cute cats sleeping on unmade beds, are all about my crappy mothering.

But the thing is: I AM a BED MAKER. I was raised at a young age to clearly understand that bad things will happen to you if you did not make your bed every morning. Plus, there was some mention of the possibility that the Queen of England might stop by and we should always be prepared with made beds. I have therefore, since I was five years old, been inspired to make my bed every morning before I do anything else despite the fact that the QUEEN (of England) has not yet shown. My little sister, who NEVER made her bed, may have been correct in her declaration that mom was a big fat fibber. Though I feel the strong need to make mention and call to your attention that a lot more bad things have happened to my sister than have happened to me (thus far). Just sayin…

…and so it is somewhat upsetting to me that NONE of my kids make their beds, not even Daniel sees the logic of bed making. He is our only neat freak kid, who queebs when one of his asshole brothers moves his carefully placed Halo Ships over to where the Green bay Packers stuff goes (just so they can watch his eyes bug out). “I’m just going to mess the covers up again in 12 hours mom. Don’t you think that’s a waste of my valuable time?”

At one point I sort of tried to teach my kids the importance (and skill) of making their beds, but the Queen of England comments fell short and meaningless upon their blank faces…the one smarty who knew who she was said: “Isn’t she like 100 years old? She’d probably die on the airplane from Paris to Spokane!”…

…I could go down the path of scaring them with the threat “you’ll get bed bugs” to inspire them but I WATCHED that 60 Minutes episode and as someone who stays in a lot of hotels where the beds are always made when you walk in I know for a fact that made beds don’t stop those icky little things. Plus I live with an ex-exterminator who would blame my suitcase as the transporter if we ever got bed bugs and I personally think I get enough blame for shit that goes down in our house.

…and it’s not like I have time to make seven beds myself every morning. I mean really? I get up at 5:30 most mornings and am still rushing to get out the door on time to meet my outside the house life and I am lucky to have on matching shoes and mascara on both eyes.

I probably should make Mitch and Dave’s beds. They are still little and need nurturing but I would rather give them candy, Cheetos and kisses to express my love because every time I go in their room I hurt myself somehow: stepping on Legos, hitting my head on the hard wooden top bunk and one time acquiring seven stitches in the lip after being viciously attacked by a plastic Nerf rifle that fell from their top shelf and hit me square in the mouth….so I am a little afraid to go in that room…mothering is so damn dangerous…

…and the endeavor to make the older kids beds would just lead to a whole lot of unpleasant questions like: “Why perchance is there an empty Coors Light bottle in your room? It seems weird since you are only 19. Oh, it’s MY empty and being used for spitting CHEW into? Oh that’s so much better. Whew! Thanks for clearing that up.” OR “Why does your floor crunch?” OR “When did we get a HAMSTER?”

In my early days of motherhood, I had energy and this thing called CONVICTION and was determined to make good people for the world: one’s who make their beds every morning.

Now, in my later days of motherhood (which began about four minutes after my first son was born) I am trying to accept (with somewhat wavering conviction) that bed making is a personal preference NOT a reflection on whether or not you are a good person (or mother). I am (almost) certain that bad things will not happen just because my kids don’t make their beds (though I still usually make mine, I haven’t gone THAT crazy).

But when the Queen of England FINALLY comes to visit me from Paris I will meet her at the nearest Starbucks (I mean one would THINK that the QUEEN would give advance notice and not just show up on your doorstep) and we will put a little shot of booze from my purse flask in our coffee and toast to shiny crowns, Paris, hamsters, Legos, cats, turtles, dogs, bunk beds, face scars, crunchy floors and the really, really good people in my life who’s beds I never make.

5 thoughts on “When the Queen of England Comes to Visit

  1. Betty

    Once again, you have captured a snippet of our family that has passed down for generations…from Tiny Grandma in Pasco, to mom, to your mom and me…and then to you and Holly. I totally remember making my bed FIRST THING….before even going to the bathroom!…the second I got up each morning to go to school as a child. It was absolutely unheard of not to do this chore. My mom…your Grandma…however, never used the Queen of England argument. Don’t really remember how she brainwashed me into making my bed, except that I knew I might get the silent treatment and those pursed lips of hers if I didn’t do it!
    Love you, Heather!

    Like

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