Saturday, July 26, 2008

Caution: Woman Working

You'd think from the blissful look on her face:

... that she was eating chocolate.

Or is that just me?

Laura has a tooth breaking through. I'm not sure whether to throw my arms up in despair or keep raging against the mad dash of time. Not sure at all. Her little tooth is very cute, and I am in a bittersweet mood anyhow, so we'll go with a third option: celebration.

Mmm... bittersweet chocolate sounds good.

Today I wanted to give y'all a little tour of my office.

The Chinese brush paintings Madeleine and Sarah did for me:

Along with a little bit of fairy portraiture.

The girls' longstanding favorite fantasy is fairyland. They have discovered a fairytopia in the back corner of our property, complete with an enchanted apple tree, a magical rope swing and grand arches made of brambles. Madeleine built a little bench for sitting and waiting to glimpse -- something. They ferret broken china out to use for fairy huts and pavilions. The fairies pay them back in inspiration.

On the other wall of my office I have kept for far too long the girls' New Year's Resolutions. Sarah's reads: I will put the canned food away. Madeleine's says: I will work on not back-talking my mother.

This completely enchanted me, since Sarah loves to put the groceries away. It's her favorite OCD activity. Please don't be offended if you have OCD -- Sarah may or may not, but she's certainly obsessive about putting food away in alphabetical order with all the labels facing correctly. It's a strange choice for a resolution, since she didn't have to change anything to succeed in the Year 2007 and beyond.

Interestingly, Sarah's resolution for 2008 (can't find it -- Laura was being born when it came home) read: I resolve to:___________. Blank. When the EGE questioned her about it, she answered, "Ms. M says I'm perfect just as I am." Oh. Glad she was done with self-improvement at the tender age of 7.

Madeleine didn't make a new resolution for 2008, at least not on posterboard. She is an exceptional goal-setter, and 2007's "not back-talking" was evidently the suggestion of her teacher after she had resolved verbally to "do the barrel pattern in under 15 seconds and beat the whole under 9 group in pole bending and learn to drive Grampa's John Deere." The teacher gently guided her toward working on her respect skills (or forced her, if that's possible.) I appreciate all the help I can get. A few times during the year I reminded her of the goal. Oh so gently. How do you think that went for me?

Here's the girls' new kitten, Dewy, sleeping in a fishbowl in front of part of my vintage typewriter collection: I was wishing to buy a fish, because I thought it might calm me down. You know, gazing at the guppy? Isn't that meditative or something? But after I saw Dewy in the drink (calm down, PETA, the bowl is actually dry) I realized this house is just too upside down to contain one more live being.

My church-turned-farmhouse is small, but it's home. We have four bedrooms, and all the girls sleep in one (I am sure this will change as they approach the teen years). We have a "great room" and a laundry room and a little den. And... I have an office.

I have an office, which is otherwise known as the Mommy Zone. If the forcefield is in place, I can usually rely on approximately 45 seconds of uninterrupted time when I sit down in the Mommy Zone. I am going to explain to my children (and myself ) the irony of a quiet space to work in which I am surrounded by children's artwork, children's long-past resolutions, eight quirky and nostalgic manual typewriters, my husband's engineering texts, a handpainted door panel that says "6 Week Old Pigs" and... last but not least... a view of the bed and breakfast next door.

Maybe I could get some work done if I booked a night over there? I hear they leave chocolate on the pillow.


Barb said...

Yeah, I have an office. It's really mostly a storage unit but the girls use my really good computer in there...

You mean, I'M supposed to get to use it?? Dude, I gotta read the fine print on my contract...

HonuGirl said...

... Hey!! Now I really feel cheated -- your "office" actually HAS a door (an assumption on my part, well it has a doorknob anyway)... mine shares open space with Legos, Hot Wheels, Bionicles, & uuhhh - Nerf "weapons" ... yeah, sometimes my chair has a boy in it with one waiting in line for computer time. =)

Agent K said...

What gives? Wasn't that child just born last week? Where did this tooth growing, cake eating, belly crawler come from?

Woe to us. The the mommies with child infested offices. Take heart! One day THEIR offices shall be infested too.... sweet revenge....