The Semi-empty Nest


I’m cleaning out the closets
As if a baby’s about to arrive.
NO, NO, NO, I’m long done with that.
My baby’s a world-weary five.

The cleaning and scrubbing binge
That I’m energetically on
Is for when school starts this fall
And both my babies are gone!

No, not to college, not even close,
Just elementary school for now.
I’ll be all alone in my quiet house
Managing to cope somehow.

My lovely empty closets,
And clean, tidy rooms,
Will stay that way for hours
Sans the chaotic fruit of my womb.

So as summer skids to a stop,
I’ll spend hours on organization
For that first peaceful cup of joe
Of my school-days-only vacation.

I am in a serious bout of nesting behavior right now, cleaning out closets and hanging drapes and calling a housepainter for the outside.  When the school year hits, those of us who work opportunistically around kids can finally concentrate for more than 10 minutes without a request for pancakes, the iPad, or punishment for the other child.  I am feverishly working toward a house that is clean, quiet, and free of distracting, disorganized junk and projects uncompleted.  It won’t actually all happen, but some of it will, and that is better than none of it.

PS.  The painter is also quoting that deck railing because I….ahem….haven’t quite gotten that ironed out by myself yet.

The Tattlers


When nothing is planned
And summer gets long,
The kids come running
To sing their people’s song.

He kicked my face!
She stole my book!
He showed me his butt!
She shouldn’t have looked!

Screeching and thumping,
Then footsteps towards me,
With grievances ready
In hopes that I’ll be….

What? Do you want me to yell?
Do you want me to punish?
Are you looking for sympathy?
Do you hope to astonish?

My standard reaction
Disappoints the little Judas.
Go handle it yourself.
I don’t know why you do this.

Despite my disinterest,
They can’t seem to refrain.
There’s nothing too trifling
For them to complain.

For so many reasons, I am grateful we were able to have two children.  This is not one of them.