Monday, February 25, 2008


I believe in my last post I celebrated the magic of boys. This post is not a retraction, exactly; it’s more of a warning shot across your bow (you’re welcome.)

I started pondering when Mombabe et all, mentioned that their homes bear the physical manifestations of boy-dom. My house does bear the markings of territory, but so do my car, my things, my wardrobe, even my very own corpus.

I left the house this morning in a very cute cashmere and wool green sweater. I very much love this sweater with its side buttons and perfect fit. The morning had not yet elapsed when I ended up with two new holes: one on my right forearm from El Guille’s impatient pant zipper, and the other on my left elbow from El Guille’s car seat.

I am alternately horrified, as Stacy and Clinton would expect me to be walking around with holes in my clothes, and resigned that my fine things, my beautiful raiment, will meet the dust sooner rather than later. I have stitched up my clothes before and it appears I will be doing it again. Of course, I’m going to forget, fold up the sweater, put it away, and pull it out one morning when I am late, late, late and realize, yet again, that the sweater still has its holes and I need to make the choice whether or not to spend 10 minutes stitching or 10 minutes trying to find something else to wear.

Dear Self, Just do it tonight, OK?

My house, and all the things in it, suffers endlessly. For instance, the old cable box hole in our wall (which you might remember from this) has been covered with a plate for two years now. Well, covered until recently when 10 month old Proximo managed to get his chubby fingers under the plate, and broke off a piece (I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure it has to do with earth’s yellow sun.) El Guille took this as his chance to start shoving objects into the hole. Alright, not just objects, spoons. My spoons. He has significantly reduced the spoon count to the point where we have to wash spoons multiple times a day. "WHY would you do that?" I asked.

“Because I wanted to see what would happen.”

There’s my coffee table. Yes, the surface used to be smooth. Our chairs which were destroyed because there are crocodiles on our carpet. Leaping from chair to chair summarily ruined the cool retro pedestals,permanently knocking the seats out of alignment. We had to actually put legs on our chairs (how pedestrian, I know.)

This is my lamp. I have a matching set. Wait, I had a matching set. I had to replace the shade on one, and on this one? Well, I think the picture speaks for itself.

All my nice things, all my lovely, sentimental items, everything is in the wrecking path. My jewelry--I've lost more necklaces in the past six months than in all my previous decades (pirates.) My makeup, lotions, imported chocolates, lipstick on 400 thread count sheets; I think there is no end. The zen part of me realizes that these are just things, just objects, they don't really mean anything. However, sometimes, you just look at your spilled bottle of Chanel and a few tears have to fall. The most final damage is the one that I am most happy about: the pleasing ruin of your body. That's the sacrifice that I am most willing to donate to the cause.

But the sheets?

Come on, leave me the sheets.


i i eee said...

You'll still be one of my style icons, even if I catch you with holes in your sweater.

compulsive writer said...

I have three boys (current ages 18, 16 and 8). And a daughter who thinks she is a boy, (12). It's a miracle my house is still standing (looks about for wood on which to knock). Please do not even get me started assessing the damages.

TOWR said...

Just when I start thinking it might not be so bad to have kids... Your kids are ADORABLE, but they frighten me to my very core.

{cari} said...

This just made me laugh only because, as a mother of 4 boys, I can relate to this on so many levels! The worse we've had was when my oldest two were 4 and 2 and the propped open the oven door with a plastic bucket (while I was baking a chicken!) and proceeded to throw everything they could get their destructive little hands on into the oven. When the smoke alarm went off, I ran into the kitchen to catch them in action throwing things in with flames flying out laughing their little hearts out! I don't know how they didn't get hurt. Yeah, boys are a different breed. I does get a little better as they get older. (a little.)

SusieQ said...

I hear ya. As my parents were often heard to say, "You can't have anything nice around kids!"

I'd take the kids any day.

And I know you would, too.

Ah Britty said...

I second that. There's my Linea Paolo shoes that Brady threw away, my glider ottoman scribbled on with a dry erase marker (totally permanent), bottle of brand new Estee Lauder foundation spilled, new phones thrown in the bath. It's SO nice to know I'm not alone. Boys really are so crazy (not all, but most)- you wouldn't believe it until you have one.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

My jaw dropped at the sweater and so did a few tears.

Lilly's in the habit of pointing out her past "no-no's" which refreshes some of the anger and sadness felt at the time when she committed the offending acts.

Fritz just figured out that crayons do in fact color on things other than paper. Like the couch that's 80 years old.

I hate to say it, but I'm finally seeing things through my mother's eyes. That's hard to swallow. She always said, "My kids ruin everything. You can't have anything nice with kids." She was right.

The MomBabe said...

And that's why my home will continue to resemble a frat house for the next Eleventy.Billion.Years.

Azúcar said...

Frat house… that is exactly what my house is like! I keep trying to maintain an oasis of modern living and all I get are toga parties.


Bek said...

Oh, I can relate. As I cleaned up yet another "makeups" mess today (hair gel and Vaseline) off my bedding (my new bedding) and weeping b/c the babysitter just gave me the bill for the glasses that he broke, and we paid for the water heater and check the cost for replacing the carpet and the paint in the whole house before we move....etc, etc... I just think that somewhere, sometime it will all even out...... but mostly I weep.

I don't even try to be as stylish as you (and now this can be my excuse!!!). Frat house, that is a good one. Glad it isn't just my boy, this post made me a smile. That is a good thing.

Worst words ever in my house? When Cub comes down the stairs saying "mom, don't spank my bottom" or answers "it's nothing" to my calls. Shudder.

meg said...

My kids are now 7,9,11. I am still too traumatised to buy lipstick (or new carpet), jewelry, perfume or cars that can't be hosed out. One of our kids attacked our car with a large garden fork as a toddler. Lucky it wasn't the company one...

Nice to read about other um... kids with initiative!

lisa v. clark said...

When Topher and I were moving out of our flat in Dawlish, we were commenting on how remarkable the place had stayed considering the boys' best efforts (then 4 and 2). A little re-painting and we just might get our deposit back! No sooner had the words left our mouths when a chair flew down the stairs leaving a huge gash all the way down the hall. We laughed for 20 minutes. Timing, afterall, is everything.

Lois said...

Yeah, my heart aches every time I look at the huge original oil painting on my bedroom wall (that was supposed to fund our retirement) and the very lovely crayon scribbles that my little boy added to it. I guess he thought it was better as a collaborative work of art.

Now I have to go with my plan B retirement plan (eat lots of pork products so I die early).

Sheila said...

I can't remember how I came across your blog. I've revisited several times and your flair for words and sense of humor never disappoint. I have a boy toddler and am hanging on every reflection you have shared.

Sue said...

Yeah. I can't relate at all, hardy har har.

Once upon a time, I decided the window seat in our playroom would look very cute with a little cushion that matched the valances, and a few throw pillows to make it a nice, comfy place for reading a book. So I actually SEWED something (MIRACLE) and got to admire it for approximately 1.2 days before the kids attacked it with magic marker. Little gremlins.

Rachael said...

i linked over here from cjane's blog, and i had to comment on this post! what a fabulous description of one of those motherhood woes that you never consider when you're dreaming about a home full of chubby-cheeked babies.

then again, i must admit my children's nefarious ways have helped me out a time or too. for instance, the last time my daughter scribbled all over my kitchen walls with her crayons, i tried to clean off the mess, realized it wasn't budging, shrugged, and painted the whole room cherry red. and now my red kitchen is the bright happy gem of my home.

but i admit, the demise of your green sweater made me cringe!

Azúcar said...

--Just a note on these pictures-- the original photos from this post are not that great, resolution, etc., so when I blew them up, they look a little rotten. Please forgive!