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Thursday, December 07, 2006

An Ode [for Thurs p.m.]

Warning! Do not read this prior to, during, or shortly after food consumption.
American washing machines are an abomination. [translation = sorry, but the truth hurts] They are a prime example of the fact that America is a dinosaur when it comes to technology. I don’t care how many widgets or megabytes your harbour, if you can’t design a decent washing machine, then you belong in the Neolithic period. [translation = o.k. possibly Chalcolithic, if I’m feeling generous]

Huge lumps of metal litter America because ‘white goods’ have a life span of approximately 18 months. [translation = or 6 months due to consumer mis-use {subtranslation = family of six}] Not only do these contraptions use gallons of water [translation = as opposed to their European contemporaries, that try hard to use but a mere a thimble full] but they are as noisy as a jack hammer. [translation = European ones are silent] American models boast several ‘cycles’. [translation = on, off, fast, slow, thinking about it and pause {sub translation = too many to list for the European partners}] The only thing I can think of to say on a positive note [translation = I am an American I will seek out a positive note even
if it kills me] is that they are large. [translation = as is everything in America except Rutabagas and serving of spinach or anchovies]

I peek out side to count the line of mini haystacks. [translation = 7 piles of laundry decorated with senior son’s stomach contents] A busy night for all. Senior son has enjoyed four baths during the course of the night following each eruption. It is curious to note that the non-verbal, even when they have made great strides, revert to type when under stress.

You, the child, note that your body is about to explode. Do you call for assistance, something along the lines of ‘Mummmmmmy!’ or ‘helpppppppp!’? Nope, you’re too busy trying to assess your body’s treachery, word retrieval is at an all time low. Because you are concentrating on your body, your spatial awareness [translation = always dodgy at the best of times] eludes you. Instead of hanging over the side of your bed [translation = line of least resistance] to empty your stomach, instead you orientate yourself towards the wall. [translation = serious splash-back at 90 mph]
Under such circumstances [translation = duress] you cannot be expected to learn from your error. [translation = you repeat the exercise at intervals throughout the night, as that washing up bowl, although strategically placed, is too small to register]

Fortunately, in between whiles, you seek out human contact. [translation = your siblings] All of the children have loved to ‘nest,’ from their earliest inception. [translation = siblings’ beds and personages, are similarly contaminated] I check cupboards. [translation = closets] I am out of bath towels, blankets and bed linen. [translation = normal service will be resumed as soon as possible]

I plop myself down on the sofa next to the cleanest child on the planet. He grinds his forehead into my rib cage as I fondle his hair. We do not exchange words. I start work on the hay stacks, in between sessions with the carpet cleaner. I run an affection finger over the washing machine as it clanks, bangs and brutalizes my laundry. [translation = postponement of visit to the river with a rock.]

Bravery awards as follows: [translation = a mention in dispatches]
To senior son, for quiet endurance throughout.
To junior daughter on finding that she is fully splattered at three in the morning – “Oh man! That is the grossest, most disgusting……..vile……oh well, give me a hug, while mum cleans him up.”
To junior son, similarly situated - ‘das o.k! Maybe it is disruptive but I am knowing it was an accident. I fink it is your tummy dat is dah bad one.’

Post script- feeble apologies to one and all for lack of internet communication of late.


AS said...

Oh! What a night and what generosity from kind-hearted, nesting siblings.

As for the seven haystacks...heartfelt empathy from yours truely...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog... We have family and friends coping with challenged children. I hope the House passed the bill today for autism research funding.

The Jedi Family of Blogs said...

Oh, help, I remember such nights- & I only had one to clean up after (it seemed like more at the time)! Brendan would take it one step farther & not wake up or call-out to us after vomiting, so we'd find him all crusty in the morning & feel like the world's worst parents... how he escaped choking or pneumonia is beyond me.

Hope you have a more restful one tonight!

Jerry Grasso said...

I'm with you on American Washing Machines. Oh, and American Anchovies? Well, most of us have never had Spanish or Portugese Anchovies....

And that's just too darn bad.

Hang in there.Je

Camera Obscura said...

Ah, but how I did curse my dryer when I was in Britain... If you set them so that they don't wrinkle, it takes forever and a day to dry a load. Otherwise, you'll be ironing every bloomin' thing that comes outta 'em, whether it was "permanent press" or no. I decided to just iron a lot, having two toddlers at the time.

And do NOT get me started on the combination washer-dryer (yes, both from the same machine) we had at the condo in Killarney.

kristina said...

No apologies----we had one at 2am a month ago and it was all from (AHEM) the other end. And it seemed to be absolutely everywhere. Fortunately as we live in the basement the washing machine is a few steps away from Charlie's room....

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