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Monday, June 02, 2008 

Cleaning my house, covering my ass, and taunting the unborn.

When school ended, I noticed that our house was dirty. Not cluttered dishes, piled up laundry, cluttered countertops dirty, but really dirty. Dust on the walls, dust on the ceiling fans, floors haven't been mopped in three weeks, when's the last time I picked up a bottle of glass cleaner dirty. Every day since the first day I noticed it, I've gotten angrier and angrier at the dirt. (Those of you who know me in real life or have been reading here a while know that the only thing in life that motivates me is anger.)

I've made a few feeble attempts to get a major cleaning underway, but each attempt ended when my energy petered out sometime shortly after lunch. Today I felt better though, and I declared that I would clean all day no matter what, and that is exactly what I did.

Well, I did take one hour-long break. Someone from the school called, and I heard the words every teacher dreads to hear over the phone during the summer months. "Hi, I'm sorry to bother you, but we've got a parent up here..."

My chest tightened. My jaw clenched. A parent up there who what? What? Wants to know how her kid failed even though she didn't do any work? Hasn't darkened the doorway or lit up a phone line at the school until this moment, but now demands that every grade her child earned last year be laid out in front of her?

"...who says her child turned in her English book, but we've got her on the list for a fine. We just wanted to check with you and make sure she owes it because the parent is pretty adamant that it was turned in."

(Like the parent would know. She may have sent it out the door with the kid, but could never know whether it made it to my hands.)

Anyway, my first instinct was to tell her that if the kid was on the list, the book was not turned in. I had a very systematic way of handling book returns this year because I knew someone who didn't turn one in would claim they did. But that's not what I did. Instead, I checked around here for my book list even though I knew it was at work in my closet, then I drove up there and dug it out.

It turned out that the kid had turned in the book, and I had documented it when she did it. She somehow still ended up on the fine list. When I looked at the sheet, I could see exactly how I made the mistake, but who cares, right? I was just glad not to have to argue about it, and that I could go back home without being called a fat white cracker.

In other news, I think I felt the baby move a few times today. The first time was when I drank a giant glass of orange juice and laid down and poked my stomach, saying, "Bring it, chicken! Kick me! C'mon!" I felt one little thud. Then later, after I'd been on the lawn mower for a couple of hours, I felt it again. This time it was in almost the same place as before, but it was two bigger thuds, one right after the other. I really don't think it's gas because it's in the very front of my stomach, a few inches under my belly button. And I haven't had any black bean stoup in almost a week.

While I laid there today taunting the baby and begging him/her to kick me, I couldn't help but think of how stupid I would feel when I think about it four months from now, when the kid is kicking my ass from the inside 24/7.

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