It’s no secret I’m a girl with control issues. If you’d ever seen my dresser drawers, and the multiple levels of sortation involved, you would know how deep my issues run. “Separate but Equal” is bad social policy, but super for my socks: tall workout, short workout, trouser socks, boot socks, keep-my-feet-warm-around-the-house-fuzzy socks, tights, hose, fancy stockings. There’s a reason Baby Daddy walked away from anything to do with laundry years ago and didn’t look back. A friend once suggested I hire her housekeeper. The selling point: she did laundry. My eye started to twitch. That COULD NOT happen.
I do the bulk of the shopping for the house. Baby Daddy is perfectly capable, and would probably be willing, if less than enthusiastic about helping. But left to his own devices, he buys odd stuff, unlisted items. He randomly picks up things like pear yogurt?? and the right brand but wrong (as decided by me) variety of sandwich bread. We have a rule in this house: either do the chore yourself, or shut up about the person who is doing it. Fair is fair. So I just do this stuff myself. I like what I like, and I want what I want.
Until now. The past three weeks, this illness knocked me flat. Standing up to fold laundry tires me to the point of needing a 3-hour nap. The 2 hours it took to shower, go to the doc and stop by the pharmacy sucked every bit of energy I had. I have never been so frustratingly useless.
We’ve had many offers of help. The grandparents are willing to take Monkey Boy on the weekends. Friends have offered food and Monkey-wrangling services. I am so grateful for the offers, but Baby Daddy cooks more than I do when I’m healthy, so that hasn’t really changed. There’s only so much anyone outside can do as far as running our house. They have their own families to care for.
Katy Kay spent the night last night. When she was getting ready for work this morning, she couldn’t find some things. She realized we hadn’t been to Target in weeks. There’s no way I can walk around the acreage that is our local store without passing out. Baby Daddy has been picking up the slack around here and traveling for work, so he’s not had a chance to go. She said if I would give her a list, she would go this weekend. At first I said no, I would figure something out. She looked at me like I was simple, “No, you won’t. You haven’t yet.” There was nothing to do but gratefully accept. She was, however, very clear in her offer: this must be a hyper specific list. She wants brands, sizes, quantities, colors, flavors, all of it. She totally gets me.
At the start of Lent, I wrote about pairing down and stripping away the clutter in my life. I thought it would be calendar clutter. Make no mistake, I got a whole lotta nothing on my calendar right now. But it’s turned out to be a lot more than that. Being sick forced me to surrender control. I don’t control this virus. I don’t control my body. I don’t control the healing process. I don’t control the schedule anything will happen. I don’t control the doctors with their tests and more tests and overbooked patient load. I don’t control my house, my child, nothing. It is overwhelmingly humbling.
I like hospital corners on beds and towels folded a particular way. I like my t-shirts sorted by color, sleeve length and usage. I don’t think that’s ever gonna change. When I get my energy back, you better believe this house is gonna look a lot better. But until then, I have to let Katy Kat go to Target for me and figure out the difference between big, giant cotton balls and rabbit pellet cotton balls. What?! I like what I like.