Lately, I’ve felt like my life is just a series of cleaning up after other people. This feeling is helped by a few factors: having a new puppy, being a mother of preschoolers, being a woman, being bi-polar, and being a feminist blogger.
Firstly, it’s incumbent upon me to say that, when I am having a bit of a hard time sleeping, am having mood issues, am overly angry because chemicals, I clean. And I don’t mean “tidy up.” I clean the house like each spec of dust, each stray toy is the blight of my existence. I clean like the dirt is on the inside, but I’m taking it out on the linoleum.
Secondly, I’m a mother of very young children who can’t yet keep up with my chore requests. I have them help, but, eventually, the toys, the spills, the crumbs, the clothing wins. And my house looks like every toy, piece of clothing and spec of filth decided that the living room is the best place to hold their weekly, “How do we help drive Hannah over the edge” meeting.
So how should I make life more disgusting, I ask myself one day? How about a puppy. A cute, fuzzy, silly puppy? You might ask, “Aren’t two young children and two-part time jobs enough for a woman who’s half-nuts most of the time?” Yes. I don’t know why PUPPY screamed through my head as a good idea. I tend to cling to an idea and can’t shake it. Puppy was that idea for me. He IS cute. He IS fuzzy. He IS silly. And he eats everything, poops on everything, pees on everything and digs up my gardens. He’s the naughtiest creature alive, and that’s saying something from a mom with a 3 and 5 year-old.
But I decided that physical messes weren’t enough. Oh, no. I’m an over-the-top kind of gal, so I went big. How about I start blogging about taboo issues? Like mental illness, motherhood expectations, and gender inequality. Let me just tell you, physical messes are easier. They are pick-upable, tangible. The mess of trolls, assholes and sarcasm that comes at you when you make an online presence? That’s the truly grueling mess. It doesn’t come off with a sponge and cleaner. Thankfully, they have a “block” button for that.
So, I do what I often do when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I start coming up with poetry. Some verses for the mess cleaners of the world to get behind. So, if you feel like you’re always cleaning, this poem is for you:
“Clean All the Messes”
Consistently clipping, trimming and clamping
my body, my garden, a puppy’s all-night escapade
a pooper-scooper existence;
I’ll take a walk, brush it off
but the cleaner in me takes a bag, picks up cans
cusses like a sailor when sandals ooze
with dog shit hiding in the sand
of a beach that looks like a dumping ground
for glass, vehicle parts and tar-tainted trees.
After the outer mess is managed,
sit down with my cup of tea and breathe,
relax in front of the Asus screen,
but I got five different comments,
making me want to scream,
about the shit job I’m doing parenting,
or the length of my hair, legs, nose;
“You wanna bang?”
“You want a friend?”
“You’re a crazy fuck who needs to turn her children in.”
It gets me seething, thinking,
if all functioning adults picked up after themselves,
the world would sparkle.
In paradise, there will be no need for bleach,
or the block button