Some weekends are longer than others. I'm speaking metaphorically and literally. Today was a long long Sunday, and we have a whole extra weekend day left. This is memorial day weekend, like a "bank holiday" back home. I love the weekends, I love to spend time with the kids. But I also love to go back to my nice quiet office on Monday morning. Work is demanding, but not in that "now, now, Mummy now" way that small children are. If I need to have a difficult conversation with someone I can plan and time it. If I don't want to be disturbed I can close my door. I can say "it is not a good time, can we deal with this tomorrow?". Baby boys backing into your lab with board books you've already red ten times today don't respond so well to that.
For some reason I woke up in a foul mood, which was worsened by my attempt to microwave the much anticipated weekend breakfast of hot oatmeal (according to the instructions) and ended up with a besplattered microwave, superheated cereal, and crying hungry children. This caused a curt exchange between geekydaddy and myself (he was in charge of breakfast), which dominoed into a tantrum from a geekygirl. I could see how worried she was by our cross words, we almost never fight. Our sniping precipitated a closed, fearful look on her face, which almost melted my crosspatch mood, then the moment passed and the inevitable meltdown ensued (dropped fork, insistence on replacement with new fork rather than wiped clean floor retrieved fork). I lost my usual mummy zen cool, and retreated into the shower, from whence, cleaner at least, I attempted to start the day over.
Our mission of the day was much anticipated. Buy new couch. Any reader who has been to our house can attest that this day is long, long overdue. Our couch is the one that Geekydaddy and his roommate bought for their bachelor pad on Russian Hill in 1994. Almost everyone we know, (and plenty of people we are barely acquainted with) has spilled a glass of wine on it. Most of our friends have slept on it. Sometimes together. More recently small children have wet their pants on it and used it as a trampoline. It is a dear old fixture, it is still comfy, but it has become an eyesore and an embarrassment. Old friends know and forgive it, but newer friends sit on it gingerly, suspicious of its stains.
The mission was initially thwarted, which worsened my mood. I knew that this window of opportunity might not happen again, financial and temporal stars perfectly aligned for purchasing of large items. All the stores we planned to hit were not open until noon, which we deemed too close to nap time to be achievable . Geekydaddy had the intelligent idea of sending someone out on reconnaissance instead. I suspected this was an excuse for him to escape from the house of toddler insanity, but he proposed that I, of the two of us the one with the better eye for interior design (for a scientist and an engineer that isn't saying much), perform this task.
I pounded the pavement of ninth street, past sad, shuttered windows with "final sale" sprayed across them. I found a few of the discount furniture stores still in business, and very eager for mine. Took a few pictures, made some selections, and headed back. I'm a ruthless shopper since having kids. Dither and leave at your peril, you may never seize the will to shop again.
On the way home I swung by Whole Paycheck Market, to pick up fish for dinner, and noticed an organic tonic water sample. Intrigued as to how anyone would break into the tonic water market, I swigged a glass. It was actually very good in an "agave puree hand, picked Peruvian quinine" kind of way (you I"m kidding, this is exactly what is said on the label). "Delicious. But it needs more gin", I thought. So I picked up a four pack and headed home.
Naptime over and kids in that post nap window of amenability, we whisked them of to SOMA SOFA's , where Geekydaddy approved my couch choice and the kind and desperate sales folk allowed the kids to bounce on a variety of furnishings (shoeless, we are not complete barbarians) while I feverishly panned though fabric swatches, trying to find something attractive and also washable.
Back home, with the fabric samples blanketing a series of stuffed animals laid out like disaster victims across the living room floor, we selected a nice gold/yellow for the couch and a modern circle design (wishfully named "Martini Hour") for the accent cushions.
And on the dot of 6.00pm we cracked that organic tonic, poured in a generous dollop of Bombay Sapphire and a slice of lime. It tasted sublime. I should have had one for breakfast.