Friday, April 19, 2013

Dear Mary Poppins

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Dear Mary,

Thank you for coming to stay with us for the week, for holding my baby and loading my dishwasher, and for buying me a Twix at the grocery store. It felt luxurious to cook dinner and take an afternoon nap while someone else cuddled my baby and braided little girl hair. On Sunday night as we relaxed on the couch I couldn't help but admire my gleaming kitchen. I woke up Monday practically puffed up in pride that all the laundry in the house was washed and put away. I got so much done this week while Mary was here, I told myself, why not aim high for the week to come?

This is the list of hopeful extras I wrote out on Sunday night, planning to smoothly squeeze them in and around my regular carpool/work/life schedule:

This Week's To Do List
  • Paint the girls' room
  • Paint the mirror and picture frames I've been wanting to do for three years
  • Make a home cooked dinner every night (I wrote out the weekly menu)
  • Grocery shop for said menu
  • Finish organizing my sister's Hen Night (girls' night out before her wedding)
  • Write my weekly blog posts (2 in total)
  • Send follow up to magazine I queried to back in February
  • Clear out storage room in basement
  • Teach Elisabeth to read
  • Finish Thank you notes that should have been written in early March
  • Finish baby shower party favors
  • Meet a friend for lunch
As you probably can guess, my ambitious "To Do" list died and was buried in a shallow grave on Tuesday, shortly after you left. Although before I tell you about our great and terrible fall, I must gush a little about the one amazing accomplishment that you facilitated before taking your leave. Dear Mary! Blessed, lovely, wonderful Mary Poppins, thank you for helping me paint my girls' bedroom. The pink flamingo vomit on the walls is no longer. It took us all afternoon and evening on Monday and two more hours Tuesday morning and the walls are now a crisp and clean french vanilla. They look terrific with the white bed spreads!

But even as I was hammering the lid back onto the paint can and folding up the drop cloths you were packing your bags and hugging my little ones good bye. Is it wrong that we wish you would drop out of college and forfeit plans for your own future in order to move into our spare bedroom? I would help you paint it whatever color you want!

After you left we all felt a little mopey. Don't be sad that it's over, just be glad that it happened I reprimanded myself. But then the baby got sick. I got sick. And the wheels fell off, in that order.

Here is Wednesday's "To Do" List:
  • Cancel everything for today
  • call pediatrician
  • Wash crib sheet
The crib sheet never got washed, but that's okay because he is sleeping in his car seat this week anyway. Two outta three ain't bad. By the way, Mary, the Texas Sheet Cake you made is long gone and I haven't had a single slice since Sunday night. I walked into the kitchen on Wednesday morning as Jeremy packed himself a "lunch" to take to work. The remaining third of the cake piled straight into a Tupperware container. Your brother is going to get love handles some day, mark my words! Anyhow, we made it to Friday. There are still paint rollers and other detritus scattered across the upstairs landing and I never want to paint anything again for as long as I live. The laundry baskets are starting to purge a week's worth of clothes all over my closet floor and we've been subsisting on sandwiches and eggs. Nary a thank you note has been written or phone call returned, and I'm running low on library books. 

Instead we've been to the pediatrician's office a whopping three times since you left, doing our part to keep all the doctors in the practice in gold cuff links and Jimmy Choos. After the first visit the baby wasn't improving and sure enough, by the next day both ears were "so infected they were full of pus." Yummy! But fortunately Kate's ear ache was not an infection, but rather a pea-sized ball of hard wax lodged against her drum. Again, Yummy! The removal procedure was one of the more awesome doctor's office visits I've lived through, effectively reminding me that this job (as in motherhood) is way more exciting than it looks from the sidelines. I can't wait until it's your turn, Mary. You will be the most amazing mother. But in the meantime, thank you for loving and caring for us like we are your own. And thank you for spreading your happy sunshine and baby-whispering love all over our house for an entire week. We sure needed it, and we miss you everyday.  Please come back soon.

Hurry, nanny! 
Many Thanks 
Sincerely, 

Lauren Gillespie





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