A few days ago I introduced you to two young ladies who spent their teen years in my home as stepchildren. As a refresher for those of you who have followed my previous post about them and for those of you who are just “tuning in” right now, I will tell you that these two were spoiled beyond all that is holy and wanted to be treated like royalty. So I gave them the names of Cleopatra and Bathsheba.
I remember a week that did not go so well for me. I had spent the last couple of days in a really stressful situation and had traveled over 600 miles the day before and was really looking forward to a weekend of rest. I wasn’t planning any travel, golf, or yard work, just large doses of restful sleep.
When Friday night finally arrived, I grabbed the book that I was reading and headed for bed knowing that I would be asleep in minutes and that Saturday was a “sleep in” day for me. With the aforementioned females in my home, my optimism in regards to these plans was spinning wildly out of control at this point. Let me tell you before I go any further that the combination of quiet and calm in the house is about as rare as a thank you letter to Santa Claus. And as long as it pops into mind, you should never trust anyone who tells you that the years raising kids were the happiest of his life because he will lie to you about other things too.
Now Cleopatra and Bathsheba had always made their personal mission to see that I am well protected from any assault of peace, silence, serenity and overall tranquillity. My efforts at having a long morning of quiet and rest was shattered when Cleopatra entered the kitchen which sounded like the initial invasion wave on Normandy Beach.
That first assault (compliments of Cleopatra) who had to be a city 50 miles away for taking of her ACT test for High School Senior at 8:30. Those of you who have teen daughters this involves getting up 5 AM. It took all of a few nanoseconds between the time she entered the kitchen and turned it into a testing laboratory.
I was gently nuzzled out of my sleep by slamming drawers, doors, and cupboards and banging pots and pans. The average 4th of July celebration are quieter than Cleopatra making breakfast because she believes that no drawer or door can be closed without a force of 5 or 6 G’s. Now for those of you who do not know, I am not a morning person. I am unusually cranky and snappish until my medications and coffee get me jump started. After that, I am an absolute riot of gaiety and mirth.
I had given both girls complete instructions on being especially quiet in the morning because I was overtired and did not want to be disturbed. Cleopatra forgot that instruction in less time than would take her to get over most speed bumps. I headed to the kitchen determined to salvage the rest of the morning.
“Oh, I forgot to be more quiet,” she said.
I congratulated her on her accuracy. And then I headed for bed to try to get some more sleep. It lasted about an hour and then I got it in stereo. Cleopatra was just leaving the house but not before she hollered upstairs that Bathsheba should get up now and then the door slammed registering 2.9 points on the Richter scale and disturbed hibernating animals in southern Canada.
This came at the same time as Bathsheba took over all of the morning noise responsibilities. Bathsheba also had an out of town appointment to keep. So it is now Bathsheba’s turn in the kitchen. She came from her upstairs bedroom with what I swear were a set of bowling balls dragged along on a chain to announce her coming. Now we have the second breakfast of the morning with more pots banging and drawers slamming. The decibel level is turned up an extra notch because she has to turn the radio on. It is turned up so high that it straighten her hair.
Along with her making the second breakfast just a few feet from me, Bathsheba has the additional duties of unloading the dishwasher each morning. It is a job for which she negotiated and is handsomely paid but which brings out in her the same cheery attitude of a K-Mart employee working overtime on Christmas Eve.
I do realize that this job probably cannot be done in complete silence, but I have never figured out how she makes enough noise as a construction crew with a jackhammer. I came out to the kitchen, this time begging for quiet. I had tears streaming down my cheeks. But Basheba has as much sympathy for adults, as Kim Jong-Un has for poor people. I don’t like to see people cry. I especially hate when it is me!
Suffice it to say, that I had at that time completely given up on my Saturday morning sleep. So I grabbed some of Brunhilda’s extra-stong-industrial strength coffee, tore off a piece and placed between my cheeks and gums. My eyes flew open and I was as alert as a tiger on the hunt. I hope I live long enough to be a burden.