A peri-menopausal woman and a young man with ASD walk into a messy kitchen…

Oh, J and I…we are getting on each other’s nerves this morning.  Only goodness knows why.  No, actually…goodness doesn’t know, but we do…

I think it is a (tenuous) sign of maturity that we have agreed to take a break from each other.  We are both on a timer right now.

It was the mess in the kitchen.  I am not in charge of coffee in the mornings.  I’d say Dada is in charge, but I have the sneaky suspicion that it’s actually the Tasmanian Devil who goes in there and gets things done while I take my shower and drag myself to the dining room.  I generally (and you can blame the time-release caffeine in my morning cup of “revive me I need to be functional” java) don’t realize how messy the kitchen is until I come back down after Dada has left, the beds are made, and J is ready for breakfast.

For us people who drink coffee mornings are very simple, at least Monday through Friday.  We have pressed coffee, frothed milk, maybe toast with butter and jam, or some other sort of quick thing to eat.  If there’s a hot breakfast involved it’s for Dada.  I cannot, in spite of many years living in New Mexico, stomach a breakfast burrito at six-thirty in the morning.    Out of coffee, milk and toast with something spread on it is created a mess that, should such a thing as domestic-affairs CSI exist, would be described as a complex scene.  Remember that scene in The Princess Bride when Prince Humperdinck is reconstructing the sword fight between Iñigo Montoya and The Man in Black?  That’s what I feel like when I step into the kitchen after Dada has gone to work: he ground the coffee here, transported it in the ridiculously-sized container to pour into the French press here, spilled here when the cat jumped on the counter, moved to the dining room table, and poured the water from the electric kettle without turning on the ceiling light…he was lit from behind by the insufficient bulb from above the stove…hence the spill of water HERE, and the wet ground dripping down the side…and so on and so forth.

Please, don’t mutter to yourself that I should be grateful that HE gets up and makes the coffee because I AM.  That doesn’t mean that I have to actually ENJOY cleaning up an amazing mess that is not commensurate with the meal consumed.  The first I do in relaxed lighting (no, he doesn’t turn on the ceiling light,) and with (possibly) Boccherini or Bach playing in the background.  The second I do with J following me as closely as a pilot fish does a shark while making requests for something I’ve already said yes to, and saying GOOD MORNING with every exhalation.  I try to make sense of the kitchen while trying to make sense of six other things, and sometimes I realize that jam hasn’t been returned to the fridge, a cat is meowing loudly and J is running around in very tiny circles trying to keep away from its demands, and the phone is ringing because telemarketers don’t respect the fact that people hate them and don’t want to talk to them AT ALL.

An aside:

Apologies to any telemarketers reading.  I know it’s your job and you have to make a living, but I still hate you when you are wearing your telemarketer cape and invading my mental space with your phone calls.  Yes, I know you have student loans and kids, and car payments, but there is NO right time to call me.  NEVER.  EVER.  NEVER EVER!  And if you are the telemarketer that called the other morning (while I was making eggs for J’s breakfast, picking up plates that had slid out of the dish rack, trying to find the right playlist on J’s iTunes thing, and sliding some bread into the toaster: if you call and say “this is about your Windows,” you totally deserve to be told “they are dirty, but I won’t get to them until springtime so don’t call me to ask about them again.”

And I’m back on the subject.

I think it’s healthy to admit that J and I get on each other’s nerves.  I am not a saint.  I am not Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nor am I some beacon of motherhood that puts all other beacons of motherhood to shame with my efficacy.  Most of the time I really don’t know what I’m doing, or how well I’m doing it.  There are times when I need to walk away from J because I know that his anxiety is going to cause me anxiety, and one of us has to keep it together…this requires a brief moment of “come on!  Seriously?  You are a friggin’ grown-up, lady.  Take a deep breath and get your shit together…”  Sometimes it takes a few brief moments along the same lines.  If there’s hot flashes involved, well, there might not be enough namaste to go around, but I try…

Within the next ten minutes we will be done with our timers, and we will once more stand on the same stage to perform our next scene together.  I think we’ll be ready then.  I’ve agreed with myself that the kitchen is a mess, but it’ll get done when it gets done…probably oh one-ish?  He has agreed with himself that he will take care of the straps on his wrist brace because I have already stated, unequivocally, that I am not going to fiddle with them every five minutes.  We stomped to our corners, we took deep breaths, and now it’s time to mumble apologies, give awkward hugs, and make faces behind each other’s backs.

We’ll be fine.  It’s Friday, and there’s a very small flatbread pizza looming in the schedule for this evening.  All sorts of sins are forgiven when there’s pizza in the horizon, and we know we are “normal.”  In our own way, of course…

I am grateful, and I love my family.  I need more coffee, and the hot flashes suck.  Autism can be a nuisance, and anxiety is a bitch.  But I am grateful grateful grateful and my patience is replenished, and -I think- so is J’s…

Now…to the kitchen!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s