spilling the beans

I’m feeling way less bitchy about my farm workshare these days, but it is still a big change in what was my normal routine. For starters, it’s a satisfyingly exhausting day; one that is marked by literally no spending (OK, one $2 coffee in the AM), lots of physical work and sun, good, fresh food for my family (in meals and in take-home produce), and a run-around for my children. So this morning I got myself and my kids up and fed, dressed, sorted out, and handed off to their dad to get delivered to their respective loving care (not me, sheesh!). Then I drove out to the Farm, toiled through my workday, received my children midway through (thanks, Abbi!) ate lunch, and brought the kids home. At 2 PM I pulled into the driveway and hauled in the kids and stuff in from the van (including lovely, lovely fresh-picked spinach and bok choy) then cleaned the living room and kitchen, bathed the kids, washed, dried, and folded laundry, swept, scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, and layed out fresh clothes for the wee ones. Then I put the children down for a nap, sat down, and my eyes rolled back in my head I was so worn out. An hour or so later I clawed myself back to work: creating the phone list for the Farm to mail out to the participants (a job I volunteered for).

Most of the farm work this time in the season involves weeding, thinning, and transplanting. This translates to squatting, kneeling, and of course, running your mouth with your cofarmers (I am an expert at the latter, if little else). Today after our two-hour fieldwork I got a very nice compliment. A group of us were thinning a few beds of carrots – carefully pulling tiny threadlike tendrils out of the earth on our knees – and I was, as usual, blah blah blah with all my great “wisdom” on parenting and marriage. Anyway, at breaktime one of my cohorts, a mother of three grown children, fell into step with me. As we made our way up the hill for our break, she said, “I’m proud of you. You have amazing communication skills. You aren’t going to be one of those fussy neurotic martyred mothers. You’re a healthy model for your children.”

I was a bit staggered by such a lovely compliment, but I accepted it well (I thought). At the same time I felt wary – probably because my distaste for “neurotic martyred mothers” is such a driving force that sometimes I worry I am developing unhealthy habits in reaction to that antipathy. Like the deliberately non-competitive attitude I attempt to take regarding their behavior, or when I let any stranger in a white van take my kids for a joyride (just to be on the “relaxed” side). I’m kidding, I’m kidding! But yeah, if there’s one Motherly Trait I don’t have, it’s Martyrdom.

So, included in my self-assigned phone list duty today was (necessarily) reading over everyone’s entry paperwork to mine their email and phone number data. I get a kick out of reading “surveys” and the like, and today was no exception. The prize would have to go to one participant who filled out literally nothing except her first name, the date, and a cross notation that she is “allergic to wheat, oats, rye, barley, milk, chocolate!”, scribbled in the margin. No phone number, no commitment to specific duties, no word on kitchen expertise. And apparently, allergic as Ass to basically anything you would cook with. Good luck with that. Especially since, you know, I don’t know who you are or how to find you and on what days I should be careful what to cook for you.

And finally, here is my top rating for Overheard Kid Story of the Day (from R.):
5 year old brother: “Mom, let’s go drive by So-and-so’s and see the baby horses!”
3 year old sister (meanly): “They’re dead!

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