Choking, shmoking…

Here’s an example of what it’s like for a mother of young children at the pool:

The Princess was paddling in the shallow end, safely ensconced in her pink floaty Disney princess vest. I had been in for a while, but it really wasn’t that hot a day, and I’d been fighting a headache all day, so I got out and wrapped myself in a towel. I sat in a chair at the side of the pool, while she showed me how she could jump, dunk her head (while holding her nose) and float. Every trick was preceded by the words, “Watch me.”

All of a sudden, I felt something in my throat. Had I swallowed a bug? In any case, the apparatus was seizing up on me. I needed water stat! But the water was on the other side of the pool, where Edison’s friends had settled for the afternoon. I got up to go get some, coughing and trying to swallow.

“Mommy, watch me!” The Princess called from the pool.

“Princess, I have to go get some water.”

“No, watch me!”

“I’m choking here. I need water.”


“I swallowed a bug or something! I’ll be right back.”

“W A T C H  M E!”

Needless to say, I completed the task that was most pressing — I watched her for about ten more seconds before getting the water and preventing myself from full-on asphyxiation.

In other news, my decluttering thing has gotten a little side-tracked, but I have been slowly collecting things. Here are the things recently:

27) Hot Wheels stop watch. This had been Clooney’s, but he grew tired of it and gave it to The Princess. She put it on the desk in my office, where it proceeded to go off at random times. No one could figure it out, how to stop the beeping, how to work the thing. It moved from my office to the kitchen counter, where I finally dissected it to remove the battery and threw it away.

28) The Lemonade Stand. Purchased for $10 at Target four years ago, this thing has taken up space in our garage, only to be used for 20 minutes per annum. Not sure that in all its uses it paid for itself, but they never played with it for fun, only for business. I was going to throw it away when we moved, but they caught me and insisted we bring it to the new house.

29) Widowed yard game racket. Terrible game, really. Racket was neither taut enough to hit the ball back, nor slack enough to catch it. No idea what happened to its mate or the ball.

30) Clooney’s old raincoat. He must have taken it off in the garage last summer and left it there near the old paint cans. I’m sure it kept many a spider warm this past winter.

31, 32) Two Pirates of the Caribbean Nerf pistols. They only shoot one foam dart at a time, which in today’s automatic Nerf gun warfare is death.

33-37) 5 LEGO boxes. For some reason, the boys insist on keeping the boxes their LEGO sets come in. I don’t get that. It’s never going back in the box, and the model that they make and save (quite the racket LEGO’s got going these days. No longer do kids imagine myriad combinations for these blocks, now they are all specialized and the kids make the models, displaying them as trophies until when? college? they have their own children? The answer has yet to be discovered.) looks exactly like the one on the box, so what do they need to look at the box for? Makes no sense to me, so they’re gone.

Some headway. Next week while they are in camp, I am hoping to tackle the back room in the basement.