Monday, August 20, 2012

Fish and visitors stink after three days

So said Ben Franklin and, of course, what Franklin said long ago remains substantially true today even if, after the invention of refrigeration and showers, a guest's welcome or a fish's freshness may be prolonged for somewhat longer than 72 hours.

Now, a nocturnal is certainly more than a guest -- a child returning to the nest after a year of college should certainly be welcome for more than three days.

However... after three months of providing a base of operations for the nocturnals one has spawned... kids going out when you're thinking of retiring for the evening, returning when it's nearly time to get up and go to work... kids thinking they've accomplished one of the Twelve Labors of Hercules when they manage to get a dish or glass to the kitchen sink (in the dishwasher? you must be dreaming)....

Well, longtime readers of Second Effort will perhaps recall that this is a familiar complaint of yours truly (e.g. 2006 -- when I was looking forward to getting my couch back -- or 2007 -- when Middle Son thought that 2:00am was the best time to inform his entire acquaintance of his success at poker that evening -- or 2011 -- when Youngest Son had gotten under my skin).

But this year will be different.

Youngest Son will be gone by the end of the week -- but this morning, while he slumbers blissfully, his mother is washing all his clothes. (Well, he did bring them down to the basement... and she's afraid that he'll pack dirty clothes if she doesn't take care of this.)

But Younger Daughter will remain. So will Olaf, her husband. They will shortly be joined by my granddaughter.

Long Suffering Spouse and I had a whispered conversation in the basement this morning. Younger Daughter wants to get the crib set up in one of the bedrooms. Without moving the bed already there, it simply won't fit. Where will we put the bed?

And we'll have to do something about a shower and something for the Baptism, too, she said.

Two parties? We can't afford to go out for pizza.

"Well, why do we have to feed everyone after the Baptism?" Long Suffering Spouse asked. "Coffee and cake might be enough; the ceremony's at 1:30pm."

"We had parties for all the Baptisms," I recalled.

"For us. At our own house. Which they don't have yet." Long Suffering Spouse paused. "But that still leaves a shower."

The kids' wedding gifts already take up half the basement. "Where could we put shower gifts?" I asked.

Long Suffering Spouse had no ready answer. Perhaps they'll leave us a path to the washer and dryer, furnace and basement refrigerator, I thought to myself.

"They have a bassinet," I said, moving along quickly. "They won't need a crib for a couple of months after the baby is born, will they?"

Long Suffering Spouse favored me with the pitying glance one might give a hopeless imbecile.

I keep thinking that this is only temporary -- and it is! -- and that we don't need to be quite so accommodating. I want the kids to get on their feet and go.

And Long Suffering Spouse wants that also. But she is wiser than me and knows that "temporary" is a relative term. And it is relatively likely that we will have our temporary extra boarders for some time yet.

Arguably related: Back to School, August 24, 2009 (in which we reveals that teachers aren't always thrilled about going back to school either -- something we'd never have guessed when we were kids) or Back to School, August 18, 2008 (in which the attitudes of Curmudgeon and Long Suffering Spouse about the start of the new school year are initially not in sync, and how they became so).

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh curmy, the older we get the harder this is too...

smiles, bee