Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Escape From Home

At approximately 10:40 this morning, I looked at my phone to find that I had missed a call. Checking voicemail, it turned out that a realtor was on the way over with prospective buyers and would be here anytime between 11:00 and noon. How'd I miss that call? My younger son is watching Dora or Diego and is clad only in diapers and a t-shirt. I'm shoeless and still sporting the crazy hair I worked all night to perfect. The place is not a wreck, but there are certainly a few things that must be tidied.

And all this time, I thought my wife was just pretending that we were selling the house to get me to clean up a bit. Turns out I had been picking up my dirty socks from the floor for good reason. People might want to buy. And now, with some people on the way, Joshua and I needed to get out and fast. It's a weird feeling, fleeing from one's home. I've seen men do it before in movies - Mickey Rourke as an Irish hitman with the authorities on his tail, countless drug dealers with the Feds in hot pursuit - they all would have been proud of me.

So I am multi-tasking like never before. My left hand is picking up clutter while my right hand is stocking the getaway bag (diapers, wipes, dog treats, etc.) and Joshua is marching behind me reminding me not to forget his juice, his blanket, and his stuffed animals (giraffe, puppy, and baby giraffe). It's now 10:55 and I can just feel that if this were a movie, the audience would be seeing jumpcut scenes of the realtor and the prospective buyer fast approaching. I turn the corner to my stairs as they turn the corner onto Florence Road. I realize that Joshua needs a diaper change as they find themselves stopped at the railroad tracks. The musical score swells as the climactic scene builds.

We are at the door, Joshua in my arms, diaper bag over my shoulder, keys in my left hand, dog leash with dog attached in my right hand, big mug full of my latest beverage addiction, Strawberry-Banana Smoothie. I open the door and make one last glance behind me at the house which should be immaculate. What's that pink stuff on the floor?!! Oy vey! Strawberry-Banana Smoothie! Quickly, all members of the family are released from my arms and I run over to wipe up all of these pink spots from the floor.

I am on my knees tending to the pink and I wish The Cat In The Hat would race in with Thing 1 and Thing 2. I read the book when I was a kid. They were great at cleaning up pink spots. Alas, they are not coming and I can just picture the interested parties standing at the door, seeing a dog on a leash peeing on the carpet, a two year old scattering DVDs all over the place, and my butt, as I face away, furiously cleaning up spots from the linoleum as if I have just committed a murder and am trying to erase the blood from the floor. Out Damn Spot!

Thankfully, none of this occurs. Now absent of pink spots, the kitchen no longer requires my attention. I re-grab all parties who are leaving with me, place them and myself safely into the Honda of Greatness, and off we go. We have done the seemingly impossible. We have tidied and gathered and cleaned, we have changed a diaper and stocked a diaper bag and left the house, all in 15 minutes. I don't know how close we were to not making it out in time, but I like to think that we made it by a minute and a half. That would have been some movie scene.

Peacefully, the three of us, Joshua, our dog, and I, walked around a nearby park and had a wonderful time. We sat on a big rock and watched a short but long waterfall. We walked across the river on a very cool bridge. We heard birds sing and we watched airplanes fly over our heads. While we walked and talked and bonded, someone was in our home deciding whether or not to buy it. Even if they decide not to, I'm glad they stopped by. Walking in the park with my son and my dog sure beat staying inside watching Dora The Explorer and surfing the net. It was a beautiful day.


gnightgirl said...

I remember that, selling the house and being surprised at how much work it was to keep the place spit-shined...made me well aware of what an actual slob I really was.

By the same token, I think about the house I bought, and how perfect everything looked when I was shopping for it, thinking "there is no WAY those people kept this tiny kitchen that clean!"

They were eating out. I know they were.

Grace said...

are you moving out of the area?

You are the Cat in the HAT!

Chez Bez said...

gnight: My wife has been looking at a lot of houses and is surprised at how many people don't put the same amount of time into cleaning for show as we do.

grace: From the 'Boro to Mt. Juliet. The current drives to our workplaces are just killing us.

The Cat in the Hat