• J Mess


When the lunching is over, the real fun begins.

Right around the end of last year, when my maternity leave was ending, I purchased a ton of bathrobes and pajamas. I guess it was wishful thinking for the "work attire" I was secretly desiring on my one-woman mission to become a full-time house person. I probably at least should have been buying workout clothing, or anything slightly closer to having even a tiny aspiration of ever going outside or being a functioning member of society. But alas, my mom-leisure clothing is all I can muster these days.

Because I do nothing. I can hear the groans already. The working moms (hey, be nice, remember I was once you) are like, ohhhh I feel SO badly for you. You get manicures and go to lunch with your friends? Well yes, kind of, sometimes I do. I also spend a lot of my time ordering things I didn't know I needed from Amazon Prime and enjoying my husband's reaction when he finds them. "Oh I see we now have a fire escape ladder. Maybe we should set up a drill for this weekend..." Laugh now, but fire safety is very important. Just like the tick removers I purchased this summer and the seatbelt cutter/window breakers I put in every vehicle before that. When you're a mom, it comes with full-time worry. Remember the best defense is a good offense.

What else do I do? Above and beyond keeping another small human (and not small cat) alive, and besides running a 24-hour laundromat, diner, and cleaning service in my home, I go to the supermarket about 3 times a week. Because if I'm not working I should at least feed my kid some kind of homemade food right? So I make his sweet potatoes, squash, and salmon. This kid loves salmon. It's easy and it barely interrupts my Facebooking and Amazon Prime-ing. Olive oil, salt, pepper, oven. I usually do this while he's napping.

My salmon brings all the boys to the yard.

So the other day I popped the fish into the oven, grabbed my coffee and planted myself in front of the computer. A couple minutes later, all hell broke loose. The smoke detectors started going off, the alarm was screaming "FIRE! FIRE! FIRE!," the cat had freaked out and hid under the table and I was running around desperately trying to open all of the windows. Must get the smoke out so the alarm stops! Good lord why is it so loud? Must hurry before... and the baby was now crying. And my cell phone was ringing with the alarm company telling me they could not reach me (wait, I'm right here talking to you?), so they've dispatched the fire department to my house. Super. Truly. This is really amazing. And the fish wasn't even cooked.

There I stood, in my pajamas and bathrobe, with a baby on my hip as the fireman, who wasn't even hot by the way, pulled up outside my house. If I'm going to accidentally burn my house down, at least send me someone who would have made the calendar. Luckily it was just a one-man scouting mission not the full ladder company with gear and axes. However this is still so colossally embarrassing. "My house is not on fire," I said as he walked up the path. To which he responded, "I can see that." I let him inside to look around anyway, showed him the fish, and contemplated making a "it was the salmon, but it wasn't even smoked" joke, but thought better of it. I doubt he thinks fire is a laughing matter. I thanked him profusely for coming even though I'll probably get fined for a false alarm. In hindsight, to prove that we take fire safety very seriously in our home, I totally should've showed him my fire ladder ... and although that sounds kinda dirty, I literally mean my actual fire ladder...


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