Monday, January 17, 2005

Chewbacca is waiting for you to finish your cereal.

I wish I knew why so many little details about routine household duties are so meaningful for me. I mean, surely nobody else turns these mundane everyday things into rituals. Why do I do it? It's hard on me.

Today I took the two big leaves out of the dining room table, and put them away in the closet. The table, which was huge and could seat a lot of people, is now a small square in the middle of a large roomy room. The extra chairs are sitting against the wall where one of the big Christmas trees had been.

Well, at least all the stereo speakers aren't on the floor any more. They're sitting in the chairs.

But when I look at the small table, I get all choked up, and not with happiness either.

I love my house best when it is full of people.

I got all teary-eyed when I put away the Christmas dishes and got out the winter ones.

(Another sign of my innate ritualistic weirdness is the fact that I have a different set of dishes for each season. Go ahead and say it. I know you're thinking it.)

I have an entire cabinet full of the children's old unbreakable baby and toddler dishes: the extra-small plates, bowls, and glasses with Strawberry Shortcake on them, and the Disney Princesses, and Masters of the Universe, and Star Wars. Also in there are some of the souvenir dishes the kids wanted and used. And other silly sentimental things that mean nothing to anybody but me. Like, the hideous yellow Smokey the Bear ashtray that was my father-in-law's. I only knew him for two years but he was a really nice man. Those of you with children might remember the Gerber spoons that you got for free with baby food labels? They'd engrave your child's name for free? I have DOZENS of those for each child. Well, they were free. I can't pass up 'free.' Plus, who had time to wash dishes regularly with babies or tiny children? I should clean out that cabinet and pack all that stuff in a box; I really need the space. But I haven't, because I like that stuff right there. Where I could reach up and grab it if I ever need it. Uh huh.

Would some of you with little kids please call me and schedule a visit? I'd love to see a child use these things in front of me. They were just so . . . . cute. We even have some "Mr. Happy" glasses, for orange juice. (The Mr. Happy from the children's stories, not the one you're thinking about. Sheesh.)

The souvenir dishes I mentioned above are from Disney World. It was the first real family vacation we ever took. The kids were going into fourth and sixth grade. We just didn't have the money to do anything like that before. As far as I know, it's the only time they've ever been down there.

A word of advice/warning to you parents of tiny children out there: Just because a small child's dish is unbreakable doesn't necessarily mean it is unmeltable. Be careful when you put them into the microwave. Some of ours have funny edges now. But the pictures on the bottom, and on the sides, are as bright as the day they were bought.

"Eat it up, so we can talk to Chewbacca!!"

Those were the days.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:34 PM | |


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