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I caught up with Gill  this weekend after she returned from a week in France. She had hoped to chat with Crazy D too, but he left last night for a week’s adventures. He was home for all of two days this week. I am beginning to see a pattern here. Jobs are turning up, weekends away with friends and/or his girlfriend are pointing to a busy summer for him. And with that, all the chores I need him to do are fading into the distant fog. I mention things randomly — a foolish way to approach the issue, I know. As soon as I say it and he acknowledges that he will do it, I know it’s gone from his mind. He doesn’t do it to be difficult or lazy, that’s just the way his cluttered mind operates.

So I changed my strategy. I made him a ‘Honey Do’ list. I realize that such a list is usually what wives give their husbands, but since he is the only male around here, he gets the list of ‘dude things’ that cannot be done by any of the resident females. Oh, I know that The Pig (L’il Sis’ beagle)and Mrs. Beeton would step up to the plate to help if asked, but how useful would a canine lacking opposable thumbs and a parakeet who wakes up every morning with a feather stuck to her face, wondering why she can’t see, be?

I gave him the list, he perused it, promised to do everything on it, and immediately left town.

The only really crucial item is the driveway. It needs to have that black, tarry gunk spread on it to cover and fill in the cracks that have appeared. We have a short window of opportunity while the neighbors are away and we can use their driveway to park our cars while the gunk is drying. Plus, the cracks are getting bigger and plants that are actually small trees in training are sprouting out from them. Pretty soon, we’ll have to slalom around a jungle to park our vehicles. And, of course, the gunk has to be spread when the temperature is high enough to allow it to dry completely. Good luck with that. It has rained most of June and so the driveway languishes. But the maple trees growing in the cracks are shooting up like mad. I should be able to tap them for maple syrup by next year…

Kidding aside, I understand that Crazy D has a lot on his plate right now. And his life (job related and personal) involves a lot of traveling. This means organizing stuff to take with him. Last night, he commandeered the front hall to pack his gear for this week. He will be at his girlfriend’s, then in Toronto on a job, then they both go on a camping/bike riding, canoeing adventure up north.

He lined up three huge plastic bins, side by side. One bin was for bike riding, one for camping, one for canoeing. Then his professional gear (huge sound magic boxes and mics) was lined up along the wall, then a bin of food. He had lists to check things off and was doing well until he got to the camping bin. I heard him snarl, then swear, then rage. Doors were slammed, things were banged. We were approaching meltdown…brought on by frustration, fatigue, and a bad night’s sleep.

“I can’t believe I’ve lost it!” he yelled.

“Why should that surprise you?” I asked, ever the helpful mom. “You ‘lose it’ once a week…”

“Very funny, Mom. I meant I lost my spoon! I’ve looked everywhere, checked all the bins twice and I can’t find it. I had my hand on it at some point — I remember putting it down but I can’t find it anywhere! I need that spoon…it makes my life so much easier. It’s crucial to the camping trip!”

“A spoon? Your trip fails without this spoon? What kind of magical device IS it?Does it put up your tent and wipe your bum? I feel certain I have spoons you can take…no knives since I used all of them to scrape the deck, but lots of spoons.”

“You don’t understand, Mom. This is a special spoon. I bought it at Adventure Guide and it’s the best thing ever!”

“O – KAY…it’s the best spoon ever made in the history of the world. But it isn’t worth getting this upset over. It’s still just a spoon. Why don’t you just go buy another one?”

“Mmm…I suppose I could. It’s just so annoying that I lost it. I was being so careful!”

“Well, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses. You’ve spent over an hour ranting and searching for one little spoon. Is it worth it to waste more time looking? Just go buy another flippin’ spoon. How much was it?”

“Four dollars…”

“Oh, for heaven’s sake! For four measly bucks you’ve driven us all nuts?”

“I know, it’s not the money. It’s the principle of the thing. SO annoying…but you’re right, Mom. I’m going to go for a bike ride, get myself calmed down, and since I’ll be passing right by Adventure Guide, I’ll pop in and get another spoon.”

As he left on his ride, he paused and said, rather sheepishly, “Thanks for being the voice of reason, Mom. I needed that!”

Well, isn’t that what mothers are for? Providing sound, reasoned, practical advice? I mean, honestly! Who gets so upset over a stupid spoon? Why, I ruined six butter knives scraping the deck but you didn’t hear me complain about having no knives. Any fool can see you have to pick your battles…