Monday, March 21, 2011

Village Idiots

The house next door to me is going up for sale in the next few months. After three years of sitting empty, there's been a steady stream of activity, landscapers, painters, and clearly a new kitchen being put in, because the IHPs now have twenty-seven boxes that say Frigidaire and Kenmore and GE and have now constructed a dilapidated housing complex on my driveway.

So now, thanks to the collection of too many toys, the furniture on the porch and the cardboard condominiums, all we need to be the klassiest house on the street is a 1976 Ford Galaxy on blocks and a washing machine with a cat in it.

The point is, I mentioned to Lydia that hey, since you and the Cap'n are going to be house hunting, and you love the neighborhood and the school [Editor's Note: Save that one snitchy mom who is just so so so involved with her Classroom Mom duties that she had business cards made. You think I kid. -Kate] and you can just live. next...door. What?

This is both an awesome idea and a colossally bad, bordering on apocalyptically bad. First, we'd never get anything done because we'd constantly be out in the front yard gabbing, and it's not like we don't spend thousands of hours on the phone anyway. At least when we hang up, we can throw laundry in. However, being right next door could mean that you have that back-up mom super nearby. For when you forgot to buy diapers and you don't want to take everyone to the store, or for when you need 15 minutes to rock back and forth in your closet in the fetal position.

Then Kate found out that the house behind her is going to be vacated soon. What? This is fabulous.  We can build a compound! A compound of moms. Who all live as close as possible...and trade off mom duties. Like a Village! A Kid Raising, Mom-Centric, T-box Infused Village of "Oh, you don't need to explain bathtime. I'm all over it..." of Knowledgeable, Gets-It, Mostly Sane Moms!Working in tandem to raise all the children all together. And so not culty at all...One week you could be Child Rearing Mom, and the next week, you're just Randy Mom [No, it's not British porny! You have to be the Laundry Fairy. Sheesh.] The more moms, the more division of labor. It IS a freakin' village.

Here's what we propose. The crappy weeks are followed by light weeks. Like, one week you're Diaper Mom and you spend the whole week elbow deep in every level of gross. Then, you get to be Goes To Work Mom and put on pants that were washed by the dry cleaners and wear makeup and go to an office. The next week you're Food Mom...maybe followed by Randy Mom and Tidy Mom [you clean the houses] and Homework Mom. Then a week of Child Rearing Mom [you know, teaching them rules and knitting and Go Fish and how to make a bed] followed by the ever unpredictable Late Shift Mom [you handle midnight feedings, nightmares and requests for water and snuggles] and then it's a blissful week of StoryTime Mom [read books!] before slathering yourself in Desitin for the return of Diaper Mom duties.

What about Dads, you say? Well, we all know that this is a paradoxical relationship. After all, we do need them for several things... but it also turns out that, by and large, they're idiots. And we have to give a lot of instructions to prevent that idiocy from taking over. So, we propose visits, sleepovers, vacations and outings. You may live nearby in a Man House of ESPN, leatherette covered furniture and empty pizza boxes.

(Editor's Note: I want to live in the Man House. - Lydia)

Here's the problem. And shut up, this plan is flawless, except for this one teensy tiny little hitch. Lydia and I? We would suck at this?We would be the Village Idiots. Invariably, we'd run out of diapers during our Diaper Mom week and we'd have to bug Grocery Store Mom about it, and before she'd get back, there would be 86 diaper explosions and then Laundry Mom would be seventeen shades of pissed off at us. Or, it would be the week that one of us is Laundry Mom and the kids -- all 96 thousand of them -- would all have the curse of the projectile vomit and we'd wind up smacking sheets with a rock under the hose because we killed the washing machine. And then Goes to Work Mom would be hacked because her hard earned money just got spent at Sears instead of Saks.

Or, we'd be StoryTime Mom and then have a cerebral hemorrhage because one kid too many asked for Goodnight Moon and our heads exploded. Which would really aggravate off Tidy Mom. Brains are hard to clean.

So, we have a modest proposal. We'll take the role of Schedule Mom. Not only for the kids, but for the moms. It's a daunting task, what with coordinating Girl Scouts and karate, t-ball and husband visits, vacations and Mom Duties. But, we're so ready to take this important, but thankless role. You're welcome.

Also, it's a satellite job, so we'll be moving into the recently vacated house at the other end of town. Tell the kids we'll see them on Thursday.

xoxo Kate & Lydia

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011


  1. Okay I am abandoning my money-pit of a house, help me cover my family's tracks and think of fake names we will be there tomorrow around midnight. No time to pack, I will just throw everything on the bed sheets and in the back of the station wagon. My husband lost his job today anyway...HERE WE COME!

  2. Can I live with you guys? We've had an entire week of rain here and I'm ready to pass along laundry duty because we don't have a dryer and everything has to be hung on the drying rack inside until it's only *slightly* less damp than when it came out of the washer. And kept out of reach of the baby. Fun.
    Reality tv has already tried this one out in the UK and in Australia - it's called "Young Mums Mansion" -- a bunch of single mums living together in a big house with a couple of single dads thrown in for good measure... The part of one episode I've seen shows everyone getting pretty snitchy, but that sooooooo wouldn't happen at your compound! Can I play too? Please? Pretty please?!?!?

  3. Sounds to me like ya'll want sister wives. Are you taking applications? I suck at housework, the kids are only half-civilized, and I don't put out. Is all that going to be a problem? Because I can totally make up for it with being an awesome BFF and drinking t-boxes and hating Jillian's nostrils! Tell me when to move!

  4. Hey its been done before. Those sister wives people do it, and they only have one man to deal with. Smart ladies. If we did this, we'd have a whole frat house of them.

  5. Ah, sweet sweet Sisterwives.

    I wanna be T-Box Mommy. And maybe TrueBlood-watching Mommy. I'll even be Vacuum Mommy if y'all will clean up the newspapers and Legos first.

    --kate in MI

  6. I would SO do this! But instead of going to work, we have a warehouse filled with crafting stuff- so we don't even need to leave the property! Just open shop on our massive acreage and sell crafts and food goods just like the Amish- but without the frocks.
    You heard me, I said get the frocks out of there!
    As for all that laundry, we'd have our own laundromat- that way we get all of it done for the week in one day. Fill em up, sit down and read a good book. Gives us more time to craft and play with the little ones the rest of the week.
    And the duties would change day to day not week to week- just so our minds don't explode.
    Believe me, you're not the only ones who thought of this!
    So...where do I sign up??

  7. OMG you make me laugh so hard, even on a Monday morning WHEN...the baby was up teething, Thing #2 talked in her sleep all night, Thing #1 refused to go on the potty and pee pee'd on the floor AND...the coffee pot is on the fritz and spewed coffee grounds into the pot (guzzeled it anyway due to Things #1-#3 behaving as Things do.) Laughing. Laughing. Laughing. Maybe that is just because I am crazy for the above? Nope, you're funny.

  8. Diaper Mom... sign up for Amazon mom, order the diapers from there, subscribe they are even cheaper (like a coupon!), free 2 day shipping. Done, didn't leave the house.

  9. The mormons women are on to something! Those chicks rule....I mean it. You don't feel like having sex? That's okay there are 4 other women to service the husband. One to clean, one to cook and one to watch the kids. As long as you're wife number one you get to schedule all that. The others have to listen to you b/c you're number 1 wife! Genius I say.....what are we Catholics thinking? I may convert.

  10. I have to pipe in, @Mama, it's NOT the Mormon's with the sister wives, it's a group of fundamentalists that broke away from the church. and as nice as it might be to have buddies to share moming duties with, there is NO WAY i could or would share my man.

    and @Kate and Lydia, I have become best friends with my next door neighbor (after she moved in) and IT.IS.AWESOME!!!!!!!!! Seriously, you can coordinate Target trips and go together, or you let one person watch the big kids while the other gets to go with just the baby, or even sometimes ALONE, gasp! We were up until 4am last night, but it's a small price to pay. I say DO IT!!!

  11. Schedule Mom is like Barb on True Love and those ladies always make it work! (Don't they? Hmmm. Maybe I skipped a season or two.)

    Also, I'm going to buy a house on the compound and call myself Lazy Mom Who Likes Her Dinner Delivered While It's Still Hot.


  12. I'm in. Diaper Mom or Tidy Mom. I will wash clothes, but not fold them. Find some other sucker for that. I will cook, also. Kids love my frozen, pop-in-the-microwave chicken nuggets. :)
    Oh, also, I can be T-box Guzzling Mom.

  13. Being a military wife, I hate to say it, but our neighborhoods turn into this (slightly) all the time. Atually, one of my best friends was just next door until about a month ago and it was WONDERFUL! She'd run out of sugar... I had a whole bag. I'd run out of beer for the hubby... hers would have a brand new case. This happened almost everyday with something or another. The best part? If BOTH of you are out, one goes on child watch while the other runs to the store and gets everyone stocked up again. Even at night when the kiddos went down, we'd put on a baby monitor in one house and head over to the other for a game of cards or just to sit by the bonfire all together. the only part that sucked was her husband deployed and she moved back to her folks... :(.Now I am working on getting another friend to rent out her house!!
    Seriously, it is worth it, just make sure you're friendship is strong enough to get through the times when you're annoyed with each other. Then again, being military, there's a good chance one or the other will move within a year and you won't have to deal with it!
    I vote YES! DO IT!

  14. Sounds like a "Domestic Enemies of the Commune Mom" post should be on the to do list!

  15. My friends and I do a point. Whichever of us is losing their Mama Shit the most gets invited to come over someone else's house to just sit there drinking a glass of wine/beer/protein smoothie with absolutely no responsibility. That Mom gets to pee whenever she wants for as long as she wants, doesn't cook or clean or do anything but yell at the kids from her seat when it looks like someone might get hurt. Awesomeness.

  16. You both would also making AMAZING "List Making Moms". Plus, with this job you could use sharpies. And tell people what to do. In writing. And then get to check things off.
    Actually, this is the job I want. I take it back. It's mine...

  17. This sounds remarkably similar to the conversation I had today with my husband and brother-in-law....

    Husband: So I think we should get one of those nannies from Russia.

    Brother in law: Hey I know, I'll get a mail order bride and she can be your nanny.

    Me: What about your girlfriend?

    Brother in law: ahhh... she wouldn't be down with this... I guess she'd be out.

    Me: Once she has a kid, she'd see the value in sharing a husband... oh wait... I get it. Sister wives may not be a bad idea.

    Husband: looking terrified... "honey, I can barely handle one wife, please stop talking like that".

  18. I'm in, if I can ignore everything else and be full time laundry and dessert-making mom. I'm good at laundry and pecan pie... or pineapple upside cake...

  19. Also a military mom and I LOVED having a backup Mom nearby! Especially during a deployment! We had SO MUCH FUN! And the game nights?! Every weekend! You guys would actually get MORE done because talking together in person allows you to move around and accomplish things AND makes you happier, which also encourages you to do things.

  20. by the way... I can tell there's a lot of your usual fans all busified by the 100DTS challenge by lack of comments... I know it took me awhile to get around to reading! But, I CAN'T miss a post!

  21. Oh my freak! Wouldn't this just be called Sister Wives? Lol! My theory is we need a show (life) called Brother Husbands. Because the more men around the more money - then we can just hire out the diaper, cleaning and shopping duties! I mentioned this to my husband and he wasn't too hip on it! ;-)




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