If you were me, you'd have to find creative solutions in order to live with yourself too.
Because, if you were me, you'd want to accomplish things, but you'd want to enjoy a nice day with your charming toddler. And you want to do things that need to be done, but you want to enjoy doing them too. Some days, the decisions about what to do with the time I have are hard. Some days, solutions just present themselves.
So, if there was a huge pile of ironing, and it was a gorgeous day and summer is drawing to a close - but the glider is calling, what would Marla do?
Because, if you were me, you would find it soothing to iron beautiful vintage things. Not practical things - I took Steve's shirts to the drycleaner/launderer yesterday; but tea cosies need washing and ironing every once in a while, you know.
And I love to iron my handkerchiefs. My mother gave me a dozen that belonged to my grandmother, and so of course I had to freshly wash and iron them before they could be added to my handkerchief box. Because even if they were clean and had only been sitting in a drawer and in the bottoms of her purses for years and years, the idea of always being able to grab a fresh, beautifully pressed hankie thrills me (however faintly, but there's definitely a frisson).
"Wait a minute," you say, slowly, and in a suspicous tone, "All of this ironing business, under the shade-providing umbrella, sitting on the glider with the ironing board in a lowered position, using the garden hose to gently mist things...I ALMOST believe you. Except...except for the fact that you claim to have a toddler! What was the toddler doing during all of that luxuriating in the steam rising from the pressing of your charming vintage aprons?! Since she no longer naps, and there is no hammock to sew her up in, whatever was she doing?! Did you lash her to the bench with the excess from the extension cord?"
Well - get this. Josephine was amused, easily, for the better part of forty minutes, with nothing more than a wet paintbrush.
I'm sorry - I know. Others have been buying expensive toys, hiring help, going on excursions, standing on their heads, doing whatever to amuse their kids on a long, hot summer afternoon...and I had the good fortune to have a little girl who happily "painted" the chair for ages. It was a very involved task, you know. She got to boss me, telling me it was wet and not to touch it; she asked for periodic advice and updated me as to how she was doing - but the fact is, WOW, it kept her busy. And I got to iron two of my pleated skirts.
(ducks, avoiding a hail of flip-flops, hot wheels cars, washable markers and Sandra Boynton books)
Hey! But that couldn't last forever! Whatever else could amuse my daughter?! I couldn't give up the sweet, sweet starchy fumes yet!
Well, dumping sand from the sandbox in the pool was good for all of two pairs of chinos and a linen tea towel. But still - there were some cotton kitchen curtains left to iron...what to do?
When Josie told me she was turning her ladybug pool into the beach, it came to me in a "blast of steam" - a favourite feature of my iron.
Although I'd spent a good amount of time arranging my treasures from our cottage weekend in an attractive antique bowl, I grabbed them and dumped them in the kiddie pool.
And then (holds up empty laundry basket as a shield) Josephine very happily pretended to find them, as she had done on the beach two weeks ago. And once again, I'd exclaim over every one, and ask her to tell me about them, as I moved the iron back and forth, and steam tickled my nostrils with the scent of satisfaction from the immediately visible results of ironing, which was so neatly done alongside the entertaining of one very happy toddler.
I'll go now - I've accomplished enough today to take the rest of the day to do things like find the rest of my pebbles and shells in the pool and rearrange them all in the bowl again. I'll leave you with this summer afternoon image, which just happened to present itself - just as the solution to my afternoon dilemma did, and, for that matter, rather like this post.
And I'll leave you with this thought...where do you think I'm posting this from?
(tilts umbrella to deflect bottles of aspirin, pens, sippy cups, and megablocks - rocks on glider, clicking over to Shoewawa and cackling gleefully)