Alright, stay-at-home moms of the world, help us maternity-leavers out, would you?
It's been eight weeks and two days since I've been on maternity leave. Yes, this means some days I don't change out of my jammies until 3 in the afternoon and it means showers happen about every other day. I don't necessarily like those two things. But it's just the way it is. Today, I did get dressed before 9 a.m., but I'm wearing a running T-shirt and shorts. And my glasses. Not sure how much that counts.
Anyway, I never realized that besides taking care of the infant there are other things with which I would be tasked during the day. Simply because I'm at home.
Number one: Answering the door.
Working full-time, I hardly ever heard our doorbell ring. That was nice, I now realize. Because the people who ring that doorbell during the day only want to bother me. Most of them want me to give them money.
A girl in her mid-teens stopped by last week with a pitch that was less than impressive. Her story was that her softball team had qualified for nationals in Orlando, Fla., but in order for her to compete she had to raise $2,000 or some ghastly amount by TOMORROW. So in return for my donation she would be of my service for an entire day. I could use her to mow the lawn (this is what most people choose, she said), but she doesn't do windows. At one point, she whipped out some pledge forms from her back pocket and handed them to me, as if they meant something. There were different levels and numbers written by them. And nothing was fully clear. This is the common theme among people who come to the door, I have learned. They want to confuse me!
Another very nice, very chatty college student came to the door recently hawking early learning books. She did not ever tell me she was selling books, however. Instead, she said she was going around to all the families in my neighborhood who had children about to start school in our district to give them early learning tips. Did I know so-and-so down the block? She'd just been to their house, she said, and they'd welcomed the tips. (Softball girl, by the way, asked me if I knew her grandfather who she said was a sheriff and lived on Orchard Street. I have never heard of Orchard Street, nor do I know her grandfather). I asked college girl if she worked for the school district. No, she said, she's an intern from Oregon. She attends Oregon State, and would I have five minutes for her to share these tips with me? Well, alright. I don't want my poor child to be at a disadvantage because I turned away the spunky blonde with a backpack from the West Coast. But then as we sat at my kitchen table, I realized: she is selling me something.
Are you trying to sell me something? I asked.
Oh, yes, she said. Books!
Me: Oh, I'm not going to buy any of your books.
And then she left. She even said she hadn't meant to be sneaky. Really, college girl? Because you seemed pretty sneaky.
Another door-bell ringer wanted to come in and clean my carpets FOR FREE! Really, no strings attached! Why would you clean my carpets for free? I asked (no one else is pulling a fast one on me!). Turns out she wanted to sell me a vacuum. But I didn't have to buy anything, she kept saying. Uh, no thanks. Just go away.
And then yesterday. It wasn't a salesman. No, it was much, much worse. It was a woman from the county assessor's office who had just a few questions about my house. Two bedrooms? she asked. No, I said confused, we have three bedrooms. She made a note on her clipboard. Two bathrooms? she asked. No, I said, we have 2 1/2 bathrooms. Another note. Finished basement? she asked. Yes, I said. Another note.
About three minutes after she left, I realized just how mad my husband was going to be at me. For telling the truth. But I don't want to pay higher property taxes either. I wish my common sense or quick-thinking skills were just a little bit quicker.
So, stay-at-home moms, I salute you for not only raising those kids but answering the door. My skills still need some polishing.