Privy to a Stimulant

Two in One at Our House

The Man I Married replaced our old, constantly-running toilets with sleek, modern, low-water thrones. I no longer wake in the middle of the night to hear the privy filling itself again out of sheer boredom (I used to want one of those meditation fountains for the soothing white noise, but figured the noisy ole crapper would do in a pinch). We are no longer flushing money down the can, and we are helping the planet. However, MIM’s installation has rendered the high-power flush to be more of a startling bidet. Now that’ll wake a tired mother up enough to get the kid to school on time. Next time you visit and take a trip to our powder room, jump up quick!

The Little Monster had oodles of fun playing in the large boxes the new appliances arrived in. Imagine what his counselor said when LM announced, “I spent yesterday playing in the toilet box!”

Motherhood Drives Me to Drink

A recent comment to an old post of mine led to me consider the relationship of motherhood to certain libations. Upon reflection, I do have to admit that motherhood has driven me to drink.

To drink coffee.

I never touched the stuff before a biggish tyke started calling me Mom. But now, between arriving home from work and departing to pick up LM (hopefully not early after a call from the school principal), I find the bitter brew to be essential for coping and productivity. I’ve long been addicted to the blackest of black teas, but that polite infusion doesn’t cut the mustard with my new schedule.

Here’s the problem: I don’t like coffee, and I can’t make coffee. Never have been able to, which saved me a great deal of trouble in my secretary days. The one time I agreed to work the instant coffee maker for my boss, he ended up with a great pot of coffee, except that it brewed itself all over the counter rather than in the carafe.

What shall I put in my coffee today?

In my neck of the world, those who stir instant flavor crystals into hot water instead of firing up their own espresso maker are lined up in front of an extermination committee (everything here is done, or not done, by committee), with a choice of death by motor oil or by triple nonfat soy latté extra hot. But there are blessings to becoming a mom in the new millennium. They now make coffee just like tea. Now that I can handle. Dunk that little bag in hot water for awhile, and presto, coffee! Instructions are to let the bag soak for one minute, but I leave that sucker in there for a good five to eke out every ounce of caffeine. Then I get to add the other new wonder of this fantastic century of inventions for harried mothers (or harried folk of any kind, since moms hardly hold the entire harried market; college students, polar bears, and Tiger Woods also qualify): fake flavored creamer. Tastes great and lasts forever, so I don’t have to worry about using up the milk for my kid’s cereal since I haven’t quite made it to the grocery store again. I figure it’s nudging along the process of embalming me before I die. However, since I prefer cremation, I like to think those additives will all burn in Technicolor when my number’s up. Between this new habit and the hydrogen bomb test my mom witnessed when I was still an egg, the vast quantities of Lucky Charms I ate as a kid, and the MSG I regularly consumed at the local Chop Suey, I ought to glow like Warhol’s liver in the Cuyahoga River.

Ahh. Good-enough to the last drop, and good for a few more loads of laundry.

(And if I run out of fake creamer, there’s always Baileys.)