That is how long it was before my voice was like those adult voices in the Charlie Brown holiday cartoon specials to my children.
10 minutes after being gone for 5 days.
So forgive me while I catch up on my laundry - which would be so incredibly more fantastic with a teal Electrolux washer and dryer set. In fact, just tonight as the kiddos and I were enjoying watching a rousing episode of Survivor, the Kelly Ripa Electrolux commercial came on (you know the one where she flings all her newly laundered clothing in the general direction of her children's impeccable closets and they hang themselves up). My oldest said, "Wow, look at all she does for her kids."
"What do you mean?" I asked, shooting a wounded fawn look in his direction. After all, I have not even been home for 24 hours, don't I get some kind of mommy grace period before the i-love-you-so-much-and-i-am-so-glad-you're-home-mom-what-did-you-bring-me wears off?
"Well, she puts all of her kids clothes away for them," he answered - mirroring my wounded fawn look of utter desperation and pitifulness.
"I put your clothes away for you sometimes," I reminded him.
"But not all the time," he retorted.
"Yes, my son, but you fail to recognize that you are not a 7 year-old girl, like those playing her children in the commercial."
Life, as I know it, has resumed it's normal, chaotic pace. I was assured that in my absence my children had neither a cross word nor a scuffle between the three of them. I was told that they are "absolute angels" to babysit for and that they picked up after themselves. I was told that they did as they were told without a single reminder and their manners were to die for.
All this while I was partying in Palm Springs, riding beach cruisers around town and through sprinklers, shopping, hiking, meeting other travellers, dancing, trying not to step on cockroaches at night, hiking at 8,500 feet (I am so not kidding about that), swimming, sunning and sleeping in as late as I wanted.
I guess I don't have much to complain about.
Except for that washing machine. Late last night as I was unpacking and starting my post-vacation laundry, my husband told me that if he had to do laundry every day in that machine of ours, he would poke his eyeballs out. You would think that after all the posts I've written proclaiming my love of all things Electrolux, they would have caught on by now and sent me a free one.
It's okay, I'm patient - when we're talking major appliances, that is. As for the children and their screaming, that is another story . . .