Friday, December 31, 2021

So mulch better

We had 2.8 tons (2.54 metric tonnes) of mulch delivered to our house yesterday and Andrew was determined to get it spread in the yard despite the lingering afternotes of the spectacular thunderstorm the night before. By our calculations, ordering and spreading the mulch ourselves would be much more cost effective than having a landscaping crew do it. We failed to account the physical costs (and, Andrew would point out, the opportunity costs) associated with such labour. 

So although Andrew is currently feeling rather sore, it was, at least, a memorable experience for the kids to spread mulch with their father in the pouring rain. 

It took them about four hours to get the job done and it looks great! At great as mulch can look. Mulch isn't my favourite look, in general, but it's better than having giant mud puddles in our front yard. And we'll get some prettier landscaping in soon.

Zoë and Alexander were only out for a short time; they kept getting in the way so Andrew eventually banished them to the house. But before then they were in and out and in and out and driving me crazy...until I banished them to the outside of the house. Clearly Andrew and I were not on the same page.

While he was out working with the kids, I was inside doing inside chores, such as mopping the floor. 

It sounds silly to be mopping the floor while muddy children are tromping in and out of the house (thus the reason I banished them to the outdoors) but it was rather necessary because someone had left the tub butter out on the counter overnight so it was nice and runny this morning. Then Zoë decided to make herself some toast for breakfast (which is fine) but she dropped the tub of runny butter on the floor and that runny butter ran right out of the tub (which is less fine). Then Zoë stepped in the butter (which is really not fine at all) and then instead of thinking to herself, "Wow. Gross. I just stepped in a puddle of melted butter. Maybe I should clean this up..." She just...went about her morning...tracking butter all over the place.

Which...I mean...she's

But still!

When Andrew pointed out to her that she was leaving buttery footprints all over the place, he and she spent some time cleaning up the mess. But butter is burdensome to banish so I broke out the big guns—the steam mop!—and went to work mopping up all the buttery footprints Zoë left in the kitchen and dining room.

While I was mopping up her buttery footprints, Miriam had decided she no longer wanted to wear her glasses. She'd rather work blindly than feel frustrated by the water droplets on her glasses. I don't blame her. (I honestly still wonder why no one has solved this issue—windshield wipers for glasses—it's the eve of 2022!) Miriam didn't want to bring them inside, though, because she was all messy from moving mulch, so she asked if Zoë would put the glasses on her desk, which is in her bedroom. 

This would have been a good plan except for the fact that Zoë was all messy as well. Not from moving mulch so much as from playing in the mud. And Zoë didn't want to have to take off her shoes to put Miriam's glasses away (that would be way too much work) so she just...sneaked her way past me with her muddy shoes still on her feet...and then ran down the basement stairs really quick and left the glasses on Miriam's desk before sneaking back upstairs and out the door. 

Well, I finished mopping the buttery footprints off the floor and then picked up a few things that belonged in the basement, opened the basement door so I could put them away, and...I was not delighted.

There were muddy footprints up and down the stairs and leading into (and out of) the girls' bedroom down there.

Unfortunately for Zoë, she met me at the front door. She was trying to come in as I was trying to go out.   "No, no, no!" I told her. "You get out of my house with those muddy shoes. Don't you even try to come back in!"

And, uh, that banishment worked for a while until Andrew banished her (and Alexander) to the inside from the outside. They were pretty contrite after that banishment, however, and after they carefully removed all their muddy articles they just sat together on a chair while Zoë read Alexander a billion stories.

Anyway, Andrew, Rachel, Miriam, and Benjamin worked hard together in the pouring rain and spread 5600 lbs. of mulch in our yard all in one morning, which was quite the feat. They were wet to the bone and bone weary when they were finished. Especially Benjamin...who was ridiculously muddy. 

They did a great job and the hard work was good for them. It will make them appreciate the yard for years to come. 

And tonight at dinner Rachel announced that her favourite part of today was cleaning Zoë's muddy footprints off the carpet (a thing we didn't quite get around to yesterday) because she likes the way the carpet cleaner foams up when you scrub it.

So, I guess those muddy footprints weren't such a terrible thing after all...but I still appreciate Zoë's little apology note.

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