November witch

The farmer’s almanac warned us to “beware the November witch.” She was that rainstorm that blew into town a week ago Wednesday, and though it was still October, she stirred things up with windy magic on the tail of a full moon. Call it a premonition, but I believe she helped me.

She must have been looking over my shoulder the Monday morning of that week, when I did the unthinkable. I texted the Carpenter and offered him a career trade: I would endure an entire winter of physical labour if he would be the parent in charge every morning. I was willing to do the 4am commute, endure the elements, use a port-o-potty in a minus-30 wind chill, and partake in the spitting and swearing rituals of construction. I was desperate. He laughed.

It had been a typical morning. Chaos ensued, tempered further by the attitude and arrogance of my two teenagers who know all but are willing to do nothing. It began early, with the stress of missing laundry. I swear they think I purposely hide their clothes to play hide and seek for a blue hoodie. Right, because I like games before my second cup of coffee. Lunch packing followed with the game known as, “I don’t like that.” Each player turns their nose up at each item suggested, until they realize that those who do the grocery shopping do so on a limited budget, and thus what you get is what you eat. It’s all we’ve got. Suck it up. Breakfast menu? See above.

With great disgust, I discovered my darling teens had waited until Monday morning to clear out their previous school lunch (last week’s hard-boiled egg was now this week’s science experiment). Recycled lunch containers are recycled often here.

And then, the lineup for the bathroom began. Nothing says good morning like shared intimate space, scented products, toothpaste droppings and, well, you know. It’s the final hurrah before the mad dash out of the house, during which I stop long enough to argue the need for coats, the merits of hair brushing and the audacity of scheduled time.

The Carpenter misses a lot on the home front. I thought the offer to trade was a fair deal; he didn’t take me seriously. Tsk, tsk. So, the November witch did her magic. She cast a spell that I would name “Morning Maelstrom Incantation” (or something clever like that). It was a spell concocted with enchanted ingredients: a dash of justification, a pinch of karma, a splash of “are we having fun yet?” and a dollop of cold, hard reality.

The November witch swooped into town and sprinkled the potion over our home on the fateful Wednesday morning when the rains fell. She shut the Carpenter’s job site down.  He was stranded at home, living the morning routine with the rest of us.

He felt the wrath, repeatedly waking teenagers bound for the place they like least.

He joined in the search for missing sweaters and argued over lunch meat. And while he waited for his turn in the bathroom, he too sparred in the arguments over hygiene and basic attire. The man who can run a crew of dozens of tradesmen and coordinate site plans very quickly missed his job site.

Needless to say, the trades talks are officially off the table.



Kelly Waterhouse