Real(ly Not) Simple

Nothing is that easy

Friday night. Glass of wine courtsey of Planet Wine. Children were in bed. Nothing was worth watching on TV. And the latest issue of Real Simple was calling my name.

This was a rare but incredibly welcome occasion, especially during the summer months when children are out of school, the days are longer and spent outside at the parks at Mount Vernon Community School and the YMCA and the daily mayhem prevents any solace or quiet time.

Typically once the doors of my children's bedrooms shut, I find I can barely keep my eyes open to read. But on this particular night, the kids were worn out and asleep early. Here I was. Libation and reading material. What a delight!

I am not a regular reader of Real Simple. In fact, I have always found the magazine to be more than I can handle. Articles like "How to transform broken lampshades into garden gnomes" intimidate me. I tend to spend more time dog-earring the pages than actually ever revisiting them in order to learn how to implement the craft project of the year.

The issue on hand that evening was the "Family Edition." Since my professional life is now 90 percent mom, I figured I would be at least able to understand and execute some of the ideas offered in the magazine.

Well, three minutes in I realized that all of my ideas for my daughter's upcoming birthday party were inferior. Why can't I make my own shoebox tiaras and multi-layer chocolate and banana cupcakes with cotton candy on top? It took a lot of will to not be brought down by reading the magazine. I am proud of myself when I think to save the newspaper bags to reuse for dirty diapers and to hand over the empty paper-towel rolls so my children have a musical instrument (for at least five minutes until it bends in half after a power struggle).

I flipped through the pages, diligently dog-earring some pages that I swore to reread, but the next morning the magazine was already missing… likely buried under a pile of tutus in the playroom. If I find it, then I certainly will implement the "How to best organize and sanitize your playroom in 20 minutes" article.

There should have been a preceding article, "How to find 20 extra minutes."


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