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We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What would June Cleaver Do?

Last night, as my husband and I lay awake in our bed, listening to our baby boy cry himself to sleep, he sighed out this wish, "I wish for one day our life could be like 'Leave It to Beaver'.  

Maybe I wasn't meant to hear this wish, maybe it was a thought meant to stay inside his head, maybe it just slipped out in a moment of foggy "half sleep".  Nevertheless, I heard his wish, and I took it as a challenge of sorts. 

In order to carry out this wish, I must put myself in the shoes of no other than June Cleaver herself.  And might I add that she has some pretty big shoes to fill!  Let's see, where to start?  I figure I should hop in the shower first thing in order to have plenty of time to work on my hair.  I'll have to dig deep into the depths of my closet to find a proper dress to wear, and of course, the practical pumps.  Next, I head to the kitchen to don my apron before preparing a hot breakfast that must be served at the perfectly set table.  After breakfast, I shoo everyone out the door with their lunches, and plaster a big, wide smile on my face.  Once everyone is out of the house, it is time to clean the kitchen, make the beds, and then make a few phone calls.  I'm sure June started dinner sometime before noon, how else would she be able to hold it all together the way she did at the 5 o'clock hour?  Ahh, the 5 o'clock hour at the Cleaver's....  I think this is where my husband's wish was born.  June greets Ward at the door with a smile.  She leads him to his Easy Chair where his paper is waiting to read, and then fills him in on the day's events uninterrupted.  Dinner is served in the dining room promptly at 6 o'clock.... 

Now let's examine a typical morning for Alisha:
I wake up at midnight, 2 am, 4 am, and 6 am to nurse my 10 month old.  I get out of bed at 6 am and plop the baby in the highchair so I can make some coffee. I pour cold cereal for the other kids with my eyes half open. I make lunches, feed the baby, pick clothes out for the kids, braid McKinley's hair, empty the dishwasher, help kids finish up last night's homework, sign permission slips, change the baby, get dressed, load backpacks, run out the door. I load the kids in the car only to realize baby needs another diaper change.  I goo back into the house, change the baby again, race out the door.  (No shower, no make-up, no dress, no apron, no pumps). 

I usually have time to think about dinner around 5 o'clock.  Instead of making the beds,  I fill my morning walking with my kids and volunteering at their school.  I usually check out Facebook, list a few items on Ebay, and play with my baby.  Then it's time to pick up the kids and drive them to various activities.

Unfortunately, my husband tends to walk through the door the minute all hell breaks loose.  Baby is crying, dinner is burning, laundry still needs folding, kids need help with homework, everyone is hungry!  Needless to say, the table is not set, my hair is not neatly coiffed, my feet are bare, my clothes are spit up on, and my "June Cleaver" smile is hidden somewhere underneath it all. 

After careful review, I realize I can't entirely make my husband's wish come true.  But here is what I will do. I will run a brush through my hair and slap some gloss on my lips. Tonight the table will be set, the laundry will be folded, dinner will be ready.  Chances are, the house will be bustling as always, but I will make coming home worth it.  I will greet him at the door with a big, wide, smile on my face!

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