As a mom, I'm good at a lot of things, like making cupcakes from scratch, spinning funny bedtime stories, and refusing to buy an expensive video game system. Sadly, I also lack the patience to allow small people to brush and braid my hair, the energy to schedule play dates, the desire to create cheerful family scrapbooks, and other critical skills.
Perhaps one of my biggest failures is my inability to tolerate shopping at Costco. I know I should feel proud to score two 20 oz. bags of gluten-free Blueberry Pomegranate Trail Mix Crunch for only $26.99 to feed my hungry family (at least until I end up throwing away 33 uneaten ounces of it 6 months later) but I don't. The crowds, the congestion around the table where a tired-looking lady presses samples of frozen Gourmet Maine Lobster Cakes into inexplicably eager hands, waiting in the exit line to show my receipt when I just want to get the heck out of there before I detonate -- I can't bear it. I don't do Costco anymore, and I'm at peace. As Lady Gaga says, I was born this way. Love yourself and you're set.
My husband, John, is a different animal. He enjoys the whimsy of going into Costco for hot dogs and buns and coming out with an Artisan Salame Collection and a Solar Powered Attic Fan instead. And so, last week he renewed our lapsed Costco membership in order to buy an electric toothbrush. He also made an unexpected purchase that changed my life.
I must confess that multitasking is another mom skill that doesn't come naturally. I enjoy doing one thing at a time and doing it well. A a result, much has gone undone since I became a parent, including my floors. A friend of mine, novelist Diane Chamberlain, has been raving about Roomba, the vacuum cleaning robot, for months. Diane would rather work on her latest bestseller at Starbucks than clean, and who wouldn't?
I'm trying to write a book myself. Maybe a Roomba would help me keep up with things around here, I told my husband, but we probably never would have made the effort to buy a cleaning robot if John hadn't tripped over one in Costco's appliance aisle.
I love my new Roomba. I even like Costco a little bit by extension. At this very moment, I am vacuuming Gorilla Munch off my kitchen floor, writing and sipping a cappucino at my favorite cafe -- just like Jane Jetson. Now I've asked my husband to keep an eye out for the Scooba 230 Floor Washing Robot on his next Costco run. With all the time I'll save, I'll be able to knock out my own bestseller, host a dinner party and start working on those scrapbooks in no time. Perfection, here I come.