Mabel: ‘Mama; Bubba is scared!’
Alice: ‘Oh, no! What’s Bubba scared of, Darling?’
Mabel: ‘The Lion!’
Alice: ‘The Lion? Oh dear. Where is this Lion?’
Mabel: ‘On the front step!’
Alice: ‘The front step! How bold! What are we going to do?’
Mabel: ‘…We’ll put him in a basket…’
Mabel: ‘…and put him on the bus!’
Alice: ‘The bus?’
Mabel: ‘Yes. That’s a good idea.’
Alice: ‘Another problem solved.’
Alice: ‘What would you like to eat, Mae?’
Mabel: ‘Rainbow Toast!’
Alice: ‘…I’m not sure that’s a thing…’
Mabel: ‘RAINBOW TOAST!
Alice: ‘Yes, Boss.’
Alice: ‘How do you spell appropriate? A. P. P. R. O. P. R. I. A. T. E?’
Mabel: ‘No! A. P. A. B. 83!
Alice: ‘Thank you’.
Mabel: ‘You’re welcome!’
Feel constantly affronted by the tedious aesthetic nature if your kitchen appliances. Long for things that are wildly beyond your means. Remember that everyone feels better in a new outfit – surely this also applies to ones fridge.
Procure your desired contact paper. This is usually available from dollar stores; alongside the doilies and various other wipeable housewares for the elderly. You could also use the childrens Duraseal, if you were that way inclined. The benefit of contact paper, besides its thickness and durability, is that as with most things no one wants in their home, it is cheap. Go crazy and buy two rolls in case everything goes tits up. Mine ran me around $6. The contact paper, not my actual bosoms. Those I owe to good genes.
Clean the surface of your fridge. I also pried the name badge off with a tiny screwdriver. Try not to inhale the asbestos, or Legionnaires’ disease, or whichever airborne horror came free with whiteware from the 1950’s. Dry thoroughly with the tea-towel the children have not been surreptitiously wiping their noses on.
Now begins the maddening task of sticking that stuff on. Good luck with that. I can offer no advice other than, try not to lose your shit. Trim to size and starting from a top corner press on slowly, while keeping the tension to avoid air bubbles. There is something to be said for a busy pattern; not only will it give you a headache, it will also be relatively forgiving where it comes to accuracy and pattern matching. Distract the children from the great sweeping lengths of insanely sticky excitement by giving them the cardboard rolls to fight over. Or offer up the discarded backs of the contact paper as a treasure map; they curl perfectly and there are all those little squares. Tell them not to come back until they have discovered gold.
Like all good home improvements, feel uncertian if your completed project is actually any improvement at all. But remember: if the internet has taught us anything, it’s that there is nothing that a bunch of flowers in a Mason jar can’t fix.
Mabel: ‘There’s lots of animals, Mama.’
Alice: ‘That’s right, darling. There are all sorts of animals. Which are your favourite?’
Mabel: ‘The one’s in the T.V.’
Mabel: ‘Yum! Yum! Little sausages!’
She says as she licks her own toes.
Mabel: ‘Try them, Mama!’
And I do. It’s a perk of the job.
It is 5am. I awake to Mabel stroking my hair and whispering.
Mabel: ‘I want to go to the Warehouse. I want a castle. Big. And a computer. Is it Christmas?’
Over and over.
We are rolling about on the bed; making letters with pillows. After a successful ‘T’ another pillow is fetched to attempt an ‘M’.
We are working on tidying up one unholy mess before we move on to make another unholy mess.
Alice: ‘C’mon, Mae. Let’s put this pillow back in your room.’
Mabel: ‘No! Mae-Mae can’t do it!”
Alice: ‘And why not?’
Mabel: ‘I can’t! …Because I don’t want to!’