Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Ho-Ho-Horrible Truth

Well, I have officially ruined the Christmas Experience for my 11 year old son.

In my defense, it was completely necessary to steal his Christmas Joy and cause him anguish during the most magical time of the year because he was about to get beat up.

Hold on. Not by me. By his friends.

As some of you know, or may remember, he started middle school this fall. Which means he is a child amongst thugs. Listen, my kid is not a nerd, per se. He just believes pretty much everything he hears. Kind of like me, only I prefer to think he wants to see the good in people (which is what my problem was until I became Mean and then basically my being gullible solved itself and the world became a darker place).

I am not what you would call an overprotective parent, or even a parent who shelters their child.

Okay, so yeah maybe you would call me exactly that.

I'm just a big fan of innocence, but I suppose even I cannot ignore that my kid is leaning toward the pansy side of life.

He's a good kid, sensitive toward others, takes care of his sisters (after taking a break from attempting to cause them bodily harm), and just believes.

So I had to make it stop.

He could NOT go to school after the holidays and tell people what Santa Clause brought down the chimney for him and his sisters. It's not that I wanted him to be "cool" or that I was afraid other kids wouldn't like him. I wanted to prevent him from being teased because he really is a sensitive kid. He takes things to heart and I just wanted to save him from possible ridicule. He's been through a lot the last year and I just wanted to be the one to break it to him that the man in red is a big fat fake. Plus I figured I could get the kid on my side and have him help out and play Santa to his sisters. It would be something fun and special that just he and I would get to share. That is, until next year when I would have to bust up his 9 year old sister's dreams of Santa and the North Pole.

So, I consulted with Rawr, I looked online for letters parents wrote to their kids in order to break the news and I even typed out a sample conversation to get my mind in the right spot (Shut up. I write everything down. It isn't a sickness, it's more like my way of working things out. Look at it this way: When I'm 900 years old and can't remember my own name I'll have some reading material and since I already know I'll be a crotchety old woman, I can critique my own ramblings so that when cryogenics is perfected I can time-travel back to my thirties and adjust my writing style this becoming famous, thus saving the world. It is a foolproof plan).

I had everything worked out to break this news to my oldest child, and when the time came I pulled him into his room and sat him on his bed. I stood near the window, which I think was my subconsciousness trying to suggest an escape route if things got crazy.

Me: Son, I have some news. I think you already sort of know what I'm going to say but it just needs to be out there in the open.

My 11: [gazing at me with adoration] Okay, Mom.

Me: Okay, so you know how every Christmas you get presents and some are from Grammy and some are from me and Dad and others are from family?

My 11: [nods] Yeah! Last year Santa brought me that helicopter which was really awesome until Petey ate the antennae and it didn't work. That was a really fun hour.

Me: [gulping] Yeah. Hah. Um. Speaking of which-

My 11: You know what, I wrote that letter to Santa asking him to send an envelope so I could mail the radio control back but I never heard from him. I guess he's just too busy. That's okay because the elves-

Me: [feeling sweaty because that's what ALWAYS happens to me right when I'm about to freak out] SON! Listen. About that. I need to tell you-

My 11: Maybe you could write him a letter, Mom. You used to tell people what to do and if you just told Santa how much I need the helicopter fixed, maybe he would do that in time for Christmas this year.

Me: I can't even get YOU to listen to me, kid. What makes you think Santa is going to... You know what? Enough. Santa isn't real. He's fake. It was always just me and Dad. There. I said it.

It is really too bad I didn't think ahead and photograph this moment because until this taxing conversation with my son, I didn't think it was actually possible for someone's eyes to bug out of their sockets that far without causing permanent damage. Gross.

My 11: What? WHAT DID YOU SAY, MOM?!

And then he freaked out.

My 11: All this time you were LYING to us? You lecture us about lying and you've been doing it MY WHOLE LIFE?

Oh, shit. Um. Backtrack! ABORT! SAVE THE MISSION! RUUUNNNNN!

Me: I wouldn't say that, kiddo.

My 11: [stands, paces the room] I can't believe it. My mom is a liar.

AND THEN HE STARTED TO CRY.

So I started to cry. Sort of. I got teary-eyed because this was the end of an era, Peeps. My child's innocence was gone.

I reached out and patted his back, at which point he threw himself against me and just bawled.

I eyed the window.

Me: Honey, it's okay. Santa is real in our hearts. He is the spirit of Christmas. He is still magic.

My 11: IT'S ALL CRAP, MOM!

I called Rawr later that night.

Rawr: How did it go?

Me: Um.

Rawr: That bad?

Me: Um.

The upside? My 11 eventually calmed down and is now my Christmas Accomplice. Except that he wants to talk about it all the time and he keeps doing it in a stage whisper right in front of his sisters. I see this ending poorly. Though not as poorly as I handled breaking the news.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The stupid things I do

Rawr and I went to Wal Mart today. I had to return something I purchased for my 9 but she refused to own because IT LOOKS WEIRD, MOM.

Who knew jeans could freak someone out so much.

Rawr and I split up because everyone in the world knows how long it takes to go through Wal Mart's return line. It never fails: there is always one person stationed at the return register, going incredibly slow because they recently discovered what Job Security is, and there are always AT LEAST two other people behind the counter pretending they can't see the ever-growing line while they make a poor attempt to look busy except they're gossiping about Marge in Cosmetics who always shows up late and never restocks properly and oh-my-gawd-have-you-seen-her-boyfriend-because-he-is-so-ugly, while everyone in the return line grows more and more pissed off at the incredible lack of proper guest service (Can you tell I've dealt with the public for 400 years?).

So there I stood, in that god-forsaken line, shifting from one foot to another while trying to decide if I really cared about a twenty dollars pair of jeans and wouldn't it be better to just walk out and donate the jeans to a shelter when someone behind me spoke.

Voice: Been here long?

Peeps, maybe I'm weird, but I can't stand it when someone says something randomly behind me, someone I didn't even know was there until I heard his voice, and I have to turn around and see if they were even talking to me in the first place, but when I do he's not looking at me so I have to do that weird half smile and pretend like I was looking around for my friend except then they look at you with blank eyes and you start to get really weirded out because then you realize they were talking to you, only now there's been too long of silence for you to rally respond, so you turn around and then they speak again.

Voice: Well?

Really? You wait until I turned around? Fine. Whatever Its freaking Christmas. I will humor you, dude.

Me: Does it matter? It's going to take all day anyway.

Voice: HAHA. Yeah. [stares] How's your day going? Are you off today? Shopping with your husband? Or [looks hopeful] are you single?

Oh, shit. I was SOOO not in the mood for small talk, let alone a conversation where I would have to dodge being hit on.

Me: My husband is dead.

Damnit! Always go with My husband should be along any moment. Stupid!

Voice: [undeterred] Oh. Are you seeing anyone?

Me: [trying not to wrinkle my nose because I've discovered that I do it all the time and it is NOT attractive. Deciding that I don't want to look attractive, so I wrinkle my nose extra hard] No.

Double damnit! ALWAYS LIE, STUPID! 

Voice: You have kids?

Me: Um.

Voice: I don't. I love kids. I have nephews. And nieces.

Me: [wondering if I have done something specific that God has decided to punish me, or if this is just for shits and giggles]

Voice: I'm off on Wednesday. Want to hang out?

Me: Um, no. I don't think so. I'm still... grieving.

Voice: We can just hang out as friends. We can meet in a group for a drink, even. It's okay.

Me: Sorry, it's just that I'm not really-

Voice: Looking for friends? Who doesn't want friends?

Me: Me.

Voice: [laughs] Everyone needs friends. If that makes you uncomfortable, we could meet for coffee.

Me: Um...

Voice: Really. It's not a big deal.

We spoke for a few more minutes until I did something really stupid and gave him my number. My real number. And not because I wanted to, but because apparently I can't tell people no.

Try it. Ask me for my bank account number. While you're at it, tell me to go steal a car. I bet I'll do it

Totally not answering the phone if he ever calls. He was nice, but not my type.

But hey, baby steps, right?

Maybe someday I won't be incredibly terrified of men I don't know.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Who's his kid and why am I reading about him?

Report cards came home on Thursday.

This is never a stressful time because my kids are the smartest kids in the universe.

I'm sure those of you with children share the same opinion. Of your own. And maybe mine, too. Because they are pretty great kids. Mine are, I mean. I have no idea what some of your kids are like. (I'm incredibly biased)

My newly-turned 6 just started kindergarten this year, so this was her first official report card. It was pretty great. Except the teacher listed that my 6 could only count to 14, which is a load of crap because when I've said to her, Hang on, kiddo. I'll be there in three seconds, she starts to count and I'm not exactly punctual so it's usually around 60 before I am able to assist her in whatever it is she needs.

I was holding the report card in my hand when I asked her to count as high as she could. She looked at me and smiled, then this:

One, two, skip a few ninety nine ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

Um.

Making a mental note to review my elder children's involvement in teaching their sister to skip-count, I turned to my 9.

Me: Where's your report card, kiddo?

9: I don't have one.

Me: Like hell. Go get it.

9: I'm serious. I didn't get one.

Me: ......

9: Don't know what to tell you, woman. Talk to my teacher!

We are't going to get into why my kid refers to me  as woman.

Luckily, before I emailed the teacher, my 9 returned from school on Friday with her report card.

I skimmed over the card, noting all of her accomplishments, yadda yadda then flipped to the back to read the teachers comments.

Which were all about some kid named Joseph (who is apparently very smart and incredibly shy).

I emailed the teacher, attaching a copy of the report card (because I know how to use a scanner and I feel like I'm important when I do).

Hey there. I received my child's report card today, and while I appreciate you informing me on Joseph's progress, I would actually be very interested in hearing what you have to say about my daughter. I'm sort of partial to her academic progress. 

His response:

Sorry.

And THAT WAS ALL.

I have yet to respond because I'm sort of puzzled.

I mean, what do I say to that, other than the obvious No problem, don't let it happen again?

There's always, Great. Uh, are you going to correct the report card, or email me your thoughts, or is this just it and I can write in my own comments?

I kind of decided to create my own report card on the teacher and send it to him at the end of the year. Only I'm going to include comments regarding my mailman's service.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I was NOT overreacting.

Last week, my English instructor offered our class some extra credit.

Go to a poetry reading, she said.

It will be fun, she said.

All I heard was, I want you to go out and participate in something that is detrimental to your mental health. And after that, if there's anything left in there, I want to to relive the horrifying experience by writing a brief summary of what the reading entailed. Before you inevitably kill yourself because we all know that poets are drunks who encourage devil work.

I went. I wrote.

BTW, I was the ONLY PERSON from my class to attend. Thanks, jerks.

Today, we were in class reviewing for our final and all was normal, only the instructor seemed to be making a lot of eye contact with me. Especially when we were covering sattire.

You that face you make when someone keeps looking at you and you can't figure out why? You kind of wrinkle your nose and scrunch your face? Yeah. That was me.

Then it was time for her to pass back quizzes. And summaries. Of poetry readings.

She walked down my row and held out my summary. I reached out to take it from her, but she didn't let go.

I looked up at her face, both of us holding on to the paper. Her expression was unreadable as I gave the paper a little tug. She held on to it for a second, then let go. I looked at the front of the paper.

See me after class was scrawled on a sticky note.

SHIT.

I shoved the paper in my bag and slouched down in my seat. I spent the remainder of the class feeling like I was going to die.

I do not like being in trouble. It really bothers me when I feel like someone has a poor opinion of me based on something I said or did that seemed funny at the time. It's called Comic Regret and I have an acute case.

Class ended. I gathered my things and trudged to the front of the class as though I was approaching the gallows of doom.

The teacher was waiting for me, leaning against the podium.

Teacher: Emily.

Me: Helllllo.

Teacher: I've never had a student turn in anything like that before.

Immediately, I was defensive. Um, excuse me, but it wasn't THAT BAD. In my head, of course. I can be a tad non-confrontational.

Me: Oh.

Teacher: Did you read my comments?

Me: Um. No.

Teacher: I suggest that you do. See you next week.

AND SHE LEFT.

Actually, she just turned around. I left. Except I ran. Like a little girl.

(I don't know what it wrong with me lately. I think I'm going through menopause, only I'm not, except I can't explain why I feel like a crazy person. I'm not pregnant, so any of you who just thought that are GOING TO HELL).

When I felt like I was far enough from the classroom, I stopped, ripped the paper out of my bag and took a fearful look.


Oh. I see.

She liked it.

Kinda makes my overreaction a little bit ridiculous.

She went on to suggest that if I wrote fiction I should submit something to our award winning school literary magazine (I kind of wasn't paying a lot of attention a few weeks ago when she told the class just which awards the magazine has won).

Bah HA!

Dude, if she only knew.

I'm already terrorizing the internet. I'll save my ridiculous ramblings for this blog, and the real writers can handle the other stuff.

By the way, if you want to read what I wrote, you can see it here. It's really not that bad.

I wanted to make a WHOLE lot of inappropriate comments regarding the Poet's name (Matthew Dickman) and the length of his presentation, but luckily I remembered I'm not in junior high and I saved myself some embarrassment.

The Disappearing Poet

*This ties in with the post I was not overreacting

My Dickman Experience: Or Lack Thereof
          On Friday, I had the chance to attend a poetry reading on campus. My English instructor bribed us non-poetry loving students with the promise of replacing our lowest quiz grade with a perfect score if we attended to reading and wrote a summary. My lowest score is 8 out of 10, which is no big deal. Normally.
          Since I am less than one point away from an A in the class, and since I can’t pass up the chance to get extra credit and especially since it kills me to grade anything less than an A in any class, I knew I would have to suck it up and attend the reading in order to get those two points and therefore improve my grade.
          A moment. I am not a fan of poetry. In fact, one might describe me as a person who would rather listen to techno while watching bad 80s films in a room full of molting birds (allergies!) than to be force-read poetry. I mean no disrespect to the poets themselves by any means. I just do not enjoy the stuff. I’ve tried to like it. I’ve taken a poetry class and I’ve attended readings in coffee shops. Poetry and I were just never meant to be.
          However, moving up a letter grade was more important to me than my brain function (that made sense before I wrote it down) so I made plans to attend.
          I had my youngest daughter with me that morning, and with promises of lollipops and a trip to the library in exchange for her absolute silence, we slid through the doors to the PUB room about forty-five minutes into the reading. I realize how rude it was to show up late to something like that, but my Friday mornings are usually crammed full of appointments and errands and I just wasn’t able to make it on time.
          I guess it was also a little rude to prematurely remove my hand from the door, letting it smack shut and send the sound of my tardiness echoing through the room. My face burned with embarrassment as I tiptoed over to a spot near the wall, found a seat and pulled my daughter onto my lap. I smiled apologetically at the students who were looking at me (fans of poetry do, apparently, exist because there were several giving me the death-stare for disturbing their moment) and fixed my attention on the man standing at the front of the room in front of a microphone. He looked to be not much older than myself, wore glasses and had hair that hung in his eyes. I surprised myself by thinking Wow. A real poet. And then Okay, self. That’s a pretty juvenile assessment. Glad to know we haven’t matured past fifth grade.
          I shook my head in an effort to refocus my attention, which was a mistake because at that same moment my daughter flipped her long hair over her shoulder and our heads collided with a loud crack that was most likely heard by the people outside the building. I blinked away tears as I hugged my daughter close, praying that she wouldn’t start screaming in agony and shouting blame. As luck would have it, my daughter has super hero strength and all she did was look back at me and raise her eyebrows. I aimed a pained smile her way just as a man from the back of the room spoke up. He announced that he was sorry to interrupt, but that students needed to be released in order to get to their next class on time. I looked up at the clock. It was 10:45am. The reading was scheduled to last until 11:30am. Dude was being cut off forty-five minutes early. NOT GOOD. I had only just arrived. I hadn’t even heard the poet speak and he was already being dismissed. I had a summary to write!
          I watched helplessly as students clapped and then got to their feet, exiting through the same door I had just entered moments ago. The man who had made the initial announcement called out that the coffee was finally ready and that there were refreshments available. Some people laughed. My daughter’s body went rigid, then she turned to me with pure hope in her eyes. I knew what she was thinking. I shook my head, reminding her that we were going to the library afterward. I remained seated as I frantically tried to come up with some way of saving the assignment. I thought about waiting my turn to speak with Mr. Dickman and politely asking him which poems he had read so I could go home and look them up on the internet but decided against it because for all I know he witnessed the entire entry/disturbing fellow students/head smacking debacle and would be offended that not only could I not be bothered to show up on time, but that I was a klutz and also kind of an idiot. I then entertained the idea of posing as a reporter for the school newspaper, but decided against that because even when I was on staff for my other college newspaper fifteen years prior, posing questions to a complete stranger always made me want to vomit. But then hey, so does poetry so at least there’s a theme. My last thought involved following Mr. Dickman out to his car and waiting until no one was around before tapping him on the shoulder and pretending I recognized him as a famous poet in a random parking lot, but then I realized I hadn’t yet read any of his poetry and suppose Mr. Dickman asked which of his poems I favored? I am a terrible liar. My face gets red and I start to sweat. I’m unable to form sentences and I start to bite my lip a lot. Mr. Dickman could mistake my behavior for a stroke and call 911 and then I would have to pretend it was true because whenever I do lie (and believe me, it is almost never) I can’t stop and I get carried along with whatever situation has been set into effect. Even if I was able to stop him from dialing 911 and explain that I was lying, I think Mr. Dickman would develop an opinion of our college that would not be favorable.
          I realized that there was not much I could do about missing the reading without being completely rude to Mr. Dickman. I also did not want to be perceived as an obnoxious, vomiting liar.
I set my daughter on her feet and stood up. I gave Mr. Dickman one last glance, knowing that he may never know how close he came to pure awkwardness and a possible police report.
We slipped out the door and disappeared into the crowd. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Extra Extra, it's in front of your face

Telephone conversation between Mumsie and I.

Mumsie: I think someone stole the tractor.

Me: That's something I never thought I would hear. 

Mumsie: Yeah. Dad saw some guys wandering up and down the road over the last few days. He thinks maybe they were scoping out houses.

(My parents live out in the middle of nowhere in a teenie tiny town with like, population eleven. Anyone unrecognizable wandering up their road should raise immediate suspicion. The house should have been put on lock-down, the hounds released and the bunker retreated to)

Me: That's a little creepy. I guess it's a good thing Dad owns 750 guns and three attack cats. And some elk.

Since I'm pretty eloquent wordy, I thought I might make a poster for my parents, just in case the tractor was spotted cruising down the main drag.

MISSING
John Deere Tractor, green
Last seen on 10 acre plot in the middle of nowhere
Useful for mowing grass and other activities
Please raise your hand if you see it


My parents filed a police report for the missing tractor, but Mumsie couldn't shake the feeling that it was just too weird for someone to steal their tractor. She called me back a few days later.

Mumsie: Found it.

Me: Where?

Mumsie: Where we usually park it. Except it was under a tarp.

Me: Dude.

Mumsie: Yeah.

Apparently my 9 was the last kid on it and covered it with the tarp so it didn't get wet in the rain.

I amended my poster.

MISSING
My parents sanity and eyeballs
Good luck finding those

Friday, November 30, 2012

Out of my Mind

Le week prior to le Finals.

When everyone dies in a flurry of study guides, paper cuts and tears.

Except me.

I've been screwing around on Facebook and writing blog posts (most of which I haven't posted. You are WELCOME).

Hey. Those are my two loves. Well, besides my kids, but I kinda felt like that went without saying.

Sometimes those mindless interweb moments are completely necessary. Sometimes we get up in the morning, walk the herd of neighborhood elementary girls to school, come home to find that our middle schooler has YET AGAIN missed his bus because playing fetch with the cat seemed like a better idea than brushing his teeth, so we drive him to school while lecturing the importance of punctuality.

And then we rush off to an appointment involving absolute REAMS of paperwork, swearing and math, and then we rush back home to grab books so we aren't late to class, only we forget what day it is for a sec because we've been rushing around all morning and we show up to the right class with the wrong books, and later in the day we don't have anything for the 3-hour class. So we sit there with a dumb smile on our face while our instructor narrows her eyes at us and asks why we are unprepared.

We consider informing the instructor that we should band together as redheads and take over the world, but luckily we realize that our children's constant comments about Gingers are affecting our brain, and just in time we change the previous comment to simply excuse ourselves from this day of craziness. We take a sec to play around in Photoshop until we realize how much our desire to own the program has turned into pure hatred of all things Shop and then we sneakily write death notes to Adobe on the back of one of our assignment sheets only we can't actually mail them for two reasons: 1] Because we don't even know where Adobe is located and 2] we never buy stamps because everything is done electronically. Plus we could go to jail for threatening. And also our name is on the front of that assignment sheet. I guess that's technically four.

Bliss would be coming home to three beautiful children greeting me with hugs and loving words of how much they missed me.

I said WOULD BE.

Instead I was greeted with a look of terror by one child (remind me to ask him what he was doing in order to react that way), complete silent treatment by the middle kid, and a glare from the littlest one.

Yay.

At least I came home to the right house with the right kids.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

None of this relates in even the smallest way

Peeps, I regret to inform you that the photos from Thanksgiving just aren't going to happen.

Like, ever.

For I, THE most patient person in this world, and quite possibly the entire universe, is sick of trying to get them uploaded.

Maybe by May I'll revisit this annoying issue and we can all have seconds on Turkey.

Knowing my memory, I'll forget and we'll never speak of it again.

Hey, so last week I watched the Avengers. Loved it. Gonna marry it.

Tonight I watched Captain America.

Liked it, not really gonna date it.

Tomorrow I want to watch Thor and that wolfman one and all the others.

I'm going to stop making weird relationship references to movies now.

But. Question.

How come there aren't more chick crime fighters? I'm sure there's a joke out there that one of you in particular would like to make, but seriously.

Why didn't Marvel include more ladies? I mean, there's Wonder Girl and Super Girl and maybe one other. No? Anyway. Do you think they'll remake those movies? I watched them 900 years ago when I was a kid and don't remember them. Gasp. Hold on. Those might not even be Marvel. DUDE. Why does all this boy-stuff have to be so complicated?

I could always take to Google, but seriously, you guys read my last post. I'm not even going there. Because I CAN'T.

I'm not bitter. I'm calm. This is me calm.

So really. Someone out there tell me why all the rescue heroes have to be men. Chicks are strong, too! I mean, we complain a lot and half the time we're yelling, "I'm not doing that! It'll ruin my new shoes!" Whatever. Create an indestructible boot and we'll be fine.

And while you're at it, can someone tell me who won the Powerball? I can't look that up either.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Eff it all.

Post about Thanksgiving? Sure. Include multiple photos, some of them very incriminating? LOVE TO. Exploit everyone in my family? YOU BET!

What are we waiting for, you ask?

Gee. I don't know. Perhaps we are waiting for my brand new computer to stop shutting down randomly and freezing. You know: The type of crap everyone else deals with when they drop a few hundred bucks on a piece of junk and expect it to work more than 16 days (actually, I can't even remember when I bought it, but it was THIS MONTH. That I am sure of.)

Seriously? I mean REALLY.

Maybe I'm PMSing, but I kind of want to get in my car, NOT wear a seat belt as I drive recklessly through the rain-drenched streets, screech into the parking lot of the store and stomp through to the electronic's department (can I borrow someone's big man boots for effect?) and then wait impatiently while someone gets the effing sales guy who sold me that thing so I can punch his lights out.

For real.

I do no have anger problems.

I have satisfaction issues.

And a little bit of Redhead Attitude.

Which usually makes things worse.

Except when we're talking about revenge.

Only, I can't really type about it because then it could technically be considered premeditated.

It's not like I'm going to kill him.

That's ridiculous.

Nope. I'm going to tie him to a chair, a REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR, and force him to use that crappy laptop he sold me. Only I'm going to give him a list of 3 websites that must be viewed within the hour (good luck getting them to load!) and then I will require him to write a one page review of those sites using Microsoft Word (yeah, the same program that keeps shutting down without warning) and then print his review (using the same printer the laptop refuses to recognize). Then, he can run a virus scan using the program I just bought that WON'T INSTALL.

I'm having a bad day.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Revenge. Serve it however.

DUDE.

If today were a scene from a horror film, I would have won an Oscar.

Rawr and I were leaving Chuck E. Cheese (DUDE what a madhouse!) tonight after my niece's birthday party. Rawr was piling her kids into her car, while myself and my three kiddos were a fair amount behind her, still walking along the sidewalk.

And suddenly, I had an idea. Payback. Because I'm a b*tch.

Once, a long time ago, Rawr sneaked into my house, walked around the corner and scared the crap out of me. So I hit her.

It's my first reaction. I also don't like being tickled, as you may recall. I have inappropriate reactions to unexpected touching. Consider yourself warned.

And ever since, revenge has been simmering in the back of my mind.

I handed my keys to my 11, told the girls to pile in, and walked to the passenger side of Rawr's car. Her husband was getting into the driver's seat and totally saw me. And remained silent. A good man.

I stood there, hands at my sides, chin pointed down, and waited.

While Rawr was looking over her other shoulder and speaking to her kids. So I raised my hands, pressed my face into the glass, and waited.

While Rawr turned to her left and spoke to her husband.

DUDE. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO SPOOK YOU IF YOU AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION?!

So I moved my head around a bit, re-positioned my hands just an inch away from the glass and hovered until Rawr's husband finally took pity on me, pointing to the window where I stood.

Juuuuuust as Rawr turned her head, right before eye contact, I sprang at the window and slapped it with my hands, yelling, "RAAHH!" at the top of my lungs.

I saw it all in slow-motion. Rawr's eyes opened wide, her mouth round with a scream, her arms raised in defense. I think she thought she was going to get murdered or something. 

Then it was all really fast, I saw flying hair, hands flapping at the air and I heard a lot of screaming. I ran away from the car gasping for air, I was laughing so hard. 

I could hardly get the door to my car open because my eyes were tearing so bad and I was terrified that she would get out of her car and come after me.

I hoisted myself into the driver's seat and leaned against the steering wheel, trying to get a grip. I looked over into Rawr's car and saw her husband laughing, Rawr laughing and then flipping me off.

Which you know, we've been talking to the 4 and 5 about recently because some kid at school was doing it, so I don't think Rawr was setting a very good example.

It took me a few minutes to stop laughing so hard, and it was a few more minutes before I stopped snorting with laughter every time I imagined the look on Rawr's face when I smacked the window.

It's totally worth whatever she does to get back at me.

Dude. This bugs me. I worked really hard on this depiction and Paint jacked it up right as I was putting the finishing touches on Rawr's dead eyes and shrunk the whole file. I couldn't fix it. Stupid Windows 8. Maybe you can zoom... The words just say "HAHA."






Saturday, November 17, 2012

It's not what you think it is

My children take sick pleasure in making sure that I look like a fool as often as possible.

I also suspect that the middle one keeps a journal of all the times I'm embarrassed, but I've snooped through all her stuff and I can't find it. Just out of curiosity, how old do you have to be to rent a safety deposit box?

Tonight, I was over at Rawr's trying to re-watch the movies we rented last night, but couldn't pay attention to on account of the fact that one of them sucked and we just ended up throwing back a few six-packs. Which makes me sounds like a nineteen year-old college freshman, but you know what? I don't care.

THE HOLIDAYS ARE COMING AND SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED A LITTLE SOMETHING TO NUMB THE CRAZY.

So we tried to watch the movies for the second time, only didn't pay attention tonight either. This time all we were drinking was diet soda, so I'm pretty sure the cause of the distraction was the pile of Halloween candy Rawr and I were scarfing down (Yeah. Some people never learn).

I'm not really sure what happened to Rawr growing up, but she drinks her soda warm from the can.

Yeah.

I KNOW.

Gross.

I was sitting on the couch, pouring soda into a glass of ice and explaining something very important to Rawr, I don't remember what exactly but it was probably very in depth and serious because I was looking at Rawr and not paying attention until the soda exploded all over the place and Rawr's house burned down.

Okay, that last part didn't really happen, but the explosion did. All over my lap and onto the couch and cushions and pretty much saturated my entire behind.

Rawr's 10 grabbed a towel and threw it at me so I could clean up the mess and then all the kids started pointing and laughing and ran away.

A few minutes later I was back on the couch when my 11 walked into the room.

11: Hi Mom. [eyeing me]

Me: Hey. What's up?

11: I heard you peed yourself.

Rawr: BAHAHAHA!!!

Me: [stare] I did not.

11: Then why are you sitting on a towel?

Rawr: [choking to death on her own face]

Me: Dude. It's soda.

11: Sure it is.

That's alright. Tonight, Rawr's 10 is staying over at my house.

The bowl of warm water is already waiting....

Friday, November 9, 2012

If Only

Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and scrap a particular experience. You know what I mean, right? Maybe it's the time you spot a friend in a crowded store and so you start jumping up and down, yelling and calling their name and basically just acting like a total idiot only to eventually discover that the person you're screaming at only looks like your friend and is now running away from you, so you try to adjust your hair, straighten your shirt and walk quickly away with your head down and hope no one noticed, only you know everyone did..

Totally have never done that. At least, not more than twice.

Other times, maybe you find yourself in a situation you didn't expect, and you're caught so off guard that you end up not being able to say things you needed to say and you end up feeling pretty crappy about the whole thing for the last week.

I've never done that, either. I am incredibly eloquent, yo.

My point is, there should be a rewind button. Or maybe like a Do Over Button. Possibly one of those MIB mind-eraser sticks. Everybody could get one in their Christmas Stocking. It's like the gift that keeps on giving.

Think about it. The 5 is forever chasing the cat around and doing terrible things to him like dressing him in doll clothes and locking him in the shower (not running, of course). If I had one of those mind-erasers I could just zap the cat and not have him shooting through the house like a wildebeast every time the 5 comes within range.

And as grown-ups, I'm pretty sure you and I can think of much more interesting situations where we could use that thing for evil. I mean good. Mostly evil.

OMG, I can think of all KINDS of ways I would use that for evil. Go up to the meanest person I know and just slap their face repeatedly, but zap them with the Mind Controller every time they're about to hit me back so that they're all like, "WHOA, wait. My face hurts. Hey. There's that Emily girl. Why is she so close to-OW! I'LL KILL YOU! YOU SONOFAB-- Hey. There's that Emily girl. OH! SHE HIT ME! I'M GOING TO--" and so on.

I'm not violent. There's just someone I've wanted to slap the crap out of since high school and if I had one of those thingies I could go take care of it in my own passive-aggressive manner.

Is it weird that I can't think of a single way I might use it for good? Oh well, I'm tired. Maybe if I was well rested I could think of something.

Probably not though.

You could really have a lot of fun with something like that. I'm not sure what kind of optical cancer we would all have, but I sort of feel like people would make the sacrifice.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween. May it die.

 So I barely made it out of bed this morning. I sort of felt like I may have been slipped a Butteringer Roofie and then blacked out for 7 hours worth of after-hours candy consumption.

Because I didn't eat that much, really. I think it was how many I ate in a row. Like, not to gross you out, but I had a moment of shame where I was shoveling candy in my mouth with two hands. But only for a second. It's not like it continued all night long.

I was teasing my 5 (who went as a Parrot) and she sort of got a little nasty? And so I may have grabbed her bucket and ran around the street yelling that I was going to eat it all. And then Squawker (which is what we called her the rest of the night) might have thrown a huge tantrum so I may have opted for a Mother of the Year Moment and started scarfing her candy because really? If you sit there and freak because I'm trying to goof off with you, I will make you cry.

Oh, stop judging me. If you've read my blog for a while you would realize that there are lessons to be learned and there are lessons to be taught. I prefer to be creative. And I never take it too far. Mostly.

Anyway. So I ate like, six pieces right then and there. Squawker got seriously pissed and told me that she was going to hide her candy from me, which I found amusing because there is no where in my house to hide anything. Plus, hello, I'm a Mom. I have eyes in the back of my head. Which she is very aware of.

Squawker eventually calmed down enough to hold my hand and continue trick-o-treating (coincidentally right after being given the option to either suck it up, or go home to bed AFTER I ate all of her candy which, in hindsight, worked out way better for me because those six pieces nearly killed me).

To backtrack a second: A bunch of us Moms in the neighborhood had decided to go together in a big group. Safety in numbers, right? I meant for the adults. Those kids were on a rabid sugar high by 4pm and had long ago lost their senses by the time we headed out to Trick-or-Treat. I did not dress up. Initially, I was going to steal Rawr's idea and dress as Peg Bundy. I know, right? AWESOME. Except I got busy and didn't plan accordingly. But Rawr did. She found this cool thing called a Sugar Skull. Check her out.


There was a very touching moment where I accidentally accused a Grim Reaper of being a child molester and Squawker decided it was better to hold my hand than possibly get snatched up by a towering black robe with red glowing eyes. And it was a tiny bit tricky to keep the handfuls of candy out of the kids' mouths. Every time I turned around one of them was plowing through another chocolate bar.

Something else that was incredibly fun and a First Time Experience for me (other than making accidental accusations because I was on a candy high and apparently lost the use of proper sentence structure) was when my 11 asked to go out with some of his buddies and like an idiot, I said "SURE, SON! YOU GO RIGHT AHEAD!"

Now. Please know that he was given the third degree. And Rawr's 13 was going as well. The boys were supposed to go with the other kid's mom.

Sweet thing about pre-teens. THEY LIE.

Which sucks for them because somehow my 11 got separated from the group and (in a moment of clarity) decided to come looking for us (aka All The Grown Ups). Which was smart.

What wasn't smart was the lie in the first place.

They are all so grounded.

Please rest assured that Rawr and I put the fear of God and Death into them. I may have even tied in my  story of meeting a (falsely accused) abductor. See? Everything happens for a reason.

My 11 was informed that all the loot he scored last night was now mine, and doesn't it so totally suck that all those lies and deception were for naught? For I own the candy.

He was pissed.

And glad to be alive.

I may have taken the Lesson a little far.

The kids were even more pleased to find out this morning that a local dental office will buy back Halloween candy at a dollar a pound, and then ship that candy overseas to our troops.

I think that's sort of awesome. Everyone wins.

Except the kids. Because I'm keeping their money in a Cavity Fund.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Ram-bunctious Moment

The other day, I was at Safeway standing in line, my hands full and my patience thin. It was one of those days where my Megatron Attitude was prevailing and there was no telling who was going to get smacked in the face with a banana.

Naturally, I'd just run to the store for one or two things. We all know how this ends. Cut to me trying to balance forty two things in my arms while someone behind me gets WAY TOO CLOSE and suddenly the cashier needs fifteen price checks while the runner is on break.

In front of me was a man and his daughter, who was probably about four years old, and they were playing a game together.

Aww.

NOT.

The game was, apparently, Ram Passive Daddy in the Leg with the Shopping Cart While He Pretends it's not as Bad a Parenting Moment as We're all Judging Him For.

And I know it was, because I'm fairly certain I heard his ankle bone crack and the accompanying expression pretty much released any doubt in my mind. The girl was laughing and asking her dad if it hurt, then ramming him harder. When he asked her to stop, she screamed NO at him and continued her death-ram.

I watched this ridiculous situation unfold in front of me and then my recently partially-educated brain kicked in and started analyzing the exchange. (You know how when you buy a new car, suddenly all you notice is how many of the same make and model are out there? Yeah.) Textbook images flashed across my brain. My Mom-Sense spoke to me. It was all very awesome.

Passive Dad caught my eye and, apparently, misinterpreted my wrinkled lip curl as encouraging  because he smiled and made some much-too-long-for-my-personal-comfort eye contact.

That's also the exact moment when the little brat clued in to what Dad was up to and she looked up at me.

Lil B: [narrowing eyes] Hello.

Me: Hi. [narrowing back, only mine were more intimidating because I'm much larger than a four year old and also I knew I was stooping to her level but whatever. We all have moments of regret]

I gave that little fake smile that all females perfect by age six and nodded, knowing all the while that I was going to hell for engaging in a showdown with a child.

But seriously? I was in a rush. I needed to get home and slap dinner on the table, I had a list of To Do's a mile long and I had to pee.

Mostly, I was scared the kid was going to ram me next and I have very weak ankles. Seriously. Last night my leg fell asleep and when I stood up I rolled my ankle and fell. Three times. I'm aware of my inhibitions. Besides, if Lil B broke my ankle, I was pretty sure she would throw my carcass in that cart, haul me off and devour my soul. As a redhead, THAT'S MY JOB.

Lil B and I eyed each other for a brief moment. The kid looked into my eyes and I swear to Gawd I could see into her little black soul and I didn't like it.

She stared at me.

Normally, I am very friendly with kids (hello, my profession is what? Yeah.) and I can reciprocate an exchange with a child and it all goes very swimmingly. This one made me nervous. (Please know that during the Stare Down she was still ramming her dad in the leg with the cart. WITHOUT EVEN LOOKING. She was that good)

Lil B's dad chose that moment to speak up.

P Dad: She likes you.

I glanced up at him. Alright, random stranger. Plus, I don't think she did. I looked down at Lil B and she was staring at my midsection. Nobody likes it when anybody does that, but it's especially weird when a child does it.

I gave one of those half smiles that don't reach the eyes and mumbled something in a non-committal way.

P Dad: Maybe I could get your number and you two could get to know each other.

WHAT. Like. A play date with Satan? No thanks. I think what you're looking for is a priest.

Me: Um. I'm sorry. I just don't think so.

Lil B continued to stare at me. I began to feel more and more nervous. What if this whole thing turned out like Cape Fear and Lil B crawled up under my car and rode home with me? I'm not Catholic. I don't have any crosses in my house. We would all die.

The dad shrugged, most likely used to being turned down by fearful strangers.

He left. I left. Through the opposite door.

Just to be safe, when I drove home, I parked in Rawr's diveway.

What? Her 4 would take that kid out in two seconds flat.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Learning to keep my mouth shut


I spent Saturday trapped in a classroom with twenty other people. For eight hours, the rain poured down, the atmosphere gloomy enough for Eeyore to off himself and I'd been trying to liven things up during question/answer time with what I thought were entertaining comments. Until the last one.

Instructor: (to class) You've got be able to reach the point where you're comfortable taking risks..... a little like Lady Gaga. She lives on the edge.

Me: Of glory?

Chick next to me: *high five*

Instructor: See me after class.

Me: CRAP

In my defense, she just wanted to talk about something else, but I will admit I spent the last 45 min of class terrified I was going to get an F just for trying to be funny. There was a brief mention of how she'd noticed in the last class that I used humor as a defense mechanism and that during this particular class period, it was very obvious. Apparently, I am frigging transparent because she's not the first person to freak me out with that observation.

But she wasn't upset. She said it was okay. But, that she was curious as to why it was so very present in my character.

Eh?

Um.

And then she stared at me, which made me uncomfortable because I was sort of hoping it was a rhetorical question.

So I smiled, shrugged and told her that I was mildly retarded.

She frowned.

I made it better, though, by telling her that I had a younger sister who was retarded so it was okay for me to use that term. She frowned harder, so I explained that my sister was dead, so really my sister couldn't be offended that I used her as an example and not to worry. Then I just got real with the teacher and explained that when I get nervous, all kinds of crap just comes out of my mouth and usually it's a train wreck and everyone wishes they were somewhere else. Especially me. Can you imagine how it is for me? I mean, being on the receiving end you can just walk away and be all like, that was weird. I probably won't talk to her again. But I can't exactly walk away from myself.

Well, I did walk with something from class that day. It was a referral to the school counselor.

Probably because they could use some help filing or something.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Edumacation

Hello.

I know you guys are still here because I can review my traffic counter and I know that, even though I disappeared off the face of the earth, you guys still check back to see if I've died.

Faithful readers.

What's wrong with you? You should have run while you had the chance.

Guess what I did.

I went and registered for classes this fall.

I KNOW.

WTF was I thinking?

I mean, college courses are so very obviously designed for young people in their twenties with functioning brains. For God's sake, I'm thirty-th... I'm not that young anymore.

But I did it. And I could describe the first three weeks of classes to you, but honestly? It wouldn't be funny. Oh, sure I could put a goofy twist on it. But I was a mess.

Inside my head. On the outside I'm sure I looked alright. I mean, I managed to shower every day and put my clothes on right-side out. I made a friend. Sort of.

That was about it, though.

Also, you find out weird things when there are people trying to educate others.

Like.

I'm taking a Human Development class that I am finding incredibly insightful. Only.... Apparently there's this thing we all have called an Inner Critic.

That voice that whispers in your ear Put down that super cute top marked 50% off because after that cookie you ate three days ago, your fat ass can't fit in anything other than a Mumu.

That may have been a little harsh, and it's just a generic example, but our inner critic is kind of a bitch. At least, mine is. Maybe yours is a little nicer and a bit more eloquent. I'll bet my Critic could learn a little something from yours. Don't get any ideas about getting those Critic's together for a mixer, though. The world could end.

Now that we know there's a bitch lurking in my head, allow me to introduce you to my other personality.

My Inner Defender.

Who is a giant pansy ass, by the way.

Also, I'm certain that personality is not the correct term, but you know what? Unless you're a licensed psychologist and can help me get rid of one and do a massive over-haul on the other, we'll just stick with the word personality. Because if we start referring to them as suppressed personas I will most likely freak out because I think that's some kind of actual condition that's different from what I'm complaining about. I'm not sure, but I think that the Critics aren't quite classified that way.

I could be wrong.

Anyway, who gives a rip.

And quit making me out to be the weird one because I learned that we all have this, so nice try. There are varying levels of crazy going on in all our heads. Some of us just hide it better than others.

Last Saturday, the instructor was going on about this Critic and how it's always bringing us down, man. She was explaining that we need to make sure we learn how to give our Inner Defender a voice in order to silence the Critic.

Hold on.

So there is this Red Devil Bitch Critic and she's mean. She yells rude things and tries to squash self-esteem.

And the Defender is supposedly MUTE? They chose the passive one to conquer the feelings?

DUDE.

Whomever wrote out this equation needs their ass kicked because it was doomed from the start.

Plus, my Critic and my Defender don't even speak directly to me. They already talk to each other. About me. When I can hear them.

I think they're both a-holes, anyway.

The Critic complains about my apparent failures, and the Defender is all like, "Yeah. I mean, you're right. But did you have to use that kind of language?" Which kind of makes her a Critic herself.

Nice going, Defender. You're going to want to update your resume.

Our homework before the next class is to write down everything our Critic says, then analyze it.

The instructor handed us a single sheet. With like, ten boxes. For two weeks.

Riiight.

My Critic will have that filled over the next day or so.

Less, if the Defender opens her mouth for an assist.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wakey Wakey

It was cold this morning.

I'd left the windows open on the first floor overnight, so when I got up this morning and tiptoed downstairs, coffee was the first thing on my mind.

Also, finding out where that annoying meow was coming from. Because it wasn't my cat. My cat was curled up on my bed, snuggled in next to my 5, which is where I wanted to be.

Instead, I was awake at 6am stumbling through Lego landmines in the hall and tripping over backpacks piled at the foot of the stairs.

The meowing was coming from someone else's cat out on my patio, so I ignored it while shutting the windows.

I sort of move on autopilot while I make coffee. I'm not really one of those people who claims to be brain-dead before getting a hit of caffeine. I just sort of go through the motions of a routine until I have the first steaming cup, and then everything else seems to come into focus.

Which is what I was looking forward to as I got the coffee beans from the cabinet, and the grinder from the counter.

It's sort of become customary for my brain to wake up in the middle of the night, ready to Think. It seems 3am is the favored hour. I usually fall back asleep after a while, but those of you who've experienced middle of the night bursts of wakefulness know that when you wake up the second time, when the alarm goes off, you feel like shit.

Not to mention, this morning I was getting a new kid.

No, not like a mail-order kid. A new addition to the hoard of children that surrounds me daily. I hadn't officially met the parents yet, and I was trying to get everything rolling before they showed up. When people pay me to watch their kids, I like to give them the impression that I have things together.

I'd started breakfast, yelled up the stairs for the big kids to get up, and then returned to the kitchen to finish getting the coffee pot ready.

Filling the pot with water, I put the filter into the machine and measured out the first cup of beans into the grinder.

Then pressed the button to grind the coffee beans.

Nothing.

Oh my holy hell.

No.

Push. PUSH. PUSHPUSHPUSH.

Frick.

The grinder was broken.

I checked the plug. I switched outlets. I wiggled the cord on the grinder, I shook it, I panicked.

How does one even go through a morning without delicious coffee?

My eyes landed on a butter knife. I looked at the grinder. The lid has a little lever that presses down into a little space, which makes something work in order to grind the beans.

(Yeah. Not so good with describing things. Roll with me)

Huh. I thought to myself. Maybe if I shove this butter knife into this little whatever, I'll get the grinder to work.

After I unplug it, of course. I'm not that dumb.

So I did. And then plugged it back in.

And nothing happened.

My brain quickly started calculating how long it would be before I got the three eldest kids out the door to school, before the new kid showed up and was made to feel comfortable and the amount of time it would take to get my 5 dressed and ferried to the car before I realized I didn't have a car seat for the new kid and that I wouldn't be able to grab coffee before noon, when I dropped the girls off at Kindergarten.

No. Too torturous.

Wait. Rawr was out of town. Rawr has ground coffee (savage).

It was simple. I would just break into Rawr's house and explain later.

Satisfied with my solution, I plopped the grinder down on the counter, then jumped about a foot when the motor sputtered to life, spraying coffee beans everywhere.

Ask me how that works when the lid is supposed to be on in order to grind the beans.

Well, normally one would take the butter knife out of the machine before haphazardly throwing it down on the counter.

In the end, I got my coffee, the new kid showed up, and all the kids made it to school without Zombie Mom forgetting their lunches.

I'd call that a mildly successful morning.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bob and Weave

Rawr asked me to do her a favor.

And I tried to avoid it, I really did.

Because I care. I like to think I am a nice friend, someone she can depend on for fun. I like hanging out and laughing with her. Not at her.

Shenanigans gets it. Shenanigan has her own friend, a professional, who does hair. Shenanigan is smart, and asked this professional hair friend to transform Shenanigan's beautiful brunette locks into a lighter version of beauty.

I was no where near those girls when that happened.

Because once, in high school, I was recruited by a friend of mine to help "frost" one of our other friend's hair (I won't even explain what "frost" means, other than MISTAKE). That was the 90s, peeps. You all MUST KNOW what that looked like. Brunette strands, weird white streaks, and a grown-out perm. With a hair scrunchie.

No.

So you must appreciate how stealthily I avoided Rawr, until one day when she cornered me in my living room and all but threatened to highlight MY hair if I didn't help her.

Eeks.

Fine. I went. Rawr got her cap. Or her Hair Plug Cap, as I came to call it.

Behold:

It looks like she went to Mike's Discount Plugs with a BOGO coupon.


I DID THIS TO HER.
Sometimes, letting me into her house, armed with a camera and ill-intentions, isn't the smartest thing for Rawr.

Um, just so you know, Rawr doesn't ALWAYS look like that. Sometimes she looks like this:

But, Rawr had roped me into the whole mess, and I'm not one to quit, so I just closed my eyes and did the best I could.

(Do you guys know how this stuff works? You go to a friend's house, down a shot of whiskey which is SO GROSS, and then your friend hands you a crochet hook and tells you to rip her hair out. It's weird. But I did it. Because I thought I was a good friend.)

And then, Rawr whiped out this dehydrator thing and told me that she had to shove her head under it in order to activate the color changer.

I felt like we'd just entered an old episode of Rainbow Brite.

Which was cool, because we were already traveling to 1992's hair style, why not go back another decade to the 80s?


Rawr poked her head out a few times and each time I refused to look because I was really afraid her hair would fall out and then she would try to scalp me and I'm not a fast runner and I just know I would end up looking like a Kewpie Doll after she got done with me. 



Which is extra bad because Rawr collects those things, and also because I don't like the idea of not having any clothing.

After what seemed like hours I made Rawr take her head out from under the heat blaster, at which point I silently screamed because her hair looked white. As in, Old Lady White.

I pointed to the bathroom and Rawr went to wash out her hair.

And. Um. Came back looking like some asshole had attacked her head with a copper weave. A crooked, ill-placed copper weave. With a hint of grown-out perm.

OMFG, I thought. She will kill me.

Rawr was smiling.

Smiling? Uhm.... okay.

This is later. After she dried it and combed it and I don't know, got a wig? Because THAT is totally NOT what it looked like when I first saw it.


Rawr: I think... OH MAN. I might have to bleach my entire head.

Me: [reflexive flinching and ducking] I didn't want to do it!

I guess it turned out all right in the end.

I mean, Rawr is still speaking to me. And she didn't have to shave her head.

Unless. No one plans revenge out loud.

Shit.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What did you do last night?

Thoughts from my subconscious mind in the wee hours of this morning:

What the hell is that noise? Is that my cat? Is he murdering a bird? Wait. It's 3:45am and birds don't even fly around at this hour. Not even the early one looking for worms and crap. OMFG, my cat is being killed. He's in the tarp outside under my second story window. He's choking to death. He's... wait. He was sleeping on my bed when I fell asleep. Where is he now? Did he get out? Is the window open?

OMG. What is that hissing noise? It sounds like something ate a wasp and is now doing it's best to hack it back up. What the hell is that NOISE?! I can't see anything because it's too dark.

Opossums. I'LL BET IT'S AN OPOSSUM. Rawr's husband saw them out the other morning. DID I CLOSE THE SLIDING DOOR LAST NIGHT?

I can't go downstairs to look. What if they've infiltrated the house and they're lying in wait? What if I walk down the hall into the kitchen and find ten thousand opossums perched on the counters, the fridge, the TV stand, covering the couch, hanging from the ceiling fan... Wait. I don't have a ceiling fan. What if one of them is the leader and it hisses attack! and they all fly at my face?

I'll just jump out of bed to close the door to the kid's room, I can check Elle's to make sure it's shut, then barricade my own.No way am I going downstairs.

It was all very terrifying, Peeps.

The longer I lay there listening to the hissing and spitting and crashing through the tarp, the less PETA-friendly I felt. I was leaning more toward shovel-assisted homicide when all of a sudden my cat flew out of nowhere and landed on my shoulders. I now know that if ever I am attacked in the middle of the night, all I will do is freeze in terror with my mouth open in a silent scream.

Good to know.

Then I was like, DUDE. Cat. Aren't you supposed to run that shit off? We have claim jumpers out there on the patio and all you're doing is meandering over to the window, kicking back on the sill and looking down into the night with a noble stare, thinking, "Human. Something out there is making noise, You should go check that out."

Somewhere around 5am, I fell back to sleep.

This morning, I went out to the patio and gingerly lifted the tarp, half expecting a rabid animal to fly out at my face.

Nothing. No shreds, so mess.

Almost like I dreamed the entire thing.

Except I didn't, because Elle asked me this morning if Petey had been murdered. Good to know that the both of us are total wimps and wouldn't be able to defend our household. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A post in which I over-use parenthesis.

My 5 and I have been spending quite a bit of time chatting lately. With more substance than usual, I guess I should say. My 5 usually follows me around yakking about all kinds of things, but since her first day of Kindergarten last week, we have moved on to bigger, more worldly topics (oh, I didn't blog about her first day? That's because she threatened to disown me for abandonment and I'm still not over the entire situation. Maybe later. Right now I'm trying to heal).
.
This evening after her bath, we sat on the floor by the top of the stairs folding clothes (don't judge me. If you saw my tiny house, you'd be shocked that it came with a laundry room, let alone three bathrooms. Someone wasn't prioritizing with space. I'm willing to bet it wasn't a woman). I used the opportunity to delve a bit more deeply into school. I asked if she's made any friends, and she said yes.

5: I met a boy, Momma.

Mild panic. Nothing to worry about. It's just a boy. He's probably ugly.

Me: Was he nice? What was his name?

5: [shrugs] I don't know his name. BUT HE HAS REALLY NICE EYES.

There goes that theory.

Me: [gulp] Um. Really.

5: Yes. And I want him to be my BOYFRIEND! [insert maniacal laughter here with some kind of weird buck-toothed grin that I've never seen before, but could become a fan of because it will most likely keep ALL the boys away. Even Jesus]

Let us pause here for just a moment.

WHAT. THE. EFF.

She is FIVE YEARS OLD.

I thought I had more time, seeing as how my nine year old daughter is not even boy crazy yet and she's in fourth grade. I was waiting to read Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret with each of the girls at the appropriate age. Mostly to see how grossed out she is when it gets to the part where all the girls get their periods because I know that when I read it, I was completely disgusted and wanted to die.

BTW, on a Super Side Note related to the filthy topic above, check this out. WTF?!

I'm sorry you had to see that. But I was just flipping through those stupid Facebook Quote thingies and since it couldn't be unseen, I wanted every one else to be grossed out, too. I won't ever do anything like that again.

Back to my 5 and her infatuation with No Name.

Me: Do you know what a boyfriend is?

5: [thoroughly amused by this conversation] Yes. You use them for kissing. And other things.

Me: [gasping for air] What. Other. Things?

5: Getting your snack. And putting away the glue.

Me: Alright.Yes. Um. You should do that yourself.

5: Momma? Why don't YOU have a boyfriend?

Me: [seizing the opportunity to drive it home] Honestly, babe? Because I got cooties from kissing a boy in kindergarten and no one would ever talk to me again EVER EVER EVER.

5: EW! You're disgusting! I'm never kissing ANYONE!

At which point she gets up, screaming with laughter, and runs through the house shrieking Momma has cooties!

Meh.

It was worth it.

Visibility Options for a 5 year old

My 5 and I were having a conversation this morning while we cleaned out her closet. When I say we, I actually mean I, since my 5 was trying pretty hard to look busy, but failing miserably.


5: [edging over to dollhouse and eyeing me to see whether or not I'm watching her, which I AM] Momma, why don't we have candy all over the house?

Me: Because the inevitable sugar craze would kill us all. [handing her a pile of socks and pointing to the dresser]

5: NO IT WOULDN'T. [shoveling socks into drawer] I would eat a lot of it, and then I would hide the rest so no one else could have any. And then I would grow into a huge candy monster and EAT YOU ALL! MUAHAHA!!

Me: .....

5: When is Halloween?

Me: In two months. Here, put these shirts away.

5: [taking a moment to think about this revelation] I will be a ninja. A white one. [takes shirts and proceeds to put them all on, one by one]

Me: Okay. Except that ninja's are typically black. [taking the shirts off of my 5 and returning them to the drawer]

5: Except that sometimes they are white, so they can hide in the snow.

Me: Do you plan on snow this year?

5: Yes. [jumping to her feet] Because then I could get all the candy and no one would see me because I would be INDIVISIBLE AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!


Well... at least they're still saying the Pledge of Allegiance in Kindergarten.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Wash and Hide

My kids have chores.

Sometimes, I even enforce them.

There are the typical chores such as tidying the living room, picking up the pile sweatshirts and backpacks from the floor in the entry way, and loading the dishwasher.

Mostly, I just ask the kids to help out at random and they will.

But then there are some chores that I personally detest doing.

Like laundry.

Because there is always a massive amount.

I will wash and dry and fold the clothes, but my kids are responsible for putting the clothing away by themselves.

I don't always agree with the way the shirts get shoved into the drawers, or how socks are randomly shoved in every drawer but I've made peace with the fact that I con't control everything they do. If my 9 wants to wear a wrinkly shirt, so be it.

This morning, my kids spent about forty-five minutes arguing about which one of them got to use the bathroom first, then another fifteen minutes debating the fairness of who got the last waffle, so by eight o'clock they were rushing around the house like mad trying to get out the door on time.

Which left their enormous mountain of laundry piled up in the hall, since all of the kids spent the weekend neglecting chores and opting to play outside instead.

No big deal. Sometimes, I don't mind helping out and will ferry laundry to the appropriate dressers. I really needed to vacuum the hallway, so I decided to put the laundry away myself. I figured the kids could help out in other ways, like running errands and paying bills.

I was putting away the 5's stack when I noticed her drawers seemed pretty empty. That kid has quite a bit of clothing and everything needs to be put away in a certain manner or else nothing will fit.

I stood for a moment, pondering the issue. I'd just washed every article of clothing in the house, and there I was holding the last of her shirts. And the drawers were only half full.

Perplexed, I turned to put away my 9's socks and that's when I saw it.

A leak.


Seems my 5 had just been stashing her laundry between the dresser and the dollhouse.

How clever.

How detrimental to her freedom.

Guess who has full laundry detail for the next week?

Oh, yeah.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Break Down: Both Mechanical and Mental

Yesterday was an exciting day.

I am totally lying when I say that.

Yesterday was a terrible day.

The night before, I'd attempted to use my laptop. And I didn't get very far because that old, broken piece of junk kept turning itself off. Repeatedly. After about fifteen infuriating minutes of attempting to get it running, I slammed the lid shut and swore at it, telling the electronic POS that I was replacing it with something new and better and I would finally be happy.

I'd had enough.

 In the morning, I coerced Rawr in accompanying me across the river to Oregon (no sales tax!) where together, we would select a laptop that wasn't set on destroying my sanity.

Now. If I had my way, I would totally snap THIS BABY up in a heartbeat.
Behold:  The MacBook Pro.
(insert gospel music here)




Isn't it beautiful? I mean, compared to THIS?


 And this is with the lid closed. Alignment seems a bit off.
(I hate you, you stupid Compaq Bastard. I hope you get the Trojan Virus and DIE. 
After I back up all my files, of course)

Alas, my dream of owning a two thousand dollar laptop is not in my immediate future. But that's okay. I am all for delayed gratification. But only in some instances.

I went for the partial gratification. Really, all I use my laptop for right now is Facebook, Blogging, organizing photos and diagnosing herpes via WebMD.

I figured I could buy a relatively inexpensive laptop for a few hundred dollars and then someday, when I win the lottery or rob an ice cream truck, I'll buy the super-pricey computer.

Rawr and I promised her husband that if he watched all seven kids, we would be back within ninety minutes and then he could watch football all the live-long day, to which he reluctantly agreed.

We drove to the neighboring city and made it to the store. Cut to four hours later, fifty-seven calls to various towing companies and one seriously irritated Ginger later, and you have MY afternoon.

I ripped the gear shifter thingie-ma-bob off my car.

DAMNIT.

I mean, all I was doing was shifting gears and when I stepped on the gas there was a huge revving sound and I was like, "Oops, guess I'm in neutral," then tried to re-adjust.

And that's when I realized the gear shift was sort of lax and swinging all around the place.

I looked at Rawr. Her expression was a little hard to dissect. Some horror, a little bit of WTF, and a lot of NOOOOO WE ARE IN THE GHETTO! GET ME OUT OF HERE!

For we had mistakenly trusted Mapquest and ended up in a rough area of town. Well, how was I supposed to know! I don't live there.

We eventually got a truck to tow my car to a repair shop. But it took an eternity, and Rawr's husband had to come pick us up. Rawr and I thought we were going to get initiated right there in the parking lot while we waited. 

So I will have to wait until Monday to see what the heck actually happened and what the repair costs are. I'm pretty sure that it's just the gear box. And I'm willing to bet the part will cost less than $11. The labor? Oh, knowing my luck it'll take 36 hours to rip it apart and put it back together.

I'll let you know.

And the best part?

I didn't get the laptop.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Shantytown. And Angry birds.

Sooooooo.

Spent the weekend in Eastern Washington attending a three-night concert for the Dave Matthews Band..

Yeah. Ugly as all get-out over there, and dry. And effing cold at night, but about a thousand degrees once the sun hit the tent. I felt a little bit like I was going to die of exposure over the weekend and I'm not going to lie- I was kind of hoping I would.

I mean, I like DMB and all (because I have two brothers who can take me out in about three seconds flat if I say otherwise), but if any of you saw my Facebook status on Thursday, you know I entered into that trip with a real winner of an attitude.

I didn't really lose the attitude, either. I tried Sips, I tried dumb games, I made fun of people. I even tried to smile (bad idea without chapstick).

I could give you a run down. It went like this:

Went to sleep. Woke up. Didn't do crap all day. Went to concert. Came back. Fell asleep in sub-zero temps. Woke up. Repeat. ALL WEEKEND LONG. The End.

Lame.

My attitude, not really the weekend. Everyone else had fun. I'm pretty sure I'm the one responsible for my mediocre experience.

I did snap a few photos, though. Can't just sit in a camp chair and stare into the sun for the entire day.

 Raise the roof. Erm, tent. This was important, as it was about 15 degrees outside. 

 Naturally, we needed a light. How else were we going to hang it up?

I guess my ass is good for something after all. The tent was mildly difficult to set up, but we got it together (no photographic proof, though)

The next morning, the sun rose on Shanty Town, which turned our tent into a Gas Furnace. 

Looking for our campsite? Take a left at the giant Blow-Up Doll. We named her Stephanie.)

Someone didn't hydrate.  Booze and water definitely need to flock together.

We ran out of things to do, so I opened a salon. This was what started It. The Hair Fight.

Blogz wanted in on the action and was, apparently, displeased with the results. 
CLICK HERE to see his revenge. 

Warm Arbor Mist, anyone? I didn't think so. 

Blogz kinda had to pat Gary down after that action. 


After a day of drinking the warm Mist, we headed out to the concert. 
Oh, hey, look. Mumsie and her favorite kid. Yay.

Boyd and Dave rockin' out. 

I wish I was able to let you in on what I said to Mumsie, but I had a few beers and I actually can't remember. But it looks like it had quite the effect on her, right?

We met some new friends after they invited themselves into our group photo.

The next day, I became bored so I started taking photos of grass.

 Dangerous game. You pull a block and have to do what it says. We may have taken the initiative to write down a bunch of our own, ie: Hit your sister and Streak the neighboring Campsite

Gary got tired of people wandering through our camp, so he set himself up with the staff and became Gandolf Gary.

 Later the second day, at the second concert: They was a smart group. Yup.

 I believe Blogz and I almost got into a heated thrown down, MMA style. Luckily, I didn't have to kill him.
I do believe this was my favorite photo of my brother engaging in Dance at the concert. 

 Pay special attention to Elle's face.

Then I discovered I had alien blood instead of red blood. Except later I found out my glow stick was leaking and they asked me to stop wiping it on people and yelling Gingers vs. Humans.

 Um, does this remind anyone else of anything? I told Elle that is the sea of people started disappearing into boxcars, I was jumping the fence and getting the hell out of there. 

 Elle brought paper lanterns...
 ... that I seriously thought would catch my tent on fire. But they didn't.

 Random guy who would spend the weekend yelling "BLUE BIRD!" while running through camps.

 Gary and I passing the time with some PVC pipe we found (I totally lost this game. Gary later broke the pipe and tried to kill Blogz)

We spent a short time on The Island before getting voted off.


Pabst Blue Ribbon Face. Don't drink that stuff. Ever. 

 I liked this guy. He was honest. I did not give him a ticket. Or food. But I did smile.

Things you do when you drink:


 Uh, apparently I am very cooperative when I've had a few. I guess I'll do something like throw a West Side gang sing when I live on the EAST SIDE.
Blogz was the one who made me.

Would I go next year? Mm, probably not. I'm too old for this stuff.

Wait.

Nah, that's about right.

I'm old.

Dangit.