Monthly Archives: February 2012

Midnight

We have a cat.  A horrid, terribly-behaved, mongrel of a black cat that just so happens to be my daughter’s entire reason for living and breathing.  I have threatened this cat’s life so many times that I have lost count.  And every single time I threaten the cat’s life, I can hear imaginary cash-register sounds ringing up in my head tallying the amount I will owe for future shrink bills because evidently this traumatizes my kid…who likes the cat.
Why did I ever bring this cat home, you may ask.  I brought the thing home because at one time it was cute and fluffy, and it was a baby that purred and played, and it COULD HOLD ITS DAMNED BLADDER.  Now it seems the only thing the cat litter box is good for is a stepping stool to boost said feline’s aging arse up to the windowsill so she can sit there and mock me as I come and go from my driveway.
We have figured out a few things that work fairly well.  For example, she only pees on things that are on the floor.  Great.  Except for the fact that we also happen to have two 4-year-olds, so everything is on the floor.  And even when we pick things up, more things end up on the floor.  So I find myself going from zero to hysterical, suddenly shrieking things like, “So help me God, if I find one more sock on the floor, I will ban all socks from this house forevermore!”  And stuff like that.  Which is unreasonable.  (Unless you have a sock-seeking-pee-missile of a cat, in which case, this is extremely reasonable.)
We have tried locking the cat in the bathroom, and before you go all freak-out animal activist on me, it’s a very nice bathroom with a nice window, and we’ve given up a lot of family space for the cat to have its own room with its own bed and food and box.  So, essentially, we just made her a nice space in a smaller portion of the house, which just so happens to have a tiled floor.  Bonus.  I have since been lectured about this by my very concerned mother-in-law who is more than welcome to adopt the cat at any time, with my blessing.  She has not taken me up on this offer, however.
Also, my own mother just asked me why the cat didn’t have an “accident.”  Um, hello, Crazy Horse, because I’m sane.  And I want my kids not to kill me in my sleep some day when I’m old, that’s why.  Also, I like my daughter, and if we all have to live without socks for the next 7 years until the cat kicks it, then I guess that’s what we’ll do, because I brought the thing home in the first place.  And she does still purr a lot, and she’s sweet.  And it’s kind of cute how she walks around with that middle-aged cat FUPA swinging all around.
Oh, and also, now I’m pretty sure I know what happened to the mutt I adopted right before I left for Ecuador in high school.  You know, the one that “disappeared” that year I was gone?

Fugitive

Have you seen this person?

Last seen at Burger King, considered armed with barely-contained energy and dangerously impulsive.  May be wearing SpongeBob t-shirt and Mickey Mouse crocs. (We like to make a fashion statement when we leave the house.)
Suspect was seen overpowering several Burger King employees and forcing himself behind the counter to acquire a child-sized paper cup, believed to be for consumption of a carbonated beverage.
Oh ma Gawd, I am raising a criminal!  Today it’s a Coke.  Tomorrow, he’s going to be jacking a car.  Fabulous.
So here’s the sitch.  We have been talking about choices and how we have to live with those and yadda yadda and all that Sesame Street hooey that we need to tell our kids so that they grow up to be productive members of society.  So groovy, I had just talked to both boys before we ordered our kiddie meals.  Jadon wanted a fountain drink so that he could refill it after playing, BUT Jordan wanted chocolate milk.  I told him that was fine, but there were no refills on chocolate milk.  I JUST WANTED TO MAKE THAT CLEAR TO THE VERY INTELLIGENT 4-YEAR-OLD.  He smiled.  He nodded.  He wanted the damned chocolate milk.
We proceeded to the play area with our meals where the boys began to act like striped-assed apes typical boys for about 45 minutes.  They came out of the gerbil tunnels all sweaty and sticky and thirsty, and they drank their chosen drinks.  So far, so good.  Are you with me?  They ate a little bit.  They then went back to play.  Here’s where the problem begins.
When they came back out of the habitrail tunnels for the second time, they were thirsty again.  Jadon had a cup we could refill, so we proceeded to the front of the restaurant to get him something else to drink.  Jordan had nothing but an empty chocolate milk container and a 4-year-old brain that suddenly did not understand the concept of ALL GONE.
I turned my back for 1 gazillionth of a second to help Jadon with his lid—I swear, that’s all—and the next thing I see is Jordan standing next to the Coke machine with a paper cup he is filling to the brim.  He is wearing a look of utter satisfaction, and I suddenly register the fact that the entire Burger King staff is hysterically laughing behind me.  I turned around, mortified, and asked, “Oh. Ma. Gawd.  Did my kid just steal that cup?”
I’m pretty sure the guy behind the counter nodded ascent, but he was too busy peeing his pants laughing as he described to me how Jordan confidently marched behind the counter and helped himself to what he needed in order to get his beverage.
I immediately grabbed my wallet and began to pay for the drink, but the cashier waved me off and told me that was the most entertainment they had had the entire night.  And he didn’t even call the cops.  Yay for us.
And all the while my kid stood there with Coke running down his arm and a look on his face that said, “All gone, my ass.  And while you’re at it, I’m gonna need a lid.”

Missing Wilson

You know that scene in Cast Away when Wilson the volleyball is lost at sea and Tom Hanks is devastated to lose his one and only friend?  His true companion?  The one ‘person’ that has kept him company, listened to his stories, sat with him around campfires, and all those other things you do when you’re on a deserted island?  Yeah, that person.  Wilson was that person.  Wilson was HIS person.  All he had in the world.  And the cruel, cold ocean swept him away.
Well, girl.  Lemme just tell you what happens when a 14-year-old girl loses her Northface jacket, because it’s similar in scale and scope to the devastation faced by Mr. Hanks on that island.  There is a theme in some of my blogs that revolves around tears and snot and falling into deep, black pits of depression, but that’s mostly when I talk about things that have negatively affected the teens in my life.  (Like, for example, if we don’t have taco sauce or we forget to DVR some vampire show or even if we wake up five minutes late and don’t have time to put on an extra coat of mascara—you know, life’s devastating little moments.)
Anyway, I’m about to tell you about a tragic, tragic moment—a moment so dire that you will need to prepare yourself mentally (put on a sad face and act sufficiently stunned, because if you do not, you will risk the wrath of…the MOURNING teenager).  Two nights ago, on a cold and stormy night (not really, but it makes the story sound better), we left the gym and made the long trek across brutal windblown lands (through a few subdivisions to our warm, well-lit home), and just as we arrived, a keening wail pierced the air.
“My Northface jacket!”
It actually sounded more like, “MyyyyyyNoooooorrrrtttttthhhhhFaaaaaaaaaceeeeJaaaaaacket!!!!” and somewhere in the middle of it a high-pitched ringing began in my ears.  It was a terrible wail, and I knew then and there that the legend of the Wailing Teenager of Lee’s Summit was true.  They say she roams the streets at night looking for her lost jacket and crying and whining to anyone who will listen.  (Hint:  Don’t whine to me, because I’ve been up since 5:30 a.m., and I just finished working my second job.  Talk to someone else, Sweetie.)
Oh crap, that’s no werewolf, that’s my kid.  Say what?  Is that actually a 14-year-old CRYING over a coat?  Why yes, yes it is, now that you mention it.  We are four years away from supposed adulthood, and those are tears over a jacket.
But I digress.  Here’s what went down.  Evidently, I forced her to leave the jacket on the trampoline at the gym, AND not only that, but THEN I failed to remind her that I forced her to leave it there.  Dang it, I’m mean.
The tears went on for approximately 16 hours, more or less.  I think they stopped when she slept, but I’m not sure.  There may have been sleep-tears, but if so, I slept right through ‘em.
Here’s the kicker though.  The next day for school, she left in a size 3X plaid shirt-jacket thing that looked like it might have been handed down to her by a well-meaning homeless guy.  She looked utterly ridiculous, but she insisted that she owned nothing else, and since I refused to go back to the gym to recover her lost jacket the previous evening, she was left with no recourse but to wear whatever rags she could dig up.  (Nevermind the 20-ish coats and jackets she has lying around the house that might have looked slightly less homeless-y.)  She made her point.  And she showed me.
Wilson, we miss you!  Funeral services for Wilson will be forthcoming.
(The jacket has been recovered, but oh how I want to let her keep wearing the plaid shirt for a coat.)

Dental Work…With a Side of Tortillas, Por Favor

So yeah, our Sunday was fun.  Did you know that it’s difficult to find a dentist to do emergency dental work on a Sunday?  Especially on Superbowl Sunday?  Yup, well I’m here to confirm that for you, just in case you were wondering.  And the funny thing is, unless you are thinking ahead of time that you might need emergency dental work, you probably haven’t thought to get the personal cell phone number of your dentist, who is probably at home, stuffing his or her face with nachos and waiting for the big game to start.  Hmm, what to do?
The problem grows exponentially when, say, I dunno, your 4-year-old suddenly grabs the side of his head like his brain is exploding out of his ear, he screams in pain, and his shrieks become so loud that passing cars are veering out of your way.  Craptastic.  We either have a brain-eating parasite or a dental problem…neither of which is convenient (or cheap) on a Sunday.
Turns out that the kid’s filling had popped out of his tooth, more than likely from the stale and chewy candy he had “won” from the claw game at the pizza place the night before.  We took bets, and I’m pretty sure the candy had been in the machine since circa 1984.  Chewy was an understatement.  You could have used this stuff to patch a leaky tire.
Anyway, back to tales of glamour and intrigue (I know you’re jealous).  We were all on the way to the grocery store, because that’s what you do when there’s nothing left in the house but crackers and frozen chicken nuggets, so the whole fam-damily was in the car (well, minus the ones who have a social life and had other exciting things to do).  I’ll re-phrase—most of the fam-damily was in the car when this tragedy occurred.
We tried to call our dentist.  We really did.  Actually, I made Jason try to call the dentist.  He said, “Nope, there’s no emergency number, no on-call number.”
I said, “What the eff do you mean there’s no on-call number?!”  (Except we all know that I didn’t say ‘eff’—we know what I really said.)
He repeated and said that he didn’t know what I wanted him to do.  At that point I said that we needed to “find an effing dentist.”  (Except, you know the drill.  I didn’t say ‘effing.’)
So he googled ‘emergency-dentist-on-superbowl-Sunday-at-freaking-almost-game-time,’ and what to you think we got?  Oh, let me tell you what we got.
We got a lovely receptionist who told us to come right on over.  There were a few people ahead of us.  (Who knew?  Evidently there are a LOT of emergency dental issues that happen on Sunday.)  What-evs.  Yes, yes, YES!  Please and thank you.  We will take the appointment, because honestly, lady, I don’t think I can stand to listen to my kid whine for another minute about his tooth.  (What I meant to say is, “Oh my poor, sweet baby really, really needs to get some relief.”)
So she gave us the address.  In DA HOOD.  So we went do DA HOOD.  And that’s fine and all, but when we got there, we literally parked between a homeless guy and a tortilla stand, and we had to be careful not to hit a stray cat with our car as we parked.  The waiting room was approximately 112 degrees Fahrenheit, and it was about the size of, hmmm, my backseat, so I promptly went back outside to the car with Jordan and Marissa.
We waited in the car for something like THREE hours.  We hung out with the homeless guy, the stray cat, and the tortilla maker—and I swear I was within 2 minutes of hanging myself with my shoelaces when Jason and Jadon finally came out of the dentist’s office.
Do I need to remind y’all that Jordan is the one that’s a smidge hyperactive?  Yeah, I was in DA CAR in DA HOOD with him for THREE HOURS.  I’m pretty positive that if I had had Jordan’s medication with me, I would have taken it all for myself.  When I finally turned the car back on, everything simultaneously came on at once, since he had managed to fondle every. single. button. in. the. entire. vehicle.
So.  The tooth had to come out.  It had evidently rotted through nearly to Jadon’s brain, which was causing some amount of discomfort.  He seemed ok with this turn of events until we got to the grocery store.  (We still had to go to the grocery store, because no one wanted crackers and chicken nuggets for dinner.)
Somewhere about halfway through Hy-Vee the pain meds started to wear off, and Jadon began protesting his lost tooth and the pain that accompanied his situation.  And the white trash parade through Hy-Vee commenced.
He began howling.  And crying.  And snot came out.  And tears fell.  And incoherent words came out.
And we pushed the carts faster and faster.  He said he would be more comfortable if he walked instead of riding in the cart, so Jason obliged.  He took about two steps before Jason accidentally ran over his foot with the grocery cart.  And the wailing started again.
At that point, we began throwing supplies into the cart like we were preparing for imminent attack.  Jason grabbed the bread, and I ran for the bananas.  As Jason paid, I went to load the boys into the car in the parking lot, and Jadon could be heard for miles around screaming, “I just want my tooth back!  Put it baaaaacccckkk in my mouth!  Put it back!”
Um, yeah, how about a little more Tylenol?

The Beast

We keep the furry beast because I know of two little boys who “wuv their wittle puppy dog.”

(If you look really closely, you’ll see the two bite marks in the corner of the sofa that I had to sew.  Clearly, I am no seamstress, but Jason swears we will never, ever, ever until we die EVER get new furniture again over his dead body until the dog keels over, so I had to figure something out.)

Itchy

There are things that just make you itchy.  Well, there are things that make me itchy anyway, and when I mentioned this to Jason the other day, he simply told me, “There is seriously something wrong with you.”
But before you agree with him, hear me out.  You might just find that you have a very similar list of things that make you itchy.
It all started when we went to have lunch with Marissa at her elementary school.  Now, let me just say that my OWN child does not make me itchy, but sometimes other people’s children make me itchy, but only sometimes.   It’s really not their fault, and I try not to feel itchy…I really do.  It’s not the kids I know.  And not the kids of the adults I know.  It’s mostly the kids that make you wonder if they’ve brushed their hair or their teeth recently.  It’s the ones with the big knots in their hair or the ones wearing hats or scarves or wooly things.  Yeah, those kids for sure.  (I know!  Criticize all you want…it makes me a bad person, but I can’t help it, and it sometimes makes me itchy.)
Anyway, so there are other things that make me itchy.  Like hats.  And people who wear hats.
And static electricity.  And bulky sweaters (I would rather wear two big ol’ long-sleeved t-shirts).  And fake heat, like the kind from electricity, which is really bad, because it tends to get cold in the winter, and my family tends to like heat.
And then there are the itch-inducing things like sneezy people, who tend to make me want to sneeze, causing me to have an itchy nose.
And polyester, especially those hotel comforters that make you wonder who else has been on them and whether or not things soak into them or roll off of the semi-water-resistant material.  (Major EWWWWW factor, along with the itch factor.)
And so when we were at the elementary school watching the endless parade of kids go by, I found myself mentally sorting them into itchy/non-itchy columns, and I confessed this to Jason.  Which is when he told me he thinks there is something seriously wrong with me.  He may be right.  But I’m telling you, it made me itchy.

Righting the Wrongs of the World

My husband frequently accused me of trying to right the wrongs of the world.  He swears this is someday going to cause me to have a stroke or a brain aneurism or cause my eyeballs to just pop out of my head and land on the ground as my head explodes, and he may be right, but in the midst of all that happening, by damned, I will be fixing something that is drastically wrong with society.  So it will be totally worth it.
Lemme just give you an example.  Or twelve.
We’ll start small.  What happened to the words ‘thank you’?  Where did those words go?  Because I’ma just gonna say right now that if I hold the door open for one more entitled jerk who refuses to say thank you to me, I’m going to be forced to do a quick rewind of the entire scene and, instead of holding the door, this time, I’m going to do a quick-time door-slam-whammo-in-yo-face response.  Because I’m angry like that.  And yes, I know there are support groups, but I feel like I can work through my anger in more productive ways.  Like face-slamming the buttheads of the world.  Whew!  I feel better already.
Next, let’s move on to something a little larger scale.  When I am driving somewhere on the road, chances are I have a pretty good idea of where I want to go.  (Well, usually anyway, unless I’m just out driving aimlessly around, in which case it’s best to stay out of my way, because I probably forgot to take my meds or my kids drove me to insanity.  Or both.  Either way, just move.  Whatever.)  Anyway, I have a semi-coherent plan, which means that I know somewhat in advance when I plan to turn.  This means that if I suddenly dart in front of another moving car only to suddenly slam on my brakes and turn signal all at once, this makes me either a) an asshole or b) an incompetent driver.  Neither of these types of people should be in control of a moving vehicle.  If you do this to me on the road again, I will be sorely tempted to ram you from behind with my little Hyundai rat trap and pray that my airbag covers up the sound of my maniacal laughter, mmmm kay?
While we’re at it, here’s a little tidbit for the elevator cretins out there.  You know that panel with all the little buttons on it?  Yeah, when you see the doors clamping shut on someone’s leg and threatening to chop it off at the kneecap, you can push one of those little button thingies and get the magic elevator doors to open right back up.  Yep, I know it seems impossible, but it’s true.  So next time, instead of standing clutching your lunch trays like someone might steal them, you could reach out and push the little button (the one with the arrows pointing out, you know, signifying ‘open’), and that will allow the clamping metal jaws to release their prisoner and allow blood flow to once again circulate through the leg.  Yay, you!  You may have to take your eyes off of your cookie for a second, but you just played paramedic.
I don’t want to overwhelm anyone, so just a few more really quick tips for today.  If you clip your nails at the office, stop it.  That is disgusting.  I don’t go over to your cube and loofah the dry skin off of my feet, so I better not see your nasty nail clippings flying through the air.
If you are hungry enough to scrape your yogurt container for a full minute after it is empty, then for the love of all that is holy, please bring an extra snack.  I will even buy you a snack.  Really.  Want some nuts?  Protein bar?  Stop scraping the plastic spoon on the plastic container!  (I seriously want to take that plastic spoon, carve it down, and shank you.  I know that’s wrong, and I’m trying to work through that, but you are going to need to do your part to help me work through this by, oh I dunno, maybe not grating a plastic spoon across my cerebral membrane every single morning.)
Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but if you are the person leaving the butt paper behind on the toilet, you are going to eventually contract some horrible ass & mouth disease, and you will be forever plagued with germs that make you itch in unmentionable places for the rest of eternity because that is what happens to people who leave their butt paper behind for other people to flush.  That’s karma, and it itches.
So yeah, I might be accused of trying to right all the wrongs of the world, but it’s gotta start somewhere, people.  And I’m making a stand.  It’s going to start right here.  Right now.  Please.  Thank you.  Flush your butt paper.  Use your blinkers.  Don’t fling your fingernails at people.  There.  We can now all live in a civilized society.

Amen.  Where are my meds?  (What anger issues?)