Sunday, August 31, 2008

Your Commentary Please

I was going through some old photos that Mr. Farklepants has been scanning and uploading (downloading? whatever) onto the computer and came across this atrocious moment that was captured for blackmail posterity:

Her royal fatness (note: not phatness) on the right is yours truly. Shut up. I had just given birth to Boy-Child#2 five weeks prior and plus I was still nursing...and friends? My breasteses were enormous. That doesn't explain my closed eyes except that maybe I was all, "I can't look at these things anymore". The other two ladies are two of my sisters in law.

Because it's Labor Day weekend and apparently that means everyone has taken a break from visiting blogs [seriously, my Sitemeter is all, is this thing on?]; today's post (and perhaps tomorrow's post as well) is easy. Caption this photo!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Someone, Please, Help a Sister Out

This is Dorothy Z. She is my little sis. What you cannot tell from this photo is that I'm old enough to be her mother she has the coveted SJP [that would be Sarah Jessica Parker for those of you who don't speak Sex and the City-ease] hair. Thick and spiral curly. She is considering bangs. The photo on the left is her current look. The photo on the right is a photoshopped rendering brought to you by Mr. Farklepants of what she may (probably? will? possibly? not at all?) look like. It's a pretend "after" photo.

What do you think? Should she go for it? Or leave well enough alone? I'll withhold my opinion. Please vote in the poll below, if you would be so inclined. The poll is scheduled to close August 31st.

*I hope the poll shows up when published because Blogger isn't showing it to me in the preview which of course makes me wonder if it either isn't working at all or just doesn't show up in the preview. Which makes Blogger kind of useless in that regard. At the moment. I give it the raspberries.

****Edited to add: YAY!! It showed up! But, uhhhh...ignore that "answer 4 and 5" because, what? Clearly, I goofed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Then I Hurled Myself Off the Nearest Skyscraper

When I picked Girl-Child up from school yesterday the sun was shining, it was one hundred degrees outside, birds chirped and molted, groups of women chatted in sparse patches of shade. One lone father tried to blend in with a tree. The children were released and the air was filled with giggles, and squees, the sounds of running, and a few Hey, Mom hold my backpack wouldya's. All appeared so innocent. All was as it should be.

Once home, I set about my daily routine of checking Girl-Child's kindergarten folder and the first thing that caught my eye were the words "Dear Parents, Recently we have had a case...", and I thought oh dear God please! It's Strep. I just know it and dammit this is how we started school off last year when a particularly stubborn case kept looping itself around Boy-Child#1's classroom. So bad, in fact, that his classroom had to be DISINFECTED. Boy-Child#1? Totally got it. Twice.

At least strep throat is something that can be handled with a trip to the doctor, an antibiotic [even if it does taste like a trip to hell twice a day for ten days], some motrin, a couple of days off from school eating a few popsicles, and some comforting hugs from Mom for good measure.

But then I read the note further. And I can't even believe that I am here to tell you, because friends? This note sent me right over the edge... this note was far more sinister. It brought ominous news. In fact, Vincent Price was the narrator. It conveyed information that had me debating the quickest way to burn my house and all of its contents to the ground. Even my new couch that I'm still in the groping inappropriately and making out with phase. I grieved for my poor car that was surely going to have to be driven off a cliff.

I continued to read; {hatch} the note shaking in my hands. {small eggs} The words! Those awful evil words. I began to scratch involuntarily. {multiply rapidly} I couldn't stop. {not fly or jump but can crawl very fast} I was getting all twitchy. {nits} I ran to my daughter and started scrupulously inspecting her scalp. {signs of head lice infestation...} and to my relief (???) Girl-Child says, "Mommy, the lady at school already did this today". To which I asked, and did she say you were fine? "Yes".

LICE. FORTHELOVEOFGODNOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooo. Do you know what else this note of doom had the audacity to say? "Head lice is a rather misunderstood nuisance". Oh. Well. The poor dear. Hopefully its health insurance will cover its therapy bills. And who will help this family? Because sohelpmegod if even ONE of those parasites makes an appearance, this family will be homeless, without car, and bald.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Glimpse of My Neurosis

I once responded to a request for guest bloggers for a popular fashion magazine [I won't say the name out loud but it rhymes with "hammer"]. I sent the editor my contact information and a link to my blog and within the week, her assistant replied positively that I was chosen. She and I corresponded back and forth and I sent my post as instructed. I have no idea if there were just a couple of us who were selected or if everyone who responded was. What I do know is that was several months ago and my article never saw the light of day. To this day I check to see if it's been posted even though I know that what I wrote is no longer topical when it comes to fashion; they're not likely to highlight a piece about spring wardrobe with fall fast approaching. I'll never know if it simply wasn't what they were looking for, if they had enough fodder of their own and no room for mine, or if they thought it sucked boobies. Of course, because I'm me, I cling to the latter.

So, when Allison Worthington (aka Mrs. Fussypants) contacted me recently to invite me to be a contributor for The Buzz section of the Lifestyle Channel on the soon to be launched, and re-vamped online magazine, Blissfully Domestic, I?....freaked the hell out. As I am wont to do. And as honored and flattered as I was (and still am!), the flattery didn't prohibit me from retreating into my shell and sit on her email for a couple of days. I've mentioned before that I'm a worrywart and shy. So while I rocked back and forth and drooled a little during my anxiety attack, I criticized my own skills as a writer. Have you met my grammar's atrociousness?

I've never written for anyone or anything other than my own blog(s). It's one thing for me to write here and readers come of their own volition, but to write when someone is expecting something from me? Where I'm the creator of the piece and there are no right or wrong answers? I tend to freeze, flip out, and obsess. It's like when I was in school. I was not a math wizard but I could do it and it was easy because there were formulas and only one correct answer. If I made a mistake I could check it and see where I went wrong. In classes that were more creative where there were no right or wrong answers are where I had the most difficulty. Because I have this habit of over analyzing every detail. I make the simple, excruciatingly difficult.

Creative writing has always been easy for me, but because it came easy, I assumed there was something fundamentally wrong with the finished piece; because, why wasn't it harder? That was too easy. It must be wrong.

I accepted her invitation! But not before sitting on my hands to prevent myself from biting off all of my nails. Basket case, who?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Somewhere Between Tortoise and Hare

Last Thursday I guess it was, I had the television on for background noise and because there's clearly nothing else airing right now, the Olympics were on. I assumed what I saw on the screen was a marathon but it was pouring down rain (in China) and, truthfully, I wasn't really paying that much attention. Then I was like, they're walking. Walking really fast. Then I thought maybe it was because of the blinding rain that they slowed down for caution but then I was like, these are the mother effing Olympics! There's no slowing down in the Olympics! You're there to win, dammit! To hell with caution and weather. Then I completely lost interest.

Later, during dinner at my parents house, my father was talking about the Olympics because there is nothing else going on in the world right now. I mentioned how I had watched a few moments of what appeared to a marathon in the rain. My aunt asked if it was men or women. I was all, can you tell the difference? Because seriously they all look like malnourished crack addicts wearing patriotic speedos and visors. I mean, not really the athletic physique I aspire to achieve. Anyway, my father pipes up with "It's racewalking". And we all lauuuughed and lauuughed. Then he was like, "No, I'm serious. Racewalking is an Olympic sport". He was serious.

Are you kidding me?! W-A-L-K-I-N-G? Walking, albeit at a fast pace, is an Olympic sport? Walking isn't a sport! It's a natural basic instinct. Let's try a little experiment: Right now, go grab an infant that is just a couple of weeks old.

Go ahead, I'll wait. Did you locate one? Okay...

Now hold that infant up by the armpits and let his or her feet touch the ground. Aha! They're making a walking motion aren't they? One foot up then down. Then the other. That's what people do! They walk! Upright, in fact. It's what separates us from other mammals. [Well, one of the things and please don't come back to me flaunting your meerkats and circus bears in my face you get what I'm saying] And we're very proud of it!

Gymnastics? Not an instinctual discipline. You have to learn how to flip through the air. It takes practice to fling yourself over a vault and stick it. People were not meant to mount a four inch wide piece of wood [believe me, I know how that sounds and I really am talking about gymnastics], hence the difficulty of the balance beam; let alone do a few cartwheels and backflips. Did you have the desire to swivel your hips around on a pommel horse when you were like ten months old? Probably not but you most likely wanted to walk and figured it out by the time you reached your first birthday.

Once a child learns to walk they've pretty much got it mastered in a couple of days. Toddlers, as the name would indicate, can walk. And sometimes very fast. Have you ever taken your eyes off a toddler then turned around to find they'd eluded you? And you're like, how did they get away from me so fast? That's right. Speedwalkers. Or ninjas.

How did synchronized swimming get such a bad rap? At least it involves choreography. And breath holding.

That's it. I'm going to the next Olympics. 2012 here I come! I smell Olympic gold in my future.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It Smelled Exactly Like Ass

Have you ever walked into your garage to inspect an odor that is emitting into your home and appears to be coming from that location? Because after searching your house by nose, and after extrapolation and triangulation, you've determined that it's coming from behind that door and not, as previously thought, that the dog had crapped a soupy mess in some mystery location and you're kind of surprised that you even suspected her because she never does that? Then you open said door and are slapped in the face with pure evil? And the first thing out of your mouth is [no, not vomit] "Holy shit! Is that the water heater?!". Because what else in your garage would smell like sulfur and rotten eggs? And so suddenly? If this had been a horror movie this would be right around the time you'd scream at the screen to get out of the house! It has gone bad! Leave everything grab your children and run like hell! Dammit! Go GO GOOO!!!

Well, you'll be happy to know that it wasn't the water heater. Thank God because it costs like half a million dollars to have someone come out and fix that shit. And it wasn't a poltergeist. No. It was one of these:

Which had been slipped under the garage door through a space where the weather stripping has disintegrated. It was put there by a little 8 year old jerk boy who lives down the street. A little boy that my children have been forbidden to play with. Because that little boy beat the hell out of Boy-Child#2's face a couple of weeks ago; leaving him with 2 black eyes and a bruise across his forehead which fortunately mostly cleared up before school started. To which that boys mother handled said situation by doing...absolutely nothing*.

And now that mother and I act like grownups and flat out ignore each other. Because it's so much fun to live on our street! The coup de grâce in all this is that now I have the upper hand because her son has broken the no contact rule that is still in play. Not only is Boy-Child#2 not allowed to play with her son as instructed by me; her son is not allowed to play with Boy-Child#2, as instructed by her. It gave me great pleasure to walk down my street and up to her front door with a fart bomb loosely clutched in my upper hand and tattle on her son. Her son who was playing in their driveway. With several packets of these things littering their front yard.

Wow. He was so totally not expecting me. The look on his mug was priceless!

It's like a fart bomb went off in the proverbial cookie jar.

P.S. He apparently bought these from the ice cream man which just begs the question: WTF, ice cream man?

*P.P.S. The hell? He was allowed to buy something from the ice cream truck? If my son punched another kid in the face REPEATEDLY he wouldn't see an ice cream truck until he was twenty five.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Load Up on Caffeine so You Don't Fall Asleep Before #6

What? Me quirky?!?

Sunangel tagged me with a six uninteresting things about me meme. Just in time too because I can't put two words together this weekend to create a decent blog post. Fortunately I've already got something in the queue for Monday. This was just the boost I needed to pry myself off the couch because seriously I'm about over the Olympics already yet still curiously drawn to them.

The rules:

  • Link the person who tagged you
  • Mention the rules on your blog
  • Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
  • Tag 6 bloggers by linking them & leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they have been tagged.

  1. I have to clean up the kitchen after a meal. I cannot stand for there to be dirty dishes and pots and pans. Or even a glass on the counter. My dishwasher is always full of either clean or dirty dishes. It's rarely empty. In contrast...
  2. There are several piles of papers in various parts of my house. The island in the kitchen is a popular place for catching mail and school related memos. And the kids drawings. And things to be shredded. Seriously, if banks would stop sending 3 to 5 credit card offers to us a day (EACH DAY!) they would save themselves so much money.
  3. I don't read credit card offers. I don't even open them. They are destroyed and discarded. Usually months after they're received; hence the piles of papers.
  4. I rock back and forth when applying my makeup. This probably counts more as "quirky" rather than "uninteresting". No. It's both. I lean towards the mirror to apply. I lean back to inspect. Lean forward for closer inspection. I'm sure it would appear odd to anyone who might be studying my makeup application rituals. At least I don't open my mouth in that "O" shape during the mascara process.
  5. My right leg is longer than my left. By about 1/2 and inch. Which isn't noticeable until I wear long pants. It's the main reason I avoid jeans that hit at the ankle and kiss the ground that boot cut jeans walk on. They're notoriously long.
  6. My knees grind when I walk up stairs. And when it is very quiet in the house they are very loud. And creaky. And freak people out (I'm looking at you my two sisters!).
Now, I'm supposed to tag six others with this meme but I've seen this particular one going around quite a bit this week. So I'm not tagging anyone in particular. If you're like me and clogged for fodder, have at it and tell people I tagged you. I'll vouch for ya.

In other news:

MEKHISMOM from Cutie Booty Cakes passed on this Brillante Blogger award to me! Since I just recently passed this award on to others, I will selfishly simply accept it and shout out: Thank you, Renee!!

Enjoy what's left of your weekend peeps! Peace out.

*photo by Dorothy Z.

Friday, August 22, 2008

When No One was Looking, Of Course

These are my free weights. There are many like them but these are mine. My free weights are my bingo arm's best friend.

Yesterday during a flickering moment of ambition I took my weights on a walk. A walk that involves many hills. When I reached the beginning of the first hill I doubted my decision to bring them along. But I soldiered through the pain radiating up my neck and nestling on the back of my head. Where nestle equals gripping. By the time I peaked the first hill my shoulders were hurling obscenities in my general direction.

When I finally crested the top of the second hill where the elementary school is located I did what any self respecting woman in her death throes would; I ditched them in the bushes and finished my walk. I reclaimed them at noon when I fetched Girl-Child. In my car.

This confirms my belief that I would have never made it out of boot camp. Alive.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

You Should at Least Have Facial Hair if You're Going to Take that Tone With Me

We're only one week into the new junior high school year here in the Farklpants household and already our vocabulary has been expanded to include such vernacular (being the normal spoken language for a little segment of society known as the PRE-TEEN) as:

  1. MySpace
  2. Text messaging
  3. Parents prohibited
  4. Attitude (not a word so much as it is symbolic speech and when I say symbolic speech I mean: eye-rolling and sucking breath through teeth)
Never fear, however, because we've introduced a few words of our own into Boy-Child#1's vocabulary as well [that being the normal spoken language for that large section of society known as PARENTS OF PRE-TEENS] and they are:

(Please note that the following numbered responses correspond with the above and also note that I would make a chart but that sounds like it would involve work)
  1. Parental access to your page in the form of your password so that we can monitor you.
  2. Prepaid phone (when it runs out that's just tough titties)
  3. Dream on
  4. That will cost you your MySpace and prepaid phone so you may want to find your happy place. Son. Capice?
It all started with this conversation:

Boy-Child#1: So-N-So has a MySpace page. I can't wait to go home and set up mine.

Tootsie: (double take and that eyeiiieyeiiiieyeiii sound from the Scooby Doo cartoons) Whoa now. Who said anything about a MySpace page? We'll have to talk about this.

Boy-Child#1: WHY?!? Fine. Whatever.

Then yesterday with this:

Boy-Child#1: How come So-N-So gets to go to Magic Mountain with friends and not his parents? You said I wasn't old enough to do that and he's my same age! (so indignant too!)

Tootsie: Good for So-N-So. I'm not his mother.

Boy-Child#1: So then I can't go with him if they go?

Tootsie: You barely make the weight requirement to be sitting in the front seat! You're ELEVEN! Like I'm gonna turn you loose in an amusement park without supervision.

And he didn't say it out loud but I'm sure that I suck. His face said as much.

It also got me to thinking that things are so different now than when I was his age. I mean, you know you're a child of the 70's when you remember things like seatbelts were an option at the dealership. You rode your bike barefoot and helmetless. An infant car seat equaled your mother's lap. You walked to school in kindergarten. You played outside unsupervised until it got dark. Hell, my brother and I were home alone while my mom worked and I was in charge...and NINE! I rode the city bus on weekends to go to the Galleria when I was not much older than Boy-Child#1. But I clearly remember my first non-chaperoned trip to Magic Mountain and I was fourteen. And if my mother felt, in those lackadaisical days of yesteryear, that fourteen was the appropriate age, then by golly eleven is too damn young. So dream on sport.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Yeah, It's Like That

Do you ever have one of those "OHMAHGAH that's so cool!!!" moments? But really no one to share it with? Okay, then you'll totally understand what freakin' happened on Monday during a routine pedicure. So, like I show up at the nail salon without an appointment because, for reals no one is ever in there; I don't know how they stay in business, plus? They have brand new massage chairs that have a "kneading" feature that's just like, wow. I was all, "Do you have time for a pedicure?" and you know, obviously they do but what else am I supposed to say? Bitch! Chair! Make this thing happen!....? No, probably not.

I pick out my color [plumby red!] and skim through the magazines looking for some celebrity gossip. None. Not one. That's just shameful. How can they call themselves a nail salon? I was so disappointed and even wishing for at least an outdated issue announcing that Britney and Federline were expecting their first son! In my disheartened state I grabbed the first magazine off the top and climbed in my chair, set my massage settings to "knead", thus beginning my trip to nirvana. In my lap lay the magazine that opened of its own accord. And who's picture do I see smiling back at me? Mir from Woulda Coulda Shoulda! I knew she had an article in Redbook because she said as much on her blog recently, but there she was! And I know her. Well, I don't KNOW her, but I "Internet know" her. Which for us blog stalkers bloggers is basically the exact same thing. I had just wished her a happy birthday via Twitter the previous day and she had direct messaged me back, thank you. See? Practically bffs.

I say out loud from my chair to the lady with my feet in her hands, "Heh. I know her", and I point for emphasis. She reacted as if I had just informed her that peas come out of pods. Or that paint is wet when first applied to a wall. Her exact words if, now let me see if I can recall... oh yes, were "oh" and then resumed her BlueTooth conversation. Not even an interested "ohhh??". So I thought, screw her then this is cool what does she know?

I just thought it was kind of awesome. How the Internet connects us. And maybe someday someone will be sitting in their pedicure chair looking at a picture of me. And telling their disinterested footatician.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Teaching My Kids Through Others Lack of Compassion

The following offensive statement, by a father to his son, was overheard in the shoe store:

Random Father (aka The Prick): Those shoes make you look mentally challenged. Like you're riding the short bus.

Oh yes he did! The boy, probably about 8 years old, laughed. I guess this is what constitutes comedy in their household. But this was said, not in the privacy of their own home (which is no better by any means), but out in public. In a crowded shoe store on a Sunday morning. Where any number of their fellow shoppers may have a child of their own born into this world with challenges that most children do not face. And just what kind of values is this man teaching his son? Clearly compassion, empathy, and respect are not on that list. It's little wonder why there are so many people out there that lack these attributes what with the stellar role models and all [That tremor you just felt were my eyes rolling]. After my audible "Oh, good grief" and giving him the dirtiest look of disapproval I could muster [seriously, been working on that one all my life, it's a good one. Fear it] I took the opportunity to explain to my own children why I was so offended; and they were given another lesson in compassion, empathy, and respect. People make me sick.

Oh, why were we at the shoe store? Well, thanksforasking that would be because after wearing his new school shoes for three days, Boy-Child#2 admitted that his new Nikes were crushing the life out of his pinkie toes. Of course, now they're slightly dirty and worn looking; the box they came in and the receipt long gone. This is what I get for trusting that he knows what he's talking about when he says that they fit just fine. This is what we all get now that things like knowledgeable shoe store clerks are a thing of the past. Since most stores now carry their inventory on the showroom floor and you're left to your own devices to properly measure your child's foot and select the right size. Unless you go somewhere like Stride Rite. Except the last time I went to Stride Rite, the saleslady [I'm sorry, I mean teenager] tried to sell me shoes that were two sizes too big for my oldest son and then proceeded to argue with me when I disagreed that buying shoes that he will eventually grow into; shoes that were literally falling off his foot when he walked, was not the proper way to spend my money. If you're fresh out of high school it stands to reason that mothers know more about children's feet and shoes than you do [p.s. rule #1 in sales: the customer is always right and even if they aren't; humor them but never outright argue].

I've never gone back to Stride Rite. I will, however, give a shout out to the Vans stores. Very helpful and friendly service and the dudes are kinda hot; all valid reasons for shopping there.

On a final note in lessons learned: Watch what you say and do in public. I may hear you and blog about it. Especially if you're being an ass.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Aside from the Obvious Han Solo and Danny Zuko there were Other Childhood Crushes

Next door lives a twelve year old girl and on Saturday that twelve year old girl celebrated her twelfth birthday. A party that involved volleyball and an inflatable water slide in their backyard. And a slew of bathing suit clad twelve year old...girls. On our street live three seventh grade boys. And those seventh grade boys spent the afternoon playing basketball on the cul-de-sac. And when I say playing basketball I mean absentmindedly dribbling the ball while stealing glances and shooting baskets when they thought the girls were watching. They were all what I like to call: cute. Two days into the new school year and suddenly the girls are less: yucky.

When I was their age I had a thing for the guy that stocked the dairy case in the local grocery store. He was tall, dark haired, and handsome. And buff. And the quarterback for the local high school. And a senior. So, like, can you blame me and stuff? I always knew when he was working because I'd spot his car in the parking lot. He drove one of these:

Only made considerably more hideous by the bright lime green color. It was a beacon in the sea of Ford Pintos and Oldsmobile Cutlasses. My mother was a sport and let me be in charge of collecting the milk, eggs, and store brand individually sliced cheese; which in my pre-teen angsty state was almost more than I could bear. I mean, we couldn't afford the Kraft individually wrapped American cheese and it was just so obvious. I would use this opportunity to stutter at him and turn eight shades of purple. Because there's nothing a handsome high school senior quarterback likes more than a blotchy twelve year old with a speech impediment. Am I right? I'm sure he thought I was cute. Like a puppy. A puppy with a great rack. My admiration for him was elevated when he was promoted to checker. I am a girl who likes a man with ambition, after all.

Being a fickle twelve year old, I also developed a humongous crush on the nephew of the owner of the local pizzeria. He was a lovely brand of Italian. Except he was twenty three. This didn't bother me. I imagined this not to be an obstacle, naturally. Also he flew one of these:

And because we were friends of the owners of the local pizzeria my mother allowed me to go for a ride (a fly? a flight? whatever). This crush ended abruptly when it was discovered that he sort of had a thing for my mom. To her credit, she was 33 and kinda hot. [Paging Dr. Freud and/or Shakespeare]

How about you? Admit your first crush? And please Jesus God don't say it was your spouse because I'll know you're lying and I'd hate to be the one to tell you that your pants are on fire. Unless you met them when you were like ten.

**photos from Google images

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Oh, that Megan at Undomestic Diva. Have you met her? She's straight up crazy. Crazy=good. Like: fat=phat. Like: bad=excellent. Like: dope=outstanding. That kind of crazy. Also? A slight Starbucks addiction that's all I'm sayin'. So she went and created this award on a short-attention-span whim and gave it to me! Thank you Megan, you crazy biotch. And by biotch I mean: sistah.

She so subtly hinted that I'm to pass this on to three other bloggers and they are:

Backpacking Dad
Sleep Deprivation Ninja
June Cleaver Nirvana

Enjoy, Lady, Ninja and Metro-Gent!!! Don't forget to pass it along. I'll find you. Except maybe for the Ninja. They're notoriously difficult to spot.

JujuBoo [which, by the way, how awesome is that name? If I were to get another dog that name is now on my list as possible kick-ass pet names. Not that I think that blogger JujuBoo is a dog; just diggin' the name. It's a compliment. Honest.] created and gave me this Sunny Funny Happy Award! Thanks JujuBoo!

In keeping with the theme I'm to pass this on to blogs that I think are sunny, funny, and/or happy. The three that meet the criteria are:

The Madame Queen
The Rocking Pony

Congrats, Ladies!

And finally that's right there's more! Apathetic Bliss gave me this Kick Ass Blogger award! Thank you, Apathetic Bliss! You're pretty kick ass yourself!

According to those rules, and at the risk of imploding from linky-love fatigue, I'm to pass this on to five bloggers that I feel have that certain je ne sais kick ass. Those would be:

Burgh Baby or the blog formerly known as Burgh Baby's Mom
Maggie, Dammit!
Mommy Pie
Stay at Home Mom Going Quickly Insane

Peace out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On the Sunny Side: I Made Some Kick-Ass Snickerdoodles in Cooking Class

Tootsie: Did you notice I didn't post an entry yesterday?
Mr. Farklepants: Yeah, what gives? You know your son started jr. high.
Tootsie: I know.
Mr. Farklepants: Where's his entry? It's like you love the Girl more.

When I dropped Boy-Child#1 off for his first day of junior high and caught a glimpse of him in the rear view mirror, he seemed so small in front of that giant school. He was on his own, independent of me, to navigate this new territory. I was doing so well until that reflection of him showed itself in my mirror. Then came the waterworks.

You know what terrifies me the most? Me. Me when I was in junior high. I know what I did. It was the span of my life when everything my mother taught me and warned me against went right out the window. [I was really such a good girl before then]. It was when I got drunk for the first [and not last] time. It was when my first kiss happened. With tongue. Cigarettes were smoked. It's when I ignored Nancy Regan and didn't say no, and tried something that involved rolling papers. I occasionally smelled of bong water. I had my first experience with a bully; and a scary mean chick at that. Bitch was huge. And beefy. It was when I broke curfew even though it meant risking my Depeche Mode tickets. And possibly death.

Boys finally had muscles on their biceps. And deeper voices. And less [imagined] cooties. Then came things like birth control. And celebrating relationships by the months. Passing notes in class with promises of being 2gether4ever and promptly having your heart broken. There were cliques and groups and exclusion and inclusion. The angst so thick in the air it could be cut with a knife. Junior high was like a hormone festival with education on the side to break up all of the sex wanting.

There was a great deal of doing things you didn't really want to do but did them just so you'd be accepted. It almost didn't matter by whom so long as they included you. If there is one thing I can impress upon my children it's THAT. Don't do that. No one is going to like you because of what you do but rather because of who you are. Unfortunately, they don't believe you know what you're talking about. Because you just don't know MOoooOOM! Except, hello Dude! Yes way. Totally been there done that.

And Boy-Child#1's first day? He did great! No problems and he even, kind of sort of, understood his schedule that I spent the next two hours trying to decipher. The school has either made it so ridiculously complicated just to screw with the kids heads, or maybe, just maybe it's intentional so that they'll all be so worried about where they're supposed to be that there will be little time for getting into trouble. Or catching venereal disease.


On a totally unrelated note, according to my Sitemeter, the following Google search directed a visitor to my blog. MY blog:

"perimenopause is making my vagina stink"

That is unfortunate. I'm sorry that I'm unable to assist you.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One Door Closes Another Opens

**Vintage Thirty would like to apologize for the tardiness of today's post. Tootsie was busy huddled in the corner crying her eyes out.**

Dear Girl-Child,

Today was your first day of kindergarten. You've been ready to go for the last two years. I know this because it has been one of the lead topics of discussion for you. Kind of like when you know a play date is upon us or a birthday; you yammer on and ask endlessly "Is it tomorrow? Is it tomorrow?". Two years later, tomorrow is finally here.

You chose your outfit out of the sweeping new wardrobe in your closet. You chose these shoes out of the dozens of new pairs (dozens: slight exaggeration but not by much). Your backpack and lunch box were handpicked by you. The wonder and excitement you exuberated? Also, all you. You woke up on time, ate your breakfast, and brushed your teeth. This is what you've been training for!

Once on school grounds you were off to play on your new playground. The one you've coveted ever since you were old enough to know what a playground was. All those years of asking if you could play on it and all of those same years my answer was no. Today is a yes day. And so is tomorrow, and the days after that.

There was no time to waste. There were new friends to make! You certainly did not inherit your mother's awkward shyness. [Thank you Jesus]. You were blessed with your paternal grandmother's exuberant zest for meeting new people and chatting them up. You don't know a stranger. Or an enemy. In your own words, "These are all my people". You're a good girl. You're sweet and kind and nice and compassionate and other children flock to you. This has always been true. You're more of a follower than a leader. You're willing to play whatever game interests your friends rather than what your immediate want is. I think this is excellent. No one likes bossy kids.

The moment was upon you. The whistle was blown and it was time to line up. You stood by your backpack and your new friends. You were all smiles and high-fives. You even gave me a thumbs up. This was totally gonna rock and you could totally feel it! Unlike your oldest brother who was dragged in by the assistant principal and an aide, kicking and screaming, literally. It took weeks for my heart to recover from that fracture.

As you knew you were ready for kindergarten for the last two years, I used that time to prepare myself as well. Or so I thought. When it came time to follow your teacher inside and the line started to move; your bottom lip quivered and tears welled up in your eyes. And my heart broke at exactly that moment. I know that fear your feeling. Sometimes I still feel it as an adult. I knew what you needed more than anything at that moment was a hug. And so did I. But I did not. Because I knew if I hugged you there was the possibility that I would never let you go. We would both end up in a blubbering heap on the playground. It was in your best interest and mine that I give you another high-five and silently pray that the line move faster.

You're gonna be okay, kiddo. I'm sure that once you were inside the classroom and at your desk that fear of separation vanished. I hope it was replaced by that excitement you had moments before. This day is a new experience for me. When your older brothers entered their first days of kindergarten, I always had an infant or a toddler at home with me. But you are my youngest. Our last. There are no more babies in our home. This is the last time I will experience a first day of kindergarten with one of my children. This will be the final page I write in your baby book; just as I did with your big brothers. I'm so proud of you.

I love you.



Dear Mr. Farklepants,

You're lucky my tubes are tied. The end.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Message is NOT in the Details. It's on the Car, Dude.

Why do people put bumper stickers on their cars?

When my brother was a child he put a Star Wars sticker on the back cover of one of our mother's cook books. A book that I have to this day. The sticker is still there. It would do more damage to the book to remove it than is worth. The same holds true for bumper stickers and cars. Except that cook book probably cost all of twenty dollars in today's market and a car is probably the most expensive investment, second only to owning a home, that an average person can make.

What, fortheloveofgod, is the point? Is it just a show of solidarity for the candidate for president you support? And who cares? Is it worth defacing your property? Do you think Obama is driving around with a John Doe Supports Me sticker on his car? Do you think someone will be persuaded to vote as you do if they're stuck in traffic behind you for long enough to give it some thought?

Random Driver: "Gee, ya know I was leaning heavily towards McCain but now that I've been staring at the ass of this Infiniti for the last twenty minutes I've been convinced otherwise! Praise the sticker!"

And I'm sure they'd never even heard of Obama or McCain until they caught sight of your bumper. "Who is this McCain? THAT'S the other choice? I must Google this McCain when I reach the office"!

Cars have become miniature parade floats what with all of the Support Our Troops ribbons, Breast Cancer ribbons, Your Candidate of Choice stickers, and in Los Angeles during NBA Playoffs: Lakers flags. And also to announce just how many people are in the person's family, plus pets, via the back window stick figure stickers.

[Observational Aside: And people worry about the internet and child predators. People, women mostly, drive around announcing how many children they have and sometimes with names displayed! Hello child molester, please to follow me and my two children into the park and ask for Susie and Patrick by name so you can confuse them enough to think that they might know you since you seem to know them. Abscond with them. Consider it a gift.]

You know which one baffles me the most? Radio station bumper stickers. You know the ones that if you're caught by the station's Sticker Pimps with their sticker on your bumper then you win a free shirt, probably some more bumper stickers and other sundry crap? How much of a cheap bastard do you have to be to defile a fifty thousand dollar car for a free t-shirt? So what if it's 100% cotton. Not. Even. Worth. It.

And so help me God if one of my children get one of those 'My Child Is On The Honor Roll' bumper stickers and expects me to put it on my vehicle because they're just gonna have to get used to their disappointment and the business end of my resolve.

Meet my fourth child. She was a gift from Mr. Farklepants and I'm obsessive about her health and welfare. I stop just short of rubbing her with a cloth diaper every night before bed. The kids are lucky I even let them travel in her at all. Because there was that one time that I caught Girl-Child wiping a boogar on the arm rest and she nearly left that vehicle sans a hand. She'll never do it again; this much I know.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In Honor of Back to School Week

Due to extreme laziness, the following is a reposting of The Morning Drop-Off. If you're new to this routine, consider this my public service announcement.



Dear Fellow Parents of the Morning Drop-off,

Good morning. How are you today? I know how you are. You are rushed. I understand how inconvenient it is to pull all the way forward through the car line to keep things moving in an orderly fashion. This organized procedure interferes with your need to make an illegal u-turn in the middle of the road. You are obviously kind of a big deal because following procedure would mean that you might have to wait for the crossing guard to get the children safely across the street, making the army of cars...gasp!...wait. And very important people like you do not have time to wait for things like children. I know that once your own children are safely inside the school the rest of us can go to hell. I also understand how embarrassing it is when the execution of your u-turn fails, resulting in a shameful 3 point turn. It's so frustrating using up those additional 6 seconds. So the tire screeching was completely warranted. That lady who honked at you doesn't know what she's talking about.

And then there is you, Mr. Zip Through the U-Shaped Drive Way and Cut in the Line at the First Sign of a Break. Please don't slow down even a little bit. It's obvious you have someplace to be right now. And don't let my SUV get in the way of your SUV. Your's is bigger; which is a phrase that I imagine you don't hear often, hence the need for such a ridiculously over sized vehicle.

And I'm not even kidding when I say to you, Mrs. Jaywalker, that walking to the corner to cross the street at a cross walk complete with a crossing guard is such a waste of time, when it is so obviously more time efficient to just cut between the cars in the middle of the street with all three of your children. And don't let your very urgent phone call distract you from the fact that the little girl in your charge has dropped her water bottle and is now in the middle of the road alone. I completely agree with your decision to take this opportunity to scold her. She should know that when jaywalking one does it quickly and swiftly. Clearly there is something wrong with her. How will you ever get her to learn?

Miss Lead Foot in the Mustang, remember the time you got tired of waiting and zipped around everyone into oncoming traffic? And you had to dart back in to avoid a head on collision? And that lady you cut in front of hit your right rear bumper with her Suburban? Remember how awesome it was when you got out and yelled at her and she had the nerve to smile? You were so angry. I never told you this because I didn't want to hurt your feelings, but we took her out for pancakes and tequila shots after. We might have given her a trophy; the memory is a little fuzzy. Details.

No, I haven't forgotten about you, Mr. and Mrs. Park Directly Under the No Parking Sign. I didn't realize that these traffic violations do not apply to you. I admit that I haven't parked there and taken the time to read the fine print at the bottom of the sign that excludes you from its ominous warning. That would be my bad. Don't even sweat it even a tiny bit that your parked cars now make a two way street an absolute impossibility. Please don't be bothered that we have to take turns pulling as far to the side as possible to let others pass. This is not your problem and we don't want to be a burden. I have to admit that I would only be guessing that there is an emergency somewhere with your name on it that makes your morning far more important and pressing than the rest of us. I sincerely hope that the sense of urgency that surrounds your day subsides.

Yours Truly,

Tootsie Farklepants

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I Don't Admit I Just Infer

Have you ever gone through your closets and dresser drawers; purging them to make space and also to give away what you no longer wear. And to throw away what no one in their right mind would wear? Also the stuff with the tears and holes in them? Then did you realize that you no longer have any grubby around the house clothes to wear for things like housework and home improvement projects? The clothes you don't mind ruining?

Did you ever go out to the trash to retrieve some of them?

Me? I asked you first.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I Should Have Worn My Blog Header Around My Neck for Emphasis

I know Chuck E. Cheese's is the place where a kid can be a kid [the song tells us it must be so] but does that mean a parent should begrudge an opportunity to teach their children how to behave in public? For instance:

Exhibit A: if (what appears to be) your four year old is standing up in the booth eating veggies that are dripping in ranch dressing landing in glops unbeknownst to the person sitting in the booth behind them; shouldn't you ask them to sit down? Or at the very least, turn around? Thank you so much Ma'am for the stain on the seat of my son's shorts. If you got a handle on things maybe you wouldn't have ended up with that cherry tomato in your hair. Just sayin'. I'm also sorry I snorted when I laughed. I rarely do that.

Exhibit B: The game tokens on our table do not belong to your son. Neither do our drinks. I also see him stealthily eying our winning tickets. I'm watching him. Are you?

Exhibit C: The Skee-ball, um, balls are meant to be used for the Skee-ball game only. Not to be rolled down the slide where another child is waiting to take one in the face. New teeth are expensive, yo. So are noses.

Exhibit D: No. Your toddler is not laying on the ground having a fit. She's there because her big sister pushed her down. If you were watching you would know this. I was and it happened three times on my watch.

Exhibit E: The carousel pony is roped off with crime scene tape because either it killed someone or it's broken. Or both. It also means it is off limits. Even to your child, lady.

Exhibit F: Who's in charge of the larger boy who pinned the smaller boy to the ground and smothered him with his own sock? Oh wait. Those kids are mine.

Exhibit G: Someone fortheloveofgod change that child's diaper! He's smuggling a rotting corpse in those Huggies and crop dusting the entire establishment. [I know this doesn't count towards the child's behavior but ohmystinkinheck! What are they feeding that kid?]

Exhibit H: One flying pizza slice spotted and clocked at 40mph. May have had a propeller.

People watching and passing judgyness from my super special terrific judgey chair. America's favorite pastime.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Although I Might be Persuaded to Send His Resume to Bill Gates

Yesterday was junior high school registration for incoming seventh graders. I'd be remiss not to high-five the staff and give them their props for running such a finely orchestrated event. No crowds. No muss. No fuss. Way to go Mustangs! And I apologize for the disorganized chaos I had built up in my imagination. Previous experience with similar occasions colored me cynical. My bad.

Once home, Boy-Child#1 put his student ID card in his wallet [Him: "It's like a drivers license!" Kind of, Kiddo, except for the driving part and don't try to use it to buy smokes and hooch, McLovin or I'll be McBeatin' your ass] and then familiarized himself with the school rules and regulations. He's got the dress code down since he's not really one for gang insignia or wearing the waist of his pants around his knees (yet); and knows to leave the weapons at home except for perhaps sweaty gym socks that may be classified as lethal. And also thinks that suspension doesn't sound like much of a punishment. I assured him he'd be sorry if he was forced to miss school for his behavior. And reminded him also that detention was no Breakfast Club, so don't go getting any ideas [I'm looking at you John Hughes. You made that shit look fun].

I perused the provided literature and came across a form that I'm telling you right now WILL be filled out and returned before the "October first due date to be valid for the current year", and was kind of stuck in there between the school schedule and low-income meal ticket application like "oh-yeah-hi-by-the-way-maybe-you-won't-see-this-I-hope". And that is the Directory Information Exclusion Request. What is that you wonder? Let me show you it:

I herewith (fancy words for DUDE, I mean this! It's very Shakespeare you know.) request that directory information (name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, sex, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received and the most recent previous public or private school attended) on the above named student be withheld from agencies such as those listed below.

  • List of graduate names in local papers (eh, not such a big thang)
  • Armed Services Recruitment Officers
  • Public colleges, universities, community colleges
  • Private colleges, universities, trade and technical schools
  • Selective Service
  • Community agencies
This is junior high school, right? My son did JUST finish elementary school, yeah? Isn't it a little premature to be turning over his digits to the armed services? Why not just mark him straight out the birth canal and have him drop and give you twenty before the cord has even been cut, you eager beavers?! Excuse me while I breath into this paper bag. Oh, I'm sorry. That was not effective. Someone get me the smelling salts. Houston? We've got a mama down. I repeat, a mama is down. Get the paddles.

Isn't a career in the military something he should decide on his own? Like, as an adult, and certainly not by his mommy? I'd no more submit his name to that than I would to a fortune 500 company with a sticky note that states: FYI, he's 11 but you're gonna wanna stand up and take notice of him, trust me, thanks bye.

The hell...?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still, It Beats Going Back to Work

With all of the kids going off to school next week, this stay at home mama is going to have a great deal of free time on her hands. One of the first things I'm going to do is start exercising again. And when I wasn't looking the summer threw five pounds at me. And some jiggly-ness. [Dear Summer, keep your ice cream. You're an asshole. Love, Tootsie] I'm also one of those people who won't exercise unless I'm enjoying it. The gym and I are not friends. I will return to my cardio dance class next week. Class description:

An advanced dance class with choreography and quick moves to keep your heart pumping. We include stretching, ab work, push-ups, leg lifts and more for a sweaty good time!

Pardon me, are we still talking about dancing?

I also figured this would be a good time to schedule some appointments for matters that I've been sort of avoiding putting off. You know, those things that are difficult to schedule when you're dragging a few small human beings along with you. Like dentist appointments. And a physical. When it comes to my kids I'm very disciplined in assuring they receive proper preventative medical and dental care. We've never missed an appointment and on the rare occasion we've had to cancel; its been rescheduled very near the vicinity of the original date. This includes two sedations for Boy-Child#2 in his younger years when he would flip the freak out at the dentist. Come hell or high water those teeth were going to be tended too.

For myself? Not so much. I go when I need to go, but "preventative". Pshaw. Teeth whitening? Yes. Wisdom tooth removal? Certainly; the drugs are good. Cavity filled? Of course; all four of them in my lifetime. Regular cleanings, who? So I called to schedule my appointments today and they went like this:

Tootsie: I'd like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nguyen for a check up and a cleaning. Preferably a morning time slot? I'm a patient but it's been a while.

Dental Facility: Dr. Nguyen retired.

Tootsie: {Mr. Bill} Oooohhhh Nnnoooo! When?

Dental Facility: When was the last time you were in.

Tootsie: Uhhhhhhhh.... about five years ago.

Dental Facility: {laughter} [that's right, laughter] Ahem. Would you like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jksljodeieslj? Our first available is on September fourth at 9am.

Tootsie: Sure, what the heck. See you then. Buh-bye now.

I pencil on my calender: September fourth, the day I will be scolded and shamed by a random dentist at 9am. My next call is to the doctor for a physical. My thirty seventh birthday is coming up in a couple of months, and with a history of diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal diseases, and breast cancer on my mother's side of the family. And on my biological fathers side there is... well, shit, I'm not sure unless you can count abandonment and disappearing as poor health traits; then there's that. And who wants to hug Tootsie right now, raise your hand?

Tootsie: Hi, I'd like to schedule an appointment for a physical with Dr. Kasem. I'm a new patient. Do I need a consultation first?

Doctor's Office: Dr. Kasem is no longer accepting new patients at this time. The end.

Tootsie: Uuuuhhhmmm... but she was when I chose a doctor for my health insurance.

Doctor's Office: She isn't now. I can't schedule new patients. The end.

Tootsie: So, what do I do now? Do I have to go through my insurance and pick a new doctor?

Doctor's Office: I can schedule you with one of the other doctors.

Tootsie: Geee thanks for offering that in the first place That would be great! Let's do that, then.

Doctor's Office: I have September 16th at 8am. For the physical you have to fast for ten hours prior. Would you like a pap as well?

Tootsie: Dude, like, I don't even know you! Sure! Sounds like fun good. Saves me from making my next phone call.

Penciled on my calender: September 16th, will be felt up by and a hand shoved in my vagina by random doctor.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Even One of our Three Children was Conceived in it

This is the post I should have written yesterday about our trip to Sea World but couldn't because writer's block and fatigue were in me mindz cloggin' me thoughts.

Saturday we drove down to San Diego to spend the day with my brother in law and his family, to celebrate my niece's fourth birthday. My sister in law was going to try and score some tickets from work instead of Costco [everything in their life is from Costco or IKEA] and at final count she scored neither. So it was my AAA card to the rescue when I nabbed a kick ass deal at the Sea World ticket window [note to self: inquire more often about discounts provided by AAA. P.S. Duh].

But back to the drive. Last year, at this time, when we drove down for our niece's birthday party it took us a grand total of five hours. FIVE HOURS! From Los Angeles to San Diego. WTF, traffic? We were two hours late to the party. And pointed and laughed at when we admitted we took the I-5 all the way down. So this time we were against that route and knew we wanted to take the 15 around the back way. Except we didn't know that it was the 15 that we wanted because we didn't check before we left the house because we're stupid adventurous like that. We just knew that there was a freeway out there that we needed and thought we'd manage to find. Our navigation system is totally doing IT with the I-5 and refused to show us any other way. No matter how many times we asked it for an alternate route. And we thought, with our combined IQ's [and overinflated sense of self confidence] that we'd be able to decipher which red squiggly line was the one we wanted. Or were on. [Editor's note: Weaker marriages should not attempt]

Imagine our embarrassment when we took a very long, out of the way route and found ourselves passing Angel's Stadium. Which sits adjacent to the I-5. Wet Match? Meet Dark Cave. Oh, that navigation system. She's a right bitch. However, we managed to get there in three hours. Our personal best.

Then there was Sea World...blah blah... fish... blah blah... whales...awwwww manatees!... dolphins...blah blah blahhhh...kettle corn.

Then it came time for bed. Whenever I sleep over at someone's house I kinda dread bedtime. Because I won't be sleeping in my own bed. Editor's note: I do not have this same problem in hotels, yeah, I don't know why either. But there's just something about sleeping in your own bed...So when you spend the night, unless someone has a guest room, it's usually some kind of makeshift deal like a pullout couch, futon, or air bed. This time it was my nieces brand new big girl bed. From IKEA [not Costco]. It was a little firm, kinda like a soft stone floor, and I woke with an IKEA Swedish induced backache. Or a ryggsmärtor [which might also be a bookcase]. Another contributing factor was probably the 12 by 12 IKEA pillow [I'm sorry, pillow? That was a crepe] that had me all hurty.

Even though it was only one night; I missed the hell out of my bed. Nevermind that our bed is a twenty year old hand-me-down from my parents. I'm sorry, did you just throw up a little bit? It's a damn comfortable bed. In fact, and this is a true story, about seven-ish years ago my mother spent the weekend watching the kids for us and slept in our bed. Only to go home and tell my father that they should get a bed like ours because it was the best sleep she'd ever had. Yeah, he's never let her live that one down. He still tells that story at parties.

Monday, August 4, 2008

There's Only so Much I could say About Sea World

A Girl Named Timi [although, I suspect she's actually a woman] tagged me with what she called her "Midweek Meme". That title is all fine and good if you're stumped for blog fodder on Humpday, but this is Monday and guess what? I struggle. I could write about how we spent Saturday together as a family at Sea World. And how Yahoo weather lied to me and said it was going to be 73 degrees and mostly cloudy and I was all, Yahooooo! Jeans weather! So I wore them and then sweltered in the blazing hot sun all day and have a shoulder -slash- v-neck sunburn that is bringing sending sexy back. Damn you Yahooooo!

I could tell you about how after a dolphin show and the Shamu show, Girl-Child asked, "Mommy, why isn't there a shark show?". Because, Girl-Child, that'd be a hell of a show. I could also talk about how proud I am of Mr. Farklepants for keeping his shit together under the extreme circumstance known as: Crowds. In case you were wondering, half of Southern California went to Sea World on Saturday. Traffic may have seemed a little lighter than usual out there on the roads and now you know where everyone was. So, basically, now I've told you about it. Now for the meme:

4 Things you should know about me before you invite me to your house.

  1. I like to look at the photographs people display around the house. And I will walk around your house looking at all of your pictures. If you've got a photo album out then you'll find me perched on your couch studying it like I was about to get my masters in your family photos.
  2. I will notice how you decorate your house and will mentally change, improve, move furniture, disagree, or agree with your taste and or choices. If I don't like it you'll never know. If I do, you'll know immediately. Because I'll keep telling you. And perhaps steal some of your ideas.
  3. I can get really drunk on red wine. Two glasses is about all it takes to get me good and buzzed. More than that and I have the potential to vomit. Keep me conveniently placed near a bathroom.
  4. I like to eat. I'm disappointed when I attend a party or get together that only offers finger foods. When I see chips and guacamole I'm praying there are tacos and enchiladas that will follow.
Now for everybody's favorite party game: TAG! I'm tagging the following four people (and ducking while they take a swing at me):

The Jason Show
Blog This Mom!
Doves Today
Wine Please

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I've Been Holding on to these Too Long

Jen on the Edge, This Mom, and Jenny all graciously awarded my blog this Brillante Award *sparkle* *sparkle*

Thank you ladies! I'm very honored. According to the rules I'm to pass this on to four others. I read several blogs daily so it's hard to choose especially when they're all BRILLIANT! So here are four that are pretty much consistently awesome and entertaining:

Jenn @ Juggling Life
Bad Mom
Minnesota Matron

Karen at For the Love of Pete gave me the Sharing the Love award! Thank you Karen! You've shared it and I can feel it.

Instead of choosing people to pass this on to, I'd like for anyone who reads, comments, or lurks to please take it and display it on your blog. My little way of showing you some love. Especially if I haven't been by your place in a while to show you some love in virtual person.

Friday, August 1, 2008

So This Should Make Up for all Those Reasons I was Slated for Hell

One evening around Christmastime, while driving home just around the corner from my house, I witnessed a large deer strolling right up the middle of the street. Like it was something he did all the time. I even pulled over to the side of the road to watch. It's just not something you see everyday in a Los Angeles suburb. Sometimes we'll see them up on the hill and we do have street signs posted with warning of deer crossings but you just don't see them out and about in the neighborhood. Especially, you know, as part of traffic.

I also once watched a dog dart across a busy freeway several cars ahead of me. So fast that no one even had time to tap their brakes. As I passed and watched for him through my rear view mirror I wondered if he made it safely. I'll never know but always hoped that he did.

And one time I hit and killed a squirrel who'd changed his direction halfway while crossing a street. Feel free to ask Mr. Farklepants how I reacted to that. Hysterical crying doesn't even begin to describe it. Stupid squirrel. What squirrel doesn't make it to the other side?

Yesterday as the children and I piled in the car and left Boy-Child#1's hair cut appointment [which, by the way, Dude looks like a rock star. Not the point of this story, just thought you should know], I noticed a lone toddler standing on the sidewalk near the corner of the street that ran through the parking lot and a driveway that led to a busy four lane road. A four lane road with few stop lights which allowed traffic to move very quickly. Bunch a lead foots in this town with nothing to thwart them. It made me nervous seeing him roam there since I don't even like to be that close to a busy street when I'm holding my own children's hands.

I said out loud, "Where's his parents?". And inside my head screamed at me: DID YOU HEAR WHAT YOU JUST SAID?!? THAT CHILD IS ABOUT TO WALK INTO TRAFFIC JUST LIKE THAT DOG YOU SAW ON THE FREEWAY ALL THOSE YEARS AGO YOU DAFT WOMAN!!! FOR GOD SAKE REMEMBER THE SQUIRREL?!?! My mind yelled at me in all caps. The following all happened so fast but also in slow motion [like through soup, or fog, or like a dream feel free to use your own simile here]:

I realized that where the toddler was positioned that if anyone were to turn into that driveway they would not be able to see him. And he was right at the edge. I no sooner pulled my car to a stop and put it in park, AND JUST as I was opening my door; a car approached from the street with its right blinker on. I literally FLED [note to self: when was the last time you fled? Answer: Not lately] from my car, arms flailing, and screaming at the top of my lungs STTTTOOOOOOOOOOP! Or maybe it was NNNOOOOOOOOO! I don't remember. Because just as that car pulled in, the toddler stepped off the curb. And I'm sure the sight of a running, screaming, flailing, lunatic woman was enough for the driver to stop her minivan. Because she must have stopped. She didn't hit me and I didn't pause as I ran in front of her car and scooped the toddler up, grabbing him by the armpits.

Where the hell were his parents? There was not another person, adult or otherwise, except for the woman driving the minivan, anywhere. Were his parents in one of the many shops? In the restaurant? At a bus stop? I can't go searching for them because my own children were still strapped in my car which, by the way, was impeding traffic. My car door still flung wide. Or was it closed? Engine off but keys still inside. I can't move my car because I can't take the child with me. I'm literally just standing there interrogating this little short person. Who is probably less than two years old. I asked him, "Where's your mommy?". He answered, "Truck!!". I start scanning the parking lot looking for a truck with someone inside.

Just then an elderly woman emerged from the restaurant and I practically yelled at her, "Is he with YOU?". No. Then the woman from the minivan approached, quite shaken, and let me know that she hadn't seen him at all until she looked in the direction I was running. A couple of more people showed up. One lady asked if she should call the sheriff. The woman who drove the minivan gave me a hug. I'm sure I still had a wild look about me.

I'm not really sure what I said at this point because my adrenaline rush was kicking in and everything had a WAA WAA WAA sound to it. I remember sputtering out that my own children were still in the car and I don't know who this kid is but he's alone. Or something probably less coherent. I don't know. Words came out. I think. All I could do was look at him with his sandy blond hair, bright blue eyes, grey t-shirt with construction vehicles on it, denim shorts, and green Crocs. All I could think about was that the worst that would have happened to me taking a minivan to the hip would probably be a broken hip. And the worst that would happen to him... well, I can't even think about it. Even though I was totally thinking about it.

At some point during all this the elderly woman had gone inside the restaurant to inquire if anyone was missing a toddler. His father emerged from the restaurant, and by the looks of him I'd say he was busy eating ALL OF THE PANCAKES IN IHOP. I don't know how that much time can go by that you don't go looking for your missing child. It's a restaurant for chrissake, not an amusement park. I mean if he's not sitting at the table with you, don't you wonder? Where did that rapscallion go? For all that father knew, his child had wandered outside into the company of a few adults.

I'll never know because I didn't speak to him. I'm not even sure if I said goodbye to the people who helped. I just walked back to my car [still impeding traffic] to my own children and tried not to have a meltdown. And told them, "This! This is why I'm such a freak about wanting to know exactly where you are!" To which Girl-Child replied, "Mommy, you screamed really LOUD". Then it occurred to me that my throat was really sore.

Then I spent the next few hours trying to stop myself from playing the "what if?" game in my head...

What if we'd left the salon 30 seconds later?
What if the sprinklers hadn't suddenly come on which caused me to dash in my car and pull out quickly because I JUST got it washed?
What if I'd taken the 3:30pm appointment instead of the 10:30am?
What if I had minded my own business?
What if I'd driven out the other exit?

What if....