Saturday, May 31, 2014

With a Cherry on Top

We were eating dinner, and Owen was telling a story.

He is a dear and sweet child, but this was a long and involved story and it's possible that Chris and I started to have a side conversation about deck paint options, which is interesting and salient.

"Mom and Dad?"  Lilly says, "you are interrupting Owen.  Please be respectful."

So we listened to the story.

Apparently, on field day at school, they only delivered 18 popsicles to his classroom of 19 children.  Owen was the last kid in line, and, boom, no more popsicles.

"So I went downstairs to the cooler and I didn't even look, I just picked one out.  And do you what color it was?!"

Bated breath, here, Owen.



"All the other kids were jealous, but I think it is fair because I had to wait the longest."

It was an epic tale, but that is the gist.  Then, it was Lilly's turn.

"One day, at school, my teacher Tessa brought in POPSICLES!"

I think I know where this is going.

"And I didn't get one, so I went upstairs, and I closed my eyes and I grabbed one from the cooler, and guess what color it was!"


"RAINBOW!! . . .  With a cherry on top!"

"Wiwwy."  Owen says, "I do not think that was a real story."

I have to agree.

Owen explains, "For one thing, Horizon doesn't HAVE an upstairs."

Oh, BOOM, that's a good one, Owen!

"And for another thing, who would ever put a cherry on top of a Popsicle?"

Sherlock Holmes here.

whine and cheese

Zoh my god.

So whiny.  That last post, in retrospect kind of sounded ridiculous.


I just mean that we are looking at 10,000 in house repairs so that the city doesn't take us to housing court, because, while it kind of sounds like an adorable little court, is probably just regular stupid un-enjoyable court.

And I want the children to have clothes that fit, but they keep getting larger and / or destroying their old clothes.

Hand-me-downs are kind of a joke.  Sam is leaving no hand-me-downs for Owen.  We can barely get his clothes to last through a season.  I'm glad warm weather is here because Sam's winter clothes were hanging together by stained threads.

So things are good.  I was a single parent last week, but a single parent with a bunch of supportive family members to help out.  And now Chris is back, so that's good.

Misplaced trust

So this week has been fun, right?

Or as Owen would say.  "Dieureeue.  It was not fun."

But I'm not going to talk about that anymore, because Margaret is 20% of my audience, and you gotta respect your audience, man.

Instead, let's talk about all the things I cannot afford to buy right now.

  • House Painting.
  • Chimney Mortaring.
  • Landscaping.
  • House Cleaning.
  • Convenience Food.
  • New furniture (specifically, buffet, mattress, and dressers).
  • New clothes.

Okay.  Well.  That didn't feel like a lot of fun either.

Anyway, here's a conversation I just had with Lilly:

"Mom? Can I do your hair?  You have side bangs. I will get them out of the way so that you can see.  It is so nice to see your face.  Izzy does not have bangs.  Izzy has hair that is short in the front.  I like to do your hair.  Can I watch The Croods?"


And another recent one:

"Lilly, did you pick up your toys?"

"Yes.  I did."

"Really?" (side eye)

"Mom."  She comes closer, gently grasping my face in her hands, tenderly brushing my hair back.  She brings her nose to my nose and stares into my eyes.  "I trust you,." she whispers.  Long stare.  Then, again, "I trust you."

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Revisiting Margaret's favorite topic

Owen's caught himself a little virus.

It's terribly sad, but he does look totally gorgeous.  His cheeks are rosy and his eyes are bright and glossy.

The vomiting detracts from the attractiveness, but there's always a trade-off, you know?

Honestly, I've seen way worse.  I mean, he's only thrown up once, and there wasn't even recognizable food in it.

Owen, however, asked me, "Is this the sickest I've ever been?"

Oddly, he seems way more distressed by the diarrhea.  After the first bout, he came to me in tears.

"Mom?  I had to poop but I didn't make it all in the toilet because it was all like soft."

Oh, gross.

"And I tried to wipe it off but it was hard to clean up."

Dear god, he's never tried to clean up anything ever in his life.  Why did he start now?

"I got some in my underpants, and I tried to wipe it out."

Please stop.

"And I didn't know if I should throw them down the laundry chute so I left them in my room."

Oh good.

"And I tried to wipe my butt but it took a lot of toilet paper."

"Owen, my love, I need you to go wash your hands right now."

He is clearly very upset about the diarrhea because he can't let it go.

"Mom?  Why did that happen to me?  It was like peeing out of my butt.  Why was I peeing out of my butt?  It made a really gross noise when it was falling into the toilet and that noise made me very uncomfortable.  When it touched the toilet paper it was GREEN.  Usually, when I'm pooping, I can kind of close my butt and pull the poop back up, but I can't with this."

He's had a LOT of visits to the bathroom this morning.  I checked in on him at one point and he said, "Mom?  I keep falling asleep, but then I have to go to the bathroom to have diarrhea.  But, Mom?  I got it all in the toilet this time."

"Oh, that's great, Owen."

"Not a speck was on the floor or the toilet seat."


"Can you please tell Dad that?"

"I sure will."

And I did.

Just because I make fun doesn't mean I don't appreciate it.

Chris is a dear, sweet, man.

A long time ago, we came up with a clear division of labor for the laundry.  He would be responsible for keeping the laundry off the floor by throwing it down the laundry chute, and for carrying clean laundry upstairs, and I would do all the laundry, fold the laundry, and put the laundry away.

The plan fell apart because Chris has a genetic disorder that prevents him from seeing things that are lying around on the floor.

It's very sad.

But he's not just trying to get out of work, you know.  He does do a fair amount of the laundry.

In fact when I went down to the basement today, I saw that he had washed and folded a load of laundry.

Also, side note (foreshadowing!) we recently had plumbers come clean out the drain in the basement.  They wore some of those disposable shoe covers, and, when they were done, they took them off and left them there.

When we fold laundry 'round here, we separate it into piles by person (does everybody?  I'm always finding out that things that I thought were standard are, in fact, not.).

In my pile, I see this:

That, my friends, is one washed and dried disposable shoe cover.

What I enjoy most about this is imagining Chris fishing the shoe cover out of the dryer, holding it up, and, apparently, thinking, "well, whatever it is, it must be Beth's."

Also, this is a picture of where he put the spray bottle, and how close I come to reaching it.

Also, try taking a picture of your basement laundry area.  It's the only way you really SEE how very grungy your underground hovel really is.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I noticed that you try to be Funny

"Oh my god!  I never realized how funny you were until just now!"

This is, actually, at least the third time this particular colleague has said this to me.  Notably, it is the second time this week.  Within 48 hours, actually.

Which makes me feel a little weird about the whole thing.

I don't really know what exactly is happening.

Is she a hamster?  Are we having 50 First Dates?

If we assume she is a real person - with a regular, non-amnesic, brain - what is the message she's trying to send with this?

And, I do kind of believe she is backhanding me with something.  She has said more than one cruel, flippantly mean-spirited things to me and then added, "Just kidding!"

So I'm a little scared of her.

Also, we've been colleagues for close to a year at this point.  You know, interacting and such.  So why does she keep saying that it is only NOW that she thinks (allegedly) I'm funny?

I guess I want to know: Is she saying I seem like I'm trying to HARD to be funny?  Because, I assure you, it's totally natural.

In fact, now that we are talking about it, I have this horrible habit of joking while talking to people who have no sense of humor (i.e., every manager ever) and I CAN'T STOP.

Co-workers are weird.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Questing, Never Resting.


The voice is tearful, and there is an ice-cold finger on my cheek.

It scares the living shit out of me.

Guys, this is why I hate air conditioners.  I can't hear the kids coming for me, and when I wake up to a person in my face, it gives me a heart attack.

"Mom?" Lilly sobs, "Can I have some medicine?  I am coughing free by free!" she says, as she holds up two fingers.

Okay.  I'm pulling myself together.  But I'm so confused.  Maybe it's the adrenalin surge, or that I was just dead asleep, or that it is dark in here, but none of this is making sense.

I know two things:

1) Lilly is pretty sick, and making horrible, phlegm-y, sick noises.
2) I am in a sci-fi / fantasy / thriller where my daughter is speaking in oracle-ese and I'm probably about to start an epic journey.

"Lilly, what?  What are you saying?"

"I can't stop coughing three by three!"  This time she holds up three fingers.

Right.  Well.  Moving along.  I get tissues, an allergy pill, an extra blanket (ice-cold finger, remember) and some ibuprofen.  Drink of water and back to bed.

She does have a bad cough.  And, even in the light of day, refers to herself as coughing three by three.

Which, of course.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sharing is caring!

I wouldn't say that I'm a selfish person, exactly.

I just like to have my things.

It is why I don't like to travel.  I like to have all my things.  All the things I like.  All my things that are just exactly right.  My pillow, my can opener, my remote control.

(i.e., sleep, eat, read)

Packing, for me, is an exercise in hysterical stuffing of All The Things.

Kids, of course, make that all worse.  You have to imagine not just all the possible scenarios that you might encounter, but also every possible thing that could ever happen to anybody.

That's a lot of things.

Anyway, traveling and packing isn't even the point today.

The point is, I like my things.  I like to have my things.  I have all my important things - my nail clippers, my chap stick, my allergy pills - right nearby.  Easy access.

My bedside table, for example, could provide necessarily life-sustaining tools for years after an apocalyptic event.

When the zombies come, and you have to make a run for it, just grab my bedside table.  You will be so good to go.

You will have items such as (but not limited to):

  • ibuprofen
  • multivitamins
  • allergy pills
  • nasal decongestants
  • antibiotic ointment
  • band aids
  • snacks
  • nail clippers
  • scissors
  • nail polish
  • notebooks
  • pens
  • a hair brush
  • lotion (s) (including exema lotion, face lotion, foot lotion, and body lotion)
  • chap stick
  • a number of CDs
  • random unlabeled pills
  • old receipts
  • various wires
  • hydrocortisone cream
  • bottle of water

But here's the thing:  I told you that you could grab my beside table in the event of zombies or some other world-altering / endangering event.

Other than that, please get off my bedside table.

It is MY well-stocked cupboard of comfort.

So please don't come to my organizational oasis and snatch my nail clippers (Chris).   Stop consuming my pills and rubbing with my lotions (Chris).  If you would like to have this treasure trove of tools, you may assemble your own (Chris).  I highly recommend it.

I'm making fun of Chris here, because he's a significant abuser of my hoarding efforts, but the thing that really gets me?  Like nails on a chalkboard?

The kids drinking from my water bottle.

Is it so much to ask that the water bottle be mine alone?  They treat it like the family water fountain.  Like a rest stop refresher as they go about their days.

They all have their own water bottles, of course.  As well as clean running water and numerous available receptacles.

But I have seen the kids walk up stairs, past two sinks, and come in to my room and guzzle my water.

Do you know how many DISEASES these kids have?!

It's a lot.

But we're a family, and what's mine is theirs, and what's theirs used to be mine.

My water bottle sings a siren song.  My niece came over the other day.  Drawn like a lodestone, she grabbed and chugged from the communal water bottle.

Please understand that I do, in fact, wash and replace this bottle on a regular basis.

It's just that I didn't know that becoming a mom meant never having only your lips on your cup.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lil' Lils

Lilly turned four this week.  There have been a few celebrations: a family one, a small school acknowledgment, and an EPIC Little Gym blow-out.  

Possibly just a regular Little Gym event.

But Lilly is just a little bit confused by the fact that each party has not resulted in another year of growth.  

"I'm FIVE now!"  

No, you just look five.  Perhaps six?

Seriously.  I don't know if you are aware, but she's a little tall for her age.

One of Lilly's favorite friends is at her party - she is a petite and charming little pixie of a girl.

Lilly could eat her for a snack.  

She has to bend down a little to talk to her.

We ran into one of Sam's friends at Target today (Marcus?  Mason?  Max?) and this kid's little sister was there.

"Is that Sam's sister?" she whispers to her dad in that way that kids whisper which is quite as loud as regular talking.

Lilly ignores her.

But this little girl is not to be dissuaded, and she walks up to Lilly.  "How old are you?"

"I'm four," says Lilly.  

I'm thinking we might be okay here, because she is only half a head shorter than her. 

"Well I'm FIVE, so I'm a WHOLE year older than you."

Her dad chimes in, "Oh, probably not a WHOLE year."

I would say that it's probably a whole year.

They ran off to look at the toys together, but it wasn't long before Lilly found me in the aisle and said, "Mom?  I'm done spending time with that girl."

And ain't that the truth.  

For some reason, I hadn't understood that I wouldn't know anybody at Lilly's party.  A few relatives showed up and thank god for that.  

Happy Birthday to Lilly!