Monday, September 14, 2015

If Chris had a blog

"Do you think people feel sorry for you in my blog stories?" I ask Chris.  "Like, does it come off mean?  I'm not trying to be mean.  I don't want my stories to make you feel bad."

"I don't care what you write.  It's never bothered me.  Seriously, it's fine."

We're on our way to the apple picking farm, the kids are in the back, watching a movie.  Which means this is one of our most sustained conversations all week.

"Hey," he pauses, "We've been driving this way for a while.  Do you think we're going the right way?"

"I'm not 100% sure, but my guess is no, Chris.  I would say you made a wrong turn somewhere."

"Oh!  You could write a blog about this!"

"About what?"

"Me going the wrong direction!"

"See, that's why you don't have a blog."


"Because this is neither funny nor interesting to others. Nobody cares."

"But it's me being an idiot. You always write about that."

"I promise you I don't write about it every time you are an idiot. Also, this isn't even being an idiot. It's just you getting slightly lost."

"But if you don't blog about this, it's just a waste of gas."

And ViolĂ .

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Same Old

"What's this?" Chris asks me, holding a package.

"Just some shipping envelopes I ordered. It's a package of packages!"

He looks at it, appraisingly. He considers my response. "No," he declares, "I think it's some airconditioner foam."

"Well, that's a good guess, but that's not what it is."

"It's not the right shape for envelopes!" he insists.

"Envelopes, my love, come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Also, why did you even ask me?"

"I thought you would know!"

"I suppose you could always open it."

Guys, it's almost sad. Because with a glint of defiance in his eyes he tears it open.

"Oh, my, look at that. Shipping envelopes. I did NOT see that coming. Wow."

It's like he doesn't even KNOW us.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday night


"IRB administration, this is Beth."

"Yes, hi, I'm calling about an emergency use?"

"Of COURSE you are!  It's 4:30 in the afternoon, I want to go home, and all the IRB Chairpeople are on vacation!'

An emergency use is, basically speaking, when a doctor has a patient who is going to die without a drug, but the drug isn't FDA approved so they need a letter from the IRB.

When you get that call you know the next two hours of your life are gone. And also that somebody somewhere is dying and a doctor is trying to save them, so only a jerk would be resentful.


Text to Chris: "on my way,"

Text from Chris:"jst cmn strait to Fairfx I have all kids"

Okay, Chris took kids to playground.  Hurry hurry. Feeling anxious about getting home late, and extra loving because none of my children are currently dying of cancer.  Love my family!  But also late! Get out of the car! Run! I forgot my purse! Unnecessary at the park! Forget about it!  Just go!  Where is he?  Where are they?  Why are all these cars here? SHIT!  That stupid Boy Scout meeting!

Some Boy Scout guy came to Owen's class and promised them a rocket if they came to the Boy Scouts meeting. Owen was IN!  So in. Like, in right now.  Is it time yet?

I forgot.  I walk in.  It is very boring, I can feel the restless desire to escape rolling off the crowd the second I walk in. Wait, sweet Jesus, what's that smell?!?  Oh.  It's Lilly.  She looks and smells homeless right now, and not in a cute way.  Why would he take her in public like this?!

"I want to go outside!" Lilly says.

You and everybody else in this room, Lilly

"I have to leave in five minutes," Chris whispers.

 Shit.  Tennis.  Goddamnit I was loving my family and now I have five minutes before my husband leaves me with a reeking child at a Boy Scout meeting.

Take Lilly outside, play, come back inside.

Chris has written a note: "Do NOT sign up!  Do not pay!" And then scampers off.

Meeting ending.

"Everybody who has signed up and paid the dues, come get a rocket ship!"



No rocket ship Owen.

So this is when Owen's innocence dies.

We go outside, Owen is too sad to play. He heads off to lay on the ground.

Sam and Lilly want to play, though.

I have to stand in this exact spot. This one, right here. If I go to Owen, I've left my five year old unattended on a playground. If I go sit on the bench, I've left Owen crying by the sidewalk.

So I stand here.

This is boring. I want to go.

If I make Sam and Lilly leave, they will be upset. Owen is already upset.

I will stand here.

This is boring.

How long has it beeeeeeeen?

Three and a half minutes.

"Time to go!"

Get in the car. Jesus Christ Lilly stinks. When is the last time someone WASHED this kid? And what is she doing all day to build up that kind of layer of filth.

This ride home is eternal.

It's only been two minutes.

Almost there.

"Mom, aren't you going to drop the boys off?"

What? Why? Where?

"To get their bikes."

God bless America.

I drive back, put them on their bikes and make the eternal drive again.

"Straight to the bath Lilly!"

"I'm hungry."

You know what, how about one of you goddamn kids tells me next time you're NOT hungry and save us all some goddamn time?

My gratitude is slipping.

We walk in the house. It reeks of tuna fish.

Turns out, the only thing that smells worse than Lilly right now is hot tuna fish house.

Mom, I'm hungry.

Get. In. The. Tub.



"If you find a wood chip with a pointy end, it's mine."

There are dirty clothes everywhere.  Why do we live in filth?  Why?  We have wall-to-wall  dirty clothes in our hot tuna house and urchin children.


Everybody is clean now.  Clothes down the laundry chute. I'll go tackle the dishes now, maybe manage whatever smells like tuna.