Saturday, September 30, 2006

A few words to the wise

Please read and take to heart the following words of wisdom from a woman who‘s learned the hard way.

** If you have to leave the room while your toddler is sitting on the toilet... Take. The toilet paper. With you.

** Never leave your soda, your child and your step-stool in the same room together.

** Goldfish crackers float for a very long time, but they will clog the toilet.

** When the cat's away, the babies will play... with the litter box.

** At some point in their lives you will probably have to tell your children that bicycle tires are not to be eaten.

** Don't turn your back on a child with a bottle of ketchup in his hands.

** Tater tots keep for a rrrreeeeally long time in the nooks and crannies of a car seat.

** Your kids won't know you're alive... until the phone rings.

** If it's within reach, it's fair game.

** Your teenager will leave a drink on the floor, the babies will knock it over, and you won‘t know about it until you‘ve stepped in it.

** Eyes were made for rolling. (Duh!)

** You can tell your husband exactly what you want and he'll still claim you're a mystery.

** No, in fact, a broken graham cracker does not taste the same as a whole graham cracker.

** Your children will be best friends... until you're at the grocery store.

** The same child that can’t seem to lift that arm to pick up toys will suddenly sprout ten hands when you’re trying to wipe his nose/buckle his car seat/comb her hair.

Oh, there's so much more where this came from. This is all I could coax out of my rabbity mush brain tonight.

And how did I learn all this? How many hours in the cockpit of Hell's Airlines must one log to rack up this wealth of been-there-done-that? (What in the world goes on at her house?!)  Don’t ask. That is, unless you've got the afternoon free and you aren't easily upset by foul language.

I have to be honest here. Recent events in the lives of some good friends of ours have made me realize that I really have nothing worth complaining about. This may be a thin little slice of hell, but it's my slice. It's a zoo, but it's my zoo. And call me crazy, but I wouldn't trade my animals for anything else in the world.

I'm just thankful I have animals tonight.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

This! is Where The Wild Things Are!

(NOTE: Another very old entry with some inappropriate content.  And so much has changed since then, both in my family and in my heart.  But I chuckled here and there so decided to leave it.)

"Tsk tsk tsk. Get a load of those kids, Harriet. I think we've discovered who took a bite out of every apple in the produce section. The mess in Bulk Foods? Mm-hm. Probably. I'm glad I brought my shopping list with me. I declare, I just can't think with all that yelling and screaming going on. Why do grocery stores have to echo so? Look! She's clomped her hand over that baby's mouth - again. As if it did any good the last time. *gasp* Merciful heavens, did she just take a drink from a flask!??!! Oh that poor harried woman. How she must look forward to naptime. Just look at those bags... No Harriet, not those bags. The ones under her eyes!"

I never imagined I'd be the whisper-ee at the grocery store, but it's happened. Oh, not because of Ashley. Now a high school freshman, the most noise I can get out of her in public is the grating sound her eyeballs make when she rolls them. No, the whispering and finger-pointing is all about the babies. Jonah and Mary-Beth. Bonnie & Clyde.

Soooooo, at what point am I required to publicly acknowledge that my children are animals? And that most probably I am the reason why they're animals? I'm sure it should be a public proclomation of some sort, like a public service announcement. I mean, it's not as if I can hide it anymore. You can only keep the animals in their cages for so long, even at the zoo. Eventually they must come out to eat, sleep and potty. (Right?)

I guess I really should make it public somehow. The acknowledgement, I mean. I don't want anyone to think that I don't know that they know I know they know. Y'know? I hate being the only one in the room who doesn't get the joke.

Ignorance really is bliss. Gone are the days when I could tra-la-la through town without an inkling of the chaos I leave in my wake. What I don't know can't embarass me. As it stands now, I feel as if I've been walking around town with my skirt tucked into the back of my underwear all day, but nobody told me. I didn't discover it until I went to put my p.j.'s on.


And I was wearing my hole-y granny panties! The dark blue ones that accidentally got bleached, so now they've got weird spots and streaks all over them. Period underwear! Dang dang!! How come I'm never in my hoochie-momma Victoria's Secret "Wonder What's Under There" chonies when stuff like this happens!!!

So, back to the PSA. How about a bumper sticker? "Animals on Board" That would do, I suppose. Or how about "AKC Registered" instead? Do your kids have to actually be AKC registered before the American Kennel Club will give you a bumper sticker? (Will they even register kids?) Maybe a bumper sticker isn't the way to go. Something a little bigger? I need to get my message out to John Q. Public as a whole, and fast. And let's face it, I don't have my minivan with me 24/7.

Maybe I can wear a t-shirt that announces the babies' fauna status in big bold letters?

"Beware: My Children Are Animals. Keep all fingers and toes safely inside your own personal space. If you stick it in their mouths, they will bite it. We cannot be held responsible for the stupidity of those who ignore posted warnings. No flash photography, if you please."

Since the shirt itself will already be plenty big (shut up) maybe the letters won't need to be all that big and bold. Hmm. You're right. Not quite splashy enough to get the word out. The idea has merit, but it lacks zing and razmataz.

I know! I could put a concrete lawn elf in the front yard. He can hold a big sign that says "This! is Where The Wild Things Are!" I can probably get Dan to rig some sort of blinking light thingee. Oh! Oh! Maybe we can set it to music? Yeah! I think I'm onto something here.

A synchronized lights-blinking-to-the-beat-of-the-blaring-music spectacle! Tooootally Broadway. I'm sure our neighbors wouldn't mind a little "Jungle Boogie" to mask the sound of kids fighting in my back yard. And I'd have some nifty music to vacuum by, wouldn't I. Shake-shake-shake my groove thang, shed a few pounds. Kill two birds with one stone.

Eh. You're only alloted so many police visits per year, and I don't want to have The Law showing up uninvited more than my fair share. Maybe I need to try a more dignified approach. Maybe the announcement should come in the form of a speech? Yeah. A good old fashioned politicky concession speech.

I can see it now. I'm standing at the Podium of Shame dressed in my wrinkly jelly-stained mom uniform, the heel of one Sensible Shoe broken, bun askew. I'm doing my best to maintain my composure while I read my cue cards to a crowd of former supporters and smug know-it-alls. I am flanked by all my campaign insiders -- neighbors, grocery store clerks, nursery workers, friends who used to go out to dinner with us -- all of them nodding somberly, eyes downcast. Amid their chorus of hallelujahs and amens you can hear them muttering, "Yes, yes. It's true. They are indeed animals and you suck as a zookeeper. We've seen it for ourselves. We would encourage you not to quit your day job, but alas... this is your day job. So we concur, we whole-heartedly support your statements, and even though we promised never to say it... we SOOOO told you so."

Um, maybe not. Come to think of it, public scrutiny has never been my bag.

I think I prefer some bliss and a little tra-la-la. I think I'll just pretend that I don't know that you know I know you know. I'll hair-spray my bun back into place, staple that smile on, and pull my children through life by their earlobes. I'll keep my grocery cart in the middle of the aisle so they can't pull down the spaghetti sauce display. Again. (shut up) I'll post a "Beware of Kids" sign on the fence and I'll try to keep my purse stocked with "pie for that hole." I'll do my best to keep their hands out of your purse, their teeth off your end tables, and their toys out of your toilet.

But I promise never to wear granny panties again. Some things you just don't do to other people.
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