Friday, July 31, 2009

The Cop Out

As this week wraps up, I find myself smack dab in the middle of summer. And since my brain is too fried to come up with a legitimate post, I'm resorting to the second-best cop-out. (The first being a haiku, and that's just too much effort). And so, dear folks, I bring you the list. The List of Un-Related Activities That Clog My Brain & Made Up My Week.

When your kids are eating dinner and a lizard the size of your fist decides to crawl up the wall? Don't scream like a banshee while you wave a broom and plea for mercy. Your kids won't sleep for weeks.

If your 3 year old suddenly decides to actually "swim" at her lesson (Face underwater! Legs kicking! Arms moving! Not drowning!) Don't scream like there is a lizard in your kitchen and make the gentleman sitting next to you poop his pants. He quietly muttered a "you scared me" in a calm, little voice and then sidestepped his poopie way to the exit.

If you happen to come down with a mysterious, summer virus that leaves you with stomach cramps, lethargy and no appetite- do not expect your spouse to notice, or convey any pity. However, when they are stricken with the same malaise three days later- the red carpets of nursing must be rolled out, stat. Combine that with lots of coddling, a written excuse from all parental responsibilities and a free pass for the grumpies. What you do to their soup however, is between you and God. No one else.

If you suddenly think your year old puppy is ready to roam free at night, do not stop crating him. Or you will suddenly realize your favorite pair of shorts no longer has a crotch. And your three year old will awaken and say "Mommy? It snowed in my room!" Only to realize that a certain stuffed Seussical Horton met his maker in a grim, shredded massacre.

So, there you have it. A stellar week of reptiles, incontinent strangers, swine-like flu and a Horton-Who-Can-No-Longer-Hear-A-Who. I hope next week is nice and boring. So I can write a haiku about it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Don't Pull His Finger...

I've been married for thirteen years. Been together with my husband for 20. Needless to say, we know each other pretty well.

So well, that there's a new brand of romance in this house.

Not exactly Harlequin material, but more along the lines of fourth grade sleep away camp.

We tell a lot of poopie jokes. We make a lot of inappropriate innuendos.

He may not bring me flowers, but he does make me laugh until my stomach hurts.

And I really wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Funny Bone To Pick

My five year old is an interesting kid. Nothing about her is by the book. No parenting article, wives tale, or well intended advice could ever really help me. She refused to poop in the potty until she was well past three. She'd happily ask me for a pull-up, squat down in anyone's presence and re-enact her own National Geographic tribal defecation regularly.

I tried everything. I coaxed. I offered ridiculous bribes. I made a chart. Nothing worked. Until one day, when I had her on the changing table, and I looked her right in the eye and said "Annie? This is gross. Really gross. I'd really like it if you'd go in the bathroom from now on."

She shrugged her shoulders and said, in a not-so-big-deal voice, "Ok."
And that was it.

Since we've moved, her quirks have really settled down. She doesn't insist I call her Pooh Bear anymore, she poops in an appropriate place, and she'll eat off a plate (used to be only bowls) and let's us use the words "cute and tasty" (formerly verboten).

Until today. I may or may not have mentioned that Annie has developed a deep seated fear of the Operation Game. (You know the one? Where you pull the guy's funny bone out and his nose lights up?) SHE HATES THIS GAME. Santa brought her one for Christmas, somehow thinking that given her family's livelihood, and Annie's obsession with anatomy that this will provide oodles of hours of entertainment.

Strike one for the big guy in the red suit. She gasped when she opened the box, and set it gently across the room and quietly told me that she would like to put it in the birthday closet where Mommy pilfers from when we're late for a birthday party. (Sorry five year old Heather. Hope he doesn't scare you as much as he did Annie!)

A few weeks ago, we were in Target, admiring their pool toys when Annie started hyperventilating. Tears coursed down her cheeks, and when she could finally put a word together, she trembled "operation!" in a scared, little voice that sounds strange coming from a kid with such a big personality. I mistakenly parked the cart near the game aisle, and the bright yellow box with red letters was proudly on display. Now she refuses to go to Target, which since she's home with me all summer, is saving us tons of money!

She then refused to go to Vons, our local grocery store, claiming Operation had taken a hold there as well. I told her this was ridiculous, that grocery stores did not sell games. I even took it one step further (because damn you Vons! You're the only one that carries St. Superey Sauvingnon Blanc) and called the store manager to ask him if they stocked the dreaded game. He emphatically told me no, and I visibly could see Annie breathe a sigh of relief as we piled into the car.

She even brought it up when we walked through the door. "No You-Know-What-Here Mommy!" she crowed, as she clutched my new Iphone and the killer Grocerystore IQ app that we now use to do our shopping. (she likes to check the boxes).

Things were good until we hit the breakfast cereal aisle. And then (drumroll please), that asshole Vons Store Manager neglected to tell me that they may not carry the Operation Game, but they DO carry Operation Fruit Snacks. (because what's tastier? Eating someone's gelatinous, infected funny bone?) There were a GAZILLION yellow boxes with red lettering and oversized pictures of body parts.

She totally lost it. Like, cause a spectacle LOST IT. Like, my Mommy has tied me to a chair and Freddie Krueger and Linda Blair are coming over for tea LOST it. I started giggling nervously and turned the boxes over as fast as I could. I cajoled and coaxed her into the next aisle, promising that we wouldn't have to go back there.

And like something out of a horror movie, that asshole Vons Store Manager must have decided that Operation Fruit Snacks were the item of the century. They were on display at the end of EVERY other aisle throughout the store. It was like Operation Fruit Snack was going to cure cancer. Or solve the Iraq war.

Or maybe? Maybe the Store Manager was huddled behind the customer service counter, laughing himself into oblivion. I'll get your Funnybone mister. And your little dog, Toto too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wish You Were There

Immediately after dropping our bags off at the house we were going to share with 4 other adults, 4 teenage girls, 4 little kids and one baby (our own Waltons episode?) we headed to the beach front Mexican place that served up margaritas by the pitcher. After my 3rd libation or so, I realized that Catalina must be like living in 1951. Your kids can play. They can walk across the street with a gaggle of other kids to buy themselves an ice cream cone. The group we became an honorary part of calls themselves "The Too Much Fun" club and they have been vacationing together for almost 25 years. It's a varied assortment of ages, but no matter where you go, someone in the club is there and keeping an eye out.

Someone from the group goes down to the beach at 5am and lays down blankets for the late stragglers to enjoy. Somebody else stays on the beach at 5pm when everyone else goes to take a shower and sets up beach chairs for the Beach Bingo the city runs every Tuesday and Thursday night. It was insanely awesome.

When we all decided to hit the local beach club one day, a TMF Club member showed up with their golf cart to give the little kids a ride. (it's a bit of a walk). Someone was always on hand to buy me a drink, lend me a beach chair or include me in a funny conversation. It was so nice- so, so nice that I kept waiting for it to turn into its own "Hotel California" video and watch these nice people morph into crazy demons, snatch my kidney or sell me on a pyramid scheme.

Did we have a great time? Yes. Do I want to go back next year? Absotootely. But I don't want to be the guy that has to get up at 5am.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

26 Miles Across The Sea

I'm here! I'm here! Sorry for the lag folks, I took a couple of days off to recoup and relax. Umm... not exactly.

Out of the blue, old friends that we haven't seen in ten years unexpectedly contacted us and invited us to join them on Catalina island for two days. We jumped at the opportunity, and I'm slowly recovering.

It was fun. Serious fun. Like fraternity-party-with-kids-in-tow fun. But we're not really used to that. Matt and I like to vacation like senior citizens- lots of down time, a bit of sight seeing, lots of time for reading, an early-bird dinner and a prostate exam. This was a bit of a different scene.

We missed our first boat. Silly me thought she could rally her family and drive 45 minutes away to the dock to make an 8:30am boat. Didn't happen. If someone -who-shall-remain- nameless hadn't wanted to stop for coffee and missed the turnoff, we may have had a fighting chance, but no luck. When I went to the ticket counter to plead and beg (since all boats were sold out for the remainder of the day) something strange happened.

She upgraded us. To first class. Which included mucho bloody marys. I had to leave my youngest child with her as payment, but I figured, Hey! What's two bloody marys instead of college tuition!

To be continued...