Archive for July, 2011


Backyard View

July 13th, 2011 at 4:02 pm » Comments (5)

With Ethan-11yr at camp, I have just the 2 little guys. But let’s not be fooled by the phrase “just the 2 little guys.”

Earlier I looked out the back window and “just the 2 little guys” were taking turns lying upside down on a slide while the other one held the water hose, letting water run onto his brother’s forehead and the hose- holding brother yelled excitedly.

I watched this odd scene for a minute. The brothers changed places and repeated the activity. It seemed… hmm. Familiar, but not in a Norman Rockwell way. Even though they’re happy and all…  I’m sure they’ve never done that before… but it does seem familiar.

OH! HELL! NO! THEY JUST RE-INVENTED WATERBOARDING?!

I didn’t ask questions. I have NO idea what it was about. I just didn’t have the patience today to find out, yaknow? Maybe another day, I’ll sweetly ask what that particular game was about and we can have a constructive conversation about why NO, we don’t really need to do that, EVER. One day when I can trust myself not to flip out on them.

Instead, I screamed into a throw pillow and then opened the door and yelled at them to stopitrightnow and think of a new game.  Shut the door, and watched until they moved onto something with sand and goggles.

I went back to laundry and breathing normally.

Mostly.

They’re just 2 little guys, but I’m feeling more outnumbered than usual.


Fuzzy Math

July 12th, 2011 at 2:40 pm » Comments (5)

I did NOT freak out this year when it was time to send Ethan-11yr to camp.

Last year I was so freaked out about sending Ethan-11yr to camp I practically had an all-family,  laying on of hands, hour long prayer sendoff. I mean NO ONE could have mistaken that he was going to camp last year.

But yesterday, I just sent him to camp, sans mommy freakout.  And guess what? That WORKED. Mainly it worked because Caden-7yr freaked out FOR me. (And boy, did he do it well, gotta give credit where credit is due.)

Yesterday the moms and the dads stood around in the parking lot…. waiting. This is what we do. For reasons I do not fully understand. We arrive to drop off children and bags at the church parking lot at 10:30 but then we stand until after 11:30 when we all have a meeting, pray, then wave goodbye to the bus as it leaves, and then we can leave. It was the same last year. I’m tempted to show up late, but I just didn’t have it in me.

Mom and I spent that hour standing and talking and while sweat ran down our backs, and I pointed out all the cute little kids and she told me about Posh having a baby girl and what she named her and it was something really weird, but i don’t remember and I’ve never been a Posh fan anyway. Neither is my mom.

Someone called me by the wrong name, but it’s the same wrong name everyone at that church calls me. Her name also starts with a K, and we look nothing alike, but for some reason people confuse us a lot. I’ve pointed out the other person to my mom, who says ‘you’re the same height’ or ‘obviously, it’s the eyelids.’ Both of which crack me up, because she’s at least partly serious.

Before dropping off Ethan-11yr (and by ‘dropping off’ I really mean, ‘standing around and wishing it were more of a true drop off instead of a lingering involuntary social event’) we had dropped off the two little guys at a VBS. And by ‘dropped off’, I mean, DROPPED OFF, praise God.

So when I went BACK to VBS to get the two little guys after the Lingering Bus Farewell Party, Caden-7yr noticed I did not have Ethan-11yr. Observant little guy.

He asked if he was with Dad.

“Um… no. Remember all that camp stuff we put in the car? He’s on his way to camp.”

“WHAT? I THOUGHT HE’D GO WITH DAD FOR A LITTLE BIT AND THEN WE COULD HUG, WE DID NOT HUG, CAN I CALL HIM, WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE’S ALREADY GONE I DID NOT SAY GOODBYYYYYYYYE!”

Melt. Down.

Not often are meltdowns adorable. Actually, almost never. But this one was SO sweet and even though it was a public freakout of loud proportions, it was somehow also endearing and perfectly excusable.

I SHOULD have remembered to orchestrate a goodbye ceremony with all the boys and I forgot. Things were hectic that morning because Ethan-11yr had gotten up in the middle of the night and was too excited about camp to go back to sleep so he woke up Caden-7yr and they stayed up and partied until Mike heard them and put them back to bed and then no one wanted to get up the next morning (which never happens) and then Maria got there and they were still in their underwear which always freaks them out (as if Maria hasn’t seen her own boys in underwear and might be shocked or something) and we were running behind. It was just crazy.

We were walking into a store when Caden-7yr had his meltdown. I pulled him over to a wall, out of the way, and tried to talk him down. Seth-5yr looked on with big, concerned eyes and reached out to pat his shoulder every few sobs or so.

We got back in the car a few minutes later and all was calm for about 30 seconds. Then Caden-7yr saw Ethan-11yr’s goggles in the backseat and lost it again. “ETHAN-11YR FORGOT HIS GOGGLES!!! WHAT IS HE GOING TO DO?! HE ISN’T USED TO OPENING HIS EYES IN SALT WATER! CAN WE TAKE THEM TO HIM? PLEEEEEASE? AND THEN I COULD HUG HIM, TOO.”

“It’s not salt water. He’ll be fine. And, NO.”

Two boys instead of three this week, but with the drama and insanity of five boys.

There’s just something not right about that.


Fish Tacos and Lizards, Por Favor

July 10th, 2011 at 10:36 pm » Comments (9)

Sunday afternoons I do a slow-paced class that mixes pilates and yoga. The lights are off. It’s the only class I do that is sort of mellow. And I get bored and my mind wanders, but it’s all okay and worth it because it does wonders for flexibility and I like the teacher.

So today, there we all are in Lizard Pose (it’s as ugly as it sounds) and I get completely distracted by the thought of good fish tacos, and would they have good fish tacos in Mexico, and I’ve actually never even been to Mexico and that thought takes me far away from the present…  and BAM. One girl Lizard in gray spandex DOWN.

If you fall out of Lizard Pose because you’re thinking about Mexican fish tacos, it’s a serious faceplant to the floor. We can call it “Faceplanted Lizard Pose.”  Or, “Roadkill.”

The good news is you don’t have all that far to fall, but it will be a smashed nose and it’s one of those serene classes in which you’re really not supposed to do stupid stuff and then flail and giggle and that is a whole other Bonus Challenge Level for me.

Tonight I had two of the boys at a church thing with bounce house things and snow cones. Caden-7yr immediately spilled a lot of snow cone syrup in between my toes. (I had on flip flops) Snow cone syrup between toes is DISGUSTING. Then he smashed into Seth-5yr because he didn’t stop running before he got to him. Then he scraped a knee, bruised his side, spilled another snow cone, and tripped getting into the car to leave.

There’s no mystery where he gets it. He’s as clumsy as his mama lizard.  It concerns me. I think we need to get that Dermabond stuff that the doctors use to glue him back together and we could just keep it with the bandaids in the bathroom.

Is that stuff available only by prescription, because I checked and there’s not any for sale on eBay? Black market medical supplies?

I wonder if I could pick some up in Mexico and get some fish tacos while I’m there…

In the name of motherhood, I could SO do that.


OH! yeah, THAT, Okay.

July 8th, 2011 at 2:44 pm » Comments (3)

Follow up to the bellydancing thing,  and I’m not using that word again in this post:

 

Really…. i’d have to say…

 

Eh.

 

I mean, it was good and I’d go again if Mike happened to be around to have the kids and it all just worked out –  but I wouldn’t go out of my way to schedule it. She was an excellent instructor and I liked her and the class.

But.

Although there was SOME sweating, it wasn’t that intense at all. And that’s kinda a big requirement with me. And although there was a lot of weird ab stuff, I’m not sore at all today and that’s another requirement if I’m going to like a class enough to go back regularly.

There has to be some pain. There was no pain.

There was a lot of interesting things involving what!?-i-did-NOT-know-my-butt-could-do-that-huh- cool! type stuff, but that only goes so far.

Anyway. Excellent idea to try something new. Will probably go back eventually but more for the novelty and not for the workout.

If considering something similar, it would probably be better to take a friend who you could laugh at (and with) when you’re learning to shimmy and do fast, sharp hip shaky things.  Oh, and unless you have a teeny little butt (and I do not), you’ll probably end class with a greater appreciation for it than when you start class. The bigger it is, the more it does what it’s supposed to do.

I refuse to put the word asset in that last paragraph. Are you waiting to see if I will? I didn’t. I couldn’t. Ew.

 


We Heart Jason

July 8th, 2011 at 2:18 pm » Comments (4)

I like Jason’s Deli because the nice lady with a LOT of 80′s purple metallic eyeliner does not flinch when you order a California Club without bacon, without turkey, and without mayo, and change the bread, substitute the chips, and leave the pickle spear off the plate please.

Caden-7yr has been known to react, though. One time in the last 6 months he was standing behind me when I ordered that and he turned to the people behind him in line and proudly announced (as only he can), “I am not even embarrassed when she orders like that.” When I turned to give him a look he said, “WHAT!? I said I am NOT even embarrassed, Mom!”

Today he didn’t do that. Today – as only he can – he ate macaroni and cheese in the messiest possible manner and in quiet disbelief, said, “WOW! I really am the Messiest Man. I have noodles in my hair.” And he did.

But nothing beats the trip to Jason’s Deli when he spilled 5 drinks. FIVE. Not at once. That would have been easier. This was 5 drinks at 5 different times requiring 5 different cleanups, 5 different apologies to splashed diners nearby, and 5 different opportunities for all of us to thoroughly go insane. Which I did. Spill a cold drink on me in a cold restaurant in winter and I will take a deep breath and clean it up. Spill 5 and I will lose my mind.

One time we were there, eating outside, and witnessed a car accident on the freeway in front of us. No one was seriously hurt, but it was really loud and we had an unfortunate front row seat. That was so pivotal in the boys’ lives that they must re-live it every time we go there and they have to figure out how old they each were at the time of the accident and then suggest NEW theories on the cause of the accident.

Today was a complete success, given our Jason’s Deli history. We ate outside because it’s always freezing in there and I told Ethan-11yr it was not really okay to take a large blanket with us “so we could snuggle”, but that was a sweet idea he’d had.

Now I’m trying to get Seth-5yr to take a nap before he realizes he has a game today and then gets an upset stomach and a World Series level adrenaline rush that I’ll have to contend with. Normally he knows when it’s game day and he’ll stagger in, half awake, first thing in the morning and put on his deeper than usual ‘business voice’ and say, “Where’s my uniform? Is it clean? I have my hat and my glove ready, but is my uniform ready?”

I’ll try to shh him and tell him we have ALL DAY before his game, go and act like a 5 yr old or something, but that usually doesn’t work.

First the successful lunch. Now the successful nap. I’m getting lots done, and this day is going pretty well. (Hope yours is, too.)


Core Issues

July 7th, 2011 at 1:56 pm » Comments (11)

I’m starting to bore even myself. Wondering when the last time I did or said or thought anything interesting at all and not coming up with an answer. And rather than dwell on it and get all depressed, I decided I would try NOT to answer that. I’d just do something different. Like, fast.

Belly Dancing class at 5pm today.

It’s not that interesting, but not bad given the short notice I’d given myself and various restrictions. (I never want anyone to have cause to say, “She’s good with small children; oh, and I hear she’s had experience with a pole.”)

I’m not terribly excited about this prospect, but that’s not the point. If I were the sort to BE excited by doing odd or interesting things, then I wouldn’t be forcing myself into these sorts of things in the first place.

See? Boring. Above paragraph  = all the proof we need.

The good news about the boringness is it makes me desperately want to write. I’d forgotten that. When I feel my most boring, and as if I am the very least intriguing person on the planet… that is when I most want to escape by creating characters who actually ARE interesting and who then inspire me to be as well. Their thoughts can be ones I don’t allow myself to claim as my own. Their words can be funny or insightful in a way mine aren’t. And their conflicts can be explored without restraint because they can always be written into neat endings if necessary. This is what always pulled me to writing fiction – the escape to where the imaginary, interesting people live.

Sure beats belly dancing.

But whatever, I’ll try that, too. Although, ‘belly’ is a horrific word. Don’t you think? Oh, how I hate that word. If you say it, I will cringe, I just can’t help it.

LaLa and I once sat and wrote a list of all the words we detested. We referred to it ever since, simply as The List. (yeah, I was probably a boring child too, and just proved it, shut up, I KNOW.) I don’t remember if ‘belly’ is on The List, but it should be. It’s not okay with me, not when pregnant, not when dancing, not ever, I hate it and recommend we delete it from the English language.

Also on The List: ‘penal colony’ (for obvious reasons), ‘fig’ (for reasons only obvious to me but I hate it) and ‘moist’ (ew, it just SOUNDS revolting, right? and not like chocolate cake.)

What else is on  The List, LaLa? I forget.

And y’all please feel free to make your own contributions to The List.  I’d try to remember more, but I’m off to try Core Dancing.

I totally just pictured a dancing apple core. That doesn’t really substitute well, does it?


On To Plan B

July 6th, 2011 at 3:27 pm » Comments (3)

The other day I said, “Okay. Plan B.”  I stood in the kitchen, considering options when Ethan-11yr helpfully piped up, “Oh no, Mom. You’re on Plan… D.” I asked him what the other plans had been, and he correctly laid out what my first 3 plans had been. And there’s just something too depressing about the phrase, “Plan D.” I can’t do it. Precocious 11 yr olds aside, I’d rather just perpetually be on Plan B if necessary rather than admit it’s really Plan L. Or Plan R. I’m sure that happens too, around here, and when it does, Ethan-11yr will announce it and provide detailed documentation to back it all up.

*Today was supposed to be spent in a car with a friend and 5 boys, where we would drop off 3 boys at camp and hopefully have time to talk somewhere on the way there or back, or both. That was Plan ‘A.’

But. Caden-7yr came down with an ear infection and an accompanying fever and since he was the only one of mine who was to attend, well, we stayed home.  He’s sad about missing camp and has had me repeat for him why it is not okay to drop him off at camp ANYWAY, sick,  and just politely say, “Here is my child. Please take care of him. He has a fever that needs to be watched, he has a roaring ear infection he will not acknowledge but the doctor swears is in there, and don’t mind that his precious head is held together with glue – it’s probably fine and I’ll see you in a few days. Oh, and here are all his medications, and good luck getting him to take them because he doesn’t like the flavor and has to numb his tongue with an ice cube first, sorry, I taught him that and now I can’t undo it, and also? He is WAY accident prone and if anyone in camp has any Bendaroos, don’t let him get close because then he’ll break out in a rash that you will not BELIEVE so just watch out for that, too, okay?”

Keeping him home just seemed the better way to go, yaknow?

*In other news, I have somehow managed to get over the fact that I have a husband who will do lots of yardwork against his will (even if he does make me feel all left out) because…? I have a husband who did a lot of yardwork  that he didn’t want to do and I should probably just remember to be grateful and thankful and all of that instead, because REALLY, Kels? There are probably better things to get your feelings hurt over than that.

And after he went to work today, I wandered around with various power tools and found things to do all on my own and that works, too, and I’ll be doing more of that in a minute.

*I didn’t tell y’all how it went when LaLa came. {Spoiler Alert: It went well.} LaLa brought her boyfriend and his two adorable little kids, ages 2 and 4. (I think.) Anyway. I’m thrilled with the Whole LaLa Boyfriend Idea, and generally fall apart over cute children in that age range. Or any age range. Or kids who aren’t really cute, but I think they are anyway. But these two are indisputably adorable and if it weren’t weird and unacceptable, I’d show you photos and videos and tell you stories about them, but it feels too strange since they’re not mine and all.

* I dreamed I went to Vegas to meet Jennifer and her sweet daughter, who was miraculously already 4 months old. (We had a great time.)

* Seth-5yr had a t-ball game last night. He played left field and we set up chairs far enough away so that the Seth Fan Club’s comments were heard but not directed right to me. Until the hike to the car afterwards, and then I was stopped 3 different, and equally awkward times to discuss his jaw-dropping running abilities.

* Game Days are rough on him. Whereas Caden-7yr could not be pumped up or pepped up or anything – Seth-5yr gets so wound up he gets an upset stomach (leaving it at that), and he can’t nap until I lie down with him and even then it takes an hour or more to fall asleep when it normally takes 10 minutes. I tried in vain to get a pre-game Caden-7yr pepped, and am trying – with an equal lack of success – to keep a pre-game Seth-5yr calm and clearheaded. He can’t handle the pre-game adrenaline and nerves yet. It’s  a LOT of pressure being a five year old t-ball superstar. I’d like to tell him to relax, go stomp bugs, enjoy and pick your nose a little bit in the outfield. Okay, not really. But I would like him to lighten up just enough so that he can sleep and poo normally on game days.

He’s FIVE. Chill, little dimpled boy.


4th of July Fence and Forehead

July 5th, 2011 at 2:26 pm » Comments (4)

So yesterday Mike gets back with one power sprayer thing with which to spray the fence with stain. He uses it for awhile and then asks me what I think.

Mike doesn’t often ask this, but is working on asking this particular question MORE, so I answer. “Looks really good. Won’t need as much on other areas, blah blah blah.”

He leans on my truck, stares at the fence, and after awhile, he asks me again what I think.

I’m all for encouraging good habits with repetition. So I answer him, word for word, exactly what I said before and do not point out that this is getting repetitive.

He stares at the fence, and after awhile, he asks me again what I think.

I said, “That’s the third time in about 3 minutes you’ve asked me what I think and I keep repeating what I think. Maybe what you’re struggling with here is your own expressing.”

There was something so awkward about that moment – and about that sentence ending in the word “expressing” that made me think about expressing breastmilk. Also awkward and painful at first. But I didn’t mention breastmilk because then he never would have said anything at all. For like, ever.

“So! Go ahead! Express.

“I think we should hire someone else.”

This is where I should be encouraging and applaud the communication skills used. Because clearly, it took some effort and some Truck Leaning, and some pep talking.

But instead I said, “SHUT UP! No! I am Someone Else! I will do it. You can be my sous chef for paint and I will do all the… real work.”

“Sous chef for paint? I don’t know what that means.”

But? He DID. He watches Food Network with me. He knew. And I stink at metaphors and screw them up all the time, but that one isn’t really THAT bad by my standards.

Then he picked up the sprayer, went back to work, and didn’t let me get my hands on the sprayer for about 6 more hours, even though I wanted to desperately and in frustration crudely said, “WHAT? Does it actually run on testicle power and so it actually won’t even WORK if you let me try…?” (He ignored that. And he still wouldn’t share.)

Just as well.

Because yesterday in the middle of the Stain the Fence project, Caden-7yr was playing with Nerf guns and ended up needing to go to the emergency room. Not your standard 4th of July ER trip, I guess.

He hit his head on the dining room table, bending over to grab a Nerf bullet.  I was inside at the time, mad at having been summarily dismissed from Participating In Any Real Way Outside, and heard the screams of Ethan-11yr.  I pulled Caden-7yr to me, sat him in my lap on the floor and held him tight while trying to figure out where all the blood was coming from. We were both covered in it before I found the source – a small but deep cut on the right side of his forehead. I sent Ethan-11yr for Mike, Seth-5yr for a washcloth, and was glad that all the redwood stain all over my arms and legs camouflaged all the blood because the sight of it was bothering Caden-7yr.

His forehead was glued and taped back together and then we came home and continued staining the fence. Caden-7yr thought it was complete overkill that I told him there would be no more Nerf guns yesterday.

And to this, we say, “too bad, Caden-7yr.”

A neighbor came over while I was spraying the fence and talked to Mike about how hard it was. Mike pointed in my direction and said, “that makes it a LOT easier.” For a minute I thought he meant me, but realized he was talking about the sprayer. Of course.

We finally finished. It’s not a job that’s all that professional, I suppose, but we’re happy with it. Mike made grand statements about how well we work together and what a great team we make. He seemed upbeat and sincere, even.  I would have never summed up that particular day with those conclusions, and wondered at all the possibilities of what that might mean.

I didn’t have it in me to see what else might need to be expressed.

The fence is stained. The child is glued. All is pretty much well.


4th of July DIY

July 4th, 2011 at 10:34 am » Comments (4)

Happy 4th!

May you not celebrate the day by staining your fence!

Like we are!

But the redwood stain spattered all up my right arm is a bit festive if you squint and are an optimistic person. (I’m not.)

A few days ago, Mike pressure washed a small section of fence, transforming it from old, ugly, and weathered to almost brand new looking. He wanted to know what I thought. I thought that of course this was brilliant and can I please do it because that looked really, really fun, let me at that pressure washer! (I know. Very Mark Twain of us.)

I pressure washed fence for HOURS. For DAYS. Mike did, too. There’s a LOT of fence. We got sunburned and I loved almost every last bit of it, except the part where old fence stain transformed into slime that would then rain down on my head and body and dry into a pulp that then acted as a unique lattice-like sunscreen. Disgusting.

Then we figured the fence should get stained.

We bought 10 gallons of redwood stain, came home and put some on the backside of the fence in the alley last night. And then went into the house feeling very dejected and thinking of the Passover story because that stain  looked a whole lot like fresh animal blood.

This morning, it had dried to a more brownish red, all was good and we were ON. We spent a very, very, very long time staining one little tiny section of fence.

Mike called just now and mentioned the power stain sprayer he saw at Wal Mart.

Oh yes, PLEASE. I like power anything, and I think every single member of the family plus the dog should have one of these power stain sprayers and maybe we’ll get the job done today after all.

This is a questionable way to spend the 4th, but it is infinitely more appropriate than last year when I accidentally ended up in a drug altered state at a Willie Nelson concert and my mother drove me home and sheepishly delivered me to Mike saying, “Well. She’s going to need to sleep this off for a little bit.” Or a lot.  I crawled into bed and slept and cried until the 7th or 8th because apparently pot and I do NOT get along and that’s just fine.

Compared to last year… this is going well. (I hope your day includes neither drugs or fence stain.)

 


How Many Light Bulbs Does It Take to Get a Cat?

July 1st, 2011 at 10:25 am » Comments (5)

This week a brilliant experiment was held in my living room that went smashingly well and involved exploiting the concept of child labor.

Today I plant to branch out to include all available children.

Here’s how it went:

Ethan-11yr and I had exactly 50 minutes at home, just the two of us one morning this week. We compiled a list of jobs that needed to be done. Everything we could think of, inside and outside the home from watering plants to changing light bulbs and laundry and cleaning out the scary back area of the car. We jotted down all of these jobs on a notebook and then discussed Rewards.

If we got half the jobs done, Ethan-11yr suggested he should get an IBC Cream Soda and I should get a Diet Coke.

Because I wanted to let him have a great deal of ‘ownership’ of this project, I did not say, “whatever, I’m having 3 diet cokes later anyway, child.” I just said, “GREAT!”

If we got ALL the jobs done, Ethan-11yr suggested we somehow find a way to let him watch Eight Below even though Netflix isn’t cooperating. I said I’d get a pedicure.

I said I’d get a pedicure because a) there was NO way we were getting those particular 15 jobs done in the remaining 45 minutes, and b) i couldn’t think of anything else, but I really don’t like pedicures and the last one I had I screamed and giggled and shrieked and totally ruined the quiet-music ambience the place was going for. (But I couldn’t HELP it, it tickled.)

We picked jobs, ran and did them, and came back to mark them out. We listened to my music and then Ethan-11yr politely requested HIS music, and we generally got a lot done. Ethan-11yr changed a lot of light bulbs. Normally that’s a Mike job, but Ethan-11yr took it on and I told myself that of course he’d be fine (the child who has intentionally/accidentally broken… at least 12 light bulbs in his life, all of  which are documented with bloody, angsty details in blog archives, search ‘light bulb’ over on the right if you want the drama) and he WAS fine. It was okay. Light bulbs used to quake in fear when this child walked by, but now he changes them as well as his daddy and wouldn’t dream of shmearing toothpaste on them until it bakes a crusty brown. He grew up. Who knew?

At the last few minutes, we had 2 jobs left. TWO. This was surprising to us both. Ethan-11yr went to tackle the back of the car mess, and I had to take on my nightstand. My nightstand had a 2 1/2 foot stack of books on it that Ethan-11yr said made him “nervous.” It’s a nightstand. It’s books. It’s kinda supposed to be that way, and you can clean it off, but within a few weeks there’s a new giant stack of books because… well, that’s what I do, I just don’t blog about it. Secret is out: I’m an accidental book stacker. I read them, I look at them, and I PILE them constantly until they are a household hazard.

Really, Ethan-11yr was annoyed that when i grounded him from his little handheld game system (i do not know what it’s called) for TEN whole days, I put it on top of that book pile and added to the book pile but then moved the game system to the top each time I added books until Ethan-11yr thought that it could fall down, down, down and break and he worried about it silently and never shared his concern with me. Just as well, though, because I probably would have used it against him and told him not to get grounded from it again if it was that big a deal… maybe I’d put it on top of the refrigerator next time if it really had a fear of heights…

I can be so mean. But! Back to my point.

Ethan-11yr finished the car. I finished the nightstand. We gazed at the list of crossed out jobs in shared sweaty amazement, and congratulated each other on achieving the impossible. It felt SO good. We grinned like idiots the whole way to pick up brothers.

We picked up brothers, picked up Diet Coke and Cream Soda and told the heroic tale to the brothers who had missed it. And then Caden-7yr, said, “Cool! Can I change a lightbulb and then get a cat?”

To which I stopped grinning, got very grumpy and went off on entitlement/work/reward and blah blah blah and later my mother was all, “What? How many lightbulbs does it take to GET A CAT?” and YEAH. EXACTLY.

The lightbulb/cat question just made me want to scream. It’s kinda funny now, but… no. Not really. It’s kinda to the point where I could see how it MIGHT be cute or funny to someone else who is not me, but to me it is still not cute or funny and I am strongly compelled to OverMother the underlying bratty entitlement issues right out of that question.

So then we had the Pets Are Part of the Family and Are Everyone’s Equally and OH YEAH WE HAVE A CAT ALREADY Conversation and Caden-7yr heard me go on and on and on and then when i was finished said, “Dad said Duke is HIS.”

Duke is his hunting dog, but he’s everyone’s pet, and Dad hasn’t taken him hunting in… years, now, I think.

Mike had the extreme bad timing of calling right at that moment and I answered and said, “Hello. Did you say Duke is Your Dog, because I just went through the whole Pets Are Everyone’s Talk and–”

“No! Um, NO!”

“Yeah, okay, hang on.” I told Caden-7yr that Dad said that no he didn’t say that and Caden-7yr grinned widely. He didn’t seem in the least surprised.

(He’s stomping on my last nerve, that one, and he seems to really be enjoying it. Like his version of a bounce house.)

Anyway.

Today.

Bigger List Of Jobs.

More Children.

Animals are NOT Rewards no matter how many light bulbs you change, but there will be the satisfaction of a job well done, the satisfaction of marking out the job on the list when you finish (love it), and surprising everyone with the Things You Can Do.

Okay, yeah, that sounded kinda lame, but I’ll make it sound better when i pitch it to the kids here in a minute.

I need kids to help me clean. LaLa is coming!