Thursday, May 31, 2007

Surgeon General's Warning


If you are experiencing severe aches and pains in your joints and muscles, creepy-crawly skin, killer headache, and general fatigue and nausea, you probably have a virus of some sort. Do Not, Under Any Circumstances:

expect anyone to help you
ask anyone to cut you some slack
try to get any other family members to take any responsibility for your children
think you can take it even remotely easy
expect your husband to feel sorry for you
assume your SIL will get off of either the telephone or her fat ass to grab the children when they're in danger.

Do, however:

feel excessively sorry for yourself
bitch about it to the Internet at large.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

¡Cómalo! ¡Cómalo bueno!

Things we have eaten recently, in our never-ending quest to ruin our digestion:

The Bear: red flip-flops*

Tank:** an entire corn on the cob (an impressive feat with only 7 teeth); tuna-flavored cat food; pumice

Myself: three plates full of everything deep-fried at a Chinese buffet (sweet and sour chicken, veggie egg rolls, crab rangoon, and more) dunked in that gooey fake red "sweet and sour sauce," washed down with two! orange sodas***

*She was pretending to chew on her auntie's flip-flops, just like her sister does, and I told her that if I caught her sticking them in her mouth one more time, I'd make her eat them. She looked right at me and stuck it in her mouth anyway. So I cut a chunk off the back and made her eat it. Discipline. It's all about the follow-through.

**At 15 months, the Mouse is no longer a Mouse. She is a Tank. Seriously. This kid knocks over and destroys everything in her path.

***Having hit an all-time high in the weight department, I've decided to say fuck dieting and eat whatever I want. Seems self-explanatory to me.

Thursday, May 17, 2007



(more later, I promise)

Oy. These people lead a lifestyle that I'm just not accustomed to. There is no schedule, no order, no pattern to their lives. Every day is something different, a different time, a different commitment, etc. Tonight, for example, we had dinner at 9:30. Last night, it was at 5:30 (I cooked and fed us). Tonight, my MIL and SIL got into a shouting match and fought all over the place, in front of the kids, which makes me feel awkward.* They so remind me of me and my mom at that age. We were never this bad, but the general feeling is the same. Neither one can do anything right in the other's eyes. It passes, I know, but I can't convince them of that. There's junk food everywhere, and I can't stay on my diet when nobody supports me! The girls' sleep schedules are all over the place, which makes them (and me) cranky and weird. I'm sharing a bed with the Bear, which means I sleep worse than I usually do (and that's really saying something) because she kicks and flops and turns and snores and farts. We need our routine, and our space, and I need to be able to enforce *my* way of doing things. I WANT MY HOUSE BACK!

This is not to disparage my in-laws, because living at my parents' house is just as stressful. Well, not quite, because I can tell them exactly how I'm going to do things, and my word is law. Here, I never want to step on anyone's toes, because I just want to keep the peace. Which is all well and good, but it's really starting to chap my ass. My work isn't getting done because of the crazy schedule around here, which is making me lose money, and the available yummy (junky fatty) food is making me pack on the pounds. Today at the doctor I was my heaviest ever non-pregnant weight. It's a number I just can't divulge (seriously, it's awful), but let me just say this - my fat jeans won't button all the way.

Everyone has been so kind and helpful to us while my house is broken, but I just want to sell the damn thing and settle down in one damn place for good. Damn it!

I'm off to hit the anxiety meds before I go into ultimate freak-out mode, as my good friend called it when we lived together.

*Turns out my SIL is having sex with her boyfriend, and my MIL (devout Catholic and concerned mom) is duly horrified. Ack... Somebody needs to put that girl on the Pill, stat.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Ok, universe. I give in. You win. I quit. Just please, please quit shitting on me, will you?

So, today, the day after the worst day of my life, was the worst day of my life. I am drinking a margarita from a very large beer stein right now, so I'll be brief.

This morning: Mouse is playing in the cabinets of my mom's house. I'm on the kitchen floor, less than five feet away. I am moping.* Suddenly, Mouse is very excited by a new toy that she finds in the cabinet. She's rubbing it all over her hands and face. Finally, I drag my ass over to check her out. What's that in her hand?

Ant poison. Yeah.

This afternoon: We're outside. Bear is running on the lawn. Mouse is attempting to maneuver her way down the stairs from the deck to join her. My mom and I sit idly by and watch her. I think, Oh look! She's learning how to go down the stairs. How nice. And then she falls. Ass over teakettle, down the wooden stairs to do a faceplant on the concrete. The upshot?

Two goose-eggs, a skinned nose, and a black eye. Baby's first black eye. Sweet.

Later: Mouse, of course, again, my poor sweet baby, slips in the bathtub and smashes her face on the faucet. Then, when she's out, she walks into the arm of a chair. Her entire face is covered in bumps, cuts, and bruises. She looks like freaking Evander Holyfield.

Much later: I notice a weird looking... thing... on my mom's leg. You know, my mom, the lady who had a malignant melanoma removed five years ago? So I take a closer look at it, and start picking at it... Yeah. She needs to go to the doctor again.

So, universe, I fold. You win. Now go knock my house over with a tornado or something, would you?

*Possibly because I got my period this morning, and hormones are my enemy; possibly because I haven't seen Husband in a month; possibly because it's the morning after the worst day/night of my life; possibly because I haven't taken my meds in two days. I digress.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Passing observations

To the rather tall young man in the Pi Kappa Alpha sweatshirt at a McDonald's in Williamsburg, Iowa, who asked me if I was babysitting, and told me I looked nineteen:

Hi. It's me, Jane. I was the red-faced, perspiring, and frazzled lady with two kids climbing all over me. You know, the one you hit on? Remember me? Hi! May I just tell you? That asking me if I was the nanny, because I didn't look old enough to be a mother of two, was just about the greatest thing that has happened to me in a looooooong time. I love you. When I'm done ironing Dr. Jay Gordon's socks, I will totally come and mop your beer-soaked frat house floors. I will not bear your children, because, fuck no. But I will make you a three-egg omelette every morning of your life, at least until I lose twenty pounds or find some self-esteem. I heart you, tall and awkward frat boy. God bless your mother, that delightful woman, and your future wife, whoever that lucky lady may be.


To the red-faced, perspiring, sixty-something gas station attendant at mile 497 of our cross-Midwestern roadtrip, who reminded me in a cheerful if rather crass fashion that "CHILDREN ARE A BLESSING FROM GOD!":

Die. Asshat.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007


As we were playing in the backyard tonight, not quite ready for dinner, I heard a child crying. I could see both of mine, smiling and playing in the yard, so I scanned the neighboring yards through the chain-link fences to see where it was coming from.

Directly behind us, in the opposite yard, a little girl, probably not much older than the Bear, was lying on the ground while the family's pitbull chewed on her head. For a second, I just stared, paralyzed. I couldn't figure out how to get to her. There's no gate into their yard, and to get to the house itself you have to go all the way around the block. These neighbors are new, and I don't know their names or their children's names. I called to the girl, asking if she was okay. She sobbed "yes," but didn't look okay to me. The dog moved around to grab her feet, and started dragging her around the yard by her feet.

I yelled at the house to try to get their attention. I'm sure I must have sounded like an idiot - "Hey, you! With the dog! In the blue house! Hey! Get out here!" I picked up a rock and threw it at the dog. It stopped dragging the girl and looked at me, sort of cocking his head to the side in a "what's the matter with you?" sort of way. He stood and stared at me for a few more seconds, and then finally the neighbor dad came out.

He yelled at the dog, then picked the girl up and sent her inside. He didn't even stop to comfort her or check to see if she was okay. I think she was more terrified than injured, but still! He yelled at the dog a bit more, but didn't go grab it. He didn't acknowledge my presence, either as a witness or as someone who had gotten his attention to help. I turned my back and made sure the girls weren't watching. We played for a while longer, but when I could hear the dog yelping as he beat it, I took them inside under the pretext of dinner.

Even inside, though, we couldn't quite escape. Through the open screen door, I could hear the man yelling inside his house, berating his wife for not stopping the dog. Finally, I had to shut the door. I just couldn't listen anymore. I was just sick at my stomach.

As I sat here typing this, I realized that, duh, I should have climbed the fence and pulled the dog off of her. I was just so stunned that I almost couldn't move, much less think straight. If something had happened to her, I would have felt so guilty for not stopping it. What if something happened to one of my girls? Or my students? Would I be able to act, or would I stand there like a stick? Is this just me, or does everyone get the paralyzed helpless feeling?