Thursday, July 3, 2014

Beatrice and Shirley: High Times




Beatrice and Shirley were old friends. Their friendship had really blossomed in the awkward glory of junior high and the bond was maintained well into their golden years. Their beloved husbands, Zeke and Dudley, had both passed a number of years ago in a freak hunting accident, leaving the ladies alone to their crocheting and low-impact chair exercises.

Every Monday the old bitties would get together for crafting and fitness (luckily they didn’t have to go far since Shirley moved into Beatrice's basement, which her son Larry finished beautifully for her). Beatrice was really more of a knitting gal, while Shirley enjoyed a good cross stitch. Sometimes their grandchildren would drive them into town for a water aerobics class at the local YMCA, but they typically stayed home and did workout videos together, like “Moving with Mike” and “Stronger Seniors”. Long gone were the days of “Hip-Hop Abs” and “Insanity”. Though they still liked reminiscing about Shaun T’s rippling abs and adorable baby face from way back when, they loved doing his current routine, “Senior Insanity”. He was still pretty hot for an old man.

On one such visit, after a particularly grueling workout, Beatrice and Shirley decided they needed some inspiration for arts and crafts. Beatrice’s son Cory had married Shirley’s daughter Robin in 2036, and they had taken over Beatrice and Zeke’s business as marijuana growers for area dispensaries. They always gifted prime samples to their mothers, knowing they enjoyed a little nip now and then. This visit was one such rare instance. 

Beatrice dusted off her vintage glass-blown pipe harkening to their rebellious teen years way back in the 1990s. But today there was no need to smoke in secret, hiding from their parents and teachers like in high school; nor was there any need to hide from their own impressionable young children as they had in the early 2000s. 

They could only locate a long red utility lighter with a scorching 3” flame, which proved quite challenging in lighting the small bowl mere inches from their wrinkled faces. Shirley tried to be helpful and light Beatrice’s for her, but succeeded only in singing her friend’s long grey nose hairs, resulting in a great deal of whooping and cackling. Finally they managed to each take a single “hit”, as they used to call it (who knew what the kids called it these days), and Shirley hacked and coughed for several minutes, as she always had. 

Almost instantaneously they were struck by overwhelming dry mouth, followed by an immediate and ravenous need to stuff their old faces with all the food of the world. “Not much has changed with all these new-fangled fancy strains the kids are making now,” hooted Shirley, feeling at once so young and so, so old. Then she saw the cereal. “Give me those Marshmallow Mateys!” 

“No! That’s for the grandkids. Not for old skanks like you,” squawked Beatrice. “Plus we just worked out. All that sweating with Shaun T will be for naught! Senior speed dating is next month. We have to be good.”
Still, they found themselves side by side in front of the open refrigerator, staring. Shirley started to think that the Metamucil on top of the fridge was looking pretty tempting.

Suddenly Beatrice turned to Shirley (who was in very close proximity) and barked, “Get your good chewing teeth on!” Shirley winced and adjusted the volume on her hearing aid. Then, arm in arm, they trundled eagerly into the living room, cradling carrots, celery, hummus, and prunes like precious cargo.

There was no time to get comfortable. They sat on the coffee table and commenced greedily inhaling all the healthy munchies they could manage, hardly stopping to breathe, spraying bits of food all around as they giggled and guffawed. Everything they said was the funniest thing they’d ever heard. Shirley teased Beatrice about her red clown hair; Beatrice teased Shirley about her blue cloud fro. They laughed about their failing bodies. They laughed about the bad behavior they get away with in public. Even recounting their husbands’ untimely death was inappropriately hilarious: the two visually impaired elderly fellows decided to drink a case of beer before hiding on opposite sides of a clearing where they simultaneously shot at and missed the same deer (which was actually a large stump), but managed to hit each other. Beatrice and Shirley imagined them now drinking Coors Lite on their riding mowers in heaven.

“We should record this!” snorted Shirley at some point in their most hysterical discussion. 

Beatrice responded by throwing back her head and emitting a booming cackle. She had always laughed that way, although now she coughed whenever she did it. “So cliché! What are you, twelve?!” 

Shirley couldn't answer because she was mesmerized watching Beatrice’s soft, plentiful neck skin ripple and pulse as she laughed. It was especially fascinating at that moment, for some reason. She poked it. Beatrice, who was much taller than she, shoved Shirley off the coffee table. 

“My hip!” cried Shirley, but then she collapsed further into the floor and was overtaken by a fit of soundless laughter. Beatrice felt a little bad and tried to help her up, but then she fell over too, predictably, and they both lay helplessly on the floor, choking on silent mirth. 

“We need to get Life Alert!” said Beatrice once she caught her breath, gently wiping a chunk of carrot from Shirley’s weathered jowl. “Truth.” said Shirley. 

When they were finally able to stand, they devoured the last piece of celery by alternately taking bites, and then they remembered that it was time to get crafting.



Never have carrots and hummus been wolfed down so voraciously. 
And never has there been such incredible focus and productivity in cross stitching. 





Beatrice ate the Marshmallow Mateys the next day, without Shirley. Beeeotch.



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Party Pooping: Let it Go



What trickery is this? I put the kids to bed and they…stayed there? Not a single solitary “I need to go pee” (for the third time), no “mom I have a question for you” (hold on while I think of something), not even “I forgot to hug and kiss you” (the most adorable, nearly irresistible and therefore the most frequently used by those manipulative little twerps). 

It’s the bouncy castle. That did it. I love a good bouncy castle. They suck the energy right out of all children.

We went to a birthday party today. It was for one of Dirt’s preschool classmates—a big first for me, going to a stranger’s house for their kid’s birthday. Well, not total stranger, but very casual acquaintance—like one you’ve spoken to in passing when dropping off or picking up your kid. And once at the neighborhood playground. 

Hold that thought. Let’s go back in time a couple years. The potty training diary…

Phase 1: Poop in diaper. Gross but contained. Except for those epic blow-outs where strange yellow ochre poo mysteriously gets on your baby’s neck. (That’s one of my favorite paint colors, incidentally.)
Phase 2: Poop in pullup, occasionally on training potty, occasionally elsewhere…like on the floor, or outside. Extra fun because you get to clean poo in SO. MANY. DIFFERENT. PLACES. (Sometimes the dog helps though.)
Phase 3: Poop almost exclusively on training potty. This is super gross because a parent (aka MOM) has to dump it into the real potty for disposal, but they (the poops) typically don’t roll out all neatly and…let’s just say they (the poops) can have serious sticking power. It’s also quite problematic when there’s no training potty to be found, and in a moment of desperation you offer to let your kid poop in a trash can since they refuse to go on the big potty. Yeah. That happened. Go read "Poop Soup" if you're in the mood.
Phase 4: Poop on big potty. Hallelujah! Except you still have to assist with the butt-wiping, unless you’re a big fan of super skid marks in all those little underpants. This phase usually includes a very demanding small person yelling at the top of his or her lungs: “I’m DOOOOONE! Come wipe my BUUUUTTTTTTT!” Or, if they’re more self-sufficient, it may involve them emerging to show you how well they wiped by themselves, typically by bending over and spreading cheeks. In the living room. 

We’re on phase 4 with both kids currently (Boy is 5 and girl is 3-1/2). We’ve had a few more *adventures* with boy than girl. A fun quirk Dirt recently developed is that he insists on being completely nude when he poops. Well, sometimes he’ll keep the socks. 

When he was in phase 2 he liked pooping outside a LOT. Maybe because little boys are thrilled about peeing outside and that seemed like the same thing. Maybe because dogs do it. Or maybe we encouraged it in order to avoid cleaning poo elsewhere. For some reason he really liked pooping on the deck for a while. We live in a rural development so there weren’t too many neighbors to witness such an appalling display, but we still told him no…at least just go in the dirt or grass. Then he started pooping in front of more witnesses, like in my parents’ yard. Then at large family gatherings. Just drop trou and go on the spot, happy as can be. Then one time he did it at a baby shower…at a stranger’s house. On their lawn. With people everywhere. Mostly people I didn’t know.

Which brings me back to today’s party, the party where the only adult I know is the mom of the 4-year-old birthday girl. My husband/social lubricant is out of town. I’m being brave and chit-chatting with her friends and family while all the kids play (everyone is super nice), when Tuesday runs up and abruptly shouts in a very forceful tiny voice, “I need to go POO!” Okay, fine. I politely excuse myself. We go. She doesn’t poo. She laughs and says “I was just kidding I needed to go poo.” Hilaaaaarious joke.

Shortly thereafter she accosts me a second time. “I need to go POOOOO!” I wince at her volume and vigor. I tell her to wait for the piñata, because I don’t want to miss it. She pulls on my hand anxiously. I tell her CANDY will soon be falling from the sky. Suddenly her urge subsides. Weird.

It is a Frozen themed party, because duh. All little girls are obsessed. The piñata is appropriately Frozen-themed too: it’s the main character Anna. A human. This makes it especially creepy and especially awesome because the children take turns beating a Disney princess until her limbs fall off, all to the tune of the traditional Spanish Piñata Song, performed by the host and all her female family members. Dirt, the only boy at the party, is the first to knock off a leg, which we take home with us as custom dictates. Our prize kill. Then, because the family is Mexican, Anna ultimately explodes with spicy mango lollipops and Strawberry con Chili candies. 

 
Oh and they left the disembodied head hanging. All Game-of-Thrones-ish. A warning to all princesses.

After Tuesday has one piece of candy she remembers. Poooooooo. We barely make it and she’s whimpering by the time I put her on the potty. This time she means business. I realize we are stinking up the main bathroom at a stranger’s house. I search for air freshener to no avail. Rummaging through all the drawers and cabinets I find some all-purpose 409 and spray that around. It helps a little. 

Much to my horror and dismay there is someone waiting when we finally come out. An adult. I awkwardly apologize for my daughter’s stink and then get more embarrassed as I walk away, thinking how I probably totally looked like the person who blames their OWN stink on their children.  Eh.

So then there’s more bouncy castle time and lots of food and other party-ish stuff. Then comes Dirt with the same look. He’s a little older now, much more discrete. He informs me quietly that he needs to go poo. (I’m thinking: Seriously?! BOTH of you? Like you had to both go in the same 2-hour window that we weren’t actually at home???)

We go. He tells me firmly to stand RIGHT outside the door. His stink is so powerful it immediately creeps out from under the door and into the hallway. At least this time I’m clearly not the source. After several minutes go by I peek in, to be greeted by an overwhelming blast of stink and an angrily yelling, completely naked boy. “MOM! I’m not done yet!” 

The host passes by and I sheepishly ask if she has any air freshener. She gets me a lighter for the candle, which I go in the bathroom to light despite Dirt’s wrathful demands for privacy. I also spray some 409. Giddy-up. Dirt soon accepts my presence and starts thoughtfully discussing the consistency of his deposit, lamenting repeatedly that it’s diarrhea and saying “Poor tummy. Poor, poor tummy”. 

I wonder what the frick I fed those kids to give them both the runs at the exact same time. Maybe they just thought a Frozen party was the best place to "Let it Go". Heh.
I also wonder if that family will ever want to hang out with us again. 

At least we'll always have the bouncy castle. 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Housework Edition



This is just an example of the overwhelming, never-ending crap that happens daily when staying home with the kids. Just like "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie", but terrible and mean--and involves zero cookies--where one chore leads to another, which leads to another, and to another and another and another.

 
If I want to do a workout video, I’ll see that the dirt, food, and dog hair needs to be vacuumed off the floor first.
If I get the vacuum out of the closet, I’ll see that the canister needs to be emptied.
If I take the canister to the garage to dump it in the trash, I’ll see the garage needs to be swept.
If I go to get the broom out of the laundry room closet, I’ll see the litter box needs to be cleaned.
If I clean the litter box, I’ll notice the washer and dryer are both full of laundry that needs to be processed.
If I process the laundry, I’ll have to take the dry clothes out of the dryer and fold them so I can put the next load in the dryer and another in the wash.
If I fold a load of laundry, I’ll have to take it to the bedroom to put it away (or to let sit on top of the dresser for a week).
If I go to my bedroom with the folded laundry, I’ll see that I need to pick up the kids’ toys and bring them to their rooms.
If I go to the kids’ rooms, I’ll see that they are a complete disaster and I’ll holler at the kids to come pick up.
If I holler at the kids to come pick up, I’ll realize it’s their lunch time so I’ll head to the kitchen.
If I head to the kitchen to make lunch, I’ll see all the dishes in the sink.
If I go to do the dishes in the sink, I’ll see that the dishwasher needs to be emptied first.
If I empty the dishwasher, I’ll see how badly I need to organize the cabinet where the plastic cups go.
If I organize the cabinet, I’ll need to have a beer (seriously).
If I get a beer out of the fridge, I’ll see how much the refrigerator needs to be cleaned.
If I clean the refrigerator, I’ll need to get the cleaner out from under the sink.
If I get the cleaner out from under the sink, I’ll see the Scotch guard I bought and remember how I was going to use it on the couches.
If I Scotch guard the couches, I’ll have to get the dogs off them first.
If I get the dogs off the couches and put them outside, I’ll see that the sliding glass doors are so dirty they’re opaque.
If I Windex the back doors, I’ll see how terribly our deck needs to be fixed.
If I fix the deck—F that—I go back inside.
If I go back inside I will see the kids are about done with lunch and I need to put them down for a nap.
If I put them down for a nap, they’ll need to go poop first.
If they go poop, I’ll need to wipe some butts.
If I wipes some butts, I’ll put the wipes in the trash (because they’ll clog the toilet).
If I put the wipes in the trash, I’ll see that it’s full and needs to be emptied.
If I take the trash out, I’ll walk by my half-finished painting.
If I walk by my half-finished painting, I’ll remember I need to use nap time productively, so I go into the dining room to work on a painting (yes the dining room is my studio).
If I go into the dining room to paint, I’ll need to clear off the table first.
If I clear off the table, I’ll have to empty the moldy food and dishes from my husband’s lunchbox, which was on the table.
If I clean out his lunchbox, I’ll find the letters of recommendation his boss wrote him for admission to a master’s program (the papers are nice and moist and smelly from having such an excellent choice of storage location).
If I find the letter, I will read it and be proud.
If I read it, I’ll remember his laundry. So I’ll go back to the bedroom to put our laundry away.
If I put the laundry away, I’ll have to try on my new dress.
If I try on my new dress, I’ll see how wide I look from behind.
If I see how wide I look from behind, I’ll want to do a workout video…
If I want to do a workout video, I’ll need to vacuum first…