Monday, September 12, 2011

Just because they sound alike,

"Monday" actually has nothing at all to do with "Funday."

Aidan woke up at 1:30am, throwing up the remaining portion of his corndog-and-a-half-with-a-side-of-Gatorade.

He came in to give me a play-by-play, including how he diligently told the dog to move, because she, quote, "wasn't going to like what she had to see."  I'm very thankful for this:  not the throwing up, but the fact that he didn't throw up on the dog.  I'm not sure I would've taken the time to consider this, given the circumstance.

I told Bub he'd have to stay away from the baby today, and in doing so he also needed to make sure he got plenty of rest, which would include an afternoon nap when the baby and I went down.  Check, check, and check.  (The kid is definitely sick.  Ordinarily, if I even hinted at a nap, it would be considered the ultimate act of treason toward his seven-year-old self.)

He ate a piece of toast for breakfast, but his fever killed his appetite.  Around lunchtime, I went in to check on him and the poor guy was definitely two shades of toasty.  Having no Children's Medicine in the house, I had two options:  he could down approximately a bottle of infant medicine, or take half a dose of adult Advil to get the fever down.  Knowing how syrupy-sweet the infant medicine is, I decided the best thing for his belly would be one little brown Advil.

Of course, this is the time when I realize that the only Advil we have in the house are the large, green liquid caps, which even Richard has a hard time taking.

We tried it head-on:  put the pill in your mouth and swallow.  This was not happening and resulted in one gooey green thing being spit into my hand, sort of like the inside of a Mike n' Ike after you carefully remove the icing portion with your front teeth.  That was no good.  The second attempt also failed, which was to put it in a spoonful of applesauce.  I'm still stumped at how this didn't work, because I thought it was a helluva good idea.  The third attempt, which was actually the exact same thing as the first attempt, finally worked.


Or so we thought, until we looked at the bottom of the water bottle to see the green gel tab down at the bottom.  Aidan looked shocked, considering I'd already congratulated him for swallowing the pill.


"What in the world?  How did THAT get there?" he asked, with a generous and sincere helping of confusion.

"I don't know, buddy," I replied.  "I don't know."  My only guess is that it jumped ship somewhere after the lips but before the esophagus.

The boy was scorching, and I was worried.  Plan B was out the window, considering that's for birth control, so we went to Plan C:  let's try a different pill.  The only other suitable thing was a cold tablet, which thankfully went down with no issues.  This time, both of us were ecstatic.  To nap he went.

Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, the wee one decided he'd take a nice, light poop in his britches while he was supposed to be napping.  That's fine:  there's an app for that.  It's called the "quick change," and it happens right there in the pack n' play and he's none the wiser.  All was well ... until I walked away.

Don't get me wrong:  I remember a little thing called "separation anxiety" when Aidan was just a lad.  I can remember taking him to Grammie's house, and having to sneak out the door, him being none the wiser.  What I do NOT remember, however, is the wailing I heard today when I walked away from the playpen.  Ripped my heart right out of my chest, it did!  I felt like the biggest asshole of a parent in the whole world.  Remember back to the rattlesnake, how I had to tell my legs to move?  It was just like that, only this was happening in the comfort of my own home.

Now, listen.  I'm all for natural selection, or instinct, or whatever it is you want to call it that helps us function as human beings and gets us from point A to point B, but what the hell kind of feature is this?  Are you kidding me?  Apparently in the wild, moms never got a chance to eat, bathe, or use the toilet without a 7-month-old Cling-On dictating their every move.  Again, ancestors:  I'm not really sure how I got here, but thanks, Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandmother, for not killing and eating and using for shoes my Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Whatever.  Separation anxiety?  What purpose does this serve?  The "don't forget me in the woods, Ma, lest a bear eat me" survival instinct?

After continuing to walk to the door and, further, to the back porch, I continued to smoke cigarette after cigarette, all-the-while belittling my ability as a mother.  What kind of (expletive) mother leaves their helpless little (expletive) baby inside the (expletive) playpen while they're sobbing for them to get the (expletive) back here right now, you rotten (expletive) of a mom?

This one, that's who.

Needless to say, three minutes later, the wailing stopped.

Okay, I'm tooting my own horn.  It was more like 45 seconds.  Whatever.

He forgot all about me.

Why, you ungrateful little (expletive).


Friday, September 9, 2011

I need a personal assistant.

Not the pretentious, "go pick up my dry-cleaning" personal assistant, but rather the personal assistant who acts as a conscience when no one else is watching.

Today, for example, I'm supposed to be snapping photos of random piles of stuff around the house in order to potentially avoid the previously-mentioned garage sale.  I said to myself, "Gee, self---"  Wait.  That came out sounding like Wally Cleaver.

I said to myself, "Listen, self.  If you can list the big-ticket items on Craigslist and get them gone by Sunday evening, then there is really no point to having a garage sale, right?"

On paper, this sounded great.  In reality, however, I did pull up Craigslist in order to remind myself to snap those photos, but instead perused Sarasota County's Farm and Garden section, sending an email to a lady about some Ameraucana chickens.

Kind of the same, but different.

If I had a personal assistant, he or she (or perhaps androgyny would work best here) would tap me on the shoulder and give me that same look my mom used to give me when I'd get antsy in church.

(You all know THAT LOOK.  Don't kid yourselves.)

I wouldn't take advantage of my personal assistant.  Oh, no.  I'd never trick my personal assistant into folding my laundry, or unloading my dishwasher.  No, I'd just ask that when she/he saw me heading toward the couch with a red bowl of cheese puffs in one hand and my Nook under my other arm, he/she would give me that same, know-it-all look.  I'd slink back to folding the laundry, muttering under my breath at how stupid my personal assistant looks in that stupid hat.

I MIGHT have my personal assistant look up some research on the internet.  I MIGHT.  A few days ago, I was at Aidan's bus stop talking to my neighbor.  She had been unable to reach her father-in-law in Venezuela, and was beginning to get worried.  Being East Coast and all, I asked her, "What's the time difference there?  What are they, like, three hours behind us?"

She shook her head.  "No," she replied.  "They are a half an hour behind us."

A HALF AN HOUR??  I thought time zones went by HOURS?

This is the kind of thing I MIGHT have my personal assistant research.

I don't know, though.  Is my personal assistant smarmy?  Would she/he start fucking with me in an attempt to make me look like a fool should I ever go on Jeopardy?

"This planet, rich in molten lava, was first discovered in 1799, when Pope John Lennon the 1st invented the telegraph."



I've got this one in the motherfucking BAG.  "What is Uranium?"

The audience collectively snickers, my personal assistant just KNOWING how much I hate snickers.  Stupid Alex Trebec would be all, "No, I'm sorry," and then he'd probably rush home and tell his wife what an asshole I am.  He'd probably put that video right on YouTube.  Stupid YouTube.

Forget it.  I'm fine where I am.

I've gotta run.  Time to fold the laundry.  Damn you, Craigslist.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


The time has come for another "friends and family" garage sale.  Not the kind where you actually sell your friends and family:  I'm sure, like everything else, that's illegal here in Florida.  No, I mean the good old fashioned "clean out your closets, then your attic" garage sale that seems to rear its ugly head every few years around here.  A day of sunburn, barter, hand-made signs, and foreign currency which signifies one of two things:  either it's the end of summer, or the kids have started outgrowing their clothes.

Like many other American families locked into their current mortgage, most of us hovering in the area of  100K in the hole, we're quickly running out of space.  With the addition of Caleb, the littlest wee one, and the every-other-weekend visits from Richard's daughter, we are in the process (okay, we have the lumber list) of converting the garage into a 4th bedroom, which virtually wipes out my chance of ever having my dream office, lined floor to ceiling with terrific, rainy-day reading material.  So what does a faithful reader do with their well-preserved collections of literature?

I thought about making some money.  I opened lid after lid of hermetically-sealed book totes, reveling in the smell of forgotten paper.  I grabbed a few at random, checking condition (great!) and price tag ($25.00!).  Wow, I must have a fortune here.  I could barely contain myself.  Images of dollar signs danced across my field of vision as I silently wondered which books I'd repurchase on my new Nook.  Alice's Adventures in Wonderland?  Check.  My amazing Stephen King library?  Check, check, and check.

As quick as my fingers could carry me, to I went.  I typed in title and author, sometimes I opted to search by ISBN, but regardless of my method, the outcome was the same.  I was searching completed listings, of which there were plenty.

The only problem is that they hadn't sold.

Some of them hadn't even sold for 99 cents.


Okay, maybe books can't be looked at as an investment, but what is going on here?  When I worked at Books-A-Million back in the late 90's, I remember spending full paychecks on carts of new releases.  Hardcovers, where is your worth?  I can pick up any book from my stacks and remember what I was doing when I finished that book.  The last book in the Dark Tower series?  Easy, I finished that one on a vacation to Costa Rica.  There's my Arabic to English trade paperback I last cracked in August of 2003.  I have two brand-new X-Files Collector's postcard books, riding in the same tote as as unused deck of Alice in Wonderland tarot cards, all purchased in the summer of 1998.  Sentimental, sure, but don't people collect things anymore?

Maybe the problem isn't in the non-collecting.  Maybe I'm looking at it wrong.  Maybe it's just that everyone who loves books already has their own collections, thank you very much.  But 99 cents?  It hurts my heart.

I sat back on my haunches and thought.  Certainly, someone in my family would enjoy some of these great books, right?  Sure!  I'll just gift them out!  But wait.  How do I know Aunt M. won't just use The Neverending Story as a drink coaster?  And Uncle D., surely he doesn't have time to read Ken Kesey these days.  Donating them brings about the same fears:  I'm haunted by the notion of books--MY books--laid face-down, spine-up, drink rings hazing the dust jacket.  Ouch.  Not a good way for my books to end up.  They deserve better.  It's not like I bought Bargain Bin books, for crying out loud.

When all is said and done, I guess they'll go back in the totes, and the totes will have a new home in the master bedroom closet...just in case I ever get that office.

Hey, a girl can dream, right?