Saturday, October 27, 2007

Facing the Music, Going Blind, etc.

In a recent post I whined about having gone astray as far as my eating habits go. For the next few weeks after that I really did give it the old college try, but somehow my resolve would always vanish by the time Friday rolled around. Feeling ever more desperate, I finally emailed my Weight Watchers leader and asked for advice (because apparently I hadn't heard the whole "eat less, lose weight" rumor that's been going around). She told me to knock it off and get myself to a meeting. So this morning I dragged my considerable ass to a meeting (which includes, of course, a weigh-in). I really think this is my only hope for getting through the holidays. I need the accountability, I guess.

Going to the meeting was tough. First I spent 15 minutes searching my closet for lightweight clothing. For half a second I wondered if it would be okay just to wear strategically placed gauze to the meeting. I didn't even wear earrings because who knows - that extra .0000056 of an ounce might bump me up to the next pound or something. Believe me, I will pluck my eyebrows before a meeting if I think I can shave off a fraction of a fraction of a pound.

I headed to the meeting, hoping to misplace 8 or 10 pounds on the way there. But alas, they were still attached firmly to my thighs when I got on the scale. The good news: I've gained weight but I'm not so far out of range that I can't find my way back with a little hard work. Well, a lot of hard work. And, you know, it really does suck.

Other than that, the only other news to tell is that my kid's social life is getting out of control. She has TWO parties to attend tomorrow. We also attended a Halloween event last night. I always knew she'd end up being way cooler than me - I just didn't think she'd pull it off at the age of two.

Since this post is so random already I'll just share a couple of amusing things she said in the past couple of days.

1. We were playing games at pbskids.org and she started to get antsy while sitting in my lap at the computer. She kept leaning forward and putting her nose right on the monitor. Now, keep in mind that she is two and as such she is contractually required to offer a contrary response to EVERYthing I say. "Hey, don't put your face so close to the monitor. You'll go blind." I said helpfully. "I WANNA GO BLIND!" she shrieked back at me.

[The tantrum pictured at right occurred because her father and I had the audacity to insist that she ride in her carseat. Honestly, someone should call the child protective people.]

2. The other day she came up to me and matter-of-factly said, "I'm ready to dance." I should add that there was no music playing or anything like that.

3. "Dada's a boy. He's not a princess."

4. A has already attended several Halloween events and is starting to accumulate a fair amount of candy. Unlike normal people who know that the Kit Kats and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are the best candy, my kid thinks that the Dum Dum suckers are the best. She is always asking for suckers. Last night she was playing with her castle playset and was acting out a conversation between the king and queen.

King: Can I have a sucker?
Queen: (in a very high-pitched voice) Yes, you can!

Okay, I guess that one isn't that amusing but the enthusiasm of the queen was what got me. I think this is what A is hoping will happen when she asks us for candy, which is about 80 times a day. Actually, what she usually says is, "I need candy."


Beating her father in the head with a balloon

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

In a Lather About Lots of Stuff

My recent attempts to reduce stress in my life are failing miserably. I think I am what people used to call a Type A personality. Believe me, I would give just about anything to be a different type, but I am bound to my DNA. (Mom, in case you are reading this . . . yes, I am saying it is your fault.)

What's stuck in my craw today (yes, I have a craw):

1. I cannot get a full night's sleep because I share my bedroom with four males. Three of them are dogs (two of my own and one foster) and one is the man I married. Three of the four lick their own penis . . . All. Night. Long. The fourth one snores intermittently, just loudly enough to keep me up (he also sleepwalks, but that's a tale for another day). Gideon usually kicks things off at around 2 a.m. Then Joker remembers that he has a penis, too, and gets started. Karl isn't usually as bad. He is getting old (almost 10) and I guess his wiener doesn't hold that much appeal for him anymore. I am implementing a new policy at my house: if you have a penis you are asked to pleasure yourself during daylight hours only, please.

2. People who think that rules don't apply to them. I volunteer for Boxer Rescue and we have a few policies that we enforce. If you want to adopt from us, you need to have a good track record at your veterinary clinic (among other requirements). It's all laid out on the website with wording like "PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU APPLY." People either a) don't read it or b) read it and think we could not possibly be talking to them. If you apply and you haven't taken your cat to the vet since the 1990's, your clinic is going to tell us that. Did ya think we wouldn't call? Or, because it is YOU, after all, we would overlook it? Also, we get lots of applications from people in very distant states, even though the website clearly states that we only place dogs locally. Sure, I will drive the dog to Dallas, but only because it's YOU asking. For anybody else, no.

3. This week I discovered a tool called CopyScape. This tool allows you to enter the URL for any given page on your website. It will then search ye olde internet and find other sites with matching text. As the webmaster for our Boxer Rescue site, I was curious to check for sites which might be using material from our site. I found three. These were pretty blatant - copying and pasting entire chunks of text. We were not listed as the source. Because I get pretty feisty about protecting my writing (even if it's just a page of policies and procedures, I still wrote it and because I am so clever and witty, even the policies and procedures reflect my own tone), I contacted the three sites. The first two sent very cordial replies indicating that they had not intentionally plagiarized our site and that they would remove the text. And they did remove it. The third one was less polite but I am still hopeful they will remove the copyrighted material from the site. The funny thing is, if someone asked me for some of our material, I probably would have been happy to help as long as they cited the source. I have been building the rescue site for seven years - it's what you might call a labor of love. This isn't the first time I've found my writing on other sites and I'm sure it won't be the last. But for anyone reading this, please know that all material you see on the internet is copyrighted. And using copyrighted material is illegal. If you see some material that you want to use, ask the webmaster and in most cases I bet they'll be happy to let you use it.

I'm done kvetching now (but reserve the right to update this post just in case I think of something else that is pissing me off). I'm reminded of a recent Lewis Black routine that I caught on TV. He said something like, "The good die young, but pricks live forever." He suggested running out of your house and cussing at little kids and telling them to get off your lawn as a good way to get started on a long life.

Personally, I like a little ire in my day. Keeps me from getting complacent. And writing about it keeps from from committing homicide.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's All Fun and Games Until Someone Craps Their Pants

I took Friday off to spend the day with my kid. I was excited about it and promised her a fun day.

We started off the morning by heading to Michael's for a craft project with some kids from a local playgroup that we joined a few months ago. The project involved decorating a wee little totebag for Halloween (it was billed as a trick-or-treat bag but unless she plans to collect exactly one Hershey's miniature on Halloween, I don't think the bag is going to serve that purpose.) I steered A away from the permanent paints and handed her some stickers instead. She placed some pumpkins and skulls on her bag and then colored on it with a blue marker. She had a blast and seemed really proud of her creation.

After we left Michael's we headed to the mall. As we pulled out of the Michael's parking lot, A promptly ripped the stickers off her totebag and shoved them in various crevices inside the car so that I can find them next July.

I had a coupon for Build-Up-Our-Fortune-By-Buying-Our-Overpriced-Stuff . . . I mean, Build-a-Bear, so I thought we'd head there first. I told A she could choose any animal. She picked the monkey. After grabbing his empty carcass and tossing it over her arm, she actually thought we were all done and just needed to pay for the monkey. "We gotta pay for it." Instead, I guided her towards the nice lady at the stuffification machine. She filled the smiling simian with fluff and instructed A to pick out a little cloth heart for him. Then she instructed the kid to kiss the heart. A could not understand this concept for love nor money. She kissed the monkey. Then she held the heart up to the monkey's lips so that HE could kiss the heart. Finally the heart was safely lodged in the monkey's back and we moved on to the fluff wash. A had no interest in pressing the pedal which caused a blast of air to gush out of the "faucet." I had to agree it seemed pointless and was a waste of perfectly good air.

Next we headed to the computer so that we could establish a birth certificate for the monkey. I entered all the information that was requested of me by the computer. Then came time for a name. "What is his name?" I asked her. I think you'll be pretty impressed with the clever name she picked out. "Monkey," she replied. "Really, are you sure you don't want to pick a different name?' "No! Monkey!"

The world's friendliest cashier (Felix, God love him) was waiting for us at the register. "And WHAT did you NAME your monkey?" the ebullient Felix asked my kid. Then he turned and grabbed the birth certificate off the printer. "Oh, Monkey! How funny!" No doubt disappointed that we were making it out of there for under a hundred bucks, he started offering us random accessories and crap, like a bow for the monkey's ears, a crack pipe, etc.


Next stop: the food court. We got a couple of sandwiches from Subway and, because we are health nuts, some fries from A&W. It seemed easiest to sit at one of the tables made specifically for kids. I ate my sandwich with my knees in my chest while A and I embarked on some very intense negotiations regarding the fair (or, in her mind, unfair) disbursement of the fries.

Finally, we headed to the kids' play area at the end of the mall. I had promised that we'd go and so we went. The play area is sponsored by a hospital so they have weird things like a gigantic stethoscope on which the kids can climb.

I flipped through a People magazine (because I'm all about the intellectual stuff) while keeping one eye on my kid. She was having a blast, running around with the other kids and climbing on the over-sized band-aid. She was even waiting her turn!

Eventually she trotted by the bench where I was sitting. You know how cartoonists often illustrate a bad smell with those wavy lines? I could see those coming off my kid. All of the oxygen was sucked out of the air. I hooked my finger in the back of her pants and pulled the waistband outward. Oh my, it was bad. Squirt-up-the-back bad. "Pie, do you want me to change you in the car or in the bathroom?" She chose the bathroom. I put her in her stroller and wheeled her into one of those "family" bathrooms.

For the next ten minutes I used approximately 764 baby wipes in the clean-up effort. Fortunately I do still carry around a change of clothing for her. I stripped off the old outfit and momentarily thought that burning it might just be preferable to washing it. Finally she was vaguely clean. It seemed obvious that our outing was over, so I sat her back in the stroller and headed for the car. But wait, something was still very wrong. As I was strapping A in the carseat, a dollop of doo appeared out of nowhere. "What the?" Had she pooped again? What was going on? And then it dawned on me - the stroller was full of poop when I put my freshly re-dressed daughter back in it. F-ing rookie error, man! And I'm in my third season. Argh!

Back home I changed the kid into her third outfit du jour and then put her down for a nap (which she didn't take, for the record). I then spent part of my day off scrubbing poo off clothing, a carseat, and a stroller.

Some out-of-town friends arrived later that day to spend the weekend with us. A kept telling them that the monkey had crapped all the way up his back and that he needed a diaper. I figure that what comes out of her is my problem and what comes out of Monkey is her problem.


Moments before her intestines erupted






Thursday, October 18, 2007

Le Bug du Tumble


The crab walk
For the past six weeks A has been participating in a Tumble Bugs class at our local YMCA. She loves it. We already knew from a previous class that our kid is not the next Mary Lou Retton. She spent six months in a gymnastics class at the The Little Gym and still could not do a forward roll. Or any kind of roll. Or hang on the bar. Or stand on one leg. Mostly she would just run around and yell stuff at the other kids. I can already hear her future gym teacher saying, "This is not social hour, Miss M." Of course, who am I to talk? In gym class I always signed up for stuff like "Rec Games" and spent half the year playing bumper pool and ping pong. Bumper pool - I can't believe it's not in the Olympics. My friend J and I actually made a pact when we were freshman: we agreed to complete our entire high school career without playing a single organized sport. It was an easy pact to keep, for both of us.

But back to my kid. The first gymnastics class was fun, but not fruitful. So naturally when that class was done I signed her up for another one. I figured it would be a fun activity for the middle of the week, when nothing else is going on.
The Tumble Bugs class is taught by Miss Nicole, who is verrrrry pregnant. Her assistant is Mr. Keenan. I think Mr. Keenan is around 17, so I do enjoy having to call someone 20 years my junior "Mister." But on the other hand, I have to admit that I think it's nice for kids to learn to address people properly and politely. Anyway, my kid has a thing for Mr. Keenan. Last night in class she was supposed to be sitting on the black line, doing her stretches, while Miss Nicole and Mr. Keenan demonstrated the stretches and sat facing us a few yards away. A got up, walked across the room, plopped down about three millimeters from Mr. Keenan, and proceeded to demonstrate the stretches alongside him. Apparently she is the assistant's assistant.

Later during the class, Mr. Keenan was leading the kids in a side-step down the black line. A forced her way in between Mr. Keenan and another little girl, so that she could stand closest to him and hold his hand. This went on for the whole session. He would demonstrate an activity, she would throw herself at him. Is she not getting enough time with her dad or what?

During another activity, A went up to the front and announced, "I farted" in front of the class. Miss Nicole thought she said "I'm sorry." A has a habit of running off and not listening, so Miss Nicole must have thought she was making amends. "No," my precious baby girl repeated, "I FAR-TED!" The other moms and dads all looked at me with that "you must be so proud" expression that I already know all too well.

There are a few things that the kid keeps forgetting:
  • Sleep is a requirement of the human body

  • There is no occasion, ever, which requires syrup in one's hair

  • Bodily functions should not be announced
P and I are both fairly introverted, so it is definitely an adventure for us to have an extroverted child on our hands. She seems to have signed some sort of legal contract with the universe that requires her to announce all bodily functions. She has also assigned herself the position of Fart/Burp/Sneeze/Cough police. I have found that it's best just to confess right away because if she thinks you have burped and you deny it, she will not let it go until you own up to it. Resistance is futile.

After this class ends I think we'll take the winter off as far as activities go. I may sign her up for dance class when she turns three. It'll be funny if we have her try out every type of activity out there and then it turns out that bumper pool was her "thing" all along.



This may look like an impressive dismount in the making,
but it's really a "get me off here" manuever.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's Too Much Very Hot

Sometimes the kid says stuff that is patently incorrect but is at the same time so cute that I can't bring myself to correct her. Earlier this morning she grilled up some plastic strawberries in a pink frying pan on her play stove. She then threw in a lemon for good measure. I was in the kitchen (the, um, real kitchen) as she came through, her face serious as she balanced the strawberries and lemon on a plastic yellow plate. "Don't touch it, Mama," she said solemnly. "It's too much very hot." She then delivered the piping hot fruit to her father.

Lately she also seems to end every sentence with "huh" or "okay." ("Gideon's a sassy boy, huuuuh?") One of her favorite activities is to grab a bottle of cologne from my bathroom and sniff it. This morning she took a bottle, pried the lid off, and said, "Don't take it away, OKAYYYYY?" P thinks she is trying to employ Jedi mind tricks on us. As if we are going to say, "Must not take it away, must allow toddler to play with expensive, breakable stuff."

We had a fairly uneventful weekend. On Friday evening P and I went to a local BrewFest event, which was a fundraiser for the humane society. A couldn't wait to get rid of us once the babysitter arrived. "Good BYE!" she kept saying. We had a good time, even though I'm not a beer drinker. There were half a dozen participating wineries, so I stood in line 489 times to get a single sip of wine each time.

On Saturday morning we headed to a little farm up north. The farm's website had given the impression that this was an elaborate set-up, chock full of fun, Halloweeny things to do. Instead we found four short rows of pumpkins and a small tent full of gourds. We were the first and only people there, and the proprietor was on us like white on rice. I don't know if we looked like rogue pumpkin thieves or what. We wanted to wander around a bit and take some photos, but she followed us around with a calculator and kept a careful tally of what we owed. Before long it seemed there was nothing left to do but pay the lady and leave. The pumpkins were nice ones, though - they don't even have that hideous deformed side that you usually have to avoid when you carve them.

After our pumpkin excursion I decided to take the kid to a storytime at a local children's bookstore. I didn't know if she would sit still or not, but I figured it was worth a shot. I have to say that the storyteller lady was very engaging, acting out each short tale with an impressive amount of enthusiasm. Eventually A wandered off and pooped her pants, so we didn't stay much longer after that. The bookstore had a shelf of adoption-related books, so I picked up a book that explains how families are made in lots of different ways. I tried to read it to her later that day, but apparently she doesn't care about diversity.

Our nap-related woes continue. She would not take a nap at all this weekend. Why, oh why, did I disassemble the crib so quickly???? Because I am a moron, of course. There is no threat on earth that can keep the kid in her bed. And she knows there is nothing I can do. So right now I've got an over-tired, over-stimulated two-year-old who is currently watching Pingu for the 18th time today. Her hair looks as though it was combed with a bolt of lightening (think, Bride of Frankenstein). The knee area of her tights has made it to her ankles. Her dress has collected some chocolate on one sleeve and some goobers from the dogs on the other. Every few seconds she climbs on top of her green stool and then jumps off, narrowly missing the dogs each time. P is working, so she's allllll mine tonight. How early is too early for bed? How early is too early for a nice glass of wine? It's early and yet . . . too late for my sanity. Ah, motherhood. It's okay, huh?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Some Kind of Citizen


Gideon, CGC

My boy passed his Canine Good Citizen test on Monday night! The CGC is an American Kennel Club (AKC) certification. The dog must pass 10 tests in order to earn it. One of them involves completing a heeling pattern on a "loose leash." Asking Gideon to walk on a loose leash is tantamount to asking him to walk on the moon. So, as we were getting out of the car I asked him in plain English if he would consider, just this once, doing as I asked. And voila! Instead of pulling hard enough to win the Iditarod like usual, he actually heeled.

Later this month he starts his third round of obedience classes. Sometime after that I'm planning to have him tested for TDI (Therapy Dogs Inc) certification. Giddy has a great temperament and I think he'd make a wonderful therapy dog.

To appreciate Gideon's accomplishment, you have to know where he came from. In December of 2006 he was found near an animal shelter. He had been left in a crate by the road that runs past the shelter. The shelter people could see that he was quite a mess. He weighed around 38 pounds (an adult male Boxer normally weighs at least 55 pounds). Something was wrong with one of his legs. He had lesions on his head. His teeth were a mess. The shelter called one of our rescue volunteers, and Gideon (then named Reed) was soon whisked off to a foster home. I happened to be at her house the day Gideon arrived and there was something about this skinny dog that kept me thinking about him long after I'd gone home. My Lucy had passed away in November so it was odd to think of finding a new friend so soon. And yet . . .

Assured by my friend that Giddy had a great temperament (which I certainly sensed as well), I transferred Gideon to my home on a sort of "foster to adopt" plan. The next step was to sell P on the deal. I mean, who wouldn't want a skinny, limping dog with no teeth? Meanwhile, we had Gideon neutered and set about the task of putting weight on him. The leg was x-rayed and examined by two different veterinarians and unfortunately, Giddy was not a candidate for surgery. Both bones in his foreleg had been broken and had healed crookedly. If it had been a fresh break, we might have had a shot at it. The teeth, however, were a different story. They needed to be fixed as soon as possible. Dr. B theorized that Gideon had been hit by a car. The impact had snapped his leg and knocked out many of his upper teeth. The teeth had broken at the gum line, leaving exposed nerves and causing a lot of pain. The teeth were pulled in a long, involved surgery. The canine/fang teeth have tremendously long roots, so the surgeon had to drill halfway to my dog's brain to get them out.

Soon, Christmas rolled around and Gideon settled in our home. He was good with our other dog, Karl, and most importantly, he was unfailingly patient with my kid. And I loved him. Eventually P relented and we adopted Giddy on New Year's Day. He was the first dog adopted from the rescue this year.

In a gesture that moved me to tears, my friends from the rescue took up a collection and paid Giddy's adoption fee in memory of Lucy. It was probably the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me.

Over the past ten months Gideon has put on lots of weight, settling in the low 60s somewhere. Some tell me he is still too thin, but because of the bum leg I don't want him carrying too much weight. I had hoped to get involved in obedience competitions with him, but the AKC tells me that I can't compete with a "lame dog" (their terminology). The tricky thing with his limp is that it comes and goes. He gets glucosamine and aspirin daily. If he plays too hard, the limp is very pronounced. So for now we just continue taking classes and working towards his TDI certification. Giddy wakes up too early on weekends and he digs in my gardens, but other than that I have no complaints about my sweet Boxer Boy. When I think of all that he has endured, and how he must have had to hold up that broken leg for weeks while it healed . . . well, it just breaks my heart.

While I'm talking about dogs, here is a photo of my current foster boy, Joker. He doesn't have blue eyes - they just came out that way in the photo. I'm disappointed because I haven't had a single inquiry about him. People get kind of weird about white Boxers sometimes. Because a certain percentage of the whites are deaf, the uninformed assume that all whites are deaf or that they suffer from other health problems. Au contraire, Joker hears just fine and he is as healthy as they come. It is a shame that people are passing him by just because he is white. I hate baseless discrimination, I really do.


He's a Joker, he's a smoker, he's a midnight toker . . .

Sunday, October 7, 2007

"I DO IT!" (Or, the Call of the Toddler in Captivity)


Portrait of a Tantrum

"I DO IT!" I hear that about 874 times a day. It doesn't matter if letting her "do it" causes a small task to take six weeks. She is gonna do it come hell or high water. This brings back memories for my mom, who says that my middle sister was always yelling, "I DO IT BY MESELF!" Though they don't share any of the same DNA, my kid seems to have a lot in common with her headstrong auntie.

One of our big challenges lately is that she wants to wear a Pull-up instead of a diaper. Her Pull-ups have Disney (Motto: you may as well just send us a check because we are gonna get your money anyway) princesses on the front. There is also a smattering of colorful flowers in the crotch area, and the flowers go away when the kid pees in the Pull-up. The flowers are usually history within seconds, which tells you how well the potty-training is going.

Not only does she want to wear a Pull-up, she insists on donning it herself. This always always always leads to a tantrum. First she shoves both legs through the same hole. Then the sides of the Pull-up open (the sides have velcro closures, meant for "emergencies"). Now there is virtually no hope of her getting it on herself. What happens next is that she throws herself on the floor and flails around, screaming, "NO! I DO IT!" We always wonder which is worse: helping her (which would momentarily cause the tantrum to spike to a new height) or letting her continue to scream and wave the mangled Pull-up around. It's definitely a lose-lose proposition.

Eventually the overpriced Pull-up is essentially ruined and there is virtually no hope of getting it on her. But every so often, she does manage to get it on all by herself. And then the pretty flowers fade away, much like the sense of order that once prevailed in my life.

So, we do our best to let her do it, whatever "it" may be at any given time. We smile tightly when she asks for juice and then, upon receiving the requested refreshment, wails, "No! Milk!" She fights me tooth and nail when it comes time to brush her teeth, but then hugs me around the neck and says, "I love you, Mama." Her job description requires her to be capricious and irrational. And my job description requires me to ride the waves of toddlerdom (we've checked and the hospital where she was born does NOT have a lenient return policy, so persevere we must). And maybe there is some little part of me that fears that the day when my daughter can "do it" for herself is going to come much too soon. For now, just don't help her whatever you do. I do feel sorry for the well-intended young man will will try to pull out her chair for her at a restaurant someday . . .

EDIT: After posting this blog entry I had to participate in a board meeting via conference call. I'm on the board of directors for a national rescue association. P is working, so I tried my best to keep the kid quiet while I participated in the conference call. In response to my "please be quiet so Mama can listen on the phone" plea, she did the following: pulled out a maraca, pulled out a tambourine, pulled out some sort of bells-on-a-stick instrument (I can't believe we actually bought that for her), set up her train and turned it on so that it choo-chooed back and forth across the track, turned on a Pingu video, and flushed the toilet about 18 times.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yes, but at least she's not Chewbacca


I suffered, so that she doesn't have to

"Claudia, you're in your 30's. Isn't it time you stopped telling that story?"

No Mom, it's never time to stop. I must warn others, like a Public Service Announcement, you know?

This is A's third Halloween. The first year she was a bee, last year she was a chicken, and this year she's a dragon. Each year I buy her a Halloween costume almost as soon as they hit the shelves. Why, you ask? Because I don't want her to have to be Chewbacca.

Let me take you back a bit. The year was 1978. I was in the third grade. Like most kids, I was pretty psyched about Halloween. Free candy from the neighbors - what's not to like? I asked my mom repeatedly about my costume (what, oh what, would she pick out for me? And when?). Alas, she waited until Halloween day to buy my costume and all the good ones were gone. So she bought what they had left: Chewbacca.

Keep in mind that Star Wars had come out and as you may recall, it was a big deal. So in that sense my mom may have had the idea that I might actually WANT to be Chewbacca. Well, no. All the other little girls were pretty princesses or pink ballerinas and that's what I wanted to be, too. Or maybe even Holly Hobbie - I already had her lunchbox! (Speaking of Holly Hobbie, have you noticed that she is back? Tragically, she no longer wears a patchwork pinafore over her floral dress - she's "hip" now.)

So, I trudged around the 'hood in my costume, irritated yet not so irritated as to refuse to collect the candy that was rightfully mine. In my mother's defense I should add that at the time she was a single mom who worked full time to make ends meet, but when you're eight years old all you're really thinking is: Where is my tutu? My tiara? My sparkly slippers?

So there you have it, my Halloween story. I generally avoid dressing up and attending costume parties these days. I can never think of a clever costume and live in fear of hearing the words: "So, um, what are you?" I tell my Mom that I'm so traumatized by the Chewbacca incident that I probably need therapy. I can hear the therapist now: "Yes, you are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and yes, it's definitely all your mother's fault."

Mom, when you get done reading this I just wanted to let you know that I am also looking forward to telling the story of the time you didn't believe I had Mono and you made me take out the garbage. And then later Dr. Takagi ran a blood test and confirmed that I was really, really, really sick. Remember?