Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is it just me or . . .

I have one of those saved searches on eBay, so once daily I receive an email letting me know of new listings of size 3T girls' clothing. I don't buy a lot of stuff on eBay, but occasionally I'll pick up a Gymboree outfit (or something along those lines) for the kid. The daily email contains thumbnails of 12 or so new listings.

Now, please tell me who dresses their child like this?

I cropped out this poor child's head so that she can preserve whatever is left of her dignity, but rest assured that there was a truly heinous headband perched on top of her skull.

More painful still are the pageant outfits that seem to creep into these listings. I will freely admit that I don't understand the pageant world at all. But holy cow, some of these outfits are so skimpy that even the average streetwalker would find them "too revealing." The thought of putting an off-the-shoulder dress on my 2 1/2-year-old child . . . heavens to murgatroid!

I am not trying to keep my daughter from growing up (well, you could probably make a case for it) but geez, her favorite dress has a kittycat on it.

Hello, Dah-ling

So it seems I am sick - again. I woke up with another nasty cold yesterday (why do we say "nasty" cold? As if perhaps there are some delightful colds out there?) My neck agreed to hold my head up during regular business hours yesterday and then went off duty sometime before dinner. Seriously, my skull weighs more than a cinder block right now. Because my darling husband cares deeply about my health and well-being, he said, "Hey, you're really sick. Why don't you go lie down and I'll take care of everything?"

But as Wayne Campbell once said: "Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt."

Instead, he watched me:
  • Prepare dinner
  • Clean up after dinner and do all the dishes
  • Feed the dogs
  • Put away two loads of laundry
  • Bathe our child and get her ready for bed
  • Clean the tub
  • Change a poopy diaper

So anyway, yeah, there was no invitation to take 'er easy. I just thought I'd start off with a little joke, see? I oughta take this act ON THE ROAD!

The kid has stayed up until at least 10 p.m. every night this week. Needless to say, the mornings have been truly abhorrent. I don't know what she plans to do for a living someday (and I hope she plans to have a good career because, as our only child, it is going to cost her a bundle to put her dad and me in a nursing home someday. Plus, I plan to be in full-blown dementia by then (let's face it - it is already starting) and she is going to have to pay someone to wipe my arse and everything), but I hope it isn't a job that requires her to get up early. Honestly, by the time she is 13 I think it is going to take an act of Congress to get her out of bed. Now, when she does finally manage to get herself upright, she is deeply offended by everything in her midst. The dogs can't do anything right ("Get out of my room, Gideon!") I can't do anything right. This morning I tossed her nightgown on the bed and it landed on Teddy Bear, which earned me a reprimand the likes of which even ruthless dictators have never doled out.

So anyway, that's my week so far. Yesterday was my dad's birthday, or as A calls him: "My friend Granddaddy." A colored a bunch of pictures for him and he indeed received them on his birthday. One of them had about a hundred Hello Kitty stickers on it (Pop and I agreed that it was very Warhol-esque). I feel like I have Hello Kitty stickers coming out of my ass. There are about 456,000 per sheet - little puffy stickers that are barely visible to the naked eye. I find them in the dryer, in the bathtub, on the couch, in the dogs' bowls, you name it.

In other news, I have to welcome my baby sister (she's 12 years younger than me) to the internet at long last. She's just gotten connected. She lives in a town called Corn, Oklahoma. When she first moved there and told me the name of the town, I said, "No, seriously - where do you live?" Sometimes it takes her a while to answer the phone and I just have this image of her climbing the pole to answer it, a la "Green Acres." Wee sister o' mine, if you leave another snarky comment on my blog, my next blog entry will be about the time you cut off your own eyelashes, or maybe the time you tied our house to the neighbor's house with yarn, or . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Zen of Popcorn

For reasons that escape me now, I decided that today was the day that we'd take the kid to a movie at the theater. Her attention span, while still abysmal under most circumstances, has gradually increased. So, I figured maybe the time had come. We decided to take her to the budget theater so that if we had to bail out, we'd only be out twenty bucks or so. The movie we selected was "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep."

Things started out well enough, but we began to notice that as the volume of popcorn available for consumption decreased, her level of discontent increased. Like so:

I don't know if we'll be brave enough to try another movie anytime soon, but all in all I thought the outing went pretty well. We had to hold down A's seat because otherwise the seat bottom flew upward and next thing she knew her kneecaps were smashed against her forehead. I had a little flashback while we were waiting for the movie to start. When my middle sister and I were kids our uncle took us to a movie. My sister was too little to see the screen well, so my uncle and I wadded up our coats and put them in the seat so that she could sit on them. So yeah, my sister peed on our coats. She loves it when I tell that story.

The weekend flew by, as usual. Yesterday I did make it to Weight Watchers bright and early. I lost 1.2 pounds this week, which would be really exciting if not for the fact that I continue to lose and gain the same few pounds. I am still 10 pounds over my goal weight but I try to focus on the fact that I'm more than 50 pounds less than my starting weight in September of 2005. But still, I need to get those 10 pounds back off. The topic of the meeting was positive thinking, and this is surely an area where I need a lot of work.

After the meeting I hosted an Arbonne party at my house. A friend of mine sells Arbonne, and I told her I would host a "foot spa" party. I have to say that the products are very nice, even if they are a bit out of my price range. I got a bunch of free stuff for hosting, which rocked. I figured I'd get some little token, but I made out like a bandit.

My final event for the day was a dinner with my therapy dog group. The group no longer exists in any formal way, but a bunch of us still keep in touch, and several of the members take turns hosting an annual dinner at their home. I am hoping to get my boy Gideon certified for therapy work within the next year or so. I do love hanging out with dog people. At one point, Kelsey the Golden Retriever squatted and peed on the floor in front of all of us. With nothing resembling alarm, one of the women said, "She's peeing." Then we chatted about how it would only be right if Kelsey followed that act by dragging her butt across the carpet and then puking up some cat poop or something.

Other than the trip to the budget theater today, we didn't do much. A and I went to church this morning. The guest speaker today was the owner of a local yoga center. She is also a Zen priest. I have always been curious about yoga. I don't think of myself as being very athletic, but I think I could do it. The speaker spent a lot of time talking about "being vs. doing" and much like the Weight Watchers' meeting yesterday, the topic was a relevant one for me. I really have no idea how to sit and just be. I wonder if I could learn? My life definitely feels too frenzied and serious sometimes. I will say that having a young child gives you a special pass that allows you to do silly stuff you would not ordinarily do. Like right now I am wearing a Hello Kitty sticker on my bosom because that's where the kid thought it should be. And sometimes we dance around the living room for no reason. And sometimes we eat green popsicles.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Merriam Webster defines the word "irrational" as follows:

Main Entry:
\i-ˈra-sh(ə-)nəl, ˌi(r)-\
Middle English, from Latin irrationalis, from in- + rationalis rational
14th century
: not rational: as a (1): not endowed with reason or understanding (2): lacking usual or normal mental clarity or coherence b: not governed by or according to reason cGreek & Latin prosody (1)of a syllable : having a quantity other than that required by the meter (2)of a foot : containing such a syllable d (1): being an irrational number (2): having a numerical value that is an irrational number
— ir·ra·tio·nal·i·ty \-ˌra-shə-ˈna-lə-tē\ noun
— ir·ra·tio·nal·ly \-ˈra-sh(ə-)nə-lē\ adverb

I define the word "irrational" like this: my kid.

Is it something with the 33-month-old mind? Does the "logic" part of the brain not get activated until later or something?

Here's an example. A has an extra blanket on her bed. It's a colorful little quilt that my friend Ursula made for A when she was born (when I mention to A that my friend made it, she screams, "NO! URSULA IS MY FRIEND!") Lately the kid wants to sleep with the quilt arranged somehow underneath the other blankets. And she wants me to help her accomplish this. She lays down and then I place the quilt over her. "No, not that side!" she reprimands me. So I flip the blanket over so that it is face-down. "NO!" I am still wrong. I decide to flip it end to end. Now she is furious. Finally, I have my own meltdown and start yelling, "It only has two freakin' sides!"

The other night I decided to let her have a Scooby Doo push-up pop for dessert. (Yeah, you can try to sell kids on that whole "fruit makes a wonderful dessert" idea, but I don't know any kid who will buy that old line.) We had two push-up pops left, a red one and an orange one. I held them up. "Do you want red or orange?" She studied them for an interminable amount of time before deciding.


"Okay, red it is." I put the orange push-up back in the freezer which, predictably, led to another meltdown. "NOOOOOOOO! Orange!!!!!" Of course. I mean, what was I thinking?

This also goes on with beverages. She asks for milk and when you hand it to her you are met with, "I wanted juice!" Half the time I don't even bother to point out to her that she had, in fact, requested what I was attempting to give her. It's an exercise in futility. I feel like I'm working for some ruthless tyrant who at any time might implement with a whole new set of random whims/demands. Isn't it Madonna who requests that all minions must avert their eyes when they pass her in the hallway? Or Jennifer Lopez, who demands white (and only white) flowers in her dressing room? Heck, I'm probably lucky that my daughter allows me to remain in her employ, particularly when you consider my miserable record.

I used to think I was pretty competent until I became a mom. I mean, I graduated college with honors and I do manage to dress myself and drive a car every day. Now I'm just a big, inept moron who does not even know which chair Teddy Bear wants to sit in at breakfast time. ("This one?" "NO!" "This one?" "NOOOOOOO!")

I sometimes feel like I've landed some freakish, unpaid internship which, in theory, will last decades. Every so often I am paid with an "I love you, Mama." No union benefits, no vacations, and no raises. And somehow . . . I'm okay with that.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hey, don't walk on by . . .

My foster girl, Mandy (AKA Mandolin or Mandarin) just cannot catch a break. She has been in rescue for months and no one has even come to meet her. I was telling some of the other volunteers that maybe one of them could disguise their voice and inquire about Mandy by phone. No doubt I would be elated, if only momentarily! (Speaking of prank calls, my husband works in the finance field and his job title used to be "Trading Desk Specialist," where he dealt in stock trades. However, if you called him and disguised your voice and told him that you had a very nice desk that you wanted to trade, he did not find it amusing AT ALL.)

I have received three inquiries on Mandolin. The first applicant set up a meeting and then canceled, saying that he was going to have an emergency the next day. Emergencies in my life always show up unscheduled and unbidden, but mine is not to wonder why. Then I was contacted by another applicant who seemed to have a genuine interest in Mandy. This family was supposed to come this weekend to meet her. They canceled because they got another dog in the meantime (a family member gave them a dog, not realizing they were in the process of adopting a Boxer through rescue). Finally, a third applicant inquired and then decided that this pretty, smart, energetic, playful girl was not what he was looking for.

I mean, I guess I understand. Everyone has a picture in their mind of the perfect dog. When my Lucy died I thought for sure I would adopt a reverse brindle male. I have always loved the larger, black-faced males. Instead, I fell in love with a smooshy-faced fawn Boxer boy with virtually no teeth and a gimpy leg (he was hit by a car before being dumped at a shelter). I just think people should keep an open mind when searching for a new companion. I wanted an athletic Agility dog and instead I got a sweet little goober who drools on himself when crated and harasses guests half to death. But, I could not ask for a better temperament. Giddy has lived here for over a year and I have yet to hear him growl. And he tolerates my two-year-old daughter, which should earn him a pass straight to doggie heaven when he passes away someday. He is, in short, a great dog.

Mandy is also very, very good with that kid o'mine. She's housebroken (which is more than I can say for the kid), doesn't chew on stuff that doesn't belong to her, and is just a very mannerly dog in general. Her main goal in life is to get someone to hold her paw. When my mom was here visiting, she spent quite a lot of time holding Mandy's paw (sometimes both paws) and my muddah isn't even a dog person!

The more time that passes, the more I worry that I am letting Mandy down by my failure to find her a "forever" home. But, I have faith. I know there is someone out there for Mandy. Surely someone would like a paw to hold.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Make a Wish

The visit with my mom is going well. We haven't done anything too exciting - we've done a little bit of shopping and whatnot. We got a snowstorm on Sunday, so we did not even attempt to leave the house. Normally a snowstorm would not keep me and my mom from shopping, but there was at least an inch of pure ice underneath the snow.

On Friday, A and I were at the airport waiting for my mom's flight to arrive. To keep the kid occupied, I handed her pennies from my wallet so that she could toss them into a water fountain. I told her to be sure she made a wish first. So she would blow on each penny and then toss it into the water. Finally I asked, "What did you wish for?" Without missing a beat she looked at me and said, "Neminems!" When I told my mom about it, she said that's what she would have wished for, too.

Speaking of wishes, we finally celebrated my birthday on Saturday night. P got me a Grasshopper Pie from Baskin Robbins. Just between you and me, I don't particularly love this pie. I secretly think he got it for himself, seeing as how he didn't ask me what kind of cake I'd like this year. (He also orders movies from Netflix with titles like "Bloody Blood-Filled Blood III" that we "can watch together." I tell you, if a movie got a 1/2 star from critics, my husband is on it like white on rice.) But anyway, we did the candle thing and I did make a wish. I can't tell you what it is, but I'll let you know if it comes true! I used to wish for a baby and then I got one. And then my sweet, cherubic, little bowl of sunshine turned into a two-year-old. Be careful what you wish for! Yesterday, she told me (for the first time and probably not the last), "Don't tell me what to do!"

On Monday A wanted her Meemaw to see her in swim class, so we took my mom along to the Y. This was the last class of the session, so as a special treat they let us go down the big, twisty slide. I had never been down this slide. The kid and I climbed the stairs and then I hopped onto the top of the slide. A clambered onto my lap. The lifeguard below gave us the thumbs up so I let go of the railing and away we went. Well, I don't know what I did at the bottom of the slide, but I didn't do it right. My feet went up instead of down and next thing I knew, my kid and I were underwater (my first thought: my baby! My second thought: my contact lenses!). I scrambled to get up, feeling terrible about dunking her. Surprisingly, she didn't sputter at all and immediately said, "Let's do it again!"

I looked around at all the other moms, and noticed that their heads were all dry. Apparently I am the only moron who did not know the proper slide technique.

My mom leaves tomorrow, provided another storm doesn't hit. She thinks the snow is fun, but true fun does not involve a shovel. She brought along her beads and jewelry-making supplies, and has been spending the evenings making earrings and stuff. The dogs are eating the beads that hit the floor.

This afternoon we are thinking of taking A to her personal mecca . . . Chuck E. Cheese. We live far too close to that joint. If we ever decide to move to a new house, I will make the decision based solely on the new house's proximity to Chuck E Cheese. We pass it daily and she exclaims over it daily. Some days I feel like tearing down that cheerful-looking building with my bare hands.

Friday, February 15, 2008

She Ain't Heavy, She's My Meemaw

This morning, the 6:18 tantrum went off on schedule. Seriously, you can set your watch by it. In my efforts to be upbeat and cheery to combat A's foul mood, I reminded her that my mom is coming today. "You get to go to daycare this morning and then I'll pick you up after lunch. Then we'll pick up Meemaw at the airport." At this point the kid had not opened her eyes (even though I had her half dressed), but said, "I can't pick her up. Her's too heavy." Now is that a classic toddler one-liner or what? You'll have to forgive her grammatical misstep - she was not fully coherent.

The next tantrum that followed involved Froot Loops (and my failure to give her some - I had already made her a waffle and some veggie sausage). The next tantrum errupted when she got mad that Gideon was standing too close to her chair. The third (fourth?) and final tantrum (before she and her father left the house, anyway) involved the selection of toys she could take to daycare. P tried to negotiate it down to one, but lost in the final round.

Speaking of tantrums, the trip to the grocery store yesterday was as fun as I'd predicted it would be with one wrinkle I hadn't anticipated or predicted - shoplifting. Lately the kid does not want to ride in the cart. She wants to walk on her own, and I'd rather eat glass than let her do that. So I decided to let her ride in one of those car-attached-to-the-cart deals. She sat in the little red car and seemed content for a little while. My friend Jackie warned me never to use the car cart. It's unwieldy, hard to steer, etc. I kept misjudging the turning radius and slamming the car into various displays. That Jackie - she's always right.

The other problem with the car is that it allowed the kid to reach products on lower shelves. Somewhere in the bread aisle I noticed that she'd jacked a bag of cheese curds from the dairy aisle. I put it back where it came from and whispered some veiled threats through the car window. I finished my shopping as quickly as I could and then unloaded the stuff onto the conveyor belt at the check-out. I saw A reaching for a magazine so I smacked her hand away. "Sassy mama!" she yelled as loudly as she could. And then, "I'm going to tell the lady."

"Go ahead, tell the lady what a terrible mother I am," I challenged her.

So A craned her neck out the car window and told the "lady" (who is probably a sophomore in high school), "Lady, Mother hurt my hand!" The girl just nodded and smiled. She probably called child protective services after I left.

On our way out of the store I stopped at the pharmacy and picked up a prescription. As I pushed the car cart out into the parking lot, I stopped to make sure A had her coat on. Then I noticed that she had a bottle of vitamins in her hand . . . which she had just stolen from the pharmacy. I wheeled her back inside, explained to the pharmacist that my child is a thief, and put it back on the shelf.

So yeah, that was my day. My birthday. Now we begin the countdown to A's birthday in May, when she will miraculously morph into a polite, well-behaved three-year-old. Right? Right? Right? Hey, is this thing on?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Party like a rock star on my birthday

So yeah, it's my birthday. For starters, I got to bring baked goods to work. They post a monthly list of birthdays so it's hard to avoid. "Hey, happy birthday! What did you bring?" I just love celebrating my birthday by giving stuff to other people.

We are also getting hammered with snow today, so I'm pretty psyched about that, too. As an added bonus, I get to drag the kid to the grocery store after work today. I mean to tell you, you haven't lived until you've pushed a heavy grocery cart through the snow and unloaded it into your mom-mobile. And don't forget that the grocery cart contains a cranky two-year-old who wants to eat the Scooby-Doo push-up pops NOW. Oh, and that same two-year-old insists that it is NOT your birthday and that all of the nice cards you've received are, in fact, for her.

My mom is arriving tomorrow. She comes out every year to celebrate my birthday. However, my kid flies into an apoplectic rage if I even dare to suggest that her Meemaw is coming to see anyone except her. "But she's my mom," I say meekly, only to be met with "NO, SHE'S NOT!" I've told my mom that when she gets off the plane, it's probably best not to make eye contact with me or even to glance in my direction at all. In fact, I'm starting to think that A should be the one to pick Mom up at the airport and carry her luggage around. And let me just add that you need an industrial crane and/or a spine of steel to lift that woman's suitcases. (She will try to tell you that I also travel with gargantuan, overstuffed suitcases but she lies!)

Her granddaughter does have some plans for her during the visit. Apparently my mom can look forward to: playing princess dress-up, playing Candyland, and watching "The Little Mermaid" and "Cinderella" over and over and over until her eyes fall out of her head in protest.

P and I are thinking of unloading the kid on my mom for a little while on Saturday night so that we can go out. We aren't really celebrating my birthday, because he has to work tonight (he took on a second job to combat the budget shortfall that hit us on or about May 3, 2005 - the same day the kid arrived! What a co-inky-dink, huh?) He did get me some cologne, a watch, and my favorite Gewurztraminer ($17.00 a bottle, which is a little pricey for non-celebratory consumption). He also got me a grasshopper pie from Baskin Robbins, but I am waiting until after Saturday morning to eat it, because I promised my friend Nancy that I would drag my (considerable) ass to Weight Watchers on Saturday morning.

And that's all she wrote!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'm mad to you!

I'm in a mood. I woke up this morning and realized that I am sick. Again. How does my child do such an exceptional job at passing these bugs to me? It's not like I eat the Kleenex after I wipe her nose or something. And I'm PMSing. So I spent most of the day feeling :::this::: close to snapping. I told the kid she couldn't have any candy so of course she went crying to her father. "Mother said I can't have any candy!" So what did he say to her? The right answer, of course, would be: "Nope, your mom already said no." His answer, of course, was: "Sure, let's have some Bottlecaps." I decided to stab him to death in his sleep let it go just this once, but suffice it to say I was irritated. I felt like my daughter when she yells, "I'M MAD TO YOU!"

But enough of that. We had a nice weekend, even though the temperature plummeted over 30 degrees and is well below zero today. This is the kind of cold that makes your eyeballs hurt when you step outside. We stayed in a decent resort. The carpeting in our suite was stained and there was thick dust on the lamps, but P said I was being too picky. I mean, just because we didn't pay for it doesn't mean it should suck, right? One good thing about the joint was that it had a kiddie pool, so that A could play in it and you didn't necessarily have to suit up and get in with her. One of my co-worker has two little girls and A enjoyed playing with them. I think she believes my youthful looking co-worker is also a kid, because she told me that he is a nice boy.

Yesterday, we stopped at a candy store (which is why we had Willy Wonka Bottlecaps in our possession). I thought it would be fun to get A her first candy necklace. I thought, what's the worst that can happen? We put the necklace on her and then stepped inside a quaint little toy store nearby. Well, she was gnawing that necklace with such a fervor that little bits of candy were flying off and P was scooping them up. She was attempting to eat six or seven pieces at once. There was a winter festival going on and a parade came through shortly thereafter (the parade consisted of a fire truck followed by someone in a cow suit waving to the drunken crowd from the back of a trailer). We noticed that A was now sporting this awful white residue on her face. What's the worst that can happen indeed.

Last night P left to join a poker game so I put the kid to bed and decided to relax in the whirlpool tub. I did something that I have never done before and may never do again (but only because this type of opportunity does not present itself often). I brought the following into the tub with me: a copy of an Augusten Burroughs book that I had picked up earlier in the day (by the way, the world's creepiest guy worked at the bookstore - I mean to tell you he has cornered the market on creepy), a glass of Muscat wine, and a packet of Fun Dip (formerly known as Lik-m-aid, which I think you'll agree was a far cooler name). The Fun Dip flavor was called Magic FizzApple, or something along those lines. It was blue, though, which baffled me. We don't have blue apples in these parts, but what do I know. I felt pretty decadent as I ingested blue powder and read my book. Remember eating those three-pouch Lik-m-aids when you were a kid? It was tricky because they only came with two of those edible sticks. So you had to decide how much of each flavor to eat before you ate the stick. And you also had to decide whether to open all three flavors at once or to eat them one by one. I wish I still had days where that was my biggest dilemma.

I thought the kid was asleep all this time, but indeed she was not. She walked in and looked at me, dumbfounded. She wasn't weirded out about seeing me sans clothing or anything like that. Here's the thing that confused her: I was in the tub and I wasn't playing with toys. I suppose she can't imagine why anyone would bother to take a bath if you aren't going to haul an entire aisle from Toys R Us in there with you. She started trying to hand me some of her toys. She had this look of pity and concern on her face. She's so darned cute that it's hard to be mad to her, even when she's supposed to be sleeping.

Friday, February 8, 2008

The dream police, they live inside of my head

The dream police, they live inside of my head.
The dream police, they come to me in my bed.
The dream police, they're coming to arrest me.

I've had strange dreams for the past two nights.

Dream #1: Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood from Fountains of Wayne were hanging out at my house. I love Fountains of Wayne so this should have been quite the thrill for me. However, I was dying and found their visit to be a bit of an inconvenience. I don't know why/how I was dying, because in the dream I kept saying, "Oh no, I feel fine, but I'm definitely dying." Adam and Chris, who seem like they would be sensitive chaps in real life, were not sympathetic to my plight. They kept handing me their camera and posing in various spots around my house. I am not much of a photographer but tried to oblige. But when I would pick up their camera and look through it, I could never find them in the frame. Instead, I would see this weird distorted image as if I were looking at a funhouse mirror.

Dream #2: I was hanging out with my friend R from Jersey. The dream was happening in the present, but we seemed to be hanging out in the bedroom she lived in when we were 12. The room was kinda messy, cuz that's how she rolls (to this day she never lets me see certain rooms in her house because they are too messy, even though I have known her for 26 years). So anyway, we're sitting on her bed and this huge bug walks by (R, if you are reading this, my subconscious mind was NOT implying that you have bugs in your house!) It kinda looked like one of those grasshopper things from Men in Black, so maybe it was actually an alien. Anyway, we threw a paperback book at it in an effort to kill it. But it just crawled out from under the book and moved on. So then we started throwing increasingly larger books on it, and finally attempted to smash it beneath an encylopedia. No dice. Finally, R handed me a pair of scissors and I cut it in half. Five little pinkish white larvae popped out of the dead body and immediately bored through the wooden floor . . . apparently headed off to mutate into adult bugs.

And speaking of dreams, I think the kid is having what they call night terrors - apparently common at her age. I wouldn't really call them terrors, though - more like nighttime irritations. She starts to whine and call for me and when I check on her she usually just mumbles something about her teddy bear and then rolls over. One night she yelled, "I wanna go downstairs!" My other theories are that she has growing pains or that she keeps falling asleep with her arm smashed under her skull (I've seen her do it) and it then falls asleep and gets all tingly and weird on her.

We're headed out of town for the weekend (don't bother robbing us while we're gone - we don't even have a flat-screen television). It's an annual company trip, so we don't have to pay for it. Yay! It has taken me three days to pack for a two-day trip. Just once I would like my other half to lay awake at night and wonder, "Does my daughter have enough diapers for the trip? Did I remember her snow boots? How about her toothbrush?" Since this is all part of a fanciful dream, I'll take it one step further and imagine him saying, "Wow, I sure do appreciate my wife and all she does for our family. I should buy her something expensive."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Made by Meemaw

My daughter has her own designer, who is always making stuff for her. Jackie O had Oleg Cassini and my kid has . . . Meemaw.

The craziest thing happened yesterday. For several weeks my mom worked on a nightgown and a bedskirt for the kid. Finally, both projects were finished and ready to be shipped. She handed them off to my dad for shipping. My dad does a lot of shipping, as he sells a lot of junk on eBay. My mom calls him "Bob, down on the loading dock." (Bob is not his name) In theory, though, he knows what he is doing when it comes to mailing stuff.

But then . . . he lost the box. He had no recollection of what had happened to it. A couple of theories were developed over time: 1) he drove off with the box on the roof of the car or 2) he left the car door unlocked and someone stole it. My pop felt awful and my mom tried her best not to make him feel worse. After several days had passed, she trudged over to the fabric store to start both projects over. I told her that A was too young to realize she was missing out on anything, but my mom really wanted her to have the nightgown as well as the bedskirt that matches her curtains.

Fast forward to yesterday. Guess what showed up at my house? Here's the weird part - the box (which was one of those Priority Mail boxes from the post office) had no postage on it and no postmark. And yet somehow it had made it across at least six states.

Now, I do not recommend that you try this at home. Normally the post office takes this whole postage thing very seriously. In fact, my fellow rescue volunteers are always shorting the postage when they mail paperwork to me (I say it's some form of passive-aggression; they say it's an "oversight"), and my mail carrier puts a little envelope in my mailbox to collect the missing postage. She will not rest until she has seventeen cents firmly in hand.

I guess this will just remain one of the great mysteries of our time - just like what happened to JonBenet and did OJ really do it (well, the latter isn't really that big of a mystery, as I think we all know).

Saturday, February 2, 2008


The rescue participated in a huge pet expo today. The expo was held a couple hours away from where I live, but I decided to take Mandy, my foster dog, in hopes that someone would want to adopt her. I felt that if someone could just meet her in person, they would see for themselves how sweet she is. Last night she and I spent the night at my friend Kathy's house so that we could make it to the expo in a timely manner this morning. Kathy lets me stay at her house whenever I want, and friends like that are hard to come by. She is semi-retired (she works just enough to pay her greens fees in the summer) and has three daughters (and a bunch of Boxers, a standard requirement if you wanna hang with moi). I sleep in the room once occupied by her youngest daughter, who is the same age as me. The room has been kept just as it was when Sarah lived there, so it's kind of a throwback to see Depeche Mode and OMD posters on the wall (and if you know who OMD was/were, you are old, too).

So anyway, Mandy and I headed to the pet expo this morning. No sooner had we gotten through the doors at the expo center than Mandy began to have an out-of-body experience. I guess the crowds really stressed her out, and I hadn't anticipated that. There were dogs and people everywhere. There was a German Shepherd rescue across the aisle and even though Mandy is great with other dogs, she made some "do you wanna piece of this?" gestures to those Shepherds. It IS a lot to ask of a dog, to stand at a booth all day while strangers pet you and accuse of having a penis. ("Hey, boy!" they kept saying to her.)

All morning long, Mandy pulled on her leash and panted and barked and just generally carried on in a way that doesn't directly translate into, "Adopt me!" At a nearby booth there were a couple of ladies selling essential oils. I asked them if they had something to help Mandy and calm her down. I was thinking of something along the lines of a joint to mellow her out. But I didn't see anything like that on their display table. Instead, they asked me to bring her over and then they rubbed lavender on Mandy's ears. And some other stuff. I didn't care if she smelled like a French whore for the rest of the day - I just wanted some help for her. I didn't really ask any questions about all the stuff they were dabbing on her, because Mandy was spinning like a carnival ride and kicked over two full bowls of drinking water.

Believe it or not, I think the essential oils did take the edge off. Lots of people were coming by and wanted to meet Mandy, so I started inviting them behind the table to pet her (instead of bringing her out into the aisle where those blasted Shepherds were). And she started to improve . . . maybe not a dramatic improvement, but an improvement nonetheless. I kept telling everyone, "She's very easygoing at home, I swear!" And it's true. She is one of the easiest foster dogs I've ever had (and I've been doing this for a long time). She's housebroken, she eats well, she is good with my kid, and she gets along great with my dogs. She doesn't tear stuff up. She seldom barks. On one hand I'm anxious to find her a good home and on the other hand I don't mind too much if she hangs around, since there is always that chance that my next foster dog will be the type who eats his own poo.

Eventually Kathy arrived at the expo with one of her foster dogs, so Mandy and I blew that popstand. Hell, I don't think we could afford to stay too much longer - they were charging $3.50 for water at the concession stand. We held out long enough to make sure there was another dog there for people to meet. I do think it was a good day for the rescue, though. Even though Mandy wasn't quite the showgirl I'd hoped she'd be, we still had a lot of people stopping by and purchasing t-shirts and stuff. I didn't feel like it was a wasted trip, since I got to hang out with my homies.