Category Archives: Crazy

There’s a reason these kids have their nicknames, part 2

We were at a birthday party the other day for some friends we made at Future Cult Leader’s school. School rocks like that. We met Monsieur Stoic there so the 4 of us could hang in the pool like a real live family before the group of cool people headed out to the park to enjoy pizza, cake, playground scuffles, and watching the birthday kids open their peace offerings gifts.

Now that Evil Genius is older I feel comfortable letting her play at the park without being within 20 feet as long as there is no street she can dart out in. Which is ridiculous, because out of the two, Future Cult Leader is most likely to do that. As this was in a quiet parking lot, I hung out with Stoic and the all the other parents at the party. Suddenly, blood curdling screams. I recognized them as Evil Genius’s and as I walked to figure out why World War Three was about to start I saw her surrounded by a bunch of kids, Cult Leader included. As Cult Leader has this thing about not respecting other people’s bodily autonomy I assumed she was forgetting that when her sister is screaming at her it means HOLY HELL STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING OR SHE’S GOING TO BITE YOU.

“Cult Leader, when she’s screaming like that it means she–”

I stopped, as I was close enough to see a quarter sized bruise, red and blue mottled and raised about 1/8 to 1/4 inch next to Genius’s left eye. I grabbed her and speed walked back to the party so I could attempt to calm my hysterical daughter and maybe try to get her some pain relief. You know what 3 year olds hate? Ice packs. They also hate a bunch of not so familiar people crowding around them, which all the other moms were doing because BABY! HURT! MUST FIX IT!

No one but the kids around her at the time know what really happened. Last year at a birthday party Genius tripped on her skirt and fell backwards, head over heels, off a metal slide, smacking her head on the stairs on the way down. After 10 minutes she stopped crying and it was obvious she was fine. This time, the crying didn’t subside easily so Stoic and I decided he would take her to the walk in clinic in the next town over while I stayed with Cult Leader until after the party was over. Then I would take her to his parents’ house and join him.

Then I got a text that they were referring her out to the children’s hospital in Portland for a cat scan.

I decided it wasn’t important to stay so I went to grab my keys…and realized my keys were in the diaper bag. Super Friend, to the rescue! She drove Cult Leader and me to The In-Law’s then dropped me off 22 miles from our hometown so I could hang out with husband and kid in the ER.

Fortunately, they determined she didn’t need a cat scan. Just some ice and TLC. We came home and promptly went to bed, but not until we’d taken a picture of Genius’s face.

This is what it looked like when we got home (Band-aid for decorative/bribery purposes only):

This is what it looked like the next morning:

And this is what it looked like that afternoon:

Evil Genius, being who she is, asks to be taken to a mirror or see pictures of her face. Anytime we comply she cackles hideously. I’m beginning to think this kid could scare Dick Cheney.

Folks, I give you exhibit B.

Title optional

Things have been busy in the last 6 months.  Hell, thing have been busy in the last year.  In fact, the last year has been a difficult one, which is why I’ve been so scare on the posts.  It’s hard to write humorously when you’re mired in shit.  That doesn’t mean that I’m not finding humor in my life, or that I’m focusing only on the bad times…just that I’m finding it difficult to take some of our everyday situations and turn them into a funny commentary on parenting, relationships, mental illness, atypical neurology, and what raging assholes 3 year olds are.  Actually, that last one might not so so hard to write…

In the last year, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, have had to readjust my expectations and my life based on my body and the medications I have to take to prevent irreversible joint damage, started weekly psychiatry appointments for Future Cult Leader to get a handle on her anxiety, ADHD, and daily meltdowns, I’ve struggled with my bipolar disorder, helped my mother after her surgeries (plural, with another one likely coming up) and the after effects of those surgeries (MRSA flare!), dealt with my aging grandmother’s progressing Alzheimer’s disease, hospitalization, moves to different homes and a rehab center for her severely broken shoulder and subsequent surgery, and other minor annoyances that are just part of life that have complicated some of the above events.

On the good side: Future Cult Leader is safely in a healthy weight range, has become a lot easier to handle, Evil Genius has made strides learning how to use the bathroom like a human being (no diapers, holla!), I’ve made some awesomesauce friends, gotten addicted to Words With Friends, had the privilege of officiating the marriage of 2 close friends, have managed a couple times to get my joint pain under control, have strengthened my relationship with Monsieur Stoic (today marks the 6th year anniversary of the day we became a couple), turned 30 (fuck yeah, 30!), have improved my photography skills (maybe eventually I can turn it into a career…who knows?), done a bit of traveling, and I’ve gotten to know my long lost brother who recently moved to Oregon from the Easy Coast to attend Oregon State University.  So it hasn’t been all bad.

Tell me, readers…how has your last year been?

So. You had a bad day.

Last night and the night before, Future Cult Leader had a hard time sleeping.  Sleep deprivation is a no-no in this one.  Then, today at school, Future Cult Leader got her hands on something with artificial food dyes and ate it.  Artificial food dyes make her bonkers.  In fact, under the right conditions they practically negate her medications.

You see that part about the tired?  HEY LOOK, IT’S THE RIGHT CONDITIONS.

It’s hard, when you’ve been doing all this extra stuff that moms with typical kids don’t do, to feel like all your effort has been for nothing.  And that’s exactly how I felt today.  It’s all for nuthin’.  Dammit.

I have 2 choices: I can curl into a corner and cry and eat lots of crappy food.  (Done.)

Or.

I can dance.

But, I’m exhausted.  So I’ll do the next best thing: watch a video of me dancing that I’m going to (kind of) show to you.  I apologize that it’s just the link.  It’s too late to upload it to YouTube and since I’m cheap and use free wordpress.com I don’t have some of the nifty features other blogs have.  Then again, those blogs don’t have this video.  Ha!

I can’t believe I’m posting this for all to see.

The problem with life is that it ruins everything

Yup.  I’ve been MIA.

The last several months have been whirlwind of…well, stuff.  School started and since I was trying to be Super Bad Ass Mom Extraordinaire, I signed up to work my flat tuches off for the school.  A position on what amounts to a PTO’s board (which sounds more important than it is), taking over an art literacy program, volunteering to work with kids in Future Cult Leader’s classroom, and various other projects meant I was often busy.  And, you know, mom stuff: clean the house, hang with the kids and Monsieur Stoic, attempt to have a social life, keep in touch with extended family, hookers and blow, advise the president. You know, business as usual.

Then something happened.

I’ve experienced joint pain for almost a year.  It comes and goes, but it kept getting worse.  Then it got baaaaaaaad.  Like, I couldn’t button and zip my pants bad.  I couldn’t hold hands with my husband.  I couldn’t squeeze the damn toothpaste tube.  And there were times I was so stiff in the morning I felt like I was going to shatter when I walked down the stairs.  And tired.  ALWAYS tired.  So I did what any rational person would do.  I imagined myself on the show House MD and decided I was going to die of some obscure disease.

Not really.  I called up my doctor who gave me a referral to a rheumatologist.  The rheumatologist listened to my complaints, checked my x-rays, looked over my body, and told me I have rheumatoid arthritis.

I had already suspected as much, since both my mother and grandmother have RA, but I was kinda hoping for an explanation of the pain in each of the joints that were hurting.  I was more or less flattened by the news.  RA is some bad, bad shit.  It’s not like normal arthritis (osteoarthritis) where the cartilage in your joints break down from wear and tear and injury.  It’s an autoimmune disorder where your body attacks the lining of your joints, leading to painful swelling, joint deformity, and erosion of the tissues and bones around your joints.  Even the small joints in your ears can be affected.  It also affects your organs: skin, eyes, heart, lungs, just to name a few.  It also causes extreme fatigue.  Osteoarthritis looks like the kid who gets picked last in gym class in comparison to the big, hulking bully who steals your lunch money on the playground that is RA.

The weeks following my diagnosis were dark.  I was already struggling with not being able to go at the speed I was used to, which was a blow in and of itself.  But finding out that this wasn’t something that would go away with time?  Depressing as hell.  I was already aware of some of the risks after watching my mother deal with it for the last 10 years, but I wanted to take charge of my disorder.  So, I did some research.  Let’s face it, worst case scenarios aren’t exactly the greatest pick me up.  And then there were the reactions of the people around me.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of supportive and understanding people in my life.  But man, the sucky responses can really get to you.  I got everything from telling me not worry and changing the subject to making it about them to people avoiding me like the plague.  Stoic wouldn’t even talk about it until I picked a fight with him over it.

Within a few days, the medications started fucking with me. After a couple weeks they went from fucking with me to waterboarding me on the rack.  Mental and mood changes were listed as side effects and oh yeah, I had those.  I got all spun up.  Couldn’t sleep (there wasn’t a sleeping pill in the world that could knock me out), couldn’t focus, itching to move around, extremely irritable.  And I was worried about everything.  That means one of two things:

–my anxiety was my puppet master

OR

–I was headed into a hypomanic state.

My therapist, who is totally my hero, jumped right in and prescribed another anti-psychotic.  Which was great and all, except it’s extremely sedating.  So on top of the joint pain and fatigue, I was so groggy and slow and felt like a total moron.  I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day and had basically abdicated my role as a parent.

That was a few weeks ago.  I’m doing better now.  My new anti-psychotic dosage was reduced, so while I’m still pretty groggy in the morning I’m at least functional.  I’m more at peace with my diagnosis and had a really good visit with my rheumatologist this week.  My RA is early and mild, which means that joint damage will be minimized.  The medications have already improved my quality of life.  Even better, they could still take another month to show me what they can really do.  Since they’re working so well right now, we don’t need to think about the heavy hitting drugs that can cause cancer and wipe out my immune system.  I have a good prognosis and a good chance for remission.

Despite the good news, sometimes I get really angry because, hi, a couple of chronic mental disorders and now a chronic, systemic autoimmune disease?  WTF did I do to deserve all this?!  Most days, though, I’m okay with life.  It’ll get better.  I will get better.

So.

I apologize to my readers (all 30 some of you!) for my absenteeism.  Hopefully I don’t have to start sucking up to you for forgiveness.

We’ll call this a warning

The Internet Police showed up at my door this morning and gave me a warning about blog neglect. It’s a serious issue, they cautioned me, and not something they take lightly. I need to get my act together, they said, and start treating my blog with the respect it deserves.

So, here I am.

Look. I apologize. I really do. But the dog ate my IP address.

I have had both a serious case of writer’s block and serious case of no free time since I last posted. It’s a deadly combination, almost as bad as having no fashion sense and a low self esteem. When I think I have a great idea, I don’t have an opportunity to sit down and pound it out. When I have the time to sit down and pound it out–crickets. Annoying ones. Anything I could possibly have to say winds up looking like this:

Loud. Words…sticky. Shiny. Sleeeeeeeeeeeep. Pants. River otter! Soapy, slimy steering wheel. Duvet cover. What? Vodka.

I’m hoping things slow down enough soon so I can actually sit down and nurture my creative process. But I worry if that happens, I’ll stop being able to sleep without Ambien. How do the two relate? They don’t. I just wanted to throw it out there that I can fall asleep at least half the time without the use of pharmaceuticals. IT’S A BIG DEAL, FOLKS.

Yeah, that’s right. I can perform a natural biological function. I AM AMAZING.

Anyway.

To sum it up: I suck. I’m going to try not to suck soon. In the mean time, suck on my suckiness.

I’m going to be surprised if I’m not hog tied to a chair by Friday

The kids are kicking my ass.

Monsieur Stoic is out of town. He’s in Miami doing hookers and blow with his brother watching the Atlanta Braves play the Florida Marlins and trying not to get struck by lightening. So while he’s off partying like it’s 1999 hanging with his Wombmate in a sub tropical locale, I’m getting destroyed by the Terror Tag Team. But fair’s fair, because I took off with my best friend in June to bake and play tourist on the Oregon Coast.

(I should probably come up with a pseudonym for her soon. Hmmm.)

Normally, it wouldn’t be *that* big a deal to be outnumbered. I mean, yeah, these kids are a handful. Future Cult Leader by herself is relentless, especially after the Ritalin wears off. And Evil Genius is 2, okay? Two. Do you know what they say about the twos? They say that they’re terrible. And while Evil Genius’s 2s aren’t nearly as bad as some other 2s I’ve seen, she’s still 2. What do you get when you put a 2 year old and a post-Ritalin 6 year old together? Let me put it this way: if the child-adult ratio is 2:1 for longer than 12 hours, my house will start to resemble Vancouver after the Canucks lose the Stanley Cup. But while my kids have a difficulty level somewhere between hard and expert, I’m used to the chaos and don’t usually mind the mess. I could do without the violence, though. I’m also smug enough to say that parents with kids that are mellow would probably be full blown alcoholics when confronted with my kids; I only need a daily pot of coffee, weekly therapy appointments, and a handful of psychotropic drugs to get through the day. (Oh, wait…)

Now, let’s add a few ingredients to the mix. First off, Evil Genius has a yeast infection in her mouth. She can’t eat, isn’t sleeping well because she no longer has her pacifier to fall back on, is super clingy, and just randomly bursts into tears because “Mama, mouth owwwwwwww”. Second off, I can’t bliss out on my Ambien with Stoic gone. The night he left, my insomnia showed up at my front door with a couple of kegs, a bunch of E, some glow sticks, and 200 of its closest friends. Third, Stoic’s absence is a disruption in Cult Leader’s life. She doesn’t like disruptions. And that was what we call an understatement.

So. To review: 6 year old who comes home from day camp just as her stimulant drug wears off. Super pissed all the time because we moved an object to the left a little and won’t let her change it back. Terrible twos with a mouth plague that’s taken her drug away from her without the help of methadone; becomes incapacitated when not clinging to her mother’s neck. I’m “it” but my own severe sleep deprivation tends to mean I Lose My Shit, but I can’t Lose My Shit because I’m being held captive and tortured by the Terror Tag Team and the moment I blink the terrorists win.

If I don’t make it out alive and intact: I’ve had a hell of a run. And can someone do me a favor and burn all those old journals from high school for me? Those don’t really need to be floating around once I’m gone.

It’s a family trait.

Monsieur Stoic, as I may have noted, is a bit anal. He’s can be so literal and so precise at times that you (well, I, really) just want to kick him in the shin. (Note: I am not advocating violence. I’m merely expressing a fantasy.) I am not usually so exact. However, there are moments where the two of us trade roles. The difference is the situation as well as the reaction. When I’m being anal, I freak out. When he’s being anal, he gets really mocking. Let me give you a glimpse of what this is like.
 

Example A. We are out shopping for groceries. We walk by the milk case, where I open the glass door and reach in for a gallon of 1% milk.

“Don’t grab that one.”

“Why?”

“Check the date on the one behind it.”

“I’m not checking the date. That’s stupid. We’ll go through this gallon in 3 days.”

“Check the date so we have the freshest milk possible.”

“I’m not checking the date,” I say as I set the jug in the cart. He calmly removes it, opens the cooler doors, and swaps it out for a gallon with a use by date 3 days after the one I originally grabbed.

“That was” he chuckles “SO hard, wasn’t it?”
 

Example B. Since we’re in the process of getting our house ready for sale we need to make things more…presentable. We need new guest bed sheets, so while we’re out and about, I look at sheet sets. (WHY the hell do they make 8 piece sets that have a bunch of stupid pillows and not a single fucking sheet in the set? It makes no sense to me. WHO DRESSES THEIR BED WITHOUT SHEETS?!) I settle on a set that looks nice but has all the necessary pieces and goes with the scheme of the room. I bring it to the cart.

“How much is it?”

“$79.99.”

Stoic gives me a look. “I’m not paying $80 bucks for a set of sheets.”

I bristle. “Look buddy, I’ve been looking for sheet sets. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a decently priced set of sheets that have everything in it? This is a good deal.”

“We can find it cheaper online. Go put it back.”

I chuckle in that way that suggests I am not amused. “You have to be kidding me.”

“I’m not paying full price for a sheet set.”

“But it’s not full price, that’s the sale price.”

“Not cheap enough. We’ll buy it online.”

I growl, but I walk off with the sheet set to put it back. Should have made him do it.
 

Example C. We are getting ready to can home made vegetable stock, because it’s cheaper and tastier than that crap you buy in a can at the store. We’ve never used a pressure canner before, but he’s helped his dad make pickles, and we’re pretty good at reading. How hard can it be?

“How much is in there?”

“I don’t know, I’m filling up the measuring cup.”

“Why not use a ladle?”

“Because this is easier.”

“But you’re not filling it up to the 2 cup mark.”

“Then I’ll get some more in there,” he says, moving to dip the cup back in the heated broth.

“Just use a fucking ladle,” I say exasperatedly, shoving one in his hands.

Then…

“Wait, you didn’t pour all that in.”

“It doesn’t all fit.”

“But how much did you put in there?”

“I dunno. A cup and a half?”

“Honey, I need to know.”

“I didn’t measure. I can’t tell you,” he replies without sympathy as he loads up the next cup without really looking at the amount.

“HEY.” My frustration is palpable, but he dumps it into the waiting jar anyway. “You need to measure that!”

“It’s not that big a deal.”

I’m more or less panicking, so my voice is getting shrill. “YES, it is. I cook with this stuff, I need to know how much is in there so I don’t have to measure.”

He shrugs. Inside, I’m screaming. I take over filling the jars and learn that a pint jar? Doesn’t actually hold a pint.

“But I need these to hold 2 cups! If it doesn’t hold 2 cups then it messes up my plan!” And I’ll lose my homemaker badge and life will suck and BLARGH. So, in light of this lesson, it makes sense to me to start filling some of the jars in 1 cup increments, so I fill one of the jars half full.

“You can put more than that in there.”

I snap at him, “NO. This is how much is going in this jar because this is a logical amount.”

No conflict until we’re outside with the camp stove and pressure canner. This happens:

“How much pressure is needed?”

“Ten pounds.” Not that I knew, but I had looked it up on the internet BECAUSE THE INTERNET KNOWS EVERYTHING.

Fifteen minutes later….

“Wait, the pressure gauge is reading 11.”

“It’s like cooking with the pressure cooker. You get it up to pressure and have to relieve pressure when there’s too much.”

“How do we relieve pressure on the canner?”

“You don’t. You turn the heat down.”

“But what if it keeps going up? It’s supposed to be at 10!”

“It’s not going to hurt anything if it goes up a little. I wouldn’t let it get to 15 or anything.”

“BUT THE INSTRUCTIONS SAID 10. IT’S AT 11. IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD.”

Of course, after I relent and let the pressure vacillate between 10 and 12 without having a cow, the pressure drops to 8. I start to worry. IF IT’S DOWN TO 8 THEN WE’VE RUINED ALL THE JARS AND WE’VE DONE ALL THIS WORK FOR NOTHING AND OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE HOW POORLY THIS IS GOING.

Stoic comes out to check on my progress. I’m not visibly upset, but as soon as I open my mouth…

“Thepressureissohardtomaintainanditgotupto13andthendroppedto8andwashardtogetbackupandifitdroppedto8doesthatmeanwehavetostartoverandIcan’ttakethepressurenopunintended.”

My head explodes.
 

On second thought, I’m not anal. I’m just neurotic. My bad.

I’d call the Ghostbusters, but I don’t think they’d do much good.

We lost power last night. Stoic and Basement Dweller had gone out to relive their high school glory days while I stayed home with Evil Genius and Basement Dweller’s kids, Jolly Giant and Jolly Smalls. Future Cult Leader is gone for a week, and it’s a good thing because there’s no way I would have handled last night had she been home.

It was about 8:45. The Jollies and I had just sat down to watch 30 minutes of Toy Story 3 before I sent them to bed and started my stay-at-home-mom style debauchery: sitting down with a bitch beer and my laptop to lose a few brain cells, courtesy of the internet. My plans were screwed, because the power surged and everything went down. It surged again, then everything shut down again. The Jollies and I just sat there, stunned, when there was one last mini surge that turned some lights on and shut them off again. Cue my fear of the dark and fear of wandering mass murderers.

Yes. I’m a grown ass adult and I’m afraid of the dark. Not so much the dark, but the vulnerability of being in the dark. I’m fine as long as there is someone with me because, you know, safety in numbers and all that. But I was alone with 3 kids. Two of them weren’t mine and while they are essentially family members, being responsible for someone else’s child is still a little nerve wracking. Oh, did I mention that Jolly Smalls has diabetes? I have the training and I’m experienced in caring for her and all, but being responsible for her for a big block of time like that had my anxiety stretching to take a power walk.

The power outage? Had it setting off for a rapid, butt shaking pace. With hand weights.

Candles and flashlights were gathered, and Facebook was texted to update my status. No better way to handle a power outage than talk to Facebook! While things were being gathered, my front door opened. My men weren’t due home for hours; who the fuck is walking into my house? I grabbed something heavy to throw at the intruder, but when I came around the corner it was just my mother, stopping by on her way home from the store.

My anxiety got ready for a light jog.

Once the Jollies went to bed and I had every single light source in the house collected and on, I concentrated on reporting the outage. Except? To report I had to have a phone number attached to the account, or an account number. None of our phone numbers worked. I texted Stoic to get the account number. He directed me to the filing cabinet in his office, where he had EVERY SINGLE BILL from the old house, but NOTHING from the new house. My man, he is fastidious, almost to the point of anal which is something I make fun of him for, but at that moment all I could think was, HE IS NOT NEARLY ANAL ENOUGH. But when I texted him about his lack of anal behavior, he told me the account number was the same. So, I called the power outage hotline again. That account has been closed.

My anxiety started jogging.

I went through the house to lock every single door to every single room that wasn’t being used, and closed every window so no serial rapists could get in and hurt me. Because a few panes of glass are going to protect me, amirite? Then I started searching Stoic’s office for something resembling a current power bill. Guys, the only stuff he had for the new house was irrelevant.

My anxiety decided it was going for a long distance run.

I grabbed my computer to check the power company’s website. Silly me! DSL isn’t going to work in a power outage! I called a friend to see what they could see online, and guess what? Same shit! I can’t find out anything concrete without that information! All she could tell me is that there are 2 outages in my area affecting X amount of customers with X number of people reporting.

My anxiety thought long distance sprinting was a fabulous idea.

I sat there, the occasional tear falling. I held a flashlight so I could read to distract my mind. Except, there’s NOTHING distracting about reading in COMPLETE AND TOTAL DARKNESS, save enough candles to set off a smoke detector in the adjoining kitchen and an LED flashlight mounted in my mouth. Then 2 things happened. I noticed a bunch of emergency lights across the river (anxiety hit an obstacle course at a record breaking pace). My mom fell asleep and started snoring. So the company I had to help me feel better? Was of no actual use.

My anxiety started a meth fueled frenzy, tap dancing in a car while going for a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster.

I hate roller coasters.

So there I sat, cursing Stoic for not buying a generator when Basement Dweller and I told him to and for not having information available to me that might soothe my overactive imagination. I think if he had come in the door just then, I’d have punched him in the chest.

An hour and a half after the lights went off in Georgia, my house being Georgia and the lights going off for only the literal reason and not the figurative one, power came back on. However, because my anxiety had been slammed into overdrive, I was still a bit of a train wreck. Or five. In fact, I turned on every single light on the ground floor, a light in the basement, and bedroom lights in my room on the third floor. My mom woke up when power returned and she said she had to go home or she’d fall asleep here. (Figure that one out.) I followed her around the house as she gathered her stuff up (to protect her?), then walked her outside and shined a light on her car (because a porch light wasn’t enough). I ran inside when I heard a car on the road and locked the front door against the boogeyman that was coming to get me. I grabbed myself a bitch beer, sat on the couch with my laptop and the TV on, and I didn’t really move from that spot until Stoic and Basement Dweller came home.

Since nothing about my behavior was rational, they didn’t do much more than laugh at me. Thanks, guys!

Je suis un arachnophobe

Let me tell you about the time a spider brought me down.

Monsieur Stoic was on one of his baseball trips with his not-that-identical-anymore twin, which left me alone with the Terror Tag Team. Future Cult Leader was at school (yay, kindergarten!) so it was just Evil Genius and me. She was playing on the floor while I fed my addiction and attempted to read something with a higher reading level than Highlights Magazine. I saw something roll slowly across the (light colored) carpet out of the corner of my eye and looked up, expecting to see Evil Genius’s toy. Nope. It was a big fucking spider.

A BIG FUCKING SPIDER.


A REALLY BIG FUCKING SPIDER.

I had no time to think. This bastard was big enough to kill my 15 month old AND me and STILL go on a murderous spree. I grabbed a stool (which has a hollow bottom, by the way) and threw it over the spider. Then I grabbed Evil Genius and stood on the stool, because I wouldn’t put it past him to lift up that chair and come after us both. I sat there for a moment, wondering what my next move was. I wasn’t killing this spider, Basement Dweller (who was Upstairs Guest Room Dweller at the time) wouldn’t be home until MUCH later, and I was fairly sure that Cult Leader would take one look at the arachnid, look at me solemnly, tell me I had to be joking, and could she get her snack now?

My gaze fell on my phone.

My mother is a bad ass mofo when it comes to spiders. Does it have 8 legs? She’ll kill it then go smoke a cigarette. It ain’t no thing to her. So I did what any other rational human being would do.

I called my mommy to come save me.

She laughed when I told her of the pickle I was in, but agreed to come over right away. Ahhhh, but the door was locked. The door was ALWAYS locked, because at the time we lived in Suburban Hell where all the houses looked the same and all the women drove SUVs whether they needed to or not, and Stoic was paranoid that someone, out of ALL THE HOUSES ON THE BLOCK, would choose ours to break into. You know, because a dead bolt is going to stop them.

Solution? Grab one of Evil Genius’s heavier toys, stick it on top of the stool, run to unlock the door, then get back on the stool and wait.

Ten minutes later, my mother came sauntering in. She laughed at me, guys. SHE LAUGHED AT ME. This spider was big enough for the Smithsonian, how could she be laughing?

But she humored me. She took over stool duty while I grabbed the baby and ran upstairs to hide. She dutifully caught the spider and threw it outside so there were no yucky spider guts to clean up. She returned inside, and then this happened:

“I thought you said it was a big spider.”

“It was. Big fucker. Why?”

“Uh, because it was barely the size of a dime, you knucklehead.”

“Not a chance in hell. At least the size of a quarter.”

“I just caught it, I know how big it was.”

“IT WAS GINORMOUS AND IT WAS GOING TO KILL US BOTH.”

She managed to suppress a laugh, but smiled and nodded. Then she grabbed a cup of coffee and went outside to smoke.

All in a day’s work.

A conversation

This morning, I opened the front door to a package of clothes I had ordered via internet a week and a half ago. I’ve given up shopping in the store. Something about the atmosphere causes me to Lose My Shit over the clothes I try on, because I have an oddly shaped body and a low self esteem. They don’t make clothes for girls with big boobs, wide hips, and a flat ass. It makes for a lot of self loathing and vaguely suicidal thoughts when trying on clothes. I also won’t pay a lot, which explains my bad fashion sense.

“What’s that? Your camera?” I had ordered a 1907 Kodak Brownie 2A, and was anticipating its arrival without any dignity whatsoever.

“No, these are the clothes I ordered that UPS never bothered to update the tracking on.”

“Ah.”

“Their tracking sucks. They told me when it left, and they tell me when it arrives. Who the hell knows where it goes in between.”

“Their billing sucks too, which is why I switched carriers.”

“Interesting. Well, I suppose I should go try these on.”

“Should I call 911 and get them over here so you don’t kill yourself?”

My husband, he knows me so well. “No, but you might want to keep them on standby, just in case.”