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.
Within several days, I have found glitter where glitter doesn’t belong. On my couch. On my boobs. (?!) In my kitchen sink. And on Evil Genius’s face.
SERIOUSLY. I post one (okay, 2) rants about glitter and suddenly IT IS EVERYWHERE. It went from Tinkerbell taking a shit on my porch to Tinkerbell getting straight up murdered ALL OVER MY HOUSE.
Then one of my friends showed me this little gem: Barbie Loves Glitter Glam Vacuum and Doll – Mattel – Toys “R” Us.
Come again what? WHY? Why is a doll like this necessary? I suppose I could launch into a diatribe about gender roles and how it is acceptable and even encouraged to keep kids penned within the parameters set for them by our corporate run society (why can’t Barbie ever come with a clam digging kit or mud pies or a monster truck? Why can’t Superman be crafty?) but that’s not what this blog is about.
(Honestly, I don’t even know what this blog is about. Do I have a focus? I don’t think I have a focus. Story of my life!)
One could say that hey, look! It comes with its own vacuum! There are a couple of problems with this. One, kids are destructive. My own kids are miniature Godzillas. Give them a plastic toy and they will attempt to break the world record for toy devastation. Considering how easy it is to break plastic unless it’s a freaking car seat, wouldn’t that defeat the purpose of the vacuum? Two, what about the fact that GLITTER IS EVIL AND CANNOT BE EASILY EXORCISED? And three, uhhhh, how do you dispose of the glitter once the vacuum is full? Glitter is light, and if you dump it out it’s just going to get all over everything ALL OVER AGAIN.
I’m telling you, we need to band together as parents and have glitter banned. It is a persistent nuisance, a blight on homes and daycares everywhere. Screw the commercialization of childhood and the early sexualization of our girls thanks to the media, clothing manufacturers, and merchandise companies. GLITTER IS THE REAL PROBLEM HERE.
WHO’S WITH ME?
If you don’t live around these parts, then the Astoria Column is this:
and it’s 125 feet of terror. Or, it is if you’re afraid of heights. And ohhhhhhh, I am. I can’t even climb a 6 foot ladder without feeling like I’m going to soil myself. One hundred twenty five feet, so multiply that by about 20. Or 21. Or, if you’re literal like my husband, 20.8.
I have no idea what possessed me to climb the column. Call it a lapse in judgment, a moment of stupidity, or thinking my balls were bigger than they are. Either way, it was not my brightest choice.
Inside the column is a metal spiral staircase with 164 steps that lead to the top.
About halfway up…
Me: “WHAT WAS THAT?!” I drop down to a whisper. “Is that an earthquake?”
Me, in a desperate whisper: “I THINK IT IS. IT’S AN EARTHQUAKE.”
Him, patiently: “No, it’s someone else coming up the stairs.”
Me, a little louder: “ARE YOU SURE?”
Before he can respond, we hear voices. “Oh. I guess you are.”
Me, in another panicked whisper: “WHY ARE THEY LAUGHING. DO THEY NOT REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE UP HERE?”
And later still…
“I CAN FEEL THIS SWAYING. ARE WE SWAYING? I THINK WE’RE SWAYING. WE’RE GOING DOWN.”
Needless to say, I was relieved to get down, even if I nearly had to scoot down the stairs on my ass.
Future Cult Leader comes home today after a week at her bio dad’s house. Here’s a list of things I didn’t miss when she was gone:
Cooking full fat meals
Since on a good day, Cult Leader weighs as much as a top of the scale 3 year old, we can’t cook the low fat meals I want so I don’t wind up looking like one of the hot air balloons that fly over our bedroom at 6 AM. Sure, I could make my meal or her meal separately, but I’m already playing goalie in the game of kids. Making a separate meal would be like trying to play pitcher at the same time.
I know, I know, I deserve to be publicly flogged for admitting that I yell. I remember mentioning to my sister in law that we sometimes yelled upstairs for Cult Leader to get in bed and go to sleep (though, that was more laziness than anything; we didn’t want to get off our asses and go upstairs) and she gave me this horrified look, like WHO LET YOU HAVE CHILDREN as she asked me, dismayed, “Wait, you yell at your kids?” Yes. I yell. And honestly, I haven’t yelled since Cult Leader has been gone. Well, that’s not true. I’ve yelled upstairs to Monsieur Stoic, and once when Evil Genius grabbed a knife out of the dishwasher. No one is perfect, so suck it. It’s one of those parental flaws I try to work on daily.
I don’t know if you know this, but tantrums are common in kids with ADHD. Between all the stimuli they experience (if you Google “Misunderstood Minds” and click the link that says “attention”, you can get a taste of what it’s like to be my daughter. I’d include the link but I tried that and WordPress won’t let me and I’m not smart enough to figure it out) and their impulsive nature, their emotional volatility tends to be higher than that of their peers. Cult Leader has a tantrum a day, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. Not dealing with them has been a relief.
Evil Genius and Cult Leader fight and bicker and HOLY CRAP MAN. You’d think that a 4 year age difference would make a difference, but they fight just as much as kids 2 years apart. One of these days, the fighting is going to escalate into World War III, and I shudder to think about the results. Cult Leader could easily start an uprising against the Evil Genius, but Evil Genius could plot some sneaky counter attacks. It’s entirely possible she wouldn’t even need help. She’s way more likely to get her hands dirty than Cult Leader, because Cult Leader would just get someone else to work for her.
The great thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is that you never have to say a word. The bad thing about conversations in the car with Cult Leader is you never have the chance to say a word.
Honestly, Cult Leader was more work than Evil Genius when Evil Genius was a baby. Oh sure, the reflux made the baby almost unbearable, but at least I could strap her to my chest as a solution. Well, and the 20 minute snippets of sleep at night sucked ass. But that was mindless. Cult Leader takes a lot of mental, emotional, and physical energy. She sucks it out of you, and I think even uses it herself.
It might sound like we were happy to get rid of her, and we were. Believe me, the need for a break was mutual. She was not at all heartbroken at leaving us for a week, although part of that might be because her older sisters were there for the week, too, and they are way more fun than we are. But we’re also really happy to get her back, and she’s ready to come home. The house was empty–and too quiet–without her.
Since we’ll be on a road trip having hotel sex and playing on the Oregon Coast for the next few days, I probably won’t post much, if anything. Enjoy the break!
Stoic and I finally settled on a road trip for our vacation. Tomorrow we will be driving up to Astoria, staying the night, and then taking Friday and Saturday to drive down Oregon’s highway 101, and coming back Sunday. And I’m excited to go, because not only is it a break from the kids, but HOTEL SEX! WOOT!
(Oh, and the change in scenery as well as the beauty of the Oregon Coast is a plus, also.)
In order to pack, I needed to iron a pair of jeans. Yes, that sounds ridiculous, but I assure you it’s actually necessary and not my neurotic showing. My washer is awesome and I love it, but it has this awful tendency to crease the hell out of my clothes. My iron and I don’t get along and my steamer and I have been in a few arguments, so I will take whatever steps to avoid it I can, even if it means smacking the crap out of my clothes before throwing them in the dryer on refresh 5 times.
Ahhhh, energy efficiency.
So I lay my jeans on the ironing board with my nemesis in hand. Lo and behold, what do I find?
Those circles are glitter, and all the arrows are pointing to all the different directions you can find glitter on my jeans.
So EVEN THOUGH I line dried the shirt, and EVEN THOUGH I shook out all the clothes before I put them in the dryer, and EVEN THOUGH I shook them out when I folded them I STILL HAD GLITTER ON MY JEANS.
All thanks to this shirt:
To exact my revenge, I took it outside and beat it to get rid of the loose glitter. Instead, I succeeded in making it look like Tinkerbell took a shit on my front porch.
There is now a glitter shirt embargo placed on this house.
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.”
“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?”
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.
“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…
My head explodes.
On second thought, I’m not anal. I’m just neurotic. My bad.
I know some moms do a load or 5 of laundry every day, but I’ve always been a person with a laundry day. I much prefer to get it done in one shot than to spend time every day folding clothes. Oh sure, I could have Monsieur Stoic do it, but his way of doing laundry is appalling and makes me twitchy. In fact, on the rare occasion he does do laundry, I write him out detailed instructions because I’m a control freak who can’t let go. Or something like that.
Part of having kids is buying clothes, so we went to a department store some time last week to return a couple items that sucked and pick up some things that don’t suck. Since Future Cult Leader has this thing where she grows taller and taller, she’s heading straight for the girls 7-14 section. This both excited and saddened me. It’s sad because, oh hey, last section before the juniors section! And what’s in the juniors section? Clothes that I don’t find appropriate for girls under the age of 18! The excitement? Came from my hatred of glitter.
Fucking glitter. It was an awful Mariah Carey movie (erms…from what I heard, anyway), everyone jokes about how it’s the dumb way for shit to go down when vampires from crappy series that have a cult following step into the light, and like Dimitri Martin said, it’s art herpes. It gets everywhere, and you can’t fucking get rid of it. Why is this relevant? BECAUSE CLOTHING COMPANIES PUT GLITTER ON LITTLE GIRL CLOTHING. My god, I think I’ve even found it on little girl underwear. WHO NEEDS GLITTER ON FREAKING UNDERWEAR WHEN YOU’RE 5? TELL ME. I REALLY WANT TO KNOW.
It’s like the people who manufacture clothing are soooooooooooo desperate for your money that they’re pimping out their shirts however they can. Or jeans. JEANS. It’s not enough to be cover the body and maybe be stylish. HEY, BUY OUR SHIT. WE NEED MORE CIGARETTES AND HOOKERS OVER HERE. Put glitter on a little girl shirt and you can guarantee that most little girls who walk by are going to pull this number:
“*GASP*! Authority-figure-who-has-taken-me-shopping-and-made-the-mistake-of-walking-by-the-girls-clothing-section, see that shirt? It’s glittery! It’s so pretty! Please please please please buy it for me! I really really want it! I’ll do anything for it! You want me to kiss your toes? I’ll lick the bottom of your foot if you just buy me that shirt! All the kids are wearing shirts with glitter on them, it’s so shiny and beautiful and please please please please?”
My girls are not girly girls. I don’t have a problem with this, because kids should get dirty and wrestle and play hard and jump and not worry about getting dirty or breaking a nail. Don’t get me wrong. Cult Leader loves herself a pretty dress, and Evil Genius loves to put on pretty shoes and every article of clothing she can hijack, but then they go outside to roll around in the mud, much like Scrooge McDuck would roll around in money. Danger? They laugh at it. Getting loud and rowdy? Yup. Non stop activity? Hell yes.
But if you show them a shirt with glitter on it, that’s the only shirt in the world they want and will stop at nothing to get it. Even the 2 year old is attracted to glitter, kind of like a magpie. Those clothing companies, they addict them young. So I figured, hey. Once we hit the big kids section, THERE WILL BE NO MORE GLITTER. What self-respecting 7 year old wants glitter on her clothes?
The shirts Stoic picked out for Cult Leader? COVERED IN MOTHERFUCKING GLITTER.
I can’t escape it. That shit is my lot in life. And the worst part about glitter covered clothes? They make more glitter covered clothes. I can shake the hell out of mine and Stoic’s clothes when they come out of the dryer but since glitter is like herpes, or worse than herpes, we’ll still find it when we put the clothes on, or 10 washes later.
If I was ambitious, I would start an anti-glitter campaign. Because no one’s lint trap should look like this:
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!