Friday, December 17, 2010

The Great Go Fish Christmas Tag Program of 2010

Of course my kids are going to compare the gifts wrapped under the tree. For hours each day they will compare, brag, cry, get upset, do cartwheels, jump around or stomp, all in the name of gift giving. The bigger the gift, the bigger the brag... and the bigger my headache becomes.

And so it is with much excitement I announce the Great Go Fish Christmas Tag Program of 2010!

The gifts do not have names on them. Instead, they are adorned with half of a fish pair from the commonly recognized card game Go Fish. One present has a card attached depicting a narwahl. Another a clown fish. And another a sand shark. Come Christmas morning each child will have an envelope holding the other half of their fish pairs. Pull out the sand shark - go find the matching gift! I'm thinking it will add a fun spin to the Christmas morning events.

I'm also thinking I may just be a genius.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Just Another Day at the Office

Me:  Hello. How can I help you?

Woman on Phone:  I'm going to subpoena your coworker.

Me: Um. Okay. Is there anything else I can help you with?

WoP: He needs to testify at my trial and tell the judge my life was in danger so I can get my two thousand dollars.

Me: Okay. I'll let him know.

WoP: Because I'm suing my landlord. And he said someone was moving in there.

Me: Who said someone was moving in where?

WoP: My landlord. He said people were moving in to the apartment so I have to remove the mailbox.

Me: Do you live in the apartment?

WoP: No. I moved out. But now he said other people are moving in there and so I have to remove the mailbox.

Me: Whose mailbox is it?

WoP:  Mine. Ninety-nine percent of the people are too scared to put in their own mailbox; they just get their mail at the Post Office, but they don't have to. This is America and you can get your mail delivered if you want it.

Me: It's your mailbox and you moved out and now your landlord has asked you to remove your mailbox. Since you don't live there anymore. Do you want the mailbox?

WoP: Yes! Of course I want the mailbox - it's mine! I still get my mail there.

Me: You still get your mail delivered to the mailbox where you used to live but don't live any more? When did you move out?

WoP: About a month ago.

Me: So, it's your mailbox. You want it back. You don't live there. But you don't want to take it?

WoP: I want to leave it until the court case is done.

Me: Oh, yes. The court case. What is the court case?

WoP: Well, I'm suing because my life was in danger. He gave me my security deposit back but because my life was in danger he should pay me more. He got mad at me and said he'd give me a hundred dollars, but my life is worth more than that.

Me:  -- right.... two thousand dollars.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cinderella Syndrome

evening; the basement, where the children had been banished hours earlier with strict instructions to clean the playroom and unearth the carpeted floor.

The Bean, 15 - in the playroom, barking orders at her sister.
Dotter, 9 - also in playroom, goofing off and being generally uncooperative.
Mother, 27 (don't question the age, people, it's really not that important) - enters basement to do some much needed laundry.

As mother juggles dirty laundry she spies The Bean walking by obviously hiding something, because, really, who walks sideways up a set of stairs with their back to their mother? Hello, red flag! Mother, sensing deviousness, pounces on the now alone, innocent, younger daughter:

Mother:  What was she carrying?

Dotter: Huh?

Mother: The Bean. What was she trying to hide from me?

Dotter: I don't know. Something in a bag.

Intent on getting to the bottom of things, Mother waits like a silent ninja for the unsuspecting child to return.... and when she does:

Mother: What were you carrying?

Bean: Huh?

Mother: Up the stairs. What were you trying to hide from me? (Crosses arms.)

Bean: Oh. That. Uh. It was a bag.

Mother: What was inside the bag that you didn't want me to see?

Bean: Oh. Um.  (nervous forced chuckle) That. Well. Do you remember beginning of Freshman year?

(Mother narrows eyes.)

Bean continues: Well, you told me to do the dishes and I got mad at you because I didn't think I should have to do them and you were like there's only five bowls and a handful of spoons but I still didn't want to do them so I put all the dirty dishes in a bag and brought them down here and hid them in the closet in the playroom.

(Mother wonders for a brief moment if she has somehow slipped into a parallel universe where nothing makes sense.)

Mother: Let me see if I understand this.... over a year and a half ago I asked you to wash a minimal amount of dishes, but instead of actually washing those dishes you decided it would be easier to throw the dishes into a plastic bag and hide them in the deep recesses of a closet in the basement in the hopes rodents and other wildlife would infest our home and feast on the crusted food that was laying around.

Bean: Well, when you say it that way you make it sound stupid.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Babies Versus Teens (Guess who wins....)

Twenty years ago, in an attempt to deter young people from getting knocked up at a young age, our high school required teens to carry a hardboiled egg around for a week. For some reason the staff felt I may need an extra push in the right direction, therefore I was handed the responsibility of "twins." One egg I named Melchizedek Barron and the other I named something far less impressive since I have no idea to this day what it was. For a week I drove around with the eggs nestled in the cup holder of my sporty blue, two door Pontiac Grand Am, rocking out to Salt-N-Pepa's "Let's Talk About Sex."

What they should've done is made me spend every waking minute with a teenager.

Babies are cute. And cuddly. And they smell good if you wash them on a regular basis. Teenagers are moody and hormonal and either don't use enough deodorant or spend in excess of ninety-eight minutes hogging all the hot water so that when you want to bathe all you get is a shrugged shoulder and a not-so-convincing sorry, which doesn't make up for the freezing temperatures you get to enjoy in your shower. Have you ever tried shaving your legs in icy water? The good news is you don't need a lot of band-aids because the blood congeals quite rapidly.

Babies smile and giggle when you sing made up song lyrics as you're dancing in the kitchen making spaghetti for dinner. Teenagers condescendingly ask if you know how ridiculous you look and point out you don't know any of the words and oh my god? Seriously? Spaghetti for dinner? Again?

Babies hug you and snuggle up tight next to you and never want you to put them down. Teenagers visibly cringe if you get too close. And make you drop them off two blocks away from their desired destination for fear someone they possibly kinda, sorta are acquainted with (but don't really know, because they think they saw them once about seven weeks ago in line at Starbucks but can't be sure) might see the two of you together and the world will come to a screeching halt and nobody will ever be friends with them again because you are so unbelievably embarrassing as a parent.

Babies think you possess exceptional intellectual ability when you turn the kitchen faucet on and water comes out. And they still think you're a genius when you turn it off. Teenagers know everything. About everything. All the time. So you don't have to tell them - in fact, just don't speak. Ever. Because they know.

If you have a teen, or are a survivor of the teen years, you get what I'm talking about. A hard boiled egg is just not going to do it.