Monday, September 26, 2005

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome back to my world of craziness and chaos. I hope you enjoy your stay. This has to be my most favorite time of the year. I love fall. I love watching the leaves change color, the brisk cold air and all the anticipation of the upcoming holidays .

More importantly, this is the time of year most parents wait patiently to hear that fabulous tune sung on the ingenious Office Depot commercials "It’s the most wonderful time of the year!"

It really is.

You see, school is starting. Children are miserable and full of complaints, but parents sing, parents dance and parents smile so hard their faces hurt. I am also smiling as we speak.

So how has the new school year started for the tribe?

Wicked Sister #1 has entered the zone of no return. She still thinks we’re all pretty wacked and has added in the comment "My family is so naive". To her, we are all downright stupid and she has no idea how she ended up in a place like this. She has theorized that perhaps she is part of a scientific human experiment to see how intelligent life survives in a chaotic and bizarre world. She is not adapting well. She wants to go back to which she came.

She has devised a new communication process for her and I to talk about things she doesn’t feel free to discuss in an open forum. She opens up the handy Windows notepad, types in a message and leaves it there for me to read. Here are some examples:

"Mom: Who are these little people running around the house bothering me all the time? Is this your form of torture for coloring on your carpet when I was 3?!"
"Your son stuck play-doh in my game boy! I am going to sue!"
"Can you please tell your other daughter to stop singing? I’m concerned about my hearing"
"Your husband is weird"
"Can we buy a cow? They make cool pets."

She is also teetering on the edge of "I like boys" and "Oh my God! Who *are* these creatures?!?!" As a parent, it is both painful and entertaining to watch. No doubt, she will find her way, and when she does I will be chaperoning her dates until she is 55.

Wicked Sister #2 is also entering a new realm, one which makes me believe it is really ME who is part of a scientific human experiment. If so, I am not adapting well either and I want to go home. After having Wicked Sister #2 bee-bop around the house, I am thoroughly convinced that nothing a parent does influences a child’s personality to be afflicted with the "I want it. I want it all. I want it all now" bug. They are born this way. I did nothing to influence such behavior. Should she turn into a raving lunatic, I will take full credit, but I take no responsibility for her being a materialistic heathen.

Yes, she has entered the stage of complying with status quo and has convinced herself that if she doesn’t have such and such , she will be the un-coolest kid in the class and will simply pass out and die. She is trying her hardest to keep up with the infamous Jones’. I have repeatedly tried to convince her that the Jones’ are idiots and their kids are crack heads. She doesn’t care. She wants to be Just-Like-Them. If that means we all don’t eat for three weeks, well dammit ... we simply don’t eat.

I have gotten Wicked Sister #2 to the point where she will do things out of the sheer pleasure of doing them, but have yet to convince her that the money tree is a myth. I have a lot of work ahead of me. I have a lot of beer to drink to deal with it all.

Onward to the next tribe member, the crazed and wild-eyed being romping around the house like an elephant on roller skates. Let me re-introduce to you the tribe member I now refer to as... "the boy".

The boy sports a dramatic and consistent hair-do of bed head which resembles someone who has been shocked by 1000 volts of electricity. He is adorned with downright dirty shirts that he wears not only backwards, but also inside out. His fly is always open, but the handler and I are so grateful that he is wearing pants, we say nothing. Likewise, we are happy when he does not button his pants because when he does, his boxers show. This ensures us that he has these on too. Without even meaning to do so, he destroys all things within a hundred mile radius of his walking path. Things mysteriously crash to the ground in rooms he has not even entered. It is a mystery to us all, including him. He is a human weapon of mass destruction.

He is in school now. Blessed are the souls who must contend with "the boy" on a daily basis. Say a prayer for them. I love them all. The boy loves school and has adjusted well to the routine of getting up (his hair is already done for the day), eating breakfast like a swine and running at full throttle to the bus stop. As we wait, the boy recites the alphabet for the thousandth time, and I, with a smile on my face, constantly look up the street, check my watch and wait with pleasure for the beautiful site of bus number 23. Although I have yet to do so, I am always tempted to kiss the bus driver as well as the bumper of the bus.

Without a doubt, it is the most wonderful time of the year. School has started. I am ensured peace a few hours every day. I am thankful.

Likewise, if you do not have children in school, and pay school taxes - on behalf of all parents of school-aged children .... we truly thank you.

To us, "no child left behind" is has a completely different meaning.

Have a great day everyone. It is time to enjoy my peace.

As always,

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hi! My name is stupid!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome back to my insane little world of screaming children and rapidly breeding hamsters!

I know it's been awhile, but unfortunately the lapse in writing isn't a sign of calming times. Oh...No, no, no! Instead, my little house of horrors has turned into my little house of bizarre construction, sucking every bit of money, time, patience and resources out of me that the tribe has not already taken. Since I last wrote, I've begun paying closer attention to those commercials about Prozac and its wonderful calming affect. I haven’t figured out who needs it the most: me, the tribe or the handler. Pass me another beer and I’ll think about it for awhile.

Yes, the handler is still working on the downstairs "pit" and will be working on said pit for awhile. I’m beginning to think it’s an elaborate ploy to escape the hazardous whirlwind ravaging the upstairs. I’m also beginning to think he has outsmarted me - this time around. Alas, from messages transported from tribe member to tribe member and then to me, I hear the pit will eventually be a family room. This makes the tribe gleeful, for the room is added space for them to roam and to discard their dirty socks! It is also a new room to bicker within, for even bickering becomes boring in the same pathetic place! Although rather pessimistic, I view the whole ordeal and added space as an addition to my already overloaded cleaning duties and another place whose walls will echo with my screaming. In the end, when it is done, the handler can hide no longer.

As far as the tribe is concerned, we’ve all survived the bubonic plague and are now focused on dashing from event to event at the speed of light. Although all things are scheduled, when you add in hormonal behavior, complete girlish melt downs, and a child who constantly loses his shoes, no task is an easy task and scheduled tasks become impossible. With every event, much screaming takes place, hormones fly like dust balls, and the cats run and hide like the sissies that they are. I also believe that the neighbors close their doors and windows until we peel out of the driveway like Nascar drivers during the Indy 500. Perhaps it is the neighbors who need the Prozac the most.

Somewhere along the line, the handler and I have become stupid. Yes, you read that right. I said stupid. Not just one of us. Both of us. Somehow, someway, we have both been relinquished to the "you don’t know nothin’!"category. Yes, according to the tribe, we’ve lost our brains. As parents, we are now part of the clueless parenting crowd who wander around aimlessly, searching for other people sporting the "WTF happened to my life?" look on their faces. Indeed...all tribe members believe the handler and I just showed up one monotonous day, after we hitched a ride on the extremely short bus, lacking both a clue as to what really goes on in the world and somehow missing a whole lesson on real life logic. We are stupid. They, the tribe, know everything. Who knew?

As I’ve told you before, Wicked Sister #1 is 13. For those who are reading this and have a 13 year old "girl-woman" roaming in your home ... I’m sorry. I now have a great compassion for you and understand why you have that "What the poop?!?!" look on your face. I know why your eyes roll about their sockets. Oh-my-gosh. I know. For those who don’t have a 13 year old girl-woman roaming your home, I need to visit you more often. I’m beginning to think that 13 is the age those dreadful mother curses take effect. You know the curse where your mother turned to you when you were a child and said "I curse you with a child just like you"! Those ones. I’m here to tell you, when your child turns 13... the curse comes true. I’ve recently realized I’m not prepared for any of this crap and I’m concocting a new outdoor project that the handler has not yet thought to do. My project? To hand pick all the clover from my lawn and ALL other lawns within a 200 mile radius of my home, 24/7.

Wicked Sister #2 has remained the same with added bonus of more frequent bouts of melt downs. The hormones are streamin’ in like a hi-fi stereo system on crack. Holy crap. At this very moment, it seems as if the world is revolving around her and only her. The rest of us are just lowly, unnecessary souls who transfer food supplies and money for shopping when necessary. In reality, we’re really just sitting around wondering when we can use the telephone again.

Demolition David is up to new tricks to create more gray hairs for his mother. It’s not the fact that he’s learned how to ride a bike without training wheels that concerns me. What concerns me is that he has NOT learned the facts of physics and has, therefore, erected a bike ramp out of twigs so he can "fly"over said ramp at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour.

All in all, the house is still in chaos, the tribe is still acting bizarre and the handler is doing an awesome job hiding in the pit. Me? I’m still screaming at the walls, still pulling hamsters from the mouths of cats and still wondering why oh why I’m not a candidate for some psychological study for wanna-be-parents to scare them all into celibacy.

Lastly, I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Through all my complaints and babble, I have to admit I had a pretty darn good one ...that is ... if you subtract the incident where Wicked Sister #1 verbally attacked Wicked Sister #2, which provoked Demolition David into a psychotic frenzy. Ahhh! More reason to pick clover, more reason to pay closer attention to those Prozac commercials and definitely more reason to grab another beer.

Take care everyone! Have a great day!


Sunday, February 06, 2005

Please pass the medication!

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the land where chaos is normal, disorder is apparent and hamsters populate like wild rabbits. No, this is not the house that Jack built. This is the house Jack ran away from like a sissy la la! We didn’t need him anyway. Besides, he would never have survived one of my morning moods.

So this month’s update is about some usual chaos and some not so normal things going on in our little house of horrors.

First, I think the black plague has stricken our home, not once, not twice but a few times over. If you’re coming for a visit, please wrap yourself in heavy duty plastic and adhered it to your body with handy-dandy duct tape. Prepare for decontamination upon departure. Whatever name is applied to this illness running rampant throughout the household, it brings with it expensive medication costs and a plethora of tissues. Basically, it’s downright fugly.

We’ll all survive this- I’m sure. I just don’t know how crazy I’ll be with cabin fever when it’s all over. Maybe it’ll be a good thing. Perhaps I’ll start a new recipe book when it’s all over. Betty Crocker on Crack has a pretty ring to it.

Onward. Although the tribe members are all "illing", they seem to continue the bickering skills necessary to keep this a peaceful, loving home. Here are the terms I have heard all week: "Stop touching me, stop looking at me, stop breathing my air, I’m soooo sick, but she said I’m not sick!, Moooom mmmmeeeee!, I need tissues, I need water, tell him/her to stop bothering me!"

What’s a mother to do? The answer is: pretend to be that nasty, evil nurse in the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and count down the hours until you can grin ear to ear and scream "It’s medication time!" They feel better, you feel better, all is quiet and you can finally get caught up staring at the wall since you can’t leave the house anyway.

All in all, the children of the corn are doing well. There were a few minor issues to contend with. Wicked sister #1 has convinced herself that we’re all a bunch of morons. Demolition David has convinced Wicked Sister #1 that he is sick only because she touched him on his head and he plans on sending a full report to Santa Claus. Wicked sister #2 has convinced Demolition David that if he doesn’t do what she wants, the Easter Bunny will turn into a rabid werewolf. I know, I know, you’ve never seen such love expressed between siblings! It’s enough to put a dang tear in your eye.

Believe it or not, Wicked Sister #1 turned 13 last month. Like, OMG! Thirteen is an awfully weird age and makes my head spin at a rapid pace. I am baffled at how a human can turn right and act like a two year old and then turn left and act like a heathen. Welcome to 13. Welcome to hell. Enjoy your stay. Drink lots.

Wicked Sister #2 is doing well and comes up with her own unique, and equally baffling ideas. For instance, I did not know math was not an important skill. Didn’t I knnnnooooow that is why God created the man who created the calculator? Didn’t I knnnnnnooooow it’s okay to talk with people during class because, after all, I did tell her to be nice to others and make friends and- tsk- eye rolling - ya can’t make friends unless you, like duh, talk?

Demolition David is up to no good most of the time. He’s into the why stage of life and saying "When I do this"- flash to child poking his eyeball with his finger - "it hurts. Why?" My answer "Dunno, but you better do it to the other eye ball so you’ll have equal blindness." He’s also into belching at whim. He too is moving forward into "real school" next year. Yes, yes, Demolition David will be unleashed into the general public in September 2005! Mark it in your calenders. Stay in your homes. All teachers and faculty members, welcome to hell! Enjoy the ride!

On a more serious note, we’ve recently had a death in the family. The handler’s grandfather has passed away and the loss will be felt for a very long time. Although I am inconsistent in every manner of the word, this was a man who was as consistent as the sun rising and the moon setting. He visited our little house of horrors every Sunday, without fail, brining donuts and trinkets for the tribe. He talked lively (and sometimes colorfully!) about his life, and shared the moments of a Sunday morning in a household in a constant uproar. He never flinched. He fit right in.

You know, I used to think consistency brought boredom, but in the last few years, I’ve realized that consistency brings forth an abundance of positive things that can’t be bought in any store. Consistency brings the feeling of security and that security brings the feeling of trust. The constant action of just showing up every Sunday meant so much to the tribe. They felt secure with him around. They trusted him. He was not just their Great Grandfather. He was also their friend. Regardless of what was going on in his life or their lives, he came every Sunday and they loved every Sunday because he came.

Telling the tribe about his death was one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever had to do, but all in all, we’ll pull through this too. We’re all pretty rowdy and crazy here, but we’re also a very tough bunch.

I’ll end this babbling update with a wish for a Happy V-Day:

May you find that missing sock, may it become law that cereal be served for dinner, and may you find the remote for my TV.

May you love consistently and be consistently loved back.

And may there be enough beer to make it to the next update.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

As always,

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Out with the old, in with the new!

Hello Everyone!

I thought I would write to fill everyone in on the gory details of the past year or at least send a recap of the horrid events going on in the insane asylum I call home.

I've taken a look back at the year with a different eye and a different attitude and without medication. I'm not sure the later part was a good idea, but I did it anyway. I often wonder where time went and looking back, I realize most of it was spent screaming. Don't worry. When I am done with college and finally graduate in the year 2020, I'll be a real-live psychologist and the tribe will receive free psych treatments. I envision a session being like this: "My mother screamed a lot!". The psychologist reply "You're in denial. Your mother was perfect. Be gone!"

So this year, in their honor, I took a look back at how much the tribe has grown, how much they have matured, how much they cost me in food and shelter and how many beers I had to drink to keep my sanity while they take over my house like cockroaches. The answer to all of those reflections was the same - an awful lot.

Wicked sister one seems to have grown the quickest, both physically and mentally. She is taller than I, bigger than I and although I will deny it should anyone tell her, she's smarter too. I still, however, can kick her ass in wrestling, at least until next year when she grows even more. This year, she's learned the fine art of sarcasm, which makes me laugh and ground her in the very same breath. We do talk a lot... electronically. It is, after all, a new generation and she is, after all.. a geek like her mother. For instance, we recently had this exchange between her AOL instant messages and my cell phone text messages:

Her: "Mom, @ library. Can u pls pick me up at 4:30?"
Me: "Who are you and where is your mother?"
Her: "It's me!! Can u pick me up?!?!"
(I envision panic. I'm enjoying this.)
Me: "And Jesus said "walk all ye chittlins and ye shall be spared my wrath!""
Her: "OMG! U R so weird! Yes or no?! Is Dad home?"
Me: "Who's your daddy?"
Her: "OMG! Forget it! I'll walk!"

Problem solved. This has cost the handler about $10 in text messaging fees, but I'm not concerned for this has relieved me of further duty and has spared me energy so I can deal with wicked sister 2 and her whirl wind lifestyle.

Wicked sister 2, aka the Worm Girl, has also grown dramatically this past year. No surprise there. She eats more than most men. Although her vocabulary is expansive, she only uses a few select sentences per day. These sentences are "I'm starving", "I'm on the phone!!" and "OMG! The Limited 2 is having a sale!". To her, I am not human. In her world, I have been effectively reduced to a handy food and money dispenser. Every now and again, I'll come home from work at 2am to see a note glued to the kitchen door. Yes.. it is glued for Demolition David has a fetish for taping things..every thing...every where. Tape, is therefore, a high commodity.

When I see the note attached to my window with super glue, my first thought is "That's gonna be a son of a bitch to get off". My second is always one of hope "How nice! A note from one of the wicked sisters". However, hope soon vanishes into the night when I realize the list is food items she will simply die without. "Ice cream, bread, green peppers (lots!), hamster food. Love, Me." All in all, her laughter is infectious, her hair always in a knot and she is right in between the "I am a child, I am a woman" stage. She enlightens me to what is cool and what is not, intrigues me when she says twenty things in one single breath, and costs me an arm in a leg in "feed".

Last but not least, there is Demolition David, my human Tigger who bounces through life and across my living room furniture at the speed of light. Nothing in his path survives his wrath. The cats fear him, the neighbors hear him and I, in my most patient of ways, scream his name a thousand times of day in a variety of tones and levels of horror. (Wondering tone) "David! What made you think you could jump from there?" (Gasping) "David! What happened to the cat's hair?!" (Cha-ching!) "David! Stop using all the toilet paper to make a fort!!!!" (In horror) "David! Step-away-from-the-power-tools!" and finally (OMG!) "David! Why is the hose in the house?!?"

I hear he is a sweet boy at school and is very polite to the teachers and his classmates. I understand he is kind, shares all the toys, and he even plays well with others. He does not run with scissors in school. He does not duct tape the furniture together to make a firm landing pad, nor does he hide, jump out and scream in order to scare his teacher like he does his mother. He is a nice boy, they say. Perhaps I am dropping my son off at the wrong school and the David they speak of is actually someone else's child. I'll investigate this another time. For now, I'll take the good reports coming from his teachers and pretend we are talking about the same child. Denial is a wonderful thing.

This child fears only one thing.. spiders. I once tried to teach him that spiders were not bad. I made tiny spiders out of play-doh, placed them on the table and then smashed the crap out of them with a shoe. He was delighted with the violence and became empowered. Mother creativity at it's finest! It worked, for a little while until one day a spider ran across the floor and actually "touch him". He screamed like a girl. Since then, his fear of the creepy crawlers remains. What to do? I do as all good mothers would do, but never admit it in public - I use his fear against him. A great example was the time he had a fascination with electrical outlets. Nothing I could say would stop him from "checking them out to see how they work". So I told him that's where all spiders lived.. in the electrical outlets. He now fears electrical outlets. Problem solved. Next issue.

After looking back, I wondered what actual damage I have caused my tribe with my crazy and erratic (and sometimes neurotic) way of mothering. Yes, I do realize I do not handle mothering duties like other mothers and sometimes feel guilty for doing so. As I have said before, mother guilt is worse than Catholic guilt. We just don't have handy prayers to abolish our sins. Instead, we build play-doh spiders, text message our daughters and read scribbled notes in the middle of the night. Personally, I just hope and pray that, when my tribe picks me up from the old age insane asylum for weekend visits, they actually wheel me into their homes and not into moving traffic.

Although the year was filled with both laughter, sadness and lots of insanity, I know I must be doing something right. Wicked sister one brought home a carnation she purchased herself, hiding it under her favorite hoodie (read my hoodie), to keep it safe from the cold. Wicked sister two made me a pillow from a piece of fabric she bought herself. I didn't even know she could sew. And my Dangler boy presented me with a gift for no particular reason at all - a card with a heart colored in crayon and the words "Love, David" scribbled below.

So in the end, I will carry my mother guilt like a heavy burden. However, in my heart I know with such gifts of love bestowed upon me by the tribe, I, the crazy screaming mother, have made them feel guiltier.

And this.. makes me joyful for the end of another year. One point for me. Zero for them. :)

To family and friends I hold so dear,
Have a happy, healthy and bright new year!!

As always,

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hamster Chaos

Hi all,

As I think all of you know already, life is pretty bizarre and unpredictable in my home. I'm not sure if this is something I contributed to or if it's just something that transposed over time. Whatever the case may be, it seems as if every day something bizarre happens that is not within normal operating procedure in other homes.

Anyhow, there I was sitting on the couch (a rarity) trying to close my eyes for fifteen minutes before I have to leave to go play geek and help a relative with his computer. It's 8ish, all is relatively calm (another rarity), hence the ability to sit for once. So, I hear a small ruckus and notice that the abnormal cat (the one with extra toes) is playing with his toy mouse. The cat is running back and forth, batting around said mouse toy. I yell at him because he's scratching my hardwood floors. When I do, I notice said mouse toy is not actually a mouse toy, but wa freaking la.. a hamster! First words out of my mouth is "Holy shit! He's got a hamster!" Chaos ensues.

All tribe members scream, run to said "special" cat, who picks up the hamster in his mouth and begins to run around the house like a wild animal. Children are screaming. One wicked sister is crying. Furniture is knocked over. The other cat is running around like crazy simply because everyone else is. Handler is yelling from the downstairs pit "What the hell is going on up there?!" Me? I just stand there with that "WTF" look on my face, wondering how the hello I ended up in this home to begin with. Retard cat runs under the kitchen table with his "meat". Tribe fling chairs about. Cat escapes their grasp and runs upstairs to the Wicked Sisters room with hamster clenched in his little jaws. There is a stampede up the stairs with the mission to release the hamster and kill the cat. I hear lots of movement... yelling... crying...and many, many threats.

I, well beyond my limit of handling chaos, pick up a chair from the floor, crack open a beer and sit at the kitchen table. By this time, the cat has released the hamster, who is now undoubtedly injured, and roaming freely upstairs. I hear the tribe ostracize the "special cat" who is kicked out of the room and put in the basement with the handler, door closed.

"Bad cat! Bad cat!" I hear that a lot.

After my beer is finished, it is time for me to leave. I go up to the wicked sisters room to check on progress. Hamster is still missing. Crying is rampant. Lots of blame about who did what and when and where and how. My response? "Find it". Off I go to enter the normal world.

As of today, said hamster turned cat food has been found and was indeed injured. I am ordered to call the vets. I hear it will cost about $200. I am not John Kerry and will not perform CPR on a hamster. Sorry. I realize I can grow more hamsters.I decide to take it as a loss. Said hamster will be buried close to the infamous tree house today at 4.

May he rest in peace and may there be more beer for me to handle the next catastrophe.

Have a great day all.

As always,