Here is a recording of a song I wrote called "Wait". Check it out and tell me what you think if you have the capability. I sort of did the vocals in one take so I got a little lazy. I guess they could be better, but when you have kids coming in and out when you are recording and making noise, you take what you can get and think, "maybe I will re-do that later, just not now."

When It Rains, It Pours

Before I get on that treadmill, I have to write about my day yesterday.

The doc gave me meds to help me sleep----actually, to help me not feel so stiff that I sleep so little at night. Believe me, it does help. Maybe a little too much. I suppose I must be a little person (it is funny to even think of myself that way because I don't feel small) because the lowest dose about runs me over. Heaven forbid if I take the normal dose. I won't be able to get out of bed. That said, yesterday, I woke up drowsy and then throughout the day I remained drowsy until about five o'clock.

My sister in law called me at eleven thirty to remind me that we were supposed to meet at a waterpark later in the afternoon. I had completely forgotten. I felt like a nimrod. I thought all morning I would take the kids to the pool and read The Two Towers. Instead I got them all ready, looked for towels, and drove back home three times once out of my subdivision to get things I had forgotten or things others in my troop forgot. We must make sure we have everything because my sister in law is at least an hour away. We live in the boonies.

"Where are your swim shorts?!" I barked at the Oldest, who went into the bathroom at home to put them on once I told him to. We were presently in the car.

"They are on," he said, face stuffed in a Superman comic.

"No, they are not," I said firmly, trying to keep my eyes on the road. I turned around.

"I went into the bathroom and everything! You are telling me I didn't put them on!!!!????"

Not only am I drowsy, I am irritiable at this point. Not only do I have to remember my own swim suit, I have to remind my Oldest child, who is as big as me, of his. It was pretty much sheer luck that I saw he did not have it on.

Once at my SIL's house, I was too drowsy to even push the departure to the waterpark, just miles down the street. I mooched chocolate off of her hoping that I would wake up a bit. I didn't. The kids played for a spell. Finally we did leave.

The waterpark was fine up until the end. I woke up eventually, as I said, so things got better. The Professor was going to meet us there after work, so I wanted to make sure I knew where the kids were every second so he wouldn't have a heart attack once he arrived. Eventually he did arrive. We went in the lazy river together for about fifteen minutes (the park was almost closing). Once we left the river, we decided to walk on a bridge to get to the lockers to gather our things before herding the kids. Suddenly I heard a yell behind me.

The Oldest was holding an ice pack on the back of his head and a lifeguard was following him with a clip-board. Apparently my boy slipped and fell on the back of his head "just like a cartoon" (as he put it). He literally had an egg popping out. It looked brutal. The lifeguard looked so concerned and apologetic that I shook my head and waved her off.

"Trust me," I said to relieve her, "if he is still mouthing off and talking incessantly like this, he is fine."

All he cared about on the drive home was how to position the ice pack in such a way so as to finish reading his Hardy Boys novel.

Like that wasn't enough, Eraser Eater started to moan in the car. I get on the highway home (thankfully I took back roads) and pretty soon my son says, "My head hurts!" We all know what this means: the boy is going to toss his cookies. The Professor was directly ahead of me in his car so I blinked my lights at him and pulled over. He just kept driving and went home, I guess. I thought, Oh, he'll come back when he sees that I am not behind him. Whatever.

I got out of the car and pulled Eraser Eater out from his side and took him to the grass on the side of the road. He wretched in a little huddle, clean and undramatic.
"I think I am done now," he said faintly.
We drove further.
"Gotta puke again!" he said from the back. At this point in my driving there was nowhere to pull over for about a mile or so. "Hold it in!" I said, worried about the leather seats.

He moaned back there for a spell---just long enough to get to the place where I could get him out of the car again. Instead of immediately tossing his cookies, he just sat there and stewed for a little bit. The Oldest slammed all the car doors shut so he would not have to hear the sound of barfing. The Girl peeped out the windows to see the sight. I was getting a little impatient as I was in my bathing suit holding a Hello Kitty towel the Girl said we could use to wipe his puke mouth.
"It's coming in just a second," he said flatly.
"Are you sure?" I said, looking around.
"Yeah, just another second----now..."
And I think he let loose all the food from yesterday and the day before.
"Man, there's even carrots in there!" he said, surprised, "and it looks like the slop you would get from a cafeteria. Straight from a cafeteria. How do people eat that stuff?!"
"Ok, man, let's go home." I had to pull him away.

He talked about it in the car. The Oldest had had enough. "Please!!!!" he shouted.

Then Eraser Eater continued to talk about what happens when you take in food, and the whole chemical process of digestion. "Now what is that stuff called that is all sticky and sour that helps break the food down?"

"Uh, bile?"

"Yes, bile. It tastes gross."

"Ok! OK!!!!" yelled the Oldest, "I have a pounding head here!"

"Oh Mom, gotta stop again!!!" Eraser Eater yelled from the back. I took him to the battlefield exhibit a mile from our house. I hate being that close yet not being there.

He sat and stewed once again. Finally I informed him that we were a minute from home. An ant crawled on him and he jumped up, wagging his arm. "Something just crawled on me!!!!!" He danced around. He gave an irritated look. "Let's go home then, Mom, I would rather puke in the toilet anyway."


I May Have Killed the Game System

I went to a friend's house today mainly for my sake, but the kids did get a little play time with her kids. The Oldest hung out with her two oldest and played legos while my friend, Eraser Eater, the Girl and I played croquet outside. Everything goes back to Alice with me. At one point I did really say, "off with your head!" so that was worth the trouble of standing out in the sun and getting mosquito bites.

After croquet was over we went to the common area to pick wild blackberries. My friend got caught in the brambles so I ran over to rescue her. She was sort of twisted up, her shirt about to rip. While I did this a piercing scream rang in my ear. I turned around sharply and saw my daughter freaking out. Apparently something stung her. I had to carry her to the house and nurse her back to health. After she calmed down she said, "thankfully that bee will die now for revenge."

To my shame, this morning I actually kicked the Game Cube. I wasn't throwing a fit really, but I was pretty miffed. Apparently I allowed the kids to play the thing for a few hours and when I told them to turn it off Eraser Eater yelped, "but I didn't get a turn yet!"

That, brothers and sisters, means war. I practically spontaneously combusted at that point. #1 thing to NOT say when I allow you to play for THREE hours. I told them of my utter hatred for the game system. I told them that I think games rot your brain and this is waste. And waste is like poop.

"Do you remember if you beat level 127 of Zelda or some Luigi/Mario thing?" I may as well have said intendo. They almost opened up their mouths to correct me but I shushed them and pointed my finger in the air.

"No," someone said.

"Exactly! And you cry about this! You moan about turns and who whipped you or who beat all your guys. You cry about not having as much time as anyone else and you cry out that it is not fair. Life is not fair! And this is not worth it! I hate game cube! No one cries and whines about books! No one cries that they can't read the fifth Lemony Snickett book because someone else has it!" And this was my cue to kick it, which is what I did.

They all stared.

I put the game cube in the coat closet and walked back to them. "Next time it's a hammer and a smile on my face. Don't think I won't do it either because you know I will."

I think we need to start school tomorrow. It was easier then. The grass is always greener, eh?


Mass Chaos

I have not died or anything rash like that, so be still. My mouth has made it---it is slowly getting better. Granted, you can not notice a thing on the outside. My mouth is also so small that even when I talk you can not see my "appliances". So it is all not so bad and the pain is minimizing tremendously.

I almost had a hemorrhage the other day when getting rid of our old couch to welcome the new. My brand new wood floors got a gigantic scrape (thanks to my Oldest who pulled instead of "lifted") when I said the word. I took my dining room rug and covered it so I wouldn't throw up at the loss of perfection. We live in houses, don't we? I am still trying to figure out a way to fix a deep scratch about the size of my foot (size seven, mind you). Oh, the sound when it did its thing (the couch). I woke up in the night with blaring sirens in my head. And only in my head. I have gone crazy. I put a pillow over my ear to stifle the high-pitched squeal but it did not help. It was in my head. The floor is making me lose my mind. Any suggestions on what to do with the floor? Any hard wood experts out there? The agony.

I have since done other things to further prove that I have lost my mind, but I won't mention it here because I am too prideful. I am, however, not too prideful to admit that I have burned pancakes a plenty and completely charred chicken wings to where they are ashen. I shed a few tears when the Professor came home (directly after my blunder), completely at a loss since I have lost my brain, and he put his junk down immediately and started the wings over again after throwing the old ones away. The only thing I had to do in return was get him a beer. When this was done I nursed my singed arm hairs. Yes, I did singe them. Seriously. I hate the smell of burning hair.

And that's all for now. How are you guys doing?


The Orthodontist Killed my Jaw

I am in much pain. No, not much, ALL pain. I feel like a saw went to my gum. I just had an implant in---yes, I am complaining (eat my shorts whoever it is that thinks I complain too much)---a screw that is going in my gum beneath my teeth so some special thing can get done for alignment and braces. Not only do I have a metal screw in my gum, I have heavier wiring, and I feel like death. DEATH I tell you. I am no wimp either. I can fight pain. I am about to puke.

No, I am alive. And this living human feels lots of PAIN.

The Girl was in the room when the doctor screwed the screw in with her tool. I felt it the whole time. Not a pleasant experience, but with my daughter there I decided I would do my best to keep my face and body still.

"Are you using a screwdriver?" she asked the doc.

"Sort of," she said.

"Are you just screwing it in?"

"You could say that," the doc answered.

"Looks like you are about done," the Girl said as I laughed at the oddness of the whole situation. The doctor was trying to make it less traumatic for the Girl while I was trying to keep a good face for the Girl and the doctor. Uh, yeah, it hurts, but uh, lets just get this thing over with, k?

"Can I see the screw?" the Girl asked.

Right then the doc was finished with the job and she allowed the Girl to see my gum.

"That's vile!" Her face went sour and she backed up.

"That's a big word for a little girl," the doc said, "you get that from your brothers?"

"No," I said, "from her mother."

Is the pain supposed to hit my ear? I am so not good. I will so not sleep tonight and I will so not eat food for a long long time.

Excuse me now (seriously) while I go upstairs to die. Heaven help me if I ever get a bullet wound.


It's the Coolest Being a Fan of Phil Wickham

I am on this album cover!!! All of the biggest Phil Wickham fans are, I guess. I watched his concert on May 9 in Portland (which was awesome) and so he asked all of his devoted fans to send pictures of themselves since they watched from home. See if you can spot me.

And, most important, go download Phil's singalong album for FREE like it says on this banner on the date specified.


Is There Anything the Man Can't Do?

The Professor is a little happy with himself because he gets more hits than I do, when in the past that was not so. I had to take him through some stuff to prove it to him so then he typed "John Lennon Led Zeppelin" or the other way around on Google and there you go, he is the first hit. He seemed very happy about that.

But he----

*can't clean up puke
*can't mop a floor on his hands and knees
*can't sing
*can't play an instrument (wait---he plays the tambourine---just kidding)
*can't cross his eyes
* can't cook (he can grill though!)
*can't spell the name "Diane" correctly
* can't eat a great number of foods because he would puke and then he *can't clean it up
*can't run
*can't run a mile
*can't kill a mole with a shovel
*can't drink Coors Light
*can't not buy a book
*can't not use his brain
*can't be dumb for once
*can't mow the lawn without dying of allergies
*can't stop thinking everything Oasis does is cool
*can't put things together
*can't kill a plant
*can't be still when flying insects are near
*can't stop the stacks
*can't explain his complicated books to me because it would take too many explanations of different words in order for his wife to understand them.
*can't stop veering to the right when he drives
*can't take the car for an oil change

So I gotta go get that oil change now. See ya.


To Hide

So go here to listen to a recent addition to my podcast. The crazies did the stomping and clapping on the song. We had a lot of fun with it. If you don't listen to it the chain will be broken and demons will emerge from the depths of the earth and make you eat rotten apples forever. Amen and amen.


Scarlett is only Pretty

I got an update from itunes and noticed Scarlett Johanssen has an album out. I decided to give it a listen.

It is a kindness for me to say that it was horrid. The girl can not sing. Period. Is this what America has come to? Not only do we have mediocre people singing on American Idol (save Kelly Clarkson or any of the earlier people---Carrie Underwood is good as well), we have actors singing and they completely, totally, utterly stink. Don't get me going on Britney Spears. But Britney is in luck compared to Scarlett. Britney sounds like an angel if we were to do this. It is an insult to music period to give people record deals that lack musical ability. It insults ME to think that the music industry thinks I want to listen to a beautiful actor sing terribly.

Personally, I don't care what musicians look like. I listen to them, I don't look at them.


Broken Glasses

It seems like I am impatient with this strep. My daughter seems to be getting a little better, I mean, she is not crying all the time, but I thought that she would feel tons better being on antibiotics for two days. Someone tell me that it takes a few and that will be enough for me. I have never dealt with this before.

I started Prince Caspian last night with her. I told her to go down and get "the next book" and she came up with it, reluctant. So, we are not committing a Narnian crime, we are doing the right thing. I feel much better.

The Oldest is addicted to a lotion from Bath and Body Works that I got as a gift years ago (Sandalwood Rose). I put it in the downstairs bathroom to get it used up. Now I smell it everywhere. He keeps rubbing his hands together and telling me that his scent is so nice for stress relief. Give me a break.

Yesterday I heard some booming going on upstairs and pretty soon the Oldest came down with his BRAND NEW pair of glasses, completely bent and the lens popped out. I almost took his hand and bit it. "{Eraser Eater} sat on them!" he yelped in high tones.

"Who took them off to be sat on? Were you rough-housing?"

"Yes...." he winced.

A few weeks ago this happened to Eraser Eater's glasses. You go through it enough (last year the Oldest lost his in some kid's yard) to where you imagine yourself at that moment holding up the damaged frames and screaming into the turning of the day, but then you come to your senses quickly remembering that it only gives you a hoarse voice and a headache. Parents with kids that are as old as mine are tired, people. And if they are older than me, they are more tired. If only you could just give them an Indian burn or something for your trouble of having to get them fixed, but then you realize that is juvenile. You have already taken away game cube. It doesn't work either with Eraser Eater because he could care less about anything but drawing plans and Architectural Record. I can't take that away. That would be plain abuse.

I should have made him write sentences. I made him do it last week. Boy, was that a chore. It was more punishment for me than for him. He just cried a lot and wrote. I had to listen to it and talk him down. Not only was this happening at all, it was happening in public, at the pool. Yes, I made him take his notebook to the pool before he could go in it and write, "I will not hit my brother" fifty times. When half-way through, I found that he did not write "in his best cursive" (he wrote in print) as indicated on the top of the page, so I made him start over. Oh, if hell could rise up and gobble the earth! He immediately wept and lamented, right in the car on the way to the pool.

Sorry pal, you do it right the first time.

And as I read over what I just wrote, I think how ridiculously easy that punishment is. I get so sick of hearing, "my hand hurts!" and all that rot.

So---on the list for today---get the glasses fixed.


This and That

The Girl has strep throat. When we went to the Smithsonian, I suppose she got it because the boy we were with was carrying it at that time. He woke up with strep the next morning. My Girl was so sore yesterday before church that I decided to take her to the emergency care down the road instead. This weekend is her cousin's birthday too and I am sure that she infected her cousin who was here a few days ago. I feel so bad! How about getting strep on your birthday!

The Professor and I keep clearing our throats. So far so good.

I feel guilty waking up at nine in the morning, but hey, that's the way it goes when you sleep so little the night before. I kept having dreams of Elves and webs. I would pull out sting and cut the webs with it's glowing blade. Orcs are near. Or that big fat spider. I am delving deeply into the Lord of the Rings.

An exterminator is coming today to eliminate the carpenter ants I keep seeing everywhere. I kill about ten a day and ten is just too much.

Last night the Girl and I finished The Horse and His Boy (finally), and found that the next book would be Prince Caspian. "I don't want to read that one," said the Girl sharply, "I just want to move on with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I have seen the movie!" I almost had a hernia. I looked at the Professor for assistance but he looked at her endearingly with compassion and said, "Of course you can move on to Dawn Treader. You did already see the movie Prince Caspian. Makes sense."

Did legion suddenly take over my husband's brain? What is he thinking?

And now Eraser Eater wants me to get off the computer so he can go on Architecturalrecord.com. That's a hoppin' site for nine year olds.


Nonsense (don't waste your time)

Last night I was told that I always look "nonplussed."

On another very uncomfortable and negative occasion I was told that I was mean.

I think I need to quit my job. I am smiling as I say this.

At least when I am home people cry and whine when I leave because apparently I am not so mean there. But then I am rather nonplussed at all times because I tend to forget what it is that I truly need to do so I get all confused and walk around in circles.

I have been running a lot this week too. Maybe that adds to my perplexed state. I burn so many calories it burns a hole in my brain or some nonsense like that. The crazy doctor said that I should run every day instead of five times a week, so I am trying that to see if I get less tired the days I don't run. This is causing me to run 36-42 miles a week, which sounds exhausting, but I suppose if you get it done in the morning you are ok. I was more worried about whether or not my knees or legs could do it, but the doctor seemed to think it would be just fine; I only need to have a regular dose of squats and leg lifts, which I started this past week.

I should probably try to run a marathon some day, but I am afraid I would be so confused the whole time that I would run in circles instead of running straight ahead. I would most likely have to use the port-a-potties as well every half hour, so I would be the last to cross the finish line.

It's useless. I am just too mean and nonplussed to exist.


Liquid Cow

Last night the Prof. and I took the kids to dinner for pizza.

Afterward we went to the grocery store to buy two gallons of milk because we were obviously running out.

I have no idea what happened, but I woke up this morning and the two gallons of milk were still on the floor next to the door. There goes eight bucks.

I just dumped it all down the sink, I can't remember bringing it all in. Maybe I did. You know, at some point, you do something so many times you can't remember if you did it ten years ago, or if it was last night.

The sad thing is that the milk probably has so many gross hormones and whatnot in it that it would have been safe to drink. If it were up to me I would buy the organic stuff, but the Professor refuses to buy anything health nutty to a certain extent. I just barely drink the stuff anyway. If it makes your kids prematurely develop, then I hope it works for the Oldest. His high-pitched Mickey Mouse voice gets to me during the long days of existing.


Wayward Bride

Go here to listen to Wayward Bride. I did a video recording of this on YouTube a good handful of months ago, but now you get to hear it recorded. Make sure to read the lyrics as well. Thanks for listening.



Yesterday was a crazy day. My friend, who has four kids under the age of seven, went with us to the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian. So we parked across the street from it. They had an amazing room full of Catlin portraits. I mean, it was jam-packed. I could have done without the ugly breast trophy in the other gallery, but you can't always get what you want.

Eraser Eater was unusually cold the whole time (he has always boasted of being "cold proof" and until yesterday it was true). He was also unusually tired. Granted, walking for an HOUR to get to the Natural History museum from the Renwick Gallery was a bit much. My friend's kids were stumbling around listless, mine were moving slowly, hot-cheeked. The Oldest would not stop complaining. At one point he was saying he was delirious. If that were so it would have served us all well, but it was an exaggeration and we had to bear with a non-delirious complainer. I asked my friend if duct tape was considered abuse and she laughed and said, "yes." Shucks. However, we could always say that he is standing for the pro-life movement and write "life" on the duct tape. That way he would be saying something, yet not saying something. He IS pro-life. It would work.

Anyway, eventually it got better. Except for Eraser Eater. He was just not doing well. He looked somewhat pale and very tired, asking me (with all courtesy) for a place to sit for a spell and then he could move on. I really felt for him. He just looked so entirely weak that I offered to pick him up, but he refused and said that he could manage it, he just needed a bit of rest. He looked like Frodo, at the foot of Mount Doom, the Ring heavy upon him. I was Sam saying, "I will carry you, Mr. Frodo!"

He fell asleep in the car on the way home, poor kid. Then we ate dinner. I made them all snow cones for such good attitudes (although I did wish to put duct tape on the Oldest, he did shape up eventually and he did well considering he enjoys putting all of us through vocal misery whenever there is a silent spell or not a silent spell. At one point he chose not to seize those opportunities and I was grateful.). Eraser Eater, upon finishing his snow cone, suddenly got extremely chilled. "I am so cold!" he said a little loudly, grabbing a blanket to read his book.

I finally went over to check his head. He had a fever!!!! It was almost 102!!!!! I bet he had a fever all day!

I felt like a complete wretch. I tell you, that kid is amazing. He never complains, just states his need if he absolutely has to. Of the many times I offered to carry him he refused and kept going. Thankfully I wasn't mean to him at all and tried to help him all I could. Whenever he has to throw up he politely asks for a bucket or goes to the toilet himself and cleanly does the job. I have always boasted that he could puke in a thimble. He could.

And I don't know how the Prof. puts up with me. I used up all his gas in the car yesterday (we switched cars for our trip) and didn't fill up. The Oldest said, "Uh, Mom, aren't you going to get gas?" once we hit near home.

"Nope," I said, "I hate getting gas and last time it splattered all over my foot. I wasted about five bucks doing that. It's a man's job."

But this morning, when it got down to telling him he was on low, I winced as I confessed.

He rolled his eyes, shook his head and got in the car.

I am a wretch.


Even My Children Torture Me

In the sunroom where I run on my treadmill, every wall is a sliding glass door. To cut down on the darkness when I run, I open up the blinds next to the treadmill and the blinds in front of it. It is nice to at least see the squirrels running around in the woods. It is a pleasant view besides the occasional guy urinating on a tree or cops pulling up and knocking on doors to serve papers most likely.

Just this morning I was walking off my long run when I saw my daughter out the window. She turned and looked at me, hair all knotted up, with a smile on her face. She ran up to the window and stuck out her fist. Then she upturned it and opened her fingers to reveal an old rusty penny. When she saw my reaction she ran off laughing her sides off.


Tooth Fairy Unmasked

Yesterday I told the crazies the truth. Actually, what got me to do it was the fact that my Oldest, who is twelve, still believes in the tooth fairy. Now, my Girl has had her doubts and has even accused me of the various gifting of change in large amounts into a cup that she'd find in the morning, but I have always sort of lied and acted dumb. It has disturbed me greatly of late to see that my son would leave notes pleading with the tooth fairy to spare an extra buck or two. It is equally disturbing to see his eyes shine at the thought of something fluttery, pink, and prissy, armed with a wand. I think. I have had to tell mountains of lies about what this thing looks like, what she or it does with the teeth, you know.

So the Professor had this grand idea to put a note next to my son's cup of change with Lord of the Rings script on it. The Oldest would enter the bathroom and find the note, unable to decipher it. Grand idea. He meticulously copied the characters and I scanned them as well to make sure it did not look like his small, cramped print that only the Professor could write himself. This was to lightly inform the boy that the tooth fairy is not real. Not my idea. I just wanted to out right tell them.

I got up the next morning forgetting all about it. Finally as I was making coffee the note was shoved in my face and my son said, "This is Lord of the Rings code!" He was angry.

I ignored him, feigning fatigue and disorientation.

He proceeded to get one of the books from our library and yelled out, "This is from the back of the book! Did you write this?! This looks sort of like Dad's writing!"

I continued to make coffee. Just keep the money and be happy dude. Not my idea.

It was a constant subject of the day. Why would a fairy write in Lord of the Rings language? Gee, I don't know, maybe all the fairies come from Middle-Earth! Maybe Gimli and Legolas, whenever they would lose baby teeth, would anxiously await some sort of mithril or something to cascade into their goblets while they were asleep.

I got sick of hearing about it. This note---this thing that was not my doing anyway. "Dad doesn't write that good, Mom must have done it." (I realize that was poor grammar)

This sealed it. They could not pin the note on me.

So later on in the day I was having issues with keeping my cool because I was being back talked all day long. I decided then and there to drop the bomb. I called all the kids from upstairs where I had banished them.

"Who is the tooth fairy?" I asked. I had my hand on my hip, mouth puckered in slight anger.

They all stood there silent and confused. The Oldest clutched his book tighter. Eraser Eater looked at the wall but had a slight smile. The Girl looked a bit bewildered.

"Santa Claus?" I asked----to sort of taunt them.

Eraser Eater's smile got bigger. "Daddy!?" he squealed.

"No," I said sharply. "And it is nothing imaginary. Do you think that I would allow some weird fairy to come into my house? Do you think I would allow something unnatural to take my children's teeth? Don't you think that is a little frightening and odd?"

They all had crestfallen faces. The Girl lifted her arm and pointed, face shrewd. "You!" she yelled.

The Oldest's mouth dropped open in shock. "How could you?!"

I don't know what I expected. I didn't expect anything, really.

"I did think that it could have been an angel at one point," said Eraser Eater, "but I wasn't sure."

"I did think it was you for a long time," said the Girl, "but then I thought of all the money you would have had to touch and I can not imagine you holding coins. Did you have to hold them all that time? I'm sorry."

"Yes, I did hold the money, but I just washed my hands, you know, once I dropped the coins in the cup," I said with a nod to the Girl.

"Does this mean we don't get money if we lose a tooth anymore?!" the Oldest yelped hoarsely.


The Great Pool Story

I am an observant person for the most part, so the pool is always a delightful way to spend a silent afternoon. At least, of course, I would be silent and spectating. I don't think I stand out much, except for the red sunglasses, and I don't have a figure to be scorned for. I just sit there and either watch people and my children or read a book and take notes.

Yesterday a mother who lives down the street from me brought her three daughters in. They seemed harmless enough to me, but she kept yelling at them over sitting on a towel, or not standing in the right place. And when she would yell something the second time, she would put her gut in it and growl. Being about four chairs down, it wasn't a pleasant experience. It started to get really annoying because she was yelling constantly in the pool and out of it. And not only that, I noticed that she had a certain tone quality that matched the Oldest's voice (imagine that) and a semi-growling Mickey Mouse was on the loose. I thought my ears would burst.

Near the end of our stay I sat by the pool and watched the Girl do tricks. While this was happening a few good-for-nothing girls approached me and asked me what my daughter's name was (who was close to their age). I told them. Five minutes later they came up and asked me what my Oldest son's name was (I knew this was coming). I told them. Five minutes from then they came to me and told me that he called one of the girls a "brat".

I said, "Well, were you being a brat?"
She could barely look at me. "Uh, no."
I half smiled and said, "Sure, I can talk to him. But would you like me to spank him for you?"
Their eyes went wide and they laughed. One said yes, the others said no. I was being totally sarcastic because I knew the girls were up to no good.

When leaving I said to the Oldest, "so are you name calling or are those girls just being trouble?"

"I did not call them brats mom."

"They told me you called that one girl a brat. If you did, name calling is never appropriate. Some day some guy is going to give you a good sock in the face. People have hard lives and they get mad over little stuff easily. It's good to keep your mouth shut."

"Oh, I know what you said about the spanking thing, I am NOT happy about it," flamed the Oldest.

I had to have a little giggle behind my hand, "What did they say to you?"

"They said you wanted to spank me."

"I was being sarcastic. Their fault for not taking my message. I don't believe a word they say."

"Good. They just don't like me...."

And he went on about how they torture him for no reason and how now that he has made a friend they are trying to plot the friend against him. I really don't get kids. I know my son can be annoying and rude because of his Asperger's, but do I REALLY have to shout it to the world to make them understand this?

The drive home was full of words.

"I am very glad that you guys obey immediately when I tell you that we have to go home. Thank you."

"Are you saying that because those girls with that yelling mother didn't obey her?" asked the Oldest.

"Yeah, a little."

"Does that make you feel better than her?"

I tell you, with this dude you get it straight. "No, man. I don't feel better than her. I feel like you guys are well-behaved kids and I am happy about that. Thank you."

"So does that mean you ARE better than her?"


"She yells all the time."

"Yes, she does."

"You don't."


"Some moms think that their kids are the kids that do nothing wrong, like, 'not my angel! He wouldn't do that!'" said Eraser-Eater from the back, "Even if they are bad they never think their kids are bad!"

"Our Mom is so not like that!" yelled the Girl.

"Yeah! She knows we're not angels!" yelled Eraser Eater.

I almost laughed but I couldn't get the image of the big fat booger hanging out of the teenager's nose as he swam around in the pool. It was huge. And when he turned around again, it had gone---gone into the abyss of chlorine and kid sweat, swirling probably on to one of my angel's swim suits, infecting it. That is when I pointed my finger as I stood alongside the pool and waved it back and forth, which always means, "you, you, you, we leave the premises, now."


Apples to Apples

My Oldest thinks the game Apples to Apples is the greatest thing. He begged me to play it with him the other night alongside the Girl. As smart as the Girl is, she never really quite gets the whole idea---well, she totally does, but she always picks the off the wall answer instead of the right on target one. And if the player happens to be me and she is the judge, she always picks my answer no matter how bad. I am mom, mom rules, you know?

I have never seen a girl quite so obsessed. She reaches across the table for me at dinner time, excuses herself for five seconds and runs to my side to give me a hug. While we are running an errand she calls me and I look in the rear view. She is stretching her arms out as if she is drowning saying, "I need a hug!" She goes outside and comes back in every ten minutes or so to bestow upon me yet another hug. When I run on the treadmill she stands on the side of it and watches me sweat but smiles sweetly. "When you are done I want a hug. I don't care if you are sweaty and you have braces. You are the best mom ever!" When at the pool she pulls herself out of it from time to time to smile and rest her head on my leg. "I hope you are done reading that book! I want a hug!"

So the word was "dangerous".

I had "bullfighting" and the Oldest had "zipper."

The Girl was the judge. She looked keenly at the card that said "dangerous" and then looked swiftly at "bullfighting" and "zipper."

"Bullfighting is pretty dangerous," she said.

"Yes, but zippers are more dangerous!" piped the Oldest with a smile. "Feel bad for me," he said, knowing she was leaning my way, "once, a long time ago, I was zipping up my pants and I accidentally zipped up my peter. It was horrible----it hurt so bad. It hurt so bad that I have never forgotten it, even now when I zip up my pants! I have to move back a little just to avoid it."

The Girl gave a truly deep from her heart sort of moan. Her eyes squinted in pure sympathy. She looked like she had a tummy ache. He got her. She fingered the bullfighting card, aimed it at me like she was in turmoil---she for once did not know who to pick. She gave a cramped look and handed the card to the Oldest. He yelped in triumph, happy he got a second card.