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Today in Haiku

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I have a heat rash.
Outside, a million degrees.
Dog shat on the floor.

 

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She no longer wishes to shit upon the surface of the sun.

 

 

 

 

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Kindergarten Jokes

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This morning at the breakfast table.

K: Knock knock
Me: Who’s there?
K: Chicken
Me: Chicken who?
K: Chicken pox.
Me: That’s a disease, K.
K: (looks at me like I’ve got nine heads) I know. It’s a disease joke.

Maybe I should try to set a better example for the children.

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Naptimethoughts goes Down the Shore

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Yes, it is January. It’s also 18 degrees this morning, so I am not sweating. This post is from last August… My most sincere apologies for the delay, you know, stuff and life and other stuff. Hope you like it.

It’s the very ass crack of dawn, J and K are begging to go to the beach, and I am already sweating.
We must be down the shore (we don’t go to the beach in New Jersey — we go “down the shore”. I don’t know why).
I drag my eyelids open to see the house on Long Beach Island.
I’m on vacation.
I go to “down the shore” every year in order to sit in the sand (in my prescription hat)

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That’s the one. Isn’t it lovely? Its diameter is truly breath-taking.

 and slowly accumulate beach detritus in all the many cracks and crevices upon the plenary of my sticky white vastness. I continually sweat off the compulsory half inch of sunblock I apply and reapply faithfully, but no matter how vigilant I remain to the task, I undoubtedly forget some tiny portion of my skin which will then turn a brilliant, yet grossly unhealthy shade of magenta and stay that way for the rest of our trip. Yesterday I missed my double chin.
This is not a good look for me. I look like I’ve dyed my amish beard purple, and believe me when I tell you that there is no cream in the universe that will successfully hide a third degree double chin sunburn.

I am inordinately tired this morning because last night I slept in a room with my children. At one am K awoke (sort of), screaming: “DON’T EAT THAT” over and over again. It must have been one of the vegetable nightmares. Again.
Later on I was awoken by my son, who wanted me to know that I had woken him up during one of the more lively portions of the war my brain had quite unsuccessfully waged against the springs in my shitty, borrowed, beach house mattress over REM sleep.

I drag ass into the tiny kitchen and drink hot, life-affirming coffee. This is the highlight of my day.
I sweat more.
There are seven of us in this 200 sq foot apartment, the kids, the husband and I, my mother and father in law and my sister in law. There is something about this place that they all enjoy.

Whatever.

In my humble opinion, beaching is an occupation for only that lucky majority born with normal levels of melanin and far less freckly skin.

Which is to say, not me.

The apartment is so small that it’s impossible to pee without an audience. This, by far, tops the list of beach shit that doesn’t work for me. When I pee, I must be so completely alone that even I am not in the room, so on LBI, of course, I do not urinate at all.
It’s not so bad, I do sweat profusely, but this morning’s different. I need to make a deposit in the porcelain bank.
I’m prairie dogging it.
I sized up the bathroom in preparation to fire the rear thrusters. It’s a three by three foot square in between my sister-in-law and my mother and father-in-law’s bedroom and the walls are no more than glorified construction paper. This is going to be bad.
I have but one thing going for me.

They’re all still playing sleep survivor.

No one wants to be amongst the first up with the kids, you see, and I was already awake to keep them as close to some facsimile of quiet as I could manage. No one wanted to join me. I couldn’t blame them, and as for myself; if there had been any other choice before me… Any hint of reprieve from dropping the payload… I’d have taken it.
Alas…

Things went as well as could have been expected on my end, but the toilet did not fulfill it’s contractual obligation.

I flushed, yet the shit remained.

I stared at the shit. It stared back at me. I recited the Lord’s Prayer and flushed again, ignoring the screaming voices in my head warning that everyone knows two flushes always equals a shit.
I was frozen with fear.

This was my worst nightmare. Trapped in a tiny apartment with my severe potty neurosis, all my inlaws and a stinky shit that won’t go down the pipe.

I scanned the room desperately for help.
My eyes stopped on the window:
No, the fall might be far enough to break my legs, but it would not kill me. What it would absolutely do is draw my theatrically sleeping family to the very room where my aromatic gift sits waiting to be discovered, while I languish 20 feet below, just a little too far from the ocean to drown myself before paramedics arrived.
Thankfully, there was a plunger.

Dear God:
If you have ever looked favorably upon me, please make me stealthy now, for should anyone ever find out what I am about to do here, I will have to divorce my husband and flee the country.
Amen.

I won’t go into detail regarding my disagreement with the toilet, but I will tell you that no one, neither the toilet nor I, came out well in the end.
War is hell.

The sweet stink of argumentative shit permeated the apartment. It had been cold last night, no windows were open.
Still, they pretended to sleep.
Never let it be said that they did not afford me some comfort in my darkest hour.
My children are not so delicate.
“What’s that abhorrent smell?” asks J.
“smells like argumentative shit” says K.
Okay, not really. But it was something like that. Close enough for Government work, or something of the like.

As always, I am impressed that we ever set foot on the beach at all. The sheer magnitude of crap we bring along is staggering. Every person is loaded like a pack animal for the pilgrimage across sizzling asphalt and blistering sand to the ocean. If our flip flops haven’t melted to the street before we make it to the dune, we scale that rocky hump. If no one has broken an ankle or sliced too deeply into a foot on one the thousands of jagged rocks lining the side of the dune, we hike down the other side and remove our flip flops, in preparation to insert our bare feet into dry sand; each grain baked to precisely the temperature of the surface of the sun and piled just deep enough to swallow one’s entire foot, so that each step, without exception, is burnier than the last.

donkeyme

Me.

 

From the house, it seems to be a walk of around one city block to the water. Not far. Just out the driveway, really. Once en route, however, it becomes startlingly clear that this estimate is impossible, and that I have, once again, been taken in by what can only be described as “the beach mirage”. At any point during our journey to or from the beach I would tell you that we will undoubtedly fall off the edge of the earth before we get there. We are the summer version of the Donner Party. It must be at least sixty miles, uphill all the way. We are trekking through a mountainous Sahara Desert.

Yet, miraculously, we make it every time. The children rejoice.

Umbrellas, beach blankets, chairs, toys, books, hats, and one shit ton of sunblock emerge from our beach bags.
The children immediately beg to go in the water.

For ten years, until last year, actually, I managed to keep my feelings regarding ocean water a secret from my husbands family. I have very strong feelings regarding the sanctity of the ocean and all the animals who reside therein.

They do not wish the pleasure of my company, and I’m cool with it.

It all comes down to very simple logic:
In the ocean, everything that might happen across my skin is a jellyfish. Shells (jellyfish), rocks (jellyfish), seaweed (Jesus H. Fuck, that’s a jellyfish), even other people, although a persons touch inevitably bears a second option:

Shark.

In 2 inches of ocean water I will dance like someone is shooting at my feet every time the current pushes a new load of crap to shore.
Last year, upon the exposure of my secret, my sister in law made me walk out into the ocean past the breakers. This, she said, would help me to overcome my fear. Instead, I took a huge wave right in my lady testicles, fell backwards into the ocean, took a nice gulp of seawater and spent the next week listening to humorous anecdotes about how I looked flailing around in the surf to avoid mythical jellyfish and sharks, and surreptitiously picking sand out of my girly bits.
There is no help for me.

exploreocean

No thanks, I prefer it at the TOP of the food chain.

By eleven am, the children are tired of the water and instead roll their wet salty bodies around in the sand; which congeals upon their bodies to form a completely impenetrable layer of sand glue that no brillo pad or pressure washer can remove. They do this every day, and every day they are genuinely surprised at how categorically unyielding their sand cement has become when they return to the house to shower.
At the beach J says:
Look Mom! I’m making sand angels! I’m Sandy the Sandman!
I say:
You’re going to be Sheldon the shower man when we get home.
He laughs and laughs.

Later, in the shower:
J: MOM! MOM! Quit scrubbing me!!!! I swear by all that is holy, I’ll never roll around in the sand again!!! Gaaaaaaak…

Replay scene twice daily for five to seven days.
This morning, in particular, was a special one:

I watched as K brought a shovel full of sand to her mouth, opened up, and ate it like it was brownie batter.
I swear, that child has Pica.
Me: K, we don’t eat sand.
K: I wasn’t.
Me: You just put a shovelful of sand into your mouth. I watched you.
K: No, you didn’t.
The sun must be getting to you, Mommy. Why don’t you close your eyes for a while.
Little twatwaffle.

Then it’s time to pack up all our shit, make like the Chosen People, and do our forty years in the desert back to the house for lunch.

desert2

No problem. See it there? It’s right over that little dune in the back…

K walked back to the apartment bowlegged, holding up the bottom of her tiny bikini with both hands, while the crotch dangled between her knees. Upon removal, I found a perfect sand sculpture of her can.

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Suit bottoms in place, flip flops melting to asphalt, all is right with the world.

She likes to sit in the sand and let the waves crash over her. The repercussions are messy and time-consuming, but with a little spray glue  I probably could’ve sold that thing online to some anonymous buyer and sent her to college with the proceeds. (Don’t be like that, you knew coming into this that kiddie porn jokes weren’t off the table)

Once the children are clean and fed, it’s time to drag our 900 lbs. of beach shit (and my sad and broken body) across the steaming asphalt, the rocky dune and the searingly hot sand, set up all our shit again, watch the children soak themselves in sea water, roll themselves in sand, and head back to the house again.

They charge people money for this.

It’s true. In order to have the privilege of accruing sand in your slot machine, you must wear a badge that identifies you as eligible to do so. Otherwise, you are subject to the will of the Beach Badge Boy.
You can always pick out the Beach Badge Boy because he’s always the kind of kid you want to punch in the mouth. Also, he is the one doing the Beach Badge Boy walk. If he is in flip flops, He walks like he spent the day on horseback and then jumped off his horse, only to find himself walking to your beach blanket in a river of lava. If he is in socks and sneakers, he invariably has blisters all over his feet which are causing him to walk  like he has Parkinson’s disease. He is trying to be cool, for he is always fourteen years old and trying to impress scantily clad teenage girls (or other boys, whatever), but the Beach Badge Boy walk, along with the tiny notebook and three inch backpack he has slung over his shoulders is making it entirely impossible, so instead, he takes his job very, very, seriously.

badge checker

There are girl checkers as well, but as a general rule, Beach Badge checkers are 14-year-old boys with Napoleonic complexes.

Woe to those not wearing the badge.

You may see your Beach Badge Boy three or four times in a day, for he is always making sure. And while watching him walk around in four inches of sand with poor footwear is generally diverting, you can be sure that your Beach Badge Boy is vigilant in his pursuit of those who do not wear the badge. Beach Badge Boy has power over you, and he knows it. In fact, that has got to be the only perk to being a Beach Badge Boy, besides exceptionally well-toned calves from walking around the beach in four inches of blisteringly hot sand all day.

Friends, your beach badge boy is making sure. He needs to know that you are wearing your little plastic pin with a number on it that invariably pokes and pricks your skin upon any sort of jostle, either by it’s nasty sharp plastic edges or when the safety pin twists the wrong way, or comes undone, which happens… Always. It’s especially pleasant when your beach badge wounds come in contact with saltwater.

Beach badge

They look comfortable, don’t they? They just scream “rub me against your naked flesh”.

The Beach Badge Boy is the law on New Jersey beaches. Although, presumably, New Jersey beaches are wantonly ignoring child labor laws. He is the law, he and the beach patrol — the beach patrol is the guy wandering around in half of a police uniform and stinking of poor life choices.

By the end of the week I am spotted magenta,  and suffering from a mild case of stockholm syndrome. My feet are leaden, my back is broken, and Ive acquired an irrational fear of my prescription hat. My family loves their beach time. My husband feels refreshed when it’s over and can never wait to go back.

Whatever.

Before we leave for another year, we always let the kids go to the beach one last time. Then we take them back to our mountainous home covered in sand and beach muck. K, of course, can be found holding up her tiny bottoms, for she is replete with sandy ass sculpture, and always, as I walk away from the sand and surf for the very last time, I hear the tinkling bells of my daughters laugh and I think to myself:
But they’re so happy. It’s got to be worth it.

Whatever.

Dear Facebook

Dear Facebook:

You’re great, really. It’s nice to be able to communicate with those people I care about who’ve moved far away. It’s nice to be no longer obligated to see people in real life, yet still be considered a friend by emoticon. It’s nice to be able to keep up with people I don’t necessarily care to make an effort to see in my daily life without having to make an effort to see them in my daily life. You have given me so much, and I am grateful, but someone GOTS to do something about the selfies.

They’re everywhere and they have to stop clogging up my damn newsfeed.

First off, let’s talk about this:

selfiestop

No, no, no. You have to point the camera DOWN at your face. DOWN. You know, so it looks natural.

The duckface, I think quite legitimately, should have gone away several years ago when everyone in the whole world rose up as one and realized how ridiculous they looked. And yet…

What SHE needs is a selfie stick.

I dunno, that one on the right is kinda sexy. Throw in the surprise eyebrows and suddenly the whole look just works.

Isn’t the point of putting a picture of yourself up on social media so that others can see your face? See how you look? How am I supposed to recognize anyone with all this garbage going on?

Really?

Really?

All these beautiful people seem to have defective property.

Willy Wonka would be proud.

I believe it. I don't know why, but I do.

I believe him. I don’t know why, but I do.

She's got to have that window fixed. It's ruining all her headless selfies.

She’s got to have that window fixed. It’s ruining all her headless selfies.

Where did her head go? And why go to all the trouble to photoshop the shit out of that selfie if you’re going incognito anyhow? Oh well, at least she got the pose right.

I must have missed the day in school when they take all the girls aside to show them how to do the “look skinny in a selfie” or “low self-esteem” pose. Is it like the day that the boys and girls get split up to discuss puberty? I wouldn’t know, but every single woman these days (except for me) understands that in order to be photographed, one must turn away from the camera, put one hand on your hip, stick out your ass and bend one knee. Duckface and surprised eyebrows optional.

Oh, Selfie, you caught me by surprise. I just turned to see you and "snap!" I hope I look natural all turned away from the camera like that, with my hand on my hip and my toes very carefully pointed in.

Oh, Selfie, you caught me by surprise. I just turned around and “snap!” there you were! I hope I look natural all twisted away from the camera like that, with my hand on my hip and my toes very carefully pointed inward to give me that coveted yet completely unnatural space between my thighs.

There are rules for multiples as well.

 

Did I miss the "how to look skinny in a picture with your friends" class?

I always feel bad for the girl who gets stuck in the middle. For some reason, the other girls forbid her from following the rules and she ends up looking like a normal person. Poor dear.

And it’s not just millennials anymore.

Apparently they teach that class in preschool.

Is she unusually gifted or are they teaching low self-esteem in preschool now?

I had to defriend a woman I know who kept posting these adorable pics. Guess who’s never going to be President? That lady. Look – even her kid knows. Best get a scholarship, little dude.

This lady.

This pic is so hot I want my Nana to see it.

Look - it's a picture of her can -- IN THE CAN!   Why yes, THAT IS A BABY STRAPPED TO HER CHEST.

In case you need a recap – This is a super sexy selfie of this lady’s ass with a baby strapped to her chest and a toilet in the background. They don’t come much hotter than that.

The biggest problem, Facebook, is the double standard. Men do not abase themselves this way. Well, sometimes they do, but whenever that happens the man council intervenes and labels said man “douchebag”, thus ending any credible online presence he may have ever had or will ever have again.

Bros don't let bros take selfies.

Bros don’t let bros take selfies.

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Just a Quick Word…

Hi Everybody, I realize that I have been an absentee kitty of late, but I’m working. I’ve been a busy little bee, and I hope what comes from all my work will please you. In the mean time, my 7-year-old, you all know him as J, has started writing his own blog. I don’t know if he’ll write it forever, or lose interest in a week, but please, for the love of cat, go read his paragraph and send him a word or two of encouragement at IamJamieblog.wordpress.com. I’ll be your best friend…

Thank you all in advance,

NTT

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Four Years Ago in Naptimethoughts

j'smoustache

Three-year-old J’s first foray into the world of high fashion.

Me:  Is that marker on your face?
J:  No… But it’s okay.
Me:  So that is marker on your face
J:  Yes, but it’s okay, I looked in the mirror and I look cool.
Me:  Really.
J:  Yes. I look like Caillou’s grandma.

Naptimethoughts Searches for Captain Caption — A Contest!

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Captain Caption, reveal yourself!

The Husband flexed his fine art muscles and drew this picture* of The Children of the Corn K. It’s obviously a demon masterpiece, so only the perfect caption will do.

At first, the husband was against posting a drawing of one of our kids (for safety reasons), but then I pointed out that this rendering, along with a map and directions, would still get the wrong kid stuck in the back of a creepy white van. He's good with it now.

At first, the husband was against posting a drawing of one of our kids (for safety reasons), but then I pointed out that this rendering, along with a map and directions, would still get the wrong kid stuck in the back of a creepy white van. He’s good with it now.

Sorry about the lighting. Unfortunately, this pencil sketch also showcases my photography skills.

DID I MENTION THAT THERE’S A PRIZE?

There is a prize. Unlike my usual fake prize**, if your captioning skills are worthy of the Superhero title “Captain Caption” you will receive:

The title “Captain Caption” and all SUPERHERO rights and privileges (whatever those rights and privileges might be. I don’t ACTUALLY know, but you must get something for saving the world every day. Free Starbucks maybe… Or some sort of stipend… I mean, they have to do SOMETHING with our tax dollars, right?) therein***.

AND…

AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF THIS FINE WORK OF ART WITH YOUR CAPTION UNDERNEATH!!!

AND…

All my love!!!

HAPPY CAPTIONING!

*The Husband has asked me to inform you all that K begged him to draw this sketch. It was entirely, and all the time, her idea. He says.
**Formerly, all Naptimethoughts prizes have been completely fake and have all come with an asterisk to that effect. This prize is for real. I hereby commit myself to making the husband autograph and prepare his work of art; whereupon I WILL make him schlep down to the post office and mail it to the winner.
***If your state or country requires you to pay a superhero tax or obtain a superhero permit, you’re on your own. 

To Grandmother’s House We Go

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For the children, Grandma and Grandpa are second only to Santa Claus for an easy mark. A trip to Grandma’s house is like going to Toys R Us, getting a shopping cart and having five minutes to grab whatever you want. Plus, Grandma has cool stuff, like a piano (upon which to pound) a set of handbells (still jangling in my head) and hundreds of delicate glass, china, and porcelain baubles to be examined (dropped) and adored (dropped).

Oh no, Great Grandma's priceless King Ugly Baby statue? That's a shame.

Oh no… Someone broke Great Grandma’s irreplaceable King Ugly Baby statue… That’s a shame.

They’re psyched.

By the evening of our second day fighting the good fight to keep my mother’s museum-quality-historical-society-pristine-child-free-for-most-of-the-year home safe from the hedonistic joy of two newly spoiled children had me exhausted. So exhausted, in fact, that when K was sent to bed early (early bedtime: consequence for having categorically decried her Grandmother’s homemade cooking as “nasty” and then failing to complete her agreed upon bite quota), I went to bed as well.

She seemed unmoved as I led her up the stairs to serve her time, but I could feel injustice radiating through her tiny hand. She was like a miniature Rosa Parks, her head held high even while escorted to her cell. For K, it was plain to see that she had right on her side.

J, of course, was delighted with the turn of events. He sat at the kitchen table, squeaky clean from his special Grandma “jacuzzi tub bubble bath”, savoring every second he was allowed to stay up beyond his sister’s early retirement requirement. He was enjoying a slice of Grandma’s special lemon cake, the top of which was liberally sprinkled with the sweet, sweet, knowledge that K would not be having any.

A very good representation of J's evening.

Yes, Mommy, frost my cake with sadness.

Life was good for J.

Once K had finally quit singing her protest songs (screaming) and threatening to march on the kitchen (screaming “Gwandma, come get me!!!”), I retired to my bedroom.

As I began to settle in, I heard agitated voices and then running footsteps down the hall. I could actually hear my warm bed disappearing with each footstep as it made its way towards my door.
J barged in, breathless and flushed with the rosy glow of a child with a new puppy.
He said:

“Mom? Umm… K? She drew all over Grandma’s bathroom wall. With a BLUE marker (this particular piece of information made him positively giddy) and… umm… now she’s LYING about it.”

He paused to let the magic of this new information sink in. He was hopping back and forth from right foot to left, positively elated. He’d just won the sibling lottery. He took a breath to stable himself before he gave me the last (and obviously best) bit; the final nail in her punishment coffin. He was vibrating as I watched the power ball bearing his number come to rest in his eyeballs and turn them into cartoon dollar signs.
He said:

“And she’s blaming ME.”

My response was slightly less than he’d hoped. This whole episode reeked of a time suck, but since I’ve held on to that Mommy of the Year trophy for seven consecutive years (stop laughing. I make sure those children are DRESSED— in clean clothes mostly—  and FED every day. Every. Single. Day.), I hauled myself out of bed and followed my son (who was more prancing than walking) down the hall to the scene of the crime. Stuffed into the bathroom were the husband, sitting on the tub with his arms crossed and angry, my mother, in rubber gloves with a look of grim resolve on her face… and K.

Um... It's a picture of how much I love you.

Um… It’s a picture of how much I love you.

K was sitting on the toilet looking miserable. If the seat had been up, I’d have thought she’d had some bad Indian food.

J, upon seeing his sister’s face, rose gracefully en pointe, for he had been so blessed this evening that the complete history and practice of classical ballet came to him with nary a lesson. He spun and leaped gracefully in the room adjacent to his dejected sister, drinking in her misery like a fine wine.

She looked up at me with full on Precious Moments eyes— tears were welling up and her lower lip was trembling.

K: I didn’t do it.

Me: Well, then, how did these drawings get on the wall?

K: Maybe J did it?
A flash of hope flew across her face. Of course! J did it!

Me: J was downstairs eating his dessert, K.

K: (darkly) I didn’t do it.
Luckily (for her) the marker came off the wall easily.

I took her into her room to put her back to bed.
After I tucked her in she said:

“I’m scared of the dark.”
(It was a good play. It worked the previous night when we had just arrived and the room was a new place to sleep.)

Me: would you still be scared if I turned this lamp on for you?

K: No.

(Mommy one, K zip)
Me: So why did you draw on the wall?

K: I didn’t do it.

Me: Who do you think drew on the wall?

K: Grampa.
(Also a good play for a smart four-year-old. She knows how things run around here, it’s not so far-fetched to think Grandma might buy that whopper on the cheap)

AAAAACH!!! IT'S GRANDPA! SHE THREW HIM RIGHT UNDER THE BUS!!!

COME QUICK, IT’S GRANDPA!! SHE THREW HIM RIGHT UNDER THE BUS!!!

Me: Okay then, where did you get the marker?

K: That drawer. (Points towards the desk)

Trickery.
Trickery, skullduggery, chicanery, and worse, douchebaggery on the part of her most trusted allies. She sees it immediately; she is betrayed by her own mother and her own mouth.
Her little hands balled in her lap and her face squinched up like she’d swallowed a porcupine.

Me: Why did you draw on the wall?

K: I wanted to make people.

Me: You know we only draw on paper, K.

K: Yes… But I’m scared of the dark.

Not this time kid.

There’s a perfunctory knock at the door, and J came barging in, his twinkling eyes darting back and forth between K and me, trying to extract from our silence which sort of medieval torture would befall his little sister for her heinous crime to the bathroom wall. The rack? Would she be drawn and quartered? It was all good for him.

J: I’m going to bed, I just wanted a kiss and hug…
Liar. Dirty little Snoopy McSnooperson.

Me: I’ll be out to put you to bed momentarily. You can wait in your room.

J: Okay
He stands there.

Me: So… Go to your room.

J: Okay.

Me: Now.

J: Okay…. Jeez…

Once we were finally rid of peeping J, I told miserable, sniffling, K that she wouldn’t have been in trouble if she’d told the truth, but since she’d lied, Daddy and I would have to talk it over and she’d have a “consequence” (Consequences: ‘Cause you can’t just beat them anymore) in the morning. The best consequence, I find, is making them wait to find out what their consequence will be.
Evil Mommy.

On to J. I had barely opened the door to his room when he asked:

J: Can I have some more lemon cake?
(This is the question he asked, but his eyes followed up with:  because I’m a good child, the one who DIDN’T write on walls with BLUE marker.)

Me: No, it’s bedtime.

J: Well, can I watch TV for a little while before I go to sleep? (Because I didn’t make people in BLUE marker on the bathroom wall?)

Me: No, it’s past your bedtime.

I’m obviously and entirely unreasonable. J sat there before me with an airtight alibi for the time during which his sister perpetrated the crime of the century, and he can’t fleece that lamb for anything except the good feelings that come from watching his little sister get in trouble?
Preposterous.
I left him there, contemplating where his plan might’ve gone wrong.

My bed was calling and I was answering. The last thing I remember is stopping outside of K’s door to hear the long exaggerated cry of a child who knows that a parent is within earshot.

Her sentence was one night without dessert. I was pushing for life without the possibility of parole for gross neglect of Mommy’s bedtime, but I was voted down.
Whatever.
When the Mother of the Year people come around again, my benevolence will be noted.

That's right, snark all you like, but I don't see one on your mantle.

That’s right, snark all you like, but I don’t see one on your mantle.

First Game of the Season

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This year the husband was recruited to coach J’s Tee-ball team. He agreed with great enthusiasm. The Guy In Charge, however, made the unilateral decision to move J from the Tee-ball team up a level to  “coach pitch”.

I assume this change occurred because of my child’s pronounced aptitude – nay, prowess for the sport, but this change put the husband in the unenviable position of playing team pitcher as well as coach. My first thought was that a full grown man really ought to be able to, not only, pull his weight on a team full of first and second graders, but also to beat those little shits into the ground with a skill set full of coordination and motor skills that they will not acquire for years, and then take a victory lap around their tiny bases with his VIP trophy. I mean, these are little kids. Some of them still aren’t 100% on what a ball is.

I just felt you needed to see this.

Sorry for the complete non-sequitur, but I felt you needed to see this. It came up when I googled “Free Little League Pics”. Maybe everyone needs to see this.

The husband was not as psyched. He pointed out that although he, an adult, will be the team pitcher, so will all the other grown-up coaches and it’s probable that they will all be better at it than he is.
He had a valid point.

Not the husband.

This is not my husband.

After two very educational, informative and short practices, the kids ran out of time were ready to take the field.

I dressed for the weather, which was supposed to be nice. In fact, I spent two hours digging around for my (extensive) collection of flip flops because during the great washer replacement of ’14 the husband moved them. He put them somewhere safe.

I never found them, but I did find two that sort of looked alike and called it close enough. At least I had both a right and a left. I’d have settled for less. I told all the other Moms they came from that store that sells mismatching socks (because I’m trendy). They did not appear to believe me.

Also, I only paint my toenails once a year. The rest of the time the polish just sort of flakes off however it likes.

Incidentally, I only paint my toenails once a year. The rest of the time the polish just sort of flakes off however it likes.

I set up camping chairs for K and myself behind the batters box, where I could see J on the field as well as the bench. I don’t know why they even have a bench. J’s tiny ass might graze it once when he’s tired towards the end of the game, but otherwise he spends his bench time, along with the rest of the team, in orbit around the bench, climbing the fence, or over by the batting cage, where the three kids next up swing metal bats freely in an enclosed area.

It’s beginning to get cold.

J’s team is at home, so they’re out in the field first. Now that J plays Little League instead of Tee-Ball, a new position has been added to the line-up.
Catcher.
Catcher is, by far, the shittiest position in Little League. The poor wretched soul chosen as “catcher” is dressed in all the trappings of an adult catcher, but has neither the motor skills necessary to do the job nor a willingness to catch the ball.  The padding and helmet are heavy, which, on the upside, reminds the doomed child to squat, but the catchers mask is too large for most of them to see or hear while it rests upon their tiny heads. So they sit there, completely mute, with their gloves stuck out in front of them and positively no idea what’s happening.

IMG_0172

Helen Keller had a better shot at catching that ball.

Consequently, Madison, the little girl playing catcher today, is beaten like a rented mule. Every pitch just kind of bonks off her little body and falls sadly to the ground, whereupon we all watch while she scrambles around, twisting the mask this way and that in a vain attempt to lay eyes on the elusive ball.

J is stationed deep out in right field, diligently picking his nose. I assume that’s why he is stationed deep out in right field.

At least he's working on something.

At least he’s working on something.

During the second inning, it gets windy. By the time J’s team is up again, K and I are huddled together for warmth. I begin to regret seriously my choice of mismatched flip-flops.
A bug flies up my nose. It does not come out.
As with all of J’s games, immediately preceding the first (and therefore most important) time that my son has his turn at bat, K announces that she has to pee, can absolutely not wait until we get home, and we better go now… Or else. Our only option is The Port-a-Potty.
The Port-a-Potty.

A Port-a-Potty, but not the one we used. This one is way nicer and probably more modern.

A Port-a-Potty, but not the one we used. This one is way nicer and much more modern.

A place so foul, so disgusting, so utterly loathsome that it could, and maybe has been, weaponized by the government. It’s covered top to bottom in gonorrhea, so K is understandably excited to smear her bare flesh all over it’s filthy surfaces. I wonder if the CDC knows about this place. There is no TP. There is no soap or hand sanitizer. There is no light, so I have to use one of my flip flops to hold the door (a “door” only in the very loosest sense of the word, it’s more like a thin plastic petri dish) open.
Her pants are down in a flash, and I catch her just before she climbs onto the repellant blue and brown hole head first. I spy something moving in a dark corner and pray for a swift and painless death.
I wonder, just for a moment, what I’d do if she fell in, but the thought is gone as quickly as it enters my mind. I’m a mother, I’ll do what I have to.

I’ve got another one to take care of me in my old age. She’s on her own.

I lift her onto the pot. Immediately she touches everything moist within her reach and tries to stick her hands in her mouth.
I snort the bug further up my nose. Whatever, it’s the least of my problems now.
Hopefully, the dirt and sand K has ground into her hands from running around the playground before the game will somehow decontaminate whatever nightmare port a potty disease is waiting to infect us all.

In situations like these I find it’s best to make up your own science.

It's... Ah... Flurgesmurgich Disease. Don't worry though, just spin around three times and eat some grass. You'll be fine.

It’s… umm… Flurgesmurgich Disease. Don’t worry though, just spin around three times and eat some grass. You’ll be fine.

K and I get back to the camp chairs and J’s team is up at bat again. The husband is pitching. K marvels at how many bugs are flying around my head. The husband throws a super shitty pitch.

My jaw drops. Everything moves in slow motion.

The ball is headed directly for the cranium of Sydney, the smallest of all the small children on J’s team. The husband is gesturing wildly and yelling:
“Mmmooooovvve” (in that really deep slow-mo voice)
The child stares back at him blankly, wondering; I’m sure, just what in all hell these new antics could be.

I have just enough time to wonder whether the team is required to sign a legal waiver before the baseball collides with her cheek. Spit flies from her tiny mouth as her head twists slowly towards me from the force of impact. The other team’s catcher sits there with his glove out, completely unaware of the goings-on.

The husband takes off running (in slo-mo, of course – Chariots of Fire should have been playing in the background) for the batters box. The parents (except me because I’m a horrible person- I’d have a box of popcorn on my lap if I’d thought to bring it) turn away in horror, and Sydney just stands there for a moment looking shocked. Then, she lets out a scream so shrill that only dogs can hear, because we most certainly can not. All hands on deck.
They do sign waivers, don’t they?

Still not the husband, but much closer to the mark.

Still not the husband, but closer to the mark.

Sydney is benched and iced. At least we don’t have to worry about keeping the ice cold. It’s so cold we could have just sat her down in the wind. The official ruling is “accidental boo-boo” and the game goes on. No reconstructive surgery, no foul.

J’s team is in the field again. The batters on the opposing team are continually hitting pop fly’s. All of our little fielders have the best of intentions – they get under the ball, they call it. They wait for it with their little gloves open… And then… when the ball gets to be 20… 10 feet away, they cringe, cover their heads with their gloves and run away. It’s like a really cold Monty Python skit.

On the whole, this strategy seems to be prolonging our game. I start to think about burning my flip flops for warmth.

Finally, we make it to the bottom of the sixth. My ass is frozen to the camp chair, and I’ve done away with my flip flops in favor of extra baseball gloves on my frostbitten feet. The little fat kid (Oh come on– all teams have one) is up to bat. The husband throws the pitch. Everything seems okay; I see no bloodshed in our immediate future. The little fat kid gets ready to swing but checks it instead.

It’s a one in a million shot.

The ball hit the bat and careens directly into little fat kid’s eye.
Little fat kid drops to his fat little knees and starts to cry.
We are so getting sued.

Although, upon reflection, it could have been worse.

Although, upon reflection, it could have been worse.

In case you needed another reason, this is why all the other Moms hate me:
When the ball hit the little fat kid in the eye, I snort laughed. I couldn’t stop it – it was snort laughed out into the atmosphere before I had time to mask my amusement. I understand that I’m a terrible person, I live with it, but I do my best to try and conceal it from all the other moms (most of whom are snort-laughing on the inside).

Little fat kid should have a nice shiner by morning and, mercifully, the next kid struck out and ended the game. It was a miserable loss for my son’s team (not that we keep score). Little fat kid was soon placated by what was already looking to be a glorious battle scar and the after game snack; little chocolate donuts and “juice”  (which may or may not contain actual juice) pouches.

Breakfast of champions.

John Belushi eats Little Chocolate Donuts, and so should you.

What I learned today is that little chocolate donuts cover a multitude of sins. All the children were happy. Madison, pummeled by the ball for the whole game was smiling and chasing her teammates despite her bruised and broken little body. Sydney, even with tears and the ice pack frozen solid to her tiny face, was smiling as she received her little chocolate donuts. J ate his snack and then pushed the car home (with us inside) and slept very well. Even K got a package, and happily crunched away on the dirt, sand, and diphtheria deposited upon her little chocolate donuts by her revolting port-a-potty hands (before I could get over to her and take them away. Tears. Lots of tears).

On to the first away game!