Wednesday, June 30, 2010

In Which I Project My Anger Toward Ma Ingalls

Two weeks ago our dishwasher broke, which was not okay, not even close to okay, for two major reasons:

1) Rhett, as the person who does not actually DO the dishes, decided to wait until the July4th weekend to replace it so that there was the possibility that a sale would be occurring.

2) For some reason, this absence of a dishwasher made me so angry (furious even) at that smug Caroline "Ma" Ingalls from the Little House book series (not the show, which I never liked because Melissa Gilbert was never what I imagined Laura looking like, and don't even get me started on the plot liberties they took with that show--pfft).

You guys, washing dishes by hand for a family of six takes a long time. And in the Little House on the Prairie, Ma Ingalls makes it look super easy. Like Laura says things like (I'm paraphrasing here because I'm too lazy--no, scratch that--I'm too worn out from doing all the dishes around here to go and look it up--but I just read this book a week or two ago, so it's close), "After breakfast, Ma cleaned up the dishes and put away the iron spider and let the curtain fall over the opening of the covered wagon and so then the camp was tidy and clean again." Uhhh, Laura? You forgot to mention that this took her THREE hours and then it was time to cook lunch. And then THREE more hours and then dinner time. In fact, Laura, you forgot to mention that Ma spent her entire life washing dishes. AND MADE IT LOOK EASY, and NEVER COMPLAINED.

Please don't think that this is the first time I've ever had to do dishes. My grandmother, to this day, still doesn't have a dishwasher, and so when we went to visit her we always did the dinner dishes by hands. But seriously, doing them by yourself (without a dish rack) takes much longer than when your mother enlists her team of eight to whip the kitchen into shape. And you know, if that got too boring, I could always pretend I needed to use the bathroom while everyone else finished up.

Here at my house, if I pretend I need to use the bathroom, I come out and the dishes are still there.

And that is why I hate Caroline Ingalls. And Laura Ingalls, too, for that matter. Smug overachievers always rub me the wrong way.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Tomorrow I will be heading to the movie theater for the "Summer Movie Fun Package of Old Movies Which Have Been Out of the Theaters for Over Two Years Now But We Will Still Play Them for You Anyway Just So You Can Get Out of the Heat (And Buy Candy)". My kids love going to the movies, mostly because we usually never do, so it's a real treat.

As usual, I will be sneaking candy in so I don't buy the overpriced junk there. This is a sin. I know it and you know it. It's dishonest. So is charging $4.00 for a pack of Bottlecaps, though.

I'm hoping that when I get to Judgement, in whatever form it takes, God will look over my list of sins and be all like, "I've got bigger fish to fry, sweetcheeks, so let's make this quick." In these visions I always imagine God as a district attorney or something, and I'm just like the little pawn in a bigger game: the drug mule for the ultra-violent cartel or maybe the victim-prostitute who informs on her pimp. And when the DA (God) offers a deal, I'll take it. I'll squeal on my neighbors who aren't married but are living together. I'll squeal on my other neighbor who lets her kids endanger themselves like on a daily basis. Why, just tonight I noticed that my neighbors had not yet brought in the garbage cans and the HOA rules clearly state that they have to be in by sundown on garbage collecting night.

But then I imagine that God will be like, "Fine, thanks for that information. I appreciate your cooperation. But I'm still going to nail you for swearing. And for believing in evolution. That's fifteen to twenty in the brimstone, baby. With all the people you informed on."

Oh, crap. I'm going to hell, right?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Capitalism

Saturday is our kids' payday at our house (It is also the day wherein you can hear Rhett say, "Dollah, dollah bills, y'all" over and over and over. No, that's not annoying at all, but thanks for asking.).

We love our money (or monies, if you ask Jakers). So much so that we like to raise monuments to capitalism.
In this photo, Jakers shows how, with a little help from taxpayers everywhere, risky assets can be managed effectively. It'll turn out fine, don't worry!

Spe wants you to know that banking can be very, very sexy.
Veevs, true to form, is using a more conservative model of banking. See, you can still build and expand with some funds, but keep most of your capital in reserve. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?Dammit, Jakers! Your shady schemes have caused this house of cards to fall down. There's a run on the bank! Quick, call the FDIC!

Don't blame Logan for this whole mess. He's a socialist.

A naked, chubby, happy socialist.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On Hair Loss and Humor

Because I am losing my hair from nursing (and don't tell me this would stop if I would take my vitamins--NOT TRUE) I am finding my hair absolutely everywhere. On the floor. Clutched tightly in baby's fist. In cracks. (And yes, I mean cracks.) Just yesterday I found one wrapped around baby's neck. Which of course, reminded me that with just a few more hairs I could be living this poem, one of my favorites from Browning, whom I love for his fascination with mental psychosis. You wouldn't guess that about me, would you? Oh, you would. Well. Hmmm.

In other news, this blog entry here has been cracking me up lately. I keep revisiting and revisiting it to laugh. Thank you, Azucar, for this beautifully written satiric piece. Is it disrespectful to Swift (or Azucar depending on your outlook, I suppose) to say that it quite reminded me of "A Modest Proposal" in that it starts out sounding almost plausible and then gradually builds to sheer ridiculousness? Love it. (And only sort of because it burns Skousenites.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turning the Corner

For a while, I suspected that this son of mine might have a personality disorder:

I mentally checked off all the bad behaviors every day: hitting, kicking, pushing, headbutting, whining, yelling, screaming, whining more, yelling, screaming, demanding chocolate milk every three minutes, whining, whining, and oh, did I mention the whining? If this were someone else's blog and I were feeling particularly sanctimonious, I might leave a comment to the effect that he's only three, be patient, he's just being a normal three-year-old.

But this is my third three-year-old, and while undoubtedly my test group is not large enough to impress any researcher worth her salt, it is large enough for me to remember that my other children did not struggle with such wild emotions so frequently and for so long.

Quite frankly, I have been at my wit's end with Jake. I tried giving him more love. I tried giving him more attention. I tried being more patient. I tried being less patient. I tried being more strict. I tried a devil-may-care attitude (I'm naturally good at that one).

I can even go so far as to say that if it were not for his beautiful blue eyes and his winning smile, we may not have survived. And by we, I so clearly mean him.

I would rack my brains for reasons: Middle child syndrome? Terrible twos/threes? Rhett's genetics?

Last week it came to me like a flash from the heavens (and perhaps it was): this little boy is simply exhausted. So our new rule has been that if Jake wakes up before 7:30, he takes a nap. At age two, he stopped taking naps, flatly refused to lay down with me, and made the whole process so miserable and awful and painful that I gave it up. It was, I thought, not worth the fight. But having weighed personality disorder-like behavior with a little resistance to the nap, I have decided why yes, it is worth the fight. (Admittedly, he gives much less misery on nap days than he used to.)

He is much, much, much, much, much improved. I hate to jinx it, but I daresay we have turned a corner.

And now I can go back to my devil-may-care attitude to parenting. Thank goodness. The mental energy required in good parenting is, quite frankly, exhausting.

I might need a nap of my own.