So, I’m still in college and still have three children and am still married. We still live in the same run-down house–yep, we are one of the few families that have not been foreclosed on. Yet. So things are pretty good. They must be because my husband and I decided last year, without the presence of alcohol, to have another child. Willingly. Really, I’m not kidding. It took a few months but I am pregnant with a fourth child and am about to burst. I have another month to go before the true joys of parenting this child will begin. My unborn kicks, stabs, jabs, and even complains when I am hungry; it forces me awake several times a night, and seems angry when I am stressed. It craves pie and movie theater nachos–it has to be movie theater, and it apparently wants me to clean behind the dryer. I can’t sleep until I do and I have to do it because everyone else will get it wrong or something. I truly feel like a host to an alien that is sucking all energy out of me along with my wallet. I know, pregnancy is beautiful but not when you’ve done it four times and not when it’s summer and the dog is barking and not when the air conditioner is on the fritz–it ain’t pretty. One plus–my body has been so stretched out by the previous three kids that I do not have any new stretch marks. That’s right, the whole point to my blog about stretch marks and making the most of it is a total bust.
I have to admit that I am excited about a new baby–the after part of pregnancy and am even looking forward to a few nighttime feedings. That will be my only chance to be alone. I haven’t had a kid in over ten years so some of the fears of my first-time days are creeping up like labor pain, when will it happen, and is this stuff normal? Watching pregnancy shows does not ease my fears at all–those women are suffering and begging for relief while screaming, moaning, squeezing, and grimacing. I for one take advantage of modern medicine and opt for the epidural because I am not stupid. I want to be happy to see my baby and not resent him or her for punishing me–there will be plenty of time for that. And I know ’cause this ain’t my first time at the rodeo. I know exactly what is ahead which I think is a little more daunting then actual labor.
My unborn baby is already defiant as she kicks and squirms plenty for me, but the second my husband or one of the kids puts their hand on my belly, the baby is still and will not comply. Naturally. Why would one of my kids listen now? They don’t listen later so I appreciate the heads up early from this one. Another sign of things to come. My kids think that having a new baby is cool and they seem legitimately excited. My daughter though thinks my belly is weird and it freaks her out. I lift up my shirt anyway and show her my protruding belly. She has decided to adopt.
Dust thou understand world literature? Dust thee do not, at least not yet. So, I haven’t blogged in a while and as you may have guessed my college honeymoon period is over. It’s been a long year (including a summer “vacation” with children–don’t get me started) of studying, writing, and analyzing. Enough is enough. And just as the honeymoon is over and I am determined to find more time to write and keep up on this blog, behold, ye olde literature comes lurking via the internet and my on-line school. Literature requires me to read and yes, write a lot, and by very specific direction which leaves no room for the imagination or my patience. Just to spite my instructor, I am now going off the beaten path and write what the hell I want the way I want yet with irony and mockery of my education. Something must be sinking in, however, because I wrote an outline for this blog prior to beginning this writing journey. I am now an official learned person and can recognize that education holds no conformity. What?
Anywho, as I said, literature is my current subject along with accounting. They obviously have nothing to do with the other and I think that’s funny. What if my accounting papers start to sound like “How dust thou define debits and credits under the law of the Sabbath or from whence we came?” Huh? That’s a joke, but it is not too hard to believe that I easily see that happening. I also recognize that that sentence is wordy and could have easily been summed up, but I refuse. I also recognize that I say recognize a lot and don’t know why so I will blame that one on college. But this is my blog damn it! The last time I studied literature I actually liked it and remember reading it, but that was in high school when everyone had really bad hair and ironic loss of virginity despite having no taste in physical appearance. That’s why that is ironic, duh.
So far this year I have picked up equilibriams, e-commerce, the laws of supply and demand, student protest, Nixon, the Cold War, etc., but can’t for the life of me decipher literature or why I have to decipher it at all. I like Hawthorne and all, but we have Hollywood now–I should not have to figure out his meanings without Demi Moore! Plot, setting, symbolism, blah, blah, blah. I get what those things are but how can I enjoy the reading material if it gives me a migraine the size of Shakespeare’s ego? “I must apologize for Sabbath last.” You mean last Sunday? Just say that!! Most of these so called “good” writers came from a time when a public hanging was considered a social and entertaining occasion and as big as Monday night Football. These literary so-called masters also believed in witches and spells and that birthmarks were a sign of the devil. Why should I believe anything these writers have to say?
The answer is: because my instructor says so. For some mute reason these writings of great literature are important to the literary canon of society. What? I am majoring in business management and I would like to know how “having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples touching the matter thou wot’st of” is going to help me manage a restaurant and deal with a staff that has trouble with writing down medium or medium rare. Will I hire a better chef? Is this how managers become bitchy? Am I secretly being trained as an English spy or that of a weiry drone lost in an enigma wrapped in a riddle? Huh?
As a writer I find it ironic that I am frustrated with my literature course. Naturally, none of the literature I remember from my youth is included in the syllabus. I meant when I was a kid, yes. Well, I’m off to Toys R Us to beg for a job and maybe I can woo them with my exestential knowledge of symbolism for which I have a simple hand gesture to satisfy them.
In a galaxy far, far away people wore things without sleeves. Then someone invented sleeves. They called it: “a robe.” According to Darth Vader, this was not sufficient enough. Instead of taking over galaxies and impregnating a woman with an illegitimate child, maybe all he really needed was a “Snuggie.” It has big sleeves and you can’t see his hands. You can’t see his face either, but that’s beside the point. No one realizes it, but this dark force of nature started a fashion trend that would carry on through the ages. Obi Wan had a Snuggie, Skywalker had one, even Princess Leia followed the trend. A really big blanket you can put your arms through. Unless you’re a Wookiee.
It’s official. The Snuggie has made it’s mark, which surprises me because I think it’s one of those cheesy products forced upon Americans on a daily basis that we don’t really need. What am I going to do with a blanket with sleeves? Apparently it “Keeps me warm and my hands free!” Oh, I wasn’t aware that I was having so much trouble with this dilema before the Snuggie. It’s also “Super-soft fleece!” Um, okay. I apparently don’t own anything “super-soft” and need serious help. I think it’s cheap, silly, and a production of someone bored. Also, it’s one-size-fits-all. That can’t be good. In adult size that could mean that a 200 lb. Wookiee can fit into the same Snuggie as a 130 lb. princess. This does not make anyone feel good, especially me. I need to wear a size small for my self-esteem. A Wookiee wants to pick bugs out of my hair. In the Millenium Falcon, that would be flattering. In the real world, no thank you and please pass the bug spray!
My point being, I don’t want to wear some mass-produced product that can fit a man (no offense honey) or a Bigfoot. I am a woman and need women-like things. This is probably why “they” came up with an animal-print pattern, because it’s “sexy” or women enjoy looking like animals. I don’t get it–this makes me not like it all the more. I don’t dress up in over-sized cheetah blankets and I definately don’t want my husband to either. I think it’s weird!
So with all of this dancing around my subconscious, I went shopping last week. They had already stapled up the Christmas decorations, even though they weren’t done selling the overstocked Halloween candy. Then I saw it: “The Snuggie!,” stacked very neatly at the door, right next to the discount home pregnancy tests, for our convenience. (“Holy Crap! I might be pregnant.. again! Oh look, a Snuggie!”)
My daughter saw the Snuggie! and she got instantly excited. I made a face that mothers make when they’re caught off guard and are seeing something silly that their kids want for no real reason. She was nonplussed. She thought it was “neat” and “I should get one.” Little did I know.
A few days passed, and my husband had to go to the store to get some batteries. He came back with the batteries, an LED flashlight, and, you guessed it, a Snuggie! I smiled an uncomfortable smile and giggled, reflecting back to the exchange with my daughter. I didn’t know what to say. Turns out, my husband had the same reaction as my daughter, only he took things a step further and actually bought one. His reasoning, like my daughter’s, was simple: he thought it “would be cute,” and “I’m always cold.” Thus, a ginormous Wookiee blanket was the answer.
I was touched. It’s brown and I look like an Ewok, but I was touched. I think it’s so sweet that he would get me something I hated in my mind.
“The Snuggie” works, to my dismay. It is warm, but it doesn’t keep my hands free. It’s so huge! I need to use my “free” hands to carry it around with me when I move! I have to roll up the sleeves twenty times just to use the bathroom–I don’t want to wear a “dripping Snuggie!” It’s so long I could be on stilts and no one would notice. Also, the top of it is supposed to wrap around me somehow, and I wondered “Where are the directions?” How could a big blanket with sleeves be so complicated? How do I make it stay around me without tripping over it at the same time? At least I’m not cold. Despite the size, I misjudged “The Snuggie.” All my kids want to use it. Just another gift from my husband to me to them. I love it! It didn’t hurt that my big Wookiee blanket came with a “free” book light too. That came with directions. My husband is currently “borrowing” it. You see, the “Snuggie” is something for the whole family! Thanks honey! I got a gift, I’m warm, I can share it, and I know my husband loves “Star Wars;” and me.
I find paying for parking at amusement parks, state fairs, festivals etc. to be a complete scam and waste of my time and husband’s hard earned money. On a recent mini getaway trip to Great America we had to pay to get into the parking lot and park our rented sweet-ass mini-van. It costs $25 for “extra special” parking which to this day I don’t understand ’cause we parked right in front of the gates to get in to the actual over-priced park and not once did I see a flag let alone six of them. Why does it cost money to spend money? We’re already planning to pay for shamful games no one ever wins at, stupid $10 dollar shot glass souvenirs (in fact there is no booze to ease the pain), $3 bottled water, and a $60 lunch which I had to steal some food from my kids because I couldn’t afford to eat. Lunch was a total waste because the bite of my daughter’s burger I did have tasted like grounded up dog food minus the vitamins and seasonings. Yes, I’m sure I know what dog food taste like ’cause I have a dog and can smell the flavors from his butt. This is what resembled my daughter’s burger. Not fair. We had to pay just to park in this place?
Another problem with paying for parking (there are many) is that if I get my hand stamped so I could get back in the same day and had to leave the black hole of a park that took all my money say to get medication I left at the hotel, I would have to pay fo parking all over again. Or if I leave and come back the next day I still have to pay to park there. Why? I need someone to explain this to me. Is the fee to maintain the parking lot? What’s to maintain? As far as I can tell the parking lot is exactly the same as it was twenty years ago. I know now that the money ain’t going towards the food. I think next year we should get a hotel nearby and just endanger our family’s lives by walking on over and spitting at the parking lot attendent which I saw some people doing, unfortunately minus the spitting and rated TV-MA profanity I envision in my happiest of dreams.
I pay my taxes, to my detriment, I pay for gas ($25 can fill up a fourth of a tank), I pay for tainted tomatoes, I pay for electricity (about half my mortgage), I pay and pay and then I pay some more. Why not make me pay to park at the mall, or grocery store, or at my kids school, or even pay to park to buy a car? These are all paces we spend money so why not make life worse so that all the country is pissed about something other than the President or oil barrel prices or lids up on toilet seats?
Everywhere I go this summer I have no choice but to pay up, but I see no signs at these places that says I can’t call you people some choice words. I have school supplies and clothes and gasoine to save up for. I’m tired of people trying to stick me, I want to stick it to the man, but unfortunately I can’t afford it. Thanks mister parking attendent. Go f*** yourself.
It has been a looooong “winter” “break.” It all started a few weeks ago before the kids were off of school. My family and I went grocery shopping, came home, and couldn’t get into our door. That’s right, we were locked out of our own house. How did we solve this inconvenient problem? Well we had to break in. The reality is my husband broke in while the kids sat in the car trying to keep warm by beeping the horn continuously to the point of causing a brain hemmorage in their parents while I stood in front of the door I couldn’t kick in, smoking a newly opened pack of smokes that now cost half a mortgage to be rebellious (yes, thanks to a stupidly astounding cigarette tax, I’ve been encouraged to quit for the sake of being sakeful, whatever that means). Before long, my husband magically appeared with a bunch of wasteful tools, ’cause nothing could get us in the door–as a matter of fact, he never did tell me how he did get into the house. I have to wonder suspiciously if he’s ever done this before. Hmm. . . We’ll get back to breaking and entering in a moment. There’s more.
The temporary “winter” vacation also included my hard-working husband whom I put to hard work in other ways: Like dishes, garbage, breakfast, walking the dog, taking my best friend out to dinner in a limo; you know, the normal crap. Some vacation he had. He’s gotta take vacation sometime. Every year I discourage him, “Why do you wanna do that to yourself?” The answer came to me discreetly while he was spending “quality time” playing “Halo 3″ with our son. Ah, ha–I get it.
Christmas was a great day–not the presents, but the sweet time I had putting my feet up on my husband’s lap and him saying, “This is what I want, this is what I need. Now those are cutie toes!” Plus I got him hooked to “Cold Case.” We laughed and laughed, and the kids were so happy upstairs with their new things that for one moment . . . it was just him and I, enjoying each other’s comapany, enjoying the grown-up laughter, enjoying our marriage on Christmas Day. That’s stretching life out.
With all the snow mascarading as the news on the local television stations, I encouraged my husband to call a plow. Two weeks later after the next storm and a broken back he finally got ahold of someone. We call him “Mr. Plow.” It was a field day. (What the Hell does that mean anyway? It was a “field day?” I assume it’s a baseball thing. As independent as I’d like to think I am, I can only assume it has to do with a man and a ball and a fierce temper that requires a bat.) Anyway, the kids looked out the window while “Mr. Plow” was plowing our long driveway as if he was “Spiderman” saving Manhatten from yet another traffic jam. Our kids really need to get out more, I’m thinking. Instead, we make them brush their teeth longer.
I got to play the games too! My husband kept reminding me that it was my t.v. too and should use it whenever I want. The kids are the ones who generally have this idea. It was too cold to go out and make a snowman; or get the mail, or shovel, or put dog poop in the pooper scooper ’cause snow hides everything, right? I only played the games that one day. It killed time until the sitter came over and I spoiled myself with a driver and a bottle of Korbel champagne.
All good things come to an end . . . for some reason. It was a nice break from making lunches and counting carbs and alarm clocks, although we do have a dumb dog–don’t get me wrong, I started counting how long before school started again in my sleep. First it was eight days, then a week, then four days, then twenty-four hours. I made their lunches, I put their clothes out, I cleaned out their back packs a week before they went back and to avoid hassle I did the one worksheet my daughter had to do. She thanked me. Sometimes life is just too short. Sometimes vacations are just too long.
The day my husband went to work, we had total chaos and a broken computer. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. I called him. “Things are not good; lazy kids; broken computer; possible lost book; call me immediately.” He came home and made it all better by lending me his computer. And a kiss. He knows how to stretch life out too.
I’m still getting used to the kids being in school again. I’ve been cleaning under their beds and behind their televisions. Plastic gloves and severe disinfectant necessary. I see now why my brother-in-law has been avoiding this apocolypse of parenthood. I have this sudden surge of energy I can only explain as a pregnant person with severe nesting problems who suddenly can’t live until everything is perfect. It’ll pass. Tomorrow I’ll be sitting on my butt writing funny things as usual. During my severe case to have things clean I had to take the garbage out. This shouldn’t be a problem to most people, but today, I pulled a “Cindy.” Because of the fiasco earlier in the month with the broken lock and being stuck outside with cold and beeping children, we got a new lock for our door. If you open it from the inside, you can’t tell it’s locked. Blondes will be blondes. By the way, we had three tornado warnings today, a week after New Year’s. We live in Wisconsin. It’s not tornado season until late March or early April. (What am I, a meteorologist?)
I thought the door was unlocked, and thanks to global warming I didn’t wear a coat to take the garbage out which is where I keep my keys. Yep. I locked myself out. I’ll save you the imagination of what brand new words I came up with at this moment. I can’t get in the front door. However, one window is open because it’s sixty bloody degrees outside, and I test the screen to see if it will budge. It does. I get an outdoor table. I climb. I shove myself into the house — pissed. I am subconciously terrified at how easy it is to break into my house. I unlock the back door, I put the table back, and I look around for any suspicious activity. I knew I saved that second bottle of “Korbel” for a reason. Happy New Year.