Saturday, January 4, 2014

Cat pee, headless lambs, and other normal daily events...



You know when you find yourself audibly arguing with children that are on a DVD that is playing, that you have had enough for the day. It all began with Lester. Our giant, lumbering yet ninja-esque cat.  Promptly at 6 am he began meowing. I opened my bedroom door, but surprisingly, did not see him. All too quickly I realized the panicked cries were coming from inside P’s (my 2 year old) room. This meant one of two things: 1) either P managed to climb out or his crib, open the door, stalk and find the cat, carry him upstairs and trap him in his room, or 2) the damn cat fell asleep in P’s room before bedtime and was therefore trapped in there since 7pm the previous evening. As much as I prayed it was the P the stalker scenario, I was pretty sure option 2 was about to be confirmed. Now, P has 2 beds in his room. One is a crib that he currently resides in since he still cannot balance well enough to not fall on his head in a toddler bed, and the other is the aforementioned toddler bed that the cat has taken a liking to. And there is a nice shag rug and a toybox/bookshelf thing. Any guesses where Lester chose to relieve himself? The crib. IN P’S CRIB. While P was IN IT!!!! Seriously?? He had to jump a good 4 feet up and into a bed with a known love stalker IN IT, and yet he chose that to be his toilet of choice. And funny enough, P was still asleep in it (on the other side thank GOD). So I got to clean out that with joy this morning.
Cat urine behind us, we were all now breakfasted and ready to face the day. Due to the fact that I have been unable to walk the better part of 2 weeks (due to a sprained foot), and I can barely manage now, the carpet was in desperate need of vacuuming. So I busted out the dirt devil and got down to business. And so did the toddlers. P was the first to decide to take a full cup of water (left on the table by G- my 5 year old, thanks for that) and proceeded to dump it all over himself and the floor. Cue break in vacuuming number 1. Once the floor  and P were dried, I attempted to resume vacuuming. This is where F decided to bring his reign of terror down upon us. The first victim was the Veggie tales plastic plate he got for Christmas. How do you break a PLASTIC kids plate? I have no idea. Although it does break in to lovely jagged pieces. Then, just as I was almost done vacuuming our 10 x12 foot living area (seriously, that is the whole area that needed vacuuming) he grabbed the Christmas garland that was hanging from the mantle (only exposed because the vacuum that usually blocked his access was in use) and pulled. And in true domino fashion down came the snow globe, 6 stocking holders, wooden letters and wreath that spelled NOEL, and, one by one: Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Wisemen, and some unfortunate lambs from my retired, irreplaceable Precious Moments nativity set. Onto the brick fireplace. I just stood there and watched it all happen in slow motion. Decapitated lambs, arms of wisemen were everywhere. It was like a Christmas Texas Chainsaw Massacre. As I sat and cried, do you know the ONLY one who came to comfort me? The damn cat.
Lessoned learned? Always check to see where the cat is before bedtime. And vacuuming only leads to trouble. (Funny enough, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph all miraculously survived the attack). OH, and I just caught myself arguing with a 7 year old child on the Curious George DVD about whether sugar snap peas really taste like a “sack of sugar.” I may have replied that her statement was a sack of something. And it wasn’t sugar. And that is how I know it is bedtime.

The Baby Shower



A baby shower. Every first time mother dreams of a lovely time surrounded by family and friends to celebrate the new life growing inside of her. My hopes of having one were all but dashed due to the fact I was 600 miles from home and new to the area with just a few work friends. That is until my mother in law announced she would be giving me one. Now I need to tell you a bit about my (now ex) mother in law. She was a charming combination of the manipulative and passive-aggressive Marie Barone (from Everybody Loves Raymond), and the ├╝ber religious annoyingly airy voiced Amy’s mom (also from Everybody Loves Raymond). Oh, and she was totally nuts. She was a housewife and had nothing to occupy her mind but whatever her current “project” was. This could only serve in my favor, right? How can someone really mess up a baby shower?
                I was kind of excited at the thought of a baby shower actually happening! Although, she decided it would be at her house (and hour and a half away from where I and my friends lived), and that she would be inviting HER friends from church and her family. None of which I knew. I was ALLOWED to bring 3 of my friends along however, which turned out to be my saving grace. And also my only witnesses to prove that this is really how it all went down.
                I let my ex mother in law, let's call her Peggy, know that the nursery theme was animals. No type in particular, just animals.  I thought this would make it easy! Circus animals! Farm animals! Jungle animals! Everything was game! I also said to please be sure to send the invites 2 weeks ahead so people had time to plan. So, when I received an invite in the mail 3 days before the shower I was surprised. I figured she just wanted me to have one for posterity and sent it as an afterthought. She hadn’t. She sent ALL the invites 3 days before the shower. I was devastated! How would people be able to come with no little notice? That was until I opened it. Then I felt a horror beyond that I had ever experienced. Inside, was it a cute animal invite (which could be found aplenty at any Walmart, Dollar General, Target…basically ANYWHERE)? Was it a generic baby shower invite? Was it simply a blank general card that you fill in? No. Inside was a bowling birthday party invite. Complete with bowling ball image. Seriously.
                My then husband was a bowling center manager. I did not bowl. I did not enjoy bowling. I never once mentioned bowling as a hobby or interest. But, apparently, since my husband was employed by a bowling company, she felt it would be appropriate to have the invitation be bowling themed.  And this, my friends, is how one can mess up a baby shower. But wait! It gets worse.
                Aside from the fact that the invites were only sent to people I didn’t know and that they were sent 3 days before the event, they were now also in a bowling party invite form. I feared people would think it WAS a bowling party. My ex husband assured me that Peggy would not make the whole shower a bowling theme. It must just be what she thought would be cute since he worked at a bowling alley. I believed him. And then I called her. She assured me that everyone would know it was a baby shower. I mean, it said baby shower on it! Handwritten. In small print. On the bottom right. She went on to ask what types of fruits and veggies I liked, as well as cake. I let her know I liked bananas, blueberries, apples, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, etc. And that I really liked chocolate cake with chocolate icing these days.  I hung up defeated, but with the hope that at least the worst was behind us, and that there was at least good food to be had.
                The day of the party I picked up my friends and we drove the 1.5 hours across the state to the event. We walked into the house to find Peggy in the kitchen, and a few chairs next to the couch with the TV on. And one guest. A distant cousin and her OBNOXIOUS  four year old son, who repeatedly tried to punch me in the stomach, with no reprimand from his mother. There was no special seat for me, so I found one by the couch and hunkered down with my pals to await the impending disaster. As we sat we saw the table. When this lady commits to a theme, she REALLY commits. There were bowling pins. And a bowling tablecloth. And the plates were in the shape of bowling shirts.  The trifecta of tackiness. A turkey, if you will, to use bowling jargon. And then the food. On the counter were a bowl of cherry tomatoes and 6 full bananas. Quite the spread. And how appropriate for a shower. No dip for the tomatoes, mind you. Simply a bowl of tomatoes.
                We waited an hour. No one came.  Just us, Peggy, and crazy backwoods cousin and her demon spawn. Peggy felt this would be a good time for a game. She had us silently go on a hunt for baby items hidden through the house and count how many. Random diapers, a few latex nipples (no bottles), and a pacifier holder (no pacifier) were hidden. Then we shared our guesses about how many items were hidden. My friend guessed correctly. But there was no prize. Just a “good job!” and a quick segue to the cake. Games were done. Lucky me got to keep the clearance items she got from the local grocery store. Score. Peggy brought out the cake. Carrot cake, of course. Well, at least it wasn’t a bowling ball shape.
                Onto presents.  Some people had sent some along since they would not be in attendance. There were used, stained baby clothes. A few more latex nipples (still no bottles). A discontinued car seat. And a boppy and new outfits (from my friends of course). With things drawing to an end, Peggy said she had a surprise for me in the baby’s room (yes, she had a room dedicated for the baby, who I would never, ever, leave alone with her and her insanity). She had made a lamp. And in true leg lamp (a la A Christmas Story) fashion, there stood, in all its glory before us, a lamp. Made from a bowling pin. She had to hold the lampshade on, since it wouldn’t stay on without her support. And then there was the crib. The iron, lead painted crib from her grandparents. On each rail was a plastic dollar store bowling pin, sliced down the back to be able to slide over the pole. How safe? Who would not want 10 razor sharp plastic bowling pins within your infants reach?
                Finally, we were released from our bowling prison. But not without a new, insane story to be able to pass down through the generations ;).  . How can someone mess up a baby shower? Peggy can give lessons.  (Side note: My awesome friends ended up giving me the best, most wonderful, fantastic and chocolate cake filled baby shower ever a few weeks later, and I can now totally laugh at the whole debacle.)