Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Three things I know, like, almost for sure

This is how I know I'm raising city kids:
The other day Oliver brought me the empty cardboard oatmeal box he'd filled with sand and dirt and called a "shaker," and asked me to write "free" on the lid. He then put it out on the sidewalk. This is how he thinks you get rid of unwanted things. And it's true: We've unloaded everything from coffee tables to Styrofoam coolers to boxes of baby clothes by leaving them out on the sidewalk. So far, we haven't managed to entice anyone to take the free cardboard cylinder full of sand. San Francisco can be kind of a yuppie town like that.

This is how I know I may have dropped an F-bomb within earshot of my innocent children:
Maggie is an extremely helpful child. She can be a major piece of work at times, but when push comes to shove (and it nearly did today) the kid loves nothing more that to scurry around at the service of another. Need that table wiped off? Maggie's got it. Have a baby in need of a paci rinse? Maggie's your girl. Decide to put together the IKEA table and chairs that's been sitting in your garage for eight months? Maggie is by your side, handing you the unpronounceable screws.

The Mister is away for a few days and in his absence I decided to prove my capability by finally tackling the daunting Levsack. It is a universal truth that assembling IKEA furniture does not go well, and this, my friends, was no exception.

(grumbling under my breath)
This can't be right. Wait, is this right? Why won't it fit? This is supposed to fit.
Never again. NEVER AGAIN.

(pointing to the part that won't fit in the other part despite what the directions say)
Mom, is this the fuck part?


The fuck part. Is this the fuck part?

Um, what do you mean by that?

(looking a little self-concious)
Just, you know, a really fragile part. It's just, um, nothing. Fuck.

(seeing no need to make a big deal out of it)
I think I've got it now. Thanks.

This is how I know the laser was on:

Yes. Those are burns. On my neck. It cost me $100. And it hurts.

Also, I'm HERE today, talking about reality TV and how the Biggest Loser makes me cry.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Icarus melts into a puddle of snot


So, one day you are bragging to the Mister about how lucky you are, and about how it's not just luck, but probably a form of super-humanness that has kept you from being sick all winter even though you spend two days a week working at your kids' preschool.

You muse about your superior cells and how you are being justly rewarded for living so well, for exercising so diligently, for simply being a really great addition to the human race. God is just sending you a personal little thank you note in the form of your virus-free season.

And then—BAM—the next day you are flat on your back, whimpering, ready to barter all future happiness for some medicine that will make the pain and the snot and the misery go away. You're thinking Oxycontin might be strong enough. You toss and moan through fever-dreams of Wurdle. You watch Papillon through blood-shot eyes and think solitary confinement, sure, but could Steve McQueen survive this cold? You fill trash can with your snotty tissues and miss your family trip to Tahoe.

You have this conversation with your three-year-old son:

Mommy, I don't want you to die.

(looking up from my spot on the couch, crusty but somehow lovely)
Don't worry, I'm not going to die.


No, never (no need to worry him now)

Good. Because I think you are fantastic.

And then you emerge to blog another day. Your nose is scaly and your cough still gurgling, but you emerge from your cocoon of self pity. And thankfully, there are chai lattes and that weird kale and peanut butter soup the Mister made to ease your way.

Hello, world. It's nice to see you again.

* buy those pretty tissue box covers HERE.

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