Thursday, March 27, 2008

Things I Say a Lot

"Did you poop today? Seriously, did you poop? 'Cause those farts smell like you still need to poop. How do I know? Because I've been smelling your farts since day one, buddy."

"Sure, I like Pokemon. Yes, really. But I just looked at every page of your Pokemon guide book yesterday and need to take a little Pokemon break today."

"That is not a suntan. That is dirt. Wash your hands, front and back. [later] Wash them again and make lots of bubbles. I'm going to watch you do it. See? It was dirt after all."

"You know, if you get a nice shaved haircut, you won't have to deal with tangles and sweaty hair always in your face. Okay, OKAY, it was just a suggestion! No, I'm not going to make you shave your head. Can we stop talking about it now?"

"Do not step on the dog."

"Is the TV off downstairs? Okay, good job. [later] I thought you said the TV was off. Go downstairs right now and turn it off."

"What was that noise? Well, 'nothing' doesn't sound that loud. Yes, I promise I won't be mad."

"Someday when you get a little older, picking up dog poop is going to be your job. Oh yes, it is. Is too. Is too."

"You know, I know you want to be near me and I want you to be near me, too, but if you keep putting your feet on my chair and kicking me in the butt, I start to feel like I don't want to sit near you. SO STOP KICKING ME IN THE BUTT."

"No, you may not intentionally drop food on the floor for the dog."

"I love you. No, I love you more. No, I love you more. No, I love you more. Now go to sleep."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Suzy's Big Day

So in addition to our car adventure and continually blowing copious quantities of snot out of our faces, I started a new job. It's a small job, and I will continue to freelance, but it gets me out of the house for a little bit and allows me to actually talk face-to-face with grownups on a regular basis, which is something I'd almost forgotten how to do.

The office is in a church, so it's homey and familial and wonderful, and the people are warm and loving. People's kids are always around, and everyone is friendly and supportive toward one another. The head pastor specifically asked me about my son yesterday and said he was looking forward to meeting him. Honestly, I couldn't have designed a more welcoming environment if I'd tried, and although I'd been looking into working outside the home a bit (more on that in another post), this job just came to me without my seeking it. I actually want to cry with gratitude at times. The place is so awesome I may just live there. Well, not really. But...

Yesterday I didn't have to rush to pick up the kiddo because he'd gone home from school with his dad for the weekend. The person whose job I'm taking over still had a ton of work left to do, as the office had just been repainted/refurnished in the past week, thus pushing the schedule back a couple of days. Since I didn't have anything pressing to do after my quitting time, I just went home to bail Suzy out of the Crate of Doom, then brought her back to the office, where I helped my officemate tie up loose ends for the week.

By that time, people's kids were hanging around and they wanted to pet the doggie. She just has that effect on people, whether at the baseball field, the supermarket (yep, I took her in on a recent hot day when I couldn't leave her in the car), a restaurant (she's such a lap dog that the proprietors actually told me to bring her in), or just out for a walk. A wedding was due to take place that evening, so the wedding coordinator wandered in and out of the office, petting the dog on her way through each time. Other adults also came out of their offices to pet Suzy and chat a bit. Suzy, who was just as tired as she ever was* due to having cried in her crate for quite a while, displayed her supremely passive temperament better than ever, and allowed everyone to love her up as she contentedly lap-napped. I didn't let her feet touch the floor the whole time we were there, to ensure that she didn't get any ideas and "misbehave" on the new carpet.

I worked with Suzy on my lap for an hour or more, then wandered off with a co-worker to meet her two-year-old daughter. My co-worker had a task to complete, so she stepped away while I hung out with the kids. Since the other kids in the office had wanted to pet Suzy, I asked the two-year-old if she wanted to pet the doggie. She furrowed her brow and shook her head as she backed up. Her eleven-year-old sister explained that the little girl had always been afraid of dogs, so I just held Suzy close and chatted with the two-year-old for a few minutes, until she stuck out her little hand. "Did you decide you want to pet the doggie now?" I asked. She nodded. I stooped a bit and she gingerly petted Suzy's back. "Isn't she soft?" I asked. The little girl nodded again and smiled a tiny smile. The eleven-year-old was shocked. "She's never touched a dog before!" she exclaimed. "I have to tell my mom!"

I think that may have been the frosting on top of an already sweet day. :-)

* This is one of many cute expressions I once heard my ex's Missouri mom use, and I just like it. The ex's parents were always a couple of charming, interesting people and I really liked them a lot.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

My Mind Is Now Thumbing Through Its Rolodex, Enjoying All the Hose Jokes

So the kiddo and I are on our second round of colds and I've been feeling crummy. Having to sleep sitting up with a cough drop in your mouth will do that to you. We tried to make the best of it, hanging out on Sunday and playing Junior M*n*p*ly like a couple of real estate-grabbin' fools. The kiddo kept wanting to pay for things in odd combinations of bills so he could get change from the bank -- too funny. On Monday, I needed to pick up a prescription, so off we went to the cheapest pharmacy in town: W*l-M*rt. If you don't have any qualms about shopping there, and don't already know about the cheap prescriptions they offer, allow me to be the first to tell you: four-dollar prescriptions for a ton of common and generic medications. Not even my doctor knew about this. Shocking!!

Anyway, since we were feeling like utter crap on Monday, we got a late start and wound up driving to the pharmacy in the late afternoon/early evening. We grabbed my refill, along with a couple of other necessities like mac-n-cheese and conditioner, and headed out to the car.

Everything was fine until we got about two freeway exits along our six-mile drive and the temperature indicator lit up on the dashboard. I immediately pulled over and saw smoke/steam coming from under the hood. I'd just put water/coolant in the engine in the past week, so I knew we'd probably busted a hose. Great! Still, I wasn't sure if we should stay in the car or get away from it, so the kiddo and I climbed up the embankment a bit with our groceries and I started making phone calls and figuring out what to do. (I didn't want to crank up the heater and just drive the car because I wasn't within sight of an exit.)

The kiddo was, well, a little afraid. And lemme tell you, nothing helps me think more clearly than a hysterical seven-year-old sobbing and clutching at me and asking me, "ARE WE GOING TO DIE?? ARE WE GOING TO MAKE IT OUT OF HERE ALIVE?? PLEASE, PLEASE JUST TELL ME WE'RE GOING TO MAKE IT OUT OF HERE ALIVE!! I'M TRYING TO FIND MY BRAVERY BUT ARE WE GOING TO DIE?? BE HONEST!!"

Oh, and it was just starting to get a little bit dark.

A young couple pulled over and asked if they could help us, and although they seemed nice enough and it was still light enough out, I was a little uncomfortable talking with a stranger on the side of the freeway so I told the guy I'd called my husband and the police and they were on their way. (Later, after the kiddo calmed down, he indignantly demanded, "And by the way, who's your husband?!" Heh.) The couple left and I called my ex: no answer. I called my brother's girlfriend: no answer. Finally I got hold of the CHP (California Highway Patrol) and my dad, who graciously explained to my son that he was not going to die. Then I called my saintly next-door neighbor, the one with the limo business, the one who owns seven cars: jackpot!!

We talked to the nice CHP officers while my neighbor pulled up in one of his lovely town cars. I'm sure the CHP officers thought we were living a little large at that point. The officers gave my son a couple of junior officer stickers (they must carry a ton of them in their pockets, because we always get those from the firefighters and police officers at the mall) and he started to calm down. And that's when I started to cry. Holding it together is hard work sometimes. Later, the kiddo generously told his dad that Mommy was crying. Nice. (The next morning, he told me, "I knew it was serious because you said 'Shit!'" Ah, yes.)

So we got a ride home from our wonderful neighbor, who offered to loan us one of his cars if we needed it. We got my car towed to a shop within walking distance from my house. ("Well, our first day Buick-less!" my son declared after I signed the towing invoice.) The shop fixed the car (yep, it was a busted bypass hose and broken fitting, with the threaded part still in the engine block -- how special!) and we had our car back the next day.

And nobody died. ;^)

(But my neighbors will be getting their crowns and angel wings and a room with a view and a bigole ice cream sundae in heaven someday, as well as a restaurant gift certificate from me in the near future. Fer sure.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

This Morning's Conversation

Me: "Wow, you sure got a good night's sleep after you settled down!"

Son: "Yeah, I sure got a good night's sleep after all the coughing and barfing and commotion!"

Me: "I sure had a rough start, huh?"

Son: "Yeah, but I did fall asleep and got a good rest, so I'll probably be in a good mood, which I am!"

Me: smiles

Son: "But I probably won't be very expressive today."