Thursday, August 27, 2009

Dear God...

Remember when I prayed for patience? Yeah, well I take that back. What I want now is a maid service. Or a carpet shampooer. Or maybe just a bathtub full of Calgon.

Paulie is an adorable child. He's got a head full of sweet curls, and big brown eyes that will just make you melt. He looks like a cross between an angel and the world's cutest puppy. The only problem is the angel is Lucifer and the puppy is Cerberus.

Okay, maybe that's a tad dramatic. After all, he's not a really a hellian. He just seems to find/attract mischief. So far, we've had to tie the fridge closed to keep him from trying to make another omelet in the living room. We've had to put doorknob covers on the door to the pantry to keep him from helping himself to oatmeal and uncooked macaroni. We've had to tie up the kitchen cabinets, lock the screen door, and move any furniture that can be used to climb to the tops of the counters.

Today, while I was doing laundry, Paulie discovered my container of coffee mate. It ended up being dumped in the sink and in the floor in his bedroom. It looked like Lindsay Lohan sneezed in there. I put him in the Time-Out chair and he was so pitiful. He said, "But Mommy, I don't wanna be in trouble. I'll be nice!" I didn't break though. I made him sit there, and then we had a little chat about making messes and getting into stuff without asking. He came to me later with those big brown eyes and said, "Mommy, I'm sorry I made a mess. Are we still friends?"

What do I do with that? I gave him a big hug and told him that I would always be his friend. He slipped away happily to watch Yo Gabba Gabba, and was left wondering what I can do with my little angel/demon. Sometimes I swear, he's going to make me lose my marbles. He'll drive me to my absolute breaking point, and just before I check myself into the loony-bin, he comes to me and turns on the charm.

He's a handful, but I honestly wouldn't trade him. He's full of mischief, but he's also full of music and humor and sweetness. He's a funny little guy and I never cease to be amazed by him.

Amazed and exhausted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tee hee! I Said Duty!

Yesterday I had my first experience with the American court system. I was called for jury duty. At five-thirty (also known as the butt-crack of dawn) yesterday morning, I got in my car and drove for about an hour to a federal building a few cities over. I had no idea what to expect, but my husband had prepared me a bit for the experience.

"Take a book," he told me. I did. I took my brand-spanking new Poe biography (number 15 in the Poe book collection.) It's about as thick as a family Bible, so I figured it would last me for a while. Funny, how authors can stretch 40 years over 700+ pages.

"You should probably take a sweater," advised my husband. I wasn't so sure about that one. After all, this is August in the south where the average low is about 96 degrees. I ended up taking my little white zip-up sweater, and I was glad I did. Apparently, the Federal Court system is run by polar bears who must maintain arctic temperatures at all times. Don't listen to Noah Wyle. The polar bears aren't dying out; they're just becoming judges. Of course, the thermostat may have been lowered in order to keep the reptilian lawyers from becoming too warm and lethargic.

"They may not even choose you," my husband told me. Again, he was correct. After sitting for about two-and-a-half hours, answering a boat-load of personal questions, and reading about three chapters of my book, I was excused. Yippee.

I was really pretty happy about not being chosen, though the whole process bore a painful resemblance to team picking in fifth grade PE. Still, I didn't have to get up before the chickens this morning and endure a long day on an extremely uncomfortable wooden chair listening to an extremely boring civil suit. And I still get paid for yesterday, 55 cents for every round-trip mile, and an attendance fee on top of that.

When I get my check, maybe I'll buy book number 16.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

School Daze

Rant Warning!

I spent the better part of this morning getting my son registered for fourth grade. He's transferring this year, so I had to drive 30+ miles to his old school to pick up his shot records, report card, test scores, etc. That wasn't a problem though.

No, the problem was the manila folder I was given at the school to which he'll be transferring. I counted on paperwork. I knew I would have to fill out address forms and emergency contact forms and allergy notification forms. I didn't count on having to fill out a dozen forms explaining that my children and I do not live in a tent or camper, we are not migrant workers, and English is the official language in our home.

Okay, I know there are cases when such things are needful, but come on! What the heck? I was so tempted to fill out the forms stating that I am a traveling gypsy, that I speak only Swahili, and I live in a van down by the river.

I just want to put my kid in fourth grade, not apply for a government bailout. Maybe all those forms are just to help the folks who really have had it rough in this sucky economy, but do I really need to fill them all out? Maybe I should just ignore it and be thankful that I can look at those forms and be mildly annoyed. I am pretty blessed, after all.

No, Mr. Board of Education man, I don't need you to give my child free lunches. No, we live in a nice, cozy house down by the lake. No, we all speak fluent English (Paulie knows some Spanish and Chinese.) No, we have reliable transportation. Yes, my children are in a safe home environment. Sure, I can donate some crayons and scissors. You're welcome.

End Rant.