Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My son is so weird.

Me: Alex, why were you cutting up a paper plate last night?

Alex: I dunno.

Me: Why did you leave the scissors and mess there on the floor.

Alex: I dunno.

Me: I don't either--but I DO know that you're going to clean it up--NOW!

Alex: Mom, I know you've been sick, so I'm no making fun of you, but I have to say, when you talk in that voice it's pretty scary. But when you try to yell, it just disappears. It's not scary, it's funny.

Me: Clean it up, Alex.

Alex: I still think you sound funny.

Me: And while you're there, put your socks in the laundry.

Alex: I think they're Chris's socks.

Me: They're yours.

Alex: How do you know? They look like Chris's.

Me: I watched you take them off last night and leave them on the floor.

Alex: Are you watching me all the time?

Me: Yes.

Alex cleans up the scissors and paper plate mess, then pick up the socks.

Alex (muttering): I guess they are mine.

Me: How did you determine that?

Alex: They smell like peaches.

Me: Excuse me?

Alex: The socks--they smell like peaches, so I guess they're mine.

Me: I'm going to request that you don't explain that any further. I don't want to know.

Alex: Are you sure? It's very cool.

Me: I'm sure.

Alex: But I want to tell you.

Me: You're going to have to wait. I'm pretty sure I need to go take a nap, or check the color of the sky, or think about whether or not carpet makes sounds.

Alex: That's not very nice.

Me: Neither is leaving messes for your mother.

Alex: So, if I don't leave messes for awhile, you'll let me tell you why my socks smell like peaches?

Me: I guess so.

Alex: Cool.

Monday, September 21, 2009


I stayed up too late last night. When I finally crawled into bed, three hours remained before my morning would begin. I closed my eyes, blocked out Aaron's raucous snores and drifted into an incredibly lively dream world--only to be jolted wide-awake one hour later. Hail is noisier than Aaron's snores.

The long-winded hailstorm stole another hour of sleep and I dozed until my alarm scared the crap out of me at 5:00 a.m. Wearily I got ready, chauffeured Alex and Natalie to seminary, drove through lightly falling snow to the deserted grocery store (my preferred shopping time), picked up necessary edibles (which means half the store because I have teenagers), and went to my 7:00 meeting.

At this point I must confess that I have no recollection of the business transacted at said meeting. I'm hoping nothing was assigned to me. I'm fairly certain I made up at least twelve four-syllable words, used them with alacrity, and glared disparagingly at anyone who looked the least bit confused by my speech. I'm hoping none of the imaginary words rolled easily off the tongue. I have one colleague who uses such words simply because he likes to say them, but never has any idea if his usage is correct, nor does he seem to care. And I'd prefer to have my fanciful solecism forgotten forthwith.

I believe I attended and participated in (at least in the corporeal sense) two or three rehearsals and lunch meeting. All recollection of these events is spotty, at best. I returned home, spent one hour playing Solitaire (yup, got lots of work done in that hour), then taught piano lessons for the remainder of the evening. Naturally, the lessons went well, as I am an amazing teacher and can mesmerize any student with my prowess, even if I catnap during the lessons--which I did not.

In spite of the zombie-esque feeling which led me through this day, somewhere between lessons and 6:00 p.m., I made delicious chicken noodle soup with hot bread for dinner. It is immaterial whether I remember making it or not. Clearly, cooking is something which requires no conscious thought. Also, a rather lovely chocolate cake appeared later. I remember telling an online chat friend that I was making one. I do not recall actually making it. Regardless, it tasted very nice.

The obnoxious plethora of imaginary but most creative words, followed me throughout the day. It's a mercy that tomorrow I will remember none of them, and should anyone remind me, I will simply fix that person with my haughty, super-heroine I-can't-believe-you-would-even-consider-such-trumpery gaze, and the accusation will be immediately forgotten. And if that doesn't work, I plan to look confused and be a little embarrassed for the person who is so obviously mistaken in their memory of our conversation.

In the meantime, if I said the word phenolanolin in a previous conversation with you--don't look it up. It's not a word. It means nothing. And it's definitely not the chemical in turkey which makes you feel sleepy, nor is it a hormone produced by the thyroid which regulates growth.

And now I believe I will go get a drink of water.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dear contractors working on my bathroom:

I do not like the untimeliness of your arrivals. If you say you will come at 8:50 a.m., I expect you to be here at 8:50 a.m. If you come later, I am tardy for my rehearsals--not good. If you come earlier, it is likely someone will be in the shower or frantically trying to get ready for work--not good.

I do not like the incessant mess you leave behind. I understand you are deconstructing and reconstructing my bathrooms, but I see no reason for there to be construction mess in my living room, bedroom and kitchen.

I do not like it when you leave your Mountain Dew bottles on the back of my one surviving toilet, and on the floor of the upstairs bathroom. You brought a HUGE trash can with you. Surely you can put your bottles in that.

I do not like the way your power tools make a very loud noise, followed by moments of complete silence, followed by muffled manic giggling. It makes me very nervous and I would like you to stop that.

All this, however, I will continue to endure without complaint if you will please, please, please, turn off the country music. Seriously. Three weeks of it has nearly driven me mad. It's time to listen to something else, my friends.


P.S. If you do not honor my request, I will be forced to start practicing while you are here--and I can practice for hours...I'm not kidding...

Monday, August 31, 2009

There are some things one does not want to hear at night.

One of those things is the pitter-patter of feet which passed up "little" years ago, the size of which more than doubles my own and is significantly larger than Aaron's. So last night it was a bit disconcerting when, around midnight, I heard Chris rise from his bed and begin descending the stairs toward my bedroom rather quickly. He stood in our doorway and said, "Mom? Dad? I need your help."

Aaron said quietly, "What's the matter, Chris?"

"Well, there's either an animal or an extremely large insect in my windowsill. I don't know what to do."

Aaron lay in silence for a few moments, then said, "Okay, I'll come up in a minute."

Chris stayed in our doorway for what seemed hours, but was probably only about ten seconds, then made his way back upstairs. Aaron left me in bed. A couple of minutes later he was back.

"You should come see," he said.
"Why?" I did not want to leave my bed.
"I think it might be a bat. Or a mouse."

I knew it wasn't a mouse. That critter would have been long gone the moment Chris got out of bed. So I grabbed my robe and wandered up to his room.

The bat was between Chris's blinds and the window pane, clutching one of the slats with its tiny claws--which were all we could really see. I went closer and looked through the side of the blind. Sure enough, it was a furry, very frightened brown bat. Then I noticed that the majority of my kitchen utensils and large mixing bowls were strewn over Chris's floor.

"What were you planning?" I asked, pointing at my salad tongs.
"Uhhh, we hadn't gotten that far yet." Aaron looked sheepishly at Chris, who shrugged.

I figured, as long as we were using my kitchen utensils, we should find something that worked. Aaron accompanied me back down to the kitchen and Chris stayed to guard the bat--or at least follow it wherever it might decide to fly, should it choose to do so.

I grabbed my largest mixing bowl, Aaron located two large round spatter screens with handles and suddenly became very excited about using his newest finds to capture the bat. I suggested we join forces, using both the bowl and one of the screens. He agreed.

Back in Chris's room, Aaron and Chris discussed different ways to get the bat off the blind and into the bowl. Both were fairly anxious to handle the bowl and splatter screen, but neither one wanted to pull the blind away from the window, which they agreed must happen, but also deemed the most dangerous job. I still haven't figured out why.

So it fell to me to work the blind while Aaron got ready with his bowl and screen and Chris guarded the closet--just in case the bat wanted to fly in there. Aaron slid the bowl easily over the bat, but the little rodent did not wish to relinquish its death grip on the blind slat. Aaron tapped the slat with the handle of the spatter screen, to no avail. Finally, Aaron slid the screen slowly toward the bat, being careful to keep the bowl edge tight against the blind, blocking any attempted escape. As the screen came toward it, the bat suddenly let go of the blind and hooked its claws into the circle of mesh. Aaron pulled it out from under the blind and plopped the bowl, bat and all onto Chris's carpeted floor, barely disguising a shudder.

I mentioned that the screen did not completely cover the bowl, and if the bat wished to do so, it could easily fly out. We needed to get it outside. I went to pick it up, but Aaron was determined to finish the job. The poor bat was squeaking.

Aaron went outside. And stayed there for a long time. After about five minutes, Chris and I stuck out heads out the front door to see why he hadn't returned. Aaron was sitting on the front porch. The bowl, still covered with the bat adorned screen was sitting in front of him on the lawn.

"Is something the matter?" I asked.
"I can't get it to fly away," Aaron sounded tired.
"Oh, that's easy. You have to tip the bowl upside-down and then remove it. Once the bat is out in the open, it will leave."
Aaron looked up at me. "I don't want it to fly at me."
"Aaron, it has one of the best radar systems in the world. It's non-aggressive and it wants to eat something significantly smaller than you. Do you want me to do it?"

Aaron sighed, turned the bowl over and lifted it off. The bat took off in the other direction like a bat out of...well..you know...

Chris said good night and went to bed. Aaron came in the house, went downstairs and got into bed. I put the kitchen paraphernalia away, then joined Aaron. His hand closed around mine and he started giggling. Minutes later he was snoring and I was wondering how I would ever get back to sleep. I walked to the bathroom, turned on the drier to help drown out (or at least blend with) Aaron's snores, got a drink of water, and went back to bed. I'm certain I eventually fell asleep because we all overslept this morning.

Interestingly, Natalie and Alex were happy to hurry getting ready for school. I wouldn't talk about the bat until they were completely ready to go--and they wanted to hear about it. I’m never above using a good story as a motivator.