Announce, by way of an historically unprecedented "half-birthday" card - without Previous Spousal Error - that you have gotten her a gift which will arrive in the mail today. Then watch her run to the ungifted mailbox daily and then lie awake at night, bubbling with anticipation, as she wonders if said gift is ever, ever, ever going to arrive. Now that's hot.
The other night I was painting nail polish onto that little flap of skin on my pinkie toe, trying to make it look like a real toenail, and I got to thinking about the ridiculous amounts of money gullible fools like myself spend in the name of beauty - or in the case of my feet, extensive rehab - when we can usually get the job done for a lot less with a few simple tools from Sears. I spent my hour of "me time" in the toenail aisle at Target (I only went for toothpaste), hopefully scanning the labels for something that read, "Use just once and your blackened, abused, leather-calloused feet will turn creamy white. With no effort. Also guaranteed to shrink those knuckly finger-toes." With no luck, I grudgingly spent like $7 okay $9 well $9.99 on a home pedicure kit. When I got it home and examined the implements of my transformation, I was furious. Duped again! I had all of this stuff in my house already.
This pretty little number is called a pumice. To soften and gently scrub away your callouses.
Feeling a little sheepish, I ran to the toddler contraband bowl on the kitchen table, where we keep all of our tools and implements of toddler destruction, to find that yes indeed, I already owned a pumice; Hardware Hank calls it a sanding block. Perhaps someone like myself could try a belt sander next time?
Next, we have the heavier-duty, well, I don't know exactly what it's called. Callous grinder, perhaps?
Again, I ransack the kitchen looking for a familiar something that I knew, just knew, I already had. It is a backup instrument used to play along with Dan Zanes and friends. We also use it sometimes as a cheese grater. No yucky foot-pun intended.
Finally, if you cant scrub it off or grate it off, perhaps the Lady wouldst like to
You know how when people sit around and talk about the pros and cons of spanking, you always hear someone say something ridiculous like, "Well, the only way I would spank is if he was running into the street or something"? Right. Because then it is justified. I am always left to think, Well, okay then, what about if he drank Drano? Poked himself in the eye running with a pencil? What if he swallowed a dirty quarter? It's the principle, right?
None of this matters. What I want to talk about is the 500 or so things I never ever in the whole of the universe thought I would do as a parent.
Things like going to the local firehouse and asking them if maybe, on a day that they weren't so busy fighting fires and stuff, they might come to a certain corner with their ladder truck and get a cheap-ass kite down from a telephone pole. (They said maybe, but after some thought I decided it was probably so they could lure me into giving them my name and number for future crazy-lady identification purposes).
Or like lugging Thing One and Thing Two to a Volkswagon showroom and telling the salesman, "We don't have any money; I just wanted to show my son his first love up close and personal."
Things like letting the not-quite-able-to-unlock-the-door-but-sure-as-hell-able-to-lock-it toddler into the house before me, with the keys, in the bone-chilling springtime cold and then pleading with him to "turn that little black thing." "No this way." "No, honey, I can't do it. Can you do it?"
Or biting him back when he bit me for like 8 months one time. I know. But not hard.
Or giving him a whack on the butt in the middle of Rainbow Foods produce aisle. Yes I did, and do you wanna know why? Because he was throwing things out of the cart left and right. Grabbing things off the shelves. Jumping on his head. Why couldn't I restrain him, you ask? Well, for one thing, he spent his nap time that day practicing the "Mama you have a nice blanket" (Lo-di lo-di lo-di) song rather than snoring. I should know better than to expose him to humankind when he hasn't had a nap. And furthermore, the only grocery store left in the Twin Cities area that I can securely restrain both of my children in the cart at the same time is Costco, and I did not need a case of cilantro that day.
So there's Thing Two strapped into the front of the cart, chewing on my shopping list, and Thing One is in the big part, grinning, drooling, and loaded for buck. See the thing is, up until like 75 days ago, Thing One did not do bad things. That is why my friends laugh at me. For them, I think it's a little like seeing someone fall down the stairs. A little sad, but freakin hilARious.
Out goes the bread. I give the look. For which I receive the deli meat, right in the look. I tried to include him into behaving. "Here, you hold the milk." He wouldn't throw the milk, would he? With a big-brotherly flourish, he tosses the milk up front for Thing Two to hold. The milk doesn't fit in the same cart as her thighs, so Thing Two shrieks.
Then I try to nice him into behaving. In a nanosecond of calm, I remember the Good Mommies and say, "Wow, see now that's the behavior I like". This is lobbed back to me in the form of his shirt. I try to keep him busy putting on his shirt while I run through my grocery list, but he keeps throwing it at the elderly woman who is keeping a nervous eye on us.
Leave the cart full of groceries you say? Uh uh. These are MY groceries, this is MY grocery trip, and I am going to make veggie burgers for supper tonight if I have to duct tape him to the wall while I do it. Maybe you see from whence the power struggle is originating?
Finally, in a moment of desperation, I tell him, "If you do not let go of the butcher, I will spank your little butt."
"Noho ho ho you won't." And then, then he laughed at me.