Bad Dog

I gotta tell ya that it was pretty darned nice to have a small little break from the demon dog over this past weekend.  Luckily, our neighbors are always more than willing to have him stay with them when we go out of town.  For some reason that I have yet to determine, they seem to absolutely love the big, furry bastard.  They’ve owned many an Airedale in their time, so I suppose they’re used to all the shit-eating trouble these dogs tend to find themselves in.  And the beast is happier than a stay-at-home-mom at happy hour when he gets to shack up with the neighbors, too.  Perhaps, then, that’s why he’s decided to raise all kinds of hell now that he’s been forced back onto his own home turf.

From the moment the pooch stepped through the door, he’s made it his mission in life to annoy the absolute crap out of me.  Seriously, I didn’t think it was possible for a dog to bark this freaking much.  A leaf blows on a tree, and he has a damn hissy fit.  A fly buzzes by the window, and he goes flippin’ apeshit.  Can you really blame me then for fantasizing about all the things I could do with a good roll of duct tape?

The barking is one thing, but the chewing is a whole other issue.  And he decided to really go for the gusto too.  The ball-less wonder has taken it upon himself to chew the ever-loving shit out of my favorite pair of Ugg slippers.  We’re talkin’ down to the inner makings of the sole kind of chewing.  He also tore into one of the hubby’s beloved Cubs hats, too.  I’m sure that will make for a really nice welcome home present for him later this week when he finally returns.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about marching the dog right on over to the neighbor’s front doorstep over the past couple of days.  He knows just how to get under your skin and make you want to trade him in for some firewood.  That is…until you see him all curled up like this:

And your cold steal heart can’t help but melt just a lil’ bit…..


What’s Your Name Again?

I’ve decided that my life would be a hell of a lot easier if everyone just wore name tags. It’s sad but very true that I can’t seem to remember anybody’s damn name anymore for anything in this world. It absolutely blows my mind to think that I used to be a teacher and responsible for knowing a whole classroom full of kids’ names. I couldn’t do that now if my life depended on it! Somewhere in the process of pushing out two screaming children from my body, I apparently also pushed out my memory.

Any time I meet someone new and they tell me their name, I try very hard to absorb this information for later use. However, the next time I come in contact with the person, I inevitably draw a complete blank when it comes to saying hello. The wheels are spinning wildly in my head, but all that seems to come out is a, “Hey there……YOU!” It’s extremly embarrassing, and I used to play it off like it was nothing. Now I just openly admit that I suck with names and blame it on motherhood stripping away my brain cells.

The worst is when I can’t remember people’s names who’ve told me over and over again what their names are. I’ve done this with several moms from school who clearly know my name, but my memory bank is completely empty when it comes to knowing theirs. And it’s gone beyond the comfortable period of time in which I could still ask for a reminder. Can you imagine how awkward it’d be to ask Mrs. X. what her name is after I’ve had a gazillion freaking conversations with her at pickup time?

I also tend to get stuck on completely wrong names for people too. Once I get a name in my head, it’s like I can’t stop calling the person that, even if it couldn’t be farther from the correct one. I’ve called my neighbor Patty for years and just recently found out that her name is “PAULA“. She must think I’m the biggest jackass on the block. And when my son had a playdate over here yesterday, I must’ve called that kid every little boy’s name under the moon EXCEPT for his actual name.  Poor kid probably went home and told his mom that he never wants to play with the weird lady’s son ever again.

But you see, if everyone was required to wear nametags, there wouldn’t be any more of those tense moments where you’re racking your brain to come up with a frickin’ name.  It’d be right there in plain sight.  No more awkwardness!  No more feeling like a complete dumb ass!  Come on…who’s with me?!
HELLO my name is:  Nucking Futs Mama!!!

Pimping Cookies

     Now that everybody’s making New Year’s resolutions to cut back on the sweets and hit the treadmill, it’s time to sell good old calorie-packed Girl Scouts cookies!  Seriously, could the timing be worse or what?  It would make WAY more sense to sell them in November so people could stuff their faces with them all throughout the holiday season and wave it off as part of the festive fanfare.  But no, they decided to do it now, like dangling a piece of raw meat in front of a starving dog.  So, since it’s my daughter’s first year as a Daisy (which is the low man on the Girl Scouts totem pole), we bundled the hell out of ourselves and headed out for a little door-to-door action.

     I thought for sure that people would be super annoyed by the time they opened their doors, given that my daughter rang each doorbell no less than two hundred times.  I tried to remind her at each house to just ring it once, but she insisted on pushing each bell over and over again.  And much to my surprise, people were actually very willing to open up their wallets for us.  I think the fact that it was only TEN DEGREES outside really worked to our advantage.  People seemed to feel sorry for us, and therefore, some sort of obligation to at least buy something since we did, after all, drag our asses out into the arctic air to sell the damn things.  I’m sure it also didn’t hurt that my daughter couldn’t help but bat her unbelievably gorgeous eyes at each potential customer and that she sealed the deal with her adorably toothless big ear-to-ear grin.  

     Out of the twenty-two houses we visited, twenty actually bought cookies from us.  And naturally, the two who didn’t were total a-holes.  A kid answered the door at one of these two houses, and we could actually hear his dad scream in the background, “No!  We don’t want any cookies!!!!”  Honestly, would it hurt to at least ATTEMPT to decline politely?  Talk about rude!  But don’t you worry — I’ll remember that when your snot-nosed kid comes to my door in the future to sell me some stupid shit or another!  The other nay-sayer said they would be out of town when the cookies were delivered, so they’d have to pass.  Really?  That’s your excuse?  Have you ever heard of a little thing called NEIGHBORS?  I’m sure a neighbor could have held onto them for him or hell, we’d even hold them back for him until he returned!  It was such a lame rationalization that I wasn’t even gonna waste my breath with a solution for getting the cookies to him.  Idiot.

     At the end of our little excursion, my little saleslady had managed to unload a monumental total of NINETY-THREE boxes of Girl Scouts cookies!  I’m not sure who was more proud, her or me.  I had to literally drag her in from the street or else she would have continued ringing each doorbell in our neighborhood all stinkin’ night long!  I just pray that she keeps up this same excited energy when we have to deliver all the freaking things in February when there’s a foot of snow on the damn ground.  Yeah, I’m looking REAL forward to that.

Spit & Spin


     As if we didn’t already have enough going on around here lately, my son came down with strep throat over the weekend, which meant that he had to go on an antibiotic and can’t return to school until the medicine has spent an entire twenty-four hours in his little system. This also meant that I had to scramble around and try to find a way to get my daughter, who surprisingly does not have strep throat (YET anyway), to and from school for the past two days. Luckily, we have some amazing neighbors who are more than willing to help a sister out and who graciously offered to allow my daughter to walk over with them.  However, after the little stunt my son pulled this morning, they may very well tell us to kiss their neighborly asses the next time we are in need.

         As usual, we were running behind this morning, and I was still trying to hunt down my daughter’s mittens when my neighbor and her son came to the door to pick up my daughter.  I opened the door to apologize, and her little boy decided to just barge right on in. He’s a friend of my son’s, so I guess he wanted to say hi or something.  The mom just kinda stood there unsure of what to do and then very hesitantly stepped into the foyer to call for her son.  I can’t really say that I blame her because our house is like a giant petri dish full of germs right now, and I wouldn’t want to dive right into that either. Her son wasn’t responding in the least to all of her pleading, so she nervously decided to chit chat as I continued to slop cold weather gear on my daughter.

     I could tell how anxious she was to get out of here, especially when she started talking about how easily her household catches strep throat, and how many times they’ve had it, and yada, and yada, and yada.  I was trying really hard to be a good listener, while continuing my mission to free these poor people from our germ-infested lair.  My son must’ve finally heard his little friend’s voice, because he suddenly appeared out of nowhere at the top of the front staircase. The neighbor boy and my son were giggling and laughing, as I was moving as fast as I could to get my daughter out the door, and I vaguely thought I heard the mom say that something wasn’t such a good idea.  And that’s when I looked up and saw the cause for her concern.

     I yelled out a silent “NOOOOOOO!!!!!“, but it was already too late.  My son was hanging over the banister with a demonic grin on his face as a drop of spit was on its way down toward his friend’s head.  I swear I think someone hit the slow-motion button because that freaking spit stayed airborne forever as I prayed to God that it didn’t land smack-dab on the other kid’s face.  Thank heavens for divine intervention because luckily, it landed on the floor not more than two inches from the kid’s shoes.  I stood there in complete and utter horror.  I had no idea what to say or to do.  I couldn’t even begin to imagine what on earth possessed him to do something so jack-asinine.  

     I apologized up and down and over and under and all around about a thousand times for his completely inappropriate behavior.  My neighbor anxiously laughed it off as she hurried up and got the hell out of dodge, and I promptly sent my son straight to his room.  Sick or not, that little shit was getting punished.  After a good, long time-out, I had a little talk with him about the fact that we are most certainly not cavemen, and that spitting is only appropriate when he’s chewing tobacco.  (Ok, you got me. I didn’t really add that part about the cavemen.)  I have no words for how completely mortified I am, but I hope that she can forgive and forget since she’s got two boys of her own.  So between the dog and the kid, the theme of my life these days seems to be that both shit, as well as spit, just happens.

The Pick Up


     It’s just after 3:00, and I’m standing there waiting out the calm before the storm with all the other over-extended moms in the neighborhood. We’re all just trying to catch our breaths before our wild and crazy offspring come bounding through the doors.  At any given moment, my peaceful conversations will become disjointed sentences, my ears will be abused by the roar of over-energized little voices, and my day without little people will come to a screeching halt.  There will be absolutely no warning sign, no flashing lights, or even a lousy heads up.  I blink my eyes for a millisecond, and BAM! Here they’ll all come like the running of the bulls. I’m talking about the madness of after school pick-up, which is typically the point of the day when my headache kicks straight into high gear and I set out to find my old trusty bottle of Tylenol.

        My daughter is almost always the first kid to come bursting through the school doors.  Her little face just lights right up when she finally spots me.  We hug, we shoot the shit for a bit, and then, without fail, the girl plops right down in the middle of the crowd and insists on pulling out every single one of her take-home papers from her damn backpack.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I very much want to see her work, but I’d prefer to not to do in the midst of a full-on stampede.  Besides, I’m still supposed to be keeping an eye out for my other little descendent to finally mosey on out of the building.

     When he finally does, he is equally excited to finally locate me in the huge mass of people.  He hugs me, dumps off his backpack, and heads straight to his favorite climbing tree.  After he releases his inner monkey, he eventually makes his way back over to me and jumps right into an attention-getting contest with his sister.  The instant she hears him trying to tell me something, she suddenly has something to say, as well. And this is where things typically get ugly. Both kids are trying to scream over each other, and nine times out of ten, they end up ready to duke it out right there on the sidewalk.  I do my best to “put on my listening ears” and give each one equal speaking time.  (And to be perfectly honest, half the time I don’t even know what the hell they’re talking about, because I get a half-ass story that makes no sense whatsoever.  But I just smile and nod my head and be the most interested audience member I can be.)

     And just when I think we can finally start off on the walk home, some kid or another comes up and tries to finagle a friggin’ play date with one of my kids.  I’m then subjected to whining and pleading and begging, all of which do nothing but unravel that last nerve of mine. Sometimes the play date happens to work out, and sometimes it doesn’t. And you can bet your ass that if it doesn’t work out, I then get to listen to a whole other barrage of bitching and moaning about it all being so unfair, when in actuality, what’s really unfair is that Mommy’s the one who needs a freaking play date with her own adult friends!

     When we finally make our way through the play date scheduling obstacle, I feel a slight urge to do a happy dance since it appears that we are surely now headed home.  However, this is precisely when one or both of my kids decide to announce that they have to go pee. Never mind that they have plenty of opportunities to go in school, and never mind the fact that we only live about four blocks from the school.  Neither of these matter, though, since they have set their bladders’ sights on pissing in the school bathrooms.  And I really don’t like having to go back into the school after the teachers have already kicked them out.  I know that the last thing they want to see after a long day of herding short people is a lolly-gagging kid, much less a lingering parent.  I usually just try to smile and keep it moving.  Eye on the prize.

     It’s nothing short of a miracle when at long last we set off on the path to home.  I’m so relieved to finally be away from all the craziness and have a chance to really talk to my kids about their day.  Well, I guess I should rephrase that and say TRY to talk to my kids about their day, since they can never remember what the hell they actually did all day. However frustrating their forgetfulness is though, it’s a very brief moment in my day when I get to sneak in a little hand holding action with my two favorite little beings, and I am reminded once again of just why I signed up for all this in the first place.

The Block Party


     This past weekend was our neighborhood’s annual block party, and my kids were so excited I honestly thought they were going to piss themselves.  From the moment they woke up on Saturday morning, they asked if it was time for the block party and proceeded to repeat that same question every five minutes for the next eight hours. When it was finally time to put up the barricades to block down the street, they couldn’t get out the door fast enough to tear up the pavement.

     To them, the absolute coolest part of the block party was the fact that they got to ride their bikes like complete maniacs all around the street without any fear whatsoever of being turned into roadkill by oncoming cars.  So, naturally, they were all about pimping out their rides with the other neighborhood kids for the big pet and bike parade. They used streamers, balloons, cards in the spokes, the whole nine yards till they had some super juiced up looking wheels to strut. And when it was time to march down the street, they happily joined the other whopping ten bikers in the procession, as well as three dogs, a hamster, and a toad.  I was seeing some major competition for the Macy’s Day Parade.  

     And it wouldn’t be a real block party if our kids didn’t gorge themselves on any and all kinds of crap they could get their dirty little hands on.  Our neighbors had rented a popcorn maker and a snow cone machine for all the kids, so, of course, my two munchers absolutely chowed down on multiple servings of each, thus killing any chance whatsoever of them eating anything substantial for dinner later on that night.  My daughter actually even had the balls to try to hide her third snow cone from me, but she clearly forgot about the eyes in the back of my head.  Lucky for her, I was just a little too go-with-the-flow (that’s code for too much Chardonnay) to get my panties all in a bunch over too much junkfood consumption.

     The festivities concluded with an outdoor movie on our front lawn.  We projected “Over the Hedge” onto a sheet hung from our front porch, while all the little shits from the hood sat littering our yard with popcorn and candy wrappings.  One of the other moms had given out glow stick bracelets, so each kid was gleaming with a combination of excitement and exhaustion by that point of the evening.  I was so glad when some other older punk from down the street announced a game of flashlight tag, which sent a good portion of our viewing audience off and running.  My kids were pooped, and so was I.  

     I thought for sure that my tired troops would take the rare opportunity to sleep in after such a long day of fun, but, of course, my kids seem to think that the early bird really does catch that jackass worm so they were up and at ’em, ready to get crackin’ on yet another day.  I have to hand it to the hubby once again for getting up with them and letting Mama get a little more shut-eye, cause I was completely worn out. When I finally did make my way downstairs, though, I happened to notice that a pink glowstick bracelet was sitting smack dab in the center of my dining room table, the table that’s completely off limits to all things kid-related.  

     When I picked up the bracelet, I was unpleasantly surprised to see that the damn thing had exploded from the inside out.  I had a big glob of pink goo staring at me from my beautiful cherry-colored wood table.  And when I tried to wipe up the goo, it decided to take that beautiful cherry color right along with it.  I literally gasped out loud with a “Oh no you didn’t” type of pronouncement when I saw that big glaring colorless streak on the otherwise shiny surface.  I wanted to wring my daughter’s neck for being so careless.  This was one of the last remaining places in the house that didn’t have a kid’s stamp of approval put on it.  I immediately declared the dining room table a no-fly zone for everyone, including my husband.  Nothing shall ever sit on that table again unless it’s a Thanksgiving turkey or a Christmas ham.

     Despite the glow stick fiasco, however, the block party was an absolute blast.  My kids are already asking when the next one is.  It’s gonna be really hard for them to get used to having to share the street with the cars again.  My son already tried to dash over to the other side on his scooter without even a second thought.  So, I guess we’re all slowly adjusting back to reality again.  For that one day, though, the kids got to rule the road, and to them, that’s a memory worth a thousand glow stick explosions and then some.

Invasion of the Manner Snatchers


     Is it my imagination or have manners all but become extinct anymore?  Seriously, have we all just decided to become a-holes and only think about ourselves?  I mean, crap, I’ve got places to go and people to see too, but that doesn’t mean I need to stampede the little old lady in front of me to get there any faster.  How am I supposed to teach my kids about manners if nobody anywhere around them seems to have any of their own?

     One of my constant encounters with rudeness takes place each and every week at my favorite yoga class.  There’s this one certain woman who inevitably always plops her shit down right next to my mat.  I cringe every time I think about trying to meditate next to this crazy bitch.  She is like a bull in a china shop.  The woman doesn’t have a clue how to be quiet about anything.  She’s constantly texting on her obnoxiously loud phone (does she not know about the silent feature?!) and every so often even taking calls right in the middle of the freaking class. And she never stays for the duration of the class. She waits until everyone is lying completely still in “savasana,” which is the word for corpse pose, to pack up all her crap without any regard whatsoever to the fact that everyone is supposed to be in a complete state of relaxation by this point of the class.  It’s a little hard to be relaxed when homegirl’s undoing the velcro strap for her mat, digging in her purse for her keys, putting on her clunky shoes, and literally stomping across the width of the room, all so she can be two or three minutes ahead of the crowd.  It really pisses me off, and I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for the instructor to keep her cool. She must be a lot more centered than me.

     Another one of my recent brushes with the rudeness of humankind was as I was leaving CVS the other day.  I needed to turn left out of the parking lot, which was not an easy task, given the super busy street it intersects.  I was like the chicken trying to cross the road, just waiting as patiently as I could for any opening.  Chalk it up to bad timing cause I wasn’t going anywhere fast.  All of a sudden, I heard someone laying on the horn behind me.  I glanced into my rearview mirror to see yet another bad-mannered lunatic screaming and cussing and flailing her arms about in the car behind me. What in holy hell did this insane woman want me to do?  Did she honestly expect me to just go barreling out into oncoming traffic and push the other cars out of the way for her?  When I finally was able to turn, she yelled “Stupid bitch!” and flipped me off through her open window.  Hmmm, seems to me that she’s the one not quite playing with a full deck if she thought causing a multi-car pileup seemed like a reasonable way for her to get where she needed to go more quickly.

     And yet another case of tactlessness with which I continually cross paths takes place right here in my very own neighborhood with other fellow dog owners.  It’s beyond me how some of my neighbors don’t seem to have any qualms at all with allowing their loose dogs to just randomly roam the streets.  This one dog in particular is always wandering around in other people’s yards just looking for the perfect spot to lay a monstrous pile of dung, which of course won’t EVER be poop scooped by his owner since he is MIA.  Then there’s also another sad excuse for a dog that runs amuck through our hood on just three short and stumpy little legs. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s the wisest decision in the world to let a gimpy little mutt hobble about the streets all alone.  Hell, that’s probably how he lost his leg in the first place.  “Lucky,” as my husband and I refer to him, is always causing passersby to stop and question if the poor thing is lost.  And, naturally, he is also leaving little piles of brown surprises in all the neighbor’s yards.  If I, myself, didn’t have any cooth, I would plop our new pup smack dab on their doorsteps to leave a few things of his own behind to thank them for their neighborly ways. But, you see, I actually do have some shreds of decency in my bones, so I will not ever do that.

     I really don’t understand what has happened to our society.  What about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you? Have people just become too busy or better yet, too selfish to think about the consequences of their actions?  It seems to me that we all need to take a little lesson from Aretha and start showing some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for one another.