Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can You Call Children's Services on Yourself?

Oh. My. Gawd.

Someone please come get this child before one of us perishes in a blaze of flying limbs and curse words. I am in the middle of an episode of "Death Match: Toddler."

I think he might be trying to kill me. Seriously, I think that during nap time at preschool, they all have a little secret meeting about how to rid the world of adults. My son, I am sure, is the ring-leader. Can't you picture them now, their cherubic little faces twisted up in evil little grins as they plot Mommy's demise? Their own little Axis of Evil. Sippy cups filled with vodka (HEY - NOT A BAD IDEA!), biting the heads off their animal crackers, they hatch one plot after another to slowly chip away at Mommy's sanity.

OK, as my friend Jenny pointed out, perhaps I AM going slowly insane. But J is the one doing it to me.

We go from Happy Toddler to Possessed Demon Spawn about 12 minutes after getting up in the morning and it only goes downhill from there. He has been spanked more times than I can count in the past week. (His favorite trick that he KNOWS will elicit a spanking: Hitting the big screen TV as hard as he can, smack in the middle of the screen.) Last night's spanking left a red mark in the shape of my hand right across his little tuches (his pants had been removed). The hand-shaped welt glared at me all the way up the stairs screaming in bright red finger marks: BAD MOMMY! I swear to you though, a spanking is the only thing that gets through to this child sometimes. If I try to Maintain Low Tones, or distract him or any of the other 32 things you are supposed to do instead of hitting your child, he just laughs and goes right back to the offending behavior. I love him more than anything else in the universe, but he can be a real prick sometimes.

I know some of you have toddlers and preschoolers of your own. Any advice? I need something good and I need it quickly, before Children's Services shows up to investigate the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the bowels of our home.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

That's Me In the Corner...

My extended family is a hodgepodge of religion. Despite the fact that my grandparents - parents to 9 kids - were ardent Catholics, my cousins and I have "broadened our horizons," so to speak. We have one that converted to Conservative Judaism, a Buddhist and a few non-practicing general Golden Rule Christians and, I am sure, a handful of atheists. That's not even counting the married-ins.

Today I had my first "Intro to Judaism" class. Now, I have had several rude introductions t Judaism, thanks to my sisters-in-law, but I don't think that is the kind of introduction that Judaism would have wanted, quite frankly.

This morning, as I will do every Sunday morning until mid-April), I met with 7 other people who are either Jews or about to become part of an Interfaith family to learn more about Judaism. I am hoping this goes better than The Mothers' Circle, which I, frankly, could have taught. We met with a great Rabbi and had some enlightening conversation. Not bad for a first day.

Rabbi Debbie said something that I thought was profound. A lot of emphasis is put on "Jews by Choice" in our temple. But, she said, we all choose our religion. So even if you are born Jewish, you still have to make the choice to believe in Torah and practice Judaism (or not). Or you can choose to convert, or to practice no religion. This was an interesting take. Through this paradigm, we are ALL "Jews by Choice." Because of my many, many issues, I like to identify with a large group. "ALL" is a pretty large group.

So what does this mean? We have been struggling (let's be honest, I have been struggling - Osi will go along because he is supportive like that) with what to do about Chrismukka this year. Is THIS the year we take the Chris out of Chrismukka? Do we go all Hanukkah all the time at Chez Zimmer? I dunno. Maybe if there could be Hanukkah stockings. I REALLY like the stockings.

Believe it or not, Christmas is what is holding me back. I love, love, looooooove Christmas. Like a kid loves Christmas. The thought of not having Christmas hurts my heart. But when I go to temple and read the prayers, THAT is what speaks to me. Never Catholicism. My soul was never spiritually fed by anything the Pope or the Catholic Church had to say. But, at the risk of cheesiness, Judaism speaks to me. I feel better after Friday night services. I feel at peace as we light Shabbat candles on the Friday nights that we make Shabbat. It feels right.

What to do about the Christmas tree, the Santa Claus, the outside lights. I just don't know. I am hoping that once Judaism introduces itself, it has a few answers for me, as well.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hosting FEMA Refugees

It is now Wednesday, and AEP cannot promise any better than to have 90% of Columbus residents up and running with power by Sunday. Here is what I am thinking: Not only is our government sorely unprepared for natural disasters and terrorist attacks on our resources, so are our private corporations.

So Osi and I are offering our lit, air conditioned and water-heated home to any of our friends here that need it. If you have power at work and are reading this, give us a call. Tonight is pasta ant homemade meatballs night. Tom and Bryan joined us for sweet and sour crock pot chicken and mashed potatoes last night. Julie came over this morning and got her first hot shower since Sunday morning.

I am telling you this not to say "Hey, we are FANTASTIC friends and neighbors!" (although we are), but to underscore the point made in my first paragraph. What the hell happens if - God forbid - a metropolitan city should be off the grid for 2 weeks? Chaos. (Apparently, in our neck of the woods, underfed, stinky chaos, but chaos nonetheless.)

So, do me a favor: check on your friends. Your elderly neighbors. Julie lives 2 blocks over and has no power. I checked on Miriam and Marty this morning and they are clean and fed (my elderly check is now complete. If I take on the whole of Sisterhood, I'll be calling people for weeks...).

If you have stuff, share it with your friends that don't. It's a lesson I have been trying to teach The Toddler. You would think the adults could set a good example, no?

Of course, we are not in a Katrina situation over here. Tom and Bryan were just sick of looking at each other after having no TV for several days and no light to read by. So they came over to look at us for a while. Having judged us less good-looking than themselves, they went home full of yummy goodness and smugness. They shall subsist on that another day :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What Are the Tide People Trying to Pull, Anyway?

Can someone please tell me how 50 ounces of one kind of "ultra-concentrated" Tide = 20 loads, while another kind of "ultra-concentrated" Tide will wash 26 loads with the same 50 ounces? Yet ANOTHER kind of Tide yields 28 loads.

Now, either they have English majors like me doing their math, or they are just fucking with us. Do you really not think we are paying attention?

And what is a LOAD? I mean, c'mon, now. Is washing a load of socks - and JUST SOCKS - the same as a load of bath towels? Is this how they come up with the discrepancy?

Maybe the test facility in Portland isn't using the same high-capacity machine as the the test facility in Memphis.

Have they considered the hard water vs. soft water debate as to which is better for your wash and which actually produces more suds? Because then, well, FUCK, I could be getting OODLES more loads if only I were washing Osi's tighty whiteys with Evian!

In case you haven't noticed, the good - or perhaps evil - people at Tide pushed me over the edge today. Their nonsense about the same number of ounces = any number of loads comes on the heels of reports that oil shortages have not been driving up gas prices. "Oh, our bad," say investors. "It was our speculation."

So, if I am understanding this correctly, the same rat bastards speculating that we are going to run out of oil yesterday are the same ones just guessing at how many loads I can get out of my 50 ounces of Tide. Someone get Al Gore on the line. I am guessing he knows EXACTLY how many loads I can get out of my 50-ounce bottle of Tide.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Our Death-Defying Trip to McDonald's

Really, isn't EVERY trip to McDonald's laughing in the face of the Grim Reaper?

This one, however, was particularly perilous. If you are viewing this blog from anywhere in the Midwest, then you, too, were likely the victim of last night's winds, the remains of Hurricane Ike. Not unlike Tina Turner's ex, Ike thrashed around angrily, tearing things, quite literally, limb from limb. We are thanking the deity of your choice this morning that a) we have no large trees on our property and b) our AEP guys are speedy-quick.

We lost power last night at about 5 p.m., along with the rest of Columbus. Having already exhausted the peanut butter sandwich option for a snack and the bologna and cheese option for lunch (lesson learned!) there was nothing left on the "Things The Toddler Will Eat" list that didn't need to be cooked. Also, having not been outside all day, said Toddler was beginning to get squirrely by 6 p.m.

Into the Family Truckster we packed, and began our journey. Down Cassingham, strewn with branches and all-out limbs and, in some cases, entire trees. This, perhaps, should have been our first warning to give the peanut better another go.

We turned onto Broad and discovered all the traffic lights were out for as far as the eye could see. Here, I must pause and issue a general refresher from driver's ed. Six simple words that can prevent accidents, near misses and general road rage: IT'S A FOUR WAY STOP, PEOPLE.

We traveled maybe 6 miles down Broad and I cannot tell you how many idiots just careened through the intersections liked they owned the damn road. Let me tell you that Osi takes this as a personal affront. He makes it his mission to honk at each of these people (and often those going the other direction, too) and tell them loudly (although our windows are up, as are theirs) the correct procedure for approaching an intersection where the traffic light is out. Oh, he doesn't use so many words. And frankly, I now fear for the increased vocabulary of The Toddler.

After a 20 minute drive, we did procure chicky nuggets and The Toddler was once again a happy boy. Daddy, on the other hand, still had a 20 minute drive home, dealing with "these assholes." All the while dodging flying recycling bins, trash and, I think, Miss Gulch on her bicycle.

We did regain power at about 2 a.m., but there are a lot of traffic lights still out this morning. I fear for Osi's blood pressure on the 5 mile trip to work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I Stink.

No. Literally. I am emitting a foul odor at this very moment. This is one of the reasons that I hate being hot. One of the reasons that my husband, lovely as he is, will have to retire by himself in Florida, while I retire to frigid Maine or maybe San Diego, if we happen to bed=come independently wealthy soon. I hate exercise and gardening. Both things usually involve sweating. (Gardening because it is done outside in nature, another thing I am not so keen on. I am an indoor Zimmer.)

So this morning I got it in my head that I was going to pull weeds and mow the lawn, because it was below 80 degrees for the first time in months. Ha ha. Nature got me. (Probably because of all those nasty things I say about it, and right in front of its face, too.) I managed to weed the cracks in the front of the driveway and mow the front yard, but as soon as I moved 'round back, Nature jack up the head to, like, 86, so I am sweating my tuches off like Richard Simmons sweatin' to the Beach Boys. So now, as I type, I am sporting the lovely au du gasoline and BO - oh so attractive. But hey, my yard looks goooooood.

So, yesterday was so bad it was - by the end - laughable. Jack has his three year pictures scheduled for Saturday. I thought I would get his hair cut because he is getting shaggy. Cookie Cutters has always done a really nice job. Yesterday, apparently, Betty the Butcher was on the job. I have no idea how a haircut can make a fine looking child seem like trailer trash, but this haircut accomplished just that. I actually put a little hair gel in it this morning to see if it would help.

After that, we went to the doctor's office, because Jack's allergies have been really bad. It turns out that, like Mommy, his allergies have a tendency to turn into sinus infection. Poor kid. We found this out after we were kept waiting in the office for 45 minutes. That seems a little ridiculous to me.

OK, so, we have dinner and Osi has a brotherhood meeting and I have sitter connection interviews, so Shayna comes to babysit. All is well there. I have 5 interviews scheduled, of which exactly 2 show up. Now this day is starting to get funny.

On the way to my interviews, I had dropped of Jack's prescription ant CVS. I told them I would be back in an hour. It is now 2 hours later, I am already 5 minutes late to take Shayna home and CVS has not yet filled my prescription. Of course not! Why would they have? They are in on the big fat joke that was my day!

You know what? I think Nature had something to do with this!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ramblings of the Not Quite Sane

Holy Moly. Has it really been almost 2 weeks since my last confession, Father? I'm gonna need at least 16 Hail Marys, 14 Our Fathers and a 2 Pear Martinis.

I have been up since 12:30 awaiting a thunder storm that the local news said would be here about then. Turns out it got here -oh - about NOW (4:30 am). Why was I waiting on rain, you ask? Because The Toddler does not lika da thunder and he often awakens. And since I had to pee at 12:30, I though "Well, hey, this is good timing. I'll just stay awake for a few minutes and wait for him to wake up scared and them rock him back to sleep." Turns out that logic was notsogood, as the storm ran to the north of us and the little bastard slept right through it. So here I am. Rock you like a hurricaaaane. (For those of you who don;t get the bad 80's music reference, just stop reading. I no longer like you.)

I had the most delicious thing ever today and if you ever get a chance, I hope you try one. (This beats even the deep fried Twinkie I told you about a few weeks ago.) It was an apple cider slushee. It was like ingesting autumn. Particularly enticing since Fall is my favorite season and it was about 85 degrees today. I am soooooo ready for sweater season and football weather and done with summer. To be honest, I am usually done with summer after the first 90 degree day. I hate being hot. Back to the slushee. You will never, ever convince me that apple cider and apple juice are the same thing. Cider is something special and tangy and crisp and this was frozen into something think and frozen and especially delicious that you almost needed a spoon to remove it from your cup. I am going to have a difficult time not going back tomorrow to get another one. And the day after that. I would say I would like to bathe in it, but there are some parts that just should NOT be that cold.

I am finding that we have become increasingly busy lately and I wonder what that is about. With me stepping up my duties with Sisterhood and Osi involved with Brotherhood and the High Holy Days coming up, that could be part of it. Football season is another part of it. I guess we've also made more of an effort to expand our circle of friends. For a while, it seemed like we were the only people hosting things and it got really old. I think I may have posted about that. Since that post we've broadened our social circle a bit to include friends from temple and Osi's work and it's really nice to actually get invited places. So I guess that sums it up. It's only a week into September and our October calendar is already a mess.

Which brings us to the real point of this post. The Cousin was after me to update. She is bored at work and apparently I am her long distance amusement. Like a dancing bear at a circus, only better :) Also, the Cousin would like to come to Bexley for a weekend in October. We are hoping to make that work. But you better be prepared to have the goings-on end up as fodder for the blog, baby!