Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

1:30 p.m: Sugar consumption has barely commenced and already, a tearful Sophie has come pleading and sobbing to me with the request that I help her find the detachable cat tail for her costume. Apparently, she was using it to flog Jack, and now it's gone missing. I told her it was karmic retribution. She looked at me funny and said, "no! It's my pink. cat. tail!"

Jack has succeeded in urinating on the collar of his monkey suit. I cleaned it up, despite my inkling that it might actually lend more authenticity to the overall costume effect.

The kids brought small bags of candy home from school; thank goodness, because if they hadn't loaded up on crap at school (although Sophie DID score one pencil,) we wouldn't have enough Laffy Taffy to re-grout the upstairs bathroom floor.

There is a family in my town that routinely hands out religious literature to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. I would really like to counter their persuasive methods by handing out condoms and mini ouija boards, but I didn't have the time to fashion enough boards, this year.

For some time I've been of the opinion that the worst aspect of Halloween is brats running amok in the wee hours of the night, stealing and smashing pumpkins. One year when I was about ten, I hid in my parent's car in their driveway in an attempt to bust the perps. I brought our Casio keyboard with me, and had rehearsed a series of notes that I felt sufficiently simulated the sound of a police siren. I lay in wait, ensconced in the shadows of the upholstered seats, adrenaline pumping, quivering with vengeful anticipation, for about twenty minutes. Then I got bored with the whole idea and went in the house.

Well, I'm off to fornicate with dwarves and castrate baby deer, or whatever we heathens are supposed to do in honor of the "dark forces" of Halloween. (Actually, I was leaning toward cooking some frozen ravioli and finding my "nice butt" pants, but we'll see what the afternoon brings.)

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

There's Paw-lenty to talk about!

In light of his recent shift in stance on state support for the much anticipated Essar steel mill, "some people" are discussing the possibility that our sterling governor is posturing for a spot as a Veep nominee. His forceful, masculine assertions condemning Essar's purported ties to Iran represent the kind of characteristics we Americans want in a Vice President: an aggressive, idiotic, warmongering fascist chest-thumper. Apparently we seek much the same in a president, as well.

I'm going to go out on a proverbial limb here and suggest a Republican Superteam for the right: Thompson/ Pawlenty.

Thompson is reknowned for his frankenstein-ish poise and ability to speak without actually SAYING anything. Pawlenty is well-versed on the art of renaming things and portraying them as being COMPLETELY different from what their synonyms suggest (ie: "taxes" and "fees".)

I feel these gentlemen could get a lot done. Or more likely, get very little done but give the impression that they ARE getting things done, and in fact are straining SO hard to get things done that they may burst a vein or develop a mental hernia, at any moment.

In my opinion, the only thing that could stop a Superteam like Thompson/Pawlenty would be another unfortunate instance of parking lot deer intimidation. On the up-side for us progressives, if we need to stop Pawlenty from breaking a critical tie in the senate, all we'd have to do is usher in a doe, and he'd run for the hills.

I'm thinking about it, and I think it's a good idea. Thompson/Pawlenty. Let's make it happen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

24 hours, two wet floors, one wet ceiling, and a diaper pin...

Apparently, one of the characteristics of Down syndrome that medical literature fails to acknowledge is the ability to execute extensive and almost inconceivable amounts of mischievous wrongdoing.

Yesterday I left Jack upstairs at the computer, happily playing Elmo's "Keyboard-O-Rama" while I made a phone call downstairs. When I hung up the phone, I heard the ominous hissing of water running through the upstairs pipes. I ran upstairs and found Jack in the bathroom. He had turned the water to the sink on full blast, plugged the sink, and flooded the entire bathroom floor.
About an hour, two rugs, eight bath towels, and half a roll of paper towels later, I realized my bedroom ceiling was dripping. I wonder if there is a supplement to home owner's insurance that protects against unnatural acts of preschoolers...

Later in the evening, I heard Noel shrieking in the kitchen. Jack had somehow managed to explode a plastic gallon of milk that was almost entirely full, all over the kitchen floor.

I heaved a massive sigh of relief upon turning Jack in for bed. We slipped on his footy-pajamas and fastened a safety pin at the zipper (necessitated by the fact that Jack had been stripping himself and decorating his room with the contents of his diapers, in weeks past.) I went in to give the little monster a quick check sometime later, and found him asleep buck naked. He had removed the diaper pin, flung it up on top of his dresser, and removed all his clothing again. How a boy who cannot pull up his own pants or get a shoe on by himself can perform the intricate fine motor skills involved in unfastening a diaper pin is beyond my comprehension.

On a side note, Nathaniel informed me that while he could not remember the specifics of the conversation, Sophie had accurately employed the phrase, "touche, Dad" in a recent discussion with him. Yesterday she came home from school decrying the unjustness of the fact that on her "D" worksheet, the teacher made her write the letter D in pencil, then trace over it with marker.
She felt that tracing over the letters a second time was overkill and "was a waste of my time!" Clearly, public school kindergarten teachers are not aware of the time constraints and pressing matters plaguing five-year-old girls.

Noel continues to amaze me. Last night he offered to do bathroom duty with Jack, which entailed him sitting on the edge of the tub for a considerable length of time and entertaining his little brother, while waiting to see if he would pee (which most often, he doesn't.) He also used his own money to buy Sophie a toy from the school store, helped her clean her room, and expounded at length upon how "cute and adorable" his teacher's preschool-age daughter is and how much he wants to "just hug her!" I don't know how he's become such a good human being, but I hope it's an enduring trait. If his predominant accomplishment in life is his own profound sense of humanity, I will be infinitely proud of him.

Friday, October 12, 2007

And so the thermostat war begins...

In his ongoing efforts to bring about my premature demise, Nathaniel is already circumventing my attempts to maintain an indoor temperature that is not conducive to bouts of shivering that resemble minor seizures.

At one point some winters ago, he actually installed a second thermostat in our basement, hooked the furnace up to it, and didn't tell me. I went moderately crazy trying to figure out why I had the temperature upstairs set at 72 and it wouldn't go above 65. Eventually, I called my Dad and he hooked the upstairs thermostat back up (being rather perplexed at why we had a second thermostat hidden in the basement rafters.) When my husband walked in the front door as my Dad was leaving, Dad suddenly stopped, looked at my husband and said, "ohhh.... shit... sorry," (or something to that effect) as the whole situation suddenly made sense.

I have threatened to bust out my electric blanket, hoping that the prospect of its abhorrent radiant heat would provide me a sufficient degree of leverage in our temperature-control negotiations. If that fails, I may have to resort to the pitiful "oops. forget to wash any of your underwear. again." tactic.

I know that there is no God, because if there were, he/she/it would have seen to it that people like my husband maintain a low-grade fever through the winter in order to offset their ridiculous temperature preferences and spare their spouses the cruel and inhuman suffering of frigid limbs and clammy long-underwear back sweat.

On another note, I have been giving some amount of thought to the upcoming election year, specifically regarding the logistics of campaign yard signs. At our former residence, my self-described "Republican" husband and I could easily divide the front yard, since a walkway ran straight up the middle. At our new location, however, we are situated in such a manner that there is no clear division of yard space, and not all areas are equally visible.

I'm thinking about calling dibs on the front yard space and allocating him the area behind the six-foot hedge. It would be a lot less embarrassing. Last time around, he got the side of the yard next to the driveway. That was *unfortunate*, because I'm just so darn bad about pulling into the driveway and "accidentally" running over signs.

I wonder if I could come up with a satisfactory explanation for "accidentally" driving up a four or five foot embankment and taking out a sign?

Well, stranger things have happened.

Monday, October 1, 2007

The horse sense of Sophie.

With Jack and Noel gone all day at school, I had the distinct privilege of engaging at length in conversation with my favorite five-year-old gal. Driving home from the store having procured juice and frozen waffles, the following conversation occurred:

Sophie: On Drake and Josh, Drake finally found out that his girlfriend likes to eat horse meat.
Me: Hmmm.
Sophie: I don't know why somebody eats horse meat; that's not my thing.
Me: It's not my thing, either. I don't even know where you could buy horse meat.
Sophie: Maybe you could buy it at the Chinese restaurant. Maybe emperors eat it, or people who live in RV's because they don't have a house.
Me: People who live in RV's eat horse meat?
Sophie: Sometimes they do.

Later on, Sophie gave me some insight on her own personal journey.

"You know when I knew I was strong? When I thought I could lift a chair, and I COULD. That's when I knew I was a strong girl."

and some insight on geography and culture:

"Chinese is really far away. They eat with chalksticks there. I ate with chalksticks, once. They should just make spoons, in Chinese. They could eat lots more."