- Had a new mommy friend over for a playdate this morning. Made scones; they burned. Ran late; the house was a mess. Tried to talk to her; MJ tortured me the entire time, begging me to read her a book and screaming lustily when I wouldn’t. For the record: I read her, on average, twenty books a day. Often it is the same book six or seven times. I act these books out. I use accents. I exclaim over pictures! I answer questions! I comfort her when she becomes irrationally afraid of, say, the word “zoom.” I am not, in short, a book-reading miser mom! I just wanted to talk to a grown-up about something other than bears, dogs, or ladybugs for ten minutes! Is that really so much to ask?
- Having a new friend over also entails the dreaded house tour. Out come the self-conscious explanations, the we-wanted-to-fix-this-but-we-ran-out-of-money, the pathetic apologies for our “ghetto” appliances, the “someday we’ll rip all of this out,” and, finally, the falsely cheerful “well, at least it was cheap, right?” After these house tours, (when the recipient has rushed home to weep with gratitude for what they have), I invariably fall into a vast depression.
- Took out a brand new Mr. Clean Magic Eraser this morning. Total dud. It didn’t erase (magically or otherwise) anything! I would’ve done better using a pencil eraser. Or my own spit. What happened? The last time I used one I was shocked by its efficacy. This morning, not so much. Another idol falls. More depression.
- Mina reeks of skunk. Thus, so does the house.
- Speaking of which, Mina’s collar was ruined in the skunk incident. This week I dragged MJ to Petco to get her a new one. I did not order online. I “supported my local business,” (she said with heavy irony). But, when we got there, Petco had virtually no collars. I called over a sales associate. “Oh, bad timing” he told me. “We just got in a huge shipment. They’ll all be out later today. We’re really down to the dregs, aren’t we?” Then he walked away. “Why yes,” I almost screamed, as I restrained myself from lassoing and then choking the guy with a nearby leash — “you really are! I am going to have to buy a pink studded Elmo collar if I want to leave here with anything at all today! And, by the way, do you have kids? Because in case you didn’t know, driving to a mall in Glendale with your two-year-old — who incidentally just had a blood draw for a routine lead test that she’ll probably fail, but which I got her through by promising we’d come here after and buy a red collar for our dog — is a huge pain in the ass. And if you think I’m coming back later after your ‘big shipment’ is unpacked then I think you’ve been smoking too much of that catnip you’re probably also out of!” Anyway. We left there with something tolerable — it had weird plastic details on it, so it was on sale. Nine dollars. When we got it home it didn’t fit. I had already cut the tags off. I had to toss it. This morning I ordered a new one on the website. Which of course had everything.
- My favorite cardigan was also ruined in the skunk incident. This loss brought on a spell of grief one might think disproportionate to the event. But a good cardigan is hard to find. And it is a key piece of equipment for one such as myself. Doctors have their lab coats, ballerinas their tutus, death, his robe and scythe — and stay-at-home moms have their cardigans. This one was the perfect weight, color and design. Nice enough to wear to a birthday party, casual enough to sit on at an impromptu picnic, long enough to cover my ass when I wore low-waisted jeans. And with pockets! Pockets that held, at various times, bottles, teething toys, crackers, trash found in the sandbox, socks, half-eaten apples, and many, many flowers. Said pockets also often held my cell phone and ipod touch. Which brings me to:
- Yesterday, having no cardigan and therefore no appropriate pockets to keep it in, I shoved my ipod touch in the back pocket of my jeans. A little while later I sat down at a low picnic table to help MJ with something. I felt, rather than heard, the sickly, glassy crunch of its screen being totally destroyed.
- Finally, I had pretty much settled on a preschool for MJ. Great relief and rejoicing. Then this morning I heard — from my new mommy friend, in fact — that there was an incident there a couple of years ago involving a parent who gave kids wedgies. WTF? My mind raced. Is the parent still there? Should I ask? Or just flee and send MJ to her “safety school?” Which is apparently — I also learned this week — in danger of being shut down? Or the other school we like, which is lovely but so expensive that we will never, ever, be able to afford to replace an ipod, an appliance, a skunked collar, or anything else in this house again? I really don’t know the answer. But my kid’s future depends on it. More, and greater depression.
- Wedgies? Really?