Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How the Spider Almost Killed Us- Part 2

Having been subjected to the agitated nerves of my husband for a too-long period of time, I noticed my own nerves were becoming a little frayed. I didn’t mind the company of the spider when I knew exactly where it was, but for some moments I failed to be able to locate its position and that made me a little uneasy. Now that neither of us had the intruder in our sights Sean’s agitation grew to a feverish pitch and he began flailing about in his seat while firmly gripping the steering wheel betwixt his hands. “Thrash around really fast! Thrash around hard! If it’s on you it’ll get squished! COME ON!”

As nicely as I could I informed him that I would not be giving myself whiplash on account of a bug, and that if he didn’t calm himself and focus on not killing us all I was liable to commence shouting. Although highly offended at my lack of respect for his orders, he settled down enough to regain control of the car and his senses and I went back to the task of locating our missing friend. During this time my left bum cheek began to get a tad bit numb, as I had rolled all of my weight onto it in an unconscious attempt to lean away from the spider’s last known location.

At long last the spider’s whereabouts were once again known to us. Earlier in our voyage I had determined not to smoosh the spider because I did not want it falling from its perch on the windshield into my lap or my hair while in the throes of death. But that was a good twelve minutes previous and our health and well-being did not seem to be in such jeopardy then as they were now, what with all of the reckless nighttime driving and the delicate drizzling rain that was now glossifying the roadway and rendering our trip even more treacherous.

I kept a close eye on the spider while I riffled through the glove compartment in search of a napkin to smother it with. I made sure that my aim was good and true and I smote the spider with my mighty napkin against the windowpane. My victory was short lived. I was now belted to my seat with my right arm stuck straight out in front of me and holding a folded napkin against the windshield. If I moved my arm the spider was likely to fall amongst my hairs where it would stay, impervious to washing, until its body completed the cycle of decay. This would never do.

After some deliberation I thought that my best strategy would be to slowly slide the napkin down until it hovered above the dashboard. Then I could gently pull the napkin away from the glass and the spider carcass would fall harmlessly onto the console. My body tried to slink away from my hand as the napkin squeaked its way down the glass. Down, down, down, until I could finally pull my hand away from the window. Ever so gingerly I retracted my arm back toward my body. I looked into the napkin. There was nothing there.

Great. I glanced back at the windshield and tried to tune out the screeching coming from the opposing seat. There was definitely some spider guts glistening in the moonlight up there. If the thing wasn’t dead yet it would be soon, and in its current state the spider couldn’t possibly do much harm.

The banshee in the driver’s seat was at it again, “It’s still alive! It’s still alive! I think it’s crawling on meeeeeeee!” “Listen, you,” I replied, “if its gutless body is around here somewhere it is most likely on me!” to which I received a long diatribe on the correct method for killing spiders and that inept people like me should not be allowed to kill them. Even it its death that stupid spider was a force to be feared and reckoned with.

We arrived home at long last. The car was parked, the engine turned off, and I opened my car door. As I exited the vehicle the small body of a dying spider tucked in its legs and rolled off of my lap onto the seat I had just occupied. It was on me after all. And my husband, all six-foot-two-inches of him, started shrieking again and yelping directives on how to properly dispose of the mostly-dead spider. Using the napkin of almost-death he plucked the spider from the seat, squished it firmly in his hand, and placed the napkin into his pocket.

A short time later, when Sean put his hand into his pocket, he suddenly remembered that the dead spider and its napkin style coffin were still there. He immediately began the ants-in-my-pants dance with a few shouts and screams thrown in. He jiggled his way over to the garbage can where the scary spider was finally laid to rest. I was never so glad to be rid of a spider in my life. Except for that one time a giant man-eating spider found its way into the entertainment unit. I was pretty glad to be rid of that one too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

How the Spider Almost Killed Us- Part 1

It has been hypothesized that perhaps some fatal car accidents are the result of creepy crawly insects. A person is driving along, hopefully obeying the rules of the road, hopefully not straying too far from the posted speed limit, when a spider is spotted somewhere inside the vehicle scurrying along, its eight legs carrying it closer and closer to the driver of the vehicle.

A part of me has always thought that this, although potentially a good theory, could only apply to those people who have a morbid fear of arachnids that sends them into an immediate state of mind numbing, paralyzing panic and possibly even a coma. Boy was I wrong.

My husband has an interesting relationship with all things buggy, as I shared here. He doesn’t seem to mind them when he is out of doors, but when in a confined space with insects and spiders his mind begins to plays tricks on him and he begins to have fits.

About ten seconds into our fifteen-minute drive home from church on Saturday night, Sean pointed a tremulous finger toward our windshield and demanded, “Is that inside?” I stared through the darkness and concentrated on the city bus in front of us toward which I thought he pointed and tried to make sense of the question. “Is that inside? I think it is! It’s inside!” he declared in a voice that was clearly agitated and full of fear. “Don’t you see it? Right there! Are you blind?”

I don’t appreciate being shouted at. So I fixed him with a glare that was wasted in the shadows of night, told him that I could make no sense of his gibbering, and said that when his powers of communication returned I would be more than happy to listen to his troubles. He made a noise I had never heard before, something between a yelp and a groan, and finally made me understand that we were trapped in a moving vehicle at the mercy of a roving spider.

How he saw the thing in the first place, I’ll never know. It was light brown in color with a leg span that could only have straddled a dime. Perhaps my husband is possessed of x-ray vision or something; that would explain the sly grins he sometimes gives me when I am covered head to toe in a sweat suit. At any rate, once his eyes caught sight of that spider they weren’t letting it go.

Unfortunately, following the weaving path of a spider and attempting to operate a motor vehicle at the same time is not easy. Or safe. Sean was so busy squirming from the touch of imaginary spiders and shrieking, “Do you see it? Do you see it? Where’d it go?” that the fact that the car didn’t go careening off of the side of the road is a miracle. It really is.

The eight-legged beast would occasionally wander over to my side of the windshield. When my husband received news that his adversary had traversed away from him he would sigh audibly, “Oh, okay.” As if to say that the world was a shinier, happier place now that his wife would be receiving the death-bite in his place. He can be so sweet sometimes.

I’ll put a stop to this nonsense, I thought to myself. I clutched the church bulletin in my hand and resolved to nudge the spider out of the window with it. I had maintained the hope that once close enough to the open window the spider would be whisked away on the wind, never to be seen or heard from again. Much to my chagrin, instead of being sucked out of the vehicle into oblivion, the wind blew the spider back into the car.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Power of "Uh-Oh"

Learning new words and phrases is fun. Especially when you get to facilitate saying them by performing some sort of function. “Uh-oh,” is especially enjoyable. It means that you can throw food on the floor, configure your face into a look of innocence and eradicate your guilt by saying “uh-oh.” Just think of all the possibilities that open up to the person who can say, “Uh-oh” and bat their eyelashes at the same time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Destruction is My Middle Name

Destructo Baby has struck again. That little girl of mine is like a one person wrecking machine. When I think back and try to remember something that my son has broken, I come up blank. I can recall lots of things that my husband has broken though, and I am beginning to wonder if the baby has come by it honestly enough. Perhaps there is a chromosome that dictates clumsiness or a strong liking to hear things smash.

This past week my baby broke the glass in my only tabletop frame, and has obliterated two of my fondue/dipping dishes. I had two sets of four dipping dishes, now I have two sets of three; the least she could have done was to break two dishes from the same set, leaving me with one complete set.

I have tried to interest the child in plastic dishes and Tupperware containers to no avail. It would seem that although she is a bit of a monkey, she remains a little girl in that place that likes pretty things. She continued to go back to the cupboard that housed those baby-sized dishes that seemed just her size.

It would have behooved me to move these items when she showed such a relentless interest in them. Having such a small amount of cabinet space as I have, the task overwhelmed me and I settled myself into the knowledge that I would have to keep a watchful eye and reprimand as I saw fit.

Or maybe it was just laziness that kept me from doing a bit of rearranging in the kitchen. After all, my son has lived three years so far without smashing anything beyond its potential to be used. The death of that second dish cured me of my laziness though. Where once rested two small serving bowls and eight dipping plates there is now a handful of travel mugs. These are much harder to destroy and are not as tempting to the eyes and hands of a baby bent on destruction.

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Mom is Way Cool

After my last post, I wanted to clarify that I do not have an evil-stepmother-ish sort of mommy. She is so great, in fact, that I don’t remember ever once thinking that she was so horrible that she deserved my loathing, even when I was a rotten teenager. She’s swell.

During my first semester of college I had to write a paper for English 101 that described someone whom I admired. Most of the other students probably wrote about Abe Lincoln or Eminem, I wrote about my Mommy. After my husband asked me to be his wife, I asked my Mom to be my matron of honor. Now that I'm a mom, my kids have the best Nana in the world. She’s amazing.

She’s so smart that she practically knows everything; that’s why I call her at least a half a dozen times a day. Okay, I don’t call her six times every day, but some days I do. I call her because I need to know things like: why won’t the kids share their toys, what should I do for a constipated baby, and will my husband ever put his dirty socks in the hamper? She’s remarkable.

I also call her because I feel the need to whine. I do that often. The poor woman sacrificed dedicated years of her life to giving my three younger sisters and me a quality homeschool education, and all she got in return was four children who whined about science work and practically threatened mutiny if made to learn math. At least the whining I do now is a new and wonderful kind of whining, the kind where I’m whining to her instead of at her. That has to count for something. She’s fantastic.

I am quite sure that during the time I spent in her household she was only cruel to me when she forced me to go to bed with a wet head or when she made me do something else I didn’t want to. I learned a lot about child slave labor from her and am looking forward to the day when my own children are old enough to scrub the kitchen floor, dust the entire house, and fan me whilst I read. I’m sure after that they’ll think I’m swell, amazing, remarkable, and fantastic too.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

I Never Claimed to be Normal

The weather in this part of the country is starting to cool down, especially in the evenings and early morning. The smell of fall is in the air, the promise of the holiday season just around the corner. Leaves are beginning to think about changing their colors, and musty sweaters and jackets are finding their way into the wash.

Since I have already made fun of my husband this week, I thought it only fair to share about one of my weird quirks. I hate wet hair. I don’t like when it touches my neck. When I was a little girl my mean mother would make me take my bath at night. I wanted to take my bath in the morning because then I wouldn’t have to go to bed with a wet head. But, alas, she was cruel that way and I was forced to continue my pre-bed baths.

So I would lie there in my bed with my long hair pulled away from my neck and draped across my pillow. I had to lie flat on my back or the hair would shift from its position and touch me. It was horrible. My hair follicles are the type that retains water like the humps on a camel. Seriously. Hairdressers have complained. If I were to shower immediately before becoming lost in the woods I could probably suck water from my tresses and stay hydrated for days.

I’m well on my way to being a real grown-up person, but I haven’t outgrown the shudder that comes of damp tresses touching bare skin. During the hot summer months this phobia is greatly alleviated, as the need for relief from the heat is greater. Now that the air is beginning to cool the creepy-crawlies are definitely back.

Our primary bathroom is on the first floor of our home in a small section that was added onto the house at some point. The walls are a little thinner than in the rest of the house and there doesn’t seem to be any insulation in them. I think that there must be tiny invisible cracks that allow the cool air to snake its way through the wall and make the bathroom feel cooler than it should. The cold air skates across the toilet seat leaving the porcelain icy from its presence and surprising early morning visitors with a frigid kiss. All of this cold air causes some definite problems with shower-induced wet head.

No matter what time of year, or the temperature of the air, the one thing that I absolutely cannot stand is when another person touches my wet hair. It makes me shudder just to think about it. Knowing this, my husband takes great pleasure in trying to hug me and pet my head when it is wet. This makes me so upset that I often become incensed and feel the sudden and all encompassing need to cry and sometimes shout. I don’t know why, so please don’t ask.

It’s just another of those weirdnesses that don’t make sense to other people. Like the need for the toe ridge of the top of one’s socks to be lined up perfectly so that it doesn’t rub along the side of one’s foot while inside of a shoe. That sort of a thing could make a person break down in the middle of a crowded mall or even in church.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Has Anyone Seen My (fill in the blank)...?

My daughter is a trash monger. She delights in dragging food wrappers and coffee grinds from the depths of the can. I have noticed that certain items belonging to her that I had recently seen in her possession are finding their way into the trash. Yesterday I had to remove her socks from amongst the cucumber peels no less than two times. I fear that I may lose items important to me, such as bills and books, to the city dump.

When she became tired of hearing “no touch,” she would take a break from that bit of mischief to toss handfuls of cat food around the kitchen floor so that her brother could frolic through the piles, like so many rain puddles, and spatter it to even father reaches of the kitchen, i.e. under the stove and refrigerator where it will rot for months until Mommy feels the urge to pull the appliances out from the wall in order to vacuum underneath them.

This morning she uncovered a hidden ant trap. To her credit, she picked it up and toddled across the room with it and handed it over to me instead of procuring tools and attempting to open it up to see what was inside. I was also very thankful the other day that she had enough sense to throw one of her own books into the toilet instead of a book that belongs to the library. Mothers must be grateful for these sorts of things.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hold the Water, Waiter.

My husband hates ordering water when we go out to a restaurant to eat. It is not often that we get to indulge by letting someone else cook for us, bring us our food while we lounge, and then clean up afterwards. It occurs to me that I should change all of that “us” and “we” to simply “me,” as my husband generally has a staff cook, waitress, and cleaning slave who are all known by the name of Me. At any rate, he and I, a.k.a. Me, snookered Nana into entertaining the little munchkins for the day so that we could go on a date and have a whiff of what it was like to be single again.

I suppose I must explain the use of the world “single” in this context. I don’t mean that we wanted to experience life before we got hitched; it’s just that I have this awful propensity for referring to our pre-baby days as “do you remember when we were single and we could just hop in the car and go to a movie?” Some may think that a bit odd, but before we had children we were a “single couple”, if such a thing is possible in a grammatical sort of way. I don’t much care if it is or not- that’s just how it was.

Since we unfortunately don’t have the budget to blow forty dollars on a semi-gourmet lunch, we generally find ourselves at a local Olive Garden where we can spend $15.63, including tax and tip, and actually feel full when we leave the restaurant. If a person spends that amount at most eateries they usually still have a gnawing feeling somewhere in the region of the stomach that typically alludes to hunger, as they were only served sixteen crumbs in the shape of a sandwich and two ounces of water colored to resemble soup. The reason that a person can spend $15.63 at the Olive Garden and actually feel the need to throw up afterwards is that this bill procures for the spendee the right to as much soup, salad, and bread as they would like.

My husband hates ordering water when we go out to a restaurant to eat. He says it makes him feel like a cheapskate. It seems that he would much rather pay a ridiculous amount of money, like $2.19, for a tall glass of soda. (It must be said that he tends to drink no less than half-a-dozen glasses, so he does get his money’s worth). On this occasion, however, he settled for the free glass of water so as to be able to spend a couple dollars later in the day.

To a certain extent I can understand why he would feel that the healthier selection of water makes him appear too frugal. But the actions following the act of ordering his drink and making his soup selection are what I feel contradict his outlook on cheapskatedness and otherwise cause me to laugh and shake my head until I become rather dizzy.

To put it lightly, my husband is that person who, when seen entering an all-you-can-eat buffet, elicits cries of “Oh, no! Lock the doors! Bar the windows!” from the owner of the establishment for fear of being eaten into bankruptcy. The man feels bad about drinking a free beverage, but has no qualms about consuming so much salad, multiple (large) bowls of soup, and so many breadsticks that I lost count, that by the time he is sufficiently bloated and incapacitated he has whittled the price of each helping down to mere pennies. This I don’t understand.

He managed to keep a lid of the ensuing nausea, and I didn’t vomit at the thought of so much food being ingested in the matter of one hour. I just didn’t think about it. I was separated from my babies for a full eight hours, and have not found myself in need of therapy. My husband and I only got on each other’s nerves a handful of times. I didn’t have to wipe any rear ends or tell any one to stop jumping on the couch. Nobody went swimming in the cat’s water dish. Nor did anyone have to be punished for biting, pushing, yelling, grabbing, screaming, throwing food on the floor, or dropping toys down the stairs. I wouldn’t want to be that bored every day, but it’s nice to have a date every once in a while.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Beware the Evil Nap Monster

There is such a thing as an evil nap. A very, very bad nap that does more harm than it does good. That such a thing could exist in the world is only further evidence of the fall of man and our need for a loving God.

An afternoon spent at Nana’s house often results in the havers-of-good-times falling into an immediate coma upon exiting Nana’s driveway. There is always a certain amount of danger in a toddler or small child falling asleep during the hours approaching dinner; namely, they may sleep too long and miss the call for bedtime.

This is all very tricky for multiple reasons. One reason being that the silence produced by two children sleeping simultaneously is a bit of a drug for dear old mum. There is no one shouting, demanding anything, or otherwise climbing all over her. She may do as she likes so long as she doesn’t depart the premises and abandon the children to whatever mischief they may find upon awakening. Another reason that causes this whole dilemma to be a bit difficult is that certain children cannot be made to stir once they have made up their mind to nap. No amount of shaking, shouting, bribing, or dousing with water can make these children arise from the sleep of the inert.

So, whether it be due to reason number one or reason number two (or some other reason that has not afore been mentioned), certain small children were allowed to slumber at hours improper to be slumbered upon. Mommy permitted herself to take some small pleasure in this napping, although she knew only too well that she might be made to pay a great price for it later.

Then bedtime rolled around, as bedtime is wont to do. Daddy was defeated and gave into sleep. Mommy, ever the one to pay the price to the evil nap monster, became weary. Her tired and bloodshot eyes watched as the clock ticked and tocked its way farther and farther from the hour in which all respectable children are tucked into bed with their blanket pulled up to their chin, and their sweet little eyes closed to watch their dreams. Dreamy…dreams…sleep…

Now, where was I? Oh yes.

So the hour to bed came and went, and it seemed that the hour for waking was coming closer and closer, and still the children refused sleep. There was some crying and some whining. The light in their room was turned on, the books rifled through, the stuffed animals tossed about. Food and drink were requested. The baby held a concert.

And daddy lay in his bed, his chest rising and falling with the stupor of his sleep. And mommy punched herself in the nose for ever allowing the evil nap to take place at all. Then mommy almost punched daddy in the nose; for there is nothing worse to a person who wants to be asleep than a person already is.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Pile of What?

I love my best friend, Allison, for lots of reasons; not the least of which is that she says things like: “Let’s do tea” and “Is that a pile of glistening ants?” Now, I am sure that there are plenty of best friends who say, “Let’s do tea.” Excepting they don’t like tea, of course. But I challenge anyone to recall a time when any one they know has said, “Is that a pile of glistening ants?”

Having had our tea, my girlfriend and I charged my husband with the care of the children in order to take a turn around the beautiful city cemetery whose entrance lies but a few blocks from my home. The cemetery is old; it spans numerous city blocks and boasts old trees and winding paths.

It is a good place to thrash out such things as the remedy for world hunger, the cure for cancer, and how to bring about world peace, although we generally content ourselves with finding a remedy for the price of ground beef, the cure for the common husband, and how to bring about peace in our own homes. That sort of thing.

We took a couple of turns round, paused to watch a herd of deer consuming some of the foliage, and determined that it was time to proceed homeward. As we stepped upon the curb of the last block before home, my darling friend happened to look down upon what, at first glance, appeared to her to be a heap of shimmering ants.

I have never before heard the adjective “glistening” applied to ants, or any other type of insect for that matter. Sometimes when I hear adjectives and pronouns mixed in unexpected ways it makes me giggle. On this particular day I began to giggle rather uncontrollably while I staggered about on the sidewalk. I was much too giddy to inspect this phenomenon, what with the tears from my laughter obscuring my vision. It’s a lucky thing that I didn’t fall over.

Unsure of what would cause a group of insects to glisten, other than a tough aerobic workout or communal shower, my friend took a closer look. It would seem that what she had first thought to be a pile o’ ants was, in actuality, simply a child’s hair tie. And that is why I love her so much. I’m quite sure that I don’t know anyone else who would mistake an every day object for something completely outlandish like a pile of glistening ants.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Golden Sound-Proof Blanket

Last evening the baby was serenading us with her nightly scream/screech fest. She is one of those shriekers that cause the listeners ears to bleed and their eyes to roll about the inside of the head as she achieves a pitch previously unknown to mankind. Most nights her brother can tolerate this relatively well even though they share a room. On this particular occasion when I stepped into their room to check up, since the baby still carried on, my three-year-old son was lying in his bed with his covers pulled up over his head. I presume he did so to get some relief from the noise and had fallen fast asleep.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Name's Parker, Peter Parker

A funny thing happened on the way to the park. Except I didn’t go to the park. It just doesn’t sound as good to say, “A funny thing happened to me on the way through the kitchen today.” That statement, however, would be closer to the truth.

As I strode through my kitchen earlier today, I plucked my eyeglasses from the countertop with the intention of balancing them on the bridge of my nose in order to see the things around me a little clearer. Being nearsighted I do not always need them around the house, as I have no trouble viewing objects nearer to me. It must be said that I still find it easier to navigate my way through the obstacle course on my floor, what with all of the toy trucks and dinosaurs laying about in wait to gouge my tender tootsies, when I can see a few feet in front of me and plan my path.

So, as I said at the beginning of the last paragraph, I removed my eyeglasses from the countertop where they were doing me no service, and positioned them in front of my eyeballs.

That’s odd, I thought to myself, was I seeing better without them?

I took them off and held them up to the light to determine whether they were bleary.

Nope, they look all right.

I slid them up the bridge of my nose and looked about the room again.

Hmmm…that is strange.

This had me perplexed. I felt very much like Peter Parker after he had been bitten by the spider and realized that he didn’t need his glasses anymore; aside from the fact that he also grew some mad biceps and was suddenly able to spin a web and climb up the face of buildings. My biceps weren’t growing any larger and I didn’t feel any super-powers coursing through my veins, so I concluded that there must be a more logical explanation for my current conundrum. Something much less exciting, more boring and ordinary.

Choosing an object with which to test my eyesight, I gazed upon it and slowly raised and lowered my glasses. It seemed to me that I could indeed see better without them. I picked an object further away and tried again. My eyes failed this experiment although I noted that I could not see as well as I ought with the glasses on either.

I rubbed my eyes. Not long before, I had inhaled some fluid down the wrong tube and it caused my eyes to water from the force of my coughing. It was possible that my damp lashes were smearing my lenses. I wiped my eyes. No change. Should I call my mother? Should I ask God if He had decided to fix my eyes even though I didn’t look upon this particular weakness with dismay, as it wasn’t all that troublesome. (Granted one does get tired of baby fingerprints being imprinted upon everything one looks at.) What is a person do in these situations?

Well, I decided the least dramatic thing to do would be to wash the lenses, just in case they held some invisible grime, and try again. I walked to the sink, squirted some soap onto my thumb and index finger, and brought them together over my right lens. Or where my right lens should be.

My mind rewound to the scene a few moments earlier when, reaching for something behind them on the counter, my son had knocked my eyeglasses to the floor. I hadn’t thought anything of it; just picked them up and put them back where they were.

That explained a lot. Peering through only one lens has the tendency to make a person’s eyesight go wacky and make them think that maybe they’re the next Spider-Man. I felt like a dope. Truly. It was with much relief that I located the missing lens and replaced it into its assigned socket. Sigh. And I thought that by nightfall I might be leaping from rooftops and suspending the children from opposite sides of the room by thick homespun Spidey silk.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Respect the Pepper

I had a near death experience yesterday. Yes, I do believe I almost died. There I was, stripping the seeds from a jalapeno pepper, minding my own business and making some yummy fresh salsa. Having done this plenty of times in the past I was trucking along all the while attempting to keep the children from getting too close to the vicious oils of the hot pepper.

It wasn’t until about thirty minutes later that the burn started. When I say burn, I mean the sensation of being cooked alive in boiling hot oil, turned on a spit over hot coals, and then having one’s hands ironed to get the wrinkles out.

I could see the burn spreading across my hand. It started in between my fingers and slowly worked its way toward the back of my hand. I doused my hands in cool water and scrubbed them with soap for the tenth time (I’m a little OCD when it comes to washing the pepper oils from my hands). It didn’t help.

A paste was made from baking soda and water and I squished it through my fingers and let it permeate my skin. It felt great for about one minute and then the burning came back with a vengeance. Thus commenced the long search for something, anything, that would relieve the agonizing death-throes that were pulsating through my body.

I tried soaking them in lemon juice, white distilled vinegar, yogurt, rubbing alcohol. I sprayed them with Dermoplast and coated them in aloe infused with Lidocaine. I even sunk so low as to soak them in milk. Nothing helped and as the night wore on the burn spread and worsened.

In desperation I swallowed three Tylenol. It was suggested that I take Benadryl. I took two. I cannot ever remember medicating with Benadryl. It made me very sleepy; and then when I went to sleep it made me wake up. I don’t drink alcohol, but if we kept it in the house I am convinced that I would have made a slobbering drunk out of myself to dull the pain in my flaming hands. It was that bad.

The only thing that would offer any lasting relief was to clasp an ice pack in both of my hands like the dear treasure it was. The whole experience got me wondering. Of all the times I have handled hot peppers in the past I had never had an issue like this before. I suddenly realized that this time I had stripped the seeds from the pepper with my fingers instead of using a knife to do so. This is a monumentally idiotic- and painful- thing to do.

Upon awakening this morning the searing pain in my hands was gone. The incident that should be so fresh in my mind is already fading, as experiences accompanied by large amounts of pain are wont to do. I should have liked to write about all of this last evening before the event was handed over to my treacherous memory, but a person would have had to pry the ice pack from my cold and lifeless hands, as I would not put it down willingly, even to write.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Slimy Fluid of Doom

On Tuesday I shared some slightly irrational fears. On Wednesday Big Brother came down with a raging cold and Little Sister exhibited signs of a seriously clogged colon. The latter came out okay, but every time the little man sneezed ropes of snot flew every which and where; he had a fever and runny eyeballs. My nasal spray is pretty much gone and my ears still pain me from time to time. The baby either gets kicks out of watching my eyes dilate from anxiety or she still has some discomfort in her ears as well because she has really been at them again.

This morning my baby girl is showing signs of congestion, and her skin is warm to the touch. I’m pooped from lack of sleep the last two nights: I had to heed cries of “need a tissue!” and wipe the little man’s nose about every thirty minutes. This is becoming somewhat of a challenge since his nose is already chapped. I don’t believe I have ever seen a nose become cracked and red in less than twelve hours before. I suppose that comes from insisting it be wiped every two-point-five seconds during the daytime hours. Needless to say, I got little else done; not much housework can be accomplished in segments lasting less than three seconds.

It’s times like these when I almost believe in jinxes. Like typing those words the other day somehow summoned all of the bacteria within a ten-mile radius and caused it to beset our home or something. Darn that Murphy and his law; if I could find him I would command my child to sneeze, blowing snot and microscopic green germs of pestilence onto Mr. Murphy. If the man were within ten yards of us I bet my son could nail him with his projectile snot rockets.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

How to Stay Well and not Break Bones, That is the Question

My husband recently started a new job. This means many things: better hours, the chance to learn a trade, increased income, and the opportunity for job satisfaction. It also means that our family will be without medical benefits for the duration of his probationary period with the new company. I have applied for interim coverage for the kids, but that won’t kick in for at least another month.

I find it all a little frightening. And I don’t respond well to fear. Every time the baby stands up in her highchair and launches herself from it I am afraid she has finally concussed, what with all of the blows she takes to the head being a crazy spider monkey. I am convinced that whenever a bump, wump, or CRASH is heard that a piece of furniture has come to life, trapping a small child beneath it, or the refrigerator has fallen on top of someone in an act of defiance for the state of its sticky shelves.

Whenever someone stumbles or face-plants on the sidewalk, or one of the kids starts pulling at their ear I see visions of our entire family in rags, destitute and living under a bridge somewhere with the flaps of our cardboard house fluttering in the arctic life-sucking wind.

If I could I would cause the cessation of eating, bathing, driving, and general movement until such a time that if an accident were to occur during any of these activities it would be covered by traditional medical benefits. The only way I can see to accomplish this goal would be for all four of us to go into spontaneous comas simultaneously.

As I said before, I don’t respond well to fear. It makes certain chemicals in my brain go a little haywire and over stimulate my imagination. Whenever these fantastical thoughts threaten to spill over into my consciousness I put the rock of prayer on the lid so they can’t get out: “Dear Lord, here we go! 1-2-3 coma!” I’m still awake though; I don’t think He’s responding to the words of my prayer so much as the spirit behind them which is, “Dear Lord, You’re doing a great job taking care of my family- keep it up!”