Thursday, March 23, 2006

When Sickies Attack...

My little one has been home all week this week with a chest cold and fever. Her little head is hot and feverish, her chest is full of gunk, coughing is agony and her little throat is sore. This means two things in my world: a) Puddin’ is sore, cranky and demanding. It doesn’t matter that I’m sick with the same bug and feel like a truck ran over my face, what matters is that I crutch my way to wherever she is; ready, willing and able to do her bidding. B) Due to her sickness, and relative crankiness etc. I’m unable to leave my home for any reason short of it bursting into flames. So, this whole week has sort of been a child imposed prison sentence, the phone and my computer remain my only methods of contact with the outside world.

I wonder who will be Prime Minister when I am finally released?? When you are a Mother, there is equivocally nothing worse in this world than your child being sick. You waver between being willing to sacrifice your left arm for the return of your child's health, and wanting to beat that same child into submission with a large stick to quiet their constant demands. So far this week, this damn chest infection has screwed up my appointments to get our eyeballs checked, and my visit to the hospital to get x-rays done!! On top of all this, I am almost positive that this lovely wee chest virus left behind an ear infection as a sweet reminder of our time together. However, despite my fatigue and general “I feel like shit” motif, I am required to wait on Puddin’ hand and foot because she has also contracted this virus. Remember those good ole’ days when Puddin’ went to school for a few hours, leaving me to general peace and harmony? I long for those days now, yet they seem so far away now...a beautiful dream I can't quite recapture...

If she’s not better by tomorrow, we are going to have to make a wee trip to the doctor. I hate to do it, especially now that “they” are warning so strongly against giving your little ones too many antibiotics. I'm beginning to realize, however, that because, other than this stupid inner ear infection, this virus cleared up for me, I may have been a titch overconfident that the same would happen for Puddin'. Unlike my flu-bug, her virus taunts us, holding back enough to give us hope that it’s clearing up, only to flare up again the next day, smiling viciously and waggling its tongue rudely. Personally, I think a round of antibiotics may be in order just to show that cheeky virus whose boss round these parts!!

My poor darling is hanging in there, lying listlessly on the couch demanding I get her cold beverages and soups. Failure to give in to these demands, or meet them in a timely fashion, results in Puddin’ throwing her body around the couch as though she’s having an epileptic fit and emitting high pitched squeaks of anger. (Squeaking being her only method of communication since losing her voice yesterday.) I, for one, am fast growing weary of being the servant; especially given I suffered all the same symptoms up to two days ago!! My only solace really, is that now I am at the tail-end of this cheeky bug, where Puddin’ is still right in the trenches with hers. This means, in all likelihood, she will remain home for the week, and I will remain her Mama for at least a couple more days.

The other day a friend of mine asked me sincerely why I looked as though I hadn’t slept in weeks. Perhaps this is, in part, due to the fact that when Puddin’ is sick, I allow her to sleep in my bed. Nothing could be more fun for the both of us. She sleeps quite peacefully whilst I get treated to slaps in the face, and little toes in the most inappropriate and painful of places. One day, I shall learn how to say “no” when I am facing demands from a runny nosed little person whom, for reasons known only to the God’s themselves, I cannot deny a damned thing to save my very soul.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Running on Empty with My Broom in Hand

Okay, did you guys fucking read that?? The woman keeps her house immaculate, while caring for a two-year old, and working from home!!!! I, on the other hand,am currently looking at empty Fruit Gushers packages and empty cigarette packages, haphazardly strewn about the desk. Laundry sits to my left in a massive pile, taunting me mercilessly. The one load of laundry that managed to get into the washing machine has now been sitting there for a total of two days. By the time I get to it, it’s going to need rewashing. My sink is full of dishes, and so is my dishwasher. I can’t turn around in this house without finding a mess…the only possible exception being the kitty litter, which I only clean daily because of the stink.

Heather, however, gracefully balances her laundry on her hip and her child on the other hip, and cheerfully throws the laundry in while her husband merrily scrubs the toilet upstairs. This, my friends, is what sets Heather Armstrong and I apart. She is able to keep her house spotless, while mine looks like the house Mr. Clean forgot. I try to clean, I really do…but something always seems to stop me. Usually, it’s the need for a cigarette. When I take a cigarette break, I sit down by the computer…and once I’ve done that, all is lost.

Heather can wash dishes while balancing Leta on her left toe. I get stuck in the hallway because the cat won’t stop grabbing my legs and crutches. Heather and John cook fabulous meals for supper, and will make more than one meal for their fussy little eater. I make one meal, it’s entitled “Kraft Dinner”; (which you can’t say isn’t a supper food because it has “dinner” in the damn title…so there!!) if my little one doesn’t want to eat it, she’s welcome to eat the bits of Lucky Charms on the floor instead. Occasionally, when I’m feeling really outrageous, I’ll make hotdogs. I don’t like to do that too terribly often though, it breeds false hope.

Heather Armstrong probably crawls into a nicely made bed with her hubby at night, and tucks in under the clean, crisp sheets. Last night, I found two Fruit Gushers and a cigarette butt in my bed. I am sorry to have to admit to you all that I consumed the Fruit Gushers, regardless of their close proximity to the cigarette butt…and my own.

Now don’t get me wrong, I adore Dooce, and Heather Armstrong is the undisputed Blogging Goddess; it’s the work ethic and organization that kills me. I am the world’s best procrastinator, and I avoid all things resembling chores with a cunning that rivals Ivana Trump. Secretly I admire and envy the organized people in this world. People that rise from their beds saying “It’s 7:00am, time to work out, have a shower, get the kids to school, and get to my yoga class before work.” I want to be them, and yet because of my disability, I make excuses not to be. Though it’s more difficult, it is possible to vacuum with crutches, providing I’m not having a bad pain day. My room could actually exist in a state of bright white cleanliness, a place where the walls are not yellowed by layers of nicotine, and the computer screen is free of cat hair and dust. These things are completely possible for me to achieve, disability or no disability.

As sad as it may be, I think I may just have to admit to myself that I was somewhat inspired by Heather’s sparkling domain. This, unfortunately, calls me to pick up a broom and mop, along with other cleaning type products and tools. Amazing as it is, I think it’s time for me to break down, pretend to grow up, and remove the mushrooms from my closet.

Bernadette and Reprogramming the Inner Computer

If my body were a computer program, today would have been the day that I removed the program in its entirety, and then reinstalled the upgraded, and therefore better version. Sadly, I am not given this option. For the last two God Damn Days I have awoken feeling as though my chest is going to collapse and my head is going to explode. I realize that this is likely only a virus, and will run its course; however coping with illness on top of a disability is about as much fun as putting your head in a bee hive to see what you can see.

One of my best friends is a nurse, and fortunately enough, she is a rational sort of person. When I get to thinking too hard about “poor me”, Bernadette is more than happy to give me an incredulous look and wrestle me to the floor. More often than not, I come to my senses somewhere between the headlock and having my face squished against the laminate flooring. Bernadette is that type of a person; she accepts no guff from anyone. In fact, some months ago after a particularly annoying day with her hubby, she informed me that there "was going to be spousal abuse going on shortly." Normally, when a woman tells you that she fears there is going to be spousal abuse going on shortly, you worry for the woman as it is a given in most circumstances that she will be the victim of said abuse. When Bernadette says such a thing, however, you feel compelled to tell her hubby to get into his car and drive for about an hour until he can re-enter the house without being made to pick up his teeth with his elbows. That, dear Internet is why I adore Bernadette so.

I think everyone should have a Bernadette in their lives. If everyone had such a person as a friend, a lot fewer people would be complaining bitterly about things they can do nothing about. Why, you ask? Because after being wrestled to the floor a couple of times, people would quickly learn not to react with such negativity. It’s a very effective form of aversion therapy.

In reality, though, Bernie keeps me honest. Because she’s a nurse, she’s seen a lot of things in her time, therefore, nothing I can say or do will surprise her. That type of life experience comes with a certain steadiness of mind, and when I am crying or telling her that I can’t do this anymore, it also comes with a firm hand. Bernie is the first person to say: “What are you going to do about it?” when I’m whining. Sometimes, that makes me want to scream, because I feel like I can’t do a damned thing about it, but there again, sometimes that’s just the point Bernie is making. Though I do feel frustrated and tired at times, I also feel blessed. I have good friends, and good family…both of which stick by me during those rough times.

Sometimes I stand in awe of these people…these angels in my life. I wonder how it is they make so much time for me when they have so much going on in their own worlds. This is what allows me to feel gratitude amidst my frustration, and happiness within my tears. These people are truly my family, some by blood, and some by choice. I have been blessed with them all, and for this I am be grateful. My little one smiles at me, and tells me she loves me, even after I’ve had a horrible day filled with pain and anger, and in this she reminds me that I am important to her. I am the one that she adores, and looks up to. What a responsibility!! What a way to take me out of self.

It’s a trap many fall into, really…thinking solely of self; especially on those days we are sick and hurting. I have done it. I have regretted it. Sometimes, though, something happens to remind me that it’s not all about me, and it really never was. Sometimes, I can see beyond my own backyard, and be grateful for the good things in my friend’s lives. Bernie is special to me in that way, because so many good things have happened for her over the course of the past year. I’ve seen her go from having to carefully budget every cent to having more than enough to feed her family, and her success fills me up with joy, and gratitude. Sometimes, feeling like that for someone else is just the medicine you need to walk away from a self-indulgent pity that serves no purpose.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Weight Loss Demons Strike Again

Today, I have a gripe with the media. Yes, that’s right, the media. My daughter, who is a beautiful little girl with delicate features and breath-taking blue eyes, informed me today that she is “fat”. Upon further questioning, she disclosed that she felt “fat” because “no one on T.V looks like this! You can see their ribs on TV.” Which, I have to concede, for the most part is absolutely true…but it begs the question of why? Why do we, as a society, only assign a person the title of “pretty”, “beautiful” or “gorgeous” if they weigh less than 90 pounds and look as though a slight breeze would carry them off into the sky? When did looking as though you are dying become a beacon of beauty? I think I must have missed the memo on this one.

I, for one, and sick and bloody tired of the Paris Hilton’s and Nicole – (I lost so much weight I now fit into toddler’s clothing)-Ritchie’s of the world defining what the rest of us consider attractive. I want to smack each and every designer in Hollywood, New York and wherever else they only design their beautiful clothing in size 0-4. That’s lovely, thank-you…but the only person in my household that’s going to fit into it is my cat. All this ridiculousness might even be palatable if it was kept to its own sick little part of the world, but that’s not the way it is, is it? Every time you or your child turns on the T.V, a woman that weighs 2 pounds is smiling happily from the screen. The commercials continually capitalize on the diet industry at every turn, advertising for diet pills, gyms or programs. No matter where you look people the size of your left leg are telling you to lose weight already, because God knows that if you don’t, you’re going to never find a boyfriend, get a promotion, or generally succeed in life. Is it any wonder that, with all that pressure on them, our children finally give in and try to look like their idols?

My daughter absolutely adores Hillary Duff, who used to look like she had a healthy body weight. Duff now looks like this:

For those of you who can’t recognize her, she’s the one on the right. Remember when she used to look like this?

Something is seriously wrong when a pretty girl like that feels the need to starve herself down to toothpick with eyes status. Clearly its Hollywood putting on the pressure, because a lot of the girls in California start out their careers at a healthy weight; a year or so later, they look as though they are about to faint at any moment...

Though a firm believer in live and let live, these women are in my living-room, God damn it, and my daughter is looking at them!! Each time she sees an idol shed pounds until they are so thin they are transparent, she believes that is the way she is supposed to look!! Is it somehow impossible for Hollywood to bring more than the one token “larger girl” up the ranks into stardom?? Instead of focusing all one’s energy into the “perfect look” I think recruiters need to start looking at sheer raw talent. If we had a bunch of very talented, average sized women beaming brightly into our living-rooms, those little people watching the television would be much less likely to get scary ideas of what they “ought to look like.”

I admit to wanting to believe that all folks are judged in their lives on the basis of their actions, not their looks. However, I’ve had to face the cold, hard reality; in this ole world of ours, there exists certain places where looks are the only thing that really matters. I find it very sad, to say the very least. How can you possibly garner a proper perception of a person based solely upon their looks?? I’ve known a few people in my life that were very striking on the outside and downright nasty on the inside. I can’t really expect Hollywood to ever get that, mind you. It’s too simple an equation for such a complex house of cards.

All I can do as a mother is ensure that Puddin’ knows that she is gorgeous as she is, and watch for those heart-wrenching signs that she might feel differently. It’s all any of us can do, isn’t it? Sad and frustrating as it is; most of us are incapable of effecting real change. I mean to say, beyond the odd activist group, or perhaps firing off an angry and generally pointless letter to the network, we are trapped either watching the programming available, or turning off the television set. I know I’ve made my choice.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Of Mice & Women...

I cleaned the hamster cage last night, which, as I’m sure you can all well imagine, filled me with a warm fuzzy glow of disgust. When we originally got Princess, I carefully explained to little one that she would be required to clean his cage, change his water, and otherwise make his life a happy one. Puddin’ solemnly promised that she would remain forever devoted to this little rodent, frequently reminding me that she adored Princess and would sacrifice her first born if it would contribute to his happiness. Since that time, a strange ailment has descended upon our household. It’s called the “novelty has worn off so now the pet is your problem, Mom” disease, and its plaguing families from all walks of life.

Symptoms of the illness are usually spotted roughly two weeks following the arrival of the pet your child said they’d spontaneously combust without, into your once peaceful and stink-free household. The beginning stages of the malady present as general disinterest in said pet and associated lack of care-taking on your child’s part. Parents usually attempted to combat this disease in the early stages by administering a moderate dose of nagging. Often, this treatment will produce temporary positive results, and despite the unpleasant side effect of rolled eyes and heavy sighs, effectively retards the disease’s full progression. Unfortunately, findings indicate that the positive effects of this particular treatment method are temporary at best, and normally the child will almost always revert back to a non-caring state within minutes of the nagging dose being administered. As the malady progresses, parents will find themselves in the difficult position of having to either clean up after and feed the animal, or allow it to perish from neglect. The final stages of the ailment present as parents fully caring for the animal while the child plays on their game cube. At this point, the disease is in the advanced stages, and unfortunately once the illness has progressed to this level, it is irreversible.

Now, given that I have a firm belief that all animals in my home have the right to proper care, love and attention, I’m unable to simply allow Princess to die due to Puddin’s lack of interest in her. HOWEVER, I’m also not willing to be the sole care provider for the little beast. Given that nagging had negligible results at best, I have resorted to the one tool Mom’s have in their arsenal that is guaranteed to trump any card their children play…GUILT! After somberly explaining to Puddin’ that Princess loved her dearly, and couldn’t understand why she was no longer loved back, Puddin’ immediately began fussing the hamster up. I, however, am still in charge of feeding, cleaning and generally ensuring the little rodent is healthy, while Puddin’ has appointed herself Chief in Charge of Petting, Loving and Playing. Why, I ask you, do we parents always seem to get the short end of the stick?? If I have to see one more teeny, tiny turd, I’m going to throw myself down the stairs.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Crutching My Way to Happy Destiny

It’s now been nearly a year since I lost the full use of my legs, forcing me to rely on crutches and other instruments of torture to get around. I look at that statement, and I can’t believe that for nearly a year I’ve been denied the simple privileges of taking a long walk, or playing at the park with my little one. Almost a full year void of the joys that come from strolling by a lake in meditative silence, running with a dog, or riding a horse across the prairies. It’s been eleven months of pain and pain killers, frustration and agony, disappointments and miracles…and yet, here I am. I survived.

I have to admit, however, that I did not survive on my own. This year has also been a year in which I have learned, beyond a shadow of a doubt, who my friends really are. They are the individuals that have acted as my ever faithful therapists and chauffeurs throughout this ordeal without a word of complaint; more importantly, they are the miracles that refused to allow me to fall into the hole of depression, regardless of how often I tried to dodge them to dive in. (And believe me, it’s a hard pit to avoid when you’re parked firmly on the pity pot lamenting about what you can’t do.)

I did that for a long, long while. In some ways, I’m amazed it has been only 11 months, because it really does feel like I have already bitched bitterly about this for a lifetime.

One night in particular, I was talking to one of my best friends, Bernadette, about my poor, poor pathetic life. Mournfully speaking about my unemployable nature and subsequent financial squeeze, I actually startled us both with my ability to whine for a full hour without once straying off topic. (Admittedly, looking back on it, I am also rather startled by Bernadette’s ability to listen to such drivel coming out of her phone for that long without once driving over to beat me about the head with it.)

Two things happened as a direct result of that conversation. The first came in the form of a question Bernadette asked me while I was shrilly sobbing into her ear about the travesty that was my existence; “What are you going to do about it?” My initial thought was “Whine to you! What the fuck does it look like?” However, following my venting period, a new perspective began to emerge. Yes, I have lost the full use of my legs, and yes, in some ways, that really limits what I can do; however, there are still many, many things I can do despite my disability. One of those things is in front of you all at this very moment…I can still write!! Writing has been one of my greatest loves and firmest passions as long as my memory goes back, and I can still do that.

The second thing that happened was that it dawned on me that Bernadette, with her one simple question, was reminding me of something that I have known for years. The only person that can effect change in my life is me. Though it’s a hard pill to swallow, in many ways I have chosen my financial hardship by not choosing to find a way to turn writing into a stay at home job. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I can choose to change my mind and go for it at any time, and uh…just so you know, Universe, I’ve changed my mind!

As much as I wish to be able to go out with little one and jump and play, I can’t and that’s the reality. This, however, does not mean that there isn’t anything I can do with my daughter; there is a veritable plethora of activities I can still manage! My job is to change my attitude, not my affliction; and with that one simple decision, change my entire life. This doesn’t mean that there aren't still hard times, when I’m sick and tired of the pain and there’s nothing I want more than to be able to just walk to the damn grocery store; but it does mean that I’m learning to turn that around and just be grateful for the friends I have that will drive me there.

It’s funny that our true friends in this world are not the people that tell us everything we want to hear, but rather, the rare few individuals that have the guts to tell us what we need to hear. In my life, I am fortunate to have three such people to bounce things off of and do things with. In ways, it’s almost miraculous when I stop to really consider it; there are three people in this world that love my daughter and I like family, even though they are not obligated by blood to do so. That, folks, is a pretty damned incredible thing.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The House of Horrors

My house looks as though a hurricane of mass proportions raged through it. So far this morning, I have spent a total of two hours scrubbing, putting away and generally tidying…and yet I still have miles to go before I sleep. My question is: HOW ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH DID IT EVER GET TO THIS POINT??! Ah, but I can answer that question, too…it’s because of this machine right here. The computer continually lures me to it with its siren song; once parked here, my world fades away and I slip into a Pentium coma.

The worst part is that during these lovely Pentium comas, I am fully cognizant of the fact that the house needs my attention. Somehow, this knowledge causes me to expend tremendous effort finding things on the computer that I convince myself must be done immediately in order to avoid the vacuum. Really important things, like writing Joe Rogan of Fear Factor to tell him what an asshat he is. I spent a good half hour doing that…a full half hour of my life, folks…time that will never ever be given back to me so I can utilize it to fold underpants like a good girl. Damn you, Joe Rogan!! Damn you to hell!!

Of course, the whole “writing Joe Rogan to tell him what an asshat he is” has raised certain uncomfortable questions in my mind. For example, given that I actually spent time constructing and sending out an email to this individual to tell him what a loser he is, which one of us is really the bigger asshat here? The fact that he responded unfortunately does little to assure me that he is alone in his ass-hattedness. Procrastination is my life.

However, today, I’ve resolved to turn over a new leaf. From this day forward, I vow to pick clothes up off of the floor prior to them forming a mountain in the middle of the room and multiplying with more fervor than minks. I resolve to wipe down my kitchen counter-tops before they reach the stage where their original color is unrecognizable. I vow to vacuum prior to having mice send out invites to their friends and family, extolling the virtues of the inexhaustible food supply at ground level; and most importantly, I vow to clean the cat litter prior to it becoming a solid lump on the bottom of kitty’s sandbox.

Barring that, I vow to hire a maid to come in and do all this shit for me.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Snogging with Celebrities

Snogging With Celebrities,19736,1162293,00.html

Ah, the smitten look of a couple in lust…doesn’t it just make you want to rush out and buy a bat to beat them with?? I’m so sick of these types of news stories, everywhere I turn these days there seems to be debauchery on a grand scale. In this particularly happy tale of lust, we have our stars, Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler, skating off into the sunset following a wonderfully moral leap from the marriage bed into the Slayer’s vagina of doom. This is made all the more heartwarming when one considers that Eisler’s son Seth was born shortly after Swanson reportedly forwarded emails from Eisler to his wife, Marcia O’Brien in which he proclaimed his undying affection for Buffy. All of which is starting to make me seriously wonder what the fuck is in the water in Hollywood.

Somehow, I expected better than this from our Canadian pairs skating hero, but given that the moment a man enters Hollywood, it seems his penis turns into a divining rod that seeks out the first skanky whore that it can find its way into, I shouldn’t have. Oh Lloyd, why hath thou forsaken us?? Why have you done such a thing to your image, your wife and your children?? AND MOST IMPORTANTLY BY FAR, why OH WHY have you left your family for a woman that clearly cannot afford the proper bra to wear with her neon airport cone orange fashion statement??(

As far as Swanson (and women like her) are concerned…you idiots are the reason why slut clones like Paris Hilton can find fame. I hate you all. Ha---aaaa---ate!!! My only consolation being that one day you will find your labial lips hang so low you will be tripping over them. Why is the sanctity of marriage so difficult for these types of people to understand? It's really very simple, if the man has a wedding ring on his finger, whether or not he is inserting it into you at the time, he is promised to another woman and you shouldn't be in her backyard. If he mentions children to you at any point during your love talks, what you are doing has the power to destroy more than one life.

Realistically girls, if he is willing to leave a women he promised forever to, along with children he promised to be a father to, the moment those labial lips of yours hit the floor~~~he'll hit the door. As far as men that cheat on pregnant spouses go, I'm currently in the process of writing to my Prime Minister in an effort to pass a law to have you all castrated. The good news is that should the law be passed, Lloyd will be given the distinct honour of going first, not only for his indiscretions with Swanson, but also for publicly dragging my figure skating baby through the mud one more time. Damn you, figure skating...why can't you just stop being so God damned scandalous??

Just once, I’d like to see a beautiful marriage, involving people that have morals and give a shit about their promises to one and other make the headlines. It would be far less depressing, and so much less likely to me fantasizing about forcing men that leave their wives with children to be confined to an orphanage for twenty of so odd years until they learn what it’s like to be literally left holding the baby.

The Boy Named Princess and Other Tales of Terror...

This morning was really a comedy of errors. First and foremost, my lovely little one had worked very hard last night at convincing me that she did not need a bath until this morning. Now, I fail to understand what it is that I’m missing in my brain that allows me to comply with this type of request. Given that I’m a single parent, morning time involves me, bleary eyed with a cup of coffee in hand, trying desperately to get little tike out the door to school with no back up to my firm demands that she brush her hair and teeth prior to exiting the house. Moreover, given that I can not move quickly, having no back up also requires me to crutch around in circles when I’m rage-full and Puddin’ Pop has decided to run as opposed to dealing with the cause of my ire.

You see, if I had a husband, this would be the part where he would helpfully step in and say “Now you listen here…your mother isn’t well and you WILL listen to her!!” (I can say that too, but it just doesn’t have the same impact coming out of my mouth in a deep voice…) Actually, who am I kidding with that statement?? All a husband would likely mean is more laundry and the occasional “Would you two stop being so loud?? I have another half hour to sleep in prior to having to get up for work…” Sometimes, my fantasy self wants to believe that a man would make this job so much easier, helping with child-rearing and helping me up the stairs when I’m too lazy to crutch to the top. Realistically, we all know what a man in my life would really mean, don’t we?? It would mean me gimping about in ire over two children instead of just the one…

My best friend recently (meaning a few years ago) moved a man into her home. Since that point in her life, things have become far more busy and stressful, not the least of the causes of which being man’s general ineptitude with social graces. (And yes, I say MAN generally, because it is my firm belief via experience that man has only just evolved from apes, causing them to do things like burp loudly in public, or tell their in-laws proudly upon departure that they will “Smell them later.”)

But, given that I’ve lapsed into rambling here, I think I should move back to my point. This morning was exceptionally difficult. After pretty much having to forcibly put Puddin’ Pop there in the tub, I then had the distinct pleasure of fighting with her over the matter of getting dressed. Now this fight with children over getting dressed in the morning is something that never seems to fail to elude my rational thought processes. What on earth do these kids think is going to happen if they opt not to get dressed in the morning?? Do they honestly think that going to school naked is something that wouldn’t cause a stir? Does it not occur that walking around in the cold winter weather naked causes frostbite? It’s all very confusing and incomprehensible to me.

In addition to this round of drastic fun, we have just recently acquired a hamster. This hamster came to our home as a direct result of my little one being in Phoenix for a week, which sent me into “I WANT MY BABY” overdrive. Essentially, this is what occurred; as I was missing my child deeply, and wanting nothing more than to see her again, she had the presence of mind to ask for a hamster. I, being the strong minded woman that I am, instantly agreed, and on Monday afternoon, Princess the hamster was brought into my home. Princess, by the way, is a male hamster. I know this because the lady at the pet shop firmly told me that he was a male hamster. Puddin’, however, wanted a female hamster and so, figuring it wouldn’t make a lick of difference to the hamster, I told her that is what he was. If hamsters are capable of feeling self-conscious, our little guy has already likely acquired one hell of a complex. I don’t care, I’m too busy counting my lucky stars that my daughter didn’t ask me for a pony when she was visiting the Grandparents…

At first, the hamster was source of great discomfort for me, as he, Princess, is a rodent. My mind had rationally and logically already figured out that little one would be the only person in this household, other than the cat, that wanted anything whatever to do with the little thing. I, however, am a suck first and a heartless bitch second. That said, it took me all of 48 hours to fall in love with Princess, who, following his adjustment period of 24 hours (which I’m not sure if he was needing to adjust to new surroundings or simply adjust to the fact that his masculinity had evidently been left at the pet shop…) became quite tame and willing to be petted and loved up. He is only four weeks old now, and I’m confident that in time, he will forget that he once knew a time when his penis was recognized and respected by his fellow hamsters. For my part, I found myself sneaking into Puddin’s room at 11pm last night just to pet him and coo at him. Sometimes, I really do make myself rather ill.

Puddin’, now back from the Grandparents and adjusting to the horror of having to reside in a home with rules, is having problems of her own. This morning, having set her alarm clock for 5am, she promptly went downstairs, glued herself to the game cube, and fell into a coma for two hours until I awoke. My insisting that she get ready for school produced objections so strenuous that I’m sure she thought I had told her to go and smack herself silly as opposed to simply get washed and put underpants on. Somehow, we will survive this wonderful period of re-adjustment, and, like Princess, I’m sure that she too will soon tame, and once again allow me to encourage the changing of underwear without feeling the need to throw her body on the floor and bite my ankles…