I know this is going to sound crazy, but…

people can be nice
even when they don’t have to
how crazy is that?   

I just got back from the Tax Assessor’s office. Now, you’d think this might require a Letter to Someone I Hate, but it doesn’t! I’m am very, extremely, happily pleased to announce that the people at the tax assessor’s office are quite nice. They’re nice on the phone, they’re nice in person, and then they’re nice in person again when you have to go back because you lost the receipt they gave you when you went the first time.

The lady today thought about not being nice. I could see the battle of good vs evil going on behind her eyes. But I smiled a lot, made fun of myself, totally played the frazzled mama card, and even batted my eyes a little, and it worked. She was nice!

Thanks to her willingness to be friendly and helpful, I will avoid having to pay extra fines and/or have a warrant issued for my arrest. Whew.

Have I mentioned lately how much of a pain in the ass traffic tickets are? It’s not the money, it’s the hullabaloo involved in taking care of the thing.

But anyway, hooray for the tax assessor’s office. I never thought I’d say it, but there you go.

diagnosis?

By the way, when your seventeen-month-old wakes up looking like a prizefighter because her eyes are swollen? It may turn out she has a double ear infection resulting in pink eye.

In case you were wondering.

our eight weeks is up

wily little thing
superhero steel stomach
makes me cry sometimes

That wasn’t a very good haiku, but you have to forgive me. First, the wee-er one woke up with both eyes almost swollen shut. We called the doctor and made an appointment. Then she slammed her fingers in the closet door. We kissed them and felt better. Then we had a lady come walk through the house to tell me how much it will be for her to scour it from top to bottom (not too bad, though she did seem a bit dazed to be accosted by a noisy dog and a toddler prizefighter).

And then.

Then we had a bit of a catastrophe. You’d think I’d be used to these things after the wee-er one has eaten rocks, sipped old beer from the trash, sucked on an imodium, gobbled up some pirate’s gold, etc. But it’s always a shock to have to call poison control.

Here is the aftermath:

There is no such thing as childproof with this kid.

A special day

sweet young innocence
yet it’s still freaking me out
how does this happen?

"Today was a special day because I got something no one else got," the wee one told me when I picked him up from school today.

"Oh, yeah?" I answered, thinking it was a sticker for good behavior or something like that.

"I’m going to show you, but it’s a secret for everyone else," he said. He whipped his backpack around and pulled out a piece of paper. "It’s from Natalie." Natalie is a girl at school he talks about a lot – her pretty hair, how fun it is to hit her at recess, etc.

The paper had a drawing on it of a boy and a girl holding hands. On the top, written in wonderful kindergarten handwriting, was a profession of love.

"I wish I could jump into this drawing," the wee one said wistfully. "I would flip dimensions so that I could kiss Natalie and then flip back really fast."

"Oh?" I asked, trying not to sound shocked.

He gazed at the drawing. "It makes me want to cry I like it so much," he said, closing his eyes and smiling.

It kind of makes me want to cry, too, but for many different reasons. I knew he was precocious, but this is (charmingly) unsettling, you know what I mean?

My five-year-old lothario. Good grief.

how can this be possible?

sleeping is so nice
I’d do it everyday
if that was allowed

I’m having a weird thing this morning. For one, let’s just say I’m very, very grouchy. But I slept until 9 am so you’d think I’d be full of energy and cheerful and all that.

Is it somehow possible to have too little sleep and too much sleep at the same time?

Is two days in a row of sleeping until 9 screwing with my head?

Have I become that person – the one who is perfectly fine and functional on 6 or 7 hours of sleep but who totally turns into a headache-y pile of mush after 8 hours? How can this be? I used to be able to sleep a good 12 hours in a row and feel like a superhero. Of course, that was before kids and bills and a mortgage and freelance work and worrying about mean people stealing stuff off of my lawn or worse.

I feel kind of crappy this morning and that’s a bummer. On top of that we’re going to brave the grocery store in a few minutes. HEB on a Sunday. We’re trying to be strategic, though – get there before the churches let out. Will we make it? Will our gamble pay off? My grouchy v-shaped eyebrows vote no. But we’ll see.

I’m going to stay up really late tonight and get up at my ass-crack of dawn regular time in the morning and see how that flies.

Sweet tiny baby Jesus, I miss coffee.

it’s been a long time

down and dirty blues
without all of the cursing
god love etta james

I was driving home from picking the wee one up at school and I heard Etta James singing At Last on the radio. It actually, literally took my breath away.

Maybe I can wean the wee-er one off of Amy Winehouse and onto Etta. It’s all fun and games until your toddler’s first words are "I don’t wanna go to rehab, no no no."

QVC

This is an open letter to the person (you know who you are) who has gotten me hooked on watching QVC:

I will get you.

It will be when you least expect it.

I will pop your Quacker Factory cherry with a handsome sweater set. Or I will get your kids hooked on pretzel-wrapped hot dogs. Maybe I’ll use a multi-faceted nut wrench in some nefarious way. Don’t even get me started on the animal print tweezers.

All I’m saying is that you better watch your back. I have nine seasons of the X-Files just looking, looking for a new convert. Especially the episode with Burt Reynolds.

You think Chuck Woolery slinging socks is bad? Just wait until you’re knee deep in alien-human hybrid mythology and you call me crying about what’s going to happen now that the X-Files have been shut down.

Just wait.

quack, quack,
Kari

this is a test of the emergency vacuuming system

they are a small gang
baby and furry cohort
conspire against me

This morning the wee-er one and the dog were giggling furiously in the living room (yes, I swear this dog laughs at me). I went in there to investigate and they had somehow snatched a tea bag, destroyed it, and were busy grinding the tiny tiny tea leaves into the carpet.

"Ahh!" I said. "No!"

I was rewarded with a laugh from the wee-er one, and a few calories burned from the pursuit of the dog, who began running around like crazy, refusing to drop the mangled mess of the bag.

Finally, I got the bag away from him. I turned my back for maybe 3 seconds to throw it away and when I turned around again, he had snatched the tree skirt from under the Christmas tree and was doing his best to disembowel it.

"Ahh!" I said. "No!"

It was easier to wrest the tree skirt from him, because it’s about four times his size and slowed his escape by tripping him several times.

So, on the floor? A million gazillion tiny, tiny tea leaves ground into the carpet, topped with a spray of pine needles from the abused Christmas tree, and seasoned with a sprinkling of sequins from the filleted tree skirt.

Out comes the Dyson! We’ve had it for a few month now, but it hasn’t had a real test, yet. Nothing of this magnitude. I flip that sucker on and the wee-er one and the dog run for cover.

As quickly as one can strangle a beloved pet, the mess was sucked comfortably into the vacuum canister. I was very impressed with the sucking power. It’s like the vacuum version of, uh, something that sucks a really lot. The vacuum version of Celine Dion. The vacuum version of Aveda Be Curly (why doesn’t that shit work on my hair? WHY?). It was amazing.

In other, non-impressive and non-related news, I’m having a bit of a problem with a growing addiction to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton Christmas song duets. There’s this one where she talks about "a fast-talking lover and slow-burning wood" and I chortle hopelessly every single time I hear it. I am Beavis. My immaturity is staggering.

But at least I’m Beavis with a nifty vacuum. Huzzah!