November 24, 2010

My Blind Side

Sorry for the long bloggy break. Lice, as it turns out, are massively time consuming. I've done approximately 67,000 loads of laundry, bought 9 new pillows and spent at least 40 hours of my spare time (yeah, right, like I have spare time) picking nits and combing insecticide onto the scalps of my children and myself. I think we won, at least I hope so. I really hope so. But to be honest, once you've had lice, you are wary to a point of paranoia seen only in victims of PTSD. Because that's exactly what you are.

And now, all of a sudden, it's Thanksgiving. I'm not sure how that happened. But today at 6:00 p.m. my ex showed up and drove my crying kids off into the sunset. Well, okay, just my diva was crying. The boys were head down over their respective DSes.

I still miss them. A lot.

I miss them because it's Thanksgiving, which is about family even more than it's about turkey. And the pre-turkey turkey fest we had last Saturday, wonderful though it was, really wasn't the same.

And I miss them because even though I took three extra days off this week, I spent so much time catching up on work and laundry and vacuuming that we didn't get one single moment of quality time. Not one. Unless nitpicking counts. (Trust me, it doesn't.)

And I miss them because this is my first big holiday without them.

Of course, Netflix picked today to send me The Blind Side. No mother who just sent her kids off to spend a major holiday without her has any business watching a film about a boy who really, truly needs a mommy.

Because, at least in my case, I think it's the mommy who really, truly needs her kids.

November 18, 2010

Lice, the Universe and Everything

There is a certain, very specific brand of ooginess that washes over you when you're brushing your hair and notice that the little gray speck that just floated down to your shoulder, and which you thought might be a dandruff flake or bit of dust, is moving. All on its own. In fact, the damn thing has legs. Six teeny tiny oogy little legs.

We have lice. And that speck was a nymph.

I squished it. And I flushed it. And then I dragged my itchy, scratchy kids upstairs and bathed them in pyrethrum.

Did you know that stuff is made from chrysanthemums?

You learn a lot when you start a war on blood-sucking parasites. To wit:
  • My diva has the patience of a saint. As long as I put the Wizards of Waverly Place on an endless loop, she will sit still for up to three hours at a pop while I comb and pick and pull individual hairs out of her head by the root. She's my hero.
  • Redheads have less hair. Little known fact. (Ignore the picture on the link. It's really kinda gross.)
  • ADHD really does mean you cannot sit still. Even with the aid of a Nintendo DS primed with relatively new birthday games. Given that my kids get only 30 minutes of screen time a day and that nitpicking screen time is a full-on freebie, that's saying something.
  • My kids have waaaaay too many stuffed animals. All 8 million of them are now bagged, thanks to my au pair, and waiting for any little lice babies to die a sad and lonely death. Many of them will not be coming back. I mean the stuffed animals. And, of course, the dead lice babies, too.
  • Reading glasses also make good nitpicking glasses and are a vital part of the home war arsenal.
  • So is a flea comb. If you pick one up, buy one labeled for dogs. They're cheaper - and not a whit different - than the ones labeled for cats.
  • Cats can't get lice. Maybe that's why they need pricey flea combs.
  • Apparently, neither can au pairs.
  • Moms can, though. Yay for that. And yay for my au pair. This would be another one of those times that I wonder what the hell I'd do without her. Because it's not like I can pick nits from my own head.
Oh, and now I'm feeling all oogy again just talking about it.

Hey, the good news? At least we don't have the swine flu.

November 6, 2010

Killer Chocolate

It's a well-established fact that I am not so good with the waking up. Mostly I muddle vaguely through the a.m. hours until that little hand hits the 12 and my brain jumps to life with a "Hey! There's a post before that meridian. I am so in!"

This morning was no exception.

Because I am now officially middle aged, I've had plenty of time to learn this about myself. As a result, I'm usually smart enough to pass off  breakfast-making duties to my amazing au pair, who can give me lots of a.m. support now that all my kids are at school during the day. Yay, Kindergarten. She's mostly a morning person, and since breakfast usually involves such dangerous items as hot stoves and sharp knives, we're both a lot happier when she cooks and I sit at the table like a zombie mainlining coffee, staring at my ridiculously animated children and wondering how on earth I gave birth to three morning people.

I still don't get that.

Today, however, the middle schooler was home for the day, so I was forced to take morning on all by myself. No snooze button, no coffee, and I had to cook things so that my children could eat. In an effort to keep the damage to a minimum, I stuck to the breakfast of champions. Eggos and toasted frozen homemade chocolate chip pancakes. (With cheese and bananas, because even a crappy, mostly pre-packaged meal is a balanced meal in my house.)

Easy, right? Push a button. Wait. Out pops an Eggo. The crowd roars.

Not so much. Because the chocolate chips attacked me. I went to pull a nice, warm pancake from the nice, warm toaster, got two fingers full of melted chocolate ... and wound up with blistering burns on my fingertips.

From chocolate.

You know the world's gone mad when the chocolate is out to get you.

What it's done to my thighs is bad enough.

November 3, 2010

The Art of Dadness

Oh, I'm such a bad blogger. I've got two posts sitting in draft and October has just been so freaking crazy that I haven't had time to finish them up properly. And trust me, they are totally unreadable without a fair bit of editing. Not to mention quite dated by now.

But here's something I can blog about quickly.

My handsome redhead has recently become obsessed with being a dad. It's his thing. He wears pants with belts and button-down oxfords and takes great pleasure when folks notice and tell him he looks dad-like. He also spends a lot of time asking about the hows and whys of dadness. To wit, the following conversation, which took place in whispers when he was meant to be falling asleep.

"Mom, when I'm a dad, will you be old?"

"Yes." Since I'm nearly there now.

"So, when you're old, will I be a dad?"

"I think you get to decide when to be a dad."

"No. I don't get to decide that."

"Oh? Who does?"

"I think my birthday decides that."

"Okay. So how old do you have to be to be a dad?"


Nodding. "Okay."

"How far away is that?"

"About 81 years."

"How many days is that?"

"Oh, sweetie, that's more math than I can do in my head."

"So it's really far away."

"Yes. But, you know, your dad became a dad for the first time when he was only 32. And your Opa, he was 27 when he became a dad."

"Okay. Then I think I'll be ... 31. Can I be a dad when I'm 31?"

"Yes, sweetie. You can."

And he's gonna be a damn fine dad, too.