Poor, Poor Cat

The cat still reeks of skunk. And I just can’t let him into a house we are trying to sell. I feel just awful. I’ve set up his bed, food, and water in the garage, and just spent 45 minutes cuddling him on the patio (so of course now I smell like skunk). But the poor thing. I have a feeling that the cat door in the new house will be a moot point, after this the cat is never, ever going to go outside again. I know I sure wouldn’t…


Be careful what you ask for…

A and C like to play a game they call “puppy.” They take turns pretending to be a dog while the other tries to walk the dog, feed the dog, wash the dog, etc. I spend most of the game reminding them that “We will never, ever, have a dog. You know that, right kids?” But in general, I’m a big fan of puppy because it keeps them both happy and playing with each other for long periods of time.

Today puppy took an unexpected turn. C started asking A “Are you going to bite me puppy? Sometime puppies bite you know.” I quickly pulled C aside and explained to him that if he kept asking A if she was going to bite him, eventually she probably would. After nodding agreement, back he went to playing puppy. “A, are you going to bite me? Sometimes puppies bite you know…” Seeing where this was headed, I put a premature end to puppy.

But a few hours later, I hear a yelp from the playroom as I am starting yet another load of skunky laundry. “Mommmmyyyyy! A BIT me!” wailed C. “I asked her if she was going to bite me, and then she DID!”

I have to say, I was torn. While A lost her ability to choose the TV show after dinner and a serious talking to about the evils of biting, I really just wanted to shrug my shoulders and tell C that he had it coming to him. I mean, what did he think was going to happen?

The things we keep

Although M might beg to differ, I consider myself pretty minimalist in the sentimental keeping of stuff department. Each child has a small tupperware bin into which I throw things like the first picture of Mommy that C drew, A’s birth announcement, and C’s first “report card.” There are no locks of hair, there are no baby hats or receiving blankets, and almost all of the baby items and toys have gone to various charities or the church nursery.

But tonight I found myself digging through the toy box in A’s room because M thought it might smell like skunk. I figured since I was digging through and sniffing for skunk, I might as well clear out the junk and save myself the hassle of moving it. As I sorted through, several items quickly hit the “try to wash” pile. The pink and purple baby blanket Nana knit. The white waffle blanket that was originally C’s, but A quickly adopted as her “blue blanket.” Baby Ellie, the small stuffed elephant that is sometimes requested as a sleeping companion. “Duckie,” the yellow floppy blanket that Auntie Joy sent A for her first birthday. Several other items quickly hit the trash can: the collection of junky Easter bunnies, the rattles that neither of my kids ever actually shook, the wooden shape sorter that cost a fortune but was actually not at all useful as my kids quickly figured out that if you turned the shapes on their side you could shove them into whichever opening you wished.

But there were several items that I saved from the trash can at the last moment. The soft cloth cat book that C adored with a passion from six to eight months and then never looked at again. The pink bunny that made A giggle when she had pneumonia. The broken parts to the mobile that C would stare at for hours (ok, minutes) while I wept on the phone to anyone who would listen to how miserable I was post-partum. I know that someday I will probably discard all of these items. But I couldn’t quite do it. Not yet. Not tonight. So instead I will lovingly soak them all in laundry detergent and hope for the best. Because some things are worth saving, at least for a while.


Yep. It had to happen sometime. Dumb cat (who I DO love very much, despite his nickname) got skunked. The worst part? I didn’t figure it out until he had come into the house and made himself comfortable for a few hours in the dirty laundry basket in my closet. At least it wasn’t my bed, right?

I now have to face getting rid of the skunk smell from both my cat and my house. The laundry, I’m tempted to just toss it. It was pretty much the kids summer PJs and some in need of replacement anyway underwear. Anyone want to come give a cat a bath?

Edited to add a picture of the poor cat getting his third bath of the day…

Note the baby wash in the background. The poor cat now smells like a mix between a skunk and a baby, go figure. Poor, poor General. Not looking so powerful today.

When it rains it pours

It has been raining here, a lot. And my kids have been climbing the walls, and the tables, and the couches, and the beds. So in the interest of everyone’s sanity, we actually ventured out into the backyard and did some puddle jumping in an attempt to burn off some energy.

And the givers of karma rewarded me for allowing my children to cover themselves from head to toe with mud and muck and wet flower goo, as I finally found the source of the water in the basement – poorly installed downspouts. I had gone around early this year and reattached all of the downspouts that had come loose, but of course I did this when it was nice and sunny outside. Today, standing out in the rain trying desperately to take cute pictures of the kids splashing, I started to wonder where exactly all the water in my yard was coming from. And when I set off to investigate, I found that the downspout closest to the water’s entry point into the basement was not in fact dumping water at the fence where it was supposed to go, but instead was leaking water all along the foundation.

So I struggled and battled the shrubbery, realigned plastic pieces, made liberal use of duct tape and swore under my breath more than a few times, but the end result was this:

Still not perfect, but much better and I think a trip to Home Depot tomorrow should solve the problem entirely. Plus, the kids were entertained for a good 45 minutes. Say it with me…Chichimama rocks!

Best word verification ever

Shlupid. I love it. I think I am going to start using it in everyday conversation.

“Man, was that shlupid.”

If only I had a brain

Last night at dinner M said something, or I said something, and then we both chimed in with “There’s a blog post for you.” And now I have no idea what the gem of an idea I was planning on sharing with y’all might be. Nor can I remember where I left my car keys, or what page I am on in my book, or why there is a stapler in the fridge. And there is something else I am supposed to remember to do, but I can’t quite remember what.

Please tell me my brain will someday return to me, please? I feel like 34 is a little too young to be quite so forgetful.

She must be a saint

I met a woman at the playground the other day who proudly informed me that she had never once yelled at her child. The child in question was four, almost five. My first reaction was to slink off into a corner and hang my head in shame as I couldn’t remember a day when I didn’t at least raise my voice, or at the very least shriek “NOOO!” to my children. “I yell too much” I thought to myself. “Even this woman who has never met me before sees that I yell too much.” But honestly, when you run to the bathroom to grab a towel to wipe up the milk someone spilled on the floor, then come back ten seconds later to both children about to jump off the dining room table, what’s a mom to do?

I started to wonder “Is her child that well behaved that she doesn’t need to yell? Maybe I’ve been going at this all wrong. Maybe if I spoke to my kids in an even tone they wouldn’t be prone to jumping off of whatever high, dangerous object they can find. Maybe they would sit quietly when I told them to, and would refrain from gorging each other’s eyes out over who gets to hold which Thomas train.” Then I began to watch her child. And he wasn’t any better behaved than my two. He certainly wasn’t any worse, but he wasn’t winning any gold stars in the behavior category either. He shoved and pushed, talked back to his mother, and pitched a fit when it was time to go.

I have to say, it made me feel so much better. But I also have to believe that she must be a saint. Because if my child kicked me and bit me on the way out of the playground, there is no way I could remain calm and repeat quietly “It’s not nice to hurt people. I know you are upset that we have to leave, but we use our words.” I just don’t have that kind of inner zen right now. So to those mommies out there who manage not to yell, I salute you. And send some of your patience my way, OK?

The "I shoulds"

When I am up in the middle of the night I feel like I should really be productive, but somehow I never am. Right now I should be finishing one of the three books I am reading, or I should be writing a meaningful blog post for once, or I should be working on something that might actually make some money, or I should at least be folding the two baskets of laundry sitting in the family room. But instead I’ve been randomly wandering around the house trying to figure out what I should pack up next in anticipation of the move that will happen, someday.

Sigh. I guess I will get to that laundry now. It seems like the least productive thing I can be doing.

How many days?

So I started a post this morning about what a fabulous summer it has been not having structured activities, and how I am not at all looking forward to the start of school. You will never, ever, see it. I tempted fate by even starting to type the words.

It is time for school to start. We all need a break from each other. Or at least I need a break from them. It was one of those days.

Do you think it is too late to enroll A in Mothers Morning Out two days a week?