Monday, April 26, 2010

Domestic Enemies of the Suburban Mom

Kate and I were recently hanging out at her house with the kids, watching them play outside and enjoying the gorgeous weather. Everyone was happy and relaxed and it was great. Then something happened that ruined our lovely playdate and turned it all to schmidt.

The motherfunking Ice Cream Truck showed up, music blaring.

Then our children, who were blissfully riding scooters, instantly transformed into miserable, whining wretches who might never be happy again unless a Sponge Bob popsicle with choking hazard candy eyeballs was in the offering. Then the pleading began. There were some tears and some failed negotiations. People, the answer is always NO. It's the same answer you get when I hear the words: Chuck E Cheese. Just no. Stop talking, don't ask again, you can cry about it all day long but the answer is always the same. No no no.

Kate and I then realized that the Ice Cream Truck was but one of a plethora of our domestic enemies. So we decided to discuss them in a post. Here they are:

The Domestic Enemies of the Suburban Mom (Spring Edition)

Let's start with the: The Ice Cream Truck. The least of my issues with the ice cream truck is that it turns well-behaved kids (on the rare occasion that my kids are well-behaved) into whining little weasels. No, my real issues are that 1) I'm pretty sure the guy driving the truck is on parole and 2) the truck looks as safe and sanitary as the room where I keep my intermittently changed catbox and a big bag of hammers. I would not eat anything that came out of that truck and I am a woman who would eat street food in Mexico. I am only buying my kids ice cream from that dude if we're out of Ipecac. Because puking is sure to follow.

Moving onto our next enemy: BUGS. All kinds, but specifically deer ticks, mosquitoes and wasps. The first two piss me off because they are classified as "disease carrying insects" and that pretty much says it all. Let's start with those.

Deer ticks seem to be everywhere this year. Including nether regions. I now have to look for tiny little ticks and bull's eye rashes on areas of my kids I was thrilled not to have to wipe anymore. Awesome. And I feel like I have to because just last week my friend Jane called me with a horrifying story. Her 6 year old son found a deer tick on his Dr. Peeper. So naturally, he started screaming bloody murder. Which brought his father running, who saw the tick and also started screaming bloody murder. Removal was apparently a wee bit unpleasant for all involved. Jane lives on a farm (with livestock) and is not at all squeamish about things that would make me and Kate vomit for days. But this was too much even for her. (I also need to add that when Jane and her husband check each other for ticks, the process is referred to as "Farmer Foreplay" - which is hilarious).

Mosquitoes in my neighborhood are so bad that nothing helps. DEET? No. Skin So Soft? Not so much. Netting around the baby stroller? Surely you jest. These bastards swarm, attack in formation, and leave your children bumpy, red, itchy and complaining. There is a 2 month window (basically from now until around Memorial Day) when you get warm weather and a limited risk of West Nile. After that, you are faced with following dilemma: sweating balls in long sleeves and pants vs. unwilling food source and possible disease vector. It's a lose/lose scenario.

Wasps are big issue for my family. Just last week, the Cap'n stepped on one. He woke up late on a Sunday morning, stepped out of bed and directly onto a big wasp. I heard a ruckus and found him hopping on one foot, holding the other and swearing like Yosemite Sam stepping on a nail. He has a pretty bad reaction to bee stings, so I gave him Motrin and like 3 doses of kids Benedryl. Twenty minutes later, he started slurring his words and claiming he felt "wonky". He staggered to bed and passed out for an hour, waking up as if coming off a bender. Taking him to church a little while later was interesting. He was limping, still slightly slurring his words and easily distracted, noticeably so. I decided not to explain why and just let the congregation draw their own conclusions.

Sun block is so annoying. I know that I am supposed to be strongly in favor of sun block and coat my children in it every day. But really, it's just another pain in my arse. My kids hate to put it on, complain that it smells bad and it's a fight every time. A fight that does not improve the daily cluster of always being late to school. You get the sunblock on them perfectly 100 times and once - just once - a little, bitty, teeny, weeny bit gets into Hawk's eyes and forevermore he runs screaming from the sunblock as if it was sent from hell with the sole purpose of hurting him. And Thumbelina insists that she do it herself and consequently slathers it thickly on some parts, completely neglects others and adopts a sullen, petulant, adolescent tone when I suggest I help her. I just love that tone. So maybe one time I lacked the energy to fight these battles and "forgot" the sunscreen. And maybe Thumbelina is still reminding me about the sunburn that was all my fault two years later.

Road Construction is another thing that does not help me and my chronic lateness. Once the snow melts, the road construction begins. And where I live - road construction is everywhere. And it changes daily.
So perhaps you use deductive reasoning to plan the quickest route to school. And then you realize that you have been screwed because surprise(!) the construction crew that was on Street A yesterday is now on Avenue B and there is no avoiding the men in the orange vests smoking and holding the SLOW signs. [Editor's Note: Not sure if the SLOW sign means for us to go slowly, or they're just telling us they are slow. We assume the latter, but, either way, annoying. - Kate] Apparently the scheduling and placement of road construction crews has nothing to do with logic or reasoning as the task has recently been outsourced to cats in India who are feverishly tapping on iPads bought with federal stimulus dollars. And now it all makes sense. [Editor's Note: Or, even better: And meow it all makes sense. I'll shut up now. - Kate]

Something about this time of year brings with it hundreds of children's birthday parties. Spring is Birthday Party Season and I am already over it. They can be good or bad or in between. They also bring with them the aforementioned Animatronic Mouse known as Chuck E. Cheese. That damn mouse ought to be sued for false advertising. Every morning after "Curious George" I see that d-bag with a bike helmet and a skateboard talking schmidt about where a kid can be a kid. Mouse, please. No one is going to Chuck E. Cheese for invigorating exercise and healthy food. They eat disgusting pizza with extra hydrogenated fats, drink soda and acquire strep infections. It's about as healthy and wholesome as when I go to Five Guys three months pregnant.

But lucky, lucky me. Because every weekend from now until Memorial Day is about sports and parties. And remembering that you forgot to buy a present, breaking the news that siblings are not invited, fishing dollar-store components of the dreaded goodie bag out of the baby's mouth and dealing with the always charming sugar-crash that follows birthday cake and 15 Capri Suns. But I'm returning the favor next month when I throw a party for my own kids and serve - gasp - cotton candy. (Insert evil laugh).

Lawn Zealots (Lawnists) are another favorite. Particularly at 7AM ON A SATURDAY. Aren't there zoning laws or something? Because on the rare day when I don't have to get everyone up for school or church or to wipe a heinie or clean up some nail polish mess, I do not want to hear your stupid LOUD machinery. And the reason you're such a complete Lawnist (though I'll completely concede that your lawn is awesome and beautiful) is because you're not chasing after, cleaning up, wiping, cooking for, or chauffeuring any children. All your time is yours. Which you spend on your lawn. So why do you feel the need to start at the ass-crack of dawn? Hey, how's this? You agree to do the weeding and the pruning and the planting until the completely reasonable time of 11AM, after which you can fire up all your fancy loud lawn devices. And I'll agree to not let my children scream like banshees under your windows and my dog will find another yard to use as his lavatory.

Pollen, you are a green powdery bastard who makes me sick for months. You suck and I hate you and I can't take any medicine to defeat you because anti-histimines make me feel like I am drinking Jack Daniels. See above on how the Cap'n acted after Benedryl. I'm even worse and I'm a trainwreck to begin with. So you win, Pollen. For now...

And lastly, we arrive at Squirrels. In other places, squirrels may be cute and fuzzy-tailed suburban critters. In my neighborhood, they are fat, over-entitled tree rats who dig up my garden and tease my geriatric dog. These little gray bastards leap two stories off trees onto my deck to just to kill my plants. And I really don't know how they do it, because like I said these squirrels are fat. I mean obese. Their Squirrel BMI is 842. They should only be able to waddle slowly, not scamper upside down on branches and then soar through the air like Olympic gymnasts. It's like they're in Cirque de Squirell-A. Little do they know if I had a good BB gun I'd be making a Souffle du Squirelle for my poor dog, who is daily taunted by these a-holes.

I know there are other domestic enemies that make themselves known this time of year, but I am too annoyed to write any more. Because I just heard the damn ice cream truck turn onto the street.

It's fine. I left the bag of hammers by the front door. Bring it ON, Ice Cream Man.

*sigh* I love Spring.

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