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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  1. For years, I had my kids believing that when the ice cream van music played that meant it was out of ice cream.

  2. I HATE the ice cream man! Dinner time is a 5:30 at our house and he comes down the street at exactly 5:15 EVERY frickin day! As for the Lawnist? I have one right next door who mows his lawn right under my 3 year old triplets bedroom window at 7am 3 days a week! We also have massive mosquitos and I have a child who is allergic to mosquitos. Every time she gets bit it swells to unimaginable proportions then bruises. She looks as if she's been beaten non-stop all summer long.

  3. Farmer Foreplay. That's the funniest thing I've heard all day.

  4. Do we live in the same place? Pretty sure we do. The other day the ice cream truck was out at 7:45 A.M.! I wish there was a bold-italics-underline function on the comment section because I'd be using it for the A.M. portion. WHO TF needs ice cream that early? (Besides me....the more accurate question would be "What CHILD needs ice cream that early?")

  5. Oh my goodness! I HATE squirrels.....I call them "yard rats" ~ so glad to see someone else agrees with my assessment of them....I've asked for an air rifle for Christmas, birthday, Mother's Day ~ no dice. Hubby says I can't "shoot up the neighborhood" trying to rid us of yard rat infestation.......

  6. 1.I think you found a pic of the fattest squirrel on earth!!!
    2. Try Zyrtec. It's OTC now and doesn't make me drowsy.
    3. I will see your "Farmer Foreplay" and raise you this:

    Happy Spring, Ladies!

  7. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Squirrels!!! I detest those little bastards. I had one eat a whole in my outside trashcan to get to the trash/food inside. They are relentless! I even got a pic of one sitting on my trashcan just munching away on a leftover tortilla chip while sticking his bootie up in front of my cat at the window. They never relent this time of year, lol... Thanks for the laugh!!!

  8. A friend of mine worked at a Chuck E. Cheese. The stories he tells would make the CDC vomit. Stay away. Far far away.

  9. This may sound completely nuts, but if you take a teaspoon of locally made honey every day for about 2 weeks, it really helps with pollen allergies. I wish taking a teaspoon of ice cream every day warded off the ice cream truck.

    You guys rock.

  10. Laughed out Loud at "People, the answer is always NO. It's the same answer you get when I hear the words: Chuck E Cheese." I though it was only my kids who were immediately transformed in to whiny messes when that thing shows up. This post made my day!

  11. When he was a tiny tot, I had my son (now 13) convinced that the "music truck" was the signal to kids that it was time to head inside and get ready for dinner (when it came around early) or bed (when it came around late). Good times, good times! So much easier to pull that kind of thing when it was just him. The next inline (a too bright now 10 year old), figured out very quickly that those trucks had more going for them than music.

  12. Can I have permission to post the Lawn Zealot section to my neighbor's front door? He uses a RULER, and fires up the loudest mower in creation when I still have SNOW in my flowerbed. Right underneath my kids windows, several mornings a week.
    And then complains because we throw 2 kids birthday parties a year. Payback buddy, payback.

  13. "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."

    I laughed my BUTT OFF when I read this part... I have had the same exact thoughts after being tortured by PBS in the AM....

  14. For Squirrels: Bought my son a BB gun and told him that the squirrels were little rats.

    Icecream Trucks: They have diseases that will make you fall down dead instantly. Problem solved.

    My son has never had a sunburn is his life. Everything else I just deal with...

  15. Our ice cream man comes by at *wait for it* 7:30PM. Yes, PM. I have a hit out for him. He comes blaring down the street just as all the kids have calmed down from having to come inside while the sun is still up. We heart him.

  16. And here I thought it was just me hating on squirrel's, bugs, pollen, construction and Chuck E. Cheese. I hate that. We don't have kids yet but Clark Kent is aware that he's on duty for parties there. I will never ever ever ever ever go there again. Working in healthcare and taking Microbiology classes ruin everything.

  17. OMG! We were at the soccer fields yesterday and there was an ice cream truck and at least four of the freakin' mexican frozen fruit bar trolley carts there with their dinging bells. The answer is always NO! I can buy a whole box of popsicles for what it costs for one single SpongeBob popsicle from the ice cream truck.

  18. Squirrels are just rats in cuter outfits!

  19. Pedophiles drive the ice cream truck. My 7 year old will tell you that, he's heard me say one too many times.

  20. I will see your lawnists and raise you an entire landscaping crew. My apartment complex landscapers come around 8:00 AM every week. And, my bedroom window faces grass. It's AWESOME.

    And ice cream trucks are disgusting. They'll pedophile mobiles with ice cream inside instead of candy.

  21. You should try Avon's Bug Guard. It is DEET free, and some of it is even combined with Sunscreen. It comes in sprays, towelettes, and lotions. It repels everything! If I had your address, I would mail you some to try.

  22. Broadleaf Plantain (Plantigo Major) Takes the itch and burn out of bite and sting and it cures poison ivy.

  23. That friggin' ice cream truck used to conveniently stop right by my open window, just after I had gotten all the kids to fall asleep for naptime! Argh!

  24. Oh, ladies. You are too funny and it is all sooo true! The ice cream truck is at the top of my list. $1.25 for a popsicle? I don't think so!

  25. For the sunscreen problem... Banana Boat makes a fabulous *Tear Free* sunscreen that works just as well as the regular stuff. I know the tear-free bit works because at work I have to put sunscreen on 5 or 6 kids before I can take them out (daycare center) and I have glopped it into the eyes of an assortment of squirming, struggling, flailing, uncooperative children and none of them have been upset by it.

  26. I agree with you on most issues, but I do love the ice cream truck. In our neighborhood is is an adorable pink truck run by a mother and some of her kids. Although one summer we had this come through ...

    ... and it was awesome!

  27. I'm not a mom, but I was a day care provider for 6 years. Everytime that dame truck drove past was hilarious as 16 children between the ages of 2 and 7 all rush to the fence screaming like baboons and nearly scale the damn thing to get at the 5 trucks that drove through the neighborhood on any given day. I also live near a park and once heard the same freaking song play for 3 and a half hours as the "crazy go nuts" truck parked itself near the playground.

    I actually have a phobia of mosquitoes, ew, and sunscreen, we had giant commercial sized pump jugs of the stuff. Every kid lined up to go out side and we'd go down the line. Arms up!Face up! Eyes closed! Peanut Butter lips! and spread! I'd try and do it as fast as possible to make it a game, making race car noises to make it fun, but MAUD forbid if it got into their eyes...

  28. Mosquitoes HATE the smell of bounce dryer sheets, We tested the theory of rubbing our clothes and skin with a dryer sheet and tucking it in the back of our shirts everyday while camping for a week, NO ONE came back with bites! Its fairly cheap and works wonders! Try it!

  29. Squirrels!!!! They literally ran their fat little furry butts right through my beautifully re-screened back porch, just to taunt us at the back door. I think I heard them saying nothing could keep them out and laughing a little squeaky laugh. Hey there, meet my Husky. She loves small animals. I think they deposited a few ticks on the porch while running for their little furry lives.

  30. OMG - I love this. I farking HATE with a passion ice cream trucks. Pass the hand grenade please.

  31. I see that this was an old post, but I am with you on the Dear Ticks. Last year about this time my 4yr old had one on his.. well.. balls. yup, right smack dab in the middle of the jewels. We all remained calm and didn't panic. A little neosporin and tweezers and the job was done. HOWEVER for weeks my son told EVERYONE where the tick was. Compete with hand gestures and crotch grabbing. The cashier at Walgreens, the gas station attendant, the parking guy at Disney, I am pretty sure that Mickey Mouse himself knows that My well spoken 4yr old had a tick attack his junk (RIGHT HERE) and mommy took it out with tweezers because Daddy was to nervous. Awesome.

  32. Mosquitoes: Try it here in the Philippines (or any other tropical "paradise"). We have it all year round. Haha.




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