Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Week's Pop Quiz

(answers below)

1. If you take the waffle iron out of the cupboard on a Saturday morning, open it up and discover an old petrified waffle inside, is it misguided to immediately turn an accusatory eye to the only man who lives in the house?

2. Should an (almost) 40-year-old woman really be expected to fit sheets on the top bunk? (“Mom, I can’t believe you came up here and didn’t break it!”)

3. If you’re at the public pool and one of your children tries to drown the other one, isn’t that really the lifeguard’s problem?

4. If you open your purse and find a half-sucked, half-melted lollipop embedded in its interior, would it be wrong to just throw the whole thing in the trash and buy a new one?

5. If you’re looking for a little stress release after a hell of a week, is happy hour with a three-year-old and a five-year-old the answer?

1. He’ll just deny it
2. Darn kids should clean their own rooms, already
3. The mother is always responsible. Haven’t you figured that out yet?
4. Take the money out first
5. Hell no

Monday, August 16, 2010

Family Vacation

Scenes from our camping vacation to the Redwoods, also the celebration of our ten-year wedding anniversary.
(As we greet a blackberry bramble enveloped in fog and mislabeled by California State Parks as our campsite)
Me: Honey! It’s where I always dreamed we’d awake on our ten-year anniversary!
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid all of these trees are going to fall on my head.
Chicken Little: I don’t want to hike. Carry me.
Chicken Noodle: You start hiking down the trail this instant or I’ll put you in time out!
Captain Daddy: Do you think this fog is a metaphor for our marriage?
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid a bear is going to eat us up.
(I come around from the backside of the truck to find Captain Daddy violently shaking a water jug over open flames burning in green grass five feet from the fire pit but two feet from the tent. His face is the color of chalk.)
Me: What did I miss?
Chicken Noodle: Daddy started us a fire.
Me: So, what do you think of your vacation so far?
Captain Daddy: I think it’s a good thing I didn’t have any expectations.
Chicken Noodle: I am afraid the ocean is going to drown us.
Me: So, the way I see it, we could pack up, hug one more big tree, and blow this joint.
Captain Daddy: Oh, baby, you turn me on with your words.
(At one more big tree)
Chicken Noodle: I am not getting out of this car until we get to a motel!
(In the pool of a motel on the freeway in Grants Pass)
Chicken Little: This is my very favorite part of our whole trip!
(Back at home)
Me: Next time I guess we’ll just skip the whole national park thing and go straight to a Best Western on I-5.

For a similar story, see My Hawaiian Vacation in Quotes

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Ghost in the Machine

I went to a writing conference over the weekend. The chickens stayed home with Captain Daddy. Mysterious incidents ensued.

Each time I braced myself and called home, not one person screamed at me from the other end.

No one called me screaming. Not once.

In fact, at one point, someone sounding a lot like Captain Daddy called me, reporting to be in a jewelry store, and asked me what kind of ring I might have in mind for our ten-year wedding anniversary, which is this Thursday. After I hung up, I stared at the phone for a long while, wondering about that three-planets-in-a-triangle thing from last week which I didn’t really pay attention to. Had it opened up some kind of freakish space warp, and if so, how long it would last?

When I got home, my grocery list had suspiciously vanished from the countertop. The items that had been on it were in the cupboards and refrigerator.

The chickens reported that they’d gone swimming, taken a bath and consumed at least one vegetable in the previous 48 hours.

The tear in my favorite yoga pants had been mended.

My hot tub had been drained, scrubbed, refilled and reheated.

Gear and food for our vacation, to commence today, had been packed.

Hmmm, I wondered. Curious. But I couldn’t ask Captain Daddy about all of this odd business, because he’d left for his day job, saving the world.

I was left alone to ponder whether I would have to hire a special kind of exorcist to deal with ghosts who know what kind of hot dog buns I like, love my children, are good at sewing and wish to buy me jewelry.

Then I came to my senses.

PS Is this picture predictive these things? Or anything else that’s happened in the last decade, for that matter? I think not.

PPS No, of course we were not drunk at our own wedding.

PPPS Okay, just a little.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Chapter 59, In Which My Family Legacy of Tree Hugging Veers Off the Tracks

Chicken Little on camping:

"Mom, do you think nature is beautiful?"

"Yes. I think nature is very beautiful."

"Well, nature is not beautiful to me. Stupid trees."