Monday, May 19, 2008

Spring is here!

You know how I can tell it’s spring? Whatever has been rotting in my van all winter long begins to thaw out and smell. Very bad. And the longer the winter the worst the smell. So I’m sure you can imagine my van is very “ripe” this season.

Unfortunately there’s been more hibernating in my van than a foul odor. The floor is littered with backpacks, winter coats, Happy Meal toys, fruit rollup wrappers, empty DVD cases, and dirty, wadded-up socks, to name a few things I can identify. I won’t ruin your day with descriptions of what I can’t.

We could travel across the states and my children would have a set of clothes, a lap full of toys, and enough stale French fries to make it to Nebraska. Not to mention each time the door would open and close we’d leave something behind, a sorry cross between the Clampetts and Hansel and Gretel.

And I’ll blame it all on my seven-year old son who sits in the backseat alone, eating leftovers from his Superman lunchbox and apparently wadding up his dirty socks and throwing them on the floor. Is he the only culprit? Of course not, but do you think I write this blog to take ALL the blame?

It’s not as if we haven’t tried to clean the van. In fact, to our credit, it’s been clean on several occasions. It’s stayed clean all of two hours, but it has been clean.

Sadly we are not the only ones who have had to tolerate our messy van. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I babysit my friend’s daughters who are expected to clear themselves a seat and endure drives to and from the elementary school. One of the girls has taken to asking her mother everyday if she’ll be traveling in my van because she needs to mentally prepare for the ride.

My friend informed me that my vehicle isn’t the only one that disgusts her daughter. But does that really make me feel any better? Okay, maybe a little.

I find that after I clean my van I become militant mom, ordering kids to leave their little toys and treat bagies at home. But once a fight erupts I’ll allow them to drag anything in there, short of a llama (and even that’s negotiable), to ensure a peaceful drive.

And lest you think the inside of my van is the only thing lacking, let me explain to you what one cold winter did to my bumper. The poor thing cracked and then started dragging on the ground. For an entire year we had the only minivan in Idaho Falls with a bumper held into place with duct tape. You remember that, right? Thankfully I ran over a really big rock (ahem!) and the bumper fell off. My friends and family all agree my van looks much better without it.

So in our family we celebrate spring by fumigating our minivan. And this year we were able to cap the celebration by burying our bumper.

Maybe next spring I can drive the whole thing to the dump and leave it there.

Really. Will they let me do that?

In my defense, this post was written before I cleaned out my minivan. My family is visiting this weekend and I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother feeling obligated to clean it while she was here. And it’s sad, really, how accustomed my children had become with minivan squalor. Since cleaning it out last Friday, every time Kaleb gets in he will pet one of the seats in admiration and say, “Mom, the van is so clean,” almost with the same reverence as “Mom, it’s a miracle.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Brainless in Idaho

For the record, I am currently not interested in dating (so please, do not email the paper requesting to set me up with your handsome, yet freakishly single cousin/brother/son/friend who so happens to be taller than 5’10 and handy enough to fix my roof and tile my kitchen floor. Oh, and serenade me with his dizzying voice and slack-key guitar. That definitely wouldn’t interest me at all). But still, sometimes a girl can be consumed by a fit of curiosity which causes her to do strange things, in strange places.

A few weeks ago my friend told me about this beautiful bachelor who also happened to be a pediatrician. My friend and her sister raved about Dr. LoveMonkey, admitting they became giddy every time their children ran a fever.

Flash forward to last week. Zack had a rash. It looked suspiciously like ringworm, so I made an appointment with my pediatrician. My pediatrician was out of town so they managed to squeeze us in with, you guessed it, Dr. LoveMonkey.
Lest you suspect otherwise, I totally kept my cool. I was just surprised that the infamous Dr. LoveMonkey actually worked with my pediatrician; to tell you the truth I suspected he was an urban legend and my friend was just messing with me. I was curious, but otherwise unaffected.
Unaffected, that is, until Dr. LoveMonkey walked into the examination room. My friend hadn’t done the man justice. He was handsome alright, and exotic, and warm, and hypnotic in a dizzying sort of slack-key guitar way. For a girl who prides herself with being educated and articulate, I immediately became brainless and bumbling. Had I only become speechless. But no, unfortunately, speech was the last thing to go.
After my awkward description of Zack’s strange rash in which I somehow managed to say I was divorced, Dr. LoveMonkey looked my son over and said the rash was textbook eczema.
“Is that genetic, because I think I have it.”
Yes, I said that. And, no, I didn’t stop talking. I couldn’t stop talking. Words dropped from my mouth in humiliating combinations.
But the nice doctor didn’t bat an eye. “Yes. It’s definitely genetic.” And he showed me the classic areas eczema can found, including the inner forearm.
And I promise I’m not making this up. I wish I were. But after he pointed that out I actually began rolling up my sleeves to show Dr. LoveMonkey my eczema, because apparently in that brainless moment I thought flakey skin just might be the key to this man’s heart. Oh, and I think I said something dazzling like, “I have that…”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I met the most eligible bachelor in Idaho Falls and showed him my eczema. Now I’m no brain surgeon or rocket scientist, but I’m guessing this means I’m not quite ready to date.
Date or interact with the single male species.