Saturday, August 30, 2008

Bathroom Science 911

I have discovered another unalterable rule of the universe, and it can be filed alongside the Law of Gravity and E=MC2. I call it Bathroom Science 911.

This is how it works. Every time I enter the bathroom for a moment of privacy, my children experience "emergencies." I, like many a parent, have defined emergency to my children as follows: any incident involving blood, loss of consciousness, and/or a house flood or fire. For whatever reason that definition does not work for my children. Allow me to demonstrate.

Just this past Monday I was taking a shower. Feeling especially empowered in my moment of privacy I shut and locked the door, because otherwise my children come in periodically to gawk at their naked mother and complain about their siblings. It's not fun for me.

I hadn't even washed my hair before one of my children began pounding on the door. "MOO-ooom! I need your help!"

I tried to be all calm and serene. "You'll have to wait until I'm out of the shower."

"WHAT?" the child screamed. "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

"I'll help you when I'm done."

"THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!" was the distressed reply. I ignored this child for a few more moments, determined to lather, rinse and repeat before leaving the shower, during which there was much door pounding and incoherent screaming.

Finally I opened the bathroom door, clutching a towel to my chest. Kaleb and Leah stood there looking at me, Kaleb's head cocked to the side as if viewing a new zoo exhibit.

"I can't pour the milk for my cereal," Leah said. Apparently that is a 911-worthy situation. I looked at her brother who has the strength, coordination, and brainpower to poor milk for cereal. Yet there I stood, dripping wet, hair unconditioned.

For whatever reason, my children do not believe in a mother's privacy. Mothers, it seems, hover somewhere outside the human realm, a unique species designed to meet their children's needs without nary a potty break.

However, anytime I walk into a bathroom in which one of them is otherwise "occupied" they yell, "MOM, I need my privacy!" Privacy, I believe, is earned by shutting the door and flushing when you're finished. Both of which I do with exactness. My children? Not so much.

Regardless, you can't argue with the universe. Which is why I'm lobbying to have the law of Bathroom Science 911 added somewhere between Einstein's and Newton's laws. Because, really, where else should they go?

Now excuse me while I run to the loo with my entourage…

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Prayers for a Fellow Blogger

Some of you may have heard, but a fellow blogger and her husband were in a plane crash and are currently being treated for severe burns. If it's one thing I've learned about blogging it's that it fosters a spectacular community of support. I share this so you too can pray for them. Today Stephanie's family and friends are holding a benefit auction intended to raise money for their recovery costs. You can also visit the link below to learn more about helping their cause. Or visit her sister's blog for updates.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Sales Demo that Sucked

When it comes to door-to-door salespeople, I’m a sucker. I’ve had my windows cleaned by a very ambitious Southern man, bought a magazine subscription from a drunk teenager, and just this week endured a 90-minute vacuum cleaner demonstration. How did I fall for that, you ask? Sit back, relax, and I’ll share.

In retrospect I realize that this was not your average salesman. This was a strategic three-man team designed to reel in prospects with an air freshener and hook them with a ludicrously priced, yet seemingly magical vacuum cleaner. I didn’t stand a chance.

First, they sent in the Headliner, the one charged with finding and securing Suckers. This particular Headliner was a dwarf, although I believe the politically correct term is “little person.” Either way, he blind-sided me, offering me an air freshener for my time and promising not to take too much of it. Before I even realized what was happening, the Headliner was introducing the Demo Guy, and then *poof*, he was gone.

Now I have a 20-year old kid in my livingroom, assembling a new age vacuum cleaner that looks like it might double as a jet-pack. His job is to shame me by sucking the dirt from my livingroom rug and displaying it on round little filters. Within 30 minutes he has collected at least 20 of them and isn’t slowing down. By the time he’s gathered about 45 dirt-encrusted disks he asks me to sit down for his formal demonstration.

I’ll admit. This vacuum cleaner was extraordinary. It had about 20 attachments and could do everything from clean your gutters to unclog your drains. But the only way I would pay $2400 for a vacuum cleaner was if it could turn my $30 throw rug into a magic carpet that would take me and my children to Disneyland. I’m sorry, but there’s not enough carpet in my life to justify a purchase of that magnitude.

But the Demo Guy’s job isn’t to sell the vacuum cleaner, it’s just to demonstrate it. After 60 minutes of being shocked and amazed by this simple household appliance, the Boss Man arrives. His job is to make the hard sell.

First let me say that any man wearing rhinestone-studded jeans shouldn’t expect to sell me anything. But, boy, did he try.

He informed me that him and his team had traveled all the way from Denver, Colorado, to the numbered streets in Idaho Falls to sell me this magical vacuum cleaner. Because apparently there are more suckers in this area code than in theirs.

I played the single-mom card and tried to look sad and pathetic atop my newly-cleaned livingroom rug (which, by the way, now looks fabulous). He practically rolled his eyes before cutting his asking price in half.

If only this bedazzled salesman knew what he was dealing with he never would have dispatched his team to my home. I am no domestic maven. And while I care about the health of my children (almost obsessively) I would expose them to all the dust mites in the world in order to put $1000 into their college accounts rather than buy his sterling silver, streamlined vacuum cleaner.

The Boss Man, dejected and annoyed, left the poor Demo Guy to clean up his mess, literally. And before the Demo Guy ducked out my front door, his magical vacuum cleaner in tow, he asked that I return the air freshener. Because apparently I sucked more than their vacuum cleaner and their sales practices.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Celibate in the City

When I first started dating, MTV really played music videos and Aqua Net was the most sophisticated hair product on the market. A lot has changed since then.

To find out if a guy was interested you either passed him a note or sent a girlfriend to ask if he was dating anyone. These days it takes about as much effort to find out if a guy is single as it does to file your taxes. I’ve decided that the late 30-something single male is about as rare as a three-headed unicorn. Where are you guys hiding out?

I decided to take the search online and became more interested in usernames than I did profiles. Did I really want to approach 2hot4u? lazyman, lonesomeloser, and stillluvmyex apparently hadn’t read the instructions on projecting a positive image. And kilzoranges, stalkingcupid and itchyscalp distracted me from my original purpose all together.

I hear that women my age must be more aggressive in order to “attract” a man. It’s a competitive market, and ladies, we outnumber the men about ten to one. Unfortunately for me, I become a little dumbfounded in the presence of an eligible bachelor. Remember how I exposed my forearms to show the beautiful pediatrician, Dr. LoveMonkey, my eczema? I’d make a great reality show but not a very good first date.

And speaking of dates, in the six months since my divorce I’ve been on one. He asked me if I played tennis or badminton or basketball—I’ve since forgotten the details. I answered, “Do women my age play organized sports?” Yeah. He didn’t ask me out again.

So I’ve taken to looking at men from afar. And in my “studies” I have seen the Idaho Falls Fire Department and am here to say they represent. I’m just saying.

Early this summer I became transfixed when a truck of firefighters came to our alley, examining a stray branch that had fallen on a power line. My family, visiting for the weekend, were startled when I rushed into the kitchen. “Can someone help me start a quick house fire? Really. I’m not kidding.”

A little desperation can turn a level-headed, single woman into a serial arsonist.

Not that I’m desperate. (Technically my username is desperateinIF.) Because I’m not.

I am an attractive SWF looking for a freakishly SM for possible LTR. Must love kids, employment, and WWE (women with eczema).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pictures, Pictures

My children have a few readers sweet on them, and they've asked me to post pictures. And I'll be honest--I have about 15 rolls of film that need developing and a digital camera that doesn't get a lot of attention. But here are the most recent pics of my lovlies:

This is just so everyone appreciates how hard it is to get three children looking in the same direction while smiling.

More appreciation please...

This is the last one of these...I promise.

Here's Kaleb in all his seven-year old, toothless glory.

Leah's my favorite subject because she's the only one who loves to stand still while getting her picture taken. "Cheeeeeeeeese...." (5 years old)

And my toughest subject, but still dang cute: Zackers! (4 years old)

Tada! A picture that makes it look like my children actually like each other...

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The Law of Distraction

I am rich.

I am thin.

I am fabulous.

Those are affirmations intended to make me, well, rich, thin and fabulous. I say them every day. The Law of Attraction tells me my life is a reflection of my thoughts so lately I’ve been thinking very generously. From what I hear the Universe will honor my positive thoughts and return all good things to me. Like this: my children are freakishly well-behaved.

But I’ve decided that another Law exists, and it needs some attention. It’s called the Law of Distraction and it goes something like this: if you think one itsy bitsy negative thought, the Universe will multiply that thought by the number of children you have and return it to you. Hence, the last time we went to Sonic, all three of my children spilled their fry sauce in the back seat of the van.

And that’s not the first time the Law of Distraction has manifested in my life.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s imagine you go to an important event, like, say, a wedding reception. Let’s say you’re alone with your children and they’re all acting out. Let’s say a timeout in an isolated classroom at the church doesn’t work so you take your children to the car, threatening to leave. Let’s say all your children lock you out of your car so you can’t get back in.

What happens next? Well, let’s break it down. You have three children. For the last two hours you’ve had very bad, bad thoughts. It’s obvious. The car alarm goes off, alerting the entire wedding party that you are a horrible mother. In addition, it takes 30 minutes to coax your oldest child from his seat to unlock the door that disengages the car alarm and allows you to make a getaway.

3 children x bad thoughts = embarrassing public event

Thus I’m trying to think positive, affirming thoughts as much as humanly possible. And it seems to be working. Aforementioned “hypothetical” event may or may not have occurred nearly three years ago. And I have yet to encounter another such monumental parenting mishap.

Unless, of course, you count that time we got locked in my sons’ bedroom this summer.

Okay, so I don’t know how the Universe works, but I’m going to pretend that it honors my positive thoughts. And yours.

So repeat after me, “I am enjoying this post more with each passing word.”

See? You’re enjoying this experience more already. Now go on with your positive self.