Relationship Tests….AKA….that time I was super swamp monsterish and Ish. Got. Real.

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I have been trying, genuinely, to stick to my low carb, really strict diet. It’s not horrible; it just takes effort that I generally don’t put into, like, anything…but I was doing okay. There have been some rough patches where I decided to fat girl swan dive into sugar saturated anything. I have this self-destructive streak that ensures as soon as I see any results (like the fat waddle under my chin shrinking and a jawline kinda peeking out) I immediately have cravings so intense it’s physically painful.

Thanksgiving was rough. I went wild. Like, hog wild growled if anyone touched my food, or got near my food, or walked into the room while I was sticking my head in the feeding bucket. I told myself when we got back to TN I’d get back into my groove.

Ha.

We got back late on Sunday and when Mancandy offered to order delivery I was completely on board. One last Harrah before reining in my out of control inner child. Chinese sounded good after gorging on Turkey and stuffing.

I was hungry so even though it did not taste amazeballs, it was what I had, so I stuffed it down my gizzard. It was a disappointing Harrah. Mildly sad, I unpacked, sorted out animal medication and supplies, and glared at Mancandy who was thoroughly enjoying his dish. I do not care to suffer alone.

Keep in mind it tasted like cardboard and I ate every last bit. Tell me that doesn’t indicate a mental issue.

But alas, we had to go back to work so our routine needed to go back to normal. Comfy pj’s, brushed teeth, sleepy time meds down the hatch, and into peaceful slumber we crept. Except right before I was really asleep my stomach moved. Not just a gurgle or blurp either. That sucker moved from its normal location to my throat in a move that made me break into a sweat immediately.

I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I knew it wasn’t good.

I flew into the bathroom and through the door to the “water closet” at lightning speed. I didn’t stop to grab a trash can. That was a tragic mistake on my part. Of course, our trash can has little cut-outs so it wouldn’t have been great, but I digress.

I honestly didn’t know what to do. Kneel? Sit? WHAT IS GOING ON AND WHERE IS IT GOING TO COME OUT! I was drenched in sweat, everything hurt, and I was insanely nauseous but did not trust that I was safe to assume puking would be the only fun I’d have. I decided I’d rather clean up puke, so I sat.

I pictured the scene from aliens where the wee little alien protrudes through the ribs. In my mind, it would be bursting from my gut. I was about to open the door and grab a towel from the stupidly tiny towel closet when I heard a throat clear.

Mancandy was in the bathroom! Code red! This is NOT a drill!

I’m dripping sweat and cramping like my guts were in a vice grip. This was about to be real ugly real fast. He needed to leave.

“Um, are you okay?”

I went into a coughing fit that ended in a gag, and a weird “glurp” sound I’ve never made before.

I can hear him shuffling his feet and breathing his not sweaty normal breath.

“Can you just throw a towel down outside the door? I think I’m going to be sick.” Understatement. Such a massive huge gigantic ridonculous understatement.

“Can I do anything to help?” He was being so nice. I doubled over on a particularly vile cramp and my body flashed hot and cold at the same time.  My mouth was doing that gross drooling yet dry thing that happens right before you puke.

“No. Thanks. Oh god, I can’t talk, it’s go time.”

And it was.

I will spare you the details, mostly so I can keep a tiny amount of my pride intact.

But it was bad. So very, very bad.

I basically exploded.

There wasn’t room for embarrassment in the middle of it. I was just trying to survive.

There are little adorable frogs that puke up their guts, shovel out whatever offends them, and swallow their stomach back into the correct location.

I envied them. Desperately.

The violence of the episode ensured it was fairly short-lived. However, the after party meant I had to brush my teeth over and over, a quick sink bath to be less sweaty and gross, and then pass through the bedroom to get to the cleaning supplies and mop (it was a war zone).

He was sitting on the bed. I felt it was my duty to warn him, “Don’t go in there.” We blinked at each other.

He finally said, “That was really loud.”

I immediately blushed so hard my ears turned to fire and the shame made me wish to melt through the floor into a swampy mess of monster downstairs.

Side note: I inherited my Dad’s natural defense mechanism, involuntary scream puking! It’s a great party trick. Think puking, but while you’re heaving up your guts you scream out your rage. Involuntarily. Just BLAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGG at the top of your lungs.

He’d never been exposed to that little quirk. He was startled. I didn’t know what to do. I nodded and went to get cleaning supplies. I was walking as quickly as I could through the room on the return trip, dreading the job ahead, and he cleared his throat again.

“I don’t even really know what just happened. I thought you were trying to die politely without bothering me but I couldn’t stay and listen to….that. I didn’t know humans could make those….noises”.

How does one respond to that? I just went into the bathroom, slammed the door, and tried to get through as fast as possible. I may never eat Chinese food again.

By the time I got everything cleaned up I was cold and everything hurt. I did not want to go back out to the bedroom. I didn’t want to talk to him. I was pretty sure we probably shouldn’t talk ever again. You don’t come back from that. I’m a swamp monster at best, but listening to a swamp monster blarg is probably on a totally new level of not good.

I contemplated crying, it seemed like the correct response (very girly), but it was too much effort and I couldn’t spare what little water was left in my body. I kept my face down and shambled to the bed, crawling in on my side and staying as far away from him as possible. Humiliation doesn’t cover what just happened. I may have PTSD. He probably does too.

I could just feel him wanting to talk to me. I curled up, tried to shrink my giant self into a smaller form, and prayed he’d just fall asleep.

“Did you know there’s some kind of frog that pukes up its own stomach?” he murmured from the other side of the bed.

I couldn’t help but smile. I muttered that I had been jealous of them a little bit ago.

“Dear God that was so loud,” he said.

“Shut up” I replied.

“K.”

 

 

Upright Mayhem

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I am failing at girling. I started a new job in an office where people dress like adults (hence why I’ve been MIA for a bit – job plus company in town equals exhausted, hassled me). I can’t wear jeans, an oversized t-shirt, and my hair in a floof. The only part of that I was able to salvage was an “artfully tousled bun”, aka a floof with a bit of extra work. I did a small bit of panicked adult girl shopping (a few bras that weren’t 10+ years old, dress pants (there’s not enough booze in the world to get me in a skirt), and a few tops that were in the “blouse” section of the website (which I haven’t visited in 6+ years).

Trying to shop for clothes is a good way to make me drink anyway, everything is either too small, too revealing, too grandma, too trendy, too horrible to allow me to exit the experience with the tatters of my self-esteem still in my possession. I hate shopping and I especially hate shopping for uncomfortable adult shit. But, it had to be done. I won’t get paid until the end of the first month so my poor credit card is moaning from the extra weight because not only is “business casual” clothing uncomfortable and generally unflattering, it’s also expensive as hell.

Then I realized after walking in the one pair of girl shoes I possess, female specific shoes are not actually meant to walk in! No….no silly girl! You can stand in them fairly easily, but if you walk more than…say….3 feet you will BLEED. I dripped blood into my stupid girl shoes all day and by the end of it I was angry. Very very angry. So I ordered some girl crap specifically recommended for comfort. The ONLY pair I could find on clearance had heels, but it was a pair of boots and the heels were clunky, so I felt fairly confident I could handle it. I’m an idiot.

Why you may ask?

Here’s what happened before I even got the stupid heels.

I felt pretty okay with life. I had on some relatively girly crap and was wearing dress-ish cowboy boot looking things. Minimal heel, broken in, no issues. I figured this would work until my girl shoes arrived in the mail. Nashville traffic is a beast so I get to my parking garage to catch the shuttle early. So do a lot of other people. There’s a small set of stairs leading to the shuttle area. Lots of folks stand there waiting in a line to get on the shuttle. I started down the TINY number of stairs (seriously, like three) and for NO reason at all my foot goes out from under me.

Sidenote: I’d rather eat a turd than fall down. It’s a phobia of sorts. It’s not rational, but I will fight like a champion of awkward to stay upright.

I did that awkward windmill arm rubber legged dance thing you do when you try to catch up to yourself to avoid falling. I also made a loud monkey bellow “ooooooohhhhhheeeeeeeeaaaaaaaahhhhhh” kind of deal to go along with my impromptu performance. I caught up to myself and burst out laughing because you just KNOW when you look like an idiot AND I was amazed I was upright. Primo idiot material had just happened. I burst out laughing, turned bright red (even my ears were burning), and couldn’t quit giggling as all of the other commuters stood there not even smiling and staring at me. We boarded the shuttle. I’m snorting and gagging trying to get myself under control. I think it was the adrenaline from a near death experience that had me in its grips.

I then tripped over nothing and smashed my face into the storage bump thing over the seat I was trying to get into. It made a very loud clunk. Everyone is now staring at me in horror.

I have one hand smashed against my forehead that was quickly beginning to throb and pulse and one over my mouth to try and stem the tide of awkward laughter. I plop down to try and get my shit together, but I can’t stop laughing. I’m shaking and making weird snorty noises and then because God hates me I laugh/snort/belch this loud dying moose sound.  Which made me cackle like a witch. No one else was laughing. Just me.

So that was my first commuter shuttle ride.

Since then I’ve worn heels. I’ve had a “not quite a fight but a something” with Mancandy. I’ve had a Candy Invasion where most of the Mancandy crew was here. There’s a lot going on, plenty of stories to tell. I’m going to have to work at getting them all down, but for now, this one should suffice. If you ever feel awkward, just read this and realize you’re coordinated awesomeness in comparison.

You’re welcome.

My head doesn’t hurt anymore but my feet are still torn to bits 3 weeks later. Being a girl is complete horse patoot.

The War

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I’m doing battle. They don’t realize it, but we are at war. We have a garbage can and a recycling can in our kitchen. The garbage has a built in incentive to remove it regularly, it reeks if you don’t. We’re both fairly quick to take that out to the big garbage can in the garage. The recycling, however, ends up the leaning tower of plastics. It has become an art form to stack recyclable stuff on top of the can, I’m assuming everyone (kids and in-law types included) assume that if your piece drops then you are responsible for taking it out (not that they do) so there are intricate little towers built every single time. Like a weird Jenga. And there’s this assumption by all that taking recyclables out means only taking out what’s actually in the can. Anything that can be stacked to the side should be left inside to fill up the empty can immediately upon returning from the garage.

I enjoy when the small humans are here because I can make them take care of these things. However, there are down sides. Putting liners back in the cans must be brought up every single time. If they don’t put a liner in they then forget liners existed and all the snot rags and bits of leftover food end up in a concrete of grossness at the bottom that I then have to scrape out. Also, when taking trash/recycling out to the garage they feel it is appropriate to leave the door to the garage wide open. Letting my very very precious air conditioning escape, along with all of the animals. Trying to catch cats that don’t want to be caught in a hot, stinky, messy garage is the epitome of herding cats. By the time I get them in the two “normal” cats are angry and look for something to pee on. The dog is chewing on mysterious items I then have to wrestle her to take back. And the special cat is busy twirling his stress and usually has some sort of grease or oil all over him leaving little black kitty prints on the floor.

Not only this, but everyone overlooks that the lid of the garbage can is disgusting. I’m the only one who manages to see the gunk on it. Well, the dog notices and tries to help, but I don’t know what it is most of the time and refuse to let her do so. I have this crazy notion that if you smear some sort of thick mucus type substance on the lid of the pain, YOU should clean it up. My gender does not equate with I want to clean up all of your most disgusting habits and secretions so that you don’t have to spend another second away from your video games.

I’m just about to the point of temper tantrum. Which none of them have seen yet, and so thereby do not fear. They will learn. They will feel my wrath. And if they let out one single molecule of the deliciously cooled air in this house I will smite them and make my name legend. The end.

PS. I feel this post is proof I would be a bad mother. They would not live long. The end, for realsies.

Test of Wills.

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The cats rule us in this house. It was never my intention to have a gaggle of cats. I had a geriatric diabetic cat who ruled the roost for years, so I was very much wanting to have some time without constantly medicating/bathing/cleaning up after a crabby cat. I was traveling a lot when I had her and that cat HATED to travel. Each trip, no matter the duration, ended up with projectile diarrhea, urinating, and screaming the entire trip while she sloshed around in her own mess to get as disgusting as possible. One time we hadn’t even moved yet, just sitting in the driveway. I tried letting her out in the truck thinking confinement was the issue. I now have a truck that has a distinct smell I can never get out as it simply allowed her to squish her miasma of grossness everywhere she could get to. I couldn’t afford to kennel her so she’d get her medication, I couldn’t leave her without the insulin, so she had to come along. My truck and my nose will never be the same. So when I say I wanted a break, I was beyond ready for a break from needy cats.

Then Weebles happened. Months of no sleep, bottle feedings, various medications, visits to vets across the state, moves across the country, and the never-ending sound of his songs to his people or his incessant need to scratch the litter box. Now I listen to his antics all night or wear ear plugs, clean up after said antics in the morning, try to toddler proof my house for a cat and fight tooth and nail to medicate twice a day.

He loved pill pockets. It was a perfect harmony, a treat with a hidden gem of meds that I didn’t have to fight to get in him. Unfortunately, since he’s now part of the household and still fascinated by the “big cats”, he has no time for medication. Or people. He wants absolutely nothing to do with us and is much too busy for medication! I switched from salmon to chicken flavor and that seemed to take care of it. And then that nose shot up in the air and he began refusing yet again.

I thought maybe I’d handled the pill too much before putting it into the pill pocket. The first couple refusals I didn’t think much of it, scruffed him, popped it down the gullet, and went on my way muttering. It’s been over a week. He does not want anything to do with his much-beloved pill pockets and he’s slowly learning that when I walk toward him he should run away. Thankfully he can’t figure out which way to run very quickly, but it’s only a matter of time.

They need to come up with a patch I can stick on him that slowly doses meds that way. Or a long lasting med I can give less frequently. It won’t happen, there aren’t enough cats with his condition for the expense and time of clinical trials and all that jazz, but now I’ll be pestering his vet for a compounding liquid option or something similar but not exactly the same as pill pockets to see if I can entice him. His face, when he decides he doesn’t want to take his meds, is possibly the best combo of “NO!” and “WHAT IS HAPPENING!?”  He’s also got this nifty move of ducking his head down and back between his shoulder blades so finding his scruff when he’s running away is pretty difficult. Like an odd little beaver, he flattens himself out and scrooches those eyes to slits and talks uuuuuuugly. In the good column, he can’t think fast enough to actually swipe at me so I just have to keep his mouth from closing whilst my fingers are inside of it.

My diabetic kid was food motivated, so shots of insulin were no big deal. Just give her treats and she didn’t even notice. Weebs doesn’t care about food at all. He’s still in wonder of his new siblings and wants to follow them or go look for them. That’s it. He was so worn out from following them around last night that I found him sleeping in a weird position in the middle of the upstairs landing and didn’t even stir when my dog licked his face (her breath is enough to raise zombies). She narrowly missed stepping on him when she turned around and her tail smacked into him. He didn’t even move. I had to check to make sure he was breathing; it gave me a mild panic for a second. He was just snoozing.

I’m irritated with the entire situation, but that’s what you get with special needs kits. So much frustration. His obsession with his litter box is a discussion for another day, but it’s going to happen.

However, one thing I do NOT find irritating is the amount of fancy footwork we’ve gotten video of. And bizarre play spazzing oddness. Watching him try to be a normal cat is one of my favorite activities. If you haven’t seen it, the Instagram link for this blog is on the left side bar. Videos and pics are uploaded there. Feel free to check them out (ignore the fact my house is not super clean and fancy, I’d make an excuse but I just don’t care enough to put that much effort into it).

I Hate Math. So There.

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I hate when I ride with Mancandy when he needs to stop for diesel. I tend to enjoy hanging out with Man O’Candy, and I LOVE his truck (he has a huge old work truck that I find delightful because I’m really a guy in my mindhole), so I forget every single time. But as soon as he’s back in the truck there are immediately numbers flung in my direction.

To preface the rant about to happen, I suck at math. And when I say I suck at math, I mean I know it’s a huge weakness (like diagnosed learning disability level weakness) and I avoid it at all costs in order to look more intelligent than I actually am. I wouldn’t mind looking slow so much if he wasn’t eerily good at math. We have so many books about math and calculus and physics and crap in this house and zero percent of them belong to me.

Mancandy and the mini candies LOVE math. Love and then some extra good gooey happy emotions. It’s the bee’s knees to them. They’re little wierdo’s fathered by a large weirdo. They enjoy trying to figure out physics problems while we’re stuck in traffic. Gag me with an oversized spoon. They’re all happily arguing about the effect (or is it affect? I can’t ever figure out which is which.) of gravity when an object moves upward (12 year old to 12 year old: “Not acceleration dummy, it would decelerate because gravity would steadily pull at it!”)

So I’m sitting there all innocently being crap at math, and a random duo of numbers heads my way.

“280 and 12, GO!”

I jump. It was a loud go and I’m starting to hear warning bells in the back on my mind. This is bad, but I’m not sure why yet. I just know I won’t like it.

I’m instantly defensive.

“Why are you yelling at me!? Go where!?”

And I remember at exactly the moment he gives me a look that says I’m a slightly broken thing he might be able to fix. Welcome to Enraged Italian 101.

“I am not doing division! I suck at it, there will be carrying of numbers, and I need to write it down, and you KNOW this makes me feel stupid! Why do you do this to me!?”

I get a sassy grin and “Practice makes perfect!”

I cannot adequately express the tangle of things in my brain. Violence, shame, anger, and amusement. And all sorts of other things sprinkled in, like seasonings. I don’t want to, but refusal just makes it worse. He’s as stubborn as I am, and despite being so pissed I’m vibrating I don’t want to actually start a real fight because I’m scared of a math problem. But just the idea of having to work through it terrifies me, and THAT makes me even more angry. There is no win in this, just humiliation and craptastic math skills.

I then try to stumble through it. Out loud. While he laughs and doles out praise of extremely simple thought processes that makes me angrier and stupidly happy all at once. When I’m trying in vain to finger write on the roof of the truck so I can see what stupid number I JUST came up with he seems really proud of himself. I’m going to put a dry erase board in that truck with markers so I can actually figure out the problem next time. And for the smarties in the crowd, the rules his jerk self made up involve no calculators. So my phone is out, even though I tried to be sneaky with that.

I don’t do emotions. They’re dumb. And it’s amazing and embarrassing showing off a huge weakness. Especially to someone you know is epically good at the thing you suck at.

Moral of the story: Dating someone good at math is great for most situations. Except when they try to make you better at math. Or just never go with them for fuel again. Or get stuck in traffic in the truck while all the people around you foam at the mouth over a physics problem. Cause that’s just not normal.

An Ode to My Front Door

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I was at the front door when I realized we had library books that needed to go back today. A lot of them. I’d taken out my usual tower, and Mancandy had borrowed several for the mini candy’s recent visit. Children’s books are oddly shaped and one was massively wide. I refuse to do the multiple trips to the car thing. Instead I threw my purse on my arm, got my keys ready in one hand, grabbed all 30 books (not that many but it felt like that many and like they were multiplying) in an awkward hug with giant kid book kicked into my ribs (they should be padded enough not to notice that but alas).

Our front door does not have the normal knob turny thing. It only closes securely when you flip the deadbolt. So if you are trying to say, lock the house with an armload of books, you have to try to pull on the key hard enough to keep the door flush with the frame yet not hard enough for the key to come out. You must also maintain constant pressure while convincing the key to turn.

I live in the south. It’s beyond hot and muggy right now, and our front porch is in the full sun with the heat reflecting off of all nearby surfaces. As soon as I stepped out with my huge load and turn back the dog is trying to come with me. A stern “NofortheloveofgodIdonothavetimetodealwithyourightnowit’ssounbelieveablyhotrightnowjesusdrippingchristIammelting!!!!!” made her tilt her head and start singing the song of her people. I was already sweating. Ergo, I was already angry. I ignored the screech-yowls, pulled the door and then had to throw my knee up to stop the dog from a new rush toward freedom when the rug that Mancandy has at the front door wadded up and blocked the door.  It does this every time I’m carrying something. And every time I swear I’m setting it on fire when I get back, but by then I’ve forgotten. After readjusting the stack of books so they’d stab a new place and stop slipping in my sweaty grip, I shoved the dog back and re-entered the house. Strange dance moves got the rug flattened back down. The dog had moved back, laid down, and instead of screeching was now making a very quiet yet astonishingly annoying high pitch whine. One foot on the rug, I balanced solely on that foot to take a step like a normal flipping human, and the rug started shooting out from under me at an unnatural velocity. I spent what felt like 10 minutes fighting to stay upright. Books went everywhere. The dog was dancing around me barking. The normal cat screeched as it ran away expressing its displeasure loudly. The not at all normal cat puffed up and started spinning in circles. I said all the bad words I knew and then made up some new ones.

 

Derp cat

This was derp cats expression.

 

I gathered books up again, made sure the rug was flat and spun around the door as I pulled it behind me so the dog and I didn’t have to fight again. Unfortunately, with the momentum I had going and the fact the outside of the door was approximately 89 billion degrees when my hand came into contact with it means I slammed into the storm door which slammed into the entryway and the books went flying again and the dog came bouncing out anyway. I would not have handled this gracefully on a cool day. I had negative patience for this type of shenanigan foolishness while sweating bullets.

I was so angry I don’t really know what I screamed at the dog. Something about sucking her soul out through her eyes before drinking it down if she did not get back into the house immediately. And there was a LOT more inappropriate language in that but I’ll spare your delicate eyeballs.

I was watching my fuzzy potato in cat form spin closer to me and make trilling noises. The dog bounded over as best able with her old self and scrambled inside to avoid my wrath. The spinning derp hadn’t gotten to me yet so I pulled the door closed. The rug tried to stop me but I screamed in primal rage and shoved it back into the spinning derp and the derp thinking this was a hilaaaaarious game and I might let her out again. There was the sound of scrambling but I don’t know what happened because the door was finally shut. And yet the first 20 times I tried to lock the bolt, the key would start to come out of the lock before it turned. I had sweat running down my back, down my face, and into my eyes. My side is permanently indented from the billion books that, at this point, weighed 3 metric tons shoved into my ribcage. Eventually, I got the stupid lock turned in the stupid door and got the stupid books into the stupid truck. I was drenched in sweat and hadn’t even gotten out to the public part of being out in public.

My first stop was the liquor store. It hadn’t originally been my mission, Mancandy had requested something, but it became my goal as I knew the house had no rum and after that adventure it NEEDED rum. I stomped into the store and asked the man to direct me to the rum. Keep in mind, the liquor store is at most a 5-minute drive. I was still sweaty and obviously furious. He saw the raging Italian and stammered directions before disappearing. I gathered up my booze and stomped to the register. A man popped up from behind it and asked if I’d be interested in champagne on sale. I glared at him until he took my money and went away.

I stomped outside clutching my bottles and saw someone parked beside my truck. We were the only vehicles in the lot. The problem with that is the fact there were people in the vehicle, windows down, and if he’d stuck his face even with his window he could have kissed my truck. I moved their way slowly, giving them time to realize they were in my trucks touch bubble.

A man got out of the car and made much too much eye contact from so far away. He was going to ask me for money or one of my bottles or something. I usually try to be quick and pleasant while telling those sorts of folks no. Today I had no fear. No stress. No social anxiety. I was full of sweat and rage. I started stomping. He began walking to me and the spiel started. I didn’t let him get past “Hey lady, can you…” before I drowned him out with my “It has been a pretty crap start to this day so I’m going to need you to not ask me for anything and move that car because I’m about to get in that truck and if I have to open the door into your car and climb in through your window I will do so. Do not test me today!”

His mouth hung open and as I got close enough for him to see the sweat fueled insanity in my eyes he backpedaled. He vaulted into his car, slammed it into reverse, and left the lot with hustle. It made me no less sweaty, but it did bring me much satisfaction.

It’s Opposite World

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My dog and I have never really been around children. We find them to be loud and sticky and they do not respect touch bubbles. Any time a child puts a sticky hand anywhere near me I immediately respond as most folks do when a wasp tries to sting them: jelly legs and gasping half screams. Plus when they learn to talk they start being difficult vocally as well as physically. I just don’t see the appeal. My dog has an even worse reaction to kids than I do, she is obviously terrified but her way of showing it is to growl and try to eat them. Parents tend to get uppity when your dog wants to eat their little bambino.

This is my fault, of course. I never socialized Bell with children (I didn’t socialize with anyone who had any). So moving in with a man who has a small army of clones that are often here for extended periods of time terrified me. He, however, couldn’t have been less concerned. He loves him some Bell, she’s in love with him, and love will conquer all. Except for kids. I told him I didn’t like kids. He laughed as if I was joking. I wasn’t. Yet here we are. And there are so so so many children.

The eldest of the Mancandy offspring is now 14. He’s caught in that awkward not really a kid but not yet an adult age and is the calmest of the little ones. Bella likes him. He pets her, talk’s sweet to her, and doesn’t jet around everywhere like a hummingbird on crack.

The twins are now 12, and they are still in the child stage of a druggie bird. Everything they do is in fast forward. They run into and out of rooms, instead of walking around they jump over, they throw things instead of handing them, and the noise is always at an insane decibel. There’s confusion about how sound travels because they can be 4 inches apart and they will scream everything they say to each other rather than talk in a normal tone.

Bella hated them. She wanted to like them, but as soon as they went from sleeping children to awake children she wanted no part of it. She would wait until my attention was elsewhere and she’d show them teeth if they came too close. She began guarding furniture. Then she guarded entire rooms. They finally came clean about her behavior and she was banished from the room if she acted like a donkey. She was never left with them unsupervised. She figured out that if she wanted to be where everyone else was (and like most dogs she very much wants to be in the middle of it) she had to mind her manners. I do not trust her with them alone, but she’s gotten much easier with them.

This past visit from Mancandy’s family was a big one. One of the mini-candies lives across the country so her visits are few and far between. She flew in, we scooped up her brothers, and Mancandy Parental Units came down. There were Candies of various ages everywhere. The youngest slept in our room on an air mattress. The boys kept their usual room. The parental unit inhabited the guest room. The house that seems pretty big most of the time became much too small. There were people everywhere. And children have a need to move things to places that make no sense. The house looked like a gaggle of raccoons had spent a couple hours gleefully tearing the house apart and had eaten everything in the house while deconstructing it. I took to locking myself in the water closet of the master bathroom with the outer door locked as well so I could pretend I didn’t hear anyone knocking. Two doors are sound proof you know. Often Bell came in to hang out with me.

I had no idea how my dog would handle this, and I was even more concerned about Weebles. His reactions are rarely predictable, and he doesn’t really know how to run away or defend himself. A gaggle of loud children plus my anti-kid dog and my confused potato cat seemed like a recipe for disaster. I was, fortunately, mistaken.

Bella figured out quickly the kids dropped food constantly. Especially the 9-year-old. Bell’s love of food (she’s definitely my dog) overrode her fear of the kids. She didn’t necessarily want to cuddle with them, but she was MUCH more at ease.  I could relax and not be on high alert for a launch to maul a child’s face.

Weebs, however, was the star of the show. He is the perfect cat for children. He’s fascinated by movement, so he would play with feet, toys, fingers, etc., for hours. He will grab but doesn’t scratch or bite. He’s too confused to object to being hauled around (the 9-year-old loved to carry him around). He doesn’t care if there are loud noises or fast movements. He’s not overwhelmed by 4 children crowded around him. He was absolute perfection. He got so much attention he’s been sleeping hardcore for 3 days straight and I don’t blame him a bit. Between trying to keep up with the other cats, be nosy and follow adults around, and trying to catch quick little fingers, toes, and dangled toys Weebs has never worked this hard in his life. His days were packed to the brim! He even got in on game night.

He’s the perfect cat for a huge family, which is exceedingly bizarre to me as I never wanted any children and somehow found myself in this big collection of people that make up a modern family (including the ex’s and their current relationships and all the insanity that brings) without any preparation. The dog and I (generally considered of normal intelligence if not considered normal in personality) may stumble, but my sweet little spud kitty sails through with ease. He’s a champ. The rest of us just live in his world.

 

Turkey toes

Plus he does stuff like this. We call this particular position turkey toes. He will sit sniffing his toes for a while, and then spend a little longer sitting in the same position while blinking slowly.