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.

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.

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.

 

 

Children = Crack Heads

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My proof (in no particular order until the last bit):

  1. A large crash and what sounded like paper ripping echoed through the house from the upstairs landing. I asked the child what was going on. No response. I asked with a little more heat. I got back “I’m not doing anything nothing happened I’m petting the cat that’s all no”. No punctuation was used when vocalizing it so I left it in its original format. The child was insulted when I physically checked on the very loud nothing no that happened. I couldn’t find anything broken or torn. I assume she opened a portal to another realm.
  2. A small barrel shaped puzzle (pictured in the main image for this post) is dismantled into many pieces and an effort was made to put it back together. There was great intensity and focus. There were discussions with herself about what piece went next. Midway through the very next sentence pieces were calmly placed pieces on the floor, a blanket was pulled around the shoulders like a cape, and the child paraded out of the room on tiptoes. “I think this might go…” and she marched off. Very much like a hummingbird switching flowers. She manages a regal march for one so young.
  3. When the father of the child said good morning before dawn what came back was (as close as I can recall…it happened quickly and it was not even 6 am) “The eye! The eye was big and did you I don’t know did you see the eye my eye what who I don’t know last night!” All of that was said in a gasping mildly angry voice. Father of the child (somehow less baffled than I) responded: “But it’s okay now, right?”. She gave a disgruntled sounding “yes” and rolled over. He wandered into the bathroom as if that was a normal encounter.
  4. We own a whistle type of squeaker thing loud enough to wake the dead. Neither of us knew that. We don’t know where it came from. We found out we owned it because at roughly 6 am the child cornered one of the cats and when the cat didn’t follow a red dot it couldn’t follow because the child blocked its ability to move the squeaker whistles shrill hideous noise was unleashed upon us at a staggering decibel. Aware that she was probably going to be scolded she looked at her father belligerently and yelled: “NOTHING HAPPENED”. The cat and I haven’t fully recovered.

 

Cat contemplates alcohol

Cat contemplates alcohol while recovering from insanely loud ear blast

 

  1. (This should be 5 but formatting is being a brat) The air conditioner controller thing decided to poop out of juice last night. I walked downstairs and found the temperature to be Arctic-esque. I am hot natured and it was absolutely freezing even to my internal thermostat. The batteries dying in the control apparently gave the air conditioner permission to never ever turn off. Ever. So I immediately got the unit shut down and started coffee while shivering. Tiny human walks in wearing her blanket cape and talks to herself about how cold it is. I ask if she wants cereal for breakfast and she nods yes and walks off. I get cereal assembled and wander out to find her sitting in the back room talking to herself quietly. I put the cereal down and ask if she wants a blanket. She mutters a reply too quiet for me to make out. I ask her to repeat herself. It sounds vaguely like “jacket”. I tell her I can go get a sweatshirt or jacket for her, or maybe some socks. She mutters what sounds like jacket again. I tell her I still can’t hear her. I get back “I HAVE A JACKET”. I blink. I ask her if she wants her jacket. “NO! I HAVE ALL I NEED!”  She has a really deep voice for such a small female thing. Kind of like that lord of the rings scene where Galadriel is tempted but refuses the ring.
  2. (Formatting is still bratty) Tiny human is playing a sonic the hedgehog video game out in the back room. I know exactly where she is because she is talking to herself and the game at the same time in various tones and with various mood swings. There are a lot of “WHAT THE HECK….WHAT…..WOW…..WHA….NO….YES….WHAT THE HECK”. This sort of stream of consciousness has been going on for at least 30 minutes straight. And now there are long, deep hooting noises punctuated by growls. She may be summoning a demon. I’m not going to go look. I need a ghost hunter. Or a priest.
  3. Update (formatting is the least of my worries): After a crash out in the back room she magically appeared behind the desk to my left (I can hear her but not see her). She’s whispering something quietly and creepily, like an incantation. If I’m never seen again make sure they put a decent picture up at my funeral (don’t let my mom use my graduation picture, I have 14 chins in that one). Good luck to us all.