So THAT’S Where I Left That

There are certain times of the day that it’s just not okay to mess with me. And by okay, I really mean “safe.” Dangerous things happen to people who wake me up from a rare nap to ask me if we have any aluminum foil. I usually respond by pointing out that I keep all of the foil products next to my bullets and that I dare them to reach for it.

So when I recently returned at nine pm from a four-day trip to London that only involved about sixteen total hours of sleep, I should have thought to put out a sign for my family that warned them away from sudden movements, loud noises, and dumb-assed questions. Unfortunately, it was my oldest child (the one who knows she’s smart and cute and talented but yet somehow still believes that all of that will be enough to save her from being eaten by her mother) who descended upon me with more than I could intelligently handle.

CHILD: I’ve lost something really important. Have you seen it?

ME: If it isn’t in my suitcase or my carry on bag, I haven’t seen it.

CHILD: I really need it.

ME: When did you lose it?

CHILD: Yesterday.

ME: I was in another country yesterday. I’m sure I didn’t take it.

CHILD: It’s really, REALLY important that I find it.

ME: How about you start by telling me what it is?

CHILD: I can’t.

ME: Huh?

CHILD: I can’t tell you. You’ll get mad.

ME: Oh. Well. That’s a whole other issue. It’s a good thing that you’re being all cryptic and toying with me in my sleep deprived state. It’s really good that I didn’t see the thing, because THAT would make me mad. Not all this other stuff you’re doing right now, but actually FINDING the thing would be what threw me over the edge.

CHILD: See? I told you! You’ll get mad!

ME: We haven’t found it yet. You told me I’d get mad if I saw it. So technically, I can’t get mad yet, right?

CHILD: I dunno. I guess so.

ME: Why don’t we just cut this short while I’m not quite mad. Tell me what you’ve lost.

CHILD: Well, fine. You just have to promise not to get mad.

ME: If there’s one solid truth that you can count on in life, it is that I will NEVER make you that promise.

CHILD: I lost my suicide prevention card.

ME: (blank stare…sip of wine)

CHILD: They gave us these cards in school to keep in our backpacks and they have a phone number we can call if we’re thinking about committing suicide, only I lost my card.

ME: And you thought I would be mad because you lost it?

CHILD: No, I just didn’t want you to find the card lying around somewhere and get worried.

ME: Um…(sip)

CHILD: Oh wait, I remember. It’s in my lunchbox. Never mind.

ME: Um…okay.

Admittedly, that was probably the easiest game of Mommy Lost-and-Found that I’ve ever played, and it was actually over something that she didn’t need for school the next day. Victory is mine.

Raising A Partner in Crime

The absolute best thing has happened to our family: my oldest child is finally old enough to help me defeat my husband. She spent her childhood learning at the feet of the master, and is finally ready to take her place at my side. Together we are a formidable team, united against the forces of evil. Or, for now, united against the forces of televised sports.

My husband, saint that he is six days of the week, becomes a total jerk when sports are on. Spare me your competing tales of your own husbands who yell when their favorite team loses. My husband doesn’t care who’s playing. He can randomly flip channels, find any two teams locked in combat on any kind of sport-related stage, and begin screaming over dropped passes or bad calls. We seriously endured two hours of a field hockey match between the University of California-Santa Monica Banana Slugs and the Delta State University Fighting Okra (I swear I”m not making this up), in which his blood pressure rose high enough to cause him to actually pass out briefly during one quarter of the game. It didn’t matter at all that my husband doesn’t know the rules of field hockey, he was still indignant to the point of rage over what he perceived was an intentional tripping and several high-stick calls that went unnoticed by the referee.

Let the revenge commence.

My oldest and I established court on the living room sofas with elaborate snack stuffs spread before us, wearing matching navy blue striped T-shirts. The TV was on for only a few minutes before we began screaming.

“Stir! Stir! What do you think you’re doing???”

“No way! He did not just take that other guy’s baster!”

“You call those even slices?!? Stop waving at the camera and watch what you’re doing!”

“Seriously? DRIED oregano? Is walking your butt outside and snipping some fresh oregano TOO MUCH TO ASK???”

“NOOOOOOOO! He didn’t hear the oven timer! Delay of flan penalty!”

Fortunately, I’ve raised my daughter well and she was able to keep this up with me for the entire two hours of Cupcake Wars. My husband walked through the living room far more often than necessary and I’m sure it was so he could shoot ugly looks at us. He did promise us that he wouldn’t watch any more sports for the rest of the weekend if we would stop watching FoodNetwork, so we were happy to oblige. We switched over to the infomercial channel and commentated on several hours’ worth of “act now and we’ll double your order” sales pitches.