Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Trip Tales, part 4

Okay so the next day we went to go to Castaway Cay. We got up early, hustled down to breakfast. And my mother-in-law told me that she had set us up an appointment for a pedicure.( I don't like pedicures; I think they’re creepy. I really don't want a stranger rubbing on my feet, and I can paint my own toenails, thank you very much. I also think they are insulting and demoralizing to the person who does them. Like I think they're so far beneath me that it's okay to let them scrub my dirty feet. Now, I know it's their job and that they chose that job, but I still don't want to make someone do something so gross. My feet are clean but they're calloused and we should probably take a belt sander to those bad boys.)

 The afternoon before when she said that she needed to spend some money and suggested going to get a pedi, I said, “No, thank you.” I said we were going to the beach on Castaway Cay the next day and that I was going snorkeling. So… she made the appointment for 3:00 in the afternoon.

My husband said that we would enjoy the morning on the beach, do a little snorkeling, eat lunch, and be back in plenty of time for the appointment. No, no, no, that wasn't okay with me. They had hammocks on the beach and a contained children's area, and I planned to spend the entire morning taking advantage of those. And then I wanted to snorkel after lunch and keep playing on the beach until the boat blew its horn that we had to get back on or get left behind. I wanted my toes in the sand for as many hours as possible, and that would exfoliate my feet plenty.

After we sprayed everyone down with sunscreen, we got off the boat and walked the half-mile to the beaches. The mother-in-law rode the tram, looked around, got back on the tram, and got back on the boat. I don't think she was on the island for more than 15 minutes. Now, with the however many thousand people were on the ship now on the beach, it looked like one of those Discovery Channel videos of when the walruses are crowding over the rocks on the shoreline, only more lily white. We walked through the area where you could buy souvenirs and tried to find somewhere with hammocks close enough to the water to be able to supervise the children as they swim. But once we found a spot, where the hammocks were still a good 100 feet away from the water, we realized that you had to rent the floats, and the rental shack was probably a half-mile down the beach. So we forgot the hammocks and got in the water with the kids. It was fun, fish swam around our legs, and we had a great time.

 We spent more time swimming than we had planned, so I found some towels and headed over to the kids play area. It had splash pad and a real dead whale! Now, one may ask why we're letting our children play on a dead whale, but it had been dead for at least 100 years. Some explorer found the skeletal remains of a huge sperm whale, and when Disney bought the island, they reburied the excavation and made it into an attraction so the children could excavate the bones! It was really cool.

We got lunch, took our time, and I drew all over our picnic table with the water that had dripped off my cup. People stopped and watched; someone even took pictures; but I was just being my regular ADD self. My husband and I walked around a little more and then he said, "It's time to go pick up the kids so you can make it back in time for your appointment!" I told him I didn't want to. I told him I didn't get to snorkel. I told him that I said yesterday I didn't want a pedicure. He said too bad. I wanted to hit him. I wanted to cry. This was the one and only thing I wanted to do the whole trip. He said his mom didn't want to get lost on the ship again and have to have an employee take her back to her room (and that right there was the real reason she included me in the appointment). He said it wouldn't be as awful as I thought. I almost refused. Almost.

But she did pay for this trip. And my husband thinks we should do anything she wants because she pays for stuff (and she's scary). So, basically, we're whores.

So we gathered up the kids, then went back to get their shoes, then went back again to get their hats and sunglasses, then went back to get the shoes that they put down what they were getting their sunglasses, took a few more pictures and got on the tram to go back to the ship.

Capt. Hook and Mr. Smee were outside the ship taking pictures, antagonizing the little boys who were getting pictures made with them by pretending to steal their shoes and throw them in the water. Everyone could tell it was a joke, but my little boy was really worried and didn't understand why Capt. Hook was being such a meanie. He wouldn't even get close to him.

The husband took the kids to the pool while I went to shower and get dressed. That alone made me worry because it was hard enough to keep an eye on all of them when both of us were there. This appointment bothered me to almost an irrational level. I felt completely under the weight of the poverty that most of the cruise line workers come from and the riches that the cruise line customers have. Most Americans consider themselves to be middle class, but our poverty level income is higher than the average income of 90% of the world. As I got ready, I cried like I was being forced into prostitution, I prayed some more, I almost called the spa and canceled, and I finally got myself together and went to the appointment.

Pedicures are supposed to be fun, right? Or, at least relaxing? But, when you're are sitting with someone who bothers you so much, whose voice sounds like an old southern version of Fran Drescher, you're embarrassed by the wealth that is being flaunted, and you don't like people touching you, it makes you even more tense than when you started.

The lady who did my feet was from Jamaica and has three kids. She had to leave those three children behind with family because there was no work on the island. When she said that, that was the only time her big Disney smile cracked. The flash of pain was only there for a second, but it was unmistakable. I told her that my church was heading to Jamaica this summer for a mission trip.

When she asked why I don't take care of my feet I told her I didn't have time. That I worked and taught my kids and volunteered helping others. We didn’t ever do this kind of thing, but my MIL wanted to take us. I think I confused her more than anything. I asked her how long they work on the ship she said they have different contract amounts so they could contract for however long they wanted to work. I asked what their hours were per day. 8 AM to 10 PM, with a short lunch break and a short dinner break. She works 14 hours a day scrubbing people's feet so her children can eat… and I had to gall to think that I work hard.

She did a great job. The lady next to her did a great job on my mother-in-law. And then the desk girl brought the ticket for my mother-in-law to sign to pay for the two pedicures. They were $70 each. She tipped six dollars.


I asked her why, and she said that she accidentally over-tipped the girl yesterday, so under-tipping today would even it out. Six dollars on the $140 ticket. And she thought that was fair. As she started to walk out, I told her I wanted to ask the ladies one more thing. I asked them what the standard tip was and they looked at me like I had just asked him to share national security secrets. I told them that I wasn't going to get offended or anything, I just didn't know what the industry standard was; that I was pretty sure that it was higher than six. One of them nodded, and she said standard was $15-$20. I told them I would make sure they got it before the day was over.

But I also knew that I could not let my mother-in-law know that I was bringing them “extra” tips or she would end up trying to even it out by gypping someone else out of theirs, too.  I went up to the room, got $10 each, and took it back to the girl at the desk. I explained what it was for and that I didn't want it on our room’s record; just to get the money straight to the two ladies that did our feet. So, at least they got a fair amount.

I'm pretty sure that that's not how a day at the beach is supposed to go.

I'm also pretty sure that most people won't understand how I felt and will think I was just being an ungrateful bitch. Oh well.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trip Tales, part 3

I couldn't figure out what was bothering the monster-in-law. She was being short with me and downright mean to her son, and was even testy with the kids. But she didn't say why. We didn't ask, either - just let the beast lie.The ship docked in Nassau, but we didn't get off. I wouldn't have minded seeing the town, but while we were planning the trip, the MIL had several shit-fits that she wasn't paying for any shore trips, despite how many times we assured her we'd pay for excursions. I wanted to snorkel or go diving. I didn't care about anything else on the cruise. The luxury, the plays, the fancy food; I really didn't care about any of it. I'm a low-maintenance girl. But swimming with wild creatures, the freedom, the beauty? Aaah, I really wanted to do that.

But that day, there was tons to do on the boat, and we had a really cool day. The girls met every single Disney princess in the history of ever-after, and the boys met Captain Hook, Mr. Smee, and Peter Pan. We went to the pool, which was maybe 30 feet in diameter (shaped like Mickey's head) but there were at least 100 kids in it. Some boys were playing rough and jumped on my 7 year old's head. She fussed at them and told them to stop it or she was telling their mom. He apologized and said he was trying to jump on someone else's head. And there was a splash pad. And a big ole slide. And too many people packed in close to be able to see all three areas. Me = anxious. Kids = best day ever.

Hours of fun later, we went up to shower and dress for dinner, but the 14 year old thought the good day needed to be topped off with a belligerent meltdown. Just for kicks, I guess. So I stayed behind with him while everyone else headed down to the restaurant. When the voices in his head calmed down enough that he could put on clothes (much easier when there were no other kids to antagonize or adults who will argue with you. I just sat and played on the computer and said, "Cool it. Get dressed." Over. And. Over. Until he got bored with me and got dressed.), we headed down, too. We weren't that far behind them, but they hadn't been seated yet. I figured they stopped to browse in a shop. After fifteen minutes, I went looking for them.

And, oh, crap, this restaurant had two entrances. They'd been waiting for us at the other one. They were pissed.

Apparently, while they were waiting for us, the MIL decided to finally let loose with why she was so mad. In front of a huge crowd. She went to the bar earlier in the day and asked if refills on drinks were free. He said no. Despite all the literature that said sodas, juices, milk, tea, coffee, etc. were free; that alcoholic drinks and fancy espressos were the only drinks you had to pay for; she went to the bar to ask about free refills.

So, she decided that the kids' Sprite refills at dinner the night before had cost her seven whole dollars  extra each!  And she was "not going to pay extra for those kids Sprites - they can drink water if it kills them! Y'all are not spending all of my damn money!" She was loud, and she was in front of lots of people. Fun times. (She spent $14,000ish on this trip, by the way.)

I asked Palmer the superwaiter to let her know that Sprite refills were free (he assured me they were), but he was apparently to dang smart to even speak to my MIL. He didn't say another word to her the entire trip that wasn't job-required. He looked afraid.

Which, she was cool with that since she's a bigot. She didn't speak to us for the rest of dinner, and she didn't sit with us at the play afterward.

The play, though, was fun... except that it creeped me out. Hades was down because Hercules defeated him, so he quit trying to be evil. Then the three scary-as-Hell witchy women told him he'd lose his job as god of the underworld if he didn't evil the place up a bit. So he rounded up all the Disney villains from Cruella DeVille to Scar to Ursula, and they had all the kids cheer and clap for the god of the underworld and all the evil people he was friends with. "Let them know how much you love them, even though they're evil!"

Um, not, cool, Disney. Not cool.

But it was well performed, and we talked about good vs. evil afterward.

My mother-in-law could have been in that play. Just sayin'.

And yet... you don't get the full ridiculousness of her misinformed Sprite tirade until you know what she did the next morning.

This, she didn't do as an apology - she never for a second believed she was wrong. In fact, she still believes they hid the cost of those Sprites in her bill. This she did to regain her position of Lord of All Her Family Does.

She bought into the Disney Vacation Club. She bought .01% of a room in a Disney World Orlando hotel, and got in return discounts and free stays at hundreds of hotels worldwide. The down payment was $22,000.00. Plus $100 per month dues. For the next forty-five fricking years. And she wrote a dadgum check for it!

I came in the room, and she was all smiles, saying, "We've got to go spend some money!" Apparently, she got a $500 credit to her on-ship account for being such a sucker, so she was acting like she just won Powerball.

What. The. Crap?

But she was still irritated about the imaginary $7 Sprites?

Her reason for this purchase she'll never use?

"So all my grandkids will have a place to stay on their honeymoons. They could go to Venice!" 

I'm pretty sure the two boys won't be spending 22K on honeymoon hotels... and if they do, then they must end up riding some gravy train I'm sure to be tagging along behind. I do frequently say that my 5 year old little man is a little Rick Castle, so, it could happen.

Then she let me know that she wrote down that I would be paying the $100 monthly dues along with my sister-in-law. (My SIL's vacations extend only as far as her husband's gun show hobby takes them. They only go places with shootin' and fishin'.)

So I went about my day as if I wasn't living in Crazytown.  I mean, come on, how was I supposed to react to that?

She didn't want to go to the pool, so we spent another day without her. She went to the spa and got lost & had to find a staff member ("one of those for'ner's") to bring her back to the room.

I know I mentioned how awesome the staff was, but they really went above and beyond. On the second day, we saw housekeeping outside a room far away from ours. The young lady stopped, said, "Oh, you're the Turners in room 7144, right? I'm Maria, and I'll be taking care of your stateroom this week." There were incredible towel-origami animals every day along with the perfect work Maria did. Dang, I hope they're paid well. Amazing staff. Truly.

Dinner, ventriloquist show (cool!), and bed. But I couldn't sleep. So I walked around, prayed for the employees, their home countries, and the families they left behind, then I went to the adults-only pool and hot tub. Niiiiiiice. I need me one of those.

Five days down, two to go. The next day would be at Castaway Cay - Disney's private island. They have snorkeling with manta rays around a reef. The one thing this whole trip I really wanted to do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trip Tales, part 2

The second day of our trip, we went to the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the War Birds Museum. I found all the astronaut stuff to be really cool, and there were plenty of simulators and interactive displays, so the kids were entertained as well. That's the best kind of learning, you know. They thought they were just playing, but now they can tell you about mission control and how to land a space shuttle.

(If I could find the mini-USB cable, I'd upload some pics for you to see.  But that's what you got for reading an ADD blogger. Hundreds of great photos, not way to share even one. My kids are cute, and you'll just have to take my word for it. Maybe my husband will help me with that tonight, and I'll post pictures next.)

I'd like to say that my mother-in-law enjoyed the day, too; but I have no idea. Her tantrum wore her out, so she decided to stay in her hotel room all day. Before we left, she was searching for Xanax, Benadryl, and some other anti-depressant. She must have found them, because when we got back, she looked rested and acted like a normal person again. Well, semi-normal; she still refused to eat dinner with us. I think she did walk around the hotel and even wandered into neighboring hotels, though, just to look around. I guess when you're 80, maybe that's exciting enough.

The third day was Get On The Boat day. We could see the Disney Dream from the bridge as we approached, and the kids were thrilled. The MIL even looked pleased.

I've got to admit - Disney has got their act together. That concourse with thousands of people in it ran like a well-oiled machine. TSA should send their staff to be trained by Disney, so people would be okay with getting frisked at the airport because the TSA agents would just be too dang happy  and friendly for passengers to get mad at them.

We signed in, signed up the kids for their activities, saw Mickey & Minnie, and got honest answers from staff about which play room to put the autistic 14-year old in. I appreciate that. Too many people act like a special-needs kid should either be treated like he's got the plague or like he's royalty. He's just a kid - treat him like any other kid, just one less mature than his actual age. There is a "clubhouse" for kids up to 11, one for 11-14, and one for 14-17. I expected to send him to the 11-14 room, but they told me he'd have to be allowed to come and go as he pleased, then they told me what would be in the younger kids' room that he might enjoy. They had computer games with pirate ship battles that he'd probably like. The staff was very gracious in letting me know that he was welcome in whichever clubhouse fit his needs best, and that they want every kid to have a great time while we're confident that he's safe.

So, being he gets lost on a walk around the block, but will happily play computer games all day, he got signed up for the same clubhouse as the three little kids. And it worked out great.

The kids each got a wristband that would be scanned as they went in and out of the clubhouse so that their computers always showed what room they were in and who signed them in and out. I like that. Everyone got a personalized "Key to the World" card that is the key card to the room as well as a charge card at any of the stores.

And that prompted the MIL's first hissy fit of the day. She didn't hear that kids couldn't buy stuff without their parent present. And since my kids are, apparently, wild hooligans who think they can do and have anything they want, she had a fit that "those kids don't need those cards because they'll charge hundreds of dollars to my account!" I told her I'd take the cards after we got on, but they would need them to get on and off the ship. She sneered. I ignored her.

For the record, the kids didn't ask for anything the whole trip. Even when we walked through the shop with the intention of buying one thing for each of them, they played with lots of stuff, got excited about lots of stuff, and all picked out ONE thing they really wanted. It was awesome hearing the 7 year old girl tell her 5 year old sister, "That's really pretty, but it costs a lot. Let's try and find something you'll like just as much that's a better deal." And they put everything they played with back on the shelves where they belonged. I was so proud!

We embarked, explored the ship, got fruity mixed drinks (then remembered to ask about the price - $10 - oops), and headed up for lunch. The waitstaff was amazingly friendly, and the food was delicious. Every employee's home country is on their name tag under their name. Mostly poor, Caribbean countries, with the occasional Brit or Canadian thrown in. The British & Canadians all looked like college students on summer break, while all the others looked like this was their full time adult job. I wondered if they left families behind because there wasn't work on their island.

The ship itself was a stunning art deco work of sculpture. Every tiny detail was looked after in the design. Simply gorgeous. Plus, it even had an art gallery. It was beautiful. I wondered if they pay their employees well, or if they're supposed to feel privileged to work for beans because they get to do it in such a nice place. Of course, Disney could pay them in magic beans.

They met Princess Tiana from The Princess & the Frog, Peter Pan, and Pluto. They checked out the clubhouse, which was amazing.

I almost hugged Tiana on the second day on the ship, because, after all day of trying to figure out foreign accents while trying to watch the kids and MIL interrupting complaining about the foreign accents and a bazillion other people laughing, talking, and yelling... Tiana is from Louisiana. And I don't know if the young lady playing Tiana was actually Southern, or if she just did the accent really well. But...

She said, "Hey, y'all! Are y'all havin' a good time?" The girls nodded yes and hugged her. And I said (perhaps too excitedly), "Aah, finally, an accent I can understand!"  I almost hugged her. She laughed at me.

We got dressed for dinner (our bags were at our door when we got there), where the MIL complained that she didn't want to dress up. I told her that was fine, but we go to a casual church, so we don't get the opportunity to dress up often. So we were going to dress up. Just because I wanted to. She didn't have to.

So she put on a skirt and then headed to the restaurant.

Our servers introduced themselves - Palmer and Sweetie - and said they'd be our servers every night. They'd change restaurants with us, that way, they'd already know what kind of drinks and salad dressing and food allergies without us having to tell a different server every night. Palmer is a tall older African man, and Sweetie is a short Pacific Islander young lady. She smiled constantly, and my five year old son fell in love with her. At the buffet breakfasts & lunches, he asked where Sweetie was. Of course, they didn't know, and her real name was Angkhana, so they may not have even know the nickname she'd introduced herself to us with. But he kept searching for her. "Where's Sweetie? Do you know where Sweetie is? Have you seen Sweetie?" Adorable!

The walls and ceiling glowed to look like you were outside. The furniture looked like frilly garden furniture. The light fixtures looked like flowers, and they opened as the walls and ceiling shifted from blue to pink to purple, looking like sunset. And it didn't shift evenly- it changed slowly from one side of the room to the other like a real sunset. It was very cool.

And we were wiped out. So we took the kids to the clubhouse and went to see a play. It was Broadway-quality and had bits of The Lion King that was pretty badass. I never thought I'd say that about a musical, but it was! And now I really want to see The Lion King. I'll have to figure out a way to make that happen.

Then we were really wiped out, gathered up kids, and crashed.

I'll try to be less detailed in the next post, but since y'all don't comment (except Mary - thanks Mary!-), I don't know if this is too much or if it's good. I want you to enjoy what I write, so please give me some feedback!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Trip tales, part 1

OK, so after we drove from central Alabama to Cocoa Beach, Florida in one night, we couldn't check into the hotel until after noon. So we stopped at Denny's for breakfast then found our hotel so we wouldn't be lost, went on in the lobby restrooms to freshen up, then headed on over to the Kennedy Space Center.

It didn't open for another two hours, but there was a beach nearby, so what did my husband choose to do? "Let's drive around and see what there is to see."


So we drove back to Cocoa Beach and rode around. His rationale was that the kids would get all wet and sandy if we went to hang out on the beach, but we had been driving since 8pm, and this made the drive time continue to 10am. I was feeling stabby.

Then we went to the space center. I thought it would be terrible since no one had slept, but it was actually pretty awesome. My husband can be a real butt nugget when he's tired (I may have pointed this out while planning the trip), so he worked hard to be nice even though he was exhausted. Thank God! We saw all the exhibits and a 3D movie made from Hubble images - that was really cool - and the kids had a great time... although they fell asleep during the bus tour of the launch pads. We got to hear a 4-mission astronaut talking about how to take a dump in space ("Gravity doesn't work, so there is no separation. You get a glove to aid in that.") and how Coke syrup separates from the carbonated water to make a weird separated floating liquid glob that you just jab your straw into as it floats by(even though Coke wasn't allowed on the shuttle - they snuck the McDonald's cup in inside a jacket) and other various quirks about being in the shuttle.

All in all, I'd say that was my favorite day of the whole trip. Partially because there was no drama, but mostly because I'm a dork and the space stuff is fascinating to me. The only way it could have been better was if they'd had some sort of homage to space sci-fi, specifically to "Firefly." Really, I couldn't give two farts about any other sci-fi show (I know, I know! That  totally kills my dork street cred!), but the 7-foot Lego model of the Serenity is pretty dang awesome. I need a Captain Mal minifigure. But I digress.

The Saturn V rocket is unbelievably huge, and just, it's just too rad to describe. All the computers of the entire space program combined had less capability than my laptop, and they put men on the moon using slide rules and tin foil. That's crazy brilliant. And the Mars stuff they've got in the works now? GAH! Too cool.

Finally, all worn out and ready for bed, we headed back to the hotel to decide on where to eat dinner. And that was when it started going down hill.

My husband parked and decided to go get us a cart for the luggage. Unbeknownst to me, he sat the van keys on the console. I was looking for something & didn't notice. Aaannnnnd I sat something on top of the keys. We got the cart, unloaded the luggage, then allowed the kids out of the van. Shockingly, they were behaving like angels up until that point. But the luggage cart looked too much like monkey bars for the sleep-deprived and hungry little things, so they started to get wild. But I calmed them down pretty quickly and herded them inside.

We got to the rooms, divided up who would take which room, then were ready to go eat. But the husband not only left the keys on the console, he also locked the van.

He tried to find them, but they couldn't be seen through the window, so we searched all over, hoping they'd been dropped. My MIL kept letting the kids into her room, where, being five years old, sleep-deprived, and starving, they jumped on the bed.

I mean, come on! What kid doesn't jump on the bed when they get to a hotel room?

She didn't say anything to them. She never says anything to the kids, just lets them behave like banshees on acid then gets mad because they misbehaved. I walked in the room and started to speak, and she yelled, "You're just going to let them jump on the bed like that!?" At this point, I haven't even registered that they were jumping, because they had just Supermanned from one bed to the other and landed in a belly flop, so it looked like they were laying down when I came in.

I ordered pizza to be delivered to the room, and my mother-in-law yelled at me. See, it was all my fault that the keys were locked in the van. Not my husband's for putting them down or for locking the van. But because the kids climbed on the luggage cart and distracted him, and if I wasn't such a bad mother, I would have had controlled them. (Even though the luggage cart jungle gym thing was after he'd locked up the van.)

(No punching old ladies. No punching old ladies. No punching old ladies.)

With the biggest fake smile I could muster, I said, "Well, it is after 9:00 at night, the pizza I ordered won't be here until almost 10, they've been awake for 24 of the last 26 hours, and they're little bitty kids."

Oh. My. Gosh. I deserve a medal. Because she said, "Well, I haven't slept either, and I'm old! And you saying that is just making excuses for them, and they'll never grow up to be anything if you keep making excuses for them!"

I gritted my teeth and left the room. She went back to her room, where my 14 year old stepson "G" would be sleeping in the other bed. She told him to come with her. But then she didn't watch him. (Remember, he's autistic, severely ADHD, and refused to sleep the night before on purpose.) So he left her room and hung over the balcony rail - fifth floor - to yell and wave at random strangers.

So a random stranger came up and yelled at my mother-in-law for letting him.

So my husband comes up after the locksmith has opened the van, and she yells at him because his special needs, sleep deprived, starving kid acted irresponsibly. (As if her letting him out of the room wasn't irresponsible.)

The pizza arrived, and I told my husband to tell his mom she could have some (I couldn't be cordial to her just then, as I was feeling very stabby), but she yelled that she was just going to have some water and slammed the door in his face.

So we ate, got the kids settled for bed, let G's sleep meds kick in, and let him into the MIL's room to sleep, and  then we all finally crashed.

The next morning, as we got ready, my MIL came in, sounding apologetic. "I wasn't trying to hurt your feelings with what I said last night. I don't want to make you mad... but... if you did a better job of controlling those kids, none of that would have happened last night. That's why nobody likes them. That's why I don't ever invite them over to my house."

Why, F you very much for that almost-apology. I thought you just didn't invite them over because you have all those porcelain dolls on the floor at kid-level (cheap ones, mostly from the Dollar Tree)  but you don't want the kids to play with them; but you'll invite G over because you can put him in the garage with some Tonka trucks and let him do whatever he wants. Like that time he'd almost passed out from heat exhaustion because you locked him out and forgot, and he didn't know how to open the garage door, but it was July, and he'd been banging on the door to be let back in for twenty minutes by the time I got there, but you're deaf and went to sleep. So now, if he comes over, you just stick him in from of the TV since he's afraid to go outside again, and you have the Military Channel, so he's happy. And you think you're being a good grandma. Yeah. You're friggin awesome. And you wonder why he never gets to come visit anymore. Frackin nutjob. And, FYI, everybody loves my little ones, because they are hilarious and beautiful and smart and generally well-behaved. But how many people came to the last party you had? You invited 80, and three showed up. No joke. Nobody likes you. But I'm still tired and maybe I'm being petty.

I turned around and walked away again instead of answering her out loud.

I really hoped the rest of the trip wouldn't go like this. Thankfully, that was the low point. For me, anyway. I wasn't present for her major melt down a few days later. That was special for her son, and was rolled up in far more insanity than this little exhaustion-induced tantrum.

But cool things happened before I get to that lovely event.... (To be continued.)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Who's the Adult here?

I was reading The Bloggess's latest post about her new dead pegasus when my seven year old daughter walked up. I covered up the cuss words and let her see the pictures. Her response was, "Huh. When the dog dies, can we get a kitten?"

Seriously? You see a picture of a pegasus with a kitten riding on its head and you focus on the kitten?

I looked at her blankly, so she asked, "Is that a real pegasus?"  There's the normal response I expected. As if there is a "normal response" to seeing a real pegasus with a kitten on its head.

"No, it's a zebra colt with goose feathers sewn on. But it looks pretty real, doesn't it?"

"Yeah. So? The kitten?"

"A pet pegasus would be way better than a kitten."

She rolled her eyes at me. "You'd just go flying around everywhere all the time."

Well, no duh. "Yeah, and it would be totally awesome."

"I guess. It could fly G to school so we wouldn't have to drive him. That would be great."

Why on earth is my little girl so dang practical? It's weird. If she hadn't squirted out of me and if she didn't look like my little clone, I'd swear she wasn't even mine.


I know I owe you stories from my vacay (travelling circus asylum). I'm just having trouble writing right now. Sorry. Responsibility overload.