Saturday, May 30, 2009

Can't A Girl Get A Little Privacy?

This evening I got yelled at in the grocery store by a dermatologist. I've been painting the family business for the last couple of days (and wearing sunblock!) and I've got a lobster-ish look going. My eight year old and I were on the pudding aisle breaking down the cost of buying pudding cups in bulk vs. buying the mix and milk and making it ourselves. This man came along and smiled at me. I thought, "Oh- he thinks it's funny that I'm talking about the cost of pudding at length with a child." Then, he opened his mouth. Turns out I read his expression wrong. His smile was more like a smirk and that smirk was more like a look of disdain (the same look that people have when they feel awkwardly sorry for the homeless person begging for change on the corner and don't know how to react. Or maybe on second thought, the look that they get when the bumbling fool working the drive-thru window at the local fast food restaurant just can't seem to get their order right repeatedly.) He berated me for allowing myself to get burnt and warned me of the evils of UV rays. As usual, I attempted to lighten the situation with humor and joked that I was planning on going to The Relay For Life tonight but might get kicked out by the skin cancer group. He didn't laugh with me though.

The thing is, I'm getting really sick of people sticking their noses where they don't belong. Yes, I get that he was well meaning. He's not the first person this week or even today to be annoying though. Yesterday, I took my son to his bi-weekly therapy session. Interestingly enough, I ran into my long lost aunt that I hadn't seen in a decade. Since there's apparently not much else to do in waiting rooms, she filled me in on the soap opera of the the years of her life that I had missed. Her poor daughter (my sons age) was there for a counseling appointment due to (well, let's say a series of unfortunate events) and had to sit there as her mother told me all the bloody details on her daughter's problems (in front of her.) Then, she turned the table and said, "So, why does he have to see the therapist?" As if I was gonna sit there and spill my child's issues out for everyone in the waiting room. (I only do that sort of embarrassing gossiping on my blog because as we all know blogging is different. ;-)

I realize that I probably make people uncomfortable at times too. It's funny how it's okay for me to dish out TMI, but I get offended by other people's "openness". Let's face it though, nobody likes a dermatologist who brings his work with him to the grocery store or a fellow waiting room attendee who says, "So what are you in for?"

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Things I'll Do For $$$- (not for the weak of stomach)

I don't work 9-to-5. That's not the way I make my livin'. Nope, I clean public park bathrooms & empty 42 garbage cans whenever they need it. It's much like mothering. You can't help it if your baby's diaper needs changing at 2 AM. You just power through it. So it is with backed up toilets and vandalism. It doesn't matter if I'm wearing my best high heels and shiny red lipstick to go out on the town with my man. If the bathroom is in trouble, I must come to the rescue. It's sort of hilarious, because I do have a decent head on my shoulders and yet I REALLY, really like this nasty, manual labor stuff. I could have been a doctor... or a lawyer... or a, well anything I set my mind to. I'm scrubbing toilets though. And most days, it suits me.

Of course, there are the occasional times that I really, really, REALLY hate my job. For the first two weeks straight after we opened up the bathrooms for the season (they're locked during the months that freeze to prevent busted pipes) someone was "decorating" the bathrooms with their feces. Yes, feces. They started off small by wiping it all over the toilet seat and wiping with a pair of thermal wool socks then shoving those socks down into the toilet so that it flooded over on to the floor when flushed. That was pretty. Stuff like that happens though, so I just put on some rubber boots and latex gloves and cleaned it up. No big. The next day, they skipped the toilet and left a steaming pile on the floor in front of the toilet though. I was not impressed. Keep in mind that this was back when I had just discovered that I was pregnant.

As the days went on, there were more piles. Always in the same spot. My ten year old son commented, "Whoa! What? Are they taking the All-Bran 10 day challenge or something?!" Unfortunately, it went on like this. Until one day, this person had written "Hi" with their stool sample on the bathroom wall. It totally creeped me out that they were leaving these "presents" for us and now "communicating". Later that night, we went to lock the bathrooms up for the night and there was a 5 gallon bucket in the same spot that the piles had been in filled with a toxic mix of vomit and poop. Poor Dustin had to carry it. We had to figure out what in the heck to even do with it. If it weren't so late at night, I probably would have called the health department for advice on how to dispose of toxic waste. My hubby & I laughed at the absurdity of the things that we have had conversations about since taking this job.

When I found yet another present the next day, I called the Sheriff's department to see what could be done. I was desperately wishing real life played out like CSI and they could just DNA test it. He was intrigued, but he didn't really have a whole lot of advice. He basically said that if it were him, he would just lock the bathrooms up and put a sign on the door saying, "Closed due to ongoing vandalism." We wavered between doing that and leaving them open so that we could finally catch who was doing it. My kids would ask me (eyes sparkling), "Mom? If you walked in on him doing it, would you beat him up?!" They REALLY loved the idea of me (total non-fighter) opening a can on the "bad guy". I told them that I wasn't going to start a fight with a guy who was in the middle of a BM, but that I would totally lock the bathroom gate so that he couldn't get out and call 911. They didn't think that sounded nearly as exciting.

Fortunately, it just stopped as suddenly as it started. I'm not sure why, but I'm thankful. I'm not going to pretend that aside from that issue the job is pretty. Believe me, you don't want to empty 42 garbage cans that have been fermenting in the heat. When I'm done with this job, I may be ready to become some sort of Maggot Specialist (they have those, right?) I bet you that I could qualify as an expert on maggot life stages. Don't get me started on how many people that I have witnessed in the throws of extra marital affairs. I've lived in this SMALL town my entire life. WHY on earth do these people insist on coming to my backyard for this? And why is the average time of day for cheating in a car without tinted windows right when the school bus drives by? I've lost count of how many used condoms and hypodermic needles I've had to pick up & dispose of. And they call parks family places. Ha!

So, why do I do it you ask? Simple. We get paid to live in our house and it allows me to be a stay at home mom a little longer. Not to mention, what would I have had to blog about today and gross you out with otherwise?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer Lovin'

At the risk of sounding completely mental, I'm gonna say that I'm really looking forward to summer. Yes, I realize that summer = kids 24/7 and that it wasn't all that long ago that I blogged about spring break killing me. Before that, I blogged about school closures for snow & floods driving me mad. I'm aware of the irony. I'm just so ready to chill out a bit schedule wise though. Take tonight for instance: I began getting the kids into bed at 8:00 PM. At 9:00 PM they were all still awake and whining about the injustice of going to sleep while it was still daylight out. To which the only decent reply that I could come up with was that I'm a horrible, monstrous ogre of a mother that doesn't want them to fall asleep in class. If it were summer vacation, we could have built a fire and roasted some marshmallows for smores instead and just slept in in the morning. At 10:00 PM, the boys had all finally fallen asleep but Brooke had gotten over tired to the point that instead of resting she was bawling that she missed her slide bed. Apparently, it was "the only bed I ever loved." (For those of you not in the know, her slide bed was a loft bed with a metal slide on it that she had outgrown and it took up 75% of her bedroom. We sold it on craiglist to get her a "big girl bed" over a year ago.) Now, it's the bed that got away.
OKay, off subject, I just clicked spellcheck and it's telling me that smores isn't a word. Neither is Craigslist. Is that true? I mean, smores... come on... Well, anyway, I want to go camping. I'd really like to go on a good hike. Washington summers are often gorgeous, 70 degree affairs just perfect for getting out in nature and taking in the insane amount of beautiful green-ness (Now that I know is not a word. No spell check required.) I'm psyched to see the kids run their lemonade stand some more. People are so good. Did you know that they almost always get tipped? I would have never have thought to tip at a lemonade stand. Heck, I'm sort of grossed out at the thought of drinking lemonade that was possibly made by children and would most likely never stop at a random lemonade stand & actually drink the stuff anyway. (Don't drink the Kool-Aid!!!) Hmm... I'm curious if spell check likes the word Kool-Aid or not. Let me see...

Nope. It would take Aid but not Kool. Interesting. Oh, okay... It will accept Koolaid. I could have sworn it was hyphenated.

There are only 24 days of school left. Which means that there are only 26 days until my baby girl turns seven years old. It's hard to believe that my YOUNGEST child is a shoe tying, fluent reading, teeth missing, real life first grader turning second grader. I'm actually kind of not okay with it, but just like all things I tell her not to do, she just keeps getting older even though I tell her to stop. One good thing about having older kids is that our summer vacation IS admittedly less complicated when we can go to the beach and not worry that any of our children will eat the sand or stick random objects up their nose. Having everyone potty trained helps too. My friend Chelsea & I were talking earlier about the logistics of going hiking with an infant. Kelty backpacks are fabulous, but where are you supposed to dispose of diapers when you're in the middle of nowhere? I mean, do you seriously have to pack it in pack it out? Yuck. I don't think we're missing out on anything there.

So, there you have it: the random ramblings of my sleepy mind. I'm dieting & exercising again. My brain is always a little, um, quirky on a diet. Hmm... maybe that's where the jonesing for smores thing came in... So, what are your summer plans?