Thursday, August 23, 2007

Did You Just Call Me a Dipshit?

Lula needs her birth certificate for her first day of preschool, and I’m a bad mother who forgot about it until now. Lumpyhead had a copy of his birth certificate by the time he was two months old. Poor, neglected second child.

What do you mean you don't have a copy of my birth certificate? I better not miss school because you're a dipshit.

I have resubmitted the paperwork. Again.

I’m pretty sure the people at the Virginia Department of Vital Records are now just fucking with me.

The first time my application was returned due to an unacceptable copy of my identification. Which: okay, right, I'll grant that the picture on my photocopied drivers license is too dark. But since I'm mailing it in and not actually presenting myself for confirmation, do you really need to know what I look like? To what will you be comparing the now-crystal-clear version of my image, exactly?

I attached an enlarged, beautifully rendered copy of my drivers license to the application and sent it back.

Yesterday I received another "try again, idiot" note from our fair Commonwealth. This time, the box indicating "no signature" was checked. I looked carefully, and I had indeed signed the form, next to the word SIGNATURE that the helpful folks at the Department of Vital Records highlighted and circled in red. Highlighted and circled, right next to my signature.

Um. . .

A hand-written addendum to the no signature box said simply “Need live signature.” I have no idea what that means. I’m pretty sure signatures are not living things. I don’t know how to resuscitate it or keep it twitching on the page, and I cannot beam it via satellite to Richmond, for that matter, if that’s the definition of “live” they’re talking about.

On the first try I had filled out the form, stuck it on the copier with my ID, pressed “go,” and mailed it in. (One page! Oh the efficiency!) Maybe because the signature was photocopied it was not acceptable (something they could have told me the first time, perhaps? The first time, when I sent in exactly the same application?) so I signed the form again - in blue ink so they could tell it wasn’t a copy - right next to the first signature.

I half expect my application will be returned to me in a few days, unfulfilled for some lame-ass reason like "unable to complete your request because it is partly cloudy on a Tuesday."

Let's just forge one. Com'on, it's not like it will be the only fake ID I'll ever have.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Luke, I'm Your Father

The really amazing thing (in addition to what a total disaster my house is - wow, what the fuck, we live like this?) is how long he ran around with that bucket on his head. Seriously, it was like five minutes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Date Night

On Saturday, Bump and I scored a free babysitter. (YAY Molly!) She needed to leave around nine, too early for us to get a game of poker going, so instead Bump and I went out to dinner.

We went to Rays the Steaks, a not-so-fancy but much-hyped steak house. It was good, but uneven.

Since we got there early (around 6) we were seated immediately. Bump even scored a Kojak parking spot. I felt like a rock star.

The spicy cashews on the table would have been great with a vodka martini, but the restaurant doesn't have a bar. The bacon-wrapped filets Bump and I ordered were wonderful, but on my rare steak the bacon was raw. I'm ordinarily not one to leave bacon on a plate, but I couldn't eat it. That made me sad.

Bump never got the appetizer he ordered. My salad was good, but the dressing was a little oily. The desserts were uninspired and mediocre.

The beef was fabulous, but everything else felt like an afterthought.

We got out of there for about a hundred dollars -- including a bottle of wine, drinks to start, desserts and (one, ahem) appetizer. We both ordered the special, which was only $17 (I guess because 5 oz. bacon-wrapped filets are comprised of smaller cuts of meat). Even with the drawbacks I feel like we got a bargain.

Because of the odd seating policy - the place doesn't take reservations and is pretty busy - it was a quick meal. I never felt rushed, but we were out of there in an hour.

We had some time to kill, but not enough for a movie, so we went to Upton Park and played mini golf. I had three holes in one and finished the back nine two under par. If not for the nine over I posted on the front nine, I might have beaten Bump (who also had three holes in one for the round) [shakes fist].

After golf we still had a little time, so went to the batting cages. (Oh, what a night!) A word to the wise: when visiting the batting cage, don't wear your wedding ring. Not because of the hookup possibilities, but because it will leave a mark.
What a dumbass.

Are there any palm readers out there who care to tell me about my future? My life line and head line run together, which I'm told is odd. Also my fate line touches my life line, which apparently means something. Ignoring the batting cage wedding ring thing, what can you tell me? I hope you can get a reading even though it's not my dominant hand.

I'm also happy to hear what any of you accomplished bullshitters have to say about my future. I really won't know the difference between you and the "real" palm readers, so have at it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Not the Dumbest Thing I've Ever Done

Because, let's face it, that's setting the bar pretty high. You're not likely to approach the dumbest thing I've ever done unless you add at least two shots of tequila to the equation.*

I gave Lula a bottle of nail polish.
She wanted to be like Jayne.
She did a pretty good job, no?

Okay, okay. I painted the baby's toenails.

Bump shakes his head every time he sees it, but he has to begrudgingly concede that it's cute.

I should probably also admit, in the interest of full disclosure, that mine match.

*Now I'm wondering, what is the dumbest thing I've ever done? Hey, this is a great chance for audience participation! Leave your nomination for the dumbest thing I've ever done in the comment section, and we'll see who comes up with the best answer.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Spill-Proof My Ass

I took the morning off to run errands and have coffee with Peter and Christian. Bump was going to come too, with Lumpyhead and Lula, but a menacing weather pattern and impending nap kept the baby (and her father) at home. I took Lumpyhead and was halfway to the coffee shop before I realized I didn't have the diaper bag with me. I am awesome.

But the coffee shop had milk and cookies, books, and most importantly, Aunt Bob's Little Guy to keep Lumpyhead entertained and fed. The milk cup had a lid, and the barista gave it to me for free. (Woot! Free! Inner Dutch Girl is very happy!) Any savings was immediately undercut by the $1.50+ I dumped into the tip cup. (Inner Dutch Girl is baffled. She stands in stunned silence, her arms still raised in disrupted celebration.)

I love coffee with Peter and Christian. The conversation is easy and transports me to the days when we were all Close Up instructors, even though our topics are now punctuated by yelling at little boys and our beverages don’t contain any alcohol. Christian will become a father in January, and I’m squishy with excitement for him. Today Aunt Bob even joined us (hooray!) and I always feel so damn inclusive when we - the Asian woman, the black man and the Jew - let the blond white girl sit with us.*

On the way home, Lumpyhead started complaining about his milk after I heard the thump of his cup dropping. He continued to whine even though I reassured him that everything was okay, I would get it for him once we got home, but I was driving now and couldn’t pick it up. Before the recent fender-bender I probably would have just reached behind my seat and groped for the damn cup, but I’m a little gun-shy now; plus it was raining. I started to worry that maybe the milk had spilled all over the floor and that was the reason Lumpyhead was so worked up about it.

When we got home, the still-lidded cup was on the car floor, straw removed, and Lumpyhead was sitting in a puddle of milk. I told him I was sorry he was wet, sorry for making him stew in it, and I guiltily grabbed some napkins.

I handed the milk back to him, briefly wondering how he got that wet when the lid was still on, and mopped up his lap. The physics were quickly revealed when Lumpyhead yanked out the straw, turned the cup upside down, and sprinkled himself with as many drops of milk as he could shake out of the cup.

I immediately retracted my apology.

And took away the milk.

My car now smells like wet car seat and fabreeze. Given the weather, I assume by this afternoon it will smell like musty car seat, fabreeze and stale milk. By the weekend it will smell like sour milk and mold. Awesome.

Poor car. At least it passed inspection, even with the accident damage.

*Right. Aunt Bob goes to coffee with Peter and Christian more often than I do, so they’re really letting me join them, but it still makes me happy like a thousand unicorns farting rainbows.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Vacation

Cannon Building
I took this photo thinking it would be a fun “Lumpyhead Roams the Halls of Congress” kind of picture, but instead it’s got an eerie, tunnel-y, “Walk Toward the Light” feel about it. Nice use of flash there, Dumbass.

My Car, Post-Collision

The damage isn’t too bad. My license plate took the brunt of the crash, you can see the imprint of the square hitch, right smack dab in the middle of the plate. (I fuzzed out the number because you internets are crazy. Or something.)

3 lb. Bass, 18 lb. Baby
I don’t know for sure that she’s reached 18 pounds, but she’s gotta be close.

Lula Hates Green Beans
Mama hates the fugly pheasant futon. (fugly feasant futon? phugly pheasant phuton?)

A Very Special Batman
Also Do Not Pick Up Hitchhikers
ElectricYoak decided that the back of his jacket looked like a half-assed Batman costume.

There is a state mental hospital in the town where ElectricYoak grew up. A sign on the highway warns drivers not to take on extra passengers. I think he looks particularly disturbed in this photo.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Lumpyhead Identity

Lumpyhead thinks his name is You.

It is entirely our fault. We speak to him using the personal pronoun, not his name ("Do you want cheerios?" not "Does Lumpyhead want cheerios?") and when he sees a photo of himself, we usually exclaim, "Who's that? That's you!"

I know that it takes a while for toddlers to master the me/you concept, but this is not a matter of Lumpyhead not understanding when to use the first person and when to use the second person. (Which he doesn't get either, incidentally. I like watching him try to maintain possession of a forbidden object by holding it away from me and insisting it is "Yours!")

He saw a picture of himself and Lula on a coffee table, pointed to Lula and said, "Baby," then pointed to himself and said "You."

We've started to say "That's you! That's Lumpyhead!" hoping he will eventually comprehend that his given designation is not You.

It's not Lumpyhead, either, but you get my point.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Indeed, the Location of Thine Deep-Fried Potato Products Is in Question

On Thursday morning we loaded up the children and about 800 lbs. of luggage and drove to the airport. We use “off-site satellite” parking, which is to say: I drop Bump off at the airport with the luggage, drive to my office and park the car, then take the metro to the airport. It takes extra time, but costs 100% less than parking at the airport.

I took Lula with me, leaving Bump and Lumpyhead to run around the Wyman Terminal (that would be Terminal A, the old, forgotten terminal - the only nod we make to National Airport’s new name), and got in a wreck on the way to my office.


It was a minor fender bender, and no one was hurt. It was not a great way to start the trip. (Maybe “got in a wreck” is too melodramatic, but “had an accident” didn’t sound right either. It’s not like I peed in my pants or anything.)

We made our flight, but just barely. Bump convinced security to let us through the first-class line and we were the last people to board. About halfway through the flight, Lumpyhead announced that he was “All done.”

When we didn’t respond appropriately, which is to say we did not promptly remove him from his seat and let him run shrieking down the aisle, he made his announcement again. Louder. And again.

So he spent the rest of the flight squealing about his “All Done!”-ness and being a writhing, whining pain in the ass. Bump announced that on the way home, I was going to be the one who had to sit next to Lumpyhead, and he would hold the baby. In the Grass Is Always Greener Department, I spent most of the flight standing in the Attendants' Galley trying to convince Lula that she was, in fact, sleepy, and the best way to remedy that problem was to just go the hell to sleep already, damn.

But! Did you know that there is a play area in the C concourse of the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport? There is! It is across from Gate C12 and contains things to climb on and places to run and, if you’re very lucky, four older boys playing tag. Delight!

We had lunch in the airport, during which Lumpyhead swept everything within arm’s reach onto the ground. I responded by complaining “Aw, man!”

Lumpyhead immediately parroted, “Aw maaaaan!” and the combination of his rendition of “aw man” and the fact that he was flinging everything in Bump’s direction instead of mine made me laugh very hard.

Bump, who was quickly tiring of picking everything up off the floor and hoped the arrival of food would give Lumpyhead something else to do, wondered aloud for Lumpyhead, “Where my french fries at?” which a punchy Lumpyhead found very funny. Lumpyhead spent the next several hours saying, “Aw maaaan! Where my french fries at?” then giggling at himself.

When my Aunt Linda met Lula the next day, she exclaimed, “Oh, man, is she cute!” Lumpyhead, who was playing nearby with his toys, heard “oh man” and quickly added, “Where my french fries at?”

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Situation: Critical

TV: Broken
Toddler: Confused
Husband: Desperate

Our television is on the blink. Literally. It won’t turn on. The little red light next to the power button blinks a sad, slow cry for help.

We knew the TV was in trouble, and we’ve been on a death watch for the last couple months. First, diagonal red stripes showed up when the images contained a lot of black or dark colors. Then the red streaks were there all the time. Sometimes the entire picture was green.

Lumpyhead keeps asking for his favorite videos. He thinks he’s being punished.

Bump is about to lose his damn mind. It’s one thing to have to keep telling a persistent toddler that he cannot watch Thomas and Friends, it’s another thing entirely to be unable to check the baseball scores once that toddler is napping.

At least the fat baby doesn’t seem to care.

I fear I’ll come home to find Bump wandering from room to room with the remote in his hand, pointing it at random things and muttering softly.