“Today at school, I had to put together a presentation on my family. So, I copied a bunch of pictures from everyone’s Instagram and Twitter accounts. For you, I found a picture of you standing in the snow, in your robe.”
It is day three of the harrowing experience known as snow days. Schools are closed. Businesses have barricaded their doors to prevent french toast looters. The outdoors is quiet and magical. Indoor volume is rapidly approaching hearing damage level.
The house reeks of burnt popcorn. The kitchen trash is piled too high to close the lid and unpopped kernels have spilled onto the floor. There are no bowls in the cabinet. They are licked clean of contents, but hidden under beds and behind computer monitors.
Muddy bootprints are everywhere. The wet boots are tossed carelessly all over the bathroom floor. They sit in puddles of their own grime, threatening to ruin the socks of anyone with a full bladder. Every coat, ski pant, hat, glove and thermal in the house is piled in front of the washing machine.
Giant, soggy dogs are stretched out on the couch. They snore loudly as their wet dog perfume seeps into the threadbare couch cushions. A stray piece of popcorn is squished into the smaller dog’s fur.
Romantic Valentine plans have devolved into hopes of an adult only escape to the corner store for milk. Conditions are harrowing. Our only hope for survival is to eat Punxsutawney Phil.
Let’s say you’re at one of Knox County’s many public *schools, the big red bullseye store, a grocery store or a coffee shop and you think you see that person who is everywhere on the Internet, but aren’t sure since she’s too old to use her face as her avatar. Here are clues to look for:
Is she holding a coffee cup or sweet tea? If no, then that’s probably not me.
Does she have a cell phone gripped in her claw or sticking awkwardly out of her pocket? Is a cell phone sitting on the table in front of her? If no cell phone, then that’s probably not me.
Does she have bags under her eyes that could double as coin purses? If not, then that’s definitely not me.
Does she have dog and/or cat hair visible on her clothing? Seriously, if there’s not animal hair and/or snake skin flakes on the clothing, that isn’t me.
Does her laptop have stickers that reveal she watches too much television? Is there a white tulip on her tech? Ask her if she likes red licorice.
Is she driving a silver car that requires an extension cord to function? Don’t even try getting her attention. The stereo is much too loud.
Still not sure if that is me? Yell, “Mom” to see if I look at you with a ‘WHAT’ face. Then, you know it is me.
*That’s pretty much the only places you will find me.
Me: “While you’re in the hotel arcade, mom and dad are going to take a nap.”
Starving Artist: <- mumbling -> “I don’t believe you.”
Everyone should have seen it coming. The complaints were getting louder and the glares were lasting longer. Still, when it finally happened, there was a collective gasp. The pause in breathing fueled the black hole in the room. The black hole was created by the quiet stillness of horror at the realization that she had given up hope. She stopped holding on and let go…
of the pile of orphaned socks.
A TN housewife with an expensive caffeine habit was brought in for questioning after TSA found the woman driving aimlessly on an airport runway. The woman insisted that there HAD to be a real coffee shop nearby. Charges will be filed based on the results of her psych evaluation.
It’s been a few years since I left you to solo parent, so here are a few things to remember while I’m away for the weekend.
Boogie wipes are not an acceptable alternative to bathing.
The children require food more than once a day.
If SuperTween’s outfit causes you to raise an eyebrow, make her change clothes. She can wear whatever she wants when she goes to college.
If you allow SuperTween to watch regular tv, she will text 800 numbers to your phone. “It does all kinds of cool stuff, Mom.” Turn the tv off and send her outside to play.
Whenever the children come inside after playing outside, send them back out to collect the clothing that they forgot.
If you hear the dog’s tags clanging on the water bowl, the bowl is empty. Fill the bowl. With water.
The dogs/cats require food daily. Feed them.
Confiscate electronics at bedtime.
The youngest children singing after bedtime is cute, but they are the opposite of cute if they don’t get a good night’s sleep. Do not try to wait them out. You will fall asleep long before they stop singing. Ask them to sing inside their heads.
If you do laundry, please do not run the washer with only one item in it. It is a waste of water, electricity and detergent. The laundry is already sorted in baskets beside the washer. Fill the machine.
A few special reminders just for you:
1. No ladders. Remember the mangled ladder and the frightened neighbors?
2. No power tools. Remember the finger?
3. Do not buy paint. Remember the infant poop yellow?
4. Do not paint. Remember the bedroom closet?
5. No new projects. Don’t ‘six degrees’ a new project to an existing project either.
When in doubt, call me first. I will be in Nashville, not another country.
“Hello? Do you rent animals? Only for parties? Okay. Let’s call it an all week, no guest party. I need a hungry anteater. Do you have a house broken anteater? Oh, that’s okay. I’ll only need one anteater then. Do you have any de-glanded skunks? Great! I would like two, please. How about bats? Bummer. What about woodpeckers? Yes, I know. Why don’t we try the woodpecker for one day and then decide if we want it to stay the week? Sounds great. No, I don’t think we need anything else until the cicadas return. Seriously? Well, go ahead and put us on the waiting list for then. Thanks!”
Him: “What would you like for a snack?”
Him: <- sheer panic ->