Thursday, September 06, 2007

Princess Shopping

Today was a fateful day. A dreadful day. One of those days that you know is coming, but avoid the very thought...allowing the anticipation to build slowly and stealthily in the background, somewhere just beyond your conscious notice. One of those days that are simply too horrific to envision in advance.

One of our twice-monthly grocery shopping trips.

The hell begins, fittingly, before we even leave the house. You see, my children hate oatmeal (apparently they'll lift this rule if ~L~ both makes and serves it for them, but me making it or even ~L~ making it and me serving it doesn't do the trick), and this was pretty much all that was left in the house to eat (I said I dread the shopping trips...). So the children are *hungry.*

Toddlerness wants to wear a particular shirt. But doesn't want to wear a skirt. Or pants. Or underwear.

Um, no.

After a screaming fit that lasts half an hour and means unlocking and reentering the house twice for alternate clothing, she happily locks herself - now wearing an ENTIRELY different outfit (both shirt and pants pronounced "princess") - into her carseat.

Unlock the house again and get the cell phone.

Um, repeat for the wallet.

The laundry is done, might as well haul that in before we leave.

Shit, the kids got out of the car.

Well, we eventually get ourselves, all of ourselves, clothed and with all the necessary shopping supplies, into the van and off towards the store. We find a package of crackers - unopened even! - in the car, and the kids dig in. We even listen to a new CD - "Live, Live" Sister Hazel - on the way. I arrive with only slightly elevated blood pressure. And get a parking space near the front of the store!

Toddlerness decides that the cart isn't very princess. Luckily the carts at Winco are roomy and I can stick her in the basket even while she is kicking and screaming. Double-lucky: the patrons at Winco tend to be the sort that understands this bit of necessary expediency, and smile knowingly as I stuff her (still kicking and screaming) into the cart. At this point I become happy that I can't afford to shop at Whole Foods.

Shit, they don't do the sample thing at Winco. Nobody will notice if she eats a few grapes on the way, right?

We are (predictably) on the of the store when Toddlerness begins to hop up and down in the cart "I NEEDA MAKEA PEEEEEEEEEEE". Daddy with a baby in a mei tai (I guess there ARE some crunchies in Winco...) looks at me like I'm the oddest being on earth when, instead of scooping her up and RUNNINGLIKEMAD, I let Girliness continue to write the numerical labels for our bulk food items while Toddlerness does the potty dance.

He doesn't see Toddlerness stop potty dancing and start grabbing magazines as we high-tail it through the check-line to the restrooms. So he gets to take a quick but knowing glance at us once more as we arrive in the meat section.

Cheap roast! Cheap pork! Score! Let's go get some chick...what's that smell?!!!...OMG FORGET THE CHICKEN.

Boyness and Girliness start to play tag and run into an old lady, who looks totally bewildered at this turn of events. I yell and separate.

We positively dash through the final portion of the store, halted by Girliness' pathetic request for some bread (so I can make some sandwiches maaaamaaa we never get bread anymorrrrre).

Winco does not carry ANY BREAD AT ALL that doesn't have milk in it. Oh, no, not a single loaf. A whole aisle of bread. A whole...hell, it felt like half an hour, maybe it was really 15 minutes?...of label reading. No bread.


Meanwhile, the kids decide to amuse themselves by seeing how fast they can run circles around the cart.

I begin to contemplate buying large volumes of alcohol. That's on the opposite side of the store. I judge it not worth it.

We go through the checkout. Boyness begins a game where he runs full-speed from one end of the register belt to the other, tags Girliness' hand with his foot, and then repeats.

I separate and yell.

The label has fallen off the vegetable oil. The checker asks "was it $2.18?" This sounds too high but if it gets me out of the store...whatever.

I tell the kids to just use the damn plastic bags.

We leave. I put on Linkin Park, eat a bagel, and try to breathe.

We arrive at Trader Joes (yes, we do require two stops).

The kids whine and ask to stay in the car. This will probably take me about half an hour. NO.

The kids throw 10 (not kidding) boxes of cereal in the cart. I threaten not to buy any cereal at all. They return 5 boxes. *Breathe* I can handle that *breathe.*

Trader Joes doesn't have milk-free chocolate chips in stock.

The kids begin to play a game of tag. The store is crowded. They run into someone who runs into a display and boxes go flying.

I pick up a six-pack of amber ale.

I tell the children that whoever is the quietest gets the first cookie when we get home.

They stare at each other, completely silent, for about 10 seconds. Boyness snorts. Girliness yells that Boyness has lost. Boyness yells that Girliness is being louder. They begin a full-blown-punching-kicking-slapping fight in the checkout aisle.

I separate them physically, placing them on opposite sides of the cart, and tell them that if they look at each other again before we get out the door they can forget everything they've ever known about dessert.

And then I put some chocolate in the cart. No, kids, it's for me.

We obviously survived, since I'm here typing. The kids have done some crazy thing in the living room for the past half hour, I don't care anymore.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

And the Rain Rain Rain...

So I did eventually get Toddlerness to sleep last night, but not nearly right away. We were just settling in to our beds at 11pm-ish, silence all around, drifting off...

KABLAMMMM the house rattles, literally rattles, wood makes creaking noises, pots and pans jingle, assorted pieces of glass clank against other assorted pieces of glass.

No bombs, just a sudden and violent mountain thunderstorm. The kids could obviously not sleep through something so exciting, and sat in the darkened living room counting the seconds between lightning and thunder. I heard the rain coming from afar, a massive dumping of water from the sky, with almost no wind to modulate it...just DUMPED water. The storm ended as abruptly as it began, but left some raininess in its wake. The rain is still falling, heavy for Seattle but a normal "rainshower" in Hawaii. The kids are sure we're going to go have fun today anyway, and have picked IKEA as our destination. I have no beef with that.

Monday, September 03, 2007


So, let's do the other-stuff update rounds, shall we?

I need some happy healthy healing vibes sent in the direction of my mother (who lives in HI), because she crashed her bike a couple days before my birthday and is healing but still hurting pretty bad. Going from her level of super-activity to not being able to tie back her own hair for weeks at a time must be super rough.

I went and hung out at Marie's earlier this week, and that was very nice. Except that Boyness was having issues. Total mystery but it was really bad and I'm pretty sure he had dairy at some point, especially since he can't hear again. I really like hanging with Marie, but damn Boyness has a way of trying to get us not-invited-back.

Went to ~L~s today, and we had a fire on the beach. That was fun. She taught me how to knit!!! Well, mostly. I'm happy with how nice my little swatchy-thing looks (it doesn't look nice at all, really, but the fact that it isn't horribly messy is really reassuring). I have no clue how to cast on and am not really sure how it was I managed to add/take away stitches on a few rows, but I know how to create a stitch now. I am sure that between ~L~ and Marie (I've seen Marie knit, blurry needles and all...), I'll be able to extract all the knitting advice I need to figure this whole thing out.

We brought Tony-safe chocolate chips to ~L~s and she made cookies for the beach. Cookies, saltine crackers, marshmallows....sugar OVERLOAD. The kids crashed on the way home and - you guessed it - are now up at 10:30 watching a movie. I might get Toddlerness to sleep some time tonight. Maybe.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Well, I'm feeling like several kinds of shit. I'm taking the cat over to Marie's, and I know they'll be great parents and all...I feel like shit because Girliness is feeling crushed. Oh, how to make this up to her? She is so unhappy, and I so feel like shit. But I'm sure that Fran and I cannot live with this cat. Damn it, damn it, damn it. And damn it some more. So unfair what we did to Girliness. So unfair.

ACK, Allergies!

Well, we're allergic to the cat. Me, Fran, and probably Nomi as well (who was rubbing her eyes in a very my-eyes-are-itchy way after petting the cat today).

I've used a roll of toilet paper a day in nose-blowing activities since picking the cat up.

We're going to be looking for another family for the cat.

Damnit, I've owned cats before without this problem, and Fran has been fine with cats when we were dating (his reaction is really pretty severe, although he was in denial the first day, he liked this cuddly cat so much...). But no dice. Cat's gotta go, 'cause I'm not popping claritin every day for the next 12 years.

The kids adore the cat and he seems very happy and comfortable in our home. I'm sad about taking him away from Girliness and Boyness, who are both not allergic and very happy about having a pet. Damnit.