Parenting and family, served with a shot of vodka
Now that cooler weather is upon us, it’s lovely to open the windows and let in some fresh, fall breeze. But that luxury doesn’t come without complications.
While our neighborhood is phenomenal and filled with wonderful friends, we are also pretty close to each other. And that can be embarrassing.
For instance, one night my delightful children were discussing who would be the first to “decorate their taco” with the shredded cheese — and by discussing, I mean having an all-out screaming war, complete with crying. Unbeknownst to me because my back faces the window, my neighbor was just getting home from work. His driveway is *thisclose* to my dining room window.
So after five minutes of my darling offspring’s shredded cheese buffoonery, my inner Mary Poppins was replaced by someone a little less cheery. “Dudes!,” I shouted. “I can’t TAKE IT ANYMORE! We have a a thousand cups of shredded cheese! Everyone will get some cheese. Just choose a different topping for now and FIX your stinkin’ TACO!!!!!”
It was then that I heard my neighbor’s truck door shut, and realized he heard my taco-making dictatorship spill out into the beautiful fall evening.
But then I remembered, he had little tykes once. His youngest daughter is 23 now, but he’s got to recall this kind of thing happening, right? RIGHT?!
At any rate, no authorities arrived and he doesn’t look at me with disdain, and I was/am thankful .
So, for future reference, here are some other potentially alarming incidents that could be heard from our house, and why things are really OK.
Fire alarm — I’ll be honest. When it comes to cooking meat, my husband is the master of protein-filled ceremonies. But since he works evenings, I am sometimes charged with ensuring my family has a slab o’meat from time to time. And on those nights, clouds of smoke billow from the window and my exceptionally loud fire alarm cheers on my culinary talents.
Y’all. Thank you for not calling the fire department every time this happens, or they’d be here twice a week. Even the kids say, “No real fire. Mom’s just cooking chicken again.”
But honestly, it’s mostly my children that make me cringe during open window time. Young kids are the mayors of Overreaction Town, and unfortunately, the audible parts of conversations are usually theirs:
“MY LIFE IS HORRIBLE AND DUMB! I WISH I WERE ALREADY DEAD!” — Some might think that I have started a bonfire with the toys, or withheld meals for a week, or stabbed ice picks into my children’s eyes. But this really just means I have asked my son, for the fifth time in 10 minutes, to put down his Pokemon cards and come to the dinner table.
It’s a hard-knock life, yo.
BLOODCURDLING SCREAMS — Nothing to see here, folks. It’s just that we are playing Monopoly Junior, and my daughter wants to hand her dollars to me instead of her brother. He reaches out for the dollars and now we are all deaf.
“YOU ARE THE MEANEST MOTHER EVER!” — I tell my daughter dinner will be ready in five minutes, so no, she can’t have an entire box of Cheez-Its right now.
“I’M CALLING THE POLICE!” — This one sounds the worst, but will probably resolve itself more quickly than the others. Because I actually hand over the phone to the offended child who threatens the action and say, “Please call the police right now. It’s 9-1-1. I’d love to hear what they say when you tell them why you’re calling.”
My favorite instance of this was a day we’d been to three birthday parties, which means they’d already consumed three pieces of cake each. So I said, “No dessert tonight.”
For a split second, one of them decided this was worthy of calling the fuzz, and I closed myself in the bathroom and laughed for, like, five minutes while thinking Come get me, police. I’ll happily spend a night in jail. I mean, shit, I’m already on house arrest with these silly children.
But I’m still here, unincarcerated, trying to feed my kids dinner not made of Cheez-Its, teaching math via board games, and having bonding time during dance parties. Ninety percent of the time we are fairly civilized.
Well, OK, maybe more like 60 percent of the time. But still. Thanks for not judging us on our rough patches. We’ll be closing up the windows in about two weeks, so you won’t even hear the worst of it, which involves getting children to put on 50 layers of clothing for the snow.
And if you do feel the need to call someone at any point, trust me when I say, I’m the one who needs help. I’ll be sure to let you know.