Monday, July 27, 2015

Giant Toddlers

I have a toddler.  He throws tantrums when he's told "no".  He gets very cranky when he's tired and starts arguing for no reason.  He insists he isn't tired when he so clearly is that it's hilarious.  There is always some strange food concoction that he's making.  I find a trail of messes in every room he enters.  There are leftover drink containers in his room and in strange places.  I find the oddest things he's written, drawn or done.  He argues incessantly and I swear half the time he's one step away from saying "give me some choices".  He listens to the worst music and swears it's great. He has a favorite pillow and blanket.  The toddler does strange things with bed linens.  He doesn't seem to understand the concept of keeping top sheets on a bed or putting the correct size sheet on a bed.  The toddler eats breakfast, lunch, dinner one and dinner two.  He drinks about 2 gallons of milk per week.  He also dresses funny.

I remember when Elmo's world used to soothe him into a gentle nap. I'd have an hour or two of peace and quiet from noon to 1 or 2.    I kind of wish he'd take a nap at a normal bedtime...say midnight?  Gee, midnight?  Isn't that a little late for a toddler to be heading to bed?  For toddlers of a certain age, yes, it is indeed very late for a 2 or 3 year old to head to bed.  When your toddler however is 16 years old, midnight is a pretty normal bedtime.  I used to think so at least.  If I can wrangle xbox controllers, phones, and soda cans out of his hands and order him to bed at 1:30 it's a lucky night/morning.  He's taken to watching netflix as he gently falls asleep on the game room floor.  The problem is the fact that he wakes up and keeps turning on new episodes of binge watch shows.  He usually doesn't fall asleep until sometime near 3 or 4 am...then he's a surly, snarcastic brat the rest of the day.  He manages to drag his carcass out of bed about 12-1pm.  Then declares himself starving. He has second dinner about 1 or 2 in the morning.

There are nights he's hanging on by a thread of sanity.  He will get so overtired that he starts arguing for the sake of arguing.  It all reminds me of the days when he's go running away screaming at the top of his lungs that he was tired and didn't want to take a nap.  He's using the same logic he used then.  during potty training he'd have a diaper so full he was bowlegged.  He'd then go running away screaming that he hadn't gone to the bathroom in his diaper or pull up.  I'd give chase, His 2-3 year old lies were so transparent.  Much like his 16 year old lies, they are pointless, they don't do anything to further him and they are usually pretty transparent.

I had a verbal exchange (can't even call it a conversation because there was no logic) with him a couple of days ago I could have sworn we had this same exchange when he was 3.  "Mom can I....?" ,  "No, you can't."  "But Why!?", "because I said you can't.", "BUT WHY",  "You know exactly why.  You didn't clean your room, you disobeyed, you were very argumentative.", "what if I do that now?", "No.  It's too late.  I already asked you to do it, but you refused." , "But why can't I go out?",  "I have already told you.  I am through with this discussion now.", "BUT WHY?!  It's not fair!" , "No, it isn't fair that you don't do what you are supposed to do then want favors.  I'm tired of this subject." ,  "You aren't even making any sense, me not doing my chores has no bearing on me not being able to go out.  Why can't I go?" , "Because I said no.", "But WHY?!", "because, because, because, because I said NO!", "those aren't reasons those are just words, You don't have any reasons you are just saying this because you KNEW I wanted to go out."......this just goes on.  Eventually the large toddler stomps off in a huff, begrudgingly does his chores, then shows up to apologize because, "I could hear myself being a jerk but I just couldn't stop."  Then the over tired toddler has a snack and a nap.

This is what 16 looks like in this house anyway. I don't remember being quite this irrational at 16, but I am a girl.  I remember questionable decisions at that age.  I remember that everything was "the worst thing in the world" or "the best thing in the world".  We were like  strange pendulums of emotion back then with teased hair, lots of hairspray and brightly colored hair.  I think teentoddlerism has been going on for years.  I just don't think anyone talks about it.

I may survive the terrible twos part two

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It made sense at the time......

We have the worst luck when it comes to repairing housey things.  Not meaning "we" as in my husband or me, being fairly sane we'd like our home to remain standing, so we don't actually repair anything.  Changing a light bulb is challenging enough, plugging something in usually goes well also.  We're in the clear for putting up Christmas things as long as we have cup hooks, thumb tacks, command adhesive, tape and superglue.  We also need twine to tie the Christmas tree to the wall so our 13 year old Siamese doesn't knock it down in the yearly  "climb the tree to conquer the festive shiny ball"  ritual.  He has also been known to enter the twine chewing competition.  I digress...

It made sense at the time to get new shingles, the others did look like crap.  They have been trying to sell us a new roof since we moved in.  "shingles are only meant to last 20 years you know".  "really?. That's odd....this house was only built in 2005"  That response of mine has been met with blank stares since we moved in in 2008.  It's true, the shingles were a shambles and have been for years.  We bit the bullet and decided it was time to really invest in our house, thus we were lured in by a promising guarantee, bonded and licensed roofers and the assurance of a solid set of shingles to see us through the next 50 years.  We scheduled the roofing for the next available date, about 2 weeks out.

Recently we had some carpet laid.  That install went into the category of comically late.  A few years ago we had a redundant (literally 10 feet separated the sliding glass door wall and the kitchen sliding glass door, same wall) sliding glass door wall replaced with a window from Majic, they can do majic in making your money and sanity disappear.  I can't complain about the quality of the window at all.  It's great really.  I don't work for the company, are you kidding, I'm a barely passable  All kidding aside about them.  They did show up on time, they did a good, clean install, the window was pricey, but worth it.  The lost sanity and lost money came from us...yes us, husband and wife, of the un-handy family, having to finish and paint the drywall under the window, and pain the siding outside under the window to match the house.  The house has an attractive white panel under the window on our otherwise blue and brick house.  I told you we were bad at home repairs.  The few home repairs we've done started with the window, next came the carpet with the epic delay.  Today......the roof.

My loving yet unhandy husband sent me a text late last week announcing the impending roofing on Monday morning.  Friday I heard hammering on the roof.  Convinced the zombie apocalypse was upon us and they were entering via the roof I hid behind the sofa waiting for it to stop.  I then mustered up the courage to go upstairs and investigate by staring out my son's window.  They were dropping off supplies in the yard for the looming roofing.  I felt relief wash over me!  I have nowhere near enough food stockpiled for the zombie apocalypse.  It rained over the weekend, the 3 sheets of particleboard or presswood, whatever handy people call it, were left lying on the grass.  This little bit of Murphy's Law did not bode well.

Yesterday the roofers were supposed to arrive at 8:30 am.  Surprisingly 8:30 comes twice in one day in the summer too.  I thought this might be the case, but was unsure.  I've been a stay at home mom so long I thought maybe that rule, policy or basic tenet might have changed too.  I set the alarm for 8:00 am, planning to have a cup of coffee, brush my teeth and take off the crazy house night gown,  (I have a nightgown I love which strongly resembles something an inmate at a mental facility would wear.  The blood stains on the shoulder result from a nasty miscommunication between my shoulder, Kung Pao and the window) and change into something more appropriate to greet humans in.  I was milling about preparing to take apart a sink, literally, when the phone rang with a particularly mocking nasty ring at 8:44am.  I perked up trying to sound chipper.  In my heart I knew what that little ugly ring meant.  That mocking ring, meant they weren't coming or were going to be 10 hours late.  The lady politely informed me that they would have to reschedule the install due to the predicted thunderstorms in the area.  That was a really reasonable excuse, aside from the fact that it was sunny in my town and there was no predicted thunderstorm until late that night.  Storms were, however, predicted in the area where the office is located, in another county about an hour away from me. They weren't to be roofing the office so I thought it might have been poor planning on the scheduler's part to not check the weather in the actual install area.  The nice lady told me they would be out today (Tuesday 7/14/15) unless rain was predicted.  I lamely said "Ok", knowing fully well that rain was predicted for Tuesday after I checked my handy weather app.  I busied myself with the sink project, pvc pipe is just easier to take apart and scrub to remove gunk than it is to use liquid plumber.  Sink went well, and I remembered to use all the parts and put them in pretty much the right places.  It doesn't link and it does drain.  The little stopper doohickey even works too!

I didn't bother setting an alarm this morning, didn't give a shit about coffee, the crazy house gown, or brushed hair.  I felt like I'd been put through a grinder, so I knew weather was approaching.  (not old, just slightly dented) For some reason known only to God (who I am now convinced only wants us to do home repairs when he's having a rough day in heaven so he gets a good laugh looking in on us) I woke up just before 8:00 am.  I roamed around downstairs, made sure the sink wasn't leaking yet, got coffee, looked out at the birds building a nest on my porch, then stopped dead in my tracks as a cold finger ran down my spine.  A van was pulling up to the house near one already out front.  I went upstairs to get dressed and glance again at the weather app, it still predicted heavy showers.  I got dressed then went to stare suspiciously out my window, wondering if Mormons had upgraded to vans, or if the Jehovah's Witnesses would be getting into a row on my front yard (we have a yard, not a lawn...something is terribly wrong with people who have no weeds).  To my horror, I discovered, roofing was about to happen.  The project started well before 8:30am.  About 9 or so the foreman introduced himself and told me they'd be done by early afternoon, providing the rain held out, otherwise they'd have to come back tomorrow.  I looked at him, looked at the sky and said lamely "Ok".  A few hours later the first wave of rain hit.  They continued roofing.  There was more rain and more roofing.  I ventured a glance out my son's window and saw the bare wood on our roof, along with the areas being covered.  About an hour after that THE RAIN came.  I watched a torrent of it pour off a hastily draped tarp along the roof valley, hopefully shielding the bare wood. All the roofers hid on the front porch out of the rain.  The rain stopped, roofing resumed.

I checked roofing sites off and on all day regarding the advisability of roofing in the rain.  It seemed a tossup.  We do have the parts and labor warranty.  We figure if the roof has some catastrophic failure or we develop leaks we can call them on it.  I plan to let the company know tomorrow the conditions under which the roofing was laid down so that's in our file.  I also took photos of the work and the sky.

Roofing has now officially stopped a mere 13 and a half hours after it started.  Early afternoon my behind.  If any work is being done on our house, no matter how long the job is supposed to take, it will take twice as long and have snafu's.  Tomorrow I will check on the lavender, the roses, the coneflowers and the Arizona suns...the only yardy things we care about were probably stomped upon during roofing.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


We just got new carpet.  We are not a coordinated family, our old carpet was never designed for people like us and saw 8 years of our abuse.  It was a white (who does that??) berber.  8 years of  spilled coffee, cocoa, soda, fruit juice, dropped food, muddy shoes and kitty vomit finally had us over the edge.  We felt like perhaps we might be trusted for a few weeks with new carpet.  Our son chose the carpet color, sort of a light cocoa color (hey something we already spill!!).  We compared two prices and were pleased with the price we paid.

We decided to also pay for furniture moving and tear out of old carpet.  We were told we'd need to move all knick knacks, fragile items and electronics, then make sure papers, etc were  removed from file cabinets and such.  We were very excited and started the long 2-3 week wait for the carpet to be made.  We got the call in mid June that the installer would call to schedule the time and date of install.  We were told we'd be contacted on the 30th to schedule the install.

I started slowly moving items out of the living room about the 22nd.  I figured I'd have plenty of time to go slowly and move things little by little.  I was feeling good about my progress, having most of the mantle cleaned off, some pictures off the wall and a plan for moving things in stages.  I was planning on scheduling it so my husband could take off the day before the install to help me move some of the heavier electronics.

The morning of the 30th dawned.  I got a call at 9am.  I heard a mumbled time of 2-4pm.  I said "ok".  Then I wondered what I'd just said "ok" to.  I called back.  I was told..."the work order says living room, stairs and hall"  I said "Yes, but what are you doing today between 2-4pm".  The guy, I'm sure he was thinking 'Wow, this bulb sure is dim', politely said "the install".  I said "What?  I was told you were going to call me on the 30th to schedule the install"  He said "No, ma'am, when an installer calls you the product is in the van and ready to go".  I cancelled it, knowing there was no way I could do all that moving by myself, my son was still asleep and hadn't slept the night before.  I called the company to reschedule.  After (literally) an hour on various holds and hang ups I was told my next available dates were the middle of July or the end of August.  I asked if I could just go ahead with the install today.  (yesterday, which was today when it was happening)   The representative called the installer to make sure they still had my carpet.  I was all set for an install between 2 and 4 pm which would last about 4 hours, my husband goes to bed about 7:30-8:00 so a 4 hour install even as late as 4pm should be ok.  I woke my son with coffee and pleas to come to my aid.  He did get up to help me move.  We worked efficiently (for once) with no whining (from either of us).  We did start a steady stream of bitching about the injustice in the world of install as we worked.  I woke him at nearly noon.  We were done by 1:45!

I took out the trash while my son made himself some food to devour before the installers arrived.   I noticed some weeds in desperate need of pulling.  I pulled a few weeds then bent down to get a few weeds hiding in a bushy flower.  I started to get up and felt my hair snag in the wild rose bush.  I tried to pull free but it kept getting worse.  I called my son's cell phone...he wasn't answering!  I was bent down with my butt in the air and my head stuck in a bush but my son wasn't  answering.  Finally he picked up and said ""hey I wasn't gonna answer I thought it was ...(annoying person).  What do you need"  I asked him to come help me, to bring two paper towels and told him it was an emergency, to please hurry.  He came outside within seconds hollered "where are you?"  I said "I'm here by the side of the house"  I heard him coming, he must have looked and me because he said "What did you do?"  I told him I was pulling weeds and I'd gotten stuck, to use the paper towels to protect himself from thorns.  He had me free before I could finish telling him what the paper towels were for.  Then he asked and I told him they were to protect his fingers from thorns.  That was a bit too late.

We got inside and got ready.  2 o'clock came and went.  My husband got home... 4 o'clock came and went.  I got a call just after 4.  The installers had some unexpected problems at the current installation.  He assured me they'd be there by 5-5:30 at the latest.  I got a call from the schedulers who felt bad about the mix up, the late time slot (I told them I'd have never agreed to an install that late due to our dinner and bed schedule) they were prepared to offer me a prime Friday time slot.  I told them the installer called and said it was a go, that they were held up but would be there by 5:30.  She said if they said that, then they'd definitely be there.  She gave away the Friday time slot.  We stared calling the intaller at 6pm.  No answer.  We called at 7pm, no answer at 7:15, I got a call.  They "lost track of time" and were still willing to come if we wanted them too.  By then I was more than a shade irritated.  I was beginning to get sore from all the moving, the rose scratches on my arm were itching.  My husband was irked but told them to come anyway.  They finally arrived about 7:30pm.

The van looked kind of rapey.  All white, kind of rusty, no windows and the name of the company professionally written on the side in sharpie marker kind of crooked and haphazard.  At that point they could have offered me candy to get in the rape van and I'd have gone, just to take down a few people.  My husband said hi, made some small talk and went to bed.  He put on his range ear muffs.  They must have worked.  They block out the sound of guns on a range and he certainly slept through the loudest experiences imaginable.  One entire wall was shaking.  I think the house was traumatized.  The carpet was finally all finished about 11pm.  It looks nice.

Day 1......nothing spilled.......