I ain’t no housewife

Posted by houndrat on Saturday Jan 12, 2008 Under babies, family life, husbands, kids, SAHM

My friend recently told me she’s a good wife, but not a good housewife.? It got me thinking (always a dangerous? pastime in our home)—what the heck is a housewife?? I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure I? married a man, not the outrageously? over-priced tract house with the world’s most minuscule kitchen? in which? we currently reside.? Although? I suppose I could be wrong—we did have a helluva? lot of booze? at our wedding.

Seriously, though, I think the? term “housewife” epitomizes all of the outlandish expectations men have? of their wives–for example, things like mopping the floor daily (sorry, I don’t live in a Brady Bunch rerun), or cleaning the toilet until it sparkles (I’ve never really understood the need to clean an appliance that will be instantly sullied by human excrement within hours of washing it), or discarding dirty toenail clippings (hey, they’re biodegradable).? ? I don’t know about you, but my wedding vows were to love, honor, and cherish—not love, honor, and pick up thy husband’s dirty undies ’til kingdom come.? And I’m pretty sure the latter statement would have penetrated even? the haziest of? booze-impaired brains.

So, instead, I like to call myself a stay-at-home mom, or SAHM, for short.? (or, if you read dooce, it’s actually an acronym for various profanities–which is equally apropos on any given day).? Honestly, though, I? have no problems with this moniker.? I do stay at home—well, except for the plethora of playgroup meetings, music class, gym class, grocery shopping, dog walking, outings to the zoo or Legoland or the beach, picking up the dry cleaning (okay, so I’ve only done that once in my entire married life, but it sounded good), etc, that force me to vacate my? residence for seemingly hours on end.? And I am a mom, unless those two little fiends living in my home were beamed? down by aliens, whose sole purpose? is to? study the effects of supreme daily chaos on the human body? (boy, are THEY getting an eyeful).?

Come to think of it, I had that second? fiend au naturel—and since certain body parts, which shall remain nameless, will never be the same, I suppose the kids are legit. (In case you’re wondering, “au naturel” means no drugs, no hospital—just my own house, my own bed, and a leather strap to bite down on—oh, wait, my husband is now telling me that was actually his arm.? Oops.)

But note, the title is stay-at-home mom.? Stay-at-home MOM.? The problem being—this title is an evil lie.? Or, an evil lie of omission, if you will.? Because implicit in this title is a whole list of other things we SAHMs are expected to do on a daily basis, things that are far less appealing than just being a mommy.? Let’s face it, you hear the term stay-at-home mom, and and what do you envision?? Images of smiling, cooing babies,? pictures of pristine moms in Jimmy Choos ruffling their equally pristine toddler’s hair, thoughts of decked-out MILFs and beaming, spotless children skipping hand-in-hand through the meadows, right?? ? Wrong.? It’s all a bunch of cow manure.? Essence of steer.? Meadow muffins.? It’s a load of poppycock propagated by men so that women will agree to be stay-at-home moms in the first place.? They cunningly neglect to mention all the fun extras that come with the job.?

For example, would you sign up to be a stay-at-home? poopy bottom wiper?? A stay-at-home dog barf cleaner?? A stay-at-home dirty undie scooper upper?? I think not.? I mean, seriously, who is going to pee their pants? with excitement? at the prospect of? being a stay-at-home snot sucker outer?? (There may be a lot of pants-peeing going on around here, including my own due to the above-mentioned baby-damaged body parts, but I can guarantee you it ain’t out of? glee over mucous).? Or a stay-at-home-hubby’s-nasty-hair-clippings-in-the-sink cleaner?? ? The last time I checked, my Master’s degree did not? adequately? prepare me for? such topics.? Maybe I should petition my school.

One time, my husband? proclaimed that he would make a great stay-at-home dad and a great househusband.? ? I? actually think I heard God laugh out loud.? Either that, or one of the dogs blasted us with another of those high-pitched farts.? Don’t get me wrong—my husband is an extraordinarily devoted dad, and an awesome husband and dad in so many ways.? Unfortunately, none of? those ways? involve? either a single? iota of ? consistent discipline or acceptable human cleanliness.? Basically, our house would implode within a week of leaving him home with the kiddage and doggage.? Think Home Alone, only? set in Bosnia instead of the suburbs, and you’ll get the picture.

So, please, make sure you read the fine print before signing on to be a SAHM.? That way, you can start learning how to be a stay-at-home-crusty-booger-wiper-offer far, far in advance.

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The Red Rocket

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 11, 2008 Under cars, husbands

We have a car, sitting idly in front of our home, that my husband fondly? refers to as? “The Red Rocket”.?

Me?? I fondly? refer to? it as “The Red-piece-of-shit-that-my-pragmatically-challenged-husband-paid-$1100-for-against-my-explicit-instructions-and-look-I-was-right-the-damn-crappy-thing-doesn’t-work Car”.

The Red Rocket.? A poetic and fitting name for, say, a corvette or maybe a classic 70′s muscle car. Heck, it would even be? marginally? appropriate? if we had an Eclipse.? Or? possibly a Saturn (although that’s a stretch). What is? it not a fitting name for?? Well, certainly not the 1989 none-too-gently used piece of snot Toyota Celica that has apparently taken up permanent residence outside our home.

The Red Rocket.? What an ironic name for a car that can’t muster over 50 mph on the freeway, on those rare occasions that it actually deigns to start for us.? Oh, it’s red, all right, but my husband must have been smoking crack to come up with the rocket part.? The only? remotely rocket-like thing about? it? is the? ear-numbing? amount of noise it produces, because of? a blown muffler.

You might be wondering how we acquired the? Crimson Crap-mobile.? Well, join the party.? I’m still sort of wondering the same thing.? One day, my husband? goes for a walk with my son to the park,? when, lo and behold, he returns with the Maroon Monster.? It was one of my husband’s? decidedly less inspired? impulse buys (of course, he chalks it up to the ADHD he self-diagnosed a month ago).

Actually, back that up a bit.? My hubby called me in-between the walk to the park and the ride home.? He called to ask me what I thought about purchasing the Magenta Money-Sucker.? My answer?? “No!”? Him:? “Maybe we should think about it?”? Me:? An emphatic “NO!”? Him:? “I’m sure it would be a great commuter car?”? ? Me:? “NO, NO, NO!”?

Husbands of the world, a quick tip—Never, ever ask your wives their opinion when you know you are just going to blatantly disregard it anyway.? This is the epitome of stupidity, and makes you destined to be? snoozing with Fido for a very long time.?

Back to our story.? See, my husband got his car totaled by a drunk driver last April (not that it takes a whole lot to total a 1996 Nissan Sentra).? My husband, who commutes over 60 miles one way to work every day, got a rental car, thinking this dude’s insurance would pay us pretty quickly, since he was clearly at fault.? Ha!? Such naivete on our part.? The? freakin’ bastards? (Legacy Pacific, in case you’re interested), have, to this day,? not forked over one measly dime.

So, what makes? someone spy a junker with a “for sale” sign and think, “Hey, there’s the perfect commuter car!”?? What conversation could? have possibly been going on in? my husband’s? head?? Hmmm…I like to? imagine it was something like this:? “Why, it’s a piece of crap 1989 Toyota Celica, complete with ripped up upholstery and a tape deck from the stone ages.? And look–it has a stick shift, which my wife can’t drive, and no room in the back, even though I have one kid already another on the way, and three dogs!? But that’s okay, because it’s perfect!? Why, it’s the Red Rocket!”

Or perhaps he was just thinking of a new fun way to piss me off—if so, hon, you’ve succeeded beautifully.

I told him to take it back immediately, I told him it was too old, I told him it was too ugly.? Heck, I even told him it would spontaneously combust within minutes of us owning it.? I may as well have been talking to my son’s miniature R2D2 robot (which? listens to? me about equally as well).? The Rojo Rubbish-Heap stopped working within a week, as I predicted, and now sits in front of our house, in all of it’s red glory (or lack thereof).

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the totaled Sentra is still here as well, keeping the Scarlet Shitbox company.? Why?? Aha, so you haven’t read my blogs on procrastination yet (Christmas? tree Procrastination and? All other varieties of Procrastination).

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Procrastinators, Anonymous

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 11, 2008 Under procrastination

Hi.? I am a procrastinator.? I admit it.? In fact, I admit it freely.? What’s more, I like to talk about procrastinating.? A? lot.? Why, you ask?? Because talking about the things you procrastinate about is the ultimate procastination.? It’s like procrastination nirvana.

? What kinds of things do we procrastinate about at our house?? I don’t think there’s enough space on the internet to list? them all.? Honestly. But I’ll try to throw out a few.

Some procrastinations are small.? For example, I procrastinate about buying various items at the store.? Toothpaste (yes, friends, that not-so-fresh-breath is sometimes me),? toilet paper (according to my husband, you can cut up used socks and use them instead—a fraternity house secret), and food (hey, we all needed to go on a diet anyway), just for starters.?

Sometimes, the procrastinations are bigger.? Like the fact? that we have yet to get? our daughter? a social security number or a birth certificate.? The midwife told us those in power like this to be done within 3 weeks of the birth.? Alas, our daughter is over 3 months now, and still without a country to call her own.?

This may not seem like a big deal, unless you knew that we had a home birth.? Apparently, if we don’t do this at some point, she will not be considered a citizen of the United States.? What I am wondering is, is it possible to be a citizen of nowhere?? How does that work, exactly?? I mean, I ‘ve heard of dual citizenship, but never no citizenship.

? But I digress (or, you might say, I procrastinate about procrastinating).? We also procrastinate about doing laundry (it saves the environment), replacing brake pads (we’re single-handedly keeping the rotor-making companies in business), and picking up dog poop (it’s free fertilizer, if you leave it long enough).? We didn’t have a crib mattress until our baby was two months old (hey, I needed an organic one, and you actually have to drive further than a mile to get those), and as for cleaning out the refrigerator?? Well, making your own penicillin does have some benefits, I guess.

Why do we procrastinate?? I honestly don’t know.? I mean, it’s not as if I really believe the toilet paper fairy is going to come make a delivery at our home (unless she just made a drop off in our trees—but I’m pretty sure that’s the kid who lives down the street, the little bastard).? And it’s not as if we think our friends are going randomly drop by and say, “Oh, I was just passing through, and thought I would? bring you? a crate of Charmin–it’s so squeezably soft, you know.”? (but friends, if you’re reading this, it’s not a bad idea—especially if you think you might need to use the john).

But the beauty of procrastination is, you can do it anytime, anywhere, anyplace.? In fact, I was able to procrastinate on about a billion projects, just by writing this blog.

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Fergie and the Christmas tree

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Jan 10, 2008 Under Christmas trees, dogs, kids

So what if I’m? writing about? a Christmas incident? in the? middle of? January.? I’ve already admitted I’m a procrastinator, right?

Anyway—pretend it’s the morning of Christmas Eve.? My mom and dad are in town, and my sister and her boyfriend are getting ready to come over.? For once, I’ve actually taken my time to really place the ornaments nicely and make the tree look good, instead of just throwing them up there willy nilly.

My husband is downstairs in the living room/play room? (where the tree is), with my 4 yr old son and my 3 month old daughter.? I’m getting ready to take Fergie, our energetic 14 month old Ridgeback puppy, outside from her kennel upstairs.? Since the baby is on the floor and I don’t want her to be pulverized just yet, I make the rational decision to get a leash for Fergie.? Of course, I can’t locate a collar, and being that I’m 1) unorganized, and know it will take me a good 15 minutes to locate one in the disaster area we call home and 2) am too lazy to spend said 15 minutes in search of one, I make the less rational decision to just slip the metal clip through the hand hole on the leash and form a make-shift collar.?

Do I know this a bad idea?? Certainly.? Does it stop me?? Unfortunately, no.

As you might predict, halfway down the stairs, Fergie is pulling so hard that I let go of the leash.? What you might not have predicted in a million years, though, is that the little metal clip bounces off our wood floor, ricochets, and not only lands on the Christmas tree but gets completely snagged there.?

Fergie, is, as usual, completely oblivious, and rushes around the corner.? I watch in horror as the Christmas tree follows her, falling completely over and narrowly missing her, my husband, and my baby. Ornaments go airborne and fly to all corners of the room, along with a plethora of pine needles.? And? there’s Fergie, still attached, who? could care less that she is now a giant make-shift tree ornament, and continues to wiggle with excitement, further tangling her leash.

Unbelievably, only one ornament broke.? It was, of course,? the most expensive ornament on the tree, a Radko collectable, but in light of what could have happened, I guess I can’t complain too much.? (The fact that it was also an ornament featuring Santa, the earth, and animals, proceeds of which benefited an environmental group, makes me think it was bad karma for us buying a dead tree to begin with, but that’s another story…..)

The tree, alas, never quite looked the same afterwards.? And that is why you should just slop those ornaments on your tree when you live with Ridgebacks.

See AOL’s top rated recipes and easy ways to stay in shape for winter.

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Every year, my husband and I make New Year’s resolutions to get organized and stop procrastinating.? ? Every year,? my husband and I? know we’ve failed miserably by February.? ? How?? By the fact? that? the friggin’ Christmas tree is? still creating a massive fire hazard in our living room come Valentine’s Day.? Seriously.?

Being (mostly) environmentally friendly people, we actually tried the live tree thing our first year in a new house.? Our son had just been born, and we got all teary-eyed thinking how great it would be for him to have his own Christmas tree in the backyard, commemorating the wonder of his birth.

Bad idea.? Aapparently, you have to actually plant the darn? things before July.? Go figure.?

And not having a Christmas tree is just not an option in our home, with our son.? Why not try a fake one, you ask?? Are you kidding?? The only reason the tree ever exits our house at all? is because after awhile, the dead pine needles start molting.? If we had a fake one, I can only imagine it would become a year-long fixture.? Tempting as that is, we just don’t have the space for it.? We’ve got a myriad of other random assorted crap to strew over the floor, you know.

In case I haven’t made my point yet—it? is a bad, bad thing to be a procrastinator and unorganized.?

However, when both you AND your husband are equally cursed with both of these traits, you are basically as screwed as if a tornado had taken up permanent residence inside your home.

Think I’m joking?? Well, the policeman sure didn’t, even though I tried to explain to him that we really MEANT to renew our registration, but we 1) didn’t open the notice? until too late and 2) then couldn’t find it again once we opened it, in the sea of assorted papers that is our counter.

? Seriously, ladies, heed my advice.? If you are single and unorganized, then start looking for datable men who work at places like the Container Store, or better yet, cast members from Clean Sweep.? A procrastinator?? Go find yourself? a CPA hottie.? Because,? honestly folks,? this is not something you want to double up on in? your gene pool.

This year, however, we have made serious progress.? The Christmas tree actually made it to the curb in time for the trash man to take it.? ? This is the first time since my husband and I have owned a home that he hasn’t had to sneak around in the middle of the night in the slightly illegal endeavor (whatever that means) of dumping the tree in an empty dumpster at the nearby junior college (hey, the benefits of college have far exceeded my expectations now) because we missed the tree pick-up dates by a mile.?

The fact that we are actually? truly excited by this milestone shows how pathetic we really are.

Of course, in the process of exiting our home, the tree shed needles like a flock of Samoyeds shed hair, all across our living room.? Hmmm, might have something to do with the fact that neither of us remembered to put water in the little holder thingy?

At any rate, my husband, upon re-entering our house, gives the mess a cursory glance and says, “I’ll clean it up”.? That was on Tuesday.? It’s now Friday.? Is the mess still there?? You bet.? In fact, I imagine those pine needles will still be rotting away there come December, waiting to? greet the next Christmas tree.? ?

Aw, the circle of life.?

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Husbands, undies, and ADHD

Posted by houndrat on Thursday Dec 6, 2007 Under husbands

My husband just recently diagnosed himself as adult ADHD.? He tells me this as if I’m supposed to be surprised or something.? As if I’ve never? realized that he doesn’t pay attention when I’m talking.? Does he not think I notice when I send him to the store for milk and bread,? and he comes back with a watermelon instead?? Or that when it was his turn to pay the bills, we almost had our electricity shut off?? Twice?? Or that he’s impulsive?? Like the time he decided he wanted to re-finish his $3000 speakers, so he ripped the wooden panels off within two seconds of the idea striking him?? Or that he leaves projects unfinished?? Like? said $3000 speakers, which have been sitting there with the wood panels ripped off for the past two years?? I won’t even bring up the countless gadgets and various crap he’s purchased over the years, because the “impulse” struck him.

What I wonder, though, is if it’s really ADHD that makes him forget to pick up his undies.? I mean, surely even the most distracted person? is aware of? when they strip off their skivvies? Don’t you at least feel a draft?? And yet there his are, strewn all over the house like rice at a wedding.? Only larger and smellier.? ? And it sort of begs? the question of why in the world my husband is stripping in all corners of the house?? This, as with many things concerning my husband, is probably a question best left unanswered.

So, what does my husband do when he decides he is ADHD?? He goes and buys about 100 books about it, of course.? Because we all know how good ADHD folks are at finishing books.? Basically,? the books are? just something else for me to pick up around the house.? ? Maybe they can keep the undies company.? If the books could only tell him how to remember to pick up the books, we’d be making some serious progress.? But I guess we can’t have it all.

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oh, music to my ears

Posted by houndrat on Sunday Dec 2, 2007 Under kids

My three-year old’s constant whining makes me want to kill something.? Seriously.? Why is that?? You would think that parents would be programmed to at least tolerate whining.? I mean, how much easier would life be as a parent if your kid’s whining didn’t bother you?? Or better yet, if your kid’s whining sounded just like baby cooing to your ears.? “Oh, how sweet, little Johnny is whining about not getting another Thomas the train again.? How adorable!”? What? a killer biological adaptation that would be.? Of course, if that were the case, I think people would have a lot more kids, which would? lead to more planetary over-crowding.? Hmmm….so maybe that’s why the sound of my son’s whining makes me want to drop kick him to Cambodia.? That Darwin sure is a sneaky bastard.

? Seriously, though, have you ever noticed how whining can drive even the most calm and rational parent into a crazed frenzy?? ? I swear I have heard even the most laid-back of moms say things like “Jamie, if I hear you whine one more time, I will take? every single toy you own? and? one by one throw? them into? a huge bonfire and make you watch them burn!? until they die!? What’s more, I will flush your fish down the toilet, lock you in the closet until daddy comes home, and then daddy and I are going to take you to the used toddler store and trade you in for a non-whining variety (as if such a thing exists).? Oh yeah, and I’m going to take away your FRUIT SNACKS (gasp)!

Which leads me to the lies we tell each other as parents.? Really, wouldn’t things be easier on all of us if we could just be honest?? Instead, we? all feel compelled? to try to be super-mom.? Which basically means we lie.? A lot.? For example, if I had a quarter for every time I heard “Oh, I’m just feeding little Susie this because I’m afraid she wouldn’t eat anything otherwise”, I sure as hell wouldn’t be worried about the mortgage man coming to take my house at any minute.? I mean, do we really think our kids are going to starve to death if we don’t feed them goldfish, m & m’s, chips, or fruit snacks??

The straight answer is no.? It all goes back to the whining thing.? What we are really afraid of is more whining.? Little Susie wouldn’t starve, but she would probably whine enough to send her mom back to rehab.? And since none of us are hard-wired to deal with whining. we lie.? We also don’t want other parents to know our kids whine.? Which is ridiculous.? All kids whine.? But it seriously turns into some type of competition at the park or gym class.? We think, “Oh, look at little Tommy—he sure is having a bad day.? Of course, my little man is being an angel.”? Of course, the little man in question probably has his mouth stuffed? full of? Fruit Snacks.? If we could all just admit that we use food as a bribe to stop whining, I think life would be so much easier.?

I’ll admit it—we used to use Fruit Snacks as a bribe for our little guy to sleep good at night.? Did they work?? You bet.? Unfortunately, they had the added effect of making him act like a crack addict all morning long.? I don’t know if it was the artificial colors, the sugar, or the….what the heck else is in a Fruit Snack, exactly?? ? Anyway, we’re on to something much more nutritious—-cookies (hey, the box says organic).

So, anyway, I think there’s some money to be made in this whining thing.? Hypnotists should forget about? all that stop smoking and over-eating crap.? It’s so passe.? Why not offer sessions to parents that will make them enjoy whining instead?? I know I would be there in a heartbeat.

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