Friday, August 31, 2012

existential thoughts and dentistry

Had a root canal yesterday. It won't be on the highlight reel at my memorial, should I ever die. Not that I'm planning on dying. I'm gonna live forever.

I think, if I ever become a dentist, I will do things differently. I am not thinking of becoming a dentist, because mouths are gross, and also I don't want to go to college, I like it here on my couch with my children. But IF I were to become a dentist, I would never prop someone's mouth open with foam versions of cinder blocks and then ask them questions. Just practically thinking here, they do this stuff all day long; haven't they noticed that we can't talk right?

Dentist: "How are you doing? Still numb?"
Me: alarmed eyes "IBE CHOKING ON BIT"
Dentist: "Good, good."

I try to talk myself out of panicking. I'm a grown woman, I think. I can sit here and I will not choke and die on the saliva pooling in the back of my OH MY GAWD I AM GOING TO CHOKE I CAN'T SWALLOW I CAN'T SWALLOW I'M.... oh. I'm okay. Huh.

Dentist:  "We're just going to drill out the center of your tooth here, it shouldn't hurt, but if it does, let me know."
(Me, inside my mind "How will I let him know? I am laying on my back choking to death on spit while you and your chatty assistant have 5 tools holding down my tongue and something that smells like burning I'M GOING TO DIE." 
My brain counters, "Be logical, Jessica. No one has ever accidentally swallowed the gauze and had to be transported by ambulance and get an emergency tracheotomy. These people are professionals and they know how to secure the gauze just close enough to your tonsils that you won't choke."
My mind, "I bet, if I could reach my phone from here, I could google and find more than one person who choked on the gauze. I bet I could find a malpractice suit for this exact doctor, or at least a bad Yelp review.")
Me: "AHGAY."

BEEEEIZZZZZZZZZZZZTTTTTTTTT the drill says, and is that a nerve? Did I feel that a tiny bit? Am I going to feel it a LOT in a minute? Should I raise my hand? What is happening?

Dentist: "We're about done. Just a few more hours of chipping away at your enamel and your soul. Now I'm going to leave you here for a minute and let you dry out so we can put some sharp stuff in your mouth and maybe some kind of laser beam gun thing. You need anything?"
Me: "IDEED GO HOBE. IDEED WAAER. IDEED CLODSE BOUTH BLEEZ."
Dentist: "Okay, great. We'll be back momentarily and wrap up here and crush your dreams."

An hour goes by, a day. My mouth is pried open like a horrific silent scream, and I am starting to feel my gums again. Is the Novocaine wearing off? What the heck kind of little sharp needle-y things did they put in my tooth crater? And why? And the saliva, it's collecting again, I can't... I can't swallow right I CAN'T SWALLOW RIGHT AND THEY'RE ALL GONE, HAVING CAKE IN THE BREAK ROOM OR SOMETHING I AM ALL ALONE HERE AND I MIGHT SWALLOW THE GAUZE OR GAG OR PANIC AND BITE DOWN ON THE NEEDLE-Y THINGS. I am praying, praying, staring deep into the picture of the hammock on the wall, "Imagine I'm on the hammock," I think. "Zen. Be Zen. I wonder if there's a Christian version of being Zen. Oh Jesus, help me be Zen. Think about my fingernails, my fingernails instead of my mouth. How long has it been? Did they forget me? THEY FORGOT ME AND I AM ALL ALONE."

Dentist: "Okay, we'll finish up here and get you home. How you holding up?"
Me: "I GAT BEEL BY SOUL. IBE DED IDSIDE."
Dentist, chuckling, "Well, let's drill some more stuff and simultaneously spray water down your throat and vacuum and talk vacations. You ever been to Hawaii?"

Eventually, it's over. I came home with a temporary crown and maybe PTSD.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends


I am in the final throes (note: everyone, in this context the word is “throes”) of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. I can hear you, my crunchy friends, “Of course you had an allergic reaction to antibiotics! Chemtrails! Organic garlic kefir alkaline!” And I appreciate your input, all of you. But anyway, I was taking Amox for an upcoming root canal and evidently I am allergic to it. The internet told me it was an amoxicillin rash, which reminded me that 13 years ago or so, I had the same reaction to penicillin (ELDERBERRY ROOT! KOMBUCHA) and so it all made sense. Terrible, terrible, itchy horrible sense. It feels like poison ivy on my whole body. 

I tell you what. We should give the Taliban poison ivy. Because that junk is torture.

We procured some off brand Benadryl and I started doping, just to fight the pain. Or at least the itching. Our final service was Sunday morning, and we decided that Richy would ride ahead with the pastor and I’d drive the family an hour or so later. Pretty basic route, I thought. I have a GPS, I thought.

I live by a creed when it comes to driving: Never trust my instincts. My instincts drive me into 18 wheelers and deep into inner city dead-ends. My instincts are like an anti-GPS. But I popped 2 Benadryl and hit the open road. What could go wrong?

Well. It sent me a different way than I recalled, but I’m about 5 cans short of a 6-pack when it comes to directional ability, so I obeyed Pierce. Pierce led me to a trailer park, which, as I suspected, was somewhere entirely different from where I was going. I couldn’t get him to map to the exact location, so I tried to think of nearby landmarks, like a pizza place. No go. It was about this time, pulled into a gravel driveway between cornfields, with cornfields ahead and behind me, that I noticed we were almost out of gas. Also, it was getting harder to answer the 1 million questions from the backseat, because my tongue was so heavy. “Nuts.” I thought. “I’m high.”

For a minute, I thought about crying. “I could sit here,” I thought, “and cry, and then I could just drive anywhere, and there would be a Walmart or McDonalds or something and I could just stay there until the service was over and Richy is reachable by phone, and I will not die in a cornfield.”

But instead I mapped to a couple of cross streets I remembered, and I silenced all the haters in the backseat, with their “You always get lost, Mama.” And I drove to the right place. Almost. I was within a block but circled for another 10 minutes before I finally got my lucky break and found it. I came in, 45 minutes late, just in time for the offering, and sang one song, or at least I think I did. It’s a little blurry. And we never ran out of gas because the Japanese bank on our stupidity.

The moral of the story is: don’t do drugs unless you know where you're going. I'm kidding. The moral is leave the driving to the menfolk. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

water, water everywhere. except for HERE.


On Thursday, some kind of pipe broke across the street. I don’t know what it is, because I am not a Water Professional, and also, because I do not care, at all. But something, a pipe or a main or a tube or something broke and it was shooting up a foot or two of water, which was then was running down the street. “Huh.” I thought, and that was the end of that. A few hours later I noticed it was still spraying and I decided that I guess I’m the adult or whatever and called the water company and talked to a very confused representative. Several hours later, the parade started. 4 separate water trucks came by in 4 separate trips and checked out the situation using only their eyes, and then got back in their trucks and drove elsewhere.

It was puzzling. I mean, I as a layperson with no Water Experience, would think that surely an early goal would be to turn off some water source instead of letting it flood the street for an entire day. I imagine the orders came down something like, “Jones!” the water chief calls, “Go down to sector 10 and stand in the driveway for 5 minutes or so. Maybe make a couple calls! Then, get back in the truck and drive away. McGillicutty, Barton, other Jones! Double check his work. You boys drive over and take a look at the leak as well. Take the big vans with all the tools, so you’ll look more official. But ON NO ACCOUNTS SHOULD YOU TOUCH THAT WATER SUPPLY.”

The 4th guy painted some lines. So that helped a lot, because now I could see what area the water was spraying into the air from. Before, I had been so confused. Now I knew it was right there where the geyser was. After a while, a couple of guys came and removed the light pole from the grass near the leak, and then they took a 4 hour break and did all the hammering and cussing at 9 pm, because that was the most convenient time for everyone, I think.

Somewhere around that time, we noticed that, although the geyser was holding steady, the water in our house was disconnected. This was concerning, because we were leaving for a trip in the morning and I had waited until the last minute to pack or do the dishes. We called and the representative, a different representative, was also very confused. “I don’t see an order here,” she worried. We assured her that our water, in fact, did not work. They promised to send someone out in the morning.

In the morning, though, we were gone on our trip to Illinois, unshowered and hauling duffel bags with questionable-smelling clothes in them. We did the weekend of ministry and then drove home, anticipating being able to flush the toilets and wash the dishes, but it was not meant to be. “Sorry we missed you!” the door hanger said, because, although it is traditional to disconnect water without contact, milk and cookies must be provided for the re-connection. Quality Time, they call it. We called and they said it was disconnected for non-payment, which would have been humorous if our house smelled less like Mexico. The MOG tried to convince them otherwise, but they were just like, “Hey, dude, you have to talk to Billing,” and so he did at 7:59:59 AM, and then we were right about everything. Also we were ripe.

Today. Today at noon they relented and gave us back our water. Across the street, there is a monstrous hole in the sidewalk with 4 traffic cones surrounding it, just to clear up where the hole stops and starts, I guess. I haven’t seen Jones or McGillicutty, though. I don’t even care, because see where caring got me last time? I’ll just keep my mouth shut and flush the toilets as many times as I want, just recklessly. Carpe Diem, they say. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

curtains. the death of a dream. A dream gets kicked in the face.

I go through these cycles. Relax, not those cycles. I mean... that's not what I'm talking about. Try to focus. I have cyclical desires to a) lay down and read books for a month, b) create crafty things and fix my house and cook treats and c) other random things, none of which are "nesting" or getting a strong desire to clean my house. Anyway. I'm in a little bit of a crafty stage right now, where I try crafty things and (spoiler!) fail most of them.

I remember my parents going through this. "We should build a fountain! Inside the house!" my mom would say. My dad would argue that it would cost too much and be too much work, and then they'd go to the library to get a DIY fountain book and to Lowe's, to stand around for a few hours waiting for assistance. Eventually, the fountain would be built, or there would be gold wallpaper, or they'd build a table, and it would have cost 3 times what they expected and much, much more than some random fountain they could have bought premade. It's how we do.

And the internet has made it much worse, because the internet says, HEY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS IT'S TOTES EASY AND YOU NEED IT, BECAUSE YOU ARE LIVING IN RUBBLE. "Let's make curtains!" I say. So I start doing math. It's like, Okay. Measure your window from the top of the Hypoteneuse Strategy through the meridium. Now, multiply that by 3. That is how much fabric you will need, except translate that into metric and then back. For the width, hold your measuring tape at a 47 degree angle and tilt your head slightly to the left and then add 18, unless you are near the Equator. I wrote about a third of the instructions down and then I went to find the MOG, because I ain't cut out for book larnin.

fabric samples.
quit looking at my fan, it can't help
looking like that. 
"Hmm." he says. "All we have to do is measure the windows." And something in my soul resounds. Yes! All we have to do is measure the windows! So we do, and we take our crew of 1,432 children to Walmart and the girl working the fabric counter looks over our math and determines that we need 6 yards of fabric. Now, I give her the side-eye, and in my mind I thought, ain't no way in heck that's enough fabric, but math intimidates me so I stepped aside and the MOG, who hates Walmart maybe even more than he hates the devil, agreed that that sounded fine.

Next we went to Lowes to buy my electrical conduit, for the making of dirt-cheap but classy curtain rods, so we could stop living in a hovel. Richy went in by himself, because Tristan had Walmart demons and was no longer permitted in public. After about 3 hours (very slight exaggeration) he calls and tells me that my dirt-cheap DIY plan is going to cost us a fortune, or something like that, I couldn't hear him over the sound of screaming. But it wasn't just me, Tristan was crying, too. So I agreed to anything, anything. Just anything. I will hang chicken bones and make curtains out of green beans, whatever.

So we went back to Walmart and I bought the 2 dollar curtain rods that look like a mobile home (no disrespect) and then we went home to find that all of our collective minds are rubbish and 6 yards covers like a third of ONE window and I have like 10 windows. 3 hours at Lowes and Walmart to almost have enough cheap curtain rods. If we tack Tristan's therapy bill onto the tab, these curtains should be in the Taj Mahal. What curtains, you say? Oh, that's right. WE STILL DON'T HAVE ANY CURTAINS.

I am going to buy bedsheets. I am going to cut them in half and hem them, probably badly, and then I am going to hang them on my windows. And when you come over, you will say they look great and I am a great housewife, and tell Tristan that his needs matter and his voice is heard. OR ELSE.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

bumbo, personal responsibility, and the right to stupidity

Look, I'm grateful for safety warnings and recalls and stuff. Kind of. If there ever WAS an occasion when I was giving serious thought to using my hairdryer in the bath, and I noticed the warning label and narrowly prevented my own death, I'd be thankful. I guess.

But really, is the majority really that dumb? I mean, do we have to be told to buckle in car seats, not to pour gasoline in our washing machines, not to eat gel silica? The only people around here that try to eat gel silica also can't read. So we are warned, constantly warned, and eventually you (or I, at least) just don't really hear much of it. Life is full of risks. I mean, this week I intercepted a plot by my children to ride a box down the stairs. They were going to sit in the "boat" and ride down the waterfall to the emergency room, but I came in all "the man" and shut it down. Should I alert the press? Should every box have a warning label that says, "DO NOT SIT IN AND RIDE DOWN THE STAIRS. ALSO DO NOT TAPE CLOSED WITH THE BABY INSIDE." Should I sue Big Cardboard?

And then somebody sues and life just gets more complicated, many times unneccesarily. I mean, I get it when it's some kind of actual life hazard. Although, I rage at the powers that took away cough syrup for babies. Couldn't they just run an ad campaign of some kind that basically says, "Hey, Idiot Parents of the world! There is a label attached to your medicine bottle with appropriate dosages! Don't use any more than that!" But no, they just yank it and now all the parenting websites say, "Just give your baby some honey for their hacking cough! They love the taste of it, it's not sticky at all, and super easy to dispense, and they will settle right down and go to sleep!"

I don't know. I mean, I'm all for seat belts and stuff.

This whole rant came on because of today's Bumbo recall, if you were wondering. The Bumbo is a squishy foam chair-thingy, in which you wedge your floppy blob of infant, and they can kind of bobble there in the middle like a normal human and it's fun for you to see them in that position without getting peed on, so, great. But seriously. If you put a foam chair with a blobby infant on top of the table and said blob falls off the table and cries a lot, then you should just be embarrassed for doing such a dumb thing, like the time that I let Toby push Tristan around in the Fisher Price car and Trouble happened. It's common sense. Or that time that Toby fell out of the cart at Walmart and Walmart was very concerned about me for an hour. I never considered suing Walmart or ridding the world of dangerous shopping carts, because I was the nincompoop who let a hyperactive 2 year old stand in the back of said cart. My fault. And Bumbo is issuing some kind of seat belt, so your floppy human can remain attached to the chair whilst falling, if you are determined to continue to place them on high surfaces. (Don't.)

I guess I just think we need to take more personal responsibility for our parenting choices, and not be "managed" so much. I understand it's a litigious society and there are genuinely ignorant parents out there, but sometimes I just wish somebody came on the news and said, "Hey! Quit doing dumb stuff, your kids are going to get hurt!" and then left it in our court.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

a first world lament

If you aren't first world, maybe just don't read this. Even those of you, who I greatly admire, who are deep and committed to social justice and the plight of the poor, and who do great things at great cost, just stop reading.

Just shallow Americans left? Okay. I DROPPED MY IPHONE AND IT DOESN'T WORK AND I CAN'T LIVE MY LIFE LIKE THIS. Oh, and I forgot about you fiscally-minded older generation who can't comprehend why anyone would ever need a pocket computer that costs as much as your house did, back when you bought it during the Depression. Get lost, Gramps, this one's not for you. (disclaimer: this horrific disrespect is for humorous purposes, only)

Okay, who's left? Welcome, bottom-dwellers. MY PHONE. It's like my brain has been amputated. I go to the store, forget to bring in my archaic paper list, can't access my Stickies, can't look up a recipe, can't google my next destination. I can't ADD things. I can't text anyone, and I can't see if anyone has liked or retweeted me, saying I am going to Walmart. I can't instagram an amusing picture of a Walmart patron and their magnificent mullet. I am like a pilgrim out here, like an astronaut without a radio connection to NASA.

And when I'm home and I want to heytell all the people my ideas for the day, I can't do it. I have to go on my real computer and email them, and who emails anymore? Other people, that's who. Like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I can't write blogs, or paint the sunroom, or be productive, because it's like my arms are just lying there on the entry desk, and what am I going to do, put them back on with my feet? I can't even listen to music. It's not like having a flip phone. When you love an iPhone, as I do, it becomes a crucial part of your world, an extension to your hand and your brain. Suddenly, you hold all knowledge, along with a phone, camera, GPS, iPod and a million other things. Look around, the iPhone users will all be holding their phones as they go about their lives. You might think it's a sad commentary on the modern age. I imagine the Amish still shake their heads at cars, not to mention wifi.

The cruelest part is, it's just a loose wire to the display, so I can hear texts coming in, like taunts from a bully hidden in the bushes. Two tiny screws are keeping me from knowing all of the things. And they're weird screws, because maybe Steve Jobs had control issues, God rest his soul.  A friend might be able to fix it next week. Until then, I'll just be over here in a fetal position.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

teen marriage: some keys

Early disclaimer: I'm just going to write stream-of-consciousness here and so I will likely read it back later and disagree with myself on some point or realize I didn't express a thought fully, whatever. So there you go. Oh, and another disclaimer: I refer to sex, which is so awkward to write about. and another (late-breaking disclaimer: I'm not all like, ooh, look at us, we're perfect. I'm just saying I think these are some things that helped)

Most of you know that the MOG and I got married before we had all of our permanent teeth. I think there are a few things that made our marriage work back then. (it works now, but it runs on different stuff, like affection, commitment, duty and momentum)

One: we were both deeply committed to our faith in Jesus. Our lives then and now revolved around loving Him and being obedient to His commands, or at least working towards being obedient. Our spiritual lives separately were the foundation of our personal maturity and the strength behind our decisions together.

Two: we did not have sex before marriage. This was possible because of number One up there, and also because my parents had crazy eagle eyes and had impressed upon me a great fear of sexual sin and my inevitable death from pregnancy and STDs if I should choose that path for my entire (short) life. I think waiting for intimacy was a huge part of our relational success. We built a relationship and a friendship that was based on so many facets of our interests and personalities, and, while there were sparks, the sparks were not the basis of "us". It was a fight over the 2 years we dated to stay (relatively) pure, it was not easy. That is one of the benefits of getting married at 17, you aren't fighting those urges for years and decades. It can't be the reason, but it is a reason.

Three: we could support ourselves. We considered starting our marriage in my parent's spare bedroom, but our pastoral staff urged us to make a different plan. I am really grateful for that. Our tiny apartment paid for by our full-time jobs is a sweet memory. That first year was just great, growing up together and learning how to live as adults. We have no experience living as singles, our entire adult experience has been shared. I'm so glad for that. So, we had decent paying jobs, a relatively dependable car and an apartment we could afford. I would tell any young couple starting out: it is so important to build a life together, to "leave and cleave". Your parents should not be paying your bills or providing your housing, that is your responsibility as an adult.  (another disclaimer: I know sometimes life throws a curveball and you need some help; I'm referring to starting a marriage on someone else's foundation) If you can't do that, maybe give the wedding a little more time, until you're ready.

Four: our families were supportive emotionally and had given their blessings. We were blessed in that most of our group of parents were believers and understood the value of our faith, and of our  commitment to youth ministry and seeing revival in America. We didn't want to go to college, we wanted to get married and do youth ministry, and they understood and got behind that. When we decided to get married, I was only 16 years old. Our plan was to graduate high school and then get married over the summer, and our parents listened to us and helped us make the steps to independence and a strong marriage.

Five: we loved each other. Our commitment to God and to purity had our relationship in a solid place of learning to die to ourselves and put the other one first, and also we shared a deep passion for bringing the Gospel to teenagers. We liked each other, we made each other laugh and think deeper. Once we were married, we determined to not give each other a "back door" escape to think about divorcing. There was only making it work, doing the work to make it work. Marriage is fun, but marriage is largely work. We fought like cats and dogs in the early years, but we still ate together and slept in the same bed. Nobody was allowed to retreat to Mama's house, we were together now, for better or worse. So we'd fight it out, and we'd come to a resolve, eventually. We'd sit there, basically overgrown children and realize that that place, where we had fought and come through together, was a stronger piece of the tapestry of us. It's a patchwork now, but we fought for it all.


I might change my mind later, but I think I like teen marriage, given those 5 conditions are in place. Even the battles we've fought over the years and the tragedies seem so much more meaningful, like we've lived a life together already and we have a couple more lives to live together. I have more to say about the current culture in America, with dating and waiting so much later to get married, but I want it to be more thought out, so I'll come back to that sometime.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the breaking: an emergency story

Early reports from the scene of the crime were conclusive: Toby pushed Brynn off the bunkbed. He protested his innocence, claiming a setup, but in the heat of the moment, there was no time for a thorough investigation. The MOG and I had been out, and our attractive single EMT friend Liz was babysitting. Somehow, maybe by the hand of God, many of our medical emergencies have happened in Liz's presence. Or maybe she's cursed. Time will tell. Anyway, when we got home Brynn was asleep on the couch, after having fallen, and so we moved her back to her bed and Drama ensued. This time, though, we could tell the drama was a little more legit. More trauma than drama, this.

We all decided her collarbone was probably broken, but that it would be okay to sleep on it, since they don't do anything with broken collarbones anyway, and she was so very tired.  The MOG and I retired, planning to ground Toby from everything in the world once he woke up.

In the light of day, though, a different tale was told. Evidently, Toby was a log, and Brynn was Luigi, jumping OVER the log as it rolled. On the top bunk. The final jump over Mario or the log or whatever was the one that sent her headfirst to the floor. It took me 24 hours before I started doing what-ifs, with all the nightmare scenarios that could have occurred.

I took her to the ER, where she flirted and charmed everyone to the end of the world, and it was determined that her clavicle, or collarbone is indeed broken. They gave her a sling and some Motrin and sent us on her way, and the doctor leaned down into her face and said, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!", which I thought was an appropriate literary reference, but it hurt Brynn's feelings, so we went and had some donuts, which we got for free because she told the donut guy the whole Mario/Luigi story and it doesn't get any cuter than her.

She's pretty confused about what exactly is broken. She has a sling, so she just tells everyone her arm is broken, but then she uses her lower arm anyway, which has to concern people. Her mobility is limited, mainly when it comes to taking a bath or cleaning her room, because, her "loverbone" is broken, and also her "wonderbone", and her "collar". Everyone is commited to babying her, though, except Tristan who sees her a sitting duck, fish in a barrel kind of scenario. Today she told me the only thing she thought might help would be some ice cream. Skills, this one.

They expect it to heal well, although we have to follow up with orthopedics. In the end, I'm very grateful for my sweet little girl with just the broken collar.


Friday, August 3, 2012

organized: a realistic lament

I don't know what my personality type is. I'm whatever type gets stressed out trying to answer all the personality test questions and just clicks out and goes back to facebook. I'm pretty sure I am far, far away from a Type A, because I have a lot of friends who know what day it is and have labeled bins, and they all say they are Type A. It's great to have Type A friends, they come over and reorganize your stuff and when they help you move, you don't end up having the plunger in with the dish soap, unless they are busy putting newspaper in boxes and don't notice you "helping".

I have always had this not-secret desire to be a more organized person. I dream of bookshelves full of boxes and containers with labels, and no randomosity strewn about. I have seen such spaces, like at my sister's house, or on the interwebs. It never works out at my house. For one thing, I can't figure out the containers. I stand in the aisle at Dollar Tree, because it is exactly the same as Pottery Barn, Pinterest says, and I look at all the containers, and I think, what size do I need? what shape? how many? and I end up buying 2 random crates and then they don't fit on the shelf. Is it a learned skill, knowing what containers to buy? I buy paper trays and pencil cans and baskets and they sit unused next to giant stacks of half-used papers and ziploc bags of pencils, mixed with some shards of clay and an apple core. IN A BAG, because it's organized.

A couple of years ago I bought an indoor shed thingy. You know, like a big Rubbermaid cabinet that locks, so I could put my supplies in it and be like a real teacher, a grownup one. That, along with a couple of IKEA bookshelves, is still in its box, protecting what is very likely a colony of black widows in the garage. Good intentions, that's what I have.

So I decided to take the bull by the horns and paint the sunroom and build all the shelves and maybe even buy a label maker... I mean, if I can do 100 situps, (and I always thought that was impossible) then surely I can organize a shelf. Right? Thank you type A's, for saying of course I could organize a simple shelf. You are right, I probably could organize it. Then one day I would be looking for the tape, and the erasers would be in the way. So I'd take the erasers out of their labeled muffin tin compartment, and I'd scooch the paper clips over and I'd knock down a mason jar of thumbtacks, and then someone would eat one and I'd stop to google "my toddler swallowed a thumbtack" and then I'd forget the whole thing and eventually you wouldn't even be able to see any labels because the whole thing would be a metaphorical spaghetti dinner in a tornado.

I'm still going to TRY it. I expect to have moderate success followed by not-quite-crushing defeat.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

the fort doctrine: should sin abound


Now, having been justified by not punching anyone during dinner and acting like civilized human beings for at least 3 hours, you have been given this gift, to sleep in the fort behind the couch. And this gift was not of you, lest you should boast, but of the kindness of your mother, who hopes you will sleep past 7 am.

And your mother demonstrates this great love for you, in that she brings all the pillows downstairs and piles them up and threatens you in a very kind voice not to wake up your siblings who were not so justified. 

You see, just at the right time, your mother decided she would like to not see you in her room in the early morning. Very rarely will any mom allow her children to sleep in the living room, even a child who did not threaten to kick her brother’s face in the butt. But your mother demonstrated her love for you, even though you screamed and laid down on the floor at Target, in that she gave you this grace, to sleep like a vagrant on the floor behind the sofa. 

Since now you have been given this great privilege, how much more should you just shut it down and go to sleep? For if your fort is cozy, and you lay quietly and read books, how much more sleepy should you be than when you are creating traps out of jump ropes and rappelling off your bunkbed until 11:00 at night?

Now, you say that sin entered the fort through one child, one girl child. To be sure, the girl child did run through the house shrieking and laughing after 9 pm. But you, you were justified, and then you sneaked and ate an extra vitamin, and checked out the refrigerator. Thus sin had its way and you both were condemned. "But!" you say, "But but but but when sin abounds, should not grace abound all the more?" No. Grace ran out 15 minutes ago, when your mother was removing the stuffed lion from the air conditioning vent.

Consequently, one sin resulted in bed for all people. 

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