My Rookie Mistake

I should know that when Alexis asks to eat a chocolate covered Oreo lollipop and I say no, the only acceptable Toddler response is a fit. When 'no' is met by silence, that can only mean she has taken matters into her own hands.

She gnawed through the plastic. Like a rat.


Yay, Snow! Now Would You Please Move?

I love snow. I really, really do. You would think that after 14+ years of living in North Dakota I would have had enough of the stuff, but no. I heart it so very much that I want to hug it and squeeze and fold it up and stuff it in my pocket. The melting thing wouldn't be so great, but I love snow!

What I don't love is Pittsburgh snow. Really it's not the snow's fault--it's the fine people of Pittsburgh. They seem to forget that it actually does snow here. Every year. I have lived in many places (17 addresses since high school), visited many more, and I have never seen anything like the complete panic that overcomes Pittsburgh the first time it snows. Every year. (Did I mention that it snows here every year? It does!)

The biggest problem? The drivers. Oh, how I hate Pittsburgh drivers when there is snow on the ground. There are two categories of Pittsburgh snow drivers: the Stoppers and the Psycho SUV Speeders. The Stoppers stop. They are physically incapable of putting their foot on the gas when there is snow within a five mile radius. They MUST keep their foot on the brake. Tap-tap-tap. Must. not. move. Snow? Stop! The Psycho SUV Speeders are, of course, those crazy people that think they are invincible because they are driving around in their overpriced 4x4 SUV. To be fair, they don't bother me as much as the Stoppers since they can usually be found in the ditch and out of my way. It's the Stoppers that keep me from getting anywhere. Remember that North Dakota upbringing? It means that I know how to drive in the snow. I swear to it. So everybody needs to just move the heck out of my way and let me go on with my bad self.

Both types of Pittsburgh drivers are guilty of one of my biggest pet peeves. They are convinced that you must lessen the distance between yourself and other cars whenever the weather is less than perfect. Instead of maintaining a two foot gap in between themselves and the car in front of them, they lessen it to two inches. I suppose it's because they think that will help prevent the snow from ever hitting the road. (Note to fellow Pittsburghers: It doesn't work. Back away from that bumper. Increase your following distance in the event of foul weather. I promise it won't hurt.) There's nothing quite like being trapped behind a Stopper and having someone else so close to your booty that you can clearly see their beady little eyes in your rear-view mirror.

There's also nothing quite like beady little Toddler eyes staring you down for expecting her precious feet to touch the ground when there is snow present. Dear lord, my beady-eyed daughter is a Stopper. She takes this whole "born in Pittsburgh" thing entirely too seriously, and clearly got the memo about how to act when it snows. I'm not exaggerating one iota when I say the girl has her foot firmly on that brake. She ain't moving in the snow. Won't walk. Won't move an inch. Stops. Whines. Won't move.

How are we ever going to make pretty little snow angels and construct the ice castle of my our dreams if she just stands there, frozen in place, crying and whining because of a few snowflakes?


I Blame the White Cat

Imagine, if you will, pulling into your driveway and discovering that your garage door is open. It's been ten hours since you left. It's possible that you forgot to close it as you pulled out this morning, but really unlikely. As you cautiously enter the house, you hear a sound. It sounds a whole lot like an alarm. It sounds far from where you are standing, so you leave the Toddler in the basement to venture upstairs. You worry that the Toddler may mistake a cat litter box as a sandbox, but that loud, shrill sound sounds distinctly like a fire alarm. Even at this distance, the Toddler is covering her ears and yelling, "Stop," so you know she's better off playing in kitty-kitty-doo-dooland than she would be in any smoke-filled domain.

You reach the first floor of your home and the alarm sound is deafening. You momentarily think it would be best to just leave and wait in the car until your husband arrives. Then you realize that he won't be any more helpful than the dog sleeping on the couch, so you need to investigate. You notice that the voicemail light on the phone is blinking - blinking - blinking. Is there a message that would exlain the noise? Has someone been in the house? Where's the fire? Good grief, the noise does sound exactly like the fire alarm. But it seems to be coming from the front of the house. There are no fire alarms there.

You wander into the kitchen, trying to find the source of the noise while fearing that your eardrums may rupture. You reach the far end and the sound is deafening. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. There doesn't seem to be a fire anywhere, but there is a peculiar odor. You look at the microwave. It proudly displays the time. You open the door. Clearly it's not the source. You turn around and try the fridge. You wonder what the heck it would take for a fridge to make that kind of noise. Complete mechanical failure? But it's only a few years old. You realize it's not the fridge. You turn around again. The coffee pot? No. Then you look down and see it. The water bowl.

As fast as you can, you rip the cord out of the wall.


At last.

The fancy shmancy water bowl that you bought to satisfy the cat who will most certainly fall over dead if he is ever forced to drink water that has been sitting in a bowl for even a millisecond is bone dry. And clearly not happy about it.

Crisis averted. Let's play!

(A leaf also shares the blame for my ridiculously bizarre return home. It was responsible for triggering the garage door sensor and making it go back up after I had closed it.)