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Wednesday
Oct022019

Too Much

Mila managed to go all of about 72 hours before "I HAVE A HAMSTER!" turned into "I WANT ANOTHER PET!"

It was a nice run.

So, Jojo is all fine and dandy and Mila still enthusiastically loves him. She loves him so much he's going to end up becoming a rug or a three-legged hamster or something, but it's still ... love. In addition to the hamster, Mila also has two dogs who follow her around everywhere and three cats who wish she would go away (the cats are firmly on Team Alexis, so Mila doesn't stand a chance of winning their love). We also have a saltwater fish tank, a freshwater fish tank, and a pond that I'm going to fill with concrete if it doesn't stop leaking AGAIN. Still. Fish live in it.

My point is that there are a lot of pets in this house. Way too many, in fact. If I had my way, we'd be down to fish and cats only because CATS ARE THE SUPERIOR PET THE END. Don't bother to @ me on this. It is scientifically proven that cats are better. The dogs are here, though, and they're staying so I just deal with it while Mila loooooves their existence.

And yet, Mila started in with wanting a guinea pig about thirteen seconds after Jojo was in our house. The gentle request has become more and more persistent and loud, to the point that tonight on the way home from whatever event we were at, Mila pointedly said, "After I get my guinea pig ..."

I stopped her RIGHT THERE. Real quick like. AND YET.

Later, she was having a totally separate conversation and threw in, "Kadence's mom said she can have a baby guinea pig just like me so we're going to give them the same name."

NOOOOPE.

It's all really convincing and tugs at the heart strings, but it doesn't convince me or tug at MY heart strings. I'm tempted to reinstate The Rule - Two pets have to die before one new one comes in.

My only concern is that Mila might decide to go ahead and select which two need to go RIGHT. NOW.

RUN, ALI CAT.

Tuesday
Oct012019

PIVOT.

Alexis and her friends are ... let's go with "special." They're a unique bunch who do things like decide they MUST go see a Friends marathon at the movie theater because OBVIOUSLY. Don't bother to mention that the show ended before any of them were born; they don't care. They have all seen every episode at least six times and did I mention that they were all wearing Friends-themed shirts when I picked them up?

They're special. Each and every one of them. (Truly. Alexis has a really great group of friends.)

The whole thing had been planned for over a month and from the start, I was the parent elected to play chauffer. Which, that was fine. I don't mind at all because have you listened to a bunch of 8th graders having a conversation? IT IS THE BEST. They're hilarious in every way because they're just old enough to be good at sarcasm while also being just a bit gullible. For example, there was a point when they all asked if I would take them to the Milkshake Factory after the show and I dead-panned, "Are you kidding? Of course not."

They were legit disappointed for about 2 seconds, until Alexis realized I have never in my life turned down a chance to step foot in a Milkshake Factory. Then they laughed and laughed and ... 8th graders are the best.

ANYWAY. As we were driving to the theater, I had Google Maps open on my phone because traffic is stupid and I like to avoid it. One thing led to another and, suddenly, one of Alexis' friends was all up in my phone clicking on stuff. That's a thing girls that age do, for what it's worth. They steal phones and dig around on them. The good news is that I don't care. The better news is that the girl ended up opening up Facebook and was ALL sorts of confused by something she saw.

Sooo ... another friend, one who was not a part of this particular outing, happens to have a mom who takes photos of all of her daughter's friends when they're over and posts them to Facebook. As in, if they host a sleepover, we all know about it because there will be photos posted through the night. If they host a party? LOOK OUT! You're getting an organized group photo and some candid shot of the festivities. I don't know the motivation behind all of this, but I do know that I really like the mom. She's genuinely a nice person. A nice person who posts photos from an 8th grader's parties to her Facebook page where none of the kids in attendance can see them. o_O

The friend in the car who happened upon evidence of this whole thing, of course, felt the urgent need to show the rest of them. Moments later, I was treated to a conversation about how it's super creepy if your mom posts photos of your friends to her Facebook account. The theory amongst the girls is that the mom needs to show evidence that her kids have friends. I have no idea if that's true or not, but it is hilarious.

So the girls treated me to this whole theory, and it was hugely entertaining, and then they went to see a bunch of episodes of Friends. Afterwards, I took them to the Milkshake Factory and life was good. Very good.

Though, it was WAY past my bedtime. I cannot keep up with a bunch of 13-year olds, you know. I mentioned it was past my bedtime to Alexis, which reminded me that I hadn't taken a #bedtimethings photo yet, so I asked her to pose for a pic with me. Alexis was quick to agree to the plan, but then a thing happened. The friends, all of whom follow me on Instagram because who doesn't follow their friend's mom, heard me say, "I need a #bedtimethings" and were all, "CAN WE BE IN THE PICTURE?"

The irony was COMPLETELY lost on them, but let me just say, my kid does have friends. Posting a photo of them on Instagram is NOT like posting a photo of them on Facebook. Not even a little bit. Ahem.

Monday
Sep302019

Armed and Ready to Defeat Monsters

October is lurking in the corners, moments from attacking us all. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I have no idea. The last time I checked my watch, it was February and we were talking about Pittsburghers inability to drive in the snow and how Mila is amazingly adept at destroying me when it matters most.

Neither of those things have changed.

If anything, Mila has more finely tuned her skills. If I have plans for the weekend, she'll crash them. If I'm counting on her to put her shoes on while I let the dogs out, she'll throw her shoes at the dogs. If I expect her to eat the dinner I made, she'll stare at it blankly while asking for ice cream. She's contrarian, is what I'm saying. And challenging.

(She's going to be an AMAZING adult. She questions everything. When she's a grown-up in the working world and someday hears, "We do it that way because we've always done it that way," she's going to be even more of a bulldozer than I am, WHICH IS SAYING SOMETHING.)

So, this sleep thing. She was really good at it as a baby. Then she fell off the bandwagon and had to co-sleep to keep from being a beautiful disaster. Then she wanted a hamster, so she found a way to pull it all together for ... exactly one night.

HOOBOY IS SHE A MESS NOW.

Miss Mila has decided that she's scared of the dark. This is new, by the way. Never before has she so much as hesitated just because the sun has hidden for the day. She's always wandered the house even in the pitch black of the night, perfectly content because that kid ain't scared of nothing.

EXCEPT NOW SHE IS.

Her own shadow.

The monster who lives under her bed.

The skeleton hanging from the Halloween decoration in the dining room.

The old Woody doll that is waiting for a next home.

Her giant pile of clean laundry that just needs hung up.

EVERYTHING in scary. The dark and everything it envelopes is cause for fear and crying and generally everything is stupid.

This all started over the weekend. I'd like to blame it on Halloween decorations, but Mila swears she still likes them and nope. Not that. She had a bad dream and can't seem to shake it.

But ... Alexis is trying to help her. Somewhere in the chaos and confusion, Alexis mentioned to her little sister that she has "Monster Spray" in her bedroom. It looks suspiciously like one of the 123583483263171 bottles of body spray from Bath and Body Works ... but apparently it's actually "Monster Spray."

For what it's worth, Mila and Alexis have been fighting like CRAZY lately. It's new and it's frustrating and I'm going to fire them both, but not until after I'm done enjoying the fact that I can smell Mila and her vanilla-scented "Monster Spray" from about 8 miles away. I think Alexis must have given her a bath in it.

And it's pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

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