Thursday, November 09, 2006


Can you keep a secret?

I am sick of Cub Scouts. I have my own problems right now, many of them, and I don't want to deal with a bunch of ungrateful little snots this month. I just can't make myself care.

But I guess I will have to do it anyway.

I seriously am ready to throw in the towel, though. It's not like these kids can't transfer to the dens at their schools.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday night

Approximately 10:45 PM
Living room
Sounds of idle tapping on keyboard, mouseclicks, and kids DVD.
Gina and Sleepless Mama are in living room. Sia is asleep in her bedroom.

Sound: quietish "pop" originating from up the block. Suddenly three louder consecutive "POPs" from directly in front of our house

Me: Get down! (Grab Gina and pull her to the floor)
Gina: Mommy? What is it?
Me: It's a gun, baby. Stay down! (Carry her into hallway and run to back of house, into kids' bedroom)
Gina: Mommy! They shooting?
Me: (Laying Gina on floor) Yes, baby. They're shooting. (Grab sleeping Sia and sit on floor cradling her) Stay down, do you hear me? Stay on the floor.
Gina: Mommy, I scared! They shooting at us!
Me: Me too, baby. Stay on the floor.
(Minute passes. Place Sia back on bed.)
Me: Stay back here in your room, kids.
Gina: Mommy!
Sia: I scared!
Me: It will be okay. (Step into my room, next to the kids' room. Grab shotgun and release safety. Walk back into hallway) Stay in your room. (Close children's door.)
Kids: Mommy!
Me: (Slowly advance to front of house. Listen. Peek out window. No cars, no people. Return to hallway. Engage safety and carefully place shotgun in hallway, within reach of children's door. Open door and hug kids.)
Gina: Mommy, you shoot them?
Me: No, baby, I didn't shoot them. They ran away.
Gina: You gonna shoot those bad guys?
Me: No. The police will chase them.
Gina: You gonna help them? You help bad guys?
Me: No, sweetie. We have to take care of our family.
Gina: Those police guys chase those bad guys?
Me: (pause) Yes. Those bad guys ran away because they are scared of the police.
Gina: You gonna shoot you gun?
Me: No. We only shoot when the bad guys come into the house. And we have to be nice to the police.
Gina: (pause) We have to be careful.
Me: Yes, baby. We have to be careful.
Gina: Mommy, I scared.
Me: I know. But the bad guys are gone.
Gina: They shooting our house?
Me: No. Sometimes stupid bad guys shoot in the street. But they're gone now.
Gina: I want to go eat. (She means in the living room.)
Me: Not yet. Now Gina, when we hear a gun, we have to get down on the floor. Understand? When you hear a gun, you get down, just like this. (Demonstrate. Repeat instructions and physically lay child on her floor.)
Gina: Mommy?
Me: Yes baby?
Gina: You be careful with you gun.
Me: Yes, Gina, I promise.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Can we get a cat?

"Honeeeeeeeey, I want a kittyyyyyyyy."
"We said no more cats after the last two turned aggressive towards our children."
*sigh* "I know."

"Honey, I think I'd like a pet."
"What would you think about a hamster or something?"
"Sure, that would be okay."

"Look Honey, I got this at Half Price Books. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Choosing a Pet. Let's see what it says."
"What does it say about Chinchillas?"
"Let me see...60 hairs can grow from a single folicle...annual veterinary care...three-story housing...average price per animal $369.33."
"Okay, no chinchillas. What about smaller rodents?"
"Hamsters...solitary creatures...I remember I had one when I was a kid, and he used to bite me HARD."
"What else?"
"Rats...these are actually quite social to humans. I had one in high school named Big Mama. She would crawl up my arm and sit on my shoulder."
"Well, there are also dwarf hamsters, mice, and gerbils. If you want a gerbil, you have to get a pair, because they thrive on family life."
"Why don't we go to the pet shop and see what they have?"
"Honey, you should know, the cages aren't cheap, and you have to get them toys and stuff."
"Yeah, I know, but I'd like to have a little pet."
"But I thought you thought it was a dumb idea?"
"Nah. Let's go."
"I'll get the kids dressed, you jump in the shower."

"Look Gina, you see the hamsters?"
"Rats, Mommy! Rats!"
"Sia, come get out of the basket so you can see, too."
"Rat! Mouse!"
"These are ger-bils."
"Look, these dwarf hamsters are fine in a group. There's a whole bunch of them cleaning each other."
"Look at these two gerbils."
"Oh, they have such long tails."
"What did your dad say when you told him we were going to the pet shop?"
"He said, 'Don't come back with anything too big.'"

"I like this tall cage."
"This one has an exercise ball."
"That one has a detachable carrier."
"Kids, please don't break the parrot toys."
"What about the tubes? Do they all connect with this brand of tube?"
"I want to get them a little toy car to hide in."
"Gina, which cage do you want for the mouse?"
"I want...this one."
"Are you sure?"
"This one!"
"Okay, we'd better get a ceramic food dish, because they'll chew the plastic one."
"Look, here's a little gerbil TV they can hide in."
"Mommy, fishies!"
"Don't you put your hands in that fishy water, young lady."
"Yeah, Daddy already has fishies at home."
"Here, this food is the pellet kind, at it says 'gerbil' right on the front."
"You said no cedar bedding, right?"

"So, which rodents were we going to get after all?"
"The book says gerbils are curious and will jump into your hand."
"The dwarf hamsters are $14 a piece."
"The cage Gina picked is probably not suited for dwarf rodents. The wheel is too heavy."
"Oh crap, that lady wants the gerbils! I want the gerbils!"
"She wants a silver one."
"But they don't have a silver one."
"Dude, she just said she wants a silver to go with her champagne-colored one."
"Is she serious?"
"Ma'am, we'll take those two gerbils, please. They're both female, right?"
"Sia, you like the birds?"
"Fourteen-day guarantee? Sounds great."
"Gina, look, Mommy is signing a contract that says you'll take very good care of the gerbils."

"Look, girls, kitties!"
"Yeah, kids, the kitties are very pretty. But now we can't get one, because we have gerbils!"
"My two nerbils?"