Monday, August 31, 2009

Sirens And The Babysitter.

I was pulled over tonight while bringing the babysitter home. She said, "Wow, I never thought this would happen on the way home from a babysitting night!"

Then she asked, "Does this happen a lot to you?" I think she was trying to wager whether or not my $7 an hour is worth it. Either that, or tell her dad, the fucking SHERIFF by the way, that I drive too fast.

But here's what gets me every time: "Any idea why I pulled you over?"

I need to know if anyone answers this question. No one in their right mind is going to say, "I was hauling ASS. Sorry about that."

And then the dreaded insurance card requirement. It's beyond me why I can't keep the current blue cards in my car. They expired 7/7.

And every single time I'm busted for it, I explain that my uncle Jimmy is my American Family agent and I'll get him on the case right away. I don't know why the hell I bring my uncle into this. I must think the cop will appreciate that I'm loyal to family or something.

Last year, when I was pulled over for expired tabs, expired insurance, speeding, and
no seatbelt, I asked the cop if he'd like for me to call uncle Jimmy on my cell and speak with him directly.

He said "No", but he wanted to say, "I don't give a SHIT who uncle Jimmy is, you need to get this taken care of. Now."

But I always seem to get off with a warning and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I am truly frightened of anyone in uniform and think they're going to kick the crap out of me. Maybe sensing that fear is enough for them.

When I was sixteen, fresh license in hand, I took my mom's red sunbird for a spin. Like, sixty-five in a thirty, kind of spin. It wasn't long before the red and blue lights twinkled in my rearview mirror. The badged man screamed, "WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR LICENSE, A CRACKER JACK BOX!?"

I got off with a warning. And peed my pants a little.

Another policeman pulled me over for expired tabs about ten years ago. Or so he thought.

"Oh. Got it." I explained, "No, they're not expired, I just put both stickers on the front."

There was a stunned silence while he wondered if I was kidding. I wasn't. Honest to God, I just slapped them both in the front and called it a day. The front of my car had "99" and "99" on it. No month.

He gave me a warning and secretly wondered if I was mentally handicapped.

And you know what? After reading this blog, I'm beginning to wonder that myself.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Sex Talk.

I'm not sure how it evolved, but the girls and I were having breakfast and they started talking about how they'll be women soon. They're 9 and 7.

Indeed the oldest will be changing soon, so I thought this was a great teaching moment. I launched into a long diatribe about the law of attraction and how you want to attract a healthy, trustworthy, confident person into your life when you get older.

I explained that you need to love a person's heart and soul and trust them with an intimate experience. It's not something that will complete you or give you worth. Confidence and esteem come from within, not a boy.

Wanting to keep the lines of communication open, I said, "So do you have any questions? I want to be open with this topic because it's an important one."

Paige, my youngest, shoved a pancake in her mouth and said, "So when can I get some of this sex and when will we get boobs?"

Fuck.

I replied, "Not until you're 30 and never".

That went well, no?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Imposter Parents.

I'm getting to the bottom of a strange phenomenon happening at our house. My daughters yell my name out of the blue and when I answer, they say, "Oh okay, I just wanted to see where you were."

Apparently, they think I'm playing a sadistic game of hide and seek when I fold laundry upstairs, write my book downstairs, or wash any number of floors that aren't under their feet. I wasn't aware I needed to check in like a teenager.

This morning it was the same thing, only this time the reply was, "I just wanted to make sure you were still here."

Still here. Where the fuck would I go?

So I sat them both down to discuss. They poured out all their anxiety of abandonment, hitting the crescendo with, "When you and dad go back downstairs to watch TV and we're upstairs in bed, we sneak down to see your toes to make sure you're still there. But even then, we think you might just put up cardboard cutouts to trick us."

To be sure you heard me right: My daughters think my husband and I have cardboard cutouts of ourselves and we painted slippers and toenails on them, to trick our daughters, so we could get in the car and bolt.

I was stunned. I said, "Where do you think we want to be other than here?"

They looked at each other and confessed, "Valleyfair."

Valley-fucking-fair.

Let me tell you something. If we go to that much trouble to duck out on our parental obligations, the last place we will go is Valleyfair.

Anyway, I explained that we're not peeling out of the driveway with glee as soon as we tuck them in. We're decompressing, which is essential for being good parents.

I explained that we love them and they're safe and protected, even when we sit on the patio in the evening.

"But what if you get hit by lightening?"

I explained the patio is safe. While I don't understand the psysics of it, we will survive a conversation on the patio.

They "What if'd" me about a hundred more times: What if you die in your sleep, what if a car runs you over on a walk, what if someone shoots you, what if the house burns down, what if a tornado hits the house...

At then it occurred to me. I used to live my life like that. I "What if'd" myself into a life of fear. I didn't realize those girls were watching so carefully.

Damn it. Sometimes I wish we could put an "R" rating on our lives to prevent them from seeing some of the shit we do.

But there are no filters or screens and our kids are sitting in the front row of our lives with popcorn and Junior Mints watching our even move, word and action.

Now I've got some work to do. Because life is meant for risks and adventure. Not "What if".

And besides, what if it's GOOD?