i am always amazed that as a race we survive past the age of five. humans are clearly the exception to the survival of the fittest
i am further amazed that people who live in one of the wettest areas of the united states are scared to drive in the rain, and clearly don't have any notion how to do it safely.
and if kids were dry-clean only
, i would need a second mortgage to afford my laundry bill.
i needed to get a certain amount of grocery shopping done today. bleary-eyed and only half-awake, i got dressed, and somehow convinced the kids to accompany me to the the store, after which, i had decided, in my brilliance, i would take them with me to a local used bookstore to trade in a largish box of books i no longer wanted for items i did want.
overall, at the grocery store, we did well. we only needed a couple of things (kitty litter being the utmost: i had only just run out a day or two before, but apparently we own two felines who crank out enough piss n shit for eight), which, of course, got expanded by a few more ("we need coogies, daddy!"), and constant reminders to "pay attention" and "listen to daddy and do what he says" combined with threats of losing videogames had the desired effect of maintaining obedience.
until we were outside and i was laden-down by a 35-pound bucket of kitty litter, and no. 1 decided it would be a good idea to run into traffic without holding my hand or even bothering to look or heed my shouted warnings. he was narrowly missed by a van (that was, to avoid being overly melodramatic, coming to a full stop near their almost-encounter anyhow), and even this, combined with gasps of surprise from the onlookers, and my bellowings, was not enough to wake him up to the sheer magnitude of his utter stupidity at this maneuver. having my fists bunched up in the collar of his coat while my eyes were inches from his and i was using the stern voice magnified by five (and i hope i had bad coffee breath, too) also seemed to do little to sink it home for him, which enraged me more.
threats of loss of games illicited repeated "i'm sorries", to which i could only reiterate that sorry would do him a fat lot of good if he were in the er instead of getting into the car, and that it is hard to play video games when you can't use your arms. (i try not to be, but i can be quite fantastical and melodramatic in the scenarios that play in my head sometimes.)
since it is western washington, it is raining. combine that with the drivers who are unable to actually drive in the rain, and the trip from the grocery store to the bookstore was fraught with danger (well, i was still very shaken from the whole kid vs. van incident, and further angered by no. 1 still being blase about the whole thing), but we managed to arrive unscathed though nearly rear-ending a lady who clearly didn't know which lane she wanted to be in and thought coming to a complete stop in the middle of a major thoroughfare to decide might be a good idea.
into the store, and it quickly became clear this would've been a better trip sans kids. i dropped off my box of books at the counter where they would decide how much they were going to offer me (which would be a fraction of what i thought they ought
to offer me), and peruse the cd's and books while they took their time coming to that conclusion.
now, o beloved non-existant readers, i had, in my head (which has not been the most reliable source lately), a rather longish list of cd's and books and such that i wanted. but the noise of my two sons battling each other for the title of "most disruptive and destructive in a book store" drove most of what i was looking for right out of my grey matter, which, i imagine, looks a little like swiss cheese from overexposure to my children, lack of sleep, and overindulgence in the imbibing of spirits.
while trying to remember what exactly it was i was hoping to find here, my buds a & m texted me saying they were going to the store and did i need anything?
to which i texted back, nah.
"stop poking me, no. 2. i gonna smack you!"
"no, no. 2, don' pay wif dat."
"leeb me 'lone. owwwww."maybe some gin?
i did remember to look for a few cd's i had wanted (that they didn't have) and a few william burroughs books i needed (that they didn't have) and anything by bukowski (that they didn't have), all while playing human tug-o-war rope between two increasingly rowdy kids, who finally drove their father to the breaking point:
"owww, you're hurting my arm!"
"let gowa meee!"
(whispered harshly through clenched teeth:) "i am going to hurt more than your arms if you two don't stop messing around right now! ("messing around" being said with the same inflection that i would say "fucking about" when i am really pissed) and i am sick of reminding you to listen to me and do as i say, to no avail, so you can kiss the games goodbye, for today. if you continue as you are, you can kiss 'em goodbye for tomorrow as well."
"noooo, i need
my games!" (says the junky)
"well," say i, all cold-hearted carved marble, "you shoulda thought about that when i told you before to behave and listen to what i was saying, instead of deciding a wrestling match in the comic books section would be a good idea. it is, sad to say, way too late now."
i locked my face and heart against the wails and pleadings that followed, dragging my spawn around by their arms. i find one book, out of the entire store, that i am interested in. i spend much time wandering aimlessly.
finally, they call me back to the desk, offer me the pittance they think my large stack of books is worth, and i am so fucking eager to get out of anywhere with other people around that i take it and run.
my future world dictators are completely rude to another young fella who wanted to be their friend whilst waiting in line to cash in my chit and pay for my book, and i am forced to stand between them as mine tell him to "shush" loudly, and try and tell him how to live his life, and he looks like his feelings are hurt, and his
father chuckles good-naturedly.
on the way home, i discover that my stomach has eaten itself and is tugging on my spinal cord to drag the brain down to be the main course in a feeding frenzy, so i decide we better eat. the whole drive, i battle in my head: "sit down meal with the possibility of more disastrous behavior from my little hellions, or drive through, which leaves me the choices of grease, deep-fat-fried, or gutbomb?"
"you guys want pancakes?" (my kids are suckers for pancakes)
so into the international house of pancakes, which, i have no doubt, is familiar to all my foriegn non-existant readers as well. it is, after all, the international
house of pancakes. no doubt reformed bolsheviks enjoy a "passport breakfast" on red square, the bohemians eating crepes below the eiffel tower, punjabi's laying aside their nan
in favor of french toast? has to be, right?
so my little mad scientists pick the "smiley-face" pancakes, and juices, and a rasher of bacon (which i actually have to remove from their grasp, because no. 1 will eat greasy bacon until he chunders it an hour or two later. i know, we've been there. on a road trip, no less), and then proceed to eat the whipped cream, chocolate chips, and maraschino cherries off the flapjacks without so much as breaking the surface of the griddle cakes, much to my chagrin. next time i will just ask them to bring two juices, a side of crispy, oily pork fat, and a large bowl of reddi-whip sprinkled with chocolate-flavored sugar gobs and do away completely with any attempt at healthy eating habits.
so back home, where i stick to my guns and make the kids play with toys or watch a movie while i begin my new book (read: fall asleep on the couch), until it is bedtime.
and now the monsters are asleep, and i think i am going to watch a movie and in general be an uninteresting slug, followed by going to bed early.
Labels: alcohol, attempts at being a dad, bukowski, ihop, lousy drivers, my kids can be hellions, randomness, william burroughs