Perpetually Peeved


Redux reflux

Christmas is over, the goose done got fat, and you can tell which presents weren’t such a big hit by the fact that they’re still under the tree. Yes, all of my decorations are still up.  Let’s just blame that on an unfortunate series of events and not my overactive lazy gland. 

ecards.com

I learned how to re-gift from my mother.  She’ll recycle just about anything.  When Biggie was a baby, she pulled out the clothes from the late 70s… um, thanks mom.  Another time, I was eating ravioli in what I thought was a brown sauce…

Stepbrother (let’s call him Stepdoucher – more on that another time): What are you eating?

Peeved:  Ravioli in brown sauce.  Mom made it for me.

Stepdoucher:  Ew.  I bet it tasted better last week when it was ravioli with red sauce.

Peeved: [spit, cough, choke] What??

Mom:  Oh, stop.  It’s fine.  I re-worked it.

***** 

Last year, her and AJenda had a ridiculous re-gift exchange that went something like this:  AJenda buys overpriced bowl set from one of Mom’s hairbrained catalog schemes.  AJenda is pissed that she paid so much money for what she thought was a set of stacking serving bowls big enough to hold chips.  Turns out, they are big enough to hold about two handfuls of peanuts and a couple of MnMs.  AJenda regifts the bowls to Mom for her birthday – “I thought they would look nice in your house.”  Mom, in turn, regifts the bowls to AJenda for her birthday 10 months later – “I felt bad, you ordered them and they go so nice with your house – I hardly used them.”  You can imagine, this did not fly with AJenda.  Come Christmas, there was a familiar looking package under the tree with Mom’s name on it.  My mother, who is the queen of Christmas shopping at Big Lots and Kroger but expects her own gifts to come in small packages and sparkle, just says, “this better not be those damn bowls.”

Alas, this year, there was no reappearance of the damnbowls and Mom did a great job of picking presents.

Mom:  You girls really liked your presents?

AJenda:  Absolutely, the scarf is lovely.

Peeved:  Yep!  I liked mine, too.  My favorite was the little change purse that looked like a vintage purse.

NotBonJovi:  My favorite was the sweatpants!  Thanks Ma!

Mom:  Ha!  I just want to let you know that out of all the gifts, only two are regifts…  the scarf and the little purse!

Peeved:  Well, your regift skills are improving!  Thanks Ma!

Later that night NotBonJovi went to put on his sweatpants.  They were a little short.  They were a ladies XL.

I guess it could have been worse... (photo courtesy of codeodor.com)

For those of you that care where I’ve been for the last three weeks, it went something like this: 

Dec 17 – 22:  Last minute Christmas shopping and decorating the house.

Dec 23: Bieber!  Smalls gets the gift of a stomach bug that keeps on giving.

Ignore the rest of those girls, he was only singing to HER!

Dec 25:  Blessed temporary reprieve from illness and a white Christmas in the South – thank you Santa.

Dec 26:  Peeved gets the gift of a stomach bug that keeps on giving.  Mr. Peeved gets it, too.  You know, just to keep things fun.

Dec 27 – 29:  Netflix!  There is a reason some movies go straight to video.

Dec 30: Sickie remnants, but must clean house and go food shopping for company coming over.

Dec 31 – Jan 2:  House guests!

Jan 3 – 4:  Actual work in the office.  (How do I do this again?)

Jan 5 – 8:  Trip to NY for Grandpa’s funeral.  (Even stuffing my face with pizza and bagels couldn’t make me feel better – believe me, I tried.)

And, now, I’m home and work was cancelled today because we have a blizzard (READ: 3 inches of snow).  I’m about to improvise some sleds, but thought before I do, I better take a moment to check in and give all of you your Christmas presents.  It’s a regift, of course:

... and to all a good night.

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If you were my mother, you’d already know what this post is about

Psychics.  If you are one, you’ll know I’m about to say – you can skip to the comments and chew me out.

If you ever watched Montel Williams, you’ll know most psychics are a bunch of BS.  They get little bits and pieces of information and spin them to suckers who ooh and ahh about their talents.  OHMYGODHESTOTALLYPSYCHIC!  Save it.  I don’t believe in psychics, I don’t believe in ghosts and I don’t believe in horoscopes.  (I am extremely superstitious, however, so I just knocked wood.)

photo from funnyaussiesigns.com

Friday night found me and the girls hanging out at my sister, AJenda’s house.  We were sitting around her dining room table having dinner with her husband (who,much to her disappointment, is not Bon Jovi) and my mother.  Mom has always had the most interesting friends.  From the rockstar’s hairdresser wife to the down-and-out dog breeding mother of six, to the guy in line next to her at the supermarket.  She sure knows how to pick ’em.  Recently, she has started hanging out with the self-proclaimed “gays” – a gentlemen couple that lives in her townhouse complex.  One of “the gays” is a psychic.  A very powerful psychic.  My mother is his medium/channel/what-have-you.  I wish I were making this up.

A redacted version of the conversation (because my mother threatened to take a wooden spoon to me if one word of this “makes it on that damn blog of yours”):

Ma:  So, OneOfTheGays, he’s a very strong psychic.  Very strong.  I told you this.  You aren’t even going to believe this.

Peeved:  Oh God.  Pass the wine, please.

NotBonJovi:  Here, Peeved.  You may want to keep that near you.

Ma:  Yeah, oh yeah.  This is creepy.  You aren’t going to believe this.  So, he had a vision.

Peeved:  Blarbedy, blarbedy.

Ma:  I am serious!  He had a vision and I know it’s for real.

AJenda: How do you know it’s for real?

Ma:  Well, the vision took place here, in this house.  And…

Peeved:  Dun! Dun! Dun!

Ma:  Knock it off!  I’m serious Peeved!  Just because you don’t believe in this shit doesn’t mean it’s not true!

AJenda:  Yeah, let her finish, Peeved. (kick under the table, refill of wine glass)  How do you know it’s real, Ma?

Ma:  Because.  He knew when you walked in the house the stairway was right in front of the door to the left and that it has beige carpet.

Peeved:  Dun! Dun! Dun!  Every house with two stories in suburbia has beige carpet on the stairs and most are right when you walk in the door.  It was a lucky guess.

Ma:  Oh yeah?  Well, how did he know it was on the left?  And, how did he know she had stairs?

NotBonJovi:  C’mon, Ma.  Really?  I don’t believe in all that.  Lucky guesses.

Peeved:  Yeah, or the picture you have of AJenda’s kids on the stairs that’s sitting on your mantle.

Ma:  I don’t have a picture of the kids on the stairs…

AJenda:  Yes, you do, mom.

Ma:  Well, regardless.  There’s more…  OneofTheGays, he’s not the only one who’s psychic.  Your mom’s no slouch, you know.

Peeved:  NotBonJovi, grab that wine from AJenda, I’m going to need it.

*****

Mom's Christmas Gift (get yours at amazon.com)

Later that evening, I was somehow manipulated into putting the lights on AJenda’s Christmas tree.  (One day, I will figure out how she managed to harness the power of manipulation and wield it like Wonder Woman with a lasso.)  Plug the lights in.  Untangle the lights.  Pull the tree out from the wall.  Start to wrap the lights around the tree by walking around it in circles.  AJenda is “supervising” and Ma is sitting back and keeping track of all the spots she’ll have to go back in and fix later.

AJenda:  It looks great, Peeved!  Doesn’t it look great, Ma?

Ma:  Well, I don’t know, there’s a little empty spot right there…

Peeved:  We can adjust it once I’m done.

Ma:  Oh, AJenda, go and take that candelabra off the wall there.  Peeved is going to hit her head on it.

Peeved:  It’s fine, Ajenda, don’t get up.  I’ve been around the tree five times already.

AJenda:  She’s fine, Ma.

Peeved:  (hitting head on candelabra)  OUCH!  Son-of-a!

Ma:  See.  I told you I’m psychic.

 

It must run in the family. I had this sudden vision of a headache the next day. Although, whether from the wine or the run-in with the candelabra, I'll never know. (photo: indietravelpodcast.com)

 



When good intentions go bad

I think whether parenthood is something planned or not, that most people go into it with good intentions.  When people find out they are going to become parents they secretly think they are going to be the best parent ever. 

Our parents?  They knew nothing.  I mean, they let us run around until the streetlights turned on.  We would drive hours on the interstates with no seat belts and at least one sibling lying across the hump on the floor of the car.  Baby teething?  Slip him some whiskey.  Teenager backtalking?  Feed her some soap.  Broke your arm?  Quit crying or I’ll break the other one. 

Yeah, I think most people’s’ visceral reaction to finding out they are going to have a child is, “I’m going to do it so much better than my parents did.”

So, what the heck happens?

photo from belch.com

Not too long ago, I was at the zoo with Biggie and Smalls.  A lot of people had those cute little monkey leash backpacks for their children.  Which, I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I just always held my kid’s hand or strapped them in the stroller.  That wasn’t my problem, though.  I understand why people have them.  It’s a scary thing to bring a non-verbal, squirmy toddler out to a crowded place where they could disappear in a heartbeat.  I get it.  I still watch my 12-year-old go to the top of the driveway to get the mail.  The thing that made me literally bite my tongue was the sight of a mother dragging her toddler behind her.  Pulling away like she was towing a wagon or something.  Um, lady, you dropped something.  Oh wait, that’s YOUR KID!  Cripies!  I’m thinking she didn’t see a little pink plus sign on a stick and think, “I’m going to be the best mom ever.  When little Timmy gets tired at the zoo, I won’t rent him a stroller, I’ll use my super-mommy strength to drag his ass from cage to cage.”

Hmm... I wonder why Timmy can't focus in school.

I was getting Smalls into the car at her daycare one day and was having a conversation with a woman who had a young son (about 4 years old or so).  She was complaining about how he just wouldn’t sit still and he wouldn’t stop talking and he can’t pay attention to anything for more than a few seconds.  As she’s saying this, she is loading him into a carseat positioned directly in front of a 10 inch DVD screen which she promptly turns on (with her remote start button).  “It’s just so difficult,” she shouts over the cries of the Wiggles, “is it possible for a four-year old to be diagnosed with ADD?”  No, darling, it isn’t any more possible than diagnosing his mother with a bad case of stupidity.

Clean up on Aisle 9!

See that angelic four-year-old holding on fiercely to a freshly Clorox-Wipe’d shopping cart, minding her own business, humming a song for her mommy?  Okay, now see that hooligan child lying on the ground kicking over the end cap display with her feet and mopping the dirty linoleum with her hair?  Okay, now see that lady halfway across the store, seemingly by herself minding her own business and shopping?  Isn’t she doing a great job of ignoring the toneless WA HA WA HA WA HA fake ambulance sound emitting from the mophead?  She’s not even looking around like I was to see where in the world the little critter’s mother was.  Hmmm…  she must be shopping for mirrors. 

And the nominees for Mother of the Year are…



The Upside to Teenage Vampire Offspring

Biggie and I volunteered at the PTA pumpkin sale on Sunday.  To attract customers to the sale, she dressed up as a vampire and danced around the roadside with a sign.

Biggie:  So, wouldn’t it be cool to have a vampire as your kid?

Peeved:  No.

Biggie:  Why not?

Peeved:  Because then you could torture me for eternity.

Biggie:  No.  I could only torture you for the rest of your life.  You’d still be mortal.

*****

The other upsides to having teenage vampire offspring?

  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting hurt.
  • You wouldn’t have to pester them to make their bed (they don’t even need beds).
  • You wouldn’t have to feed them (and if you did, they could order the kid’s meal for eternity).
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting sunburned.
  • You wouldn’t have to drive them everywhere (they could just run everywhere real fast).
  • They don’t stand in front of the mirror for hours looking at themselves and dancing (ha – they have no reflections).
  • You wouldn’t have to pay for orthodontia – so what if that canine sticks up a little bit?
  • They can’t have pets.
  • You wouldn’t have to worry about them getting pregnant. (My husband’s personal favorite.)
  • The threat level of a wooden spoon would suddenly skyrocket.

Come to think of it, Biggie would rather be a zombie...



Putting the “I” in “Team”

I have a few guilty pleasures in life: good books, good wine, Tim Riggins and reality TV.  Don’t judge – Taylor Kitsch is actually almost 30 and when I say reality TV, I mean good reality TV.  No Jersey accents, wife-swapping or speed-engaging dating allowed.  Anything on A&E, Survivor, Amazing Race, Project Runway, some Real Housewives (NY & CA only), and maybe a dash of Bad Girls Club just because it makes me feel better about my potty mouth. While most of these shows are not ones I would want to find myself on (Hoarders, Intervention, Celebrity Rehab), I do often wonder what it would be like to compete on one.

Survivor is a definite no-go.  I don’t like people.  I would definitely not like people if I were stuck camping with them in the middle of a mosquito-infested forest with no air mattress, no deodorant, no toothpaste and no food.  Something tells me someone would end up in the fire and it wouldn’t be because they passed out from inhaling smoke.  Project Runway is also a no-go.   While I love to design and sew, I couldn’t sacrafice my own personal taste just to try and get a smile out of Michael Kors.  Have you seen some of the stuff he likes? 

Not to mention he is so botoxed it would take a qualude and a crane to get his cheeks to move. Seriously - are you constipated or smiling? (AP Photo)

No, dear readers, there is only one show I would want to be on.  The Amazing Race.  Travel around the world with your best friend and compete against other people?  I am so in!

*****

[lying on the couch watching football last night]

Peeved:  So, today, I was on my moms group online and there was this post about The Amazing Race and someone asked the question if you went on that show, who would want to go with you.  So, who would you want to go with you?

Mr. Peeved:  Um, let me think about that.

Peeved:  Well, I’m just asking because people were saying they would go with their sister, or their father, or their sister-in-law…  Would you go with your dad?

Mr. Peeved:  No.

Peeved:  One of your brothers?

Mr. Peeved:  I don’t know.  Who would you go with?

Peeved:  I said I would go with you.  Because you are pretty amazing and also the only person I know that would put up with my crap.

Mr. Peeved:  [laughing] Of course I would take you.  Why would I go with anyone else?

Peeved:  I don’t know.  Some of the people said they think it would be stressful on their relationships and they didn’t want to fight on national TV.

Mr. Peeved:  You just have to work as a team.  I think we would do great together.

Peeved:  You do?  That’s sweet, baby.

Mr. Peeved:  The problem people have with working in a team is that they don’t just let one person make the decisions.

Peeved:  What?

Mr. Peeved:  That’s the problem.  People think everything has to be equal in a team.  If they just let one person make the decision and then everyone else supported that person, they’d make a much better team.

Peeved:  That’s not really a team.  I understand having a lead and coming up with a strategy and sticking to it, but having one person dictate what the others do is not teamwork.

Mr. Peeved:  Yes it is.  It’s the only way a team works effectively.  It’s like a golfer and his caddy.  The golfer needs his caddy.  But, the golfer decides what they are going to do, confers with the caddy and then does it.

Peeved:  What?  I can’t even talk to you abou this. 

Mr. Peeved:  But, baby, you’d make a great caddy.  You always have my back.

Peeved:  Watch the game.

Mr. Peeved:  You could take your mom.

Peeved:  What?

Mr. Peeved:  Well, you’d be famous, that’s for sure.  Everyone would know your name.

Peeved:  No kidding.

Mr. Peeved:  Forget fifteen minutes, she’s good for at least 15 days.

Peeved:  Infamous, even.

Mr. Peeved:  They’d be like, “cut!” — No, really, “cut!” — “Ma’am, can you please stop talking now?”

*****

I don't think I'd make it past Boston without trying to slit my wrists with the clue envelope. Photo from TVsquad.com

[later that night, lying in bed]

Peeved:  Do you really think a team is like a golfer and his caddy?

Mr. Peeved:  Yes.

Peeved:  That’s ridiculous.  The caddy just carries the golfers clubs around.  He doesn’t get a jacket if the golfer wins.  They aren’t a team.

Mr. Peeved:  You know what?  You go research it.

Peeved:  I don’t need to research it.  I’ve seen that Legend of Bagger Vance crap.  It’s not a team.  He doesn’t get a jacket.  No one even knows his name.

Mr. Peeved:  You don’t need name recognition and a jacket to be a good team player.

Peeved:  Ugh.

*****

Peeved:  I think it would depend on the task.

Mr. Peeved: What?

Peeved:  Who got stuck being the caddy.  I think it would depend on the task.  Like, you could be the golfer on any of the tasks that required strength, or fixing things, or building things, or eating nasty stuff.

Mr. Peeved:  Nice.  I don’t get to do any of the tasks that require intelligence?

Peeved:  Fixing things and building stuff requires intelligence.  It’s called engineering.

Mr. Peeved:  mmm-hmm

Peeved:  So, what kind of tasks would I be the golfer on?

Mr. Peeved: Oh, you know…  anything that had to do with sewing…

Peeved:  There is no sewing on Amazing Race.  Jackass.

Mr. Peeved: [stifling laughter] Okay, okay, anything that has to do with marketing or graphics…

Peeved:  Dipshit.

Mr. Peeved: [stifling laughter] Okay, for real?  You could lead the tasks that have to do with navigation – you’re good at that, you know giving directions.  Puzzles, showing your tits to get us in to places…

Peeved:  Nice.

Mr. Peeved:  No, really, they can get us stuff.  “Excuse me sir, I need two tickets to Sri Lanka, stat…”  “Ah, for you Ma’am, sure thing!”  “Thank you”…  “Hey, why’d he give us four tickets insead of two?”

Peeved:  You can carry your own damn clubs.

allmoviephoto.com



Forces of Nature

Contrary to popular belief, I do not actually enjoy shopping.  Every once in a while, I can appreciate some retail therapy, but there has to be a “perfect storm” of conditions in order for this to happen.  

photo from weather.about.com

  1.  I have to be alone.  Absolutely alone.  With nowhere to be at any specific time.  And, very poor cell phone reception.
  2. I cannot be shopping for anything in particular.  I am known for creating items that do not exist and then getting peeved when I can’t find them in the stores.
  3. I have to be shopping for myself.
  4. Budget?  What budget?
  5. It has to be on a “skinny” day.  You know, those magical days when the scale says you lost 2 pounds in your sleep.
  6. My hair has to look good.
  7. I have to get an amazing deal on at least one item.
  8. 7  out of 10 items I try on have to fit.
  9. I must have a frothy, chocolatey, caffeinated beverage.  And, even some biscotti to dip in it.
  10. I have to purchase at least one pair of shoes.

Rarely, very rarely, does this “perfect storm” occur.  The closest I get is DSW shoe warehouse on my lunch hour and that’s only because I’m a DSW rewards member (hello coupons!), my feet don’t Benedict Arnold me like my waistline does, and there’s a fudge shoppe right next door.  

shoeblog.com

 This weekend, I needed to get fall clothes for Smalls.  Not that it is getting any cooler down here in the South (97 degrees last night at 6pm), but there were some good sales going on and I had some free time.  My sister had a 30% off coupon at Kohl’s and convinced me to meet up with her to go shopping for the kids.  Hmm…  Me, my two kids, her, her daughter…  maybe I should just skip it… but, it’s 30% off… and, I could always spend the money I saved on some shoes…  okay, what the heck! 

Now, up until this point, I have always refered to my sister as AJenda on this blog.  However, for this post, I feel the need to reveal her true identity.  The real nickname behind the nickname.  In my family, I am referred to as “Emma Dilemma,” “Dilemma,” or “that bitch.”  My sister has always been referred to as “Hurricane Jen.”  She comes on strong, with little or no warning.  When you think it’s over, she’s really only half-way done.  When she actually is done, you’re standing around looking at the disaster area.  She’s also a lot of fun when you’re drinking and the damage is happening to someone else.  Stores do not stand a chance against the Hurricane.  When she is shopping, she is trying on everything in the store.  I have been in dressing rooms with her where they literally are shutting the lights off and locking us in and she’s breaking out the keychain flashlight and trying to see how the last two pairs of jeans look.  

Why can't all hurricanes be like this? PS - I'm so tracking down the stemless glass. Love it.

Me, I’m more of a tsunami shopper.  I’m in and I’m out.  Quick, like that.  I take what I want and I drag it back out with me.  No lolly-gagging, no agonizing over decisions.  I want it, I buy it.  I don’t want it, I don’t put it in the cart.  You can see how it’s probably not a good idea for my sister and I to go shopping together.  I’m usually hanging up the clothes after she has tried them on and whining, “can we go now?” 

I figured this time though, we were shopping for the kids, it couldn’t be that bad.  And, it wouldn’t have been.  

***** 

Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]:  Headed to Kohl’s right now.  Where are you?  Brace yourself, hurricane Granny is hot on our trail. 

Peeved: [blissfully unaware of text message]  Smalls, do you like this shirt? 

Smalls:  No, too stripey. 

Peeved:  How about this shirt? 

Smalls:  No, too spotty. 

Peeved:  Well, you need to pick some shirts. 

Smalls:  Well, I don’t like any of these. 

Peeved:  How about this one? 

Smalls:  Nope. 

Peeved:  This one? 

Smalls:  Nope.  Look, mommy!  Hamster pajamas! 

Peeved:  You don’t need pajamas. 

Smalls:  Hamster pajamas!! 

Peeved:  I’ll only get you the hamster pajamas if you start picking some shirts you like. 

Smalls:  Okay. 

Hurricane: [via text message to Peeved]:  We’re here… can’t find you… did you seek shelter from the storm? 

Peeved:  [putting hamster pajamas in cart, still blissfully unaware of text messages] Okay, how about this shirt? 

Smalls:  Yep.  [You guessed it, Smalls is a Lightening Storm shopper.] 

Except, noisier.

Peeved:  This one? 

Smalls:  Too flowery. 

Peeved:  Oh, how cute!  Look at his one. 

Smalls:  Nope. 

Peeved:  Smalls, we made a deal.  No hamster pajamas if you don’t pick some shirts. 

Smalls:  I did pick a shirt.  That one. 

Peeved:  Well, you need more than one shirt. 

Smalls:  So, get the same shirt in different colors, then.  Aunt Hurricane!! 

Peeved:  Oh, thank goodness.  Can you please suggest shirts to her?  I can’t get her to say yes to anything I pick. 

Hurricane:  Sure, hey – did you get my… 

Smalls:  Granny!!! 

Peeved:  Wha? 

Hurricane: … texts?  I tried to warn you. 

***** 

What’s the mother of all storms, people?  You guessed it.  Tornado Granny.  Tornado Granny is like a hurricane in that she comes on quick without any warning, except the destruction isn’t left spread all over the place, it’s been completely lifted away and relocated.  Granny hits the clearance racks like tornados target trailer parks.  Everything starts in the cart, but inevitably is put back before she gets to the checkout lane.  It’s like a weird form of tactile window shopping.  Also like a tornado, Granny disappears just as fast as she appears. 

***** 

[literally 3 hours into the shopping trip] 

Peeved:  You got everything? 

Hurricane:  Yep, I’m good to go. 

Peeved:  Sweet, let’s get out of here. 

Hurricane:  Yeah, the game starts soon and I’m starving. 

Peeved:  I feel like I swallowed a ShamWow! and my feet are about to fall off. 

Hurricane:  I hear ya.  Where’s mom? 

Peeved:  I don’t know.  I thought you knew? 

Hurricane:  Oh shit, we lost her.  Call her. 

Biggie:  She probably bailed again. 

Mini-Hurricane:  Yeah, she’s been known to do that! 

Peeved:  [calling Tornado on her cell phone] Ma, where are you? 

Tornado:  You know that completely hidden fitting room that you never would have looked for me in?  I’m hiding out in there.  Don’t tell your sister, she’ll make me put back all my clearance clothes

Peeved:  Found her.  Come on, guys. 

***** 

As predicted, Hurricane tried to talk Tornado out of her white-trash finery, carrying in clothes by the armful.  Guess who was left putting them all back on the hangers and saying, “Can we go now?!”  The children were taking turns pretending they were sad puppies up for adoption, hiding inside the rack of track pants, and having their mom paged over the PA system. 

Two very long hours later, we did finally get out of there.  Not before Biggie had an avalanche inspired melt-down because I wouldn’t by her 3-inch hot pink patent leather and zebra striped heels, though.  Gosh, I’m the worst mom ever.  Didn’t you know? 

I finally crawled into the storm shelter of my couch, called the Red Cross for a beer IV and tried to avoid any further disasters.  The only Perfect Storm I would be getting would be ordered through Netflix and starring George Clooney.  Mmm…. George Clooney.  That’d make everything better. 



10 things I learned from camping…

1.  Ants bite.  

Upon our arrival to the campground, Mr. Peeved set about getting a fire started, Biggie grabbed her chair and fishing pole (coordinating colors, of course) and headed to the “beach,” Smalls found the nearest downed tree and started to climb all over it, and I set about unloading the car and hauling all our stuff 50 feet down a 45 degree slope covered in loose rocks.  Just as I was taking my third slide down the hill with provisions, I hear an ear-piercing screech.  Smalls, who was playing nicely by herself (this should have been the first warning sign something bad would happen) had been bitten by ants.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  

Peeved:  Okay, Smalls, let me see. It can’t be that bad.  It will be fine, I’ll kiss it.  

Mr. Peeved:  It’s an ant bite.  Those are the worst.  They hurt like hell.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  

Peeved:  It’s okay.  It will be fine.  That’s not an ant bite – it’s not a little white bubble.  It looks just like a mosquito bite.  

Mr. Peeved:  It’s not a red ant bite, it’s a regular ant bite.  Those are worse.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I got bit by an ant!!  EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!   It hurts worse than a red ant bite!!!  

Peeved:  Maybe that’s not helping, Mr. Peeved.  Smalls, mommy has lotion, let me put some lotion on it.  

Mr. Peeved:  That’s not going to work.  Do you have that after-bite stuff?  

Peeved:  No, I have bug spray, sunblock and lotion.  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I need the bite stuff!  

Mr. Peeved:  We are going to have to cancel the trip if you don’t fix it.  Don’t bother putting up the tent yet.  Can you go to the store and see if they have that stuff?  

Smalls:   EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I want to go home!  I hate camping!  EEEEEEEeeeeeeeeEEEEEEeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!   

Well, something tells me this has happened before because the campsite store was fully stocked with after bite lotion.  A few dabs of that, an hour of coddling and a Coca-Cola later, Smalls was off fishing with her sister.  I put up the tents, inflated the air mattresses, put out the chairs and lost 3 pounds of water weight while Mr. Peeved made the most perfect camp fire, ever (or at least, that’s what I’m told).   

2.  It’s all fun and games until you run out of clean clothes and marshmallows.  

This cartoon and a bunch of other totally awesome cartoons can be found on this site: http://www.nataliedee.com. Think I found a new source of entertainment!

Around 7:30 pm on the day of our arrival, we were almost out of marshmallows and, aside from pajamas, almost completely out of clean clothes.  Apparently, after bite and Coca-Cola don’t do much to improve a nap-missing 4-year-old’s disposition.  Smalls spent most of the afternoon throwing rocks at the ducks and stomping off into the woods when we tried to talk to her.  Finally, when the first signs of dusk started settling in, we decided it was time for the kiddo to hit the air mattress for the night.  Smalls melted down faster than a marshmallow hit by a blow torch.   

Smalls:  I don’t want a smores pie!  I don’t like graham crackers!  I don’t want just marshmallows!  I just want marshmallows and chocolate!  No, not like that!  I want marshmallows and melted chocolate, but no bread or crackers!  Mommy!  Biggie is eating my smores pie!!!!  WaaaaaaaaawaaaaaaaWaaaaawaaaa!   

Squirrels scurried off like roaches when you turn on the light.  Nature wants nothing to do with a whiny, screaming preschooler and neither do I.  So, I do what any resourceful mother would do – fling her over my shoulder, strap her in the car and try to drive around until she falls asleep.  

Smalls:  You left Biggie and Daddy! They’re all alone!  Turn around! Turn around!  You can’t leave them!  

Peeved:  I wonder if the campsite store has Benadryll…  

Smalls:  Hey, maybe they have marshmallow and chocolate ice cream.    

3.  Tents were invented by the Department of Torture.  

They make it look so easy.... (www.coleman.com)

4.  The ability to fish is not genetic.  

spicy, crispy minnows... who knew?allthaicooking.com

The only time I ever caught a fish growing up was when I was sitting on the dock and got up to move farther down the way.  Completely coincidentally, just as I stood up, a fish bit my line and I “caught” it.  Yes, we can add fishing to the long list of things I’m not good at – right after cooking and just before passing driving tests.  Biggie did not inherit this gene.  She caught six fish.  Granted, they were all slightly larger than minnows, but still it was quite an accomplishment given her DNA.   

One would think that the children would want to throw the poor little fishes that were too small to eat back into the lake.  Not my kids.  

Mr. Peeved:  Okay, we have to let them go now.  

Biggie:  No!  You said we could eat what we caught!  

Mr. Peeved:  There is no meat on this fish, Biggie.  

Smalls:  Daddy!  You said we could eat them!  I wanted to cut its head off!  

Biggie:  Yeah, and I was going to gut it!  

Guess you could say the kids like to eat.  That, they may have gotten from their mother.  

5.  Everything tastes better with white bread.  

Next time you go camping, buy yourself one of these babies! vtarmynavy.com

Smores pies, ham & cheese pies, salami & cheese pies, steak & egg pies, cherry pies, pizza pies…. I could go on in the spirit of Bubba Gump all day.  

6.  It’s okay to ban technology for two days.  

  

I turned off my iphone for two whole days.  Guess what?  No one suffered except my ego.  Apparently, I’m NOT that important.  

7.  The firmness of an air mattress is directly proportional to the heftiness of your bed mate.  

What this picture doesn’t show is the way the poor lady gets catapulted to the other side of the tent when her husband climbs on to the air mattress.  What it also fails to capture is the way her ass goes slamming into the ground in the morning when he gets up to pee.  

8.  Children who can’t read also have trouble listening. 

 

There were “no swimming” signs posted all along the shore of the lake.  This, of course, meant nothing to Smalls because unlike those phonetics phenoms you see on the TV at 6 in the morning, she can’t read.  Apparently, reading and listening go hand in hand.  I told Smalls she was not allowed to go in the lake unless she wore her water shoes, rolled up her pants and stayed on the opposite side from where her sister was fishing.  I may as well have written it on a sign for all that she paid attention to me. 

Smalls:  [skipping barefoot in the “fishing section” of the lake with her pants soaked up to her underwear]  What, mommy?  I didn’t hear you. 

Peeved:  Smalls, I said it five times.  Put your listening ears on. 

Smalls:  Oh, sorry.  What did you say?  la la la…. [skipping barefoot in the “fishing section” of the lake with her pants soaked up to her underwear]  

9.  Nothing makes a 12-year-old happy. 

Peeved:  C’mon Biggie, we’re going exploring. 

Biggie:  Ugh, I don’t want to go.  I’m busy.  I’m fishing here, mom. 

Peeved:  Okay, stay here.  We’re going to the campsite store.  Smalls, you want to see if they have ice cream? 

Smalls:  Let’s go! 

Biggie:  Gosh, you guys can’t even wait for me to get my shoes on?  You’re so rude! 

***** 

Biggie:  Is that a pool?  Is it open? 

Peeved:  Yes, but I didn’t know it was here, so you don’t have a bathing suit. 

Biggie:  I can’t believe you forgot our bathing suits. 

***** 

Biggie:  Oh my gosh!  They have slushies.  Mom, can I have a slushie? 

Peeved:  Sure, but that’s it.  One treat.  Either ice cream or slushie. 

Biggie:  Okay, thanks mom. 

Peeved:  You’re welcome. 

Biggie: [sipping on slushie at check out stand]  Oh!  Mom!  They have sour straws!  Please, please, please? 

Peeved:  No, Biggie.  You got your treat. 

Biggie:  Come on!  You are so mean! 

**** 

[pout, moan, whine, repeat x5] 

**** 

[checking out at the campsite store later that night] 

Peeved:  Mr. Peeved, can you get those sour straws for the girls for the ride home, please? 

Mr. Peeved:  Sure. 

Biggie:  Yay!  Sour straws. 

Smalls:  Sour straws! 

Biggie:  I am not sharing with her. 

Peeved:  Yes, you are. 

***** 

[chomp, chomp, gobble, gobble for all of about 5 seconds] 

Peeved:  Are you done with those already? 

Biggie:  Yes, because I had to share them.  And, I can’t believe you didn’t bring our bathing suits! 

10.  You should always unpack your camping gear immediately after arriving home. 

 

 

This was on the ceiling of my car this morning.  Good thing I’m not a complete arachnaphobe!  I have a good friend that’s probably doing the heeby-jeeby dance just looking at it (hey – you made the blog!).  Smalls thought it was “cute” and wanted to name her Charlotte.  I guess it’s better than a gerbil or a dog…




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