My mother, the twat.

All of you with kids – does your mother charge you for babysitting?

I’m not talking regular sitting, because that, in my mind, would call for some remuneration. I’m talking once-in-a-blue-moon sitting. In fact, this is only the second time we’ve ever asked untitledmother to watch untitledson in all of his four years. I’ve got to ask, because untitledmother recently charged me $100 for watching untitledson for one week. It was during a Montessori sabbatical, and the sitter we had lined up bailed at the last minute. We were in a major bind.

So I called untitledmother about two weeks prior and asked her to come down for a week and watch him. “I can even pay you,” I said, being what I thought was gracious and now know was just plain foolish. “Yes, I can do that. But I WILL need to get paid, since I am taking some days off work.” “That’s fine,” I said, since I had no other options. I mean, she wouldn’t actually follow through and demand payment, would she? I thought that perhaps after spending some time with her untitledson, she’d melt a bit and see that taking money for watching one’s own grandchild would be a bit callous. I was wrong. She cashed that check faster than Larry Birkhead.

A little context here – two weeks after watching untitledson, I took off four days of work to stay with her during her bariatric surgery. During this time, I incurred numerous expenses, including about $100 in gas and $60 in meals. This doesn’t even count the pain and suffering I endured while watching her sleep off the anesthesia (which was like watching an old troll suffocating on her own neck fat).

During the hospital stay, I had to beg her to spring for my motel room (she was going to make me sleep in a hospital recliner, until hospital staff informed her that isn’t appropriate). Did I ask for reimbursement for my meals and parking and gas? No. Did she even offer reimbursement for these things? No. So how can she charge me for watching untitledson, knowing that in two weeks, I was going to take four vacation days and numerous hits to the pocketbook to take care of her?

What a twat.What makes me fume even more is that every year, she watches her granddaughter (my brother’s daughter) for one week during the summer. She takes about three days off work, and pays daycare for the other days. Total cost to my brother = $0. Why does she charge me for sitting, but not him?

I’d bring up all this fuckery to her, but she has a way of justifying everything in her own mind. It’s the same thing that makes her quietly retreat when it comes time to pay for dinner. She’ll weakly say, “Oh, let me get that…” as I pick up the bill, and drop her hand back to her lap before I can even respond.I believe in karma, in so much that it is my karmic responsibility to usher justice to her doorstep. I’d love to recoup my $100 (and the $160 she owes me for the gas and meal expenses I incurred during her surgery stay). But teaching her a lesson is most important here.

Oh, did I mention that I have her credit card info written down here in my dayplanner? Seriously, I do. Half-tempted to publish it right here and let you guys have it at.

She who folds my undies.

untitledmother-in-law is a saint, have I said this before? She came down to watch untitledson during spring break. She took off work to do this. Certainly this alone would qualify her for cannonization. Not one to shirk off her holy duties, she then proceded to sweep out our muddy garage, do all of our laundry (two week’s worth), change and wash her own bed sheets and empty our dishwasher on more than one occasion. They just don’t make women like this any more. Let it be said that the greatest gift you can give your daughter-in-law is a week’s worth of free childcare and laundry service. I don’t care that she (gasp) saw my period underwear. They’re clean, folded and put away neatly in my underwear drawer, now aren’t they. She did fail to fold our towels in the shapes of little animals and place them on our bathroom sink, but I have forgiven her for this transgression.

To thank her for her goodness, we thought about stuffing some cash into her purse. But this felt a little indentured servant to us. So instead, we took her shopping. We bought her some Crocs (she would never spend $30 on shoes for herself) and some dishes are Pier One. At one point, I was literally chasing her around Pier One, because she didn’t want to let us pay. Good lord, woman. Get over here before I whip you with this sprig of pussywillows!

We also took her out to eat several times. We knew this would be a dicey proposition, since she gets a little intimidated by glamourous destinations like The Olive Garden. Always up for a good squirm-fest, we opted instead for an even nicer local Italian place. We had hoped to expose her to the wonders on linguini with pine nuts or maybe the lobster ravioli. But instead she ordered, of all things, the goddamned pasta marinara (but only after mispronouncing marinara and asking if it was a white or red sauce). We could’ve just served her Chef Boyardee at home and called it good. I would’ve ordered some bruschetta for an appetizer, but that surely would’ve blown a gust of cold air under her skirt.

untitledhusband forced her to drink a glass of wine, and before we knew it, she was all red in the face, trudging up all the guilt-ridden issues from her past. Like why she adopted two kids when they were living on poverty level incomes. And why untitledbrother-in-law gets to live at home for free when he’s 23 years old, whereas untitledhusband was basically on his own by age 17 (when he graduated high school). This is a woman that thinks only with her heart. And those kinds of decisions are rarely the right ones. But nonetheless, she is still a saint.

untitledhusband and his fabulous fornicating $700 eyeglasses.

untitledhusband has been due for new glasses for some time now. He doesn’t wear them all that often, but when he does, he’d rather not be sporting a pair of bug goggles with gold butterfly decals on the lens. He wanted to try a new place this time, something a bit less pedestrian than where we have gone in the past. So he found this cute little eyeglass boutique and low and behold, found just what he was looking for in about five minutes.”So what do they look like? What brand are they?” I asked, thinking they’d be Nike or Ralph Lauren or something, cause that’s usually how we roll. “They are ‘Lindberg‘ frames,” he said. Bless his heart, I thought. He’s eschewing the bawdy brand names for the sake of value! What a thrifty dude. This should make up for the $2,000 TV he bought a few weeks ago while under an electronics-fueled Best Buy fog. I would really rather not see Antonella Barba’s areolas in high-def, thank you very much (or hear her sing “Put Your Records On” in 7.1 surround sound, either). There now. I just outed myself as an “Amerian Idol” viewer, and you best think less of me.

“So, what’s the damage?” I asked, thinking it would be around $300-$400.

“$700.”

“Whah?”

“Is that too much?”

“For marriage counseling, no.” I replied. “Jesus H! Are the frames dipped in platinum or what? Is Charles Lindberg sitting on an island in the South Pacific, whittling these frames out of the twisted remains of his airplane wreckage?”

“Well, uhhh…”

“I mean, how does one even FIND $700 eyeglasses, let alone buy them?”

“Ummm, they’re really cool.”

“Well great then. You only wear glasses when you are reading your trashy magazines in the tub or hunkered over your Saturday morning cereal. For $700, these glasses better do more than help you see. They need to fix the kitchen disposal when untitledson drops popcorn kernels into it. And I should hope that they are capable of clearing away all Hot Wheels vehicles from the stairs before I come trotting down with a basketful of laundry. And hand jobs — they best give hand jobs. Can these magical $700 eyeglasses do all that?”

“Why yes, they can.”

“Well then, I stand corrected. Good purchase.”

In the vein of “Saving Ryan’s Privates.”

When I picked up untitledson from Montessori the other day, his teacher told me that he loved watching the movie “Snow White” during nap time when the other children sleep.

This is no surprise to me. He loves anything on TV. He’d watch a “Judge Judy” marathon if given the opportunity. But what I wouldn’t give to curl up on his little blue mesh cot and catch a few winks, and he’s just frittering it all away. Oh, the folly of youth.

He loves the “Hi Ho” song as sung by the seven dwarves. In particular, he enjoys the part when they hold the “ho,” as in “Hi HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” So I asked him, “Can you sing me the ‘Hi Ho’ song?” He did so, but in his version, the words are “My Hole.” Or more like “My HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE!” So in context, it goes like this: “My hole. My hole. It’s off to work we go.”

I always knew those damn dwarves were up to no good. It just goes to prove my theory — never trust a man wearing a tunic (or one that lives in the woods with six other men, for that matter). I must remember not to laugh at untitledson. It’s not his fault. He springs from the loins of a man I caught singing along with Stevie Nicks using the words “Just like a one-winged dove.”

Anger management, preschool style.

Two weeks ago, untitledson started preschool montessori. I’ve been researching montessoris since he was one, and he has been on this waiting list since then. Yeah, I know. TWO YEAR WAITING LIST FOR PRESCHOOL. When his number finally came up, we switched him over from his old daycare, where he learned such gems as the index finger gun and the word “stupidhead.”

All in all, I’ve been quite impressed with the montessori teachers, the curriculum and the other parents. During new parent orientation, I looked around and saw kindred spirits. There we sat, bound by the organic milk in our grocery carts and our devotion to “Noggin.” I must say it was comforting to see that other parents fret entirely too much about the high fructose corn syrup in the yogurt.

Given all the love, attention and obsession that I’ve invested in this child, you can imagine my horror when his montessori teacher told me that the thing he needs to work on most is his temper. His temper! Good god almighty, my angel has a temper. Watching him do the crocodile death spin across our living room floor because I refused to let him watch “Mickey Mouse Cluvhouse” (as he calls it) for the fourth time in one morning told me as much.

She said he is “extremely, extremely bright” (her exact words, and I’m not about to let this sentence come to pass without expressing this), but there are occasional outbursts. She then went on to explain how he had hit one of his teachers and put one of his classmates in a headlock on the playground yesterday. Well well. How very WWF of you, untitledson. His teacher feels this is just part of his adjustment — he’s testing his boundaries. I’m curious to know if this behavior falls under the realm of normal for a three year-old boy, or if he’s one bitch slap away from montessori expulsion.