If You Give a Kid a Sharpie

May 25 2015

Let me paint a picture for you.

Imagine this:

Let’s say the heating element in your dishwasher bends.

Bends over.

Over and down.

Like Downward Facing Dog if your dishwasher’s heating element knows yoga, which mine, apparently, does.

No one knows how that happened.

You know no one knows because you asked.

A kid shoving a dog in the dishwasher?

Siblings giving each other rides on the bottom rack?

Small beasts packing the dishwasher with their mother’s cast iron skillets and decorative lawn rocks to “see how much that box can hold?”

Who knows for sure?

It’s impossible to say.

There’s enough denial to circle the Earth at least 5 times.

Nevertheless, let’s say the heating element in your dishwasher bends.

Know what happens next?

I didn’t, either.

But I do now.

If the heating element in your dishwasher bends, it melts a hole in the plastic dishwasher tub.

That’s what happens next.

And, FYI, if a hole melts in the plastic dishwasher tub, the water doesn’t stay inside your dishwasher.

It sure doesn’t.


If a hole melts in the plastic dishwasher tub, the water runs out of your dishwasher through the hole.

It does.

It runs right out of that hole.

But do you know the water is running out of your dishwasher?

No. No, of course you don’t.

Because no one mentioned shoving the dog in the dishwasher “because he likes to lick stuff in there.”

And no one mentioned the joy rides on the bottom rack.

And no one mentioned seeing how much stuff — like iron and rocks — could fit into that box.

So you didn’t know the heating element had bent.

And you didn’t know about the melted hole.

And you didn’t know about the gallons of dirty dish water flooding day after day and week after week under your floor and into the subfloor until you noticed the laminate, bubbling from underneath.

Eventually, though — eventually — you think to yourself that something might be amiss, what with the squishy floor and the bubbles and the new hills and valleys which are perfect for your boys to have matchbox car races and for you to trip next to the stove while hot things like off-brand mac and cheese are cooking away.

Yes, you realize something might be amiss, and you think you Ought to Do Something About That Squishy Floor, but Oh My Gosh, you guys. Oh my gosh. Because even when things Ought to Be Done, there’s still laundry and work and homework and feeding children and forgetting to make them bathe and a thousand Other Things to do, instead.

You have a thousand thousand Other Things to do, so, by the time you consider replacing the laminate on your own, and your neighbors remind you you have home-owner’s insurance, and you’re all, “oh yeahthat’s what insurance is for,” and you call your insurance company, and they call the water mitigation service, and the water mitigation service arrives and starts using words like “saturated” and “destroyed” and “total loss,” you realize you’re going to have replace everything. The entire floor.

IMG_3719You live the next two months with your floor in tatters and enormous fans blowing and making calls to and from (and from and to) the various companies trying to fix the things you’ve wrecked, until you get The Call. The CALL. The Call You’ve Been Waiting For! The call that says, “We’ll be there tomorrow to replace the floors.”

You are grateful.

You are delirious!

You can prove you’re delirious, in fact, because you hand your children Sharpies — permanent markers, in other words — and you tell them to Have At It. “GO FOR IT,” you say. “Draw on the floor! HAVE A BLAST. Those floors are getting ripped up tomorrow, kids.”

And so they do.


They draw away.


They have a blast.

They draw some things you expect, like monsters.


And some things you don’t expect, like Odes to Bob.


Final Resting Place

Rest In Peace
This is were Bob
lies ded. he was a 
good person. Bob lived
a long good life.
he had some odd
This is wat’s
left of his

They make social commentaries, like this, which they wrote in front of our TV:

This is were we whatch things.
This is were our brains rot.

And show an affinity for human anatomy, which we’ve already discussed.


Of course, as soon as your children finish their works of art, you’ll get another call. One that says, “Actually, we can’t replace the floors ’til next week,” which means you’ll have your old floors while you throw a party or two, and your mom-in-law will come over, and she’ll see your floor decorations, and you’ll shrug your shoulders at her, and you’ll thank God she knows how to giggle.

Yes, this is what happens if the heating element in your dishwasher bends and if you give your kids a Sharpie.

And in the end, you’ll decide it was all worth it.



My Husband Keeps Trying to Have Sex With Me

May 19 2015

My husband keeps trying to have sex with me.

For example, he cleaned off six shelves in our living room last night. Like, sorting stuff and organizing it and getting rid of crap we don’t need.

I know, you guys. I know.

That’s pretty extreme all by itself, but desperate people sometimes take desperate measures.

But wait! There’s MORE.

Our 2nd grader, Cael, keeps having anxiety attacks about his bear. Although Cael didn’t want to be separated from Beary, he also didn’t want to take Beary to school in his backpack because the school might burn down and he might not be able to get Beary out in time. I’d be concerned about his level of anxiety, irrational worry and general paranoia, except I don’t let my kids put their beds in front of the windows because, if I do, then I’ll be responsible when they to bleed to death after either a) the Big Quake hits or b) the burglar breaks in, shattering the window in a gazillion pieces, one of which will inevitably hit an artery. Protecting Beary from the inevitable school fire? That just makes sense. So, instead of taking Beary to school or leaving Beary home to get mauled by our dogs, my kid entrusted Beary to his dad.

Now, Greg could’ve done any number of things with Beary.

Shoved him in a briefcase.

Threw him in the trunk.

Forgotten him at home.

But no.

My husband is a wise, wise man after 20 years of marriage, so he took that bear to work with him and started sending me pictures.

Pictures ostensibly for our son.

Pictures like this:


And this:


And this:


Which are ADORABLE. And heartwarming. And endearing. And, well, are more likely to result in what we shall call Positive Reinforcement than, say, pinching my butt on the way up the stairs or groping my boob.

In conclusion, Well played, Greg. Well played.




Keeping It Real

May 11 2015

Keeping It Real

“Keeping It Real.”

That is, perhaps, the stupidest name ever for one of my blog posts. EVER ever. Because when do I not keep it real around here? I mean, really.

It’s just, even though I don’t have time to write you All the Details right now, and even though I plan to write you All the Details soon, I need you to know we moved our couch yesterday.

We moved our couch yesterday, which is Always A Mistake.

We moved our couch yesterday after 18 months of Not Moving Our Couch.

We moved our couch yesterday, even though we Know Better.

We moved our couch yesterday, and this is what we found.


And this:


And this:


I just thought you should know.





P.S. I also think you should know this:


You know, in case you run across one of those things. Then you’ll know what it is.

P.P.S. That drawing is on my living room floor.


On Being Smudgy

May 6 2015

I wrote you a real letter today. On paper and everything. And it’s dated two days ago because that’s how long it took me to finish it. That’s OK, though. I think you’ll understand.