Thursday, May 17, 2018

What I've Learned In Eight Years of Being a Mother

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash
Afternoon Readers,

Well, it's official.

I'm never buying the Frosted Flakes/Lucky Charms special edition cereal again. I know, I know. I talk about cereal a lot. But the ratio of marshmallows to flakes was all off, and it's something that maybe shouldn't have happened.

In a happier category, something positive that did happen last week was the twins' birthday. Their eighth birthday. For those of you who've been here since the beginning, that means two things:

You're old.

I'm really old.

It seems like just yesterday we loaded them into the back of our suv and drove 5mph home. You know what they say, as long as you don't know what you're doing, might as well have two babies at a time, right?

Riiiiiight.

But we've all lived to tell the tale, and I'm proud to say I know a few more things, these days, than I did in 2010. We went to the petting zoo on their big day, and as I watched a herd of baby goats stampede, I couldn't help thinking it was a lot of baby goats. But after that, I started counting off a few pieces of knowledge I have now that I absolutely didn't have when I pulled on my first pair of mesh underwear* and wandered home.

*Five stars. Absolutely recommend

What I've Learned In Eight Years of Being a Mother 

1. You're literally always winging it.

No one has parenting figured out. If you ever meet someone who says they do, run. There's a good chance they operate a cult named Parenting Round' the Kid's Bop Comet and want to outfit you with some new, white Nikes and a glass of cyanide flavored KoolAid.

You don't have to take my word for it, but enjoy the underground bunker!

2. They'll do amazing things that have nothing to do with you.

No matter how hard you try to screw things up, your kids will begin to display talents you didn't realize they had. Sometimes this is art. Occasionally it's a great throwing arm. Sometimes, they're super smart and end up doing your taxes that year.

3. You're a huge liar.

"I only give them this much sugar during the week." You hold up your thumb an index finger to show Barb at the bake sale. But you don't! You're a nasty little fibber who took Huey, Dewey, and Louie to Dunkin' Donuts three times last week. 

4. Screen time

I wrote something on that, and here it is. Feel free to spread the good word.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorPaigeKellerman/photos/a.143287912437450.21259.138202926279282/1068541303245435/?type=3&theater

5. If it's broke, just let it go.

This was a tough one for me and still is. Kids break everything. Full stop. You can either accept it and live a relatively anxiety-free life, or lose your mind over every body-shaped hole in your drywall and spend your day spitting and growling at anyone who rings your doorbell. Life is not Pottery Barn. Unless that Pottery Barn's on fire.

6. And while we're at it...

Kids don't just break things, they also leave ridiculously random objects all over the house. If parenthood was a dive bar, the sign on the door would read, "Welcome to parenting! Where there's toilet paper in the freezer and rocks in the toilet."

You must make peace with this, as well. Also, keep one of those grabber things in the bathroom. You'll need it at least three times a day.

7. Most of your alone time is after dark.

Wait. Strike that. All of your alone time will be after dark, between the hours of 9pm and 1am. Anything deviating from this needs to be submitted in writing.

8. All those annoying old people are right.

As an annoying old person myself now, I'm starting to get strange urges. When I see a young mother desperately toting her first new baby through Target, the itch to yell out, "It's ok. They grow up really fast," bubbles up at the back of my throat. At the last minute, I shove a Twizzler in my mouth, instead.

But they do grow really fast. This blog, a perfect documentation of me slowly losing my sanity, is proof of that. Whether I like it or not, my twin tornadoes are taller and taller. Smarter. Better looking than me. They teach me how to use my iPhone, and I remind them to put on clean clothes every day.

"Mom," they say, in unison. "Don't embarrass us in public."

"No," I answer. "I only have a little bit of time left."


Until Next Time, Readers!


And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Building the Perfect Nanny

You have a mermaid crown? You're hired.

Morning Readers,

How do you spend your free time?

If you're like me, you eat Pop Tarts and read about strangers. It's the best, isn't it? Some people are extremely constructive with their time, but not Paige Kellerman. Nay. What's that, Internet? Someone I don't know bought something I can't afford and used it to propel themselves to the Maldives?

Do tell! *lights distinguished looking pipe and leans back in chair*

So, while sifting through virtual tidbits this week, I stumbled across an article about Kate Middleton's nanny. Of course, I'd always assumed the royal family has a nanny, but I couldn't help but satiate my curiosity about the woman who marshals the heirs to the throne. In short...

She's amazing.

Dresses impeccably.

Is currently teaching all the royal children spanish.  

"Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo." I rolled the name around on my tongue as if, I too, could sound like a distinguished care giver from Spain, who'd trained in Switzerland, at an establishment that turns out the most respectable nannies in the world.

No, I was still the parent who raises her offspring on chicken nuggets and mis-remembered advice.

But what if I had a nanny? I mean, not for me, but for the children?

As I nibbled on off-brand cookies, I mulled over what qualities a nanny would need to have to work in Kellerman house. I narrowed it down to ten absolutely necessary traits.

1. She must have four names.

Three names weren't good enough for Kate Middleton, and they wouldn't work for me either. Something like Francesca Madeline Coco DeLacourt would do.   

2. She must laugh at all my jokes.

If they don't laugh hysterically at everything you say, there's no point in having hired help. This would be a terrible litmus test for whether one of my jokes would work on the internet, but a requirement nonetheless.

3. She must have a magic bag.

I think it goes without saying that any nanny who doesn't start her first day on the job by pulling a floor lamp, a house plant, and a full-grown parrot in a cage out of her carpet bag, is going to be a disappointment.

4. She must enjoy dumb shows and peanut butter

At noon, we'd break and watch something ridiculous on Netflix, while toasting to the marvelous open-faced pb and js we'd made. I'd laugh and say, "Oh Francesca, look at these fabulous pb and js we've made once again.

5. When I'm in the bathroom, she must be good at running interference.

If she can't block children like a hockey goalie, she need not apply.

6. When she realizes she's more of my companion than a caregiver, she absolutely must not panic.

7. When we're traveling in the van, she must be ok with climbing back over the seats to hand out snacks.

A necessary, but often irritating duty of motherhood, is how many times the off-spring sitting behind you demand something to eat. This is usually right after they've eaten, but the prospect of driving down the road, while small children wail, "I'm huuuuuungry," is, oftentimes, unbearable and ruins any 90's R&B you're trying to listen to. "Francesca," I'd say, "Throw some Minion fruit snacks behind you, post haste. Craig David's on the radio."

8. Dishes are essential

I'll do most of them, but that big pot on the stove I forgot falls smack dab in the center of her contract.

9. She must be ok with odd jobs.

The general care and feeding of the children I'm completely capable of handling. It's the random tasks I can't abide. Any nanny working for me must be open to finding lost scissors, socks, and hair ties. She must also be fine with Lego extraction and organization, putting flea medicine on the dog, and picking up Capri Sun wrappers off the ground.

10. She must be willing to work for free.

Or at least some sort of barter system. On payday, I'd say, "Francesca? Do you remember Downton Abbey?"

"Yes," she'd reply.

"And you remember the scene where the servants receive their pound notes, after killing themselves for the Crawleys all week?"

"Yes, mam."

"Working here isn't like that. But here are all the coupons from the most recent Value Mailer. If you purchase one burrito platter from Burrito Hut, you get one free. I'll see you on Monday."

Hmm, maybe I'll put out an ad.


Until Next Time, Readers!

 
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:
 

Thursday, May 3, 2018

When It Rains, It Pours Bleach on Everything

How I looked, after yesterday was over. 

Afternoon Readers,

If you've hung out here with me for a while, it's not a huge secret that I don't enjoy cooking. In order of dislike, it looks something like this:

1. ) Getting mauled by bears

2.) Getting mauled by bigger bears

3.) Cooking

The reason why escapes me. No, wait. I remember. Because cooking, while kids hang off the back of your pants, crying hysterically, doesn't mimic a gentle, Julia Child experience, so much as being beaten with a bat.

(A mild correction: There is one thing I dislike more than making a meal, and that's seeing that same meal, again, at 2am. Or really any time after I've rolled myself into bed for the night.)

Especially chaotic days have an interesting habit of sneaking up slowly and pouncing. No warning. Just the softest tap on your shoulder can quietly signify that winter's coming. And that's precisely what happened around 1am, yesterday.

"I threw up."

Groggily, I blinked through the dark. "What?" I called out.

"Twice. I threw up and I'm sick."

Staring at what I'd originally presumed to be a ghost child floating in the ether, one of the twins came into focus and motioned for me to get up and address unfinished business. All parents know the siren song to clean up puke. You desperately want to roll back into the covers, but some sort of annoying, primal instinct kicks into high-gear, and, suddenly, there's a towel in one hand quietly whispered expletives in the other.

Now, this wasn't my first rodeo. But, even after eight years of parenting, the magnitude of the damage was impressive.

"What? How? Why? Did its trajectory hit the neighbor's Mustang?"

The details weren't important. I was in my underwear and half-blind, so all there was to do was shovel comforters in the bathtub, to wait for a morning wash, spray some sort of cleaner, wrap the invalid in fresh blankets, and stumble back to bed.

Until...

1:30am: Repeat entire process

2am-3am: Stare at the ceiling and contemplate booking a flight out of the country, rehash past mistakes, try to solve world peace.

6:30: Feeling six degrees separated from refreshed, I wake the children.

"Umm."

While simultaneously calling the school's absentee line for Twin A, it became apparent that Mrs. Jones had thrown up during the night, but, being her mother's child, had decided to roll over and go back to sleep.

I've been reading literature on positivity lately, and, time after time, it's suggested that stress is greatly reduced by "leaning into" one's struggles, instead of fighting them. So, just as I was leaning into a stack of sour blankets, reminiscent of the pepperoni (never again), we'd had the night prior, there was a primal yell from behind me.

"Maaaaa! I poop. I poop right now."

Whirling around and almost suffocating under rancid bed coverings, I managed to catch the freshly-cleaned Mrs. Jones generously distributing her stomach troubles all over my prized, 100% cotton, hand brushed by Himalayan goat herds (or so I imagine) fitted sheet.

It was now green.

Meanwhile, I shouted commands to anyone else who'd had the misfortune of being birthed by me.

"You. Get socks on."

"Someone make lunches!"

"I'm supposed to make lunches?"

Continuing to lean into my troubles, I Lysoled my coffee and packed pillow cases into lunch boxes. After which, our rag tag band fell over itself into the van and barely dropped the healthy twin off for the remainder of second grade, on time.

The rest of the day was a cloud of Febreze and tears.

Miraculously, all Kellermans were feeling fit as fiddles by end of day. So much so, I managed to marshal the troops to the school's open house, where I picked up a year's worth of art projects, two plants, and reasonably confidant feeling that no one was failing out. Things were looking up.

After all children were tucked into fresh beds, I leaned into five chocolate chip cookies and headed to bed. The fitted sheet enveloped me, and I drifted off, until a gentle tap hit my shoulder.

11:30pm: "Mom?"


Until Next Time, Readers!


And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Horror Continues

No, not terrifying at all. Approachable, really. Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Morning Readers,

Ok, so I really didn't want to drag this nonsense into another week, but here we are.

Over the last few days, I mentally tallied everything I wanted to write about: food, sleep, how, if I had a million dollars, I'd buy SO many donuts. And, just as I thought I'd picked something mildly entertaining, I was pulled from my reverie by a buzzing sound next to my window.

No.

The reason that word's struck so dramatically by itself is because that particular buzzing sound triggered memories of a gorgeous, sunny morning last summer, when I jogged downstairs, grabbed a handful of Lucky Charms (now with unicorns!), grabbed a cup of coffee, and made my way to the living room.

I sat down.

Now, I've experienced significant amounts of pain in my years- childbirth, surgery, ripping a band aid off too fast- but the fire that rocketed through my butt that Better Homes and Gardens day was, shall we say, not pleasant. I handled it ok though.

"Mother ******." I threw the remote and pictures on the mantel went down like milk bottles at a country fair.

I used my cool problem solving skills and hours of watching Sherlock to deduce my predicament.

"What?!"

"What iiiiiis it?"

"Sweet, Flavor Flav's clock, what is going on?"

Frantically clutching my spasming back, I searched the couch. Finding nothing, I jumped to the next logical conclusion.

"Kids? Kids, get me the laptop. This is how those strokes start. Ugh, I need to check WebMD and see if I should call 911 or risk weaving us all down the highway with an eighty-percent chance of making it there. Find your helmets."

With no one particularly interested in my impending death, I limped up the stairs, flipped up my shirt, and examined the damage in the mirror. There, barely visible, were two, small holes in my hip.

It meant more walking, but I half-slid, half-stumbled back down the stairs and combed the carpet. A waning buzz floated from a far corner and pulled my eyes to a giant wasp in its death throws.

"Right. It's the broom for you."

There haven't been many times in my life when I've resembled Babe Ruth (only three by my count), but, as I followed through with the force of all bristles, there was something majestic about it.

Fast forward to what recent developments mean to heroine of the story...

"The house isn't exactly air tight, babe. There's probably a nest somewhere."

I sat staring dumbly at Husband, while my arms made wing motions. "But that's the third one I've found in three days. In the house. Where we live!"

He nodded, gave me a look somewhere between sympathy and amusement, and continued searching for a more sane wife on his phone.

Glancing up at the picture window a story above me, I shuddered as a shiny, black body banged into the glass, over and over. It's anger was palpable, and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that, once enough rage had built, he'd exit his perch and head for my butt.

I shook my head. "Well, I'm not going to stand for it. They're invading our house. What is it with insects and our life? Was this house built on some sort of ancient bug burial ground and now we're paying for it? Tell me that, Carol Anne."

*This spot reserved for exhausted sighs*

So, while the silverfish, firebrat, and carpet beetle population seam to be tapering off, the wasps have infiltrated somehow.

I can't find a nest.

I've looked everywhere.

If I die and this becomes my unfinished business, I'm going to be really unhappy. In the meantime, I'll be wondering how wasps are wiggling through my window frames. Because that's fun.

I'm gonna need more unicorn marshmallows in my Lucky Charms.

Until Next Time, Readers!



And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Night of the Silverfish

Not the scene of the crime, but close enough. 
Photo by Bekah Russom on Unsplash
Morning Readers,

So there's been an on-going struggle in my life, but for the last three years, I decided to keep it to myself and suffer in silence.

No more.

When we moved into the Oak Palace, blissfully unaware was the state I operated in. We unpacked, organized, and tried to figure out how to cobble bunk beds back together. Husband stacked things in the garage. I shoved stacks of clothes into closets. And all was right with the world.

Except it wasn't.

Several months after occupying the new house, I went to retrieve clothes from the back of my closet, and every single shirt, skirt, and pair of treasured leggings I'd put away while pregnant with Mrs. Jones was filled with holes. An entire trash bag of Lycra happiness made its way to the curb and I began battling the infestation.

As it turns out, we weren't warned that, along with a front porch without a railing, we were receiving the bonus gift of silverfish, carpet beetles, and the silverfish's uglier cousin, the firebrat.

I found all this out while Googling, "Whaaaaat is haaaaaapppeeeeening?"

A few, helpful search responses described the horrific state we'd found ourselves in. Every, single one of the aforementioned species of insect is incredibly hard to get rid of, and the process of vanquishing the enemy takes, roughly, a thousand years. In the meantime, they content themselves with ruining lives and underwear. 

So, when I haven't been making a living writing terrible jokes on the internet, the rest of my time's been spent looking out for slivers of terror shooting across bedroom walls and bathroom floors.

Pros: They can't eat you. Even if they want to, their mouths are too small. *waves tiny victory flag*

Cons: They destroy everything else. Shirts, pants, paper, socks, blankets, will to live.

No matter how many times it happens, I'll never get used to the amount of adrenaline my body shoots into my heart, the minute I chance to pad to the bathroom at 2am and see something unholy wiggle up or down the drain. It's not right. That type of shock can kill someone in their eighties.

But here I am, a woman in her thirties, who's only mission is to keep her kids fed and check for irregular holes in her spanx. Thankfully, in the past three years, we've made huge strides in decreasing the overall insect population. Nights spent hugging cans of Raid, two bathroom remodels, and diligently throwing a shoe anything that moves have, most likely, decimated the enemy numbers.

Things had been fairly quiet.

Nothing had crawled back to eat a matching hole in the left butt cheek of my favorite leggings.

A modicum of peace had descended on the house.

But then, that's when things usually go to hell.

Several nights ago, overcome by the exhaustion of making sloppy joes and yelling at people to stop eating markers, I threw on a Royals shirt with only two insect holes in the armpit and stumbled to bed. Yawning, I yanked back the comforter, ready to put a dent in some memory foam, and recoiled in horror. There sat the enemy.

"Wha- What are you doing here?"

The silver droplet, seemingly unconcerned it was about to die, stared lazily up at me.

Fumbling behind me for a shoe, I seized on the opportunity to monologue. "I honestly don't know what you think you're doing, but a line has been crossed here. This is where I sleep."

Nothing.

"Don't you get it? It's my sanctuary. Where I sit and contemplate lost potential. Eat nachos. Watch to stupid shows about mermaids on low budget networks."

The shoe was swift and unmerciful.

There's something truly violating about finding insects in one's bed. Even after the remnants had been cleared away, I shuddered as I slipped under the sheets and tried not to think about what else was thinking about slithering over my unsuspecting body.

It's been a few days, and I haven't spotted any other intruders, but the fight is wearing on my nerves. Admittedly, it seems like we're winning, but at what cost? If I had a body bag for every insect I've taken out, this place would look like CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, and any other CSI I've missed because that franchise has gotten out of control.

Is there a big enough supply of Kilz to cover the grease spots where the Lepisma saccharina have gone to meet Jesus?

All I know is, if we ever move, the next owners are getting a bug-less house. I'm making sure of it. We should be able to live in a world where it's safe to put a cheap sweater in a closet, pull it back out, and know the only holes in it came from a late night trip to Taco Bell, when you tripped over the sidewalk in your haste to get a chalupa.

Then again, the world is also held together by impossible dreams.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to go buy more Raid.


Until Next Time, Readers!


And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Old Trash Van

Not even a remote resemblance to the inside of my van right now.
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash
 Afternoon Readers,

I was thinking about it this week, and I couldn't help patting myself on the back for all the progress I've made as a mom. Eight years ago, being completely clueless about rearing tiny humans ruled the day, and if I made it twenty-fours without crying, I'd reward myself with a donut.

These days, school schedules, meals, bath times, and getting everyone dressed aren't nearly as overwhelming. So, occasionally, I get really full of myself and acknowledge that, "I'm pretty much great at this whole thing."

And then I open my van.

I'm not sure if any of you've seen Mad Max: Fury Road, but the inside of my kid-hauler is fairly close to Tom Hardy's experience of wandering through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Tumbleweeds, dust, things inexplicably glued to others, symbolizing some sort of tribal decoration.

For whatever reason, I'm now on years of trying to tame the family transportation vehicle into something that looks less like a tornado picked it up and shook it like a bottle of cheap sprinkles, and more like what those families on car commercials ride around in.

Clean
Organized
A seat belt you don't have to thrust your arm down into cushion depths, looking for, while you yell, "This time, someone's just gonna have to hold onto the floorboard."

I envy parents who can keep their vans and cars clean. As for my situation, it seems the Kellermans have a fairly high trash production, compounded by the fact none of them listen to me.


If the stars align and I meet a new friend, I feel compelled to introduce them to my van, as well. It's a package deal. And if we're to become bosom friends, besties, or acquaintances who avoid each other at the grocery store but awkwardly pretend they're not, she needs to meet my trash wagon.

I start at the front and work my way to the back, motioning to items of interest as I go.

"It's nice to meet you, Susan. This is my van. Van, meet Susan. If you'd be so kind, please take note of the two coffee mugs I keep up front. One is full of cold coffee, and the other is full of colder, older coffee. I wouldn't drink either."

"Don't reach into the compartment between the arm rests. There's a nest of receipts and yogurt wrappers I'm only fifty-percent sure a mouse hasn't bought real estate in."

"That trash pile you see on the passenger's side is mail I grab before I pick the kids up from school every day. I let it build up, until it feels like someone's sitting next to me. I'm very lonely."

"The glove box is where I keep my abandoned dreams and my aviators. Sometimes, Skittles."

"Directly behind you are two car seats. Their cubbies are filled with wrappers, but the fun part is that there's bonus trash underneath both seats. This comes in handy, when the children need things to throw at each other and can't get the stickers off the windows."

*Motions to vast collection of stickers on windows. Half of a Shopkin glares back,*

"As we continue our tour, please note another row of booster seats in the back. I haven't fit back there since 2009. The children haven't complained about any uncomfortable riding situations, but I lost them under two trash piles last month, so we'll check in with them when they dig themselves out."

If a potential friend is still feigning interest in me or my life, I like to finish up our visual adventure with a quick inventory of the trunk.

"This is where I wish I could go, when I need to cry. Kidding! I do that in front seat like a normal person."

"Know that song, "The Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly"? The trunks like that. This is the trunk that swallowed the blankets, that swallowed the stroller, that swallowed the donation clothes, that swallowed the ice scraper, that sits on top of the emergency kit, that's covered in old banana one of the kids threw out."

I finish the tour by driving away from the person who's now a little afraid of me and my van. She doesn't call. But that's ok.

I have the trash in the passenger seat to keep me company.


Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Paranoid Patty

Dear Diary, I'm afraid of ridiculous things. Also, yesterday, someone tried to kill me.

Afternoon Readers,

I'm interrupting this blog post to bring you a very important message:

It's still winter.

UUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGH

And now, back to the program.

I've been inside for a while. Can you tell? It's unrelenting, this cold weather. I know, I know. Some people are coping by practicing that new Swedish? Danish? Finnish? way of getting through many months of hibernation, (I believe it's pronounced "Hoo-gah"), but this lady is practicing something else called, "Nope."

It's not so much the being trapped inside. I like that. I'm practically a professional introvert. No, it's the lack of sunlight that gets me every year. So it doesn't really matter whether I'm inside or out, it's a lot of pacing around under cloud cover.

Have I told you about my pacing?

I do a lot of it. Pacing during the day is my cardio. But I also pace at night, and that gets me into trouble. While Husband is able to fall asleep faster than an elephant hit with a tranquilizer dart, my brain likes to hash out everything I did wrong from 2000 to 2017, make lists, tabulate bills, and check for mice.

That last one's a big one. We recently canned a fairly large Master Splinter (let's not get into specifics.. I know he was a rat), and sent him packing to the trash, so anxiety about finding another rodent lounging my Instant pot is fairly high.

Squeeeeeeeak 

A few nights ago, I sat bolt upright in bed and listened to the noise drifting from the kitchen.


Sqeeeeak

I carefully slipped out of bed and padded down the stairs, pausing at the bottom to listen again.

Nothing.

Too late. I was already out of bed. If there was a mouse, or an intruder, it was going to have to face me and my tattered pajamas. Quietly, I slipped around the island, dropped to the floor, and crawled across the peeling linoleum I hadn't bothered sweeping before bed. That was a mistake. There was old waffle stuck to my palm.

Squeeek

Half jumping out of my skin, I backed into the dishwasher and decided I'd face whatever it was the next day. Who was I? Columbo?

The next day....

While doing my morning pacing, I was again audibly assaulted by the squeaking sound. Confusingly, it wasn't coming from a cabinet or usual mouse haunt, but seemed to be emitted from behind the stove. I clambered on top of the burners and listened.

Sqeeeeeak.

My mind tends to pick up the most logical analysis, always, so I immediately assumed it was a serial killer poised on the other side of the wall, dragging his hunting knife down the side of our board and batten. That time, it had sounded less like an animal and more like certain death. I'd have to make a stand. Which was inconvenient because I'd planned my whole life around never having to take a stand.

Squeeeak

Whirling around, I realized the noise was now coming from the dining room. I was Neve Campbell. This was Scream. And I was going to die.

Then again, maybe I was Drew Barrymore. It really depended on how long they toyed with me. Only screen time would tell.

Sqeeeak

The noise was now coming from the corner of the dining room. Closing the gap, I tiptoed across the inexplicable 80's carpet still covering the space and dropped to the ground.

It smelled like pet pee. We were living in a menagerie. For a minute, I thought about ripping it out.

Sqeeeak

It was coming from the vent. I did some quick calculations, made sure I wasn't stuck in a Stephen King short story, and decided there was no way a human being was waiting in the depths of the air duct to cut me stem to stern. Cautiously, I peered into the metal hole.

Legos. everywhere. But besides that, I watched with fascination as the loose, metal flap on the vent cover swayed back and forth with the air flow.

Relieved, I sunk back on the carpet and resolved to relax a little. Maybe the Danish were right. "Hoo gah," I whispered.

"Hoo gah."

"Hoo gah.

"Hoo gah this damn vent cover, anyway?"



Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: