Monday, April 18, 2016

Mrs. Jones and the Cactus Chase

I can't watch the puppy right now. I just put on my best, giant floppy hat.

Afternoon Readers,

How is everyone?

If you answered, "No getting the crap bitten out of me by a Labrador," then congratulations, you're about eight steps ahead of me both in life and chances of becoming a hand model.

I'm being maimed by puppy teeth. Shoes are being maimed by puppy teeth. My favorite sweater that makes me look like I own a yacht, boat shoes and a charming vacation home off the coast of Maine has been ravaged. Me no likey. If there's some sort of patron saint for people who aren't animal people but have to take care of animals all day, I hope they're listening. Because let's recap last week, shall we?

We shall.

But first, it's noteworthy the cast of characters has been tweaked. No, I didn't have another baby in last seven days, but the smallest Kellerman has finally earned somewhat of a permanent title, gifted to her by Doc, adopted by her mother, and used until she turns eighteen and refuses to speak to me anymore.

It started in the hospital.

"Mrs. Jones. But why Jones? Why not something interesting, like Piggle Wiggle or Barbara Walters?" I asked.

Doc looked at the new baby and back up at me. "Because her name is Jones," he said with the finality only a three-year-old commands. No negotiating. Just the facts.

And so it came to be that I set the baby down on Monday and gave her strict instructions not to go anywhere. "All right, Mrs. Jones. I'm going to take the dog out to potty. No rolling off the play mat. No scooting. Absolutely no miraculous walking behavior. I'll be right back. Two or three minutes, tops." I instructed.

Mrs. Jones smiled and hugged her beloved zebra, more intent on biting it's nose off than watching me struggle to get Ned Yost out of his kennel. I picked up the brown puppy and carried him outside, praying he wouldn't pee on me or wiggle so much I dropped him before we got to our designated poop zone in the yard.

"Ok, do your thing." I tapped my foot and waited. Thankfully, the little dog did his business without needing to be talked into it. While he finished up, I turned to look at the postman pulling away from the mail box. I turned back around. "Ok, let's g-"

But Ned was gone. I spun around a few times, calling his name and gesticulating at no one until I finally spotted him... in the neighbor's yard. This wouldn't have been so bad if:

A. The neighbor's had a way to access their yard by gate
B. Dog retrieval didn't require my thirty-one-year-old body to hop a fence as high as most fences found running along America's most beautiful prisons
C. There wasn't an inexplicable, giant patch of cactus growing just on the other side

"Ned! Ned, nooooo." But it was to late. The puppy charged, headlong, for the freakishly big group of prickly plants. "Stop. Stop right now." I shouted.

There have been two times in my life where I've been forced to engage in acts of valor. Once when I had to dive to save a perfectly-good ice cream sandwich from hitting the filthy carpet on a hot July day, and now this. I took a running start.

"Oomph." The fence hit me in the middle and got stuck on my baby gut. Like a maimed pole vaulter, I dragged myself over the iron rail and fell onto the other side. "Ned Yost, you get the hell out of there. You'll be covered in needles." Inching closer and nursing a bruised rib, I reached for the dog.

But I was too slow, a sure indicator of my lack of enthusiasm for cardio.

Ned shot back through the fence and headed for the far side of our yard. Taking another running start, I managed to clear the fence, catching my right boob on the aluminum, and sprinted after the animal who'd barged in on my life and was doing his best to make sure my calves looked amazing.

So close. The dog stopped at the edge of our yard just long enough to spot Salvador Perez, decide to pop through the fence, and chased the black cat around the garden and to the front porch.

I hit the lock on the gate and ran as fast as I could, no doubt letting the neighbors know they were lucky enough to be living next to woman who just barely had her life together.

Where were her kids?
Who gave her an animal?
Why was she wearing running shoes if she had a bumper sticker on her van that read, "If I'm running, it's because the zombie apocalypse has started"?

Gathering the last of my energy, I ran to the front porch and caught Ned by the butt and somehow pulled him to my chest. Breathing heavily, I limped us both back inside, where Mrs. Jones was crying pitifully into her play mat.

"Look, I found him."

More crying.

"I know you're upset. In baby time, fifteen minutes means you've been abandoned and have to raise yourself. But you really should've seen me clear that fence. Two parts horrifying. One part false hope."

Mrs. Jones wasn't keen on forgiveness, choosing instead to cry on my shoulder while my heart rate dropped to something that wouldn't kill me.

So that's pretty much where we're at. The baby has learned to resent me at five months old, and everything I own has teeth marks in it. But as long as I don't have to hurdle anything else in 2016, everything may be ok.

I hope.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go wash and stretch my sweater back into a human shape.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Fun of Being Completely Overwhelmed

If you're not following my friend, Lurk At Home Mom, you can do that here and thank me later. She just gets me, you know?

Morning Readers,

You know what pairs well with crippling self doubt?


Sometimes a Toblerone.

I've realized something about myself over the last week. Namely, my instincts regarding living creatures pretty much come to a screeching stop at babies. Oh, feed, clothe, change, and keep a baby happy? Check.
Figure out when a dog has to pee? ...Bueller.

The last ten days have been rough. There's really no other way to put it. I suppose I could wax all sunshine and rainbows, but where's the fun in that? Surely, pure elation lies in the details I need to relay, like watching the dog poop on the carpet over and over. Or maybe some poop in the kitchen. And the living room. Oh, and let's not forget the explosive diarrhea on the deck just now.  

(Gonna have to hose that one down. Or stain the whole thing brown. I'll have to check the budget for this year.)

Say what you want about babies, but can I get an 'amen' for diapers? It's more than a tad frustrating to be able to buy the Little Lady some nice size twos but not be able to wrap some extras around the dog. Put some Pampers on your Labrador, and all of the sudden you're the town crazy.

"Oh, Paige Kellerman?  One minute she was putting her dog in Huggies, the next, she was handing out pamphlets at the neighborhood barbecue, all about not really being out from under the shadow of the Y2K scare yet. She also ate all the potato salad that year."

The amount of times I've wandered around this week, with a baby under one arm and a puppy under the other, is staggering. Literally. That's a ton of weight to haul up all three flights of stairs in The Oak Palace. My calves look fabulous, but everything from the knees up is pretty rough. Meanwhile, Doc trots behind, asking my thoughts on the complexity of the week's installment of Power Rangers Dino Charge. Which doesn't bother me, I just wish I had more mental energy to commit to the complexity of the plot up to this point:

Will Shelby get together with Riley?
Where the hell is the missing intergem?
Is it ok for a thirty-something mom to have a thing for the Black Ranger? *folding laundry* "Ok, he's supposed to be sixteen, but the actor's really about twenty-seven. Not weird? Weird. Weirder that I Googled that. I've been staying home too long. Oh, there's that missing sock."

So, whereas I thought I'd be kicking off spring with many projects being undertaken and trying to figure out why we have ants the size of semi trucks roaming the halls, I'm containing yet more poop. There's also a smattering of...

Wondering if I'll mop the floor in 2016
And trying to get the twins to the end of Kindergarten.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering what Kindergarten's been like so far, here's a snapshot.

Me: Time to rise and shine for school!

Sundance: No.

Butch: No

Me: Come on. Socks, shoes, outfits, breakfast. Move it.

Sundance: Life is hard and you're mean.

Me:  I am mean. Lucky for you, I retired from a life of knife fighting on the street to wash your socks instead.

Butch: I give up.

Me: Yes. Yes. Mommy did that years ago, but that doesn't mean we don't have to put on a fresh t-shirt and tackle the day. Kisses! I have to run down stairs and milk fresh Lucky Charms from the box for my babies.

Repeat scene endlessly.

School's almost over though, and the potential for having everyone home, chasing after the dog, and trying to paint the cabinets and all the woodwork in the Oak Palace white is looming.

Aren't you glad we get to spend the summer together?

That's what I thought. Pass the Toblerone.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

When You're In Over Your Head: Whatever Happened to Flea? Part II

Hide yo couches and hide yo electrical cords, because I'm eating everything up in here.

Morning Readers,

It was two in the morning when I got kicked in the face.

"What? What the hell is going on?"

Confused, I looked around and realized I was blind. No, not blind, but something was sitting on my head that was fat and wiggling around. It attempted to bite my nose off.

"Ouch! What? Why? Why are you doing that?" I hit the person next to me. "Wake up. He's eating my face. Wake up, right now. This was your doing, so I'm going to need you to intervene. And there goes my hair. He's going to drag me off this bed by my hair. Help me. Help. Me."

Groggily, Husband sat up and grabbed the chocolate Lab puppy off my face and plopped him down between us. "But he's really cute, right?"

I rubbed the spot where he'd bitten off half my ear. "Oh, he's cute all right. Cute enough to drive me frickin' nuts." Gingerly, I massaged the scratch marks on my left cheekbone. "Do you think this'll heal or should I buy one of those half masks like the Phantom of the Opera?"

With a grunt, the little, brown dog burrowed into the blankets and looked up at us, completely nonplussed. Husband patted him on the head then rolled back over. "He'll learn. And thank you, it means a lot to me. Really."

I punched the side of the pillow. "That's nice. But remember, I only do one favor a year requiring I be mauled in my sleep." Sighing, I rolled back over and tried to salvage some rest. Well, until I was woken up again at 3am, 4am, and 5am. Oh, and let's just throw in 6am too.

You may have guessed already, but I'm not an animal person. On a scale of animal cruelty to PETA, I fall at about an Owen Wilson in Marley and Me. I put up with them. They grow on me. Eventually I'm fairly attached and start asking them questions like, "How do I look in this dress?" Or, "If you were doing taxes, would this be a deduction?" So, no, I don't go search them out. Husband finds them and lovingly leaves them with me 24/7. Which is why, a week before Easter, he found me completely unamused in the kitchen, after work.

"You mean you're getting me a dog."

Husband shook his head. "Listen, it's a great idea. Me, you, the kids, he'll be for everyone. We can pick him up Saturday."

My hand spasmed and I dropped the ladle I was holding into the soup pot. "This Saturday? As in, the day before Easter?"

"Uh. Yes."

"That's the worst idea ever."

"It'll be fine."

"If by fine you mean celebrating the resurrection of the good Lord Jesus by potty training a puppy while I handle every other detail of getting ready for a family holiday, then, yes, it'll be fine."

"So, that's a yes?"

I tried again. "Hey, remember when we just had a baby four months ago?"


"That was fun. I think my c-section incision finally healed."

"Soooo... what do you think?"

And that's how Ned Yost came home. If the name sounds familiar, it's because Ned Yost is the manager of our beloved KC Royals. Unfortunately, all our Ned has manged, so far, is to keep us up at night and poop on everything we own. Right now, he's biting my wrist and making me reevaluate whether Husband I truly communicate or just mime suggestions at each other to see what sticks.


Oh, and if you're wondering, Easter was pretty much what you'd expect. The dog didn't sleep, the Easter Bunny showed up, and I wore giant sunglasses to hide both under-eye circles and my many misgivings about life up to this point. Any spare time was spent eating chocolate and crying quietly.

But holla for Reeses egg season, amiright?

Lord help us all.

Until Next Time, Readers!

 Like what you read here?  
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Whatever Happened To Flea?

Creepy guys in bow ties bothering you? Forget the pepper spray and grab a Great Dane.

Morning Readers,

Those of you who've been hanging out with me here for the last few years are ridiculously smart. So chances are good you've wondered once or twice...

Whatever happened to the dog?

She has a dog, right?

No, Paige most definitely has a dog. It's in her blog description. It's literally designed into the header of the website. I'm not crazy.

Here's the thing. We got rid of Flea a long time ago.

(No, no, no. He's not dead. We both had strong personalities, but if someone was getting offed, he would've taken me out first. Hands down. Street fights between housewives and 100 lb Boxers tend to end that way.)

When we sold the Split Level, the dog was forced to find a new, temporary residence. The residence turned into a permanent residence, and the transition was made. But how did it come about? Well let's see. Somewhere between packing a billion boxes, watching three kids, meticulously cleaning the house so it would be ready to show, and the great flea epidemic of 2014, this happened.

"Out. I want him out."

Husband stopped chasing fleas with the wet mop long enough to stare at me. "What? Who? Are you talking to me?"

"No, you can stay." Shaking my head, I bent down to find an outlet. "Although, this whole thing is kind of your fault, so check with me after I finish vacuuming the stairs for the eighth time today."

He looked dumbfounded before he asked. "How? How is this my fault?"

I ticked the reasons off on my hand. "First, you talked me into the dog. Second, you named him Flea. Third, fully embracing the irony, you didn't treat him for one of nature's most disgusting insects, and now I'm sleeping with them. I found thirty-three of them in the sheets last night. Thirty-three! there's more action in that queen bed than a romantic comedy on acid."

Husband shrugged then lunged at a hopping, black mass by the dining room table. "It could've happened to anybody. I just forgot. Besides, Flea's a really good dog."

He was a really good dog. Mostly. Sure, the house was crawling with pestilence. And there were the times he ran right through the screen door. Oh, and the mud, and the howling when the baby was sleeping, and-

"He's got to go. At least for a little while. We'll never sell this house if I'm constantly fighting bugs and wiping up dog dirt off the kitchen floor. It's hard enough keeping the kids from dismantling the whole place, before the realtor gives me the five minute warning"

Husband was quiet for a minute before answered. "Ok. Just for a little while. I think someone can take him for a few weeks, and then we'll move him into the place."

I let out a relieved sigh and stamped two fleas, who were climbing the curtains, in celebration. "Great. Thank you."

"But it's just temporary."


And he never came back.

That sounds heartless, but the fact was, selling and moving took a lot longer than anticipated, and Flea just sort of got used to living with our friends. He was super happy, so why move him? All signs pointed towards a dog-free house and no more hair in every crevice of my life. After a year of settling in at the Oak Palace, things are finally on an even keel. No one barks at the mailman. A 100lb couch doesn't drag mud all over the living room after a storm. Dog farts are a thing of the past. Not to mention the food budget. Did you know that, if you eat Ramen forever, you can feed a small Boxer for 8,000$ a month?

But that was last week. This week, Husband marched into the kitchen, after work, and smiled the smile that usually disrupts my well-laid plans.

"So, I have an idea."

To be continued.....

Oh, and before I forget, if you're local to the Kansas City area, Husband and I will be The 5th Annul Chef's Classic on April 16th. So, if you're looking for an awesome date night and want to hang out, drink wine, and inhale fantastic food with me, go grab a ticket! (I'll try not to eat everything before you get there.)

Tickets are 50-100$ and give you a front row seat to watching some of KC's most notable chefs throw down for a great cause. I can't wait. Someone get me some brazed duck and a glass of wine stat.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here?  
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Breaking: Fourth Child Rolls Over. Woman Loses Her Mind Like It's the First.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the most potentially talented baby of all?

Did you know it's the ancient art of Kindergarteners kicking off spring break? Because it is, complete with me hiding in the bathroom while Sundance yells, "Mom, come on down," into the mike.

Probably just gonna hide here behind the toilet paper reserves for a while.

Don't get me wrong, I love having all four hooligans home with me, but there has been an increase in questions and one too many observations about how I'm aging. 

Not to mention, my special stash of Fiber One bars keep disappearing, the M&Ms are gone, and I've refereed an amount of fights that would make Mike Tyson uncomfortable. All in all though, things are pointing toward the promise of warmer weather and everything that comes with it.

Open that pool.
Bring on the flip flops.
Make the baby self sufficient.

Have I mentioned how much we love the Little Lady? She's both fat and sassy. I'm constantly torn between enjoying her babyness and willing her to do things besides chew on her own feet. The one thing that really astounds me is how excited I still get when one of our offspring learns how to do new things. I'm actually fairly annoying about it.

Me: Well, would you look at that?

Husband: What?

Me: The baby, she's smiling!

Husband: Mmm hmm.

Me: How can you be so nonchalant?

Husband: Hasn't she been doing that for like a month?

Me: Three months and two days, but it's such a relief. The other ones frown at me so much, it's nice to know her facial muscles work and that her amount of disdain for us may be more of a three on a scale of one-to-ten, rather than the seven the other kids are running at.

Hope springs eternal with every new child you bring into your home. It's why the smiles, the cooing, and the flailing when they see a ceiling fan are so endearing. This one is keeping up with the pack, you tell yourself. This one likes me. This one will bring home the Nobel Prize for pioneering self-cleaning water so my existence hasn't been in vain.

She will never be in a bad mood.
She will clean her toys without being told.
She will pick my nursing home.

Last night, Husband I laid on the bed, the baby between us while we hashed out the day's events. 

"So, we were really busy, but the traffic wasn't too-"

I held up a hand. "Shhh."


"Did you not see it?" I asked. "She rolled all the way over."

He shook his head. "No, but I believe you. All the kids do it."

I let out a frustrated sigh and motioned to the baby. "But this was different. She's rolling towards greatness. I can feel it. She has dreams, and those chubby, little hands are reeeeeaching out for them. Maybe she'll become a chess master, or make longer documentaries than Ken Burns."

Husband shrugged and sat up. "Or she's rolling away from you."

"Just like the rest of them," I agreed. 

A moment of silence passed between us before Husband ruffled the baby's freakishly full head of hair and headed for the door. "Well, I should probably go downstairs."

"Why's that?"

"All three of the others learned how to roll, run and dismantle, years ago. And it's way too quiet down there."

"Right. But that's old news." I grabbed the baby before she could move toward the edge of the bed. "Let me know if they've rolled anywhere near my Fiber One bars though. I have a suspicion the three-year-old's to blame. Kid's been way more regular than the rest of the house."

Kidding myself is a favorite pastime. I'm well aware the Little Lady will soon join the melee that is kid fights and climbing inside kitchen cabinets to chew on rouge packets of taco seasoning. I've got a rag-tag group, but this year has been filled with people learning to read and others taking themselves to the bathroom at 2am. Life's pretty good. I just want them to leave me some M&Ms.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the 4pm Karaoke session is about to start. I'm on in five. Be sure to tip your waitress.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here?  
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Call Me Lazarus

I'll take five Smaky's, please.

Evening Readers,

I know, I know.

You thought I was dead. Again. I assume this because I'm over-dramatic and it comforts me to think that when I leave the internet for weeks at a time, the public begins to set up funds for flowers or donates cups of coffee to people in need, in my memory.

While we're on the topic, if I ever do shove off this mortal coil before I have a chance to fully revel in any sort of mid-life crisis, please proceed as such...

You: Here, Random Stranger, enjoy an Irish coffee in memory of the late Paige Kellerman.
Random Stranger: Who?
3You: She wrote a mediocre blog and a few books that ended up in the .5 cent bin at the local library sale.
Random Stranger: Oh.
You: Enjoy!

The fact is, the person who died was actually my faithful, old laptop. Six years young, she finally had enough and decided to, um, never function again.

What's a writer/blogger/hermit to do when such a horrendous thing occurs? Answer: She must wait until her tax return is lovingly deposited in her account before she can stumble into a local  computer merchant and look like an idiot while she asks questions like, "Does it have a screen?" and, "Where is the power button, again?"

Honestly, it didn't even go that smoothly. In the last six years, technology has done a superb job of passing me by, so when I finally found where they were holding the laptops hostage, I looked and felt so out of place, I'm fairly shocked they didn't drag me out, on grounds my trembling was, undoubtedly, caused by the lack of nerves needed for a first-time foray into shoplifting.

Hands in pockets, I shuffled around the aisle. Why were computers either two dollars or ten thousand?

If it was cobalt blue, did it make it run faster?

Was an optical drive advanced technology, or a special computer made to assist the blind?

"Excuse me. Do you need help?"

Clearing my throat, I looked up nervously. "More than you know. Literally on all fronts of my life. Right now, I pretty much just need something that reliably types words. We can talk about my need to avoid conflict later."

At about seven feet tall, the computer guru looked down at the confused, pink-sweatshirt-clad woman in her thirties and tried not to make any sudden movements, the threat of spooking her an immediate concern. "If you tell me what you're looking for, I'll try and match you up with something."

"I- Well, um. It needs to be a computer."

He didn't smile or laugh. Clearly, he was in the presence of an idiot who though RAM was something which roamed hillsides in numerous pastoral works. Instead, a heavy look of concern planted itself on his face before he said, "What do you need it for most?"

"To make waffles. Haha... I mean, I'm a writer. I need to write words and, you know, er, check my spelling on Google?"

His look of concern stayed put, his right eyebrow raising slightly. This was now a rescue mission. "Ok, for your price point, this is what you want." He motioned to a shelf above, which held a modest, black laptop. "The most storage for your money, and the best function."

I raised my hand. "Does- Um. Does it... "


My brain went blank. "Sorry. I had questions before I walked in here, and now I couldn't even tell you where I parked."

With all the lightheartedness of a pallbearer, he nodded like he'd had this type of exchange more times in his life than he cared to. His only job now, to make sure his newest customer didn't hurt herself. He watched me look around wildly for a moment, before he replied. "If I were you, this is what I'd get." He stared at me long and hard.


"You have anti-virus?"

"I- "

"Here." He shoved a disk in my hand. "This is the best."

"Well, I was using a different program but-"

"That was good five years ago. This is good now." He turned his head slightly as he called over his shoulder, careful to keep his eyes on me, lest I start pressing buttons on things I had no business buying. "Gary? Go grab a new one from the back."

Weakly, I pointed at a glowing HP. "That one's pretty."

"Mam, your purchases are up at register seven." He nodded in the direction of the checkout, a sense of finality emanating from his being. He would save this non-gaming, non-giga-byte-knowing being from herself. He just needed to get her to the finish line. Then he could rest.

The whole exchange took about five minutes.

Dazed, I hauled my new friend out to the van and nestled it into the passenger seat. We'd get used to each other, work side-by-side. We'd been thrown on the beat together by some sort of computer police captain, and now we had to work the rough streets of the web as a team. I rested my head on the steering wheel and sighed. "I'm sorry you got stuck with me, but we're going to do some really awesome, mediocre things together."

So, here I am. Back in the game. Which is really great because I have stories to tell and coffee to drink, while I stare at my new, blinking cursor.

And I'm so glad it came with a cursor. Because I forgot to ask about that too.

Until Next Time, Readers!

Like what you read here?  
And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The High Brow Movie Watching Association
Because I.... I mean "the kids" want to find out what happens in the new Winnie the Pooh movie.
Afternoon Readers,

How did everyone make it out of January?

Wow, that's a lot of mumbling. Yes, the year's bleakest month has come and gone, and everyone in Kellerman house survived. Granted, February isn't usually much better, what with the snow, cold, and salted street crap rusting everyone's reasonably-priced sedans, but at least this month we have a holiday that endorses eating chocolate until you can't stand. Or maybe you're supposed to eat so much, your lover can't pick you up.

Either or, let's embrace it.

Personally, I'll be stocking up on Twix hearts and planning a great, big book sale. My valentine to each one of you. I was going to make everyone a construction paper cupid sprinkled in glitter, but the postal figures were staggering. So, mark it on your calendars, February 11-14th, both my ebooks will be .99 cents!  Sorry for the exclamation point. I just ate two chocolate puddings in a row, and I can feel myself spinning out of control.

So, besides eating a large amount of dairy, like most families, we pass a lot of the winter time slog watching TV and movies.

(This spot reserved for appropriate amount of time to come to terms with the fact I skip over crafts and let Netflix raise the children. Agreed, I look like the type of person who loves to teach small humans how to cross stitch, but life is chock full of harsh realities. Deep breathes full of disappointment over getting to know your heroes, aaaaand moving on.)

Saturday night is better known as "Movie night" around these parts. Growing up, on Friday evenings, my mother would dutifully march up to the video department of the grocery store and swoop down on whatever new release VHS all nine or ten of us had demanded. We salivated every time she returned victorious, hoarding that orange-stickered video tape in her purse.
Blankets were set up.
Popcorn popped.
We crowded into the living room, like sardines in a cinematic can, and stopped fighting for ninety minutes. Perhaps only one person getting punched in the face. Husband and I are determined to continue this tradition.

This past weekend, however, it finally struck me what a perk it is to be able to watch TV and movies with your kids. We've stumbled into a veritable goldmine of being able to watch pretty much anything we want and not be judged for it.

Single person with no kids + Watching a whole weekend of Peter Pan = Potential weirdo

Parents + Watching Lego Movie four times in a weekend = Just enduring keeping kids happy

But are we?

No, we are not.

Deep down, I want to consume an entire bag of Orville Redenbachers and figure out why Strawberry Shortcake is having such a hard time. Is it social anxiety disorder, or is she just stretching herself to thin? How's she supposed to make thirty cakes for her friend's party AND hand sew everyone's party dresses? Pass the remote. Let's find out.

Or what about Scooby Doo? I now have free license to watch a marathon of it. Oh, you kids want to go draw? I've got a better idea. How about we watch these meddling kids solve fifty more mysteries and HOPE that someone is finally a real ghost. Because I want it so bad. Every. Time. But it never happens. After that, we'll watch both live action movies and decide which one was better, and hem and haw over the casting choices. Sarah Michelle Geller is always adorable, but it's like Matthew Lillard is made to play Shaggy.

Fred? Eh.

Now find a real apparition, damn it.

How does Macaulay Culkin keep getting left at home?
Who built the bat cave?
How do they manage to make My Little Pony so saccharine? It obviously doesn't have writers, just bags of sugar falling off shelves and making random words on someone's linoleum. "Hurry and type that up." They yell.

I capitalize on my children's watching so I can answer these questions and more. I'm still slightly irritated the three-year-old got bored with the Kid's Learn Sign Language video we were both enjoying
and asked for Power Rangers instead. (I was this close to signing "Nice to meet you," with some fluency, the simple colors and pictures opening up a whole, new life where I signed my knowledge casually to any deaf person I met on the street. I could see it as a beautiful Hallmark movie, Inspirational Hands: The Paige Kellerman Story.)

Not only can I half sign things, but this winter of kid's television will also lend a certain spark to any conversations at parties I might stumble into:

"So, Paige, seen anything good lately? George and I find it so difficult to get out these days, but we managed to sneak away and see two Oscar-nominated films."


"You have them?"

"No, I saw it."

"Oh. You mean you watched it with your kids?"

*coughs awkwardly* "Right. Um, yeah. The kids totally picked it out. Because I would never, and I mean never, pick out a kids movie so I could wax nostalgic about literary bits of my childhood. But when we get down to brass tacks, it was well thought-out and Jack Black was a delight. Even after the third time... so, they still have the Oscars, you say?"

As long as the Kellermans are tiny, I think I'll keep taking advantage of the happier side of Netflix. Sure, there's a plethora of annoying programming to be found in the realm of toddler TV, but if there's a chance I can keep laughing at why Shaggy's always hungry, I'm there.

(I also plan on being able to sign, "Nice to meet you. Do you have any change I can borrow for the carwash?" by the end of March.)

And now, I'm off to deeply discount books and load up on chocolate for this weekend. Get out of the way, other shoppers. Get out the way.

Until Next Time, Readers!

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