Furry Floor Blues

On the floors and under the chairs,
Dog hair, cat hair everywhere.
In the corners and up the stairs,
#*$&$@* pet hair everywhere!
I sweep all day I vacuum at night,
Furry tumbleweeds still in sight.
Dyson Pet? My floors just laugh.
I think I’d need a maid on staff.
Bottoms of socks collect it well
To taunt me when I sit a spell.
Martha Stewart would have fled
(Don’t tell her I didn’t make the bed).
But that’s okay, can’t be depressed
With a dog at my feet and a cat on my chest.
So snuggle up and hand me a book.
As for the floors? We just won’t look.

Things That are Awesome About Teenagers: A Comprehensive List

I’ve noticed that more often than not when I get a compliment on my kids these days it is kind of coated in pleasant surprise that we all actually still like each other now that they are 16 and 13.  We’re right in the thick of the teenage years and I’m realizing that a lot of people are terrified by the thought.  Honestly I was one of them at one time.  I think that there’s this misconception out there that these years are destined to be full of angst and slammed doors and, well I’m just gonna’ say it…moody, hormonal assholes.  But I’m here to tell you that isn’t true.

I mean, okay maybe that’s sometimes true.  But they usually forgive me.  Badump bump.

Lean in and let me tell you a secret that is not often told: The teenage years can be really, incredibly awesome.  I’d even go so far as to say this is my favorite phase of parenthood yet.  Well, at least tied with that sweet, chubby, laughing baby phase.

Things That are Awesome About Teenagers: A Comprehensive List

1.  A teenager will NEVER wake you up at twenty til the buttcrack of dawn asking for Cheerios after she has kept you up all night insisting with a pouty lip that she needs to immediately watch The Little Mermaid for the eleventy-millionth time WITH YOU.

2.  Teenagers want to sleep in their own rooms…nay, in their own beds in a weird teenage blanket-burrito formation that keeps all their limbs neatly tucked in and will make you wonder why they didn’t sleep burrito style like that all the times they kept sneaking into your bed and somehow simultaneously stuffing one foot in your ear and another firmly in your crotch  while you prayed, “Just two solid hours of sweet, sweet sleep please God please.”

3.  If a teenagers spill something they can clean it up they dang selves.  What what.

4.  Teenagers do not demand to be carried, say, from the furthest point in the mall all the way to the car at the end of the parking lot.  They will willingly walk.  Unimaginable while you’re stuck in the toddler phase, isn’t it?  And even if they do get a little tired and over it, I have found that you can get them moving again by telling them that you think you saw a Starbucks near the entrance on the way in.

5.  You can share shoes and sometimes clothes.  I mean, they’ll always look better in them but let’s not focus on that.  This is a happy list.

6.  Teenagers can have actual meaningful conversations with you.  You know those days when you think that if you don’t get some grownup talky-time with someone who, say, doesn’t let their own nose drippings flow directly into their mouth that you might die by your own hands?  Boom!  You’ve got it!  Your teenager has real grownup thoughts and opinions on politics and religion and pop culture and love and there will be times when you will be stunned by the maturity and wisdom that just came out of the same mouth that just asked you how you tell if muffins look “done.”

7.  If they have a booger you can tell them and they’ll just, like, go handle that.

8. You can leave them home alone and go run errands, or get a pedi, or have a date night with your husband and not have to get a babysitter or worry that they might drown in a five-gallon bucket or stick their finger in a socket.  I know, that’s a revolutionary thought right now, isn’t it?   And moms everywhere shouted “FREEDOMMMM!”

9.  You realize that they are really growing into becoming their own person.  Not a mini-you.  Not a mini-him.  A separate, beautiful, independent and amazing person.  There will still be shadows and whispers of you and your spouse, to be sure, but there will be impressive and wonderful things there that you can take no credit for (believe me, I’ve tried. Nobody bought it) and you will marvel at them. This is when you realize your offspring aren’t merely little reflections of you, and that if you treat them as such you’re doing them a huge disservice (Btw, if you’re still doing that, stop it. Stop it now).

10.  Once they are 16 they can go to the grocery store for you when you forget the milk.  I don’t really feel like this one needs to be expanded upon.  It’s that obviously awesome.

I think that pretty much sums it up, but I reserve the right to add to this list often over the next several years.

Don’t fear the teenager, young moms.  And meanwhile appreciate those other stages too, because as much as I’m enjoying the now I don’t know that we ever stop longing for the yesterday too.  I guess that’s just part of it, isn’t it?

“Have You Vinegared the Cat Today?” and Other Weird Things I’ve Said Lately

A year or so ago we found ourselves with a tiny newborn kitten that my mom found in the Walmart parking lot.  He was so eensy that he looked like a bobble head, and we had to feed him from a bottle.  It was the cutest thing…until we realized that he was also too little to pee and poop on his own.

Oh,  you didn’t know that was a thing?  Well it is.  The mamma cat has to, uh…help them if you know what I mean and I think you do (it’s enough to make you thankful you’re a human mom and not feline mom, let’s just say).  So, several times a day we had to get a wet paper towel and kind of go to town on the kitten’s more delicate areas.  And it isn’t just like you can attend to this task half-heartedly.  There’s a certain way it has to be done to get any sort of result, and I might even go so far as to say it’s sort of an art form.  A sad, sad art form that leaves you feeling a little weird about yourself, but I digress.

As it happened, we had a beach vacation planned right in the middle of this kitten fostering and so we had to pack this eensy little guy up in a shoebox and head to Florida with him nestled in the back seat.  We stopped in the parking lot of a Zaxby’s on the way and the girls were arguing over who had the last kitten bathroom duty and I snapped, y’all, and out of my mouth flew the following sentence:

”ANNA CATHARINE, TAKE THAT KITTEN AND GO POOP IT RIGHT NOW, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?”

As soon as it left my lips we all stopped and stared at each other for about five beats of silence and then cracked up simultaneously.

To date that had held the title of The Weirdest Thing I’d Ever Said.  Until now.

Jolene the foster cat has ringworm.  I think.  Either ringworm or cat leprosy, which I don’t think is a thing but can’t be sure.  And look, I’m all about giving this hussy a temporary home until she has her babies and all, but I’m not super down with taking her to the vet and incurring expensive vet bills if I can help it (Before you judge me, remind yourself that I’m housing a stray pregnant cat with ringworm.  Give a girl a break).  I did a little Googling and vinegar is good for treating ringworm so twice a day I say the following as if it’s the most normal thing ever:

“Has anybody vinegared the cat today?”

This is what it’s come to, people.

Also, I just realized we’ve turned “vinegar” into a verb.  Somebody call Webster’s.