Friday, October 22, 2010

Unicorns, Tears and Ho Bags: A Day in the Life

It's funny how, as a parent, any particular day can be going just damn swimmingly until suddenly, it's decidedly not and OHMYGODCHILDLORDGIVEMETHESTRENGTHNOTTOLOCKYOUINTHECLOSET.

See? Funny. HILARIOUS.

Yesterday I dropped my eldest--Plus One-- at preschool, then came home with T9 to clean up and such in preparation for the husband's homecoming. He's been gone guys. For a month. That's years in solo-parenting. Anyway, the morning was splendid. I scrubbed bathtubs, interacted in a meaningful manner with my two year old, and even started breading a herd of unicorns I found feeding in the back yard.

After a few hours of this, we headed back to the school to pick up Plus One. T9 and myself hung out in the hallway along with the other parents and preschool artwork that adorned the walls. And after only a few minutes, everyone was AWWWW!ing over my youngest, who was chanting for his beloved brother to emerge. He calls him "brother," you see because he hasn't yet mastered his real name, but I appreciate that because it helps me maintain their anonymity here without much awkward explaining and nicknaming.


Anyway, the kid is chanting like a lovesick puppy after being away from his big brother for TWO HOURS, and when Plus One's head finally bounced out the door of the classroom, they ran toward each other with laughter and smiles, embracing and saying things like "BRAVAH!" and "BABY! I MISSED YOU SO MUCH!" At this point, a mother started weeping at the pure beauty of the moment and out of the corner of my eye, a dad looked at his own child with dejection.  I decided to ask the boys to reenact the scene, but this time in slow motion while I play some Kings of Leon in the background, and this time guys? Maybe some tears?

When we got in the car, I decided to test our luck at the library. I had some books due on Friday and thought WHAT THE HEY! We pulled into a prime spot in front of the old building and the boys held hands as we walked through the parking lot.  Once inside, I slipped the books out of my eco-friendly bag, set them on the front counter, and lead the boys toward the kids' section. Now, HERE guys, is where my Earth shifted a bit, sending the unicorns sprinting back to the forest with panic as the rainbows and lollipop clouds popped like bubbles out of the sky.  In a heartbeat, I was chasing T9 through the stacks, hushing his squeals of "MOORE! MOOORE DOOOK!" with fairly loud and frantic whispers.  Suddenly, another fire sprouted up when I heard Plus One loudly lamenting that they didn't have his preferred title, a fictionalized literary work he dreamed up in the car titled, When Batman Catches that Guy with the Boxes.

For the love of god, it was time to leave.

I grabbed some Halloween books and dragged my forlorn crew to the counter.  Initially, I set T9 down in order to procure my library card, but he instantly sprinted to the rotating display of romance novels with an eye for destruction. So I dropped the books and card on the counter, scooped him up, and headed back to the stern-looking librarian. It was at this point that T9 took my face in his hand in what I thought was going to be another SWEET AS HELL gesture, but rather, he palmed my head and started shoving me backwards. I stood there, squirming like a cat with a tube sock on his head, ultimately setting him on the floor to regain bodily functions.

TIME OUT, T9.  I set him against the desk and he commenced his faux wailing.  Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed Plus One still wimpering about the non-existence of his MOST FAVORITE BOOK EVER and quietly scowled to myself.  A line was forming. And OHMYGOD is it hot in here?

Looking up to the librarian with exasperation and a pleading smile for SEND BACKUP, she simply eyeballed me disapprovingly.

Her: You have a late fee for $2.25.

Me: [Sweating. Panting. Half bent over, keeping a thumb on a wily child.] For what?

Her: [Reading through the titles I just returned. Clearly ANNOYED.]

Me: [Confused.] But those weren't due until Friday, though.

Her: [Heavy sigh. Labored adjustment of spectacles.] No, ma'am. They were due back in early October.

Me: [Now lurching toward the floor and back in a tug-of-war with said wily child.] But I renewed them online!

Plus One: [Wimpering turning to full-fledged tears and a distinct WHHAAAAAH.]

T9: [Beginning to climb my leg and, wait, nope, yes, he's BITING ME IN THE THIGH.]

Her: Well, it's not showing up on MY computer, so I JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO TELL YOU.

Me: [Shaking the baby from my leg and balancing on my other foot while eyeballing Plus One with that YOUSTOPITRIGHTNOW look.] Well, I don't have any cash on me...I...I mean...I could run to the car?  Or...geeze...[WAIL!WHIMPER!CHOMP!]

Her: [HEAVY MOTHERFUCKING SIGH] Well, I guess I can waive it for you THIS TIME.  [EYEROLL. Oh yes, the old ho bag still has it, folks.]


Her: ...

Me: ...

Her: [Scanning the Halloween books into the apparently useless computer.] THESE are due back in three weeks. Make note of the date on your calendar, hmm?

Me: [*twitch* *spazz* be a good role model. be a good role model.] SURE THING MADAM LIBRARIAN. SURE FUCKING THING. HAVE A GODDAMN SPLENDID DAY, NOW, OK?!  OK! [*twitch* *spazz*]

I threw the books into the bag, scooped the children into a football hold and/or dragged them by the fingertips out the door where they proceeded to dash into oncoming traffic and toward roped-off construction areas. And rather than embracing one another with pure, childhood affection and saving each other from peril, these little piggies now smacked, screeched, and body slammed each other ALLLLLL the way home!

So, you know, I figure the day was pretty much a wash.


  1. What a nightmare. Librarians must lead the most miserable lives to cause them to act that way. And they must all be married to DMV workers.

    I am not happy to hear When Batman Catches That Guy With The Boxes is not a real book though.. would have been a great name for the follow up to When Batman Hangs Out With That Guy From Kinkos.


  2. I remember, with a large measure of fondness, calling the head of a daycare center a brood mare when she haughtily told me she had 8 kids of her own and I should listen to her about child rearing. Why this post reminded me of that incident is beyond me even.

  3. THIS... THIS reminds me why I never take my kids to the library. See, I knew it wasn't because I wanted them to be illiterate, its all about the sanity and the bitchy librarians. And the screaming. And the sweating. And the mood that drags behind you for hours afterward swearing that you will NEVER do that again. Until next time.

    I hope your unicorns come back.

  4. This was exactly my day Wednesday, except without the preschool and the siblings loving each other up. And the unicorns.

    And the husband.

    Anyways, Max and Elijah took off out the front door of the library while I was checking out. I ran after them and had to do the super embarrassing 'time out' in public.

    I put them on separate benches and then had to stand there for 3 and 5 minutes while everyone stared at me.

  5. Yet another example of what happens when the wrong person has just a little too much power. Stupid snotty librarian with her glasses and her sighing and her passive-aggressive barbs.

    It's not even 7 a.m. here yet, and you've already got me ready to drag a librarian into Thunderdome. Well played.

  6. I hope you don't mind my saying so, but this story was better than front-page news. I really enjoy your writing and especially the way you weave into it your graphic sense of humor. Have you thought about writing for T.V.? HBO, showtime you would be perfect. Have you seen the show Bored to Death? I think you would like it.

  7. WTH? Why don't I get unicorns?
    When The Girl does this, it's usually in Target. Lalala, wonderful Mommy Daughter shopping experience, then BAM! Instant whining flailing octopus in the middle of the store.
    And what the heck is it with librarians?? They make loan shark enforcers look soft.

    Ok, I'll go have some coffee & calm down now.

  8. OMG...I'm sorry to laugh at your pain but HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Ok, I'm done now. I don't have children...yet, so I can't really relate, but this makes me want to put off having them for a little while longer. Although the whole calling Plus One brother and running to him when he comes out of class is priceless.

  9. OMG, you capture the chaos, stress and even the joy of young parenthood SO WELL.

    But, um, why were you breading the unicorns? Were you going to deep-fry them? That's kinda cruel, doncha think? ;-)

  10. Best. Birthcontrol. ever.

    Love your blog, keep up it up!

    Freak show in Heels

  11. LOL okay, as a librarian myself, I must defend the profession. I don't know if librarians are just a different breed where the majority of you live, but I can tell you I am neither "stupid", "snotty", or "bitchy" LOL, and neither are the other librarians I've worked with. Nor do I lead a "miserable life". Wow. I'm a third generation librarian and my son is starting grad school in a couple of months and will be the fourth generation. I just had to chime in here; we aren't all the same. The majority of us are pretty cool people, actually. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. Come out to Arizona and I'll show you how it should be! =]

  12. You are freakin' hilarious. I'm really glad I found your blog :)

  13. the concept of renewing books "online" was probably lost on that ol' windbag. she was probably like "On line?! Bitch, you're ON LINE right now standing in front of me but that doesn't mean your damn books are renewed!"

  14. .........Am I the only one who noticed she's BREADING unicorns in the back yard? They must have been pretty stupid to have waited on the commotion to have run back into the forest. That unicorn meat must be tasty. What does it taste like?

    I wouldn't have even come out of the forest, if the clouds looked like lolly pops. I'd think I was on some sort of trip (again)

    Anyhoo. I think most folks with kids can relate. I was wondering what "ho bag" meant, now I know. The old bat probably doesn't remember when she had kids (they'd just invented the wheel!)

    Don't sweat the petty things. And don't pet the sweaty things.


  15. I saw the title and HAD to read this. You had me at "Ho Bag." Geez, who did this lady used to work for? The IRS. Being a librarian isn't a government job.

  16. It's good to know that my little one isn't the only one who has this hidden talent of sorts. I think it's in a child's DNA to screw with the parents from time to time.

  17. Been there, done that. Still haven't recovered.

  18. What an old bitch! I hope she gets the clap.

    Also, somebody totally needs to write that Batman book. I think it would be on par with The Long Halloween.

  19. Chiming in as back-up for Melissa F., (even though I don't know her ~ hi Melissa!) just to say, my librarians are cool.

    Plus, I feel your pain. It makes my head spin how wonderful these short people can be and how quickly they can turn into such mini-monsters. You would think I would come to expect it by now, but no. They pull me in every time with that "aren't we the cutest, smartest, sweetest, most wonderful people ever" bit.

    And just so you know, mine are ten and seven, which I suppose means that while certain things get easier (like trips to the library, which may explain why my librarians are cool), other things (like the trying to slash each other to bits for no apparent reason) don't get any better at all.

    Good luck!

    Thanks for the laughs.

  20. That is exactly why I make my wife take the kids to the library.

  21. My life is just like yours.... One day when i grow up I hope to be a librarian.

  22. Old school tactics, lull you into a false sense of security, wait until your feeling confident and drop your guard them, WHAM! sucker punch to the guts. They are clearly evil geniuses.

  23. I'm sorry. So, so, so sorry, but I have yet to meet a librarian who was anything but weird as hell. If I had to be that quiet all of the time, I would probably have my panties in a wad, too.

  24. Oh Lord. The leg biting really got me. Whenever something bites me I go into punt mode. Mostly because I've only been bitten on the leg by a dog.

    Maybe I shouldn't have children. Child protective services would be all over me punting babies.

  25. Librarians rock and everyone knows that. Right, Kristine?

  26. Sometimes life is just peachy keen.

  27. I don't think I like that librarian ho-bag very much-no not at all-in fact I'm sorry that you didn't grab her by her too-tight bun and slam her head into the counter. Now THAT would have been satisfying. I'm also sorry to hear about the loss of your unicorn herd-that just sucks.

  28. I hope you had a bottle of wine with the hubs when he got home. Mine goes out of town for about a week at a time, and I only have one kid, and I am usually suicidal about 2 days BEFORE he leaves. Good on you for not getting homicidal in the library!

  29. You are so bravely funny. I follow you faithfully. Don't stop now! Andrea

  30. When Batman Catches that Guy with the Boxes is my favorite of the 'Batman Catches the Guy' series. Those boxes, oh man.

  31. Kids and libraries. We want them to mix, but they just DON'T

  32. Heh. Cat with a tube sock. Heh... Gotta do that today for some laughs.

    On the kid front, it may not be a wash. Here's how to tell: How many people witnessed the brotherly love and were there more or less witnesses of the library incident? Do the math and if the love fest is over by at least 2 witnesses, then you can call it a GOOD day rather than a basic wash. It's simple math, really. ;)

  33. This was fantastic! Obviously not so much for you, but I'm wiping tears from the laughter. So glad I found your blog.

    BTW, my boys had a moment like that at church the other Sunday. It was ridiculously short lived though. Picked youngest up from his church room and he said "let's go find 'middle child'. He's my BEST friend!" Middle child comes from his church room and says 'Twitter! I'm so glad to see you!" By the time we got to the car they were bickering like an old married couple.

    I can't wait to read more of your stuff.

  34. This post was great! I really enjoyed reading it. You are a hell of a writer. I look forward to your future posts.

  35. I want to thank you, I thought it was a horrible thing to feel so badly about those kinds of incidents, now I know, from your posts and all the comments that this is what parenthood is. ( I honestly thought it was just me having these problems ) Time for an elective hysterectomy!

  36. I want to thank you, I thought it was a horrible thing to feel so badly about those kinds of incidents, now I know, from your posts and all the comments that this is what parenthood is. ( I honestly thought it was just me having these problems ) Time for an elective hysterectomy!

  37. Kids and libraries. We want them to mix, but they just DON'T

  38. I hope you had a bottle of wine with the hubs when he got home. Mine goes out of town for about a week at a time, and I only have one kid, and I am usually suicidal about 2 days BEFORE he leaves. Good on you for not getting homicidal in the library!