Monday, March 15, 2010

Everyone should get a turn...

A couple of days ago I had to clean Tsarina’s litter box. I have to do it every day and it’s no big deal. But TroubleMaker was watching me do it and started into his “DO IT DO IT!” This means he wants to do it. It means he really really wants to do it. I now have enough experience with tantrums to be sure of my interpretation of his phrase. Of course I couldn’t let him clean the litter box, he’s too little. But one day he will be old enough to take on chores like cleaning the litter box and I just want it on record he wanted to do it. He really really wanted to do it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A round of introductions...

Before we get too much farther down this road following my fascinating life experiences I think I should introduce the various members of our little nuclear family. This shouldn’t take too long nor should it displace too much of your own required knowledge.

The first member of the family, and the one you will likely read the least about, is Tsarina. She is a cat. A 10 year old cat with a bad attitude, although it can be difficult to distinguish a bad attitude from a good one within the realm of feline psychology but, I am sure hers is bad. It is not malicious, just selfish. The majority of her time is spent creating an annoying caterwaul at the most inconvenient times, looking for snuggles, again at the most inconvenient times, and annoying the dog.

The dog is Max. That is short for Maximilian Finnegan. Max is a Standard Schnauzer although through the years we have come to learn there is nothing standard about him. Every couple of years Max was supposed to hit a plateau recognizable by growth in his maturity. We’re still waiting for the first plateau. Still, Max is loyal, lovable and growing a little grumpy in his old age. In his 10 years Max has proven to be both a joy and comic relief. Max wants to spend all his time with the adults of the house, and this very much excludes the cat. If this country were half as civilized as we like to think it is Max would be able to accompany me everywhere I go during a typical week. We are not that civilized.

The next tallest member of the household is the toddler. He goes by the appellation TroubleMaker. I made the adjective a proper noun and rightfully so. In his almost 24 months of life in our house he has worked very hard to earn the moniker. He has proven that the modern toddler is the most destructive force in nature. When parents are warned to never leave their toddlers unattended it is really to ensure the survival of civilization. What do you think really brought down Mordor? Don’t believe the official accounts. At the other end of the toddler experience continuum is the moment when, after concentrating to master a new skill he looks up at me and smiles with the pride of new found knowledge. Or when he is tired and wants to rest his head on my shoulder. With the simplest gestures he can melt his parents’ hearts.

His mother is my wife. At one time that might have been an obvious statement. It probably could have gone without saying but the world has progressed. My wife is a woman and although that too seems an obvious statement it does bear stating because there is a certain emphasis that needs to be emphasized. She is a woman and a lady. But I must leave off my description of her before too much is said and her ego is radically affected.

And so we get to me, the tallest member of the family, and how I got here, in this place at this time. I laid down one night at 25 years of age, a wounded young man with little idea of what was going on and woke up 25 years later as a father to a toddler, still wounded and still with no idea what was going on. I am working hard on figuring out what is going on.

So there are the major players, aside from some grandparents, in-laws, outlaws, drunks, dullards and a few reprobates.

In order to protect the innocent and those who need to be protected from themselves names will be withheld or modified. Of course identity theft, the newest paranoia, is not an entirely catastrophic event for a house cat or a maximum schnauzer. Their credit scores were never great anyway. So happy days and good reading.

How to make a redneck green...

Pepsico FritoLay has introduced a new compostable bag for their SunChips. Now you can feel good about tossing your garbage out the car window as you drive by.