Monday, January 10, 2005

How I got sick

I love a good quote, so here's one to start off tonight's drivel. For fun, see if you can guess what movie I recently watched:
"When someone tells me they are happy, my ass begins to twitch."

Ok, if you guessed right off the bat that it was Winston Churchill shoot yourself in the face you silly English-speaking person.

Now that Christmas is gone we can talk bad about it. First, what is up with the people who only put blue lights on their house? White lights I get- looks like icicles. Multi-colored lights- ok, it's colorful and festive. But just blue lights? You're creeping me out. You're almost as bad as the people who put the 2-3 fake candles in the window with the red-flicker bulbs.

How stupid am I? Get this, I willingly (read: there was guilt-involved) drove to my grandmother's house in Louisiana with my parents, knowing full-well that my 3-year-old nephew/godson would be in the car the whole time. Houston to Alexandria is about a 4.5 hour trip that took 6+ hours stopping at every McDonald's along the way. The kid didn't sleep at all, so I spent 12+ hours in a car with a 3-year-old. Now, I hope someday to be a father and have children of my own. But I will box them up and send them FedEx before I willingly spend that much time in a car with a 3-year-old ever again. To add insult to injury, I could have made the trip with my aunt & uncle and their 8-year-old and even returned home a day earlier. But we've established that I'm stupid...don't rub it in.

Christmas with my family isn't that bad I suppose. There's just a lot of sitting around doing nothing but making chit-chat with people who already know everything about you. There's an Indian casino down the road (aside: You anthropology/sociology majors will recall the 3 stages of Native American development- hunter/gatherer, farmer/planter, and craps/blackjack) but I have no money and, trust me on this, you don't want be indebted to CenLa Indians. On the plus side, there's a continual buffet of marginally-healthy food on Mawmaw's table. (aside: My editorial staff tried to squeeze in a butter-joke about the food being margerinely-healthy...we worked on it for about 20 minutes before giving up. Sorry.) Although the family is coon-ass through and through, there wasn't any good swamp-food on the table this year. In case you're not familiar with Louisiana cuisine, anywhere you find ankle-deep water, you'll find a coon-ass up to his knees looking for a meal. (aside: No lie, I saw a man in the ditch alongside the road with his trusty Zebco 404. Sad fact- I'm probably related to this man.) And you know how every family has it's played-out joke? Ours is that my grandfather once remarked, after a HUGE Thanksgiving feast, that the best part of the meal was the cantelope. Nevermind that his wife & my mother/aunts had slaved over the stove for hours, the cantelope was nice & juicy. So every year since his death, in homage to my Pawpaw, someone comments after the meal how good the cantelope is. (aside: There is actually a bit of a contest and jockeying for position in the lull of the apr├Ęs-feast conversation to be the one to spring this gem. Ed.- Please, no more asides in this paragraph.)

Come to think of it, my nephew did sleep in the car. He fell asleep on the way back somewhere around Baytown (less than 30 minutes from home) but woke up again roughly 15 minutes later. Now, my sister warned us that if he doesn't sleep he's fine, but if he does sleep and it's less than 2 hours he's going to be cranky. If I miss my favorite TV show, I'm cranky. If the grocery store is out of blackberry yogurt, I'm cranky. I know cranky and this kid was beyond cranky. Full-throated screaming and totally inconsolable to the point of being completely unable to communicate his specific displeasure. Fortunately Dad had the bright idea to pick up his cellphone and call my sister, to let him hear her voice and assure him that we'd be home soon. My brother-in-law answers and we explain the problem, then hand the phone to the boy. He listens for a second, then in a calm and rational (for a 3-year-old) voice says, "Daddy, I'm having a bad day."

And so, after 12 hours in a car with a snotty (literally) child, I got sick. The end.


At 6:15 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

I sympathize. Three-year-olds can be hell. I stayed for a week once with my brother when his daughter was three years old, and got to know what it feels like to be stalked. That kid followed me everywhere. She followed me to the TOILET, for fucks sake. It's really hard to do your business when a little voice keeps calling through the crack of the (firmly locked) door,

"... Badauntie? Haven't you finished yet? What are you DOING? Can I come in?"

(It's also hard to read the newspaper.)

I never learn, though. Last time I stayed with another brother, with two- and four-year-old boys who were not restrained from running wild because they were 'learning their boundaries.' I thought that was what parents were for. (Scream)

Becoming a Badaunt wasn't just a whim. I had reasons.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Mike said...

I love the bit about the development of the Native Americans. Nice.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Zelda said...

You couldn't pay me enough.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger mellancollyeyes said...

See? And people look at me like I'm crazy when I say, "I'm not really sure if I want to have kids."

My holiday drives will be filled with peace and quiet...

At 12:22 PM, Blogger Allie#3ga said...

ok - i have several points to make ... let's see if i can remember at least 1/2 of them.

1. i hate it when you're funnier than me
2. i stayed the weekend with a friends 5 year old and i'm reminded why i have NO kids
3. when road tripping, baby sitting, or you know you're going to be around a wee one for more than 20 minutes - i highly recommend the benedryl cocktail
4. quit taking so fuckin' long between posts :)

At 4:26 PM, Blogger Tasty said...

French Kiss. How I loved that idiotic movie. I LOVE Kevin Kline.

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Kate the Peon said...

Marginerly. I get it. Me likey.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger se7en said...

uhmm Zelda? they pay for that? humm i had no idea...

sounds like ya had a lot of fun on the roadtrip hehe

At 9:27 PM, Blogger tinyhands said...

Theic- There's something natural and comfortable about hating other people's children.

Mike- Really? My favorite was the Zebco reference.

Z- Too late, you're tainted with beautiful children of your own. Disregard the above comment ;)

Adrianne- You sure it's what you're saying that inspire the crazy looks?

Al- I may be funnier, but you've got better hair. It's just like "I'm a little bit country, you're a little bit rock-n-roll" but different.

Stacey- Gold star, my dear.

KtP- *curtsy*

Lucky 7- They don't pay for it in this country...we have laws.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Leese said...

tinyhands -- i can relate. i feel sorry for you. as a parent of a 3-year-old and a 4-year-old, please accept my deepest sympathies. it's bad enough when you have to listen and watch your own child's temper tantrums, but then that's your child whom you love unconditionally. listening to someone else's kid, however, is another thing. i love my baby cousins like crazy but i have a much shorter fuse with them than with my own kids.
i know my kids drive me over the edge when they wail. on long trips it's esp. difficult. when they do it at home i can at least lock myself up in the bedroom and take a five-minute breather to keep myself sane, but on the road, when you're in a confined space, it's another story.
i'm blabbing...


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