Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The death of Meap.

Grace's fish died over the weekend. It was suicide. We were out of town, my brother was tasked with coming to feed the fish, and it was he who discovered the body of Meap just outside the aquarium. The aquarium does have a lid on it, but I suspect Grace forget to close it before we left. Meap threw himself out of his home. Maybe it wasn't suicide - maybe he was looking for adventure (this is what I told Grace ).

Now Meap was a crazy mother f*%&er. He would bash his body around the tank, against his walls, and glare at poor Ariel (Edie's fish, in the aquarium beside him). Luckily Ariel is much like Edie, oblivious to threats and stare-downs, happy to swim around and catch glimpses of her reflection.

When we picked up Grace from her grandparents, I walked her to the gate to tell her the news. She howled noooooo! and started to cry. When coached to the van, the DS was left untouched and books unread. It broke my heart to look to the back of the van and see her tear streaked face, processing the loss of her fish. I crawled to the back of the van (ew) and sat between her and Edie, arm wrapped around Grace, trying to console.

This is Grace's first experience with death. We didn't sugar coat it, it's all part of life. We did offer to buy a new one, to which she said yes, but not for another week, as she wants to think about Meap.

Meap is currently in our freezer, awaiting his final fate. There is talk about a proper funeral, but because it is the haunting season, Grace fears his spirit may come and haunt her from the garden. There was also talk of a good old fashioned flushing, but that seems so undignified for the Mighty Meap Who Took a Leap. There is also talk of putting him under the microscope - a pretty good indication to me that the mourning session is almost complete.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Small things.

My house is like any other house with kids I'm sure. I puncture my feet on Lego that is left lying around, the sight of Polly Pocket shoes lying on the ground makes me twitch a little and while I have made the girls' dirty laundry hamper entirely accessible, welcoming and even a little fun, I still find dirty socks rolled up like donuts (one was stuck on a door handle the other day - yuck!) and underwear strewn on the ground. I nag constantly for the girls to pick up after themselves, and cackle when I hear their reaction down the hall to me putting all their dirty underwear on their pillows (yes I'm evil). I put more pressure on Grace to keep things tidy because she's older and should be helping out more. Edie I pressure, but pulling her down from whatever cloud she is visiting is too damn difficult sometimes.

The battles are not epic, but I do feel a little like Cinderella at times cleaning up after everyone all the time, with no respect or a thanks Mom youarenice comment. I also snap about once a month a show them a little crazy and get them to clean and put away their "treasures" (oh yes, everything is a "treasure", god forbid you suggest throwing it out or giving it away).

The other morning I had to pick up my boss in my van. Now, my van is a petrie dish. I don't go beyond the front seats. There is likely primordial ooze bubbling in the back seats somewhere. Gollum would be perfectly at home in one of the two rows reserved for the 8 and under crowd - I wouldn't be surprised if I turned around and saw him sitting on a booster seat playing DS. There is a garbage bag provided to them to dispose of their debris, but to rub salt in the wound, I often find wrappers on the floor, a quarter inch from the provided bag. I just don't look anymore to save me from having a complete aneuryism.

The day I was picking up my boss though, I was dropping the girls off at school first. Thinking about the boss man's comfort in my mini-van I took a quick look in the back and am pretty sure I dropped a big old f-bomb in reaction to the mess back there. Grace asked what was wrong and I not so calmly told her I was picking up my boss in 15 minutes and the state of the van could make him question the hygiene of our family. Do you know what that kid did? She calmly began cleaning the van, quietly placing all the garbage in the bag, not even complaining that she was picking up her sister's trash. It was tidy within five minutes. The only thing left to pick up was my jaw off the floor.

I love it when they surprise you like that.