Time Well Spent

I’ve been hanging with #5 today. He’s taller every time I see him, which right now is only every Sunday. He’s fourteen. A freshman. Still chatty. He’ll hug me again now, but only sideways and only as long as I don’t make eye contact with him.

Now, I don’t know if this is a boys vs girls thing, or a unique characteristic to #5, but holy cow he’s a space cadet right now. At least, I hope it’s just right now. I hope that it’s a phase and not the permanent state of things. It’s truly remarkable, the private world he lives in.

Yesterday he had a morning scouting event. He knew he’d be getting home after the rest of us had left for work, and before Kelsey* came. Yet, he neglected to bring his house key.

He called me when he was locked out to see when I’d be back.

We have a shared online family calendar. Each family member’s activities are indicated by their own colored dot (the dogs have a dot too, as does Kelsey. There are a lot of dots). I actually keep it updated and do nifty things like send reminders to everyone for events such as trash day– reminders which are promptly ignored. #5 can view, with two swipes on his phone, where everyone is right now. Besides this completely functional calendar, there is the fact that I’ve been in production ALL YEAR. If it’s not Sunday, and it’s not between the hours of 12:30am and 6am, I’m either at work or in transit.

Also? When I’m not in production, at 2pm on any given Saturday, I’m doing a show. That’s been my schedule for roughly the past 20 years. I can see how he might not have that down yet.

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This morning, I had a couple songs from Daydream Nation stuck in my head. Since I had to work at my computer in the dining room, I set up a Sonic Youth station on Pandora. I knew it wouldn’t go well for long, but I got excited when “Teenage Riot” was the first song played. We sat at the table, me doing the budget and #5 doing homework while it cycled through Pixies and Nirvana and then started going south. Finally, he spoke up.

#5: So, what genre is this exactly? Because it sounds like pain and suffering. This music is the end of the movie where people are dying and everyone is losing things.

 

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#5 operates under the delusion that it is possible to half-ass the chore of taking the dogs out. He believes he can take one dog out and not the other, or else not give them the time required while outside to complete all the items on their to-do list.

But the Puggles would make awful drummers. Their timing is terrible.

If you take only one dog out, the other one runs to the window exactly 45 seconds after you’ve shut the door. When you take the second one out after bringing in the first, the first one watches from the window and then when you return, attempts to convince you that they weren’t finished and need to go back out. If that dog happens to be Casey, it’s true. She needs approximately six times as long as Jack to figure things out when she’s outside. This one-in-one-out routine can go on all day.

But every single time one dog is asking to go out, #5 takes only that dog.

This morning, #5 took Jack outside. Like clockwork, Casey ran to the window and stared out. I figured I’d stop it all mid-cycle and harnessed her up. I went outside with her, told #5 she was feeling left out and handed him Casey’s leash.

Passed him the leash with the dog attached to it.

Which he reached out and took from me.

I’d scarcely sat back down when he came back in with them.

Me: Thanks, bud. Did Casey go?

#5: What?

Me: Did Casey go? You didn’t have her out there very long.

#5: I didn’t take Casey out.

There followed a back and forth, with me recounting to him the story I just told here. Afterwards, he just stared at me, totally not believing me.

#5: How is it even possible that you handed me Casey’s leash and I didn’t even see her?

Me: That is an excellent question. Welcome to my world.

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September 2006

 

*Kelsey is our main Adult In Charge. That’ll be another post sometime.

 

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Sh*t My Dogs Eat, Part Deux

Twins have a thing. A true DNA-level psychic connection, where they can directly sense thoughts or feelings from their siblings, no verbal communication necessary.

The Puggle and the Fuggle don’t really look anything alike, but they often have the same movements. They’ll sleep in the same shapes and change position at the same time to another same shape. They do the same pug head tilt, the same beagle tracking sniffs.

And they’re geniuses at conspiring together to steal food. They like Milkshakes, icing, and gravy, but they’re really not picky. The phrase, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” only pertains to your idea of what the dog should learn. A dog can come up with plenty of new shit if left to its own devices.

CC and I are both in production right now on new shows, which means nobody’s cooking. Yesterday he ordered the kids a surprise pizza from work and had it delivered. They were pretty thrilled (bonus garlic knots and all).

Everybody got a piece of pizza. What happened next depends on who you talk to.

Jack swears he had nothing to do with it. He only had to pee.

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Fire safety is very important and I had nothing to do with the pizza.

 

#4 claims that Casey got a piece of pizza and took it into the crate.

 

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What?

#5 revealed that Casey pulled the entire pizza box down off the counter, causing the remaining half of it to land cheese-side-to-the-floor and then stole the piece that was witnessed by #4.

When questioned how Casey managed to access the pizza box, #5 blamed Jack for having to go outside. He took Jack out and his sisters, in typical sisterly fashion, let him do all the work and stopped paying attention to anything beyond their phone screens, including any errant Puggling sounds.

Because God knows shit like this never happens at our house and it’s totally okay to check out like that.

#5 also neatly tossed #4 under the bus for getting mad at him for throwing away the three remaining slices that landed tits-up on the kitchen floor.

Casey’s not talking. She’s got a belly full of pizza and is remarkably unconcerned.

Nothing about this story surprises me.

Last summer, CC grilled a gorgeous side of salmon on a cedar plank for the kids’ dinner. The babysitter left to take #5 to scouts and came back to discover a $90 broken plate and a distinct absence of an ENTIRE SIDE OF SALMON. This was the day we discovered Casey had yet again increased her vertical reach.

Shortly after the salmon incident, I had a chicken dish in the slow cooker. It smelled pretty good when I left for work. #4 made some iced tea and left the 10-pound bag of sugar sitting on the counter. I’m still not entirely clear on why a 10-pound bag of sugar is an iced tea requirement, but the Puggles smelled chicken and grabbed the thing that was within reach.

Then #5 sent me this video, which made me happy that we finally got him a smart phone.

 

One and Done Sunday: Apocalypse Edition

Hey. It’s One & Done Sunday. One picture, and five links that are worth your time.

Friday night, only #4 and I were home for dinner. I still cooked for an army, because everyone shows up eventually– plus#4 is our only kid who eats, and she ate about half of what I made anyway (not coincidentally, she’s the only one who is strong and tall). After dinner, I took the puggles for a walk and when I came back, something was wrong. I couldn’t immediately put my finger on it, but I knew something was off, and it wasn’t just that the house was nearly empty and nobody was screaming.

My sense of unease had me on guard, checking around corners and under the furniture until I came to the kitchen.

Then I saw it. The source of my feelings of not-rightness.

#4 had cleaned up the whole kitchen while we were out, without being asked.

While it seems likely that she has either done something or wants something, it’s been over 48 hours and I have no evidence to support this. I can only assume that this, then, is the first sign of the apocalypse.

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One Picture.

If Jack had a school picture, this would be it:

 

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Five Links:

This most definitely does not get a PG rating, and I laughed my ass off for pretty much this whole video. Don’t Shoot the Mermaid is a British female sketch comedy trio, and this is their video Does This Mean We’re Gonna Have Sex?

My show performed in Bryant Park this week with a few others as part of the summer lunch series there.  There was only one act with a live band, and some of the most interesting sounds were rolling off the back of the stage. When I asked our publicity manager who they were, she sent me this link for what has to be the strangest idea ever for a musical. I’m totally on fire to see it now: Revolution in the Elbow of Ragnar Agnarsson Furniture Painter.

Another act got my attention shortly thereafter when two of their shirtless performers were waiting for their entrances in the wings. Theater isn’t like a normal workplace environment; being shirtless happens. Frequently. However, when all of the other actors are standing around saying “Holy crap! Did you see these guys?” they truly are a marvel. Forget 6-pack abs; think 8-pack. They were from the 50 Shades parody, which made me think immediately (after I was capable of cognizant thought again) of your next link: Dave Barry Learns Everything You Need to Know About Being a Husband From Reading 50 Shades of Grey.

Slug Solos on Tumblr. Because some guitarists’ solo faces look like they’ve just realized they’re holding giant slug creatures.

The last link is another video: Motherhood by Annie Baria on Funny Or Die. I missed the whole baby phase of things and it was never on my to-do list, namely because I imagined it being exactly like this video. Except not that funny. It’s a good thing I also knew nothing about teenagers back then.

Happy Sunday.