Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Love My Husband, I Love My Husband, I Love My Husband...

You know I love my husband, right? I mean, I've written a little about our relationship in the past and he's stuck by us through all the tough times we've had with Conor. We'll be celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary in February. So I don't say the following sentiment casually. But he's forced me to say the unthinkable.

Buying one of those discount store gingerbread house kits and bringing it into our home again should be grounds for divorce.

You know what I mean. The ones that slide apart at the slightest breeze. The ones that declare "Assembles in minutes!" when what they really mean is "Good luck, suck-ahs".  

On the box, it appears as if you can build one with all the talent of Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes, but in reality... 

Well, it looks like a 13 year-old with autism and his parents put it together.

Which is fine, totally, totally fine that it looks like Conor assembled the gingerbread house. I'm totally fine with it. Love it, love it. Except when he's not fine with it. Conor would like it to look like the picture on the box. Yeah, that ain't gonna happen, unfortunately. I'm just not artistically inclined, plus I have the patience of a gnat.

Conor fell in love with make-your-own gingerbread houses (bought at Target, of course, thank you) about three years ago. Initially, we thought it would be a fun, creative way to wile away some hours, a perfect marriage between his love of "cooking" and arts-n-crafts.  Fun with food! Whoopee!

At first, it went ok.  Then it quickly became apparent that putting together these gingerbread houses was not for the faint of heart. Armed with the dime store bags of frosting, we'd apply globs and goops of white, green and red frosting onto the inedible "gingerbread" walls and roof.

Please stay together, please stay together, please stay together, my husband and I would chant to the universe. (The gingerbread pieces, not our marriage I feel compelled to say.)

"Want the gingerbread house to not fall down!" Conor would implore loudly, getting more and more agitated.

We don't want that either, Conor, we would calmly say, gritting our teeth and exchanging knowing glances.  We're doing the best we can, honey.

Sometimes it would work out ok and the gingerbread house kit cooperated. (Usually after I beat it into submission.)  Sometimes it wouldn't, no matter how hard I pounded on it.  (Wait, maybe that's what I was doing wrong.)

Sometimes I snuck down to the dining room in the middle of the night and hot-glued walls to roofs and gumdrops to the chimney we had created. I wish I were kidding.

Sometimes Conor held himself together.  Often, he didn't. We'd keep buying these kits and trying to make them work for him. I don't know why we did. Except maybe that he was with me while I was trying to get some shopping done in Target and I would rather deal with a tantrum at home than a tantrum in public, I suppose. I shudder at the memories.

Last year, with Conor fresh off the NeuroBehavioral Unit and his community outings severely restricted, we didn't have to wrangle any of these diabolical gingerbread houses.  There were so many parts of Christmas that were hard last year, but, fortunately, discount gingerbread houses were not one.

So when my husband was preparing to go away for a few days of well-deserved respite in early December, he came home with these two gingerbread house kits "thinking," he said, (I don't think he was thinking at all) that they would be a fun activity to do while he was away.

My eyes almost bugged out of my head.

You brought WHAT into this house? And then you think you're just gonna leave?
Good lord, man, have you gone MAD?!? You know not what you are doing! Begone with those evil gingerbread houses and I banish you to the closet! 

Ok, we hid the boxes in the closet, I didn't really make my husband hide in the closet. Which was great, until Conor found the boxes.  (Guess we didn't hide them very well.  It's hard, he's such a Sneaky Suzy, my little Conor.)

Fortunately for me and Paisley, Conor didn't find the gingerbread house kit until his dad came home. He came charging into the kitchen, with the box banging around the back of his knees, gasping "Let's put the gingerbread house together!"  I gave my husband the stink-eye and smiled sweetly at Conor.

"Sure, honey," I said sweetly.  "Your dad would be happy to help you put that together."  

And they did. 

(Ok, I might have pitched in a little too. After all, my hubby and I are in this thing together, come hell or gingerbread house kits.)

And last night, at midnight, I snuck down into the dining room and hot-glued the walls back up. They were crumblin' down. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ready, Aim, Fire

Yesterday I walked into my bathroom and caught Conor standing four feet away from the toilet taking a whizz. (I was eyeballing it, didn't get my ruler out, forgive me.)

As soon as he realized I was there, he quickly walked a few feet forward, whizzing all the way.

I reckon he's trying to figure out how far away from the john he can stand and still hit the mark. To top it off, he didn't even bother to lift the seat.


Sunday, December 02, 2012

Oh, More Coffee? Thanks!

My loving husband bought me a Keurig for my birthday, and Conor has totally, completely, unequivocably fallen in love with this wundermachine. My son now brings me cup after cup of coffee without even asking if I want one.

VoilĂ ! Here is your coffee, Mum! He programs the machine, knows exactly how much sugar to put into my cup, picks out a flavor, and he dutifully stirs it as he brings his little button nose down for a sniff.

This new habit? 

I'm going to be getting lots of writing done. 'Cause I'm going to be awake until next week, I've drank (drunk?) so much coffee. He keeps bringing me more coffee and more coffee and more coffee and more coffee. Which is totally cool. Totally cool. I'm drunk with coffee!

Would you look at that! 

Oh, that sweet thing, he's brought me a new cup just now without me even having to ask. No worries that it's five o'clock in the evening and I'm supposed to be going to bed in five hours and everyone knows you're not supposed to have coffee after 4:00pm, c'mon, please. The way I see it, this new habit is totally cool 'cause I'm going to get so much done around the house with all the extra not-sleeping time I'll have, and when I can't sleep at night I can totally go upstairs to my office and just write my little heart out.

Wait.  Did I already say that?

Maybe I can now write a book, or at least a column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine (not that they've asked), or I can write an article and submit it to Real Simple magazine (I'm totally addicted to that magazine and its vision of perfection) and I can 
dĂ©coupage all my Instagram pictures onto a picture frame for Conor's room and who wouldn't just love that?

Continuous coffee consumption (say that ten times fast) will allow me to lie awake at night for hours and hours and hours just imagining the little coffee bar/gallery/bakery/record shop that Conor's going to open when he's an adult and doesn't go to school anymore and can't find someone else to get him a job and we'll still be taking care of him ourselves, all by ourselves.  After all, he likes to bake, he likes to create, he likes coffee, he likes music--score!

So, really, I can only really think of a couple, no, a few downsides to this much continuous coffee consumption (say that ten times fast). Wait, did I already say that?

For example, these K cup things?  They put a hurtin' on your wallet akin to the laminating sheets that I'm required to buy because, well, I'm the Laminator!

Don't get me wrong, I was all for this miraculous piece of equipment that delivers the nectar of the gods within a few moments. (Did you think my husband thought of this wonderful birthday present all by himself?  Pfffft, silly.)

You're so silly.
But I was hoping this machine would actually help us save money because my husband is we're at the Starbucks on the corner all-the-live-long-day, if you catch my drift.

Second, the K cups are bad for the environment.  They take up space in the landfill and they're not easily recycled and global warming and all that jazz. So Conor's new little habit that we're feeding will create mounds and mounds and mounds of blech in a landfill.

Third...  hmmmm, there was a third, I know there was a third.  Oh!  Yeah, right, and third, we all know that I have, shall we say, a touch of anxiety that I medicate with a cocktail of bigpharma meds and, well, cocktails. I'm no doctor but I'm thinking that all this caffeine isn't going to make me feel more zen, if you know what I mean, I know you know what I mean, right, you know?

The way I figure it, all this extra coffee means that I'll just have to enjoy that much more Pinot Noir at night.  You know, to take the edge off. Of course, I could just start buying decaf, but really, where's the joy in that?

You know what I mean, right?