Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, September 29, 2003


Friday evening, got home and did stuff which I can’t remember, then got Boy ready for his practice. Off to the park, sat there in my chair with my newest magazine and watched his teammates act like…well, it might be better not to say. No one would want to see his or her sweet little boy compared to a capuchin monkey on crack, so I just won’t say that. Let’s just say they were rather more active and less attentive than usual.

I feel so sorry for Jonathan—he wants so bad just to play and not have to put up with dealing with these little d…arlings, but every practice, every game, they never get any better. ::sigh:: (That one’s from him this time.)

Wrapped up and back to the house, via the grocery store, we went in and picked up some salad for our special treat of Friday Pizza. Of course, by the time we walked in the door, it was nearly nine, so I just ate a hunk of tepid Domino’s, figuring I would eat some more for breakfast. (MMMmmmm—tastes just like college!)

Got into bed, forgetting to give the normal Friday Evening Instructions for Saturday Morning--Do not wake Daddy. Do not yell. Do not talk loudly. Do not turn on any radios, or CD players, or televisions, or electronic devices which beep, bloop, blip, honk, scream, ratchet, hum, whistle, ululate, talk, yell, sing, say the alphabet, howl, bark, meow, moo, cackle, pop, or otherwise wake Daddy when employed as designed by their manufacturers.

Which meant that before the rooster crowed on Saturday, I was awakened by “SHHHHHH!! YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THAT!! DADDY SAYS WE AREN’T SPOSED TO!!” “I msmkdhhshhlslsf shddhh sllswwwoeu…” “SSSSSSSSS SSSSHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHH!!! DADDY SAYS WE HAVE TO BE QUIET!! WHEN HE WAKES UP—YOU ARE GOING TO BE IN TROUBLE!!”

Mmph. Urghh. This went on for a couple of more times before I gently rolled out of bed (trying not to wake Reba) to go assert my dominance. You know, you would think a large, stumbling, disheveled, slovenly, ugly man in his underwear, suddenly appearing out of nowhere in a darkened house, would have a more frightening effect on little children.

“Hellllllowwww, Daddy! I told him he need to be qui…”

“Do. Not. Talk. Go. Back. To. Bed. NOW.”

I scootched back into bed and dropped back to sleep, only to be awakened shortly thereafter by more tumult. Up again, told them all to go to a neutral corner to be dealt with later. Eased back into bed, eyes closed, WHUMP—sheet comes over, Reba sits up, then goes to the bathroom. Oh pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease—water runs in sink, then the hairbrush starts. ::sigh:: Time to get up.

She went on downstairs and I got up and took my shower, came down to get myself some cold pizza, only to find that it was completely gone. Not even any bones left. Reba came out of the laundry room—“The washing machine is leaking.”

Let’s recap—Friday morning, shelf in laundry room collapses, Saturday morning, awoken at dawn by little children who, any other day of the week, are impossible to get roused, who then eat up all my precious pizza as if they were locusts attacking a wheat field, then the washing machine we just purchased a few months ago is leaking. And I still have a shelf to put back up. And Catherine’s complaining about her tummy. And we have to go to her game in an hour, because we’re supposed to bring the snacks.

“Okay. I’ll take a look at it.”

Mop up the floor with the towels which are still to be washed, unhook the hoses, lay the machine forward onto its front so I can see up under the bottom, annnnnd…a nice piece of corrugated metal firmly bolted to the bottom. ::sigh:: No seeing inside of that baby without major surgery. So, I put it back, hooked it up, and threw in the towels. Both physically and metaphorically. Didn’t know what was wrong, and didn’t rightly care. But, it worked fine. Go figure.

Then there was the task of getting us to the park. Cat got dressed under protest. She’d been complaining of general evil humours for a couple of days—cranky, ill-tempered. And Saturday was no different. But she got all dressed up. As did the rest of the kids. And I was already dressed. Ready to leave? Why, you silly person, you! Someone decided to shower and wash her hair and put on makeup right when it was time to leave!

“I don’t care. Take her on if you want. Whatever you want to do. Fine.”

Which, being translated, means the exact opposite.

So, I consigned myself to being late.

Of all the large buttons I have which are red and say “DO NOT PRESS”, this is one that gets the biggest workout. I really do not like being late. If I could be everywhere thirty minutes early, I would. I am trying to have an override button installed so I could counteract the huge amount of stress and adrenaline and throbbing arteries in my neck that the frequent pushing of this button causes, but so far there’s simply not enough room for one big enough. I have thought about simply hitting myself with a hammer.

Anyway, we got to the park with her game well underway, and Cat complained the entire time. Reba walked her around to her bench and told the coach she wasn’t feeling well, and to his credit he said she could play or not play. So she came back and curled up in one of our folding chairs with her butt hanging out the side, staying that way most of the game. They did manage to win this time, which was nice for a change. Seems like it wound up being about 5-1 or so.

Back home, a little soup for lunch, which Catherine again seemed to not be enjoying, a bit more cleanup, marked the wall to install some more clips and get the shelf put back up (decided to put a whole bunch on there), then it was time to get ready for Little Boy’s game.

Back up to the park (blessedly on time, since everyone was already dressed and ready to go), and took our places. Oh. My. Jonathan’s team got beaten like a dirty rug. The other team was from Pell City, and although they were pretty good, we were simply terrible. It was blazing hot, and the boys weren’t passing the ball, or even really going after it at all, and the other team was.

Final score was 8-0, including one goal they managed to score by kicking it in close to the sideline (not a particularly hard kick) and one of our players tried to block it with his knee but only managed to bunt it into our goal as our keeper stood there looking at it roll by. ::sigh:: The little boy who deflected it in was Little Boy. He tiny little heart was very hurt. But it was still early in the game when that happened, and after they scored all those other points I think he figured out that his one really wasn’t that big of a deal. If nothing else, Catherine seemed to have perked up a bit while it was going on, and even managed to enjoy a chicken sandwich.

Home again, started getting everyone cleaned up and their dirty clothes off, discussed going to the hardware store later, did some other stuff (consisting of going out to the church building to have a teachers meeting with all the new ones for the upcoming quarter, of whom only FOUR came—and I even brought Snickers!), then got back home around 4:30 or so.

I was standing there in the kitchen with Reba discussing my non-meeting when all the sudden Catherine comes pounding around the corner out of the den headed toward the downstairs bathroom—head down, chubby little arms pumping furiously, just about to turn the corner at the refrigerator and—blupblurpBLUH BWUUUUUGHGGGGGHH… BluuHHHH-UUUUGGGGHH… Ooo.

One of those memories I had repressed from years ago when they were little—the running upchuck. All in the floor. Up the cabinet. On Reba’s laptop from work. Into the bookbag on the floor. Onto the Igloo cooler. On the rug. On her. Around her. Eww.

Cat started crying and we told her to hold still so for some reason she plopped down in the floor. Poor thing—and she was still going. Breakfast, lunch, soccer park food, a 1987 Illinois license plate, all displayed in living color there on the floor.

And then there was the waterworks. As she sat there, sniffling, crying, a clear puddle gently spread outward from her bottom. Yep. She had been trying to get to the potty, after all. No use just re-living one repressed memory from early daddyhood—might as well get them all.

Plenty of paper towels and stifled gag reflexes later, we had her somewhat cleaned up enough to go finish her off in the shower. “Hey, when you make that trip to the hardware store, get a real mop.”

I had to laugh. Reba has a thing about getting these worthless, do-nothing gadget mops that are more of an annoyance than anything else, but I think she has been loathe to admit they are not intended for actual use. So she finally had an excuse for a real live, honest-to-goodness yarn mop with a stickball bat for a handle. And a bucket. “Okeedoke. Be back in a bit.”

Off to the hardware store. Mop, bucket, shelf clips. Home, check on Baby Girl, who was now freshly scrubbed, fluffed, pressed, and folded. Mopped the floor with vigor and Pine Sol, reinstalled the shelf (and will take Larry Anderson’s suggestion of using a nice stout timber under the freestanding end), and finished getting the rest of them dunked and cleaned.

And then it was time to present the valuable prizes—I had also stopped along the way back for six cupcakes and some ice cream for someone who today is eleven years old. She had been pestering us all day to let her open her presents Saturday, so after they were all bathed and pajamaed (the kids, not the presents), we let her at them (the presents, not the kids). She seemed to enjoy her gifts immensely—a couple of CDs, a DVD, some books, and a couple of little racks to put her CDs in. She was in high cotton and jabbering a mile a minute.

And she’s growing up. You notice, no dolls. And she shed no tears about not getting no dolls. Oh, she still loves to play with them, and has scads all over the house, but still.

She’s growing up.

Got them into bed in a bit, then I collapsed into bed like Lil’ Abner, then got up again sometime early Sunday to get ready for church.

Again, since this was not Saturday, it was nearly impossible to get anyone to wake up. And they seem to be impervious to the things that work on me.

Finally up and out the door, on to church, finish up with my 5th and 6th graders, run around trying to find the folks who didn’t come to the meeting on Saturday so as to berate them and mock them sorely and rail against them with mighty words, then it was time for worship. That one hour of peace and quiet sure is nice. Even with everyone climbing over me to go to the restroom.

Home, with only enough time for Bec to run in and get on her uniform for her soccer game, then straight back to the park. Got a snack for the little ones, then went on over and set up our row of chairs again.

This game turned out much better than Jonathan’s. The other team had not played on a field as big, and tended to clump up a bit, while our girls finally got to where they could pass the ball around comfortably. Final score was 6-1. Rebecca got a couple of good kicks in and an assist on a goal, so she was tickled pink. Afterwards, we went and got some lunch over at Applebee’s. I don’t know why. I vaguely remember getting good service at some point in the past. Or maybe not. In any event, our waitress was a study in polite, deadpan, distractedness. The food was good enough to eat. Even for Catherine, who, although still a bit off her feed, finally decided she was hungry.

Back home to change and let Rebecca wash away the grime, then back up to church for them to study their Bible Bowl questions and let me run off a bunch of stuff on the copier, then it was once again time for another hour of peace and quiet.

Then home, some supper, then to bed.

And now for some blessed peace and quiet while I go to lunch!

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