I still find it a little weird that I have a house cleaner. The narrative I've created about Zana is that she was a doctor in the old country, Ukraine, and she's going to school again so she can practice in the states. She's funding this endeavor by saving me from stepping on legos and cleaning my bathrooms. Besides my newfound knowledge that it's not THE Ukraine, my only connection to the Putin craziness is Zana's hypothetical family back there. I texted her.
Liz: I keep worrying about you and the Ukraine/Crimea. It's such a wretched situation. I'm so sorry if you have family in crisis.
Zana: Liz, thanks for your worrying, but I am from Lithuania - is located much north. But I am also appraised. Thanks
Liz: Oh phew! Erin said you were Ukrainian! (or maybe she said Lithuanian and I turned it into Ukranian because I'm a terrible listener.)
Zana: Don't worry. Lithuania and Ukraine sound similar.
I find that conversation almost as humiliating as paying a doctor who is older than I am to clean my house.
The lipstick Zana will be scouring off of our bathroom vanity
It gets worse. My now friend, Sharon, who saved Jack Peter and Sage on the street when Tim left them there thinking that the bus had picked them up when they'd actually missed it, is taking time off. She asked me if she could help me out in any way. She did some packing at the studio for me, but once again, I feel weird asking someone who is older than I am who is an accountant to do manual labor. I didn't, however, feel odd asking her to get new windshield wipers for the Mini Cooper. I bought new ones in January because the thing was a deathtrap every time it rained because the wipers were so ineffective. I had the new ones installed at the garage when I was getting the car inspected. The new ones were the top of the line from Pep Boys. They turned out to be CRAP! They were falling apart straight away, and they didn't wipe for shit. Tim and I had both pulled over multiple times to push the bit that was flying off of the wiper back on in hopes that they would wipe better.
Sharon went into Pep Boys armed with the receipt from January. It's now April. She asked if it was possible that they were defective and could she exchange them. The Pep Boy guy said, No! It's been such a bad winter. With that kind of weather you need to replace them more often. Appeased, she bought a new pair, and they sent her around to the service department to get them installed. She pulled up and handed them to the guy. He said, Why are you getting new wipers? The ones you have are brand new! She said, They don't work! He said, You didn't take the plastic off! I'm so glad I sent her. I would have been more pushy about demanding a new pair for free. That would have unfolded badly.
I find myself singing the oscar-winning Frozen song a lot. LET IT GO! LET IT GO! It's so irritating, but it's replaced Taylor Swift as our family soundtrack. If geography and basic mechanics are eluding me, I really don't think I need to be letting anything more go.
Speaking of letting go, Charlie Tepper, a kid at Toby's daycare exploded right in front of me at story time. He looked up, and I somehow knew he was about to vomit. I watched in horror as gallons of orange liquid flowed from his little 2-year-old mouth. I was reeling for a couple of days. Steel got the tummy bug, but she was such an olympic puker. The first puke was in the shower; the second and third were in the car, but she managed to contain all of it in a single blanket. The final puke was in my studio, and she made it to the toilet even though vomit on the floor there would have been easy to clean up. I have no recollection of Jack Peter ever puking, and Toby only did it when she was a baby and there was too much booze in her breastmilk or when she had a concussion. I couldn't figure out how we'd escaped the kind of Charlie Tepper combustion I'd witnessed. It finally dawned on me. I'VE BEEN STARVING MY CHILDREN! Charlie Tepper puked more in that one sitting than my kids have eaten in a week-aggregate. It's too late now. They are used to eating 1200 calories in a week. I'm just finally understanding why pretty-big Tim, and massive me have kids that are little. Like the malfunctioning windshield wipers, it's good to know the answer, but it's still kind of a bummer.
The best pukers in Philly.
Another news story I've been following is the legalization of pot. I've been all for it. The whole issue of kids smoking pot never seemed like a big deal to me, but all of the research points to the fact that until the age 25, your brain is still developing, and pot messes up that process. I've been trying to blame my idiocy on pre menopause and hormones. It's a heartening point of view because the subtext is that I'll get my Herculean mental powers back as soon as I stop menstruating for good. Now I have to embrace it as a permanent condition. At least I'll have the knowledge to know when my kids are stoned, so maybe I can step in for them. My mom did not see my standing in front of the open fridge with girlfriends scooping handfuls of home-made strawberry kiwi trifle into our mouths as an indication of anything odd.
I wonder if pot is legal in Lithukrania.
We aren't going to Lithukrania, but we are going to Brussels and Aachen Germany. This would have been my passport photo had I been smart enough to figure out how to print it.
The Dad tattoo is the only visual I have of Tim. I should take more pictures of him.
Watch out, kid. I had Certificates of Excellence back in the day.