Back in early July, I was on the edge. By Aug 1, I had reached the end of my rope. About a week later, I lost my grip and then sailed clear over the rainbow. And now, I’m headed off the deep end and picking up speed.
Why, you ask.
Because of the Wicked Witches. You know East, the misguided fashionista with the socks and dress shoes; and her sister West, eerie pallor, voice that could cut glass; or as they’re known in our house, the five TVs and the pile of laptops, tablets, and smartphones diabolically strewn about the kitchen counter, respectively.
Let Me Explain
I don’t just have smart phones. I also have smart kids. This is not a bragging point. It’s a lament. And come August, it’s a cry for mercy because as any parent with smart, and therefore insatiably curious and pathologically verbose children knows, smart kids are the universe’s gift to smart-mouthed parents, and the idle days of summer are when it really likes to drive the point home.
If you’re at all familiar with my column, then you know I have a pretty smart mouth. And if you’re new, please review all previous posts. Then hold onto your hat and take solace in the fact that I get EXACTLY what I deserve: two adorable members of the lollipop guild who indiscriminately absorb every wacko tidbit of celebrity gossip, opinion disguised as fact, marketing jingle, sound bite and piece of media-sponsored crapola they can get their sticky little, iPad-wielding hands on. They’re like super-sponges sucking up whatever touches them with no regard for logic, taste, or propriety.
Note I said, absorb, not process. No child can actually process the terrifying horde of cultural jetsam heaving all over the Internet and TV on a daily basis. Instead like baby birds, they expect me to swallow it all for them, and then spit it back into their little heads in small digestible bites. Problem is that by end of summer, I choke.
Caitlin and Botox and Trump, Oh My!
Beginning just after dawn and continuing well past the witching hour, my little ones lob a Technicolor tornado of surreal, often confused questions at me rapid-fire:
- Do Caitlin Jenner’s kids still get to call her Dad now that he’s turned into a Kardashian? Would Daddy let us? Can we ask him?
- Why are the women in the Schick commercial standing behind those weird shrubs? What does gardening have to do with shaving?
- If getting Botox in your head stops you from having to wash your hair after the gym, would getting it in your whole body mean you never have to take a bath again? Can I try it? Is it expensive? More or less than what’s in my college account?
- Do you think Josh Duggar is Honey Boo Boo’s real dad? Or maybe Jared the Subway guy? Wait… Are they the same person?
- Does Donald Trump really like his hair or is he just being stubborn about combing out that rat’s nest? Why doesn’t his mother make him? Would you?
- Is Ashley Madison Ben Affleck’s nanny or his wife? Which one did he cheat on?
- Do you think Miss Piggy and Kermit will get back together? If they did, could they use IVF to have a baby? What color would the baby be? Mom, where’s the pink and green paint?
My heads spinning, I escape to the bathroom with my little dog George and my iPhone to Google methods for growing poppies under children’s beds.
Pay No Attention to the Woman Behind the Shower Curtain
Ok, I hear you: Who was it that gave them the iPads and TVs in the first place? Way back in rosy June, who jauntily declared to her wary husband that there’s no such thing as bedtime in summer? Who purchased that online subscription to Vanity Fair because it featured pre-split, pre-rehab and therefore decidedly more attractive Jon Hamm than current boozing, fear-of-commitment Jon Hamm? Who taught those little munchkins to read? And to talk for that matter?
Me. All me. I don’t have a cowardly, tin leg filled with straw to stand on.
I could try to drop a house on my five TVs and pour a big bucket of water over that pile on the counter. I mean if I’m going off the deep end, I might as well take whatever I can with me. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure my editor won’t accept fingernail etchings on the wall of a padded cell as copy, so I’m going to have to think.
Outside the Shoe Box
I happen to have a fabulous pair of ruby red shoes made by the wizard himself, Jimmy Choo. And while I can’t click my 4-inch heels together without risking serious bodily harm, I can slip them on, shut my eyes, and repeat:
There’s no place like school… There’s no place like school… There’s no place like school…
Hey look! Just like magic, here comes the big yellow school bus that will take my children to the place where all their questions will be answered…
At least until 3 o’clock when the damn thing circles back.
Happy September and Welcome back to the Bus Stop!