Thursday, July 28, 2011

Yearning To Be Free

"I can't wait to get out of here," said my oldest.

"Why?" I asked, straining to hear him over the noise of his younger brothers fighting downstairs.

"This is the worst family in history," he said.

"True," I said. "It's Lucy's fault, though." Hearing her name, the dog ran over and started gnawing on my arm.

"She's the only good thing about living here," said the boy. He bent down to pet her. "You're a good girl, aren't you?"

"She's not a dog!" I announced. "She's a bear! Bear! Up!"

Lucy reared back on her hind legs and lurched toward me. "Aaargh, she's attacking!" I shouted.

"Florida's going to be so much better than this," my son muttered.

"Shut the hell up!" I yelled at the two youngest, who were still fighting.

"He won't get off the Playstation!" the youngest yelled back.

"He just wants to watch some stupid baseball game!" yelled the middle one.

"Where's your mother?" I asked the oldest.

"She left."

"Smart woman," I said. "I wonder if she's coming back?"

"I wouldn't if I were her," he said. "And you're no better than they are."

"Oh stop it, it's not that bad."

"It's awful."

"If it's that bad, why didn't you move out before?" I asked.

"I couldn't. I wasn't old enough."

"You could have applied for emancipation."

"I looked into it. It's more complicated than you'd think. I would have needed a court order."

"Really?" I asked, not sure whether to be saddened or impressed by his initiative.

"Let go of me!" the youngest howled at his brother.

"Can I come with you?" I asked the oldest.

"No," he smirked.

"Brat," I told him and then shrieked, "Now is the time on Sprockets when you die!" as I headed downstairs to separate the other two.

"I'll miss you girl," I heard the oldest tell the dog.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Inside Voice

"Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring, Bananaphone!" I sang.

"Shut up!" my oldest son yelled from the other room.

"Bananaphone!" I sang, even louder.

"What's all that racket?" the Lovely Bride asked as she came in with a bag of groceries.

"He's being obnoxious again," said the oldest.

"I'm singing," I said.

"He just keeps screaming 'Bananaphone!'" said the boy.

"It's Raffi," I explained. "From his album of the same name."

"Why do you know that?" asked the Lovely Bride.

"I was looking for something else on the internet and found a Bananaphone video," I said. "Bananaphone!" I helpfully added at the top of my lungs.

"You see?" snarled my oldest.

"That is obnoxious," she told him.

My middle kid, who'd been sitting at the kitchen table throughout this discussion, looked up and said, "He's always obnoxious. He's not always this loud, though."

"Have you been drinking?" the Lovely Bride asked me.

"I wish," I said. "The so-called cardiologist won't let me."

"Following doctor's orders isn't exactly your strong suit," she pointed out.

"True," I acknowledged. "But it's only 10 a.m. and that would be early even if I was still in my prime."

"Well, if you're not drunk, why are you being so noisy?" she asked.

"I'm drunk on love for my family. In return, I am offering you the bounty of my song," I said.

"Please go do it somewhere else," she said.

"Don't you want me to serenade you?" I asked.

"Not while I'm trying to clean the kitchen," she said.

I whooped with delight. "You're cleaning? Far be it from me to do anything to interfere with that." I retreated downstairs. "Goodbye, my love!" I called.

"Shut up!" the oldest yelled.

"You love me, don't you girl?" I asked our dog Lucy, who'd followed me downstairs. She jumped up and tried to lick my face.

"Bark bark bark bark bark bark bark, the Lucy Dog!" I sang.

"AAAARGH!!!" yelled the oldest.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

I'm So Proud

Broken deals, bitter words and a state shuts down

Talks imploded Thursday between DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders in the final hours before a midnight deadline, and Minnesota began a historic government shutdown.

"This is a night of deep sorrow for me," Dayton said in an address at 10 p.m. that was punctuated by jeers and hisses from Republicans, including some lawmakers.

The governor said his last offer would have raised income taxes only on those earning more than $1 million a year -- an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, according to the Revenue Department.

Republicans rejected the proposal, Dayton said, because they "prefer to protect the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else."

Republican leaders made their own statement, saying Dayton's proposal for dealing with the projected $5 billion deficit would cause irreparable harm to the state's economy for generations.