Fire

Well it didn’t take long for the suck-age to begin afresh. Or at least the kind of day wherein I got to shout “Go to your room” repeatedly, that horrible, clichéd phrase you couldn’t have paid me to utter a few years ago. Our glorious “spirited” children, buttressed by less square feet, but also endless miles of ocean, revealed today that they have no concern for property (ours), propriety (others’) and privileges (their own) as they broke almost every rule we made right at the time that we made it.

“They’re boys,” Wonder Dad had said indulgently, as he allowed them to climb all over his SUV before taking them to the Carnival last night. Indeed they are. And without his enabling, we would never have taken the following happy snap…

However, sometimes “photo op”s are not necessarily a guideline for parenting, as we found out today…

when our children tried to climb every white wall, stair rail and flat surface in the new house with grubby feet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for them having a childhood. I just want them to have it outside. If only we could set up a Hazmat cleaning station by the front door that hoses them down before entry… But alas so few townhouses come with nuclear holocaust contingencies nowadays.

On the first night the Head Enabler, otherwise known as Drunk Uncle, otherwise known as my husband, allowed and even sanctioned the jumping off stairs onto bed mattresses not yet constrained by the bunk bed that will take 6-8 (to one million) weeks to arrive off the internet (i.e. China.) As they whopped and hollered, and I looked on in horror, Wonder Dad chortled as they repeatedly performed these Olympic worthy feats in their new bedroom.

Today the aforementioned father figure seemed less forgiving, as he morphed before my eyes into a rigid, angry patriarch from the classic film Oliver Twist. As mysterious fluorescent colored powders began appearing on random surfaces (the kitchen, the balcony table, the floor) it became clear that David, aka Young Einstein had taken it upon himself to continue his “experiments” when he had been expressly told that that was why he had a room and plenty of G-d’s outside environment to undertake them. One of the ways I had sold the move to him was the flatscreen, mini-fridge and sink in the kids’ bedroom, which was clearly designed for watching games by beer drinking hooligans in a seaside man-cave, but would also suffice for little boys with endless need for bottled water, messiness and TV as bribery.

“A sink, for your experiments,” I ventured brightly, never suspecting that when I said Sink he heard Whole House.

Speaking of experiments, the little darling black dog aka Little Fucker preceded to contribute a steady stream of pee to the proceedings, leading him to being crated, until he was released by the kids, or Enabling Dog Mom aka me, to start the whole cycle again. Apparently when I said Potty Pad the dog also heard Whole House, as in between every excellent potty outing led by the other dog (now known as Heavenly, Obedient Princess) he thinks nothing of crouching and peeing wherever he fancies. Yes he crouches, instead of lifting his leg when he pees. Clearly everyone who lives with me ends up emasculated.

Then in the middle of the day, when Stern Patriarch had left/abandoned me to tie up some loose ends at the old house, the smoke alarm suddenly emitted a piercing, high whine and a calm American female-Hal voice said “Fire.” “Fire.” “Fire.” David and I froze, and as I opened a nearby bathroom cautiously to see if the kids’ laundry had spontaneously combusted from the smell of itself, the talking fire alarm biyatch said, “Caution: Carbon Monoxide.” I had just finished yelling at David about doing another experiment in the kitchen and he looked down at his large plastic syringe with wonder, “Mommy I made Carbon Monoxide!”

The dogs being safely outside on the bottom balcony (their lair) I shuttled Einstein and his brother Rocky VII out of the house. The excitement was palpable. Would there be smoke? An explosion? Could there be a little carnage on a Saturday afternoon?

I called the fire department, impressing all of us by my lack of panic, described what the smoke alarm biyatch had said, at which point the operator asked me if we were all feeling okay.

“How are you feeling?” I asked the hooligans. Samson fell on the ground crying that he had a stomach ache and David also admitted to obscure symptoms he had not noticed until that moment. Hypochondria, yet another of my genetic legacies.

Less than five minutes later a gigantic yellow fire truck had arrived. As I spied it at the top of the hill, I suddenly realized I hadn’t showered in approximately 72 hours, and had spent that time unpacking boxes and hauling furniture, so I said to the kids, “Guys, firemen, quick fix my hair,” so they attempted to smooth down the giant dry/oily dreadlock that used to be mommy’s hair into something resembling a person that had a home. (So if they end up gay hairdressers at Vidal Sassoon, I started it.)

The firemen alighted from their truck, in all their “What seems to be the trouble, ma’am?” macho glory.

“There’s Carbon Dioxide in ouw house,” supplied Samson knowledgeably.

After walking into our home with a machine that looked like a box with a straw sticking out, the one quarter of The Village People determined that not only was there no Carbon Monoxide, but the entire complex of townhouses runs on electricity. Well, I could have told them that… I believe that was the point when the firefighters (who weren’t even cute, but whatever) began explaining first grade science like I was a brainless troll who had just crawled out from the bottom of the ignoramus pile.

After they left, I looked in the mirror and noticed a piece of brown quinoa right in the middle of my teeth (hence the troll reference.) But look on the bright side – at least we got this picture out of it…

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