Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet Dreams of Motherhood

I am home in Westchester because my mother bought me a wiener dog, which is alright, but I’ve heard that they have seizures and epilepsy. What should be a cause for celebration is a cause of great anxiety, but not just because I don’t want a disabled pet.

He keeps pushing his nose between my legs.

And thus, I shall call him Wienie.

Try as I might, I can’t seem to find any sort of employment, so I have no idea how I’m going to feed this Wienie character. My mom’s off at work, only making me feel more jobless. She’s left a list of stuff I can do while I’m at home if I “feel up to it” which includes “get a pedicure!” and “use the treadmill in the basement!”

No one I sleep with cares to look as far down as my toes, and I would rate myself about a C+/B- at consuming solids lately because I’m a nervous wreck, so there’s no real point in any of that. I’ll be surprised if I even manage to shower today. I'm too busy learning about life from Judge Judy.

No one’s really going to see me except for my Mom, my Dad, and that fucking baby over there.

I’m keeping it strapped into a carseat beside me on the couch. The baby, not Wienie. It is wearing boy’s clothes so I guess it’s a “he” or they might be hand-me-downs. Where did this tiny boy baby come from? Wienie is on the ground and for the time being he’s forgotten about whatever he imagines is between my legs. I’m on the recliner portion of the couch with my feet up. We’re all together, watching Judge Judy deal with some Baby Mama Drama.

Everything is tolerable until the baby starts crying. I try to shut it up but it won’t stop flaring it’s gums and screaming at me. If the baby were a dog I’d say it was snarling and barking, trying to be dominant or whatever.

I turn up the volume of the TV. The baby screams louder.

The commercial comes on and I get up and Wienie half-yelps, again catching a whiff of me. I must smell like I’m smuggling fishsticks in my panties. I don’t know for sure, because I’m in that awesome place where I can no longer smell myself. I lift up the baby and the car seat as one package and bring it over into the kitchen. I put it down on the glass kitchen table and think about how mad my mom would be about the plastic seat potentially scratching the table so I use a placemat. As I set the baby down it stops screaming and looks at me, bewildered.

I’m not really doing anything wrong. I go back to the couch with Wienie scratching my calves all the way and set myself up on the recliner again. If I turn my head 90 degrees I can see the baby.

Sure as shit the baby starts snarling again just as Judge Judy comes back from commercial. All I want is a little peace. What’s worse, Wienie has now figured out how to jump up onto the couch and he’s trying to get under my sweat pants. There’s something beastial and trailer-trash on the horizon, I can feel it, so I decide that both the baby and Wienie are going to take a Time-out.

My bedroom isn’t a bad place for a Time-out. When I was little I bit my mom at a carnival and I got grounded. I was five at the time. I was shut into my room and barred from the dinner table, and my mom gave me a luke-warm piece of Elio’s pizza. I was horrified, even at five I knew that my parents were treating me like I was in fucking Attica, so I separated the cheese from the top of the pizza and put it back outside the door. An hour or so later, I got hungry and went to go get the pizza from outside the door and it was still there, but I had to eat it cold.

Considering how fat I was by the time I was ten I wish I had saved the calories and gone hungry for a night.

Anyway, I’m only going to give the baby and the dog an hour in Time-out. I’m a very big fan of Judge Judy and they are both being disruptive. After the Elios Pizza Incident you better believe I never bit my mother again.

I close them in the room, the baby on the bed and Wienie on the floor, and go back downstairs. Wienie barks and the baby cries, but by the grace of god, their voices are buffered by my door.

The paternity results are in! Judge Judy really knows how to tell complete losers what’s what. I watch and laugh and get a can of French Fried Cheddar Onions out of the pantry and eat the entire thing before next commercial. I don’t think I’ll like shitting undigested onion so I go into the bathroom and use the smooth end of the toilet brush to get it back out of my stomach. People call this bulimia, but it is actually royal. The Roman Emperors did it, read a book, I say.

By the time I’m done and step into the hallway I notice that it’s silent. Maybe they’re asleep. I watch the end of Judge Judy.

Judge Judy ends and some Hispanic Judge is yammering on, now. I switch the TV off and stare outside at the deck. Leaves are gathering. It’s as quiet as a mauseleum until I hear what sounds like furniture moving above my head.

I’m not even up the stairs when I see that Wienie is dragging the baby, who’s still strapped into the car-seat, down the stairs. The baby is making giggling noises, but still. I can’t even see it because the carseat is facedown. I flip the baby over and I give it a quick assessment. It snarls at me a little bit but it seems alright until I notice its head.

I mean, it isn't THAT bad. The only real damage is a patch of shiny, peach skin that screams RUG BURN on what I would think would be the “right frontal lobe.” I imagine a doctor testifying to this in court.

I wonder how I’m going to explain this, if there’s any way that it could not be my fault. I could shoot Weinie, as though he was obviously the one to blame, but I look into his little eyes and I realize I can’t bear to hurt the pup. The dog has spunk, you have to admit. He managed to break out of my room and drag something twice his size down the stairs. That’s ambition.

The baby, on the other hand…maybe I could stage something accidental? No. I know enough from watching Forensic Files on Tru TV that some ballsy post-mortem forty-something thinking she was on CSI would find some fibers in the baby’s skull to send me to prison with the likes of Amy Fisher. Besides, it doesn’t talk yet. It can’t tell on me. There’s no point in doing away with it.

My next thought is make-up, but I don’t want to cause an infection. That'll only make Judge Judy angrier!

My next thought after that is so weird that it just makes sense.

I take the baby out of the carseat and it coos as I hold it against me. It smells like baby-poo but that’s nowhere near as bad as grown-up poo. I bring it into the kitchen and lay it down in the middle of the counter so it won’t roll off and further damage itself.

I open up my mother’s drawer of school supplies. My mother is a first-grade teacher and she’d never let something like this happen. I know by doing what I’m about to do everyone is going to think I’m a complete idiot but being an idiot is forgiveable while negligence is not. I’ve gotten in trouble for being careless but never for being stupid.

I take out a sheet of sparkly stickers of unicorns and smiley faces and begin decorating the baby, particularly over the rugburn. I take the baby’s clothes off and clean the poo off. After I cover his head in glimmering stickers, I figure I might as well go all out. He’s stopped crying now, happy to be clean, I guess. He lets me cover him in sparkly stickers and he almost seems to be enjoying the process. By the time I’m doe he looks like a Tiffany’s Easter Egg and he sparkles in the sun on the counter-top. I hear the garage door open; It’s five and my Mom is home.

She’s going to be glad I actually did something with myself today.


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