After a solid month of family togetherness, just superwonderful, 24/7 all being together what felt like every minute of every day, it was with great sadness that I packed the kids off to spend a weekend with their dad, today. They were VERY excited to see him and he was VERY excited to see them and it was a beautiful reunion that greatly assuaged my urge to shove them all out the door for at least five minutes. I don’t know how I will survive until Sunday night without the children, but I will try to soldier on.
“Hey!” I told Otto after they walked out the door, “we can sleep naked all weekend! Hell, we can just BE naked all weekend!”
There was much rejoicing, and because we are old and boring we opted not to commence with The Naked right away, because it’s tax-free weekend here in Georgia. And school starts in a week and I’ve only JUST gotten the kids properly registered at the right school, and when I did that they gave me a list of required school supplies that was about three pages long. So we celebrated our temporary child-free state by going to Office Max.
I used to get annoyed, back in New England, that every year we were required to buy dry erase markers. I mean, I know the teacher needs them, but a set of four from every kid in the class? What does a teacher DO with 80-something dry erase markers, exactly?
The good news is that here we are not required to cough up the dry erase markers. The bad news is that we have to buy absolutely everything else. Both kids need markers AND colored pencils AND crayons, and Monkey needs his own scissors (Fiskars safety scissors; yes, it’s brand-specified, just in case you think you can sneak in those shoddy bargain scissors) and Chickadee needs TWO pencil sharpeners “with receptacles,” because apparently in the fourth grade here you learn how to sharpen pencils with both hands at once when there are no trash cans available.
The requirements for folders and binders are very specific, and they need more of them than I think I used during that semester in college when I took 24 credits at once. The two-inch binder I was required to purchase also needs to have 7 subject dividers, perhaps to better keep track of the dozen file folders we had to buy. I don’t know.
So we bought office supplies and had lunch on Otto’s real estate agent (her motto is apparently “I’ll sell your home very slowly and for way less than it’s worth, but at least you’ll get an Olive Garden gift card out of the deal!”) (which is still better than MY realtor’s motto of “I’ll promise you a quick and easy sale and then just appear very perplexed when no one will buy your home even after you reduced the price to a buck fifty”) and went to a movie smack-dab in the middle of the day. Then we shopped for MORE office supplies, because the first place we went didn’t have everything we needed, and then we came home and I worked for a while.
Otto went and ran some errands and when he came back we ate dinner and watched a DVD. As the credits rolled it struck me that we’d had a really nice day. And maybe I was considering how we might have an even nicer evening, and so I scooched a little closer to Otto and leaned in…
… and a palmetto bug went scuttling across the living room floor.
To my credit, I didn’t scream. Not then, anyway. I merely yelped and pointed. Thus commenced a chase that involved a lot of moving furniture around and me dancing around on said furniture squeaking “Did you find it? Is it there? WHERE IS IT??” At one point we lost track of it and Otto was ready to give up the hunt, and my laptop was on the floor and I just KNEW that if I touched it, that would prove to be where the bug was hiding. So I asked Otto to please pick up my laptop and put it on the couch. Guess what! He found the bug hiding behind my laptop! (That’s when I screamed.)
Eventually we cornered it under the couch and sprayed it with carpet cleaner; this was enough to cause it to wander out, slightly drunk, so that I could gather up my bravery and yell, “THERE! THERE! GIVE ME THE CUP GIMME THE CUP GIMMETHECUPDAMMIT!” and slam a plastic cup down over it. I then sat on the couch with my heel holding the cup pressed into the carpet until Otto was ready to gather it up and throw it outside.
Once the palmetto bug had been evicted I had one more spasm of disgust twitch through me, and as I stood by the front door—shuddering—Otto laughed at me and reminded me that on my very first visit to Georgia last year I encountered a palmetto bug and I decided to move here anyway. I pointed out that that was a decision based on HIM and not so much on the availability of big ugly bugs. He laughed harder.
Wow, it is REALLY romantic, not having the kids here.