Monday, July 21, 2008


I forgot that I had been running on empty for days before heading out of town, so when Monday morning hit and I found myself commuting to Highland to spend the day babysitting The Rugrats my journey started with a trip to the pumps. Can I just say that it makes me feel old to say things like, "I remember when gas was $2.00 a gallon!" Unfortunately I didn't have time to save a dollar and thirty cents and make a pit stop here. Instead, I hit up the Maverick just off the freeway and let Brian guzzle down $57 of fuel. I wanted to throw up. Sometimes I feel like driving is like sitting on the curb taking a lighter to one dollar bills and setting them to the wind just to smell the fumes. I'd rather walk. But not to Highland.

I arrive only to find Pinky at the door in her tiny pink shorts, equally as miniature white tank and her cotton candy hair looking like it had been massaged with syrup. Oh how I love her. I was whisked to the living room where she performed a series of acrobats for me while I was trying to have an exchange with The Rugrat's dad. "I'll be home arou--" "WATCH THIS!" "Hold on a sec--" ". . . so just call me on my number it's 83--" "I LEARNED A NEW TRICK!" (as she's tugging so hard on my arm it permanently lengthens about two and a half inches) ". . . So you're okay with everyth--" "WAAAAAAAATCH ME!" "Yeah, (kick in the leg as Pinky flies across the living room and Jet Li's me from behind) I think I've got it covered." "Great. See you at 5." And then the door closes.

Sch and Ducky were practically worshiping the screen of their laptop. If I hadn't known better I would have thought they were traipsing around a little digital Mecca in their cyber world. But no, they were playing some game that apparently has no point. Or at least not one that either of them could explain to me. When I glanced over an hour or so later at them and saw that their corneas were starting to augment and fall out the front of their skulls, I suggested doing something else. I should have kept my mouth shut.

Only moments later I heard giggles coming from directly behind me and before I could turn to look at what was spurring the muffled laugher, heaviness followed by the feeling of claws was plopped on my head. I felt it wriggle a bit before each of its 20 nails were successfully tangled in my hair which was secured in a knot at the back of my head. The giggles became guffaws and the muffled laughter turned to outright hysterics. Slim, the iguana, had found a new home in my hair. I was slightly less than thrilled, though not panicked or scared (OlderAndWiserToo and I chased our babysitters with our snake, I guess everything comes full circle).

"Schlim" the Iguana.

Slim was pried off my head (along with about half a fist of hair) and spent the rest of the day skittering around the kitchen. The ticking sound of his claws on the wood floors were accompanied by the sound of Pinky belting made up lyrics to some chord progressions I recorded on the Clavinova. "I don't even know you, but I saw you . . ." streamed in from the other room and The Boys and I had to plug our noses so she wouldn't hear us laughing. Who teaches little girls to make up lyrics like that?

We ended the day with a lot nail polish and a bit of her hair products. I ended up looking like a mermaid and lost even more hair as the kids took turns coloring sections of my head. I swear I'm a few ounces lighter. My toenails now have four nails painted dark purple on my left foot, the big toe left bare, and my right foot has two hot pink nails, the Big toe and the one just right of it. I returned home a pink and purple menagerie and although I felt a little frazzled, at least I learned that I can survive.

Pinky and the Mane.

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