Vanity

Apparently a war was waged recently – chillingly close to my bedside. It must have been quite a sight. Unseen by me, even though it was fought in my own bathroom. Yes, I can see from the newly darkened hair of my husbands he attempted, again, to color his own locks.

Mind you, it suits him, that deep brown hair color. Looks good with his Sicilian year round skin tone. And honestly, I appreciate him taking care of himself. As we age (we as in all of us) its only natural to fight nature with the products and protocols manufactured just for this purpose. But really, my toilet seat was meant to be white, dear.

Oh, and the drips on the counter, in the drawers, and all around the sink? Didn’t you USE the gloves provided in the box, dear? And my towels, or should I say your towels now, they didn’t do anything to solicit such abuse. Yes, there is a waiting period for the dye to adhere to the hair folicle….I get that. But getting sucked into your favorite NFL channel – post season no less – is not a good enough excuse for destroying the nice bed linens that I JUST washed and replaced. Again, where was the plastic head liner that was also provided IN THE BOX, dear?

Thanks for leaving the conditioning treatment in the shower for me to use too. But leaving the comb, q-tips, and oh! so thats where the plastic gloves went….they too are in the shower, dear. And I’m curious, just how did you manage to spray that forsaken dye on the ceiling? Do you just shake like one of the dogs when they come in from the rain, dear? The mirror, did what you saw need to be swiped by your hand while wrangling the applicator, dear?

Yes, it was a thrifty thought, buying a nice hair dye kit on sale, with a coupon to use in the privacy (you thought) of your own home. It really was……but I think next time you need to be supervised. Of course, I’ll grab the stain remover, paint supplies, industrial cleansers and hydrogen peroxide when I’m at the store, dear. No problem. But honey – I’m also going to make you an appointment for 3 weeks from now with my stylist. I have a feeling it will save us more in the end, dear.

(Insert eye roll, right about HERE, dear.)

~ Wendy Frye

“A good marriage would be between a blind wife and a deaf husband.” ~ Michel de Montaigne

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Wag

What a gorgeous string of days. Deepening into Fall, the morning air begins crisp changing to a gentle golden warmth for our personal afternoon enjoyment. The best time of the year, in my opinion, to get out – before the deepening of the season turns into the snows that are sure to come.

Dawning the bling known as her harness, the Bichon Frise struts herself excitedly down the sidewalk. I get to come along. Shes a stunner, but she hardly knows it. As friendly as they come, she’s only looking to make another friend – a friend out of any bird, dog, cat, human or bug. This fuzzy little girl has never met a stranger.

With Autism in the family, discipline is considered a four letter word. It’s difficult to punish behaviors, odd and unleveled as they come, since it is considered the first form of communication. Observation and tolerance leads into a word, statement and ultimately a sentence to share a thought, passion or even irritation with a person on the Spectrum.

The dogs grew in the same home – and have inherited a bevy of “abject behaviors” that escalate the moment she moves herself out the front door with that certain saucy swagger that only a Bichon possesses.

Delicious smells coupled with delirious freedoms await the very recipient of the “Pretty Girl Walk”. Shortly out the door we start with a full on “Jesus Christ Pose”. Nose down, legs straight out – for what can only be known as a “Full Body Sniff.” (I sense you can visualize my nemesis in action, no?) I execute the first “heliport” lift from the top of her harness of the day.

She jogs, I waddle. We argue repeatedly. The poor man coming our direction? He was almost taken down by her attentions. He said shes a good girl, cute too while I heliport her, again, and turn the corner towards home.

Awesome! Here comes the Quail trying to make a run across the street! “Mom, Mom, MOMMMMMMMM!!! Let’s GO! GO! GOOD LORD MOM MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!!!!!!”

Faltering on the drag of the leash, I trip, fall and now I am in full “Jesus Christ Pose” facedown on the turf. Swearing towards erectness she, not so patiently, waits. I turn again to limp home. Beautiful. Another classic Annie move. She darts, I drift and die.

Arriving home we meet up with Lilly, a shadow in size and personality to Annie. Flinging her bling, the big girl turns and smiles, yes SMILES after us. She so knows she possesses the worst behaviors imaginable. She knows she struts and brags. She smells kitchen scents through the windows to the outside. She senses when someone is thinking of going to the refrigerator. We are not in control of our home, Annie is.

With a heavy sigh I turn to Lilly. “Tomorrow little one. Tomorrow we will win a battle, together.”
We look to Annie and I swear, I swear it to my grave….she winked back at us. That saucy little wench, she winked, turned and sauntered off. “Annie!” ~ Wendy Frye

“Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” ~ Ann Landers

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Spring Break

Took a quick break to phone home today. The boys and my husband are home for Spring Break – no bikini beach getaways, just a Dad and his boys, the oldest on the Autism Spectrum, at home for the week…..with nothing especially pressing to do (obviously).

Husband:
(ring, ring, ring, ring, ring…..) “Whew, HELLO????, (slurp, burp, breathe deep, exhale)..

Wife:
“Honey? What in the world are you doing?”

Husband:
“It’s a BIG match!” “Playing Kinnect golf”, “Just hit an EAGLE babe!”…

Wife:
“…oh, cool…”

Husband:
“Oh, yeah! I’m doing a full on celebration dance!, got my butt wiggling, the younger son is getting physically ill and the dogs ran upstairs!” “I’m a winner, I’m a winner, I’m THE winner, winner CHICKENNNNNNN Dinner!” (Can’t be pretty)

“Hey Hon, glad you called – can you pick up some toilet paper on your way home from work? Oh, and I should have a cold beer as an award for my EAAAAAGLE!….” (Seriously, and I’ve been working all day?)

Younger son in background:

“Ice cream, vanilla with chocolate Magic Shell, please!”

Older son in background:

“Pizza! and Diet Coke for me!”

Husband:

“You should have SEEEENNNNN my shot!”

Younger son still in background:

“Don’t ignore me.” “Don’t ignore my request, Mom!”

Oldest son:

“Hey, you always forget me!” “What about mine?!?”

I start making the list.

Husband back from celebrating and out of breath:

“Did you get it all?”

Needed to check reception, took the receiver and bashed in on my desktop at work, one, two, three times – just to be sure. I startled everyone in the entire credit union. And now that I had my husbands full attention:

“Seriously?” “After working all day?”

Husband:

“I can’t go, it’s nearly a 3 way tie, your oldest shot over 300 yards on his drive and the youngest has your smack talk gene”….”gotta go”……

Perfect.

On my way home from work I stopped at the grocery store. Picked up all the items on the list and returned home. The boys will remain out of psychotherapy for having their snack needs abandoned. And I? I was rewarded with a hot dinner, ready on the table, with three happy men at my sides. I heard about every shot, slice, divot, swear word, and who smelled the worst with sweat.

“Everyone in the shower!” I announced……

Tonight, before bed, I wrote out tomorrows “Honey Do” lists. Punishment? Maybe. But not really, only adding laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning and of course, a little Kinnect golf. Why not?

Battle on boys, battle on! ~ Wendy Frye

“I realized my family was funny, because nobody ever wanted to leave our house.”
~Anthony Anderson

Bananas

There are three well known methods to choose from to clean your home’s carpets. I will list them here in no particular order of effectiveness or affordability:

• Carpet Cleaner, applied and removed by a big vacuum cleaner type device
• Dry powder sprinkled, maybe rubbed in and again, vacuumed
• Or, the use of an external steamer to soften debris with warm or hot water plus extraction

I’m sure there are more methods that require complicated machines coupled with even more uber expensive products. But wait! Let me share with you a big inside secret about how fabulously clean your carpets can be after a double application administered over a couple of hours with THE BODY SHOP’S BANANA SHAMPOO!

Long ago, in a shopping mall downtown, I had the good fortune to step into one of my favorite stores, The Body Shop. I was uninterrupted and unaccompanied for 5 soulful minutes. Even BETTER, I was able to locate a gentle, wonderful smelling natural shampoo that was potentially enticing enough to keep my son with sensory issues in the tub for more than 3 fleeting seconds. “Yes!” And for all that is good and holy that child was going to get a thorough cleaning or we were all going to drown trying.

OMG! Imagine the smell of sweet, ripe bananas – the kind of banana that makes the best of all sweet breads that even cleans your hair! You got it, The Body Shop’s Banana Shampoo.

What a wonderful bath-time! My husband jumped in the shower with both boys and they got cleaned up and smelled wonderful. It was absolutely heartwarming – and one of the more idyllic (typical) family times we’d had in a while.

A short time later… boys in their jammies, tucked in, protected by stuffed animals all around, the happy couple go back downstairs to enjoy a TV show, maybe even a cup of tea before turning in for the night. It was absolute Heaven at the end of another long, crazy day.

Kerthunk! Perfect. One or both of the kids are up running around upstairs now. “Wow, I can still smell that shampoo.” My husband says. “Okay, let’s go – double team, double time and haul them back to bed.”

Creeping up to first floor landing, we could tell something was up as the sweet ‘nana smell intensified in perfect tandem with the (deviant) giggles coming from behind the master bedroom door.

(Sucking in breath) “Oh, CRAP!” “BOYS!!, WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!” (Laughter ensued – full on, side-ripping, pajama peeing laughter)

There, all over my bedroom carpet, was The Body Shop’s Banana Shampoo. Spread with the precision of a cement mason, whipped up like egg white meringue laid at least one half bottle of the shampoo that changed the boy’s bath time forever. WHAT BIG FUN! …if you are less than 3 feet tall, naked and taking running leaps, belly down, skidding across the room.

Team Father: Arrrgh! Rinse the kids, new pajamas, no story-time, stuffed animals kicked under the bed, “gotobed, gotobed, gotobed!”.

Team Mother: Rinse the carpet as best as possible, throw open the windows and air out the banana smell, sling the extractor, work like the devil to keep from overfilling the cleaner, return with bubbles, slip on the bathroom floor, yell at the kids “GOTOBED, GOTOBED, GOTOBED!”, throw all wet clothes in the washer, mop the laundry room floor after the washer explods in bubbles……whew!

Kerthunk!

The instructions on the shampoo bottle were pretty clear. Lather, rinse, repeat. My children read that and took it literally. Brilliant little darlings.

“GOTOBED!” ~ Wendy Frye