Friday, May 25, 2012

Plastic kids

Coco loves her dolls.  To be more specific, Coco loves two of her dolls.  The rest can go to hell.

Coco's two dolls are almost always naked.  They are almost always in their cradle.  If they're not in their cradle, they're in her arms.  If they're not in their cradle or in her arms, they're in my arms.  Coco insists.  Do you know how many times I've made dinner holding a naked doll?  It's downright awkward.

Coco's two dolls were recently in my arms when there was a knock at the door.  My two kids were in their room watching a movie on my laptop.  They were absolutely silent.  I was so happy.

I answered the door to a chipper youngish man, a neighbor, apparently, whom I'd never met before.  He said all the neighbors were getting together in a few minutes to work on the "beautification of the traffic circle," and would I like to join them?

"Oh, sorry, can't right now," I said, "I'm here with my two kids, just about to feed them."

The look that crossed his face was really something.  It was a mix of confusion and amazement with a touch of "ohhh sh*t."  I stared back at him with wrinkled brow.  Why was this jerk looking at me like I was crazy?  Did only insane people abstain from the traffic circle beautification process?

It was only after he scooted off the porch as fast as he could I realized I was holding Coco's two naked dolls in the crook of my arm.  I also realized I'd been doing the autopilot "mom sway" with the two dolls, rocking them back and forth AS IF THEY WERE REAL.  I was also, of course, holding a doll bottle because Coco insists on that, too.  "About to feed my two kids" indeed.

If I see that nice youngish man in the neighborhood again, I'm going to go outside with a rope tied around a bag of flour and tell him, "I'm just out walkin' the dog!"  I will also share my ideas for further beautification of the traffic circle -- fairy water with a pinch of snake dust.

We have good friends.  Not a day goes by I don't thank the universe for bringing them to us.  I especially thank the universe for bringing us friends with boats.

We went out on our friend "Uncle Alex"s boat over the weekend.  We learned it's hard to keep two kids occupied on a boat.  My advice to you if you plan on taking little kids out on a sailboat -- don't count on "sailboat excitement" to get you through the day because that wears off about ten minutes into your outing.  Then begins the chorus of "I'm bored" or, in the case of Coco, the senseless kicking of feet and throwing of objects.  You will end up handing them a full bag of potato chips apiece to keep them quiet so you can attempt to enjoy the sailboat yourself.

No matter what they do or say, you must not throw them overboard.  That part is very important.

I'm prone to seasickness.  Quite.  But I still love boats.  It's a recurring theme in my life -- doing things that make me sick.  (See the "Cats with a hangover" post for further info.)

The Unabomber is making sinister plans but oh my gosh!  A seagull!

We're still in post-inspection negotiations with the sellers of Banister Abbey.  The sellers are real pieces of work.  Our realtor tells us we have a real knack for finding the worst sellers in the history of selling houses.  I don't think it was a compliment.

These people are going to give us heart attacks.  Or maybe nervous breakdowns.  At the very least a vicious case of hives.  We're not sure how it's all going to shake out but we're trying hard to keep our Banister Abbey dreams alive. 

OK, off to feed those weird plastic kids that don't move,


  1. RE the post-inspection negotiations.... Keep in mind what I tell every single one of my clients: a real estate transaction is not an adversarial proceeding; it's a commercial transaction. One party wants to buy; the other party wants to sell. You're just trying to work out the details. Of course, it would help if your sellers' agent told them the same thing ;-) FWIW, I've seen more transactions threaten to fall apart over home inspections than any other part of the process. But, knock wood, I've never had one actually fall apart.

    1. Bigfish! You can start being my real estate shrink. Maybe I just need to talk it through, share my feelings.

      Our seller is refusing to make any further repairs or accept our lower offering price in the wake of the inspections. We now have to decide if we're still willing to buy it at the price originally agreed upon, even after finding all the additional problems with it. It's an uncomfortable position, and not in the fun way.

      The guy doesn't believe in negotiating. But we still love the house. What to do, what to do? I'm terrified of the bank's appraisal, which will happen next week. That could end the whole thing right quick.

      Is my hour up?

  2. I've got a savage hangover today (I got a little overexcited last night in anticipation of Eurovision, which is TONIGHT YAY), and your story about your "two kids" made me laugh so hard I had to have a lie down. A lie down that was cancelled out by my kid climbing on my head (not a plastic kid, unfortunately).

    I've no doubt that you're devastated to be missing Eurovision now that you're back in Seattle, so have a look at Austria's entry this year - they actually ARE called Trackshittaz. I might need another lie down!

    1. Hi Alex, sorry 'bout that hangover. They happen to the best of us.

      And Alex, great news -- I streamed Eurovision live! I watched it! It's still absolutely godawful but I can't get enough.

      I loved the Russian grandmothers and the Turkish guys who kept making boats out of their clothing. That's good stuff all day long.


    You never fail to make me laugh, I can perfectly picture every scene you describe!
    You're lucky Coco let you put the life vest on, the other day we were on a boat cruising the Miami bay and had to hide my little niece like we were smugglers, every time a water patrol passed us by. Nothing worked to get her to wear the freaking vest, and we tried the chips too!
    Ditto on what Big fish said, as a former Realtor, there was nothing I feared more than inspections and lawyers, both can really ruin the whole thing. But inspections are great after all, lawyers....hmmm, not so much. :-)

    1. Hi Sylvia. Thanks. Coco didn't necessarily love her vest -- she hated it in fact -- but I'm tenacious like that. She gave in eventually, and then forgot all about it.

      Inspections are rough. We're hoping we can find a way through to our home ownership dreams.


    2. You will find a way, if this house it's meant to be yours, it will be. That's what I used to tell my customers.
      Inspections are rough, but I would NEVER let any of my clients go without one, no matter how new or impeccable a house may appear, they can always be 'hidden surprises' but everything can be sorted out one way or the other if both parties are willing to work togeteher.
      It's sometimes a back and forth game but there's nothing like walking out of the closing table with keys in hand!

  4. Thanks for starting my day off with a good story and laugh. I can totally picture the doll encounter. Walking the dog - you are TOO funny!

    PS I love how you made the possessive of "Uncle Alex"

    1. Hi Lora. Do you know how long I stared at that Uncle Alex possessive? A long time. All the punctuation was making my eyes hurt. I finally decided meh, screw it.

      Have a great day.

  5. What kind of guy that young volunteers to work on "beautification of the traffic circle". A serial killer, that's what kind. Your natural instincts much have kicked in and you fought crazy with crazy and won.

  6. That's a good boating safety tip I was unaware of. But if they have their life vests on, I can't see the harm.

    That's some good undercover work, finding the real unibomber. The
    pic gave me a real tweety bird moment. "I did, I diiid see the unibomber." A realtor once showed me a kind of ramshackle
    place and I told her I thought it looked like a Ted Kaczynski
    starter home. She had no sense of humor and just scowled at me.

    And since your mr-keen-sense-of-social-responsibility neighbor is,
    by now, already spreading the word about the new mentally unstable
    woman next door you might as well go all out and drag that bag of flour around and throw a stick and holler FETCH at top of your lungs.

    1. Hi Bill, I got your email. Thanks for giving me some insight into you as a funny person. So happy you showed up in my comments section -- you've really brought a little extra oomph to the posse.

    2. I'm so very glad I found your blog. It's better than any of the present tv sitcoms. And I hope, whoever got my first email is impressed with our pet names for Balzac and Mr Skinner.

  7. No life vest on the Loosh....!!!

    Sorry just a mom freak out...did the naked dolls come to the boat too?

    You better get that got us all excited

    1. Debbie...are you telling me you can't see the life vest on the Loosh? The bright blue thing, with the yellow straps?

      I wouldn't let that kid near water without one of those things on -- kid's nuts, if you hadn't heard.

      I hope we get the house, too. Oh boy do I.

    2. Good grief I must be going's obvious now...a thousand pardons mama.....


  8. you are a mom real and not so real children...i for one admire that! hope things get going with banister abbey-

  9. Thanks, g. Will keep you posted for sure.

  10. I don't think I've ever left a comment, but here goes. The vision of you bouncing two naked baby dolls whilst talking to a neighbor made me laugh so hard my kids looked at me like I finally "snapped". Thank you for the constant entertainment (Paris blog included). And yes I agree with the book idea then a screenplay. Your banter is hilarious.

  11. A google search of "moms in paris" led me to your blog(s) a few weeks ago and now you have a new loyal reader! All your stories are hilarious, but this one made me laugh out loud and forward the link to my husband! Thanks for making coffee come out of my nose!