School opens in less than a month. I hope my Xanex can hold out. I’ve been to confession three times in two weeks to have a nice man behind a screen remind me that my children are a blessing from God, no returns, no refunds. I used to resent the fact that a man with no children was telling me that these spawn of Satan were actually a blessing. But now I’m glad he doesn’t have any children because I need someone to lie to me with a straight face. I can confess my homicidal fantasies and be assured that all my sacrifices can be offered up to reduce my time in limbo. Then he tells me I’m actually quite normal and gives me a shield of absolution and back into the fray I go.
The dog days of August are here and I have one, very thin, very raw, nerve left. I’ve decided to post my list of what needs to change on my front door so the monsters will see it. I will sit in my chair facing the door with my BB gun across my lap, and if any of them come through the door making demands, I can’t miss.
Dear Precious Children, these are the rules for August. Please comply and all will be well.
1. I can’t afford to take you to the water park again this summer. Don’t ask, don’t beg, don’t cry.
2. Do not jump off the roof into piles of improvised cushioning. If you do these stupid things and injure your foot, I will find something to break the other foot to serve as a deterrent from any further incursions into StupidLand.
3. I don’t care what it is, or how safely you think you can do it, do not set anything afire.
4. Do not hide in the dark by the door and jump out with bloody vampire fangs when Grandma comes over. She nearly beat Georgie to death with her cane when he did that the last time. Old people have been around long enough that they don’t scare as easily as you think. If they have a cane or walker, consider them armed and dangerous.
5. Tying younger siblings to trees does not count as babysitting.
6. I’m still waiting to hear what happened to the 13 pound ham that was in my refrigerator two days ago.
7. Daddy is still fuming over the two missing six packs that disappeared with the ham.
8. Will the son who souped up Daddy’s ride-on mower without telling him please come forward. He tore across the lawn and through my roses. He was only able to stop the mower with the assistance of the maple tree next door. This event, plus putting a stronger spring in Daddy’s Lazy Boy recliner so that when he sat up the chair shot him across the room, have led us to offer a new solution to your propensity for testing the performance limits of all things mechanical. We realize you must need better parents than us. We have burned your birth certificate and any official records of your existence. We are prepared to drop you off at the Social Services office so you can claim to be a homeless youth in need of a foster home. We wish your new parents all the best and we would love to hear from you in ten years or so.
Other than these rules, we hope your children enjoy that remainder of your summer vacation. If you need us, we’ll be at The Dory with all the other parents.