Day 764: Interrupted Slumber and Overnight Activity of the Natives

The natives, for the most part, sleep continuously overnight; that is, rarely do they awaken prematurely, only to interrupt my own and the tribal leader’s slumbers.  However, on some rare occasions, the natives awaken, usually for some type of ailment or deficiency, and promptly appear at the entrance to our resting chambers, beckoning for assistance.  Most of the time, one occurrence is all that takes place, in one overnight period, and usually, the episode is resolved quickly.  But, again, sometimes, the natives appear to take shifts – tag in and tag out, if you will, taking turns waking and lamenting, waking and lamenting until, at least I, grow weary of the constant barrage of requests, especially in my half conscious state.

Last night was one such night.

The tribal leader had retired to our resting chambers earlier than usual last evening, not feeling well.  After performing some necessary tasks before I could retire such as providing sustenance for the wildlife and clearing the communal eating surface of the previous meal’s remains and utensils.   Prior to this chore, the bedtime ritual for the natives was performed.

The bedtime ritual for the natives has undergone a few changes in recent weeks in that the natives now practice proper oral hygiene before retiring  to their resting quarters.  This is preceded by donning the appropriate sleepwear and dry disposable undergarments.  The natives are quite obsessive about their oral hygiene to the point of fault.  They do require supervision during the exercise so that they do not perform the activity haphazardly.  The natives are also obsessed with hand washing – also to the point of fault.   However, this is another topic entirely and shall be told another time.

Before turning out the light in the natives resting chambers, it has become customary to turn on an electric music producing machine that places lullabies through the night that helps the natives, and in some cases the tribal leader and myself, fall off to their slumbers.  However, last night, it appears that some mischief had been abound prior to the bedtime ritual, for, the cord which provides electricity and thus power to the music playing machine was no longer connected, nor was it visible from my vantage point.  Having little patience for the then situation, it determined that the natives would have to do without the lullabies throughout the night because of their monkey business – a decision that may have just sealed my overnight fate.

Once nestled into their resting quarters, the tribal leader and I make our escape.  Yes, our escape.  In some circles, this arrangement could be construed as a hostage situation where the natives are the captors.  The natives soon fell asleep without the music playing machine, much to my surprise.  I retired to our resting quarters after performing the necessary chores – the time then was about ten o’clock.

I fell asleep reasonably quick – yesterday was a challenging day to say the least.  Tuesday has become increasingly stubborn and continues to bully her younger sibling, for which she has spent several minutes in the corner/penalty box.  Wednesday has taken her elder sibling’s lead and has begun to show signs of disobedience.  Coupled with her elder sibling’s antics, it’s a recipe for disaster – of epic proportions.  However, yesterday, Thursday, was not as bad as some days have been.  Of late, my weeks with the natives have become predictable: Monday is perhaps the best day of the week – not perfect, but for the most part good.  Tuesday is by far, the worst day of the week.  I don’t know what it is – the moon phase, the weather, the price of beans in China – but it tends to be the equivalent to hell on earth.  Disobedience, talking back, pushing, hitting, kicking – it’s like an episode of the View.  Wednesday is normally better than Tuesday, but worse than Monday.  Thursday is usually worse than Wednesday but better than Tuesday.  Friday…Friday is the crap shoot – the variable – the “Please God don’t repeat Tuesday” day of the week.  And there you have it.  The week, broken down into nice manageable chunks.  Phooey.

As I said, I fell asleep fast.  I woke up, at one point, for no particular reason whatsoever and just laid in my resting quarters listening.  Waiting.  Nothing.  At first.

Just as I was drifting back into a heavy slumber, it began.  Tuesday.  Whimpering.  Then wailing.  Lamentations.  Damn it!  So friggin’ close.  So, I got up and attended to the disagreeable native.  I had an idea before I even got to her what her problem was.  Either her knee or her feet hurt.  Tuesday has these “pains” that occur and re-occur, particularly overnight and when she is overtired.  One tylenol pill usually cuts the discomfort, so I grabbed that on my way into their resting quarters.  Sure enough, her feet hurt.  I gave her the tablet, hoping she’d go right back to her slumbers.  Nope.  I quickly herded her out to the tribal living area to the reclining tribal furniture.  I attempted to soothe her pain and quiet her increasingly loud lamentations about her foot.  Soon, she curled up and I brought her back to her sleeping quarters.  Crisis averted.  I returned to my resting quarters.  The time was then 2:09 AM.

I laid in my resting quarters several minutes listening – hoping – praying that she did not make a sound.  However, now, I was having trouble falling back off to my slumbers. Great.  Freakin’ marvelous.  I tossed and turned.  And then, I heard it.  Another voice.  Shit.

Wednesday was now lamenting from her resting quarters – something about her blanket and it being gone.  For the love of God.  I got up and attempted to assist the disagreeable native.  When I arrived in their resting chambers, Wednesday was at Tuesday’s beside, attempting to wake her up.  NOOOOOOOO!  I quickly got her back into her resting quarters and begun the search, half awake and in the dark.  After fumbling for a bit, I found the native’s blanket on the floor, next to her bed.  Thank God.  I gave it back to her, she curled up and made it look like she was going back to her slumbers.  Phew.  Again, I returned to my resting quarters.  The time was now 3:47 AM.  Ugh.

At this point, the tribal leader was now awake, which was good because about fifteen minutes later, Wednesday began lamenting again about something else missing.  How the hell does she know if there’s something missing?  She’s got more stuffed animals with her than she can possibly know what to do with.  Regardless, the tribal leader got up and attended to her needs.

Following that last episode, everything fell quiet.  Thank God.  Part of me is blaming the overnight antics of the natives on the lack of music playing in the background, however, I cannot be sure.  I damn sure am not going to experiment again this evening.  So far, the natives have resumed normal activity this morning, being only mildly cranky.  Except for Tuesday.  She threw a MASSIVE crying fit over…wait for it…veggie sticks.  Yup.  Veggie sticks.  Here’s hoping the day gets better from here…

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Day 715: Wednesday Vandalizes Her Resting Chamber Door

It has been just short of one month since last I recorded the activity of the tribe and natives.  Overall, the natives are growing increasingly more active and demonstrating heathen behavior.  You might question my terminology of calling their behavior “heathen” but often times, it is just that.  Heathen.  Primitive. Primal. Whatever you want to call it – the inherent desire to submit to the primal force with in and do what their itty bitty consciences (supposing they have them) tell them to do, often times inflicting some type of affliction or crime on the other. When asked, the natives standard reply comes across very matter-of-fact: “Because I wanted…”  Because I wanted.  If I committed an act each time I “wanted” something, there might be a few less stupid people in this world right now, but I digress.  Yes, indeed, “because I wanted” is the standard excuse for an act of injustice betwixt the natives.

I wish to state here and now that violence of any kind is not tolerated in the tribal abode, or outside for that matter.  Yes, we are a zero-tolerance tribe accepting nothing other than harmonious behavior from the members of the tribe.  However, as was previously stated, there have been some “minor” infractions to this philosophy and they have been tended too, somewhat frequently, depending on the offense.  For example, Tuesday demonstrates frequently her ability to remove her younger sibling from a standing position with the force of her own two hands.  Known commonly as pushing, Tuesday has, on numerous occasions, pushed, with the force equivalent to football linebacker, her younger sibling away, down or into another object to demonstrate her dominance over the inferior, or seemingly inferior native.  This act is always met with a severe reprimand and earns the offender, in this case Tuesday, three to five minutes in the penalty box, or commonly found in any tribal abode, the corner.  And, this punishment is ALWAYS met with mammoth amounts of lamentation by the offender.  Like sobbing, wailing, carrying on – with real tears even – for several minutes.  Once the offender has served their time in the penalty box, or the corner, a come-to-Jesus is held immediately upon their release from their temporary prison.

For purposes of demonstration, I will use Tuesday, as she is the most frequent offender and spends more time out of the two natives in the penalty box for roughing, pushing, slashing, kicking, etc.

Me or the tribal leader: Tuesday…why were you put in the corner?

Tuesday: (Between sobs) Because…I…pushed…Wednesday…

Me or the tribal leader: Tuesday, you know that we don’t push anyone, right?

Tuesday: Yeah….

Me or the tribal leader: So why did you push her?

Tuesday: Because I wanted…

Always the same excuse.  Because. I. Wanted.  Good friggin’ God.  And it’s not like this is the first time she’s been penalized for this offense.  It’s not.  I’d say at least once a week, sometimes more, Tuesday spends time in the penalty box for physically bullying her younger sibling.  And Wednesday?  Well, to a certain degree, I think Wednesday plays into Tuesday’s wrath.  Much the way professional wrestling works, though not staged, Wednesday has learned how to fall and make it look good – and sometimes, when she thinks the act is not being witnessed, she’ll act as though she were thrown across the room by the sheer force of the blow.  Why?  Well, she’s smart for one.  The other?  She likes the attention.  Most times though, the tears from Wednesday are real and are warranted.  Most times.

On to bigger and better crimes.  Today, Wednesday was found – scribbling, doodling, drawing – with pencil on her resting quarters door.  Yup.  On the door.  With pencil.  How did she get said pencil?  Let’s back up some, shall we?

Recently, the tribal leader and the natives took the natives on an excursion to a local shopping establishment and purchased some small notebooks with pencils, both featuring a beloved character of the natives – Hello Kitty.  There were four pencils in total that came in the package from the shopping establishment, only two of which were sharpened and ready for use.  The other two remained in a safe location, out of reach of the natives.  Tuesday was particularly enthused with the pencils and readily filled her notebook with marks and drawings in pencil.  Here’s where Wednesday acquires the pencil, so pay attention.  Tuesday has a habit, and by habit I mean, she better friggin’ stop or we’re going to have words, of carrying her pencil and notebook throughout the tribal abode.  Ok, not so bad.  She also has a bad habit of leaving these items –  randomly – in places that her younger sibling can find them and say draw on WALLS, DOORS, herself, etc.  Tuesday has been reprimanded for leaving these items where her sister can get them previously – multiple times.  So, today’s episode did not come as a surprise, well, it did and it didn’t, when it actually happened.

The tribal leader actually heard the pencil to the door of their resting chambers first and rose immediately to check it out.  Upon observing Wednesday with the offending instrument in hand and confidently drawing on the door, she informed Tuesday that she needed to get down the hallway to her sibling and acquire her pencil from Wednesday.  Tuesday, when informed of what her sibling was doing, let her mouth gape open a minute or two in disbelief.  A frigging shocker! While she was frozen in disbelief (or denial), I rose and attended to Wednesday, who was finishing her gateway masterpiece.

photo-38

She turned to me and proudly said, “Look – TA-DAAAA!”

I admonished her that this was not acceptable and that it was bad practice to write on anything other than paper.  She apparently was not interested in my concerns and continued showing me her work, exclaiming, “TA-DAAAA!”  Obviously, we have a failure to communicate here.  I confiscated the offending instrument and returned to the food preparation area and confirmed what the tribal leader suspected.

So, long story short, the door still has pencil on it and the use of pencils, at least for now in the tribal abode, has been discontinued, that is, for natives.  I am in hopes that there is some cleaning agent in the tribal abode that will remove the marks created by “The Scribbler” or else we’ll have to purchase a rather large eraser.

Day 692: Tuesday and the Purple Crayon

Before I begin, I wish to state that I should know better.  I really should.  I mean, why on earth would I expect that the natives would refrain from using artistic media on anything other than the intended substrate?  Why on earth would they do anything I have asked them to do, several hundreds of thousands of times over?  And after nearly 700 days of observation (yes, I’ve been keeping track all this time) you’d think I’d know better than to leave them to their devices.  Well, at least, leaving Tuesday to her devices.  In another room.  With a crayon.  A purple crayon.

For the record, I was not aware of the whereabouts of the media in question.  At last check, the purple crayon had been confiscated after the last offense where its use was employed.  So, either the native has developed other skills that I am not aware of, or said purple crayon was given back to the native by the tribal leader or elder.  Whatever the case may be and the circumstances surrounding the native acquiring the writing instrument, it found its way back into the crime circuit at the tribal abode.

As an aside, I am perplexed – no, I’m frigging dumbfounded as to why the natives cannot stand to use art materials traditionally.  That is, using traditional materials (crayons, pencils, markers, etc.) on some type of traditional substrate ( paper, cardboard, books designated for coloring, etc.)  Further, I am truly baffled by the native’s, particularly Wednesday, use of food as an artistic medium.  Yes, food.  Just yesterday, I needed to talk to the tribal elders by telephone and in order that I could hear said elders, I was required to retire to a different room, and barricade the door so that the heathen natives could not gain entry.  The phone call itself was brief; approximately under five to ten minutes.  However, this time – this brief period of absence from the food preparation area was enough for Wednesday to make her move.  Wednesday, using her developing ninja skills, climbed into her elder sibling’s adjustable seating apparatus and began to (I’m assuming) eat Tuesday’s partially eaten cereal and milk.  I say “I assume” because when I returned to the food preparation area, there was Wednesday, sitting at the communal eating surface, a smile from ear to ear, hands raised, dripping with chocolate milk (the cereal was chocolate and peanut butter flavored) and proudly acknowledging my presence with a “Hi, Daddy!”  Wonderful.  Fan-fucking-tabulous.  The communal eating surface had become her canvas and she had covered most of it within her wheelhouse with the chocolate milk substance.  Including the adjustable seating apparatus.  And the floor.  And her face.  Sigh.  And to add irony to this artist episode, Wednesday, at the slightest bit of mess on her hands, regularly requests a napkin or other cloth to wipe her hands because she cannot stand to have hands that are dirty.  Yeah.  Go figure.

So, I don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.  Which leads me to today’s episode with Tuesday and the purple crayon.  As I’ve said, I was unaware that the purple crayon was at all accessible by the natives.  I was working away at the communal eating surface whilst the natives were being entertained by the electronic media box, or so I thought.  After a bit of time, Tuesday came running into the food preparation area and that’s when I noticed her.  Seen below, it appears that Tuesday was experimenting with purple crayon as a form of warpaint.

photo-37My first reaction was to extract from the native what the hell she was attempting to do, figuring that the explanation would be entertaining at the least.

Me: Tuesday, why did you do this to yourself?

Tuesday: Purple crayon….(unintelligible)

Me:  Why did you do this with the purple crayon?

Tuesday: (Fidgeting and more unintelligible gibberish – something about not being able to write in the notebook)

Determining that this line of questioning was not going to get the desired results, I determined that it was time to clean the native up, AFTER properly documenting the occasion.  I also disarmed the native of the purple crayon and returned it to its place on the window sill above the sink in the food preparation area.

So, I should know better.  I really should.  For every step I take to prevent episodes like this from happening, I find myself another two steps back as the natives show me the amazing and wonderous options in art making.

Day 685: Sunny Days and Wednesday Falling Down

All good things must come to an end – fun times, sunshine, little fluffy kittens – they all end at some point:  fun times often turn into not-so-fun times, sunshine turns into clouds and rain, and kittens eventually grow into abhorrent felines.  Yes, all good things eventually end – and today was no exception.  The weather outside the abode today was truly remarkable, when compared with that of the day prior.  Yesterday, the temperatures outside the abode struggled to reach forty degrees – uncharacteristic for a day in late April.  Today, however, is the complete opposite – warm sun has driven temperatures to over seventy degrees – temperatures perfect for taking the natives outside for some exercise on the outdoor exercise apparatus.

Taking the natives outside the abode to play is a lot like walking an exuberant canine; for when finally opening the door to the outside, the natives, in a flurry of haste and activity, push past me, nearly knocking me over to get outside the abode, much the way an exuberant canine would just to be pulling along its owner by the leash.  Once having clearing the door, the natives make a b-line for the outdoor exercise apparatus, fighting each other to be the first one there.  I usually have to admonish the natives to be careful, particularly Tuesday, to be careful of her younger sibling and to not knock her over.  Wednesday is considerably less agile and more prone to being hurled to the ground by her elder sibling’s forceful antics.  Regardless, both natives arrived at the outdoor exercise apparatus, ready to play on its swings and slide.

Tuesday has become somewhat of an old pro at swinging on the swings; just needing a little help both getting on and actually swinging on the swing, she manipulates the chain hung seat with the expertise of a trapeze artist.  Often, Tuesday can be found winding the chains that suspend the swing up so that it spins her around and around, another great trick to be proud of.  Wednesday on the other hand requires much more assistance and supervision.  Still in the exploration phase of her development, Wednesday does not always understand the consequences of her actions and those of certain objects and apparatuses.  Because Wednesday is still in the exploration phase of her development, she exhibits a “daredevil” mentality when she approaches things such as the swings and the slide.  For example, Wednesday can climb up to the top of the slide.  No biggie, a pretty good accomplishment, but nothing too outrageous.  Wednesday also likes to attempt to dismount the slide from the TOP, rather than sliding down as most natives her age do.  This is a problem and prompts more close supervision.

Today, however, Wednesday was interested in swinging. In her swing.  Which is four feet of the ground.  For the most part, this swing is a Godsend.  It is blue plastic, with a red plastic piece that allows buckles to securely fasten in any native that sits in the swing.  And, for the most part, Wednesday is happy with that arrangement.  However, soon, Wednesday’s buckle obsession takes over.

I don’t know what the hell it is about buckles that fascinates Wednesday.  I don’t.  She will sit there for several minutes just playing with the buckles.  Her buckle fascination extends inside the abode as well especially with the buckles that are attached to their adjustable seating apparatuses in the food preparation area.  Anywho, whilst Wednesday is playing with said buckles, I do NOT allow her to swing and a refuse to push her or leave her side.  Tuesday tends to do other things and stick close to where we are.  Usually.  Today, Tuesday was playing on the slide, I believe.  Now, during the time that the natives and I were outdoors, I had a phone conversation with the tribal elders about a particular issue that was of importance at the moment.  Wednesday continued playing with the buckles, attempting to determine just how the damn things worked and I was trying to pay careful attention to her.

Apparently, not careful enough.

In a split second, I had bent down to pick something up off the ground, Wednesday had managed to push away the red piece that connected the buckles to the swing and slide OUT of the swing, which, again, was four feet off the ground.  Catching her movement out of the corner of my eye, I attempted to catch her with my free hand (my other was still holding my phone), however, my strength and speed, not being strong nor fast enough, I merely bounced off her on her way to the ground.  Shit!

Conversation with tribal elders ended.  Crisis unavoidable.

Wednesday did not hit the ground as hard as she could have – at least that’s what I’m telling myself to make me feel better.  Within seconds of her body reaching the ground, the crying and wailing began.  Shit shit.  I lifted her up off the ground, brushed off the pine needles and dirt that had now soiled her clothes and attempted to calm her down.  Fat chance, idiot.  Good going.  Some father of the year you are.  She cried and carried on for some time and I decided that our excursion outside had come to an end.  Gathering up our belongings, I corralled the natives inside, much to Wednesday’s chagrin, and called it a day – outdoors anyway.  Once inside, Wednesday calmed down and is currently munching on some nilla wafer cookies.  Food has a way of fixing things.

So, all things – good or not – come to an end.  Today, the good time being had outdoors on the outdoor exercise apparatus came to an abrupt end and the cause of the end of the excursion outdoor (Wednesday’s crying and carrying on) came to an end inside too.  Oh well.  You win some, you lose some and some, well, some get rained out.

Day 679: Struggles with Native Distractions and Tribal Vehicle Repairs

My mother always said there’d be days like this.  What she didn’t say is that there’d be weeks.  Multiple weeks.  Weeks have passed where the consumption of attitude modification beverages, also known as alcoholic beverages, have been required for purposes of mental health.  The struggles I have been experiencing with the natives are not new nor are they behaviors I have not witnessed or experienced; rather, these radical, sometimes horrific behaviors are being amplified – intensified with an energy that would make the fires of hell look like a single match stick.  Yup.  They’ve not only learned what to do to raise my ire, they now intentionally do it – in fucking tandem.

On occasion, I do have work that I need to accomplish. I know, how the hell dare I.  However, I do.  I must get SOMETHING done other than increase my chances of needing an I-love-me jacket and a padded room all to my own.  The occasions of needing to accomplish this “work” as I call it are becoming more frequent and thus deadlines must be set and adhered to.  I get it.  My clients get it.  Everyone gets it, except for – wait for it – the natives.  In fact, I think they are the antichrist when it comes to work.  I can hear them now in their primitive, scheming little minds: “Thou shalt not attempt to accomplish anything other than tend to our every whim!” (Biblical dialogue added for added effect – the natives do not use biblical verbiage about the abode – hell, most of the time, I’m lucky if I can get a whole fucking sentence.)  And, each day that I sit down, at my place at the food preparation area, the natives take their respective roles in the Thou Shalt Not Work Circus.

I have not determined just how they know the very moment I sit down to try to accomplish something; perhaps it’s a sixth sense.  Their uncanny ability to know the very moment I attempt to begin working and appear that next moment demanding, because requesting using manners is just too fucking difficult, is frightening and impressive.  These “attempts” at impeding my labors begin as soon as they arise in the morning, with the first several interruptions being beverage related – simply put, they need something more to drink.  And, what one must have, the other must have also.  Yet, do you think they’d time it so that they’d interrupt once instead of timing it perfectly after I return to work after the first request?  No.  That would be fucking heresy.   After getting both natives their beverages, the peace that I get to perform any kind of productive function lasts from two to five minutes.  After that they’ll request – of all the nerve – food.  Square fucking cheese.  For those who are unaware, square cheese is simply American Cheese.  The natives designate the cheese that they desire by shape.  Anyways, this usually prompts multiple interruptions until the first meal of the day is consumed by them and they return to whatever diabolical scheme that they are concocting in the tribal living area.  I then get a few moments to work.  What the hell was I doing again?

Many of my interruptions are caused by arguments – tiffs – slight brawls – between the natives over just about anything.  I wish to note here that my refereeing skills need some work.  Normally when I am beckoned to intervene in a squabble, I approach it like I am loaded for fucking bear.  And, usually, I preface it with, “For the love of God.”  When asked what the disruption is about, what do I get?  You guessed it – those damn crickets.  No blaming.  No owning up to it.  Nothing.  Well, except for more crying and squabbling.  I’ve had my fill of solving and refereeing arguments between the natives – normally, they revolve around Tuesday causing some atrocity toward or at her younger sibling.  On rare occasions, Wednesday is the culprit for her elder sister’s chagrin.  And sometimes, just sometimes, Wednesday cries for no fucking reason at all.  None.  Like ghosts or apparitions or something cause her displeasure because when the situation is observed, she’s all alone and no one is within striking distance.

And yet still there are those tell-tale fucking sounds – you, know the ones I’m talking about – the ones that scream, “Hey, I’m scaling the electronic media structure, come look at me,” or “Hey, I’m attempting to leave the abode and I’m fumbling with the locks, could you give me a hand?”  These are the sounds that stop me in my tracks – in mid-thought and say, “Get your ass up and investigate.”  It’s like fucking toddler mischief sonar.  And yes, it’s a blessing and a curse.

So those are my distractions – and never are they predictable and never are they the same, day in and day out.  Something to add a little, “How can we fuck up your day” into your routine and today was no different.  The day started in the usual manner, the tribal leader rose and began preparing for work, and I attempted to steal a few more moments of sleep.  Fat chance.  Before departing, she had informed me that one of the wildlife had vomited all over the reclining tribal furniture in the tribal living area.  Fucking wonderful.  So, I rose and attempted to start cleaning it before one of the natives arose and plopped their belongings down in the mess.  I cleaned that and then returned to our resting chambers.  Any hope of more slumber was squashed by Wednesday who made her drunken penguin trek out to the food preparation area, babbling and talking away, the whole journey there.  Fantastic.

After getting her situated, I then received a phone call from the tribal leader informing me that her mode of transportation had a flat tire and that she had taken the other vehicle to get to her usual occupation.  This day just keeps getting fucking better and better.  So, she placed in my trust the deed to get the tire fixed, which appeared to be a simple task. The effective word there is “appeared.”

So after spending the entire morning fielding attacks from the natives on my attempts to accomplish anything – clean dishes, work, clothe my stinking hide -anything – one of the tribal elders arrived so that I could escape..I mean fix the damaged tire.  I got outside to the vehicle and there it sat – flatter than flat.  My first job was to figure out where the fuck the vehicle support was that would enable me to remove the damaged tire.  I looked under the hood of the vehicle – no, not there.  I looked underneath the vehicle – no not there.  I looked in several compartments in the back-end of the vehicle – no, no, no.  I felt like I was looking for fucking Waldo.  I then resorted to consulting the manual that came with the vehicle – a novel idea.  According to said manual, the vehicle support was in two entirely separate locations in the vehicle – both of which required A LOT of purging of “stuff” before they were accessible.  In fact, I fought with one part of the support for ten fucking minutes before I got it out so that I could use it.  Ten fucking minutes.

After getting the vehicle support out and assembling the pieces, because what would be the sense of this device being somewhat together, I attempted to raise the back-end of the vehicle to remove the damaged tire.  Great.  Back end raised.  No tire iron.  Shit.  I found some tools and attempted to remove the lug nuts with a ratchet when I realized that the end of the handle for the vehicle support was the piece that I needed.  Dipshit.  After that, taking the lugs off was slightly easier – I say slightly because I nearly had a damn hernia trying to get them off.  All fucking six of them.  Once off, I was able to complete the job by taking the tire to a merchant that fixes vehicle tires for a minimal fee.  About an hour later, the tire was back on and my work was done.  Now to check on the tribal elder.

I expected to see the natives running rampant with the tribal elder tied up or some such situation – however, this was not the case.  The natives had, however, managed to finagle more food from the tribal elder – after they had already eaten bananas, waffles, cheese, hotdogs, strawberries and vegetable flavored sticks.  Upon my arrival inside the abode, Tuesday informed me that she was “playing in the water in the sink” with her arms wet up to her elbows.  Sigh.  I informed her sternly that the dish water was no place to be playing and that the tribal leader merely asked her to place a dirty dish into the water.  Lost in translation.

The remainder of the day prompted more exuberant behavior from the natives and tantrums – oh the fucking tantrums – galore.  For now, they sleep.  Soon, I will too.  After another glass of wine…

Day 674: Of Bedtime Woes, Purple Crayons and Odd Sleeping Arrangments

It has been over half a month – seventeen days – since my last entry – roughly two and a half weeks of tribal insanity.  I could not begin to describe every event, every detail that has occurred in the tribe of late, for, I believe my mind was lost a week and half ago, never to be seen again.  Instead, I will touch on the highlights, or rather in some cases, the lowlights, of the activities of the natives and the tribe.

The natives have been busy, as per usual, sometimes causing hate and discontent amongst themselves and other times plotting – scheming – TOGETHER against the tribal leader and myself.  I have to admit that the moments when the natives are interacting without conflict are the most enjoyable and interesting to watch; however, they are also the most dangerous for in those moments information – intel if you will – is being passed from the elder native to the younger – critical notes about how to properly scale objects, demonstrate exemplary form when escaping the confines of their resting chambers, and singing – oh, the singing – alphabet, numbers, Row, Row, Row Your Fucking Boat, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and where would we be without the timeless fucking hit Jingle Bells.  Three.  Months. After. Christmas.

Some days, the singing is tolerable – as tolerable as several hours of being waterboarded.  The singing, most days however, could be considered an effective form of torture.  After the tenth round of Jingle Bells inside of five minutes and I would be ready to spill my guts to anyone.  However, of late, this has been the least of my worries, which leads me to the Purple Crayon Caper.

The Purple Crayon Caper occurred at least a week ago, perhaps even ten days.  The crime went down thus:  Tuesday, being skilled in the ways of art making and art media use, has been making prolific use of her days by creating masterpieces that are impressive for natives her age.  Seen below are some primitive drawings by her that delineate, and I do mean delineate because they are stick figures, the tribe including myself and some of the wildlife.  Also depicted is a sun featuring a smile, perhaps as Tuesday pictured it in her mind’s eye.  As I said – impressive work for a three and a half-year old.

600233_10151549393001142_1894795750_nI commended the native for her work – and documented the occasion.  Apparently, the commendation went to her head because she went on to discover how crayon works with other substrate – namely the tribe’s new, well, not new but new to the tribe, 32″ flat screen electronic media box.  Purple crayon.  Wide, sweeping circles.  All. Over. The. Screen.

I have to admit that I did not notice this crime until well after it was committed – for I only noticed because I was assisting the natives (Ok, well not assisting, more like orchestrating, directing, doing it myself, etc.) in picking up the tribal living area.  Tuesday had smuggled the offending instruments into the tribal living area and whilst I slaved away in the food preparation area, she quickly vandalized the electronic media box and got away with the crime and the crayon.  So she thought.

Upon seeing the vandalism, I quickly and sternly reprimanded the native and quickly began seeking a cleaning agent and a cloth to hopefully fix the mess.  Luckily, it cleaned easy.  Good thing.

Following the Purple Crayon Caper, Tuesday lost the use of her art media for, as I’ve said, over a week.  They were returned to her this evening.  For the time being.

During this whole time since last I posted, the tribe has been experiencing a plague of sorts which has all be dissipated from the inhabitants of the tribal abode.  During this time also, Wednesday celebrated a life milestone in the form of the second anniversary of her birthday.  This was met with festive baked goods, gifts for the young native and a gathering of friends and family.

Since I am on the topic of Wednesday, I would like to note her recent sleeping habits – and by sleeping habits I mean random napping locations.  You see, Wednesday is in the process of abandoning rest periods during the day – however, the native is just fond enough of these naps that she doesn’t quite have the juice to keep going through the day without them.  So, on any given day, she’ll be found, exactly where she drops – in a chair, on the floor in a pile of stuffed toys – wait, what?  Yes.  A pile of stuffed toys.  It’s apparently a really comfortable napping location.  So comfortable in fact, she slept for two hours.  She is pictured below curled up in a pose that most contortionists would cringe at.  And, she sleeps.   Good thing to because she’s a miserable wretch otherwise.

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Even this evening, bedtime woes were abound – both natives were beyond tired – both natives napped earlier today – however, both natives needed to go to bed, not just for their own sake, but for the tribal leader and myself as well.  After tucking them in, the bedtime woes began.  Lamentations.  Several rounds of the fucking alphabet.  And Row, Row, Row Your Boat.  And then, they appeared.

Wednesday: “I hungy. I hungy.”

Apparently, the natives, at the ripe old age of two and three and a half, have learned the fine art of emotional blackmail through professing their hunger.  However, we, the tribal leader and I, know better.

Tribal Leader: “You’re only hungry because you don’t want to go to bed.”

True story – these natives have been eating like cows – grazing throughout the day.  I’ve seen what they’ve eaten.  The should not be hungry.

Wednesday: “I hungy. I want cookie.”

And the truth shall set you free.  Wednesday is a cookie lobbyist.  Actually, she’s a food lobbyist, it doesn’t really matter what kind or type.

Me: “You’re not getting cookies.”

Wednesday: “Ohhhhhh…”  I could feel the disappointment in her voice.  Life is tough, kid.

Yeah.  Go ahead.  Whine. Curl that lip under so that is swallows your chin.  I dare you.

Me:  “If you’re hungry, you can have some dry cereal.”

Wednesday: “Ok.”  She immediately comes and grabs the bowl and starts eating.  Apparently she was hungry.  Guilt starts setting in…

She did continue her cookie lobbying a few more times and suddenly we began to hear her elder sibling’s voice from afar announcing that she would like cookies too.  What the fuck is it with cookies tonight? We informed her that no one was getting cookies and told her to go to sleep.

Soon, both natives were in the food preparation area, lamenting that they could not sleep as they were not ready to go to bed.  Tough luck.  Both natives received an armed escort back to the resting chambers and were tucked in, yet again, and admonished to go to sleep.

This was followed by more torturous singing of the alphabet, Row, Row, Row Your Fucking Boat and more selected hits.  Tuesday began shouting loudly for my presence and I spoke to them over the two-way monitor informing them that they needed to stop the incessant singing, counting, yelling, talking and go to sleep.  Suddenly, there were those fucking crickets.  The talking went on a bit longer about birthdays and Tuesday demanding that Wednesday stop singing.  Good.  Glad I’m not the only one.  Then, all was quiet.

There has been much more fun and excitement at the tribe in the past two weeks, but as I’ve said, I lost my mind about a week ago.  You’ll just have to enjoy the tales I’ve told and await the next post for more adventures in parenthood.

Day 657: An Attempt at Reasoning With Tuesday

For the past several days, the tribe has been experiencing a form of plague – not the kind that eventually ends in death, but the kind that slowly, mercilessly sucks the very life and soul out of its victim, replacing it with snot and mucus.  I, fortunately, have managed to escape the plague that has descended upon the tribe, thus, landing me the role of “caregiver” to those taken ill which include the tribal leader, Tuesday and Wednesday.

I will state now and for the record that I would rather have a fleas of a thousand pigmies infest my armpits than endure a moment of the native’s behavior whilst under the weather.  The behavior that ensues during such conditions and ill-health is more painful to endure than having bamboo shoved up underneath my fingernails.  Yes, it’s just fucking delightful.  You see, the natives, being of such a young age and not having mastered the finer points of expelling mucus out of their nostrils, require constant, if not frequent, monitoring to ensure that the mucus draining out of their noses does not end up in the mouths, or worse, down their throats, causing frightening coughing fits and vomiting of mucus mixed with half digested sustenance.  Had enough yet?  But, wait, there’s more.  Because the natives are feeling completely awful, they make life for me, the caregiver, that much more awful by constantly lamenting the littlest, insignificant infractions, such as not being able to find a particular toy that is obviously in front of them.  Indeed, it has been an awful four days.

Beginning yesterday, the natives showed signs of health improvement, much to my relief.  The tribal leader began showing signs of illness on Sunday evening last, adding to the growing list of the infirmed.  Their overall health is significantly better than it was in prior days, with only minor coughing fits and only a little less frequent mucus cleaning sessions.  The increase in their activity provided further proof of their improving health as well as the growth in appetite.  Fantastic!  Two natives on the mend and only one tribe member still exhibiting signs of illness!

However, this success story celebration was to be short-lived.  You see, with the increase in activity of the natives comes more opportunities for mischief and thus, more opportunities for vandalism.  Sigh.

Permit me to set the stage, if you will: the large structure housing the electronic media box and digital media player is made entirely of wood, and a few hinges and screws.  Aside from the two large openings for the aforesaid media box and player, there is a closed in storage area at the bottom of the structure, closed by two wooden doors that close a certain way so that one cannot be closed without the other being closed first.  Not difficult, but hey, we’re not dealing with rocket science here anyways.

Since the tribe discovered a burning plastic smell, which turned out to be a burning surge suppressor ( which is another story and shall be told another time ), a different arrangement was employed by removing the digital media rack and arranging the remaining furniture differently.  Thus, opening up the vulnerability of the storage area at the bottom of the large wooden structure.  I shall refer to this as mistake number fucking one.

Today, Tuesday managed to access the storage area by easily opening the doors which enclosed it.  She was quickly admonished to leave it the hell alone and the area was closed again, properly, all witnessed by an overzealous Tuesday.

Several hours later was when the alleged vandalism occurred.  Having not been present during said vandalism, I can only imagine that it went thus: Tuesday, being a quick study at how the storage doors were operated, again got the doors opened, however, instead of focusing on the contents of the storage area (which only contains several electronic games, old media tapes and the like ) she instead used the door as a seat to enable front row seating to the program that was on the electronic media box.  I’m assuming that it did not take long for her weight of thirty-eight pounds to crack and break the door, and I’m assuming that it also took very little time for her to alert me that the door was, in fact, broken.  Like cracked.  And splintered.  In multiple fucking places.

After examining the vandalism, I determined that the repair would need to take place at a later time when the natives were not present.  I admonished the natives, particularly Tuesday, to NEVER, EVER touch the doors again.  I affixed them back into place for the time being with the hope that that would be the only reprimand that would be needed to deter the native’s interest in the storage area.  Mistake number fucking two.

A little while later, the door was again, swinging in the breeze, cracked and splintered.  This time, Tuesday caught the ire of the tribal leader, who was already in a foul mood because of her illness.  Let there be no mistake here – my admonishment means NOTHING compared to those of the tribal leader – normally.  One of these days, I expect lightning to come crashing down from the heavens, striking the native that angers her wrath.  As epic as her manner of calming the natives is, her wrath is even more fucking epic.  Anywho, this evening, Tuesday even disregarded the reprimand of the tribal leader.  Yup.  Which, of course, continued to raise the ire of the tribal leader.  Fun times.

The tribal leader attempted to piece back together the broken door which required liquid adhesive, elastic bands and some delicate handling.  I, on the other hand, attempted to reason with the natives, particularly Tuesday.  Wednesday, at this point, was just in stand-by mode – watching, observing, learning – waiting to make her next move, while Tuesday was in all-out civil disobedience mode, clearly not giving a fuck about what was said, asked or otherwise demanded of her.  Sigh.

After the repair was complete, I attempted to do the impossible: reason with Tuesday.  I have tried on numerous occasions to reason with the native, to no avail.  Tonight, however, I was going to make contact.  I went down to her resting chambers were she and Wednesday were milling about.  I ordered Wednesday out of the room and sat, right in front of the closed-door, with just Tuesday and myself remaining in the room.  She grinned.

“I’m not happy with you.”

“Not happy?” she inquired.

“Yes, not happy.  We’re going to have a discussion.  Sit over here on the floor with me.”  She came over and sat about three feet away.

“No.  Closer to me.” I pointed.  I wanted her front and fucking center.  She was going to pay attention to me and nothing else, which was part of my reason for both closing the door and ordering Wednesday out.  She moved closer, still grinning.

“You need to listen to us,” I admonished, “the first time.”

“Yeah.” She was looking all around the room, anywhere but making eye contact.  I felt like I was talking to a drunk.

“Tuesday!”

“Yeah?”

“Why do you suppose we might be upset with you?” I asked, “What did you do that made us upset with you?”

“I push Wednesday”

“No.. it’s not because you pushed Wednesday,” I replied.  At this point, she was rolling around, looking at the ceiling, playing with her feet – anything but paying attention to me.

“TUESDAY! LOOK AT ME!”

“Yes!” she came right up close to my face.  At this point, I had forgotten what I was trying to say. Shit.  I wanted to laugh, but no.  My anger was building.

“What did I just say?”

I ended that line of question for a bit.  I started with the answer instead.  “We’re upset with you because you broke the door on the cabinet.  Mommy’s very upset with you.”

“Yeah.” Well, at least she acknowledged that.  Again, more rolling around ensued.  Jesus.

“Tuesday…”

“Yeah…” getting right up close to me again.  Ugh.  I wonder if the cops have this much trouble.

“You need to go say sorry for breaking the door.”

“Go say sorry for breaking door.” She repeated.

“You need to say sorry for not listening.”

“Go say sorry for listening.” Not exact, but I knew what she meant.  The tribal leader would too.

I then inquired about how we could help her remember how to do things.  Once again, crickets abound.  I suggested that maybe constant repetition might help.  It was met with an eager, “Oh yeah!”  Fantastic.  It worked for the freakin’ alphabet, why not for behavior?  We revisited the idea of why she was pulled aside for questioning, informed of the deficiency in her listening skills and reminded of all the things she would be without if this behavior continued.  Then, I let her loose.

Now, during this time, Wednesday was extremely distraught – distraught with the idea that I had somehow escaped the tribal abode and was not coming back (hmmm, a thought…) however, her fear was untrue.  We emerged from their resting chambers, and Tuesday immediately sought the tribal leader and anxiously spit out her apologies.

“I sorry I not break door,” she blurted out, “I sorry I listened.”  Ugh.  Well, it’s a step.  The tribal leader understood and after much-needed affection, the natives went about their business in the tribal living area.

The natives are currently in the resting quarters, fast asleep.  Thank. God.  It’s not often that I question my sanity, however, after the interrogation of the criminal native, I’m beginning to wonder.  Perhaps all that separates me from insanity and ill-health and being of sound mine is a tall glass of wine.