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In my previous post I mentioned my guilty pleasure…and if you look closely you’ll see more than one in that post. I did not, however, mention the more common following:

Chocolate

Red Wine

Cheesecake

Chocolate

Tequila

Guinness

Hot Wings

Chocolate

Cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake

Why did I not mention those things? Because I am not the least bit guilty about these things.

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My Guilty Pleasure

Before I lose probably the only reader I have so far I want to admit to a guilty pleasure that not really very pleasurable. It’s a website on my blogroll called The Dreamin Demon.

Let me tell you, as if you’re not already paranoid enough about horrible things happening to your kids the true crime articles on this site will have you helicopter parenting before you get done reading one post.

I found the site by complete accident while looking for an update on a crime in my area. Within two mouse clicks I wanted to wrap my kids up and move to the Yukon or Siberia, or some other place that’s just as unpopulated, arm myself with some anti-tank missiles, and take some high ground so that I can see the crazies coming.

So why do I keep going back? Because I study crime and for fun for one. And two because by reading the posts I’ve been able to track a major swing in public opinion concerning crimes against children.

I’m in my early thirties. I remember when “Stranger Danger” was introduced into schools, as well as the D.A.R.E program’s first year. I also remember the whole “Good Touch-Bad Touch” thing and about a thousand utterly depressing after-school specials that I was free to watch because I was staying home with my two younger siblings at the ripe old age of 9. But within all of this information there was still a problem.

Somehow, as a society, we decided the following:

Older male + younger female = rape, molestation, BAD

Older male + younger male = rape, molestation, BAD

Older female + younger female = rape, molestation, BAD (Sometimes)

Ugly older female + young male = Rape, molestation, BAD (and never talked about)

Older attractive female + younger male = coming of age, pleasurable first time, GOOD!! (To the point of almost no jail time for these offenders and bragging rights for the abused kid)

South Park did a parody on this a couple of years ago that hit the nail on the head. Episode 1010 “Niiicce” was the catch phrase that episode, which was also everyone in town’s response when it was reported that a kindergartner was having sex with the attractive new teacher.

Believe it or not, I watch South Park. However, I really only watch the episodes with underlying social and political commentary. OK, so the delivery is off, and it’s usually surrounded by disgusting toilet humor and some really inappropriate scenes that make me turn away, but that’s actually what makes it more interesting to watch in my opinion. And really, pay attention to air dates of South Park episodes and changes in the social climate and you’ll see a startling pattern.

For example, the above mentioned episode is based on the case of Debra Lafave who had a sexual relationship with a 14 year old boy. This was the 23 year old blond in Florida. In April that same year Lafave avoided jail time (Twice! Two counties, two separate trials) through a plea bargain. Her attorney offered the defense that because she was young and attractive she shouldn’t be sent to jail because it would damage her (WTF!!!!) The South Park episode aired on Oct. 18, 2006.

During the episode Kyle, older brother of the kindergartner Ike who is being molested, is repeatedly met with problems reporting the incident and having it taken seriously. Much the same as the above mentioned case. Socially, it was considered acceptable (and even applaudable) for the 23 year old woman to repeatedly abuse a 14 year old boy who had an idea, but no real understanding, of what was happening to him. You have no idea how many times I read “What’s the big deal, she’s HAWT!!” comments on the news articles about this case. This was one of those cases that made me physically ill to follow.

Most of society saw the relationship between the 23 year old educator and the 14 year old CHILD as a good thing. However, my husband and I saw it for what it was… statutory rape of a minor child by an authority figure. Husband frequents a guitar related message board and more than once laid into someone who made a “she’s hawt!” comment about the case. Often pointing out in no uncertain terms that this was a CHILD and that no one would be thinking it was awesome if it was an adult male of the same age and an underage female no matter how “hawt” the offender was. But when the South Park episode aired everything on that message board suddenly swung the other way. The few people who were still trying to say it was OK because she was hot were immediately met with a barrage of insults and labeled things like pedophile from their first post.

I like The Dreamin Demon because they make no bones about the fact that diddling a kid, no matter age, sex, religion or hotness, is a CRIME!!! It doesn’t matter to the blog writers how hot or not the offender is, only that they are an adult and this is a child. They also hold oblivious parents responsible for their inactions. They do not hide their contempt for parents who rate “their latest swinging ___” higher than their own children. Though they do sympathize in cases where it takes a woman a day to get away from someone because they’ve been trapped by that person. And in cases where a single parent is struggling to work to support her children without a stable support system. But everything else is fair game.

They are by no means nice over there, but they are truthful. They report on the most depraved and disgusting crimes in the news and are not PC about it. basically, they’re saying what we’re all already thinking and I give them a hearty cheer for that.

However, none of this changes the fact that I have to limit myself to reading one post per day so that I don’t do that whole militant move to Siberia thing I mentioned to begin with.

Things that are acceptable for a middle school open house here in the redneck riviera:

Cans of beer covered in brown paper bags (like it’s actually fooling anyone)

Squeezing a metric ton of flesh into your daughter’s jeans and thinking it makes you look great

Making sure your hair is the perfect sexy-messy style for a truck load of 13 year olds and a bunch of single moms

Not brushing your hair at all

Openly flirting with someone else’s husband

Openly flirting with someone’s 14 year old son (when you’re someone else’s mom)

Bringing your six month old baby to meet your teachers

Telling your kid’s science teacher that you: “Don’t want none of that evo-lutin trash taught to them”

Yelling at said teacher even after they just smile, sigh, and nod in response

Encouraging your child to remember to beat up the kid who helped the teacher set up her classroom computers because he’s: “nuthin but a little kiss-ass.”

Tell the principal that you don’t need no n___r woman teachin your kid (Especially when the principal is a black woman)

Ask the resource officer if they remember you from that meth bust last week

Sharing a joint with your kid in the parking lot

And yes, these are all things that I witnessed during open house last night. And people wonder why I don’t get involved with my kids’ school.

The other day I had two out of three children with me while I went grocery shopping. Girl Twin and The Little Bug decided that they wanted to go with. Everything was going as per usual. GT was sighing and rolling her eyes like she didn’t want to be there or like she hadn’t just spent ten minutes picking out the perfect hairstyle to be seen by her peers. TLB was grabbing for everything on the shelves and asking for only the most expensive items in the store and pouting when I said no. Then something happened.

As I perused the cheese-food I heard cute little blond GT’s voice carry over most of the store: “What the hell you fat bitch, we’re standing here?”

I look over just in time to see and hear a 400 pound woman on one of those motorized carts reply: Parents don’t teach manners anymore.

To which GT replied while picking up the pouting TLB: My parents taught me it’s bad manners to run down toddlers to get to the snack cakes!

Fat woman, as she backed away beeping: You need to learn some respect!

GT: And you need to try a salad!

By this time several blue-haired women and someone who looks like a manager started sliding our way. I was only a few feet away from the girls but no, I didn’t interfere. At least not until FW (Fat Woman) shouted “Where’s your mother?”

Me: Right here, what’s the problem. (I ask like I didn’t already know)

The blue hairs start to disburse, while manager man edges closer.

FW: Your kid got in my way.

Me: I’d say most of the continental united states in in your way!

I see Manager Man crack a smile that he quickly covers up by straightening an already straight end cap as GT speaks up: She came screaming around the corner and hit Buggy!
TLB added: She hit me! While pointing at the fat woman.

I give the girls a look like I’m going to reprimand them and say: Girls, you know better than to get between a fat woman and two-for-one Little Debbie’s.

This situation illustrates a point I’d like to make. While you’re zipping around the grocery store pay attention to the other people around you. When my twins were younger, and shorter, they were brained repeatedly by oblivious people with shopping carts. Said oblivious individuals would then sneer at my kids like they’d gotten in the way.

I’d like to point out at this time that they did not. From the time they could walk I’ve taught them to walk in a tight line behind me so that they don’t get in the way. A friend once commented that my kids look like well-mannered little ducklings following me around the store. They were six and were were in the art supply store I worked in at the time. Jay couldn’t believe that six year olds could walk quietly without pulling everything off the shelves as they passed. In short, my kids are trained to stay out of the way.

My kids are also very well mannered and get offended by misbehaving kids. So much so that once in Lowe’s my son made this very clear to a kid his age (about six or seven) who was throwing a toddler fit. He calmly walked over to the boy and said: You know you’re making the rest of us look bad.

They were six when I started allowing them to swear at people who tried to run them down with a shopping cart. I did this not because I think it’s cute when little kids say bad words, but because when a little kid says a bad word people look around. (This is also what we’ve taught them to do if someone tries to grab them. After all, if you hear a six year old suddenly shout “Get your f-ing hands off me” your going to look, right?)

The moral of this story is this: If you are in the grocery store and you obliviously run down one of my kids in a race to get as many 100 calorie packs as you can into your cart you will be cursed at.

Rude: Running over a kid then yelling at them about getting in your way.

Not Rude: Being run over by someone who refuses to admit that anyone under four feet tall has a right to exist then swearing mightily at them for whacking you in the head with a shopping cart.

My kids are polite to a fault. But if you run one of them down in the Cheez-It isle…. Well there’s really no more satisfying sight than a 400 pound woman in curlers beepingly backing away from a 13 year old girl who just made them cry.

On a side note: I did make her put down the can of crushed pineapple she was going to huck at the woman.

I love my children, really I do. But sometimes having teens will make you want to happily agree with Mark Twain’s theory that children should be nailed into a barrel and fed through the hole until they turn 18, at which time you then decide if you’re going to let them out or close up the bunghole.

I’ll go ahead and admit that I’m an uncaring monster. I have this dastardly idea that now that my oldest two are 13 they are quite capable of doing a few more chores.

Their previous chore list included such horrifying tortures as:

Pick up your dirty clothes

Fold the laundry

Feed the pets

Wash the dishes

I’m not a big stickler for the whole Clean Bedroom idea, I more insist on a kind of organized chaos for that region. As long as the piles are of mostly the same things and there’s no food anywhere I don’t gripe too much. After all, that’s why you close doors when company comes by.

Now I’ve apparently hit the limit as to how much they are willing to take. I’ve added (Dun, dun, dun) Clean the Bathroom to the monthly repertoire.

I know. Is there no end to the pain I’m willing to inflict?

Unfortunately they’ve also both been asking around school and found that somehow they are the only children in the entire middle school asked to do these strange and archaic things. I mean when the hell did this happen? These are the same chores that I had to do when I was their age.

In an effort to thwart my maniacal controlling tyranny they’ve enlisted the help of a friend’s mother in getting me to quell my insane need for torture. Girl Twin (GT) has a friend who is well on her way to a life with a with a 25 year old factory worker by the ripe old age of 14.

And let me tell you, there’s no advice in the world that compares to the wisdom of a trailer dwelling thirty-five year old, with two first names. That right there is chain-smoking, pregnant, toothless, redneck, swilling a can of Schlitz while her 22 year old husband eyes your 13 year old daughter wisdom. And if the 22 year old, half-shirt clad husband can tear his eyes off you’re underage daughter long enough to nod in agreement, well that’s the kind of wisdom you can’t find at Hallmark.

I believe that “piss off you methed out hag” was the nicest thing I had to say. Luckily she was wasted when I said it and doesn’t remember so she’s still around anytime our girls want to get together. Yay.

This was one of those dangers about having kids that you don’t really get warned about in parenting magazines or pastel colored books with art deco moms and babies on the cover. In print, unsolicited advice seems to come from pant-suit wearing supermoms with whiter teeth and happy over-achieving kids. Not from women affectionately know as “That drunk bitch that hangs out at Sloppy’s bait and tackle.”

I did make a deal with my kids by telling them that if they can find one area mom who has all her teeth, doesn’t have to borrow her sister/cousin’s van for outings, and wears maternity clothes that don’t have beer adverts on them, then I’ll listen to their issues with the torture that is Vacuuming.

Until then, wash the cups and glasses first so that they don’t get greasy. And I will continue to answer the question: Do you have a dishwasher? by pointing to the two of you.

My Hero

10 pm in the Hackney household. Usually this means I’m winding down by repeatedly checking my empty inbox while praying that my instructor will post my latest grade while Husband takes a quick shower. Tonight however, we had a real adventure.

Firstly, let me explain that I live in Florida. Florida, home of large lizards, that can kill you, large fish, that can kill you, snakes both large and small, that can kill you, mosquitoes that carry diseases that can kill you, and even a few toads, that, yes, can kill you. I think we even have several plants here that can kill you. I was raised here so I’m very familiar with all the things here that can kill you. It’s not uncommon to find four foot gators lurking in your backyard as they wander between puddles. This stuff is so common that it doesn’t even bother me anymore. You just herd the kids inside and count the pets.

But what scares me pee-less?

Palmetto bugs.

Photobucket

Not scary? Well then you’ve never had one dive bomb you at 3 am when you really, really have to pee. Nor have you ever had one crawl out of one of those old single speaker 80’s era detective movie style tape recorders while said tape recorder is whispering your favorite Bangles cassette into your ear right as you’re waking up. These things are foul. And they’re huge! Like fifteen feet long! They have pointy legs and wobbly feelers and they’re just icky!

Last night one trapped me in the bathroom. He was at least ten feet long and wearing those dual crisscrossing bullet things that you see in old western movies and smoking a chewed up cigar while he laughed and taunted me.

Have I mentioned yet that I’m currently having a late and heavy period? No. Well that’s pertinent. Husband gave me a chance to “go” before he took his shower so I scrambled into the 5×5 closet we call a bathroom. Slammed the door and started crying hysterically.

Yes, they scare me that bad!

El Jefe cucaracha was sitting on the edging to the door laughing at me. I tried to get to the door and run away but it moved and I found myself clinging to the window ledge on the narrow side of the tub, still crying and trying to tap hard enough on the wall to get Husband’s attention, but not wake my dad or disturb the monster blocking the door into darting into the drain at my feet.

I give up and after several taps I resorted to maniacally framming on the wall as hard as I can. That finally got his attention.

Now I have to give you my husband’s picture of the scene.

Wife, who gave birth to a set of twins, and later a third who she popped out in a mere three pushes without even a grunt, who he met at a school full of burly biker types while she was getting a degree in Harley Davidson repair, who spent two years living on the streets in New Orleans, who he is absolutely sure would commit murder without a second thought to anyone who bothers her family and probably enjoy doing it, who he knows for a fact has had a gun in her face TWICE while working in gas stations without blinking, who he is completely convinced that if needs be could take him out without breaking a sweat if he gets too far out of line, is now standing on a strip of bathtub that’s more narrow than her own feet and clinging to the ledge of a foot wide window crying because of a inch long bug that won’t let her out of the bathroom.

My crying turns to hysterical laughter as I see the scene from his eyes.

Six and a half foot, blond, boxer clad, Husband crouches like a viking readying himself for a horn driven charge into battle. All he’s missing is furs, horned helm and a battle-axe. Which makes me laugh even harder, though fear tears are pouring down my face at this point.

Again I have to mention that the bathroom is about 5×5 and I think I’m being generous. The tub takes up one wall, the toilet is about ten inches from the tub and the sink sits right in front of the toilet giving about one foot of space between sink and toilet. The only other space in the room is the space left to allow for door opening. This is where Husband is standing ready to engage the terror that’s cornered Wife.

He readies himself for the attack. Then I realize that the plastic tote sitting in the corner behind the door (the tote where we pile everything we can’t fit on a shelf or under the sink, which also contains my annoyingly optimistic feminine necessities) will soon be the final resting place of El Jefe. I manage to squeak incoherently about said tote until Husband eventually tries to wrangle out what I need. He gets it wrong at first, grabbing the very small thin pads that Oldest Daughter uses instead of mine. Those things are about as effective as putting a band-aid on an amputated limb. After a few more tries he finally gives up and drags the whole thing into the middle of the floor. Which also shrinks his maneuverable space by half. My hero.

Hoping to end the battle as quickly as possible he grabs for the bottle of cheap citrus meadow aerosol spray. Blowing his horn of valor he charges in and lays waste to the beast.  El Jefe thanks him for the freshen up and laughs like a Mexican villain in a spaghetti western. From here the real battle ensues. What I’m seeing is something akin to the naked battle between Beowulf and Grendel in that Zemekcis film. However, what’s actually happening is that Husband is chasing El Jefe up and down the wall with a big blue plastic cup.

I’ve now relocated to the small window ledge to cringe in terror behind the shampoo bottles. Yes, I’m still cry-laughing hysterically. Husband corners the beast who sneers menacingly. Holding his four-for-a-dollar bathtub sized plastic weapon high he smites the monster. A crunching pop reverberates through the room and the beast falls.

Husband looks at me and laughs. The girls had just gotten out of the bath so there were a few puddles in the tub. The dirt from my feet has turned said puddles a slightly darker color which is reflecting through the odd yellowish tub making it look like I just peed all over myself. I almost did, but since I was already clenched as tight as humanly possible so that I wouldn’t bleed all over the place, I didn’t.

Husband grabs some of our cheap one-ply and sends the beast to his final rest. He also realizes that I have suddenly gained the ability to scale walls like Spiderman as the monster in the one-ply shroud plops into the toilet.

Unfortunately I’m still cornered in the bathtub because now Husband has decided to take a victory pee and I can’t get past him. Again, My Hero.

On a side note, I’ve realized that heavy exertions…like say, balancing yourself on top of one of those spring loaded shower curtain rods without it falling… can cause extreme blood flow. Which can lead to a half naked sprint into the bedroom because last month you forgot to replace the emergency undies you keep under the sink.

All in all, it was a rather exciting five minutes.