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This section is in mourning. Craig Kilborn has left The Daily Show and Jon Stewart has taken over.

I miss the old Daily. Sometimes life just isn't fair.


Sunday - January 17, 1999
Cry Havoc

Hi there, stranger. Miss me much? These last couple of weeks have been such that I haven't felt terribly compelled write here. First because this house and everyone in it practically qualified for quarantine, then my attentions were diluted with deadlines of my own making, and finally, because it's hard to start up again when I've been away for awhile, I simply didn't. But now I'm back and penitent, so let's let bygones be bygones and pick up once more, shall we?

I suppose I should start with a point by point rebuttal to the vicious canards and outright lies Beth subjected you to in the last entry when I was in too weakened a state to write -- or fend -- for myself. But who has time for that? Instead I'll just say that as bad as things were when Beth wrote, they got much, much worse after that. I recovered, then Zoe got sick, then Beth got sick, then I got sick again and so we were all sick together. Projectile vomiting and the whimpering butt-squirts for days. Believe me, it was very not pretty. And after that self-aggrandizing piece Beth wrote in the last entry, guess who was the only one mobile enough to care for everyone else? Me. I swear, I oughtta get a medal for that, but I'll probably only get slandered again the next time I give Beth the reins in here.

But why live in the horrors of the past? Instead let's live in the horrors of the present. Today's big event was Zoe's first experience of having friends over to play. She's had kids over before -- my friend Tim has brought his boys over a few times -- but she's never had any of her own friends over before. She's been harping on us for weeks to have three kids from her school come over: her 3-year old boyfriend Matthew and his brother Anthony and sister Azalea. We finally did it today. Boy, did we ever. I don't know about Beth but I'm having second thoughts about having a second child.

We're accustomed to having just one two-year old in the house, a well-mannered, well-behaved one at that. We know how to deal with that, we've got a handle on it. But add three-year old and five-year old boys and a six-year old girl, ill-mannered and ill-behaved, stir in two highly agitated and frenetic dogs and turn them all loose in a backyard and living room full of toys and you get unchained havoc. We don't have a handle on that.

This one wants to ride the toy train, that one wants to swing in the hammock, another one wants to ride the tricycle, that one over there doesn't like the dogs jumping up to lick his face, now this one wants to ride the train but the other one isn't finished with it, now they're fighting over it, and meanwhile that one's crying because the dog knocked her down, and now somebody's crying because the toy car is stuck, and can we watch a movie and I'm hungry and daddy I want to paint and what's in that room there and oh no the train tipped over and... Havoc. Unchained.

And then there was the Pizza Incident. Lunchtime was supposed to be our eye of the storm, a few moments of relative calm amidst the chaos of the play date. Supposed to be. It was all my fault, I suppose. Nobody in their right mind really believes a six-year old when he says he likes chili powder on his pizza, but I did. Hey, he sounded sincere. How was I to know? I'll tell you, I don't think young Anthony's going to be asking for chili powder on anything for a long, long time. He may never ask for pizza again. Oops.

Tonight over dinner Zoe asked when they can come over again. I don't think she'll buy "Oh, one of these days, honey" for long.


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Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins