According to a local expert, who happened to be eating meatloaf at my dinner table the other night right before we flunked out of “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” and went to bed early, there are a hundred billion billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.
That’s about how many shoes I tried on with my “shoe buddy” when we took our last stress-reliever trip to the discount store for footwear. And approximately the number of times I opened the door today for the dog to go out. And in. And out. And also about how many times I told the kids to TURN DOWN THE TV before I sent the whole widescreen mess, complete with DVD player, Xbox, and Wii Sports into orbit. If my New Year’s Resolutions involved patience, I shot that list down with an outerspace-bound video game controller.
It’s not that I expect the boys to do what I say the first time. I am painfully aware of how the restrictions of my generation bind their tender psyches. Since society has massaged us out of the “beat some sense into him” school of discipline, and I’ve found that “trial by time out” is not effective at my house, I’ve resorted to a cleverly orchestrated system of limitations and groundings as a way to enforce house rules.
The way Son Two reacted when I restricted the recreational use of chocolate around the house was pitiful to see. It’s not that I don’t indulge in the occasional Butterfinger binge myself. And I’ll admit to more than a passing acquaintance with the Nestle Quick bunny.
But this kid has taken up temporary residence with a cousin who still has leftover Christmas candy and is allowed to use it any way he likes without any sort of parental supervision or quality testing at all. The thought of what they’re up to with the peanut butter balls is distressing to say the least. Don’t think I’m not considering checking all the social media sites for unauthorized activity.
I’ve also considered restricting random use of exercise videos, but the physical exertion the children get from the spasmodic giggling contortions they experience when I attempt a Downward Dog is the only thing that keeps them from being listed as a hairball on the President’s Physical Fitness list.
The mostly effective restriction is likely to be a ban on zombie killing. But somehow that seems unfair to the rest of us who are ever at risk from the ravaging hordes of the zombie apocalypse. Who wants to be the person who throws the world’s population, defenseless, into the path of the undead? Not me, I’m sure.
So, if anybody besides me is wrestling with the idea of chucking it all and taking up residence at the shoe store at the mall, come along. It’s the last place the zombies will look.
Come join me at Mind Over Mullis. I'm searching for myself. I'll probably find myself munching Oreos over in Aisle 5 at the Piggly Wiggly.