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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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and really, i need to get back on ambien or something
children of dune - leto 1
In which I think, I live in an episode of Maury Povich. But not a good one. Like, one of the really trashy ones, where you kind of sit there and wonder when everyone is going to start attacking each other to liven it up.

More specifically, other people's drama is my life. Recently, it's come to my attention that I am, in fact, the most boring person on earth. It's an epic level of wowness, because my family? Is The Drama. Or kind of is. It's really sad. I should be The Drama, but my title was taken and stomped upon.

We get a call while on the way to work Monday morning.

The Phone Call

Me: Heys.

Sister: Get me Mom.

Me: And hi to you. *hands over phone*

Mom: Hey.


Mom: WHAT?


Mom: Is he still there?


Mom: What happened? Where are you? Are you okay?


Mom: Do you need me to go with you?

Me: Is this twenty questions?

So. My brother in law got arrested Sunday night for disorderly conduct in a club. He managed, all on his lonesome, to get beat up by two bouncers, arrested, pepper-sprayed, and then nearly tazered, then spent the night in jail. My sister, that pillar of dignity and common sense, screamed threats at the police from the sidelines until they threatened to arrest her. Then she drove her husband's stardard home to sleep off her hangover. They want to sue the city for police brutality and the club for assault.


I have no good stories. I have *none* that I can share at cocktail parties like this. I mean, if I went to cocktail parties.

Other Sister

I've mentioned my youngest sister is going through a modified Goth-esque phase. It's kind of interesting, in a car crash sort of way. I mean, I'm not sure of the philosophical statement she's making here, but wow, is she creative with turning things that should never be worn into fashion statements. She and Boyfriend are now employed, and they also have a terrify doll hanging by its neck on their door.

This doll has a history.

We were coming home late from work. It was, well, dark. There is one tree in the front yard. Looking out, we spied something (or someone!) leaning against it. That did not move. It glowed white in the darkness.

Let's just say that Jenn the Brave's ass didn't leave the jeep until it was confirmed it was a doll. A doll that also wasn't out to kill her.

Okay, in my defense, it's a creepy doll. It's one of those plastic standing up things that have scared me since I saw the advertisements for Child's Play on TV in my really boring youth. It looks like something that should be invaded by evil forces and snet to kill us all. And she hangs the thing by the neck on her *bedroom door*, naked. That is asking for a tv movie at least, or maybe even a feature.

Of course, keep in mind I couldn't sleep in the same room as Teddy Ruxpin either.

Okay, but anyway. Their drama is more of the daily variety. About twice a week, give or take a few hours, there is a massive, world-ending shouting match, leading to Boyfriendguy playing Insaniquarium for hours on end in teh living room and my sister cutting up things. Paper things, I mean. Slamming doors. Sometimes, he packs up and leaves, bag in hand. And then he comes back. They fall in love all over again, with the kind of noises that I own headphones to avoid. And it circles around again. Twice a week.

My son asked me the other day why I didn't date anymore, since the last time he saw Mommy in male company, he wasn't forming any permanent memories, having just gotten to the running stage of development, which says embarrassing things about my social life. While I changed the channel, Boyfriendguy wandered out, bag in hand, threatening never to return. Or something. In the kitchen, my mother talked to Sister's Husband about their recent squabble over infidelity and who picks up their daughter from daycare. I considered the fact that both my grandmothers, my aunt, and my step-grandfather were mutliply married, and in my aunt's case, we can't prove husband #3 is actually dead. I pondered the fact that I don't know anyone who has a stable marriage that doesn't scare me into chastity and then looked at Child.

"I think I'll wait on that."

But man, one more remark on how I'm going to marry Vannezsa since I can't keep a boyfriend, I may just do it. She promised me a Kitchen-Aid mixer. She also promised not to require fidelity, since this would be on paper for tax purposes only. We could afford a condo. Hmm.

Other Things

I'm getting pressure to declare paternity on Child in a more public manner than the one statement I made when I announced my pregnancy. I mean, not real pressure, not *yet*, but it's being brought up with increasing frequency. More sideline comments, of 'he'll want to know who his father is' and 'you can't keep him from knowing', which translates to 'he should have a father figure, and I can't think of anyone better than someone who wasn't interested in being a father at the time and hasn't been chewing at the bit to discover what's happened with his sperm since.' I can. I mean, I won't keep him from knowing, but his random inquiries have been pretty much of the curiosity and forget it variety. It's my stubborn side showing, I think. Or maybe my less-than-nice side. I just don't see the point. I mean, I read the literature on single parents and children, and mathematically, my chances of raising a serial killer are about equal with that of raising a president, apparently. Or a herpetologist, if the fact that the house overfloweth with snake books is any indication. Serial killer is starting to look vaguely comforting. I mean, at least then, I won't wake up one day with a snake slithering across the floor at me and Child's shining face while he explains he found it outside. I love my fellow man and all, but that snake head still scares the bejeezus out of me at random intervals when he moves it around, specifically, I think, to see me jump and scream.

I had another interesting experience, as I was walking through Old Navy a few weeks ago, trying to find clothes that fit my portly little gentleman. Yes. He is portly. The child is not suffering for food. The child is not suffering from anything *resembling* lack of food. This is a problem. I come from, on the maternal side, some seriously high-metabolism people, and on the other side, the more fleshily inclined. My sisters and I all burned off everything once the babyfat stage at four years was passed. So I really can't tell if this is a normal child thing. On the other hand, I limited his intake from snack foods to things that have some vague resemblance to healthy, so all the fat is *healthy* fat. Something like that.

Anyway. Old Navy.

Child: Jenn!

Me: Coming

Salesperson: *glances*

Child: Jenn! JENN


Child: Jenn! Jennjennjennjennjenn! *MOMMMY*!

Me: *sighs* Coming!

Salesperson gives me the oddest look. And it occurs to me, as it often does at random intervals, that *Mom* is last resort for Child. It's what he uses when he's in distress or he wants a new snake book, to suck up. For any and all occasions, it's Jenn. And we get these looks. This is compounded by Niece, who calls me Mom to piss off Child when she's grumpy, which means at any given moment, I can be considered the mother of two children or no children at all. This becomes especially confusing when confronted with New People who don't understand that Jennworld is kind of topsy-turvy. It only gets cuter when Niece, in the shoe store, absconds with a pair of heels, puts them on, and parades aorund calling herself Jenn, and refuses to be called by her own name.

She also keeps making off with my boots, and if you've never seen a three year old wiht boots up to her pantyline tumbling arond the living room wearing nothing but a half-slip around her like a strapless dress, trust me, you have missed out on comic gold. the only thing more interesting is Child in a black half-slip and running shoes, no socks, running around outside without underwear because, in his estimation, it cools off his boyparts and is more comfortable. The best thing, of course, is when both slip into sister's room, in slip, and start playing with the mascara, lipstick, and blush.

That's when I know I'm doing just *fine*. And it must be stated, both of them are creative with the blue eyeshadow in ways that the seventies would envy.

*girns* Welcome to my insomnia.

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Pfft. My brother expressed only the slightest interest in his sperm donor (thank you God). He had a bit of a tendency to glom on to any potential father figure for a while, but we just provided him with a couple of respectable relatives to spend time with and he was fine. Forcing it's the worst thing ever. Bah.

*snickers* When Child feels the need for boy type things that I can't do--reptiles, baseball--I send himto my father or brother in law. They both traumitize him just like any father would, I think, and send him back to me. It's a nice circle.

*grins* I do wonder when Child, or if, he'll get active about wondering. I don't know if it's weird or not that this hasn't come up before with him in a serious way. He just never seems that interested in an answer.

Aww, thanks.

And your icon is *lovely*, btw. *kind of staring*

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oh dear *god*

okay, I would have had a heart attack.

*pets you with shaking hand*

I am going to dream about this now. Evil Teddy, murmuring "It's...naaap...tiiime...noooooow--FOREVER!"

*rocks self in corner*

Forget the sperm donor. Your child needs Zogg.




the only thing more interesting is Child in a black half-slip and running shoes, no socks, running around outside without underwear because, in his estimation, it cools off his boyparts and is more comfortable.

Thanks sweetie, this made me laugh out loud. Makes perfect sense too, you have a very smart and sensible little one. :)

I had one of those Chatty Cathy dolls when I was little. My mom told me that it scared her to death one day when she was making my bed while I was at school and all of a sudden Chatty started rambling away with all of her catch phrases all by herself. Mom sure hadn't turned her on. I'd never liked her, I thought she was kind of scary. I was very happy that Mom moved her on out the door after that.

I'm still stuck on teh boyparts bit. He's just--so cool.


I had one of those Chatty Cathy dolls when I was little. My mom told me that it scared her to death one day when she was making my bed while I was at school and all of a sudden Chatty started rambling away with all of her catch phrases all by herself. Mom sure hadn't turned her on. I'd never liked her, I thought she was kind of scary. I was very happy that Mom moved her on out the door after that.

Whoa. Now that is trauma. *shudder*

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My baby brother (who called me Mom 'till he was 4 and told *not* to and who also just turned 18 *dies*) used to dress up in red boots and a blue sequin dress. He also has a love of lizards and all things reptillian. How old is Child?

Oh man! How cool!

Um, eight as of January 27th. Precious little monster. *smiles fondly at thoughts of offspring*

My sister, who is forever cursed for this, had a habit of calling me "mom" at times when she felt it would be least appropriate. Such as when I was chatting with cute members of the opposite sex in lines. She would run up, perfectly cheerful and go "Mommy, can I have (blank)".

I would tell my parents with great displeasure of her dark deed, and they would punish her by laughing uproariously.

Really I would have rathered she be beaten or forced to walk on hot coals or something at the time.

*shudders* Oh man. That is harsh. That is so wrong.

tell me you stepped on her toes, at least.

Hon, if you have enough money to raise the child on your own, I wouldn't tell the father. Once you raise the question of paternity, he has a right to demand a paternity test. He then has a right to sue you for visitation or even custody. To make matters worse, my understanding is that in Texas domestic cases are heard in front of a jury, not a judge.

Looking back over my own life, I wish I hadn't have married Mike's dad. I'm not happy about his influence. Our opinions differ on EVERYTHING.

Also, there's nothing wrong with a boring life...especially when raising a child. Believe me you don't want interesting. Sort of like that old Chinese curse of "may you live in interesting times".

After my divorce, with all the drama playing out around me, and because Mike asked me a similar question (but more because he was afraid what would happen if I married someone who didn't like him), I decided just to raise the boy and not worry about dating. It can be a lonely experience, but I also didn't have to worry about my son getting attached to men in my life (who I might or might not have been attached to myself).

Don't bow down to other people's expectations. Just do what you truly believe is best for you and the boy.

*nod* Thats' another worry, him liking a guy I date. I mean, on one hand, good thing, but right now, I'm just not feeling that I want anything more than waht I have romance wise, which is prtty muchnothing. And I'm pretty happywith that.

*hugs* thanks, sweetie.

Can't recall exactly how you said you phrased the pregnancy announcement, but the above makes it sound almost like you're being nagged because family members are personally curious about who the sperm donor was and are using Child as an excuse for you to discuss him. Though really, you have the perfect excuse ready made in your familial marital history for not dating, to provide him with a father figure or otherwise, and as noted above to a certain extent he's better off getting attached to a grandfather and uncle (one of whom at least probably won't be divorcing out of the family) rather than bonding with some guy you start dating that you may or may not start a lasting relationship with.

Hee! We will never get rid of borther in law. he likes hanging out with us. I mean, he comes over here for dinner with Niece even when my sister is otherwise occupied. It's very--I don't know. I call it Stockholm Syndrome. So yeah, Child always has them to bond with.

And frankly, ti's a hell of a lot more relaxing to not worry about any of this.

We're married in an AU, Jenn. That "if I could marry you it would be like this" thing from a couple of weeks ago? Is so happening in Reality XP245. You have your condo. We're spending our money. Our kids are playing together. We're writing slash, dating whoever we want, and nobody's forcing any sperm issues.

Just sayin'.


Aww, sweetie, thank you. I am thinking of our color-coordinated-to-the-kitchen Kitchen-Aid mixer and our fabulous computers in carefully fannishly decorated offices right now. We are AIMing each other across the condo!

*grins and hugs* You are such a sweetie.

What if child turns out to be a serial killer -- who kills people with snakes?!?

I'm guessing your relatives wouldn't buy it if you told them you've forgotten who the sperm donor is? {g}

Ooh. Snakes!

Hee. I have so thought of that. I mean, my clients get away with it--or say he went back to Mexico/city of choice/wherever. I would like to see the looks on their faces if I try it.


This is not encouaging to hear about when entering the dating pool. I keep hearing horror stories from girls my age about guys. It sounds like tacks are hidden on the floor, or land mines or something.

*Dives back into reading and writing happy/engrossing Clexy fic*

*giggles* I'm sure it isn't bad--I'm not actually out there looking for anyone, so--...

I just can't imagine how I'd fit him into my schedule, really. Or God, my family. *shivers*

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