Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Funeral for a Toad

Today, one of my Fire Bellied Toads died. At first, I did not feel very bad, it is only a toad and I did not have them for very long, but as I thought about it, I began to feel somewhat melancholy. I was surprised to find out how important they had become to me, and I was not sure how I would break the news to my kids who actually liked them.
I decided I would just do it and get it over with, because sooner or later they would notice that one of the toads was missing and start asking questions. I sat down on the couch, turned off the television, and asked them both to come and sit with me, I had some bad news I wanted to share with them. I could hardly bear to look at their innocent little faces as they prepared themselves for the big blow. I had rehearsed the speech over and over in my mind and felt confident that I knew exactly what to say. However, as I started to explain, I found myself struggling to master my own emotions and my throat became so thick that I had difficulty getting the words to come out. They both looked at me, waiting ever so patiently and I finally blurted out , " Tom died!" The silence that followed was deafening, and so profound that I thought for a brief moment they had not heard what I said because my living room had suddenly become some kind of vortex, sucking out every sound except for the beating of my own heart against my ribcage.
Finally, my daughter spoke and she asked, " Who is Tom?" Are you kidding me?! After everything I had gone through trying to build up the courage to explain this sudden and unexplainable death of a TOAD to them, she does not even know who I am talking about. I had this whole speech prepared about the cycle of life and was ready for any question regarding the mortality of amphibians, and our own as human beings. She asks me who he is, and my son stares at me like a third eye had just grown in the middle of my forehead and started winking at him. I was baffled, dumbfounded, and speechless. I could not even find the words to tell her that Tom was one of our two pet toads and is survived by Jerry, his faithful tank companion. I just sat there, stared at them both for what seemed like an eternity, and waited until I could no longer handle the suspense. I got up, turned the television back on, and went into the kitchen where I could sit quietly and collect my thoughts.
After a little while my daughter came in, "Was he one of the toads?" I looked at her and said "Yes sweetie, he was." She looked very thoughtful for a moment and then asked, " Can I see the body?" I almost lost it.
I eventually let her see it, and she asked me if she could keep it in her room, my son wanted to eat it. We finally agreed to hold a small service in the backyard with Jerry, and our cat Chloe. We paid our respects and buried him in the garden. Apparently, he will not be greatly missed by either of my kids because they did not seem to have as much trouble with the whole ordeal as I had, but I believe Jerry will miss him, and I know I will. Chloe is pretty much indifferent.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First and certainly not the last

On this momentus day, I have chosen to start my own blog. Actually, my sister insisted I start one so I could subject more innocent people to my cathartic rantings because she probably wants some time off. I had never even read a blog until I started with hers so forgive me if I seem inexperienced, I will soon get the hang of it. After all, as my title states, I am an awkward genius. I am not arrogant but I have been told by a lot of people for most of my life that I am quite awkward and the genius part I threw in because I sometimes like to blow smoke up my own ass after being told for some twenty odd years that I am awkward and weird.
I should probably start this icebreaker by telling you (whoever you are) that I have two children both under the age of six. Every single day is an adventure with two small kids, especially when trying to explain the origin of earwax or why ones little brother is "soooo annoying". The word "why" never seems to get old and I am always thinking of new and clever ways to answer and explain. The greatest fun comes from messing with them a little bit. I am not cruel but I am not parent of the year either, and it is never enough to scar them for life. For instance, the other night, my daughter and son would not go to sleep and it was getting late. I was tired and afraid that I would passout from exhaustion before they did so I had to think of some way to get them to stay in bed so I myself could go to sleep. At last I finally explained to them that if they did not stay in bed and go to sleep our two pet Fire Bellied Toads were going to come into their rooms, jump on their faces and give them big nasty warts that would take years to fall off. That did it. A few minutes after I had finally gone to bed I heard my son trying to stealthily creep out of his bed and my daughter yelled at him to get back in bed before the toads came and messed up their faces for life! He ran, and soon enough they were both asleep and so was I. Hey, whatever works, some may find me awful but I don't believe in Santa Clause anymore and one day they won't either. They'll figure out that I was only messing with them and be far less traumatized by the truth about the frogs than they will be when they find out about Santa.
Anyways, it's only me and the kids in my house, we do not live in the best neighbourhood and I have what I feel is only a mild case of OCD, so before I leave the house, or go to bed I have to check and make sure everything is off, and locked. This usually takes about half an hour each time because even when I know I have checked everything at least three or four times I still walk back to my door, unlock it, and go in to check once more, or get out of bed, walk downstairs, and check everything again. Even when I get back out onto the street or back in bed I am still wondering if my house is going to burn down because I left something on, or if someone is going to walk in my house and take all my stuff because I forgot to lock the doors. I believe my kids are in on it too, or maybe they're messing with me because my daughter will ask me if I am sure everything is off and if the doors are locked, so I will check again.I have seen that show on A&E and I know what you are thinking if you have too, but really it's not that bad, it could be much worse. Speaking of which, it may be five o'clock somewhere but it's midnight here and if I want to get to bed before two I am going to have to say goodnight and continue my rants another time. Goodnight and thank you for bearing with me and my first post!