The Biggest Controversy to Ever Hit the Internet

I don’t even remember how it first came up, but now it seems that we’re going to get a divorce over it.

At some point last night, Alex made the ridiculous claim that cats have arms.

Now, it used to be when Alex and I had these very important disputes about things of this nature, I had to turn to my blog. Now I have twitter. So it happened that I screeched, “I’m going to ask the internet!” and started furiously typing.

He might have still been talking. I vaguely remember hearing words like “hate” and “you” but I was too busy twittering:

Immediately I got the validation I so wanted. Both Lori and Kimberly almost instantly wrote back “4 legs.”

Then Kimberly tweeted about a friend of hers trying to find a home for two cats in the NY/NJ area, which gave me the perfect opportunity to respond, “So that would be 8 legs worth of cats, right?”

Lori also followed up with “or whichever you think, b/c i’m on your side,” which was nice, but unnecessary because logic and science had dictated that she had already made the correct choice.

Because arms? On a cat? That’s absolutely ridiculous.

Which is why I was so disappointed when Navi came up with the answer “um… both.” I told her that I would tell Alex that he got half a vote. (I didn’t tell him though. ‘Cause I’m a bitch that way.) Then, because she was actually working at a library at the time, Navi went ahead and did further research for me. She claims that the following backs up her answer:

I say that “the forelimb of a vertebrate” is clearly defined as “corresponding to an arm”—not in fact an arm, for which the first definition is “a HUMAN upper limb.”

I repeat: a human upper limb. I think even Alex would be hard pressed to make a case for a cat being a human.

From there, the dissent got worse. Magpie made the outrageous claim of, “2 arms, 2 legs on a cat. in my house, anyway,” followed seconds later by another tweet: “But, we haven’t any cats anymore…”

Of course at this point I made the assholish comment, “Is it because you made them do chores with their arms and opposable thumbs? Oh, wait! They don’t have either of those.” In reality, the reason she doesn’t have cats anymore is probably a lot sadder than forced window washing, which is probably why I didn’t hear from her for the rest of the night and why she’s probably having papers drawn up right now to blog friend divorce me.

Do you see how terrible things come out of these controversies?

Then, news came in that I’d destroyed another marriage with my controversy. Wife and Mommy twittered: “The Husband and I just disagreed…I say four legs. He says two arms two legs. Now our marriage may depend on the right answer.” Fortunately, Carrie of myterrific2some has a more reasonable husband. Both members of that couple agreed: 4 legs.

Then Joeymom, who apparently has had some bad experiences with cats wrote, “Cats have four legs. Unless they are attacking you.” I’d love to hear that story. If it’s as good as the turkey attack, I’ll laugh really hard.

KerryInMaine based her reply solely on the evidence she had observed: “It depends on the cat, of course, but all the cats I’ve ever met have had 4 legs, no arms.” Maybe she never met Magpie’s cats.

I thought the matter was all settled and then I went to bed. But like all good controversies, this one continues. I woke up this morning to this persuasive tweet from Chef Kate: “not sure if you got your answer, but legs attach to hips and arms attach to shoulder blades, so 2 legs and 2 arms”


I close with conflicting evidence from Kerry. Kerry had originally answered with the very correct response “4 legs,” and then later, “I’m pretty sure that the term ‘4 legged’ is always applied to cats,” but when I checked my email this morning, I found this:

“When the cops arrived, and told the cat to put his arms in the air,
he complied. So maybe they do have arms.”

Clearly this is far from over.

And, yes, this is pretty much the kind of thing that Alex and I chat about. It’s like we’re 10-year-olds. I’m glad to see that the rest of you who are tweeting on a Friday night are just as infantile as us.

So now, I turn the controversy over to you, dear blogosphere. Just remember that Alex never gave you nothin’.*

* I’m not sure I’ve ever given you anything either, but let’s try not to remember that.

p.s. Magpie, come back!!!!

Ice Day

I knew I liked this new president of ours. President Obama bitched about the snow closures the other day, just like I did all over Twitter on Tuesday night.

But then all the DC people came down on him saying that he shouldn’t talk about DC like that. To this, I have to say: Grow a sense of humor, people. And also? If I was pissed that I had to take a day off of my stay at home momming to take care of my kids on a snow day, imagine how annoying it must be if you’re the president and your kids keep running into the Oval Office asking if they can go play in the snow.

Okay, that’s out of my system. I was annoyed by the snow closure on Tuesday because, c’mon, there were two inches of snow. My grass is taller than the snow. (My neighbors’ grasses are shorter than the snow, but that’s another post entirely.)

But yesterday, Wednesday? I fully support that snow closure day. My kids and I walked around the corner, up a short hill, and across a street to play with friends. We almost didn’t make it. The street was a fucking sheet of ice.

Quinn fell down trying to cross the road, so I went out to save him and promptly got stuck, not having the momentum to move forward or backward. I tried to move my feet, but they just skidded around and then I fell down too. Eventually I got us across the street without being hit by a car and we went sledding in my friend’s backyard.

It is so a hill. (I know. When she invited me over to sled in her backyard, I was like, “But your backyard is flat, dumbass.” But it turns out that there is actually a slight incline perfect for small children. And it dead ends into a fence, so there’s something there to stop them. You know, all abruptly like.)

Quinn recovered from his street crossing trauma a little once we got there, but he did look a little bit like a yokel because I was only able to find one mitten for him that morning. Never fear though! Stimey is nothing if not creative. What the hell else are socks for?

After the kids tired of ice sliding, we went inside and I guest decluttered my friend L’s house. We worked on her kitchen, where I helped her declutter her crafts cabinet. Excited about all things crafty, she showed me her bead stash, which her three-year-old daughter promptly dropped all over the floor.

Have you ever picked up sixteen thousand beads?

It’s totally awesome. Look at L’s dog, Luke. For a second he thought that he’d hit the motherlode in terms of small, brightly colored treats. I think he might have eaten a couple of them.

We finally left poor L in peace and walked home. Again, we almost didn’t make it. I’d had to cancel a lunch date where I was going to meet Thrift Store Mama for the first time. I was really sad, but I think it was the right decision. I don’t know that we would have made it there alive. I eventually had to put Quinn on our sled and push him home. He just couldn’t maintain verticality.

Thinking I had done the lion’s share of my parenting for the day, I made lunch, then I put on The Jungle Book for my kids and sat down to rest. Shortly thereafter the doorbell rang. It was Jack’s other friend from up the street and her just barely four-year-old brother. They wanted to play.

I didn’t.

At some point I realized that there was no parent around and I asked if their mom or dad knew they were there. The little girl told me that not only was her mom at work, but that she had pinkeye too.

I took a step back, studied the little girl’s eyes and asked if her dad knew they were at my house. She cheerfully told me no.

Seems like a problem.

I made her go tell her dad where they were. By this time Sam was involved and there was no way I was going to get away with sending this little girl away. I guess it was worth it, what with all the positive social interaction that Jack got out of it.

I took this photo right before E tackled Jack in a bear hug.
Also, see how the grass is taller than the snow?

So that’s our ice day right there. As I write this, I’m waiting for the two-hour school opening delay to pass, so I can finally pass my children off to the school officials who are supposed to be taking care of them on Thursdays.

Although if you have an anxiety-ridden child, a two-hour delay may make them think that they are going to school from 10:50 p.m. to 3:05 a.m. *coughSamcough* Then, once you convince him that school will start at 10:50 a.m., he will remain convinced that he has to go to school until 3 in the morning and he will be concerned that he will be too tired. (Thinking of you here too, M.)

Ironically, the roads seem to be worse today than they were on Tuesday, when school was closed. I hope it’s easier to drive on the roads than to walk on them.

Wordless Wednesday: Cold

More Wordless Wednesday.


Also, if you are so inclined to do such a thing, I’ve been nominated by the beautiful and alluring Jessica of A Parent in Silver Spring for the Scholastic Mom Blog Awards. If you are so inclined, I wouldn’t be totally averse to you nominating me also. Or, nominate Jessica, or your own favorite mom blogger!

Wisdom from Jessica, via twitter: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go EVERYWHERE.” I love her more every day.

It’s a Shovel Day!

They’re not snow days around here. For some reason, when my kids see snow, they immediately want to find a shovel (or the plastic hoe they improvised with for a while today) and scrape snow off of every raised surface they can find.

It’s a little hit or miss right now, but when they’re teenagers, it’s going to be awesome.

Sam, whilst shoveling the patio table:

Quinn, just prior to shoveling the slide with his ass:

Jack, shoveling angel-shaped images onto the lawn:

Okay, so it’s not all shoveling all the time. But, really, Sam’s first response to the snow was, “I want a shovel! We have shovels in the garage!” And then they spent an hour or so shoveling the backyard grass. It happens every time it snows.

Then our neighbors popped in, and Sam and his 5-year-old buddy shoveled our front sidewalk. Sam’s judgment isn’t completely developed yet though; I looked up at one point and saw him shoveling a path into the street. I had to put the hammer down on him for that one. Then they started shoveling our neighbor’s driveway, which…nice, but what about my driveway?


Gratuitous photo of the dog, who was maybe happier to see snow than anyone.


Oh, and two more snow related things:

1. I don’t get why the school district has to cancel school because it’s softly snowing.

2. Now that it’s snowed once, I’m done. I’m happy to welcome spring and shorts and t-shirt weather. I’m done with winter.

3. 2(a). Thank you for letting me post photos of my kids in the snow. I have to do that at least once a year. I’m done now. Except for maybe tomorrow.

4. 2(b). Tomorrow better not be a snow day. I can’t take another day of my children cooped up in my home. They’ve been home since Saturday and I’m ready to send ’em back to school.

Marvelous Monday, Terrible Tuesday

Jack used to have therapies three afternoons a week. He went to his social skills group on Monday, speech therapy on Tuesday, and occupational therapy on Wednesday. His social skills group (hereafter referred to as “group” because it’s easier) and speech are at the same office, which is, incidentally, a gajillion miles away.

We recently were able to move Jack’s speech therapy over to Mondays before group, so now Mondays are a really long day for Jack, but all the little dudes get to have more time not being dragged places.

There’s another benefit too. See, on Tuesdays I was the mom who always told the other moms that we didn’t need anything from the vending machine, but whose kids would attack the bags of Doritos the other children brought back from the vending machines. I was also the mom of the kid who would come out of his speech session and immediately grab any unheld bags of snacks and start eating. And spilling.

On Mondays, none of the other parent go to the vending machines. (So I’m allowed to starve my children in peace, thank you very much.) There seem to be fewer people in the waiting room, and there are definitely fewer siblings, making for a much calmer waiting time.

I think most of the problem was that on Tuesdays, the people there all had kids who had been in the same social skills group for months. Their waiting room culture was well established. I was the bumbling newcomer.

On Mondays, I fit in better. Instead of being the free-loading snack-stealer, I’m the witty mom who charms everyone by shouting out, “It’s a speech therapy miracle!” after the whole waiting room worked together to find Sam white out and a pencil so he could fix his math homework.


It was charming at the time. I know it sounds a little buffoonish now.

Oh, jeez.

Am I the buffoonish mom who embarrasses everyone by screaming about miracles on Mondays?

Maybe I need the social skills group.

Insanaerobics (Updated)

Do any of your children suddenly, inexplicably fall in love with an item, centering their irrational little worlds around it for a day or two or a week, and take it to the looniest possible extreme until, with no warning, they suddenly couldn’t care less and they’re on to the next insane thing?

Does that make sense? Okay, an example.

Say your smallest and most insane child, let’s call him…oh, I don’t know…Quinn, watches you empty out a toy box. While you are putting away the things that used to be in the toy box, this child, this fictional “Quinn” decides he wants to do a normal toddler thing like play in the toy box.

Then, when you move it into the living room on its way to a new location in the house, he spends pretty much the rest of the day in it.

Then, at night, he refuses to go to sleep, crying, crying, crying, and asking, asking, asking, “Can I sleep in the box?!” until you give in and this lunatic situation occurs:

And then the next day he forgets that the box ever existed, even though you keep forgetting to move it to the basement.

You’re not familiar with this type of behavior? Well how about another example? This time we’ll use…oh, say, a youngster named Qbert.

To understand this example, you’ll have to know that Qbert and his brothers use toothbrushes shaped like crayons that have little suction cups on their ends. Like these:

Qbert’s mom may have been dumb enough to buy several extras of these toothbrushes in front of Qbert. Qbert, having been assigned the yellow toothbrush, will first decide that the toothbrushes in the package (two to a container) are very exciting, and take it to preschool with him, where he will show every adult and child he finds that he has TOOTHBRUSHES! IN A PACKAGE! ONE IS DARK BLUE AND ONE IS LIGHT BLUE!

Oh, and by the way, Qbert will never again agree to hold a yellow toothbrush. He will insist on using a light blue toothbrush. Qbert’s mom will completely fold agree to his demand request.

Regardless, Qber— you know what? Fuck this. QUINN will scale the walls of the bathroom to locate the hidden packages of toothbrushes in their various cabinets. He will take them out of their packages and triumphantly bring them into me well after bedtime, excitedly proclaiming, “I took these out! That’s great, right?!”


And so on. Seriously, I was going to continue this story through the episodes tonight when he found other toothbrushes and demanded more praise for flagrantly disobeying me again, but I think you get the point.

Edited to Add: THIS!!!

Evidently Quinn was busy after bedtime.