Friday, November 11, 2022

7 Quick Takes about Responsible Pet Ownership, Talents of Debatable Usefulness, and the Behemoth in the Driveway

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


We have two rats, but the 11-year-old is lobbying hard for another pet. The last time she started begging me for a hypoallergenic golden doodle, I shook my head and told her, "You guys aren't good about taking care of the pets we already have."

"It's because I'm allergic!"

I rolled my eyes. It's true, but it's also an excuse. She gets itchy when she holds animals with fur, but she doesn't have to touch the rats to change their water without me reminding her 347 times.

"How about if you get me a fish first? Then I'll show you I can take good care of it." 

"Ugh, no. That's not a good reason to get a pet. We'd have to find someone to take care of it when we went on vacation, and"

"Well, how long do fish live?"

There was a long silence. "Are you seriously asking for a fish hoping that it will die before we go on vacation?"

Without hesitation she answered, "Yes."

Imagine her surprise when we didn't hop right in the car and drive to the pet store to get one that very minute!


It doesn't really occur to me to do yard work on a regular basis, so whenever I do get out there to do it, it just makes me mad to see all the maintenance we haven't been keeping up with. Which makes me avoid going out there again, which makes it even worse next time.

Yesterday I was outside clearing fallen leaves in the yard and trying to talk myself out of being grumpy. Our yard might not be well-kept, I reasoned, but we are doing our best. After all, it's not like we're just sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and watching the crabgrass grow. Our yard simply reflects the fact that in this stage of life, we're busy raising a family and other things are just more important right now.

I only wish one of them was hiring a landscaping company.


When I was outside taking care of the leaves, my 6-year old came out to ask me if he could play a video game on the tablet. 

I told him yes, and then realized that instead of asking his dad who was in the kitchen making dinner, he literally walked right past him and came alllllll the way outside and made me turn off the leaf blower instead.

It reminded me a lot of this:


I was in the car with my 16-year-old and the song "One Hand in My Pocket" by Alanis Morissette came on the radio. As with everything from the 1990s, it's interesting to my teenager's take on it.

In that particular song Alanis does a lot of loon calls (I think the actual term is "falsetto flip") and my 16-year-old said "It sounds like she's driving a stick shift, but with her voice."

I laughed and said, "But it's a talent. I can't do that!"

"Yes," she argued, "but it's a talent like burping on command. It's just not very useful."

Says the girl who does not have a net worth of $60 million dollars.


My mom and I went to a museum exhibit about the evolution of motherhood, a topic near and dear to my heart. 

Hanging on the wall was this chart an artist made after she had a baby. She plotted out every feeding and diaper change for the first two months, with each 24-hour day being represented by a vertical column. 

Try not to cry when you realize that someone had to be awake for each of those red and blue segments.

If you're the stay-at-home mom of a child who is or ever has been a baby, I suggest printing out this chart, mounting it on heavy-duty canvas board, and carrying it around with you so you can break it over the head of anyone who asks "So what do you do all day?"


Exciting news: we have a new driveway! It was paved yesterday and hasn't been so much as walked on yet, so it's still a silky black river of perfection flowing right to our door. Looking at it gives me the same high as getting our carpets professionally cleaned, but multiplied.

The most exciting part, though, is that our drainage problems are history. We have a tricky driveway situation with lots of water collecting outside of our garage door, and the puny little drain we had before  was useless. The puddle would get so big that during heavy rain, we had to go outside and bail out with a snow shovel so it didn't back up into our garage. 

Not anymore! Look at this beast they installed for us. 

Our driveway is staying dry as a bone for the rest of eternity now.

It's hard to tell the scale from this picture, but this is a 4-foot deep leach basin, just like the ones the city installs on public roads. Or, as my 6-year-old said, "I could stand up in it with the grate on!" (I triple-checked that it was firmly welded shut so he could never, ever try that theory out.)


I was looking up something food-related on the Internet and got distracted by a random question in the cooking subreddit. The responses were hilarious and the further I scrolled the funnier they got. 

If you have some time this weekend, I recommend perusing this thread: "My husband butters bread BEFORE putting it in the toaster. Is this an actual thing!? Please help."

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PurpleSlob said...

You are amazing! Just sayin! And thanks to your kids for being so funny! 😂

Fiona said...

I like your suggestion in number 5. My kids are 1 and almost 3.

AnneMarie said...

#3 cracks me up! It's so true. That is one of the big lessons we are trying to teach our kids right now; to ask whichever parent is close by. We'll see if they're able to actually absorb it and learn haha!

And that chart about motherhood kind of blows my mind. That visualization is so cool (and slightly scary) to see! My youngest just turned 3 months old, so I think what we're living right now is probably fairly close to that chart.