05 March 2009

The First 24


There are so many perks to being an only child: no one to fight with, all the love and attention is directed towards you, you get away with murder (or in my case, leaving wet towels on my bedroom floor). But with these perks comes a subset of responsibilities.

There is something to be understood about my family, and that is they never wanted a kid. My mom never liked kids, never thought they were cute, and felt nauseous at baby showers. My dad comes from a big family, and with him being the baby therefore the butt of all the family jokes, he never felt biologically inclined to reproduce offspring of his own. All of a sudden in the early 80s all of their friends started spitting out little spawns of their own, and my parents were the Godparents of far too many kids than they should have been. They began to realize that having kids was just a part of growing up (and secretly I think they sought comfort knowing that when they got old they would have someone that didn't have Alzheimer's to make decisions). So, just like the movie Juno, they adopted me.

I don't think they ever wanted more than one child, and if you ask them, they will say that I was all they needed to feel complete. But really, I feel like they didn't get their run for their money with me, because I am FAR from a normal child. My mother will be the first to tell you (and my father will quickly echo) that I never have been grounded. It's not that they don't have rules, it's that I have never met the proper requirements for being grounded. I'm that damn good, and I say this not to toot my own horn, but to exemplify how bored I feel my parents must be with me. I don't require discipline and never have, if you cook a decent meal for me and tell me you love me once a day, I'm satisfied. My parents realized by age 10 that they were going to have to find something to occupy their time. Enter the menagerie of broken pets to compensate.

So here I am, day 2 of house sitting for my parents while they are off in their version of Hell (ie: the East Coast) for a friend's wedding. I have4 animals to look for, and a legal pad page of instructions for each animal.

Layla, the finicky poodle, gets walked twice a day. She also gets fed twice a day, but this is much more complicated than it sounds. My mother included a drawing for how Layla's food should be arranged in the doggie bowl, with doggie jerky to be placed as a cherry on top. She must be personally escorted to the grass in the backyard to go to the bathroom every so often, and the command phrase for her to pee is "Hurry up". She also gets picked up by the dog hiker wednesday and friday, so the front door must be left unlocked for Paul to retrieve her.

Which cat to start with?
Bosco likes to lock himself in the bathroom, giving him an all-access pass to the contents of the medicine cabinet and the cabinet under the sink. His favorite things to knock around are prescription bottles and toilet paper. If the bathroom is closed, his next-best-playground is my mother's walk in closet. He enjoys knocking all of her shoes off the shelves and climbing up her clothes to get to high shelves of shoes. He must be accounted for upon entering the house, because if he has locked himself in either place, he cannot get himself out.

Toby has chronic bronchitis, and must be given liquid medication twice a day. This may sound like an easy task, but it is probably one of the most risky behaviors a human can engage in. To give him the medicine, simply wrap him in a beach towel as tightly as possible, and with your alleged free hand inject the dropper of white liquid down his throat. He will end up spitting 3/4 of what you give him back on you, so be sure you administer this task prior to getting dressed in clean clothes.

And then there's Felix. 21 pounds. He doesn't do much, he's probably the only being that doesn't require anything but affection. He's also the only one that will sleep with me at night, the others seem to be upset with me that I am doing my mother's tasks of taking care of them.

Day One, and I'm already exhausted. Only 4 more days of running this zoo.
So, if you take nothing else from my ramblings, take this: If you're ever wondering why I'm just a little left of center, take a look at my family and you will see I am the normalest Jones to be found.

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