Friday Funnies - Assessing your Kindergarten Readiness

Last night I attended a Kindergarten information session. Or maybe it was a Neurotic Parents of First Child Going to Kindergarten Un-Anonymous meeting. Same Difference.

All the talk these days is about whether our children are equipped and ready to start school, but if you ask me, we are totally missing the point. The question is really about whether I AM READY. And the answer is NO I AM MOST CERTAINLY NOT! (Sorry for the yelling, but I just can't sugar coat this, people).

If you are still grappling with the question of whether you could possibly send your baby off to Kindergarten come September, I've devised a few signs to help you determine your readiness. If you see yourself in more than two of these statements, you need to think long and hard before putting your child on a bus this fall.

1) When the prospective K-5 teacher refers to the kids in her class as "my children", you can barely restrain yourself from tossing one of those mini purple chairs across the room at her, Jerry Springer style. But you are better than that, so you maturely handle the situation by waiting until you get home to file a restraining order against that baby snatcher disguised as Ms. Literacy Goodytwoshoes.

2) You think that having another baby would solve everything. Because then maybe you could blame your neurosis about losing your firstborn to Kindergarten on the raging hormones and sleep deprivation brought on by your newest addition.

3) This would also help in resisting the urge to kiss random babies' foreheads in the grocery store. If you had a real baby of your own, and not just a four year old that you are convinced is still an infant, then you wouldn't have to traumatize the poor first time mother carting a real five-week old, sweet-smelling baby through the canned goods aisle. And yes, this is the same mother, who thanks to your uninvited forehead smooching, will be forced to resort to the same tactics you pulled on the Kindergarten teacher (hopefully minus the chair and/or canned creamed corn throwing).

4) You get nostalgic when you see a box of Swaddlers. Let's face it--pining over the diaper stage is a sign of some serious regression on your part. It's wrong on so many levels.

5) You are convinced that the lady driving that big yellow vehicle up and down the street EVERY weekday at the SAME time is up to no good. You are appalled that the police won't take you seriously when you voice your suspicions about the stalking school bus.

6) You are reduced to a blubbering mess whenever you catch even a glimpse of a Lightning McQueen lunchbox. And Lord have mercy if you somehow wind up in the JC Penney Back-to-School section. Emergency medical assistance will probably be required at that point.

It's become painfully obvious to me that Time is at the wheel, in spite of a serious speeding problem and multiple citations, and no matter what this frightened, back-seat driver mama says, it won't slow down. Not for me, not for anybody.

Case in point, my mom swears it was only yesterday that she took this picture of me and my sister in our favorite hiding spot.

I guess I've finally joined Mom in the delusional and fruitless battle against Time, because if that happened just yesterday, then how do you explain how this picture was ALSO taken yesterday?

So tell me people, are you ready for Kindergarten? Are there more readiness assessment signs that I forgot? Any ideas on how to keep the little people little just a little longer?


Can I get a glass of water and an Amen?

They say prayer changes things. And apparently Caed's a believer. He's all about prayer changing things--namely, his bed time.

Prayer has become the new stall tactic, right up there with a quick drink of water, another trip to the bathroom, another story, and good night hugs for all living beings (Dog, Sister, Daddy, Mommy) as well as the stuffed variety (Bear, Dog, Moose, collectively referred to as "the brothers").

Tonight after he finished his prayer, Caed blurted, "Now you pray a really, really, REALLY long one, okay Mommy? Way, way, way longer than I did!"

Either he is really pious, or he has figured out that this is a surefire way to stay up just a little bit later. After all, Mommy isn't going to say "No way, kid. I said no more prayer! Now go to sleep!"

To add to the back story, just minutes before this lengthy prayer request, Caed burst into tears over being told "no" to a second glass of water. 

"Get it together, bud," I admonished.  "You need to stop crying and make a good choice to obey."

"But I can't do it....I can't stop crying," he sobbed in melodramatic, four year old staccato.

"Yes, you can.  And if you're having trouble, you can just pray and ask God to help you have self-control." I replied in my most matter of fact mothering voice.

He pleaded back, with an premature glimmer of a grin flashing across his tear-streaked face.  "Then I need YOU to do the prayin' for me, Mom.  Cuz I am too shy!"

Oh my dear little guy.  You know I'll do the really, really, really long prayers for you any time.  


Smiling in the face of February

I don't like February all that much. (Shocker, I know). The whole month smells like wet dog if you ask me. But alas, it is ALMOST over. And so the least I can do is share a few sweet and smiling moments that sprung up in the (mercifully) shortest month of the year.

And step together, back step, step together, left and....Wait, this isn't ice dancing.
Really, it's hockey. Without the gear.

Smiling in the Face of February

After skating, we came home for some hot cocoa. Caed, in a moment of substitution silliness, asked for "hot cah-cah". I was not mature enough to stifle the giggles as I reminded him of the importance of clear and proper annunciation. And because I attached an unintended smile to this behavior, his little sister immediately chimed in with a hot cah-cah chant of her own.

I believe this serves as a classic example of being careful what you wish (or chant) for. Good thing that what they lack in classy, they make up for in cute. Unfortunately for me, I have no such formula to address the classy deficit.


Even in February

The day donned an unimaginative gray suit and trudged through the turnstile. It swayed in the shakity shake of the subway, as the graffiti clad cement walls whirled to a blur in the gathering motion of minutes. The overcast hours commuted from dull to dreary and back again.

It is February, after all, and Dreariness Awareness Month. The day had no choice, really, but to be a gray mess in a dead end job.

But there is a place where even gray is breath taking. So I took the long way to the grocery store, and snapped a picture of the scene that never fails to take me worlds away from the drudgery.

This morning, we awoke to a snow day. Time to shed the gray suit and squeeze into a snow suit. The wonder-creating white covers over the dreariness like it was never there at all. The trees were up all night catching snowflakes on their tongues, and now droop in snow-laden sleep deprivation while the sun-speckled seconds flutter through their branches.

It is in the contrast that I conclude, Life is good. Even in February.


In Memory of Rick

My dear friend just posted this tribute to her husband, to help her son Max remember his Daddy as the fifth anniversary of his death approaches.

I generally deteriorate into a teary mess whenever I see pictures of Rick holding Max. But this morning, I found myself smiling through the tears, laughing at the picture of the big guy with his German Shepherd and recalling the not-so-macho nickname he gave her--"Sabre-Bunny".

And as the images flashed by of Max when he was just weeks old, for once, my thoughts didn't linger long in that time of grief. Instead, I glimpsed pictures of the present, of Max and Caed splashing in the tidal pools and turning driftwood into swords. I heard Max's voice telling the firefighter who stopped to offer the boys stickers and a closer look at the fire engine, "My Daddy was a firefighter! My Daddy was a firefighter!! Did you know my Daddy?"

And I remembered one of the first things I heard Becky say after Rick died.
As she held Max close to her breaking heart in a tear-soaked corner of the hospital, she kissed his 11 week old forehead and said, "I'm so glad I have you."

And that's why I smiled today. Because of Max. He is a living tribute to his dad. And Max, we're so glad we have you, today more than ever.


Paralyzed by Possibility

Startled by the sound of the screen door and its unmistakable closing number, "buddumb, bump", I zig-zagged from one room to the other, looking for evidence of an intruder or an escapee. Armed with words of admonition for my three year old NOT to let the dog out without asking, I stepped into the mudroom and saw....

No one.

I peered outside. It was not the three year old boy. It was not the six year old dog.

It was my daughter, a few months past one year, barefoot in her polka dotted pajamas, standing seven wobbling steps into the front yard. She teetered in the same spot, as if engaging in a solitary game of freeze tag, grinning ear to ear.

The day was as much an infant as she was. The morning sun spilled highlights onto her wispy brown hair as she glanced at me, squinted down the driveway toward the splintered mail post, and looked back at me once more. Then, knowing not her next move, she plopped perplexedly down, smushing the stealthy weeds poking through the pavers.

She had fussed after that very freedom nearly every day, clambered incessantly for a chance at independent outdoor exploration. Now she finally had it, and she didn't know what to do with herself.

It can be paralyzing when the possibilities are endless.

Up until now, the choosing was easy. The path was narrow, and the forks in the road few. I stumbled into wet career cement in my early 20s and wasted no time becoming a corporate fixture.

The ladder I climbed too quickly for comfort was the bunk bed variety. With each leadership rung, I came closer to the claustrophobic top bunk and further from the carefree, arm-spreading space on the carpet. And there was nary a night when I didn't toss and turn in that teeny space between the ceiling and the sheet, feeling terribly afraid about where I was ending up. This isn't me, I would insist, equally fearful of falling to the floor as I was of staying at the top.

Then came motherhood. This was my chance to shimmy down the rungs without looking like the girl who had climbed her way to the high dive and then chickened out. I took it. I slowed down so fast I felt sick from the motionlessness. I was barely past the shock, still chipping away the cement from my shoes, when a part time consulting opportunity knocked. It was the best of both worlds, and I wouldn't say no. That was nearly three years ago.

Today I scheduled my last billable hour. In two weeks time, I will no longer toggle between career and family. I will officially be a full-time, stay-at-home Mom.

Suddenly I'm standing in the middle of the yard, sharing streaks of sunrise with the daffodils. I cried and clambered for this scene for years; but now that I am here, I am strangely desparate for someone to whisk me back inside to what I know, not because it is better, but because it is familiar.

I have been securely trapped in time constraints for as long as I remember. It seems I always had towering tall, career-oriented excuses to hide behind when the meal was barely edible, or the garden wasn't producing, when I didn't read much more than email or feel curiosity beyond my field.

As that veil of excuses is removed, I see my fears for what they are. I don't know where to start. I don't know how to choose. I'm afraid I'll settle for survival instead of improvement. I'm afraid I'll waste time in little starts and stops instead of finishing one thing strong. I'm afraid I'll get the same mediocre results on the domestic front, even after I step up my effort.

But most of all, I'm paralyzed by the endless possibilities. I've often wished for the privilege to be a stay-at-home mom. So why is it, now that I'm finally standing here in a wide open yard with the morning dew on my cement-free toes, I somehow don't feel ready for it?


I welcome your advice, encouragement, empathy, and success stories. Please comment or share a link, as I could use a little push to get me past the paralysis stage!


Music to Daddy's Ears


They Were Hot and Cold

Caed took to the ice this weekend, while a Saturday morning fever sidelined his little sis.

Under normal circumstances, a sick sibling would shut us all in with nothing to do but cuddle, whine, and devise new tactics for combating the random reappearance of pancakes.

But with Daddy enjoying a rare weekend off, we switched from zone defense to one-on-one coverage. So while Caed and Dad worked up a sweat on skates, Dani and I focused on keeping the food and the fever down.

And no need to feel sorry for Dani. She'd rather be the center of attention than join her brother on center ice any day of the week!

What's cooler than being cool?
She may be feverish, but she'll never say no to a photo shoot.


Better to have Lovied and Lost

Dani shot me the "How could you?" look, after witnessing me toss her blanket mercilessly into the washing machine. Seeing that precious patch of satin drowning in the swirling suds nearly did the poor girl in. But you know what they say, if you lovie something, set it free, (and wash it regularly). And everybody knows it is better to have lovied and washed, than never to have lovied at all, right?

I will have my revenge, Mom. I will get that blanket back if it's the last thing I ever doooooo!


A Sole-Wrenching Power Struggle

I lost ten minutes today in a power struggle over shoes.   It was not about the shoes Dani would wear, but about which shoe goes on what foot.  Seriously.  I used to negotiate how unfunded pension liabilities would impact the purchase price in cross-border acquisitions, and now I'm fighting about footwear with a two year old?  

That thing they say about motherhood "grounding" you?  It's true.  There are no gravity-defying egos left in this house, no sirree.  Both my feet are smack dab on the floor, though I might add that at least my shoes are properly assigned to the correct feet.

But here's the worst part about this morning's shoe skirmish.  I didn't win.

I transported her to the car seat shoeless, kicking and screaming, holding her outstretched like she was a live lobster and my nose was in dire danger of her snappity claws.  (To be clear, she was the shoeless, kicking and screaming one.  I at least had my shoes on.  And I'm pretty sure the well-being of my nose was truly at risk.)  

When I say I didn't win, I don't just mean I failed to get her shoes on straight.  I managed to get out the door, but I missed the opportunity to teach, by example, not just the correct sole alignment, but the correct heart alignment.  How can I encourage her to have a "happy heart" about what she's been asked to do when I'm clearly modeling the opposite attitude? 

Sigh, life was certainly easier when I was in charge of closing meaningless deals, not shaping precious lives.  I am so completely out of my element in this parenting gig, I might as well be wearing my shoes on the wrong feet.  

So there they are.  Both feet.  See 'em?  Glued to the floor, in another humbling moment courtesy of my toddler.  But I've resolved to handle it better next time, to take it one moment and one step at a time,  one foot in front of the other.  


In which he gets free cake, and has time to eat it, too

"So I figured it out, "  Larry said as he looked up from his laptop, "I've worked 36 out of the last 38 days.  And one of those days off I spent doing clinic notes the whole day."

"Yeah, and that doesn't even take into consideration the 30+ hour call shifts."  I piled on.

His 38-day beard didn't do much for hiding the fatigue, though it did shave a few precious minutes from his morning routine.  He was living in "I'll-take-whatever-I-can-get" mode, where a coke and stale peanuts passes for dinner, crashing on the couch for two hours qualifies as a good night of sleep, and kissing the kids goodnight long after they've dozed off constitutes quality family time.  Sadly, the five extra minutes of sleep he gained by abandoning his razor made up a startlingly large percentage of his overall snooze time.

It was Friday night.  The babysitter had arrived, and the winter resident party awaited us.  But by the time Larry had shaved his beard and pulled a tie from the closet, he was spent.  We decided to scratch the semi-formal soiree and settle instead for a quiet dinner in jeans.  

"It changes you," said Larry's friend and fellow resident, as the four of us waited for the waitress to arrive with the entrees.  "Sometimes I think, as I trudge downstairs like a total zombie to do a 3 a.m. admission, what the heck am I even doing?" 

"It's inhumane.  You guys don't have time to eat, sleep or process anything.  You don't have time to be alive," I said, not intending to sound quite that dramatic.

None of us said it out loud, but it was the phrase on the tip of our tongues as we vented, empathized and commiserated about the lives (or lack thereof) of medical residents, and of those who love them: 
Sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it.

Residency is the stretch of the road that puts the journey itself in question.  It renders Larry either bleary-eyed exhausted or beady-eyed stressed. It seems as though the kids and I weigh him down as much as we give him comfort, if not more.  We unintentionally conjure the guilt about what he cannot give, what he cannot be, what he cannot do.  Self-confidence and patience trickle toward drought, while guilt gushes in abundant supply.  We resolve to hang on the best we can, praying for minimal damages.   And sometimes it just doesn't seem worth it. 

My train of thought derailed as the waitress clanked away the empty plates and posed the question of dessert.   No sooner had we asked for menus than a middle-aged man appeared at our table, put his hand on Larry's shoulder and announced that dessert would be his treat.  

"We just want to thank you, for taking care of my mother, for calling us and spending the time to keep us informed." the man continued.  "We thought we'd be going to a funeral today, but instead, we're taking Mom home. Thank you, thank you so much." 

He then turned to me and told me something I already knew, but so needed to hear in that moment,  "He's a wonderful doctor.  We're so grateful for the way he took care of my mom."

I glimpsed a twinkle in Larry's blurry, post-call eyes as he shook the man's hand and wished him well.  God must have known he couldn't handle anything more on his shoulders that night than a pat of encouragement.

Maybe it is worth it, after all.

And not just because of the free Molten Lava Chocolate Cake, though that certainly sweetened the deal.


Regarding the Rarity and the Red-Hair-ity

The next time someone tells you that you're "one in a million", don't take it as a compliment. It's a curse, really.

I'm usually one to take responsibility for my life, but there are some parts of the story where I simply have to blame my passive-recessive genes. Because rare things happen to red heads, and we freckled freaks are rare things in and of ourselves.

For example, did you know that red heads are harder to anesthetize? I didn't need to read the New England Journal of Medicine to draw that conclusion. I could have told you that two minutes into my root canal. And don't get me started on the epidural. Let's just say it's a good thing red heads have a very high pain tolerance.

Oh, and by the way, I hear we're going to be extinct soon, which means we'll have to go live under the coastal Marsh with the dinosaurs. (Yes, that's where Caed insists the dinosaurs live now that they are "egg-stinked". It's my fault really, as I made the mistake of trying to explain fossils to a four year old.)

So here's my latest story, in support of the hypothesis on the link between red hair and freakishness:

Enter the ophthalmologist, my LASIK surgeon, who performed a second corrective surgery (rarely needed) on my baby blues two weeks ago. She came in assuming everything was normal. First mistake. She must not have noticed the flaming red hair.

Here's what I heard as she read my chart and examined my eyes:
"Hmm....that's so strange. Wow, what is going on here? This doesn't make any sense. No sense at all. Let me take another look. Hmm, I've never seen anything like this. Your left eye is really far sighted--this just doesn't add up AT ALL. It was right on track last week. This is SO WEIRD. Hmmmm."

Luckily she left me with these reassuring words as we scheduled an appointment for the next morning, "In all my 35 years in practice, I've never seen anything like this."

Beautiful. Just beautiful! If only I could see the irony here. But I literally can't see anything right now, at least not with my swollen, far-sighted mess of a left eye. My right eye is doing ALL the work right now, and getting pretty durn tired of it.

So right now, when I say I can't see straight, it is not a cliche for confusion (although that may also be true). My left eye knows not what my right eye is doing, and my right eye is pretty convinced my left eye has had one too many margaritas. The right eye can be kind of judgy like that. But you know what they say about judging and stuff in your eye. And seriously, if there is a big ol' plank in my right eye, I'm sooo screwed.

So right now, I await the dawning of Friday when I will return to the doctor to see if they have a cure for follicle-induced freakishness. In the meantime, I'm crying a river of artificial tears.

(Oh, and I'm channeling my inner Anne of Green Gables. Because if there is anyone who knows how to turn a wayward left eye into a drama of the most demonstrative proportions, it's the lovely Anne Shirley. I'm thinking I'll wear my dress with puffed sleeves to my appointment tomorrow....)


They Pay Me In Pine Coins

It's a tiny miracle that he found the pine cone in our snow-laden yard, with nary a pine tree in sight.

"Mom, look, I found a pine coin!" he beamed. "It's for you."

They pay me in pine coins.

It's the currency of motherhood, untouched by inflationary pressures, immune to the chill of the frozen capital markets. So I take their investment; and in return, I give them interest, compounding with every book we read together, every game we play, every moment of loving admonition, every afternoon we whimsically waste on the Island of Sodor.

One day, I pray the pine coins my children have entrusted to me will return the greatest dividend--that they will grow to stand tall as a towering spruce, firmly rooted, steady in the strong color of their character from season to season.

In the meantime, I'm still looking for a way to fit the pine coins in the piggy bank.


"25 Random Things" is out of control, People! Try this instead...

I have already gone on record that I will refuse to do the 25 Random Things exercise on Facebook until it is no longer the trend, because that's how I roll: unfashionably late.  

However, my friend Kendra, (the one who introduced me to blogging and Google reader, an action for which I don't know whether to love her or to hate her), added a fun little twist, and I've succumbed only because it is ALL about the babies.  Her youngest, Asher, tagged Dani in a recent post, and now Dani must share 25 things about herself.  This is perfect given the fact that the primary purpose of this blog is to help me remember stuff about my kids when I am old and grey, or maybe just four months from now.  

So here goes:
1) My first name is Sheridan, but you can call me Dani.
2) Sheridan is an  Irish surname that means "wild".
3) My parents tried to counteract my namesake by adding my middle name, Alayne, which means "beauty."
4) It didn't work.
5) I am still wild.
6) My mom was going to link the word "wild" (mentioned above) to a post where I demonstrate my wildness, but there were so many, she couldn't decide.  She said just to read the rest of the blog and you'll get a pretty good idea.
7) How's this for random--my teeth have come in totally out of sequence.  When I turned a year old, I only had four teeth.  Now I have all my teeth except my two lower incisors.
8) My mom just googled "names of teeth" so she could figure out what to call my missing teeth.
9) The dentist says the incisor teeth are there, and that there is no cause for concern, but adds that I am a freak of nature.  Or maybe my mom added that part.
10) Right now, my absolute favorite thing to do is to point my finger at my brother and shout, "NO, NO, NO Caed!"
11) Mom tells him to ignore me, but he totally can't do it, and I find that empowering, so I keep doing it.
12) My Dad admitted that maybe my tendency to be an antagonist came from him, but he has not acknowledged any responsibility for my defiance.
13) I heard him telling my mom that was her fault.
14) Either way, being antagonistic and defiant is a winning combination for a two year old.
15) I would eat cheese all the live-long-day if allowed.  
16) I only eat vegetables and fruit if they are on the ground and my mom tells me they are yucky.  
17) Case in point, I had my first and last strawberry when we went strawberry picking this summer.  I sampled about a dozen dirty strawberries, but wouldn't touch them once we got home. 
18) I did the same thing with blueberries and apples.  
19) I love to dance and sing, but I don't have the coordination yet to do them at the same time.
20) I have a toilet seat that has Sesame Street characters on it.  When I want to try going potty, I tell my mom that I "want to sit on Elmo."
21) I haven't successfully peed on the potty yet, but I sure like to ask about it whenever it is completely inconvenient for my mom.
22) One time, when I was sitting on the potty, mom asked me if I was going to go "tinkle", and I broke out into song...."Tinkle Tinkle witta stah, bubba bubba, buh you ARE...wike a dimon in da sky...TINKLE TINKLE"  You get the idea. 
23) It was so cute that mom laughed, even though I had asked to use the potty at the most inopportune time.
24) I love my brother and all of his toys so much that I only want to play with my own toys when he is playing with them.  
25) Even though I didn't sleep through the night until I was well into my seventh month, and even though I have gotten into multiple forms of mischief numerous times in my short life, and even though I am antagonistic and defiant, my family completely adores me, and cherishes every little moment of my wild child life.

So to everyone on my blogroll and beyond, do you wanna play too?  If so, consider yourselves tagged.  If you don't want to participate, no worries.  Good karma is not at stake here.  I will not hunt you down and twist your arm until you write a sappy post about your youngest child.  All I ask is that if you decide to join in, leave me a comment with a link to your post!  


On Rejoicing & The Ridding of Rubbish

The trucker rattling along in the right lane surely heard us singing loud and clear, over and out:

"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice....rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice!"  

Caed and I crooned carelessly off-key, while Dani piped in with the five second delay, adding "rejoice" only after we were already on "Again I say".  

I experienced one of those split seconds of parental pride, you know, the fleeting moment when you feel like something other than a complete failure.  Here I was, singing joyfully with my kids as we cruised down the highway, infusing oodles of anti-whining, pro-happy values into their little hearts.

After we finished serenading the semi-truck, Caed announced, "I know what 'joicin' means.  It means cleanin' up."  

Mmmkay, that's an interesting interpretation. I asked him to explain.  

He continued, "You know, rejoicin' is when we get out the vacuum and use the spray and the cloths to clean up our mess."  

Oh dear boy, could we be any farther from the textbook definition?  Rejoice means to "feel joy, to be delighted", not exactly the words that come to mind when I scrub the toilets.  (However, I have been known to rejoice when someone else scrubs the toilets.)  

So off I went in search of a correlation between the rejoicing and the ridding of the rubbish.  I never did figure out how Caed put the two together, but I did come up with a few theories of my own:

1) Both require repetition.  I decide daily, hourly, and even by the moment whether to rejoice or complain, and whether to let the dust settle or to stir it up and temporarily out.  Will I provide the crusty crumbs a rent-controlled haven on the breakfast chairs, or will I promptly evict them in hopes of a few hours of smudgeless vacancy? Whatever the answer, I know that within hours--if not minutes--the chairs will again be in need of wiping, as will the children.  And I repeatedly fight the battle between the my right shoulder Pollyanna ("Let's play the glad game!") and the left shoulder Debbie Downer ("Wuh...wuh...wuuhh").  

2) I grow weary and want to give up on both.  I reluctantly wash dishes. knowing they will soon be dirty again; and I do not easily delight in the daily drudgeries.  I find it difficult to choose joy in the midst of diaper duty, or to speak with a happy heart when settling sibling skirmishes over the only presently cool toy in a room teeming with plastic battery-powered childhood entertainment.  It is hard to rejoice the first time, let alone again, and again.  

3) I know I should do both, but I'd rather make excuses.  For example, "The house is just going to get trashed anyway, so why even bother?"  Or, "YOU try being joyful when surrounded by this incessant whining and these non-stop demands!"  

So maybe there is something to the cleaning and rejoicing connection. The Pollyanna in me thinks so.  The Debbie Downer in me feels like punching Pollyanna in the mouth, but refrains because human mouths are like one hundred times more germ-ridden than dogs' mouths, and oh the devastation that bacteria can cause....

Speaking of bacteria, I should probably go scrub those bathrooms.  

They are in dire need of a good thorough rejoicing.  

As am I.

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