Posts tagged ‘Big-Eyed Boy’

June 10th, 2012

Kids These Days

by Venomous Kate

Like everyone else in the country, we’ve been watching our pennies a lot more closely than ever before. And, like children everywhere, the Big-Eyed Boy just does not understand that nothing in this world is truly free — not food, running water, or electricity.

Here we are, only two weeks into summer vacation, and I swear I’ve spent most of my days going around the house turning off lights in rooms that he hasn’t been in for hours, telling him that he does NOT need the TV going in the background if he’s busy playing Quake on the computer, and shutting off water faucets left running because he forgot he’d turned them on to wash his hands.

So today when I found him sitting on the deck with the door to the kitchen wide open, I just about lost it.

Me: “We can’t afford to air condition the whole outdoors. Who do you think Dad is, Nelson Rockefeller?”

Big-Eyed Boy: “Who?”

Me: “Warren Buffet?”

BEB: “Who???”

Me: “Bill Gates?”

BEB: “WHO????”

Me (sighing): “Mark Zuckerberg?”

BEB: “Of course you’re not him. He’s old but not your old kinda OLD.”

Somehow, I managed to resist the urge to lock that child out of my house.

March 10th, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Boy and my Blog!

by Venomous Kate

Twelve years ago today, my beautiful Big-Eyed Boy was born. Weighing 9 lbs and 11 oz, he seemed ginormous at the time. (Hey, I’m a short woman!) And then came his first poop. Oh, how we ooohed and ahhhhed over it. Weird, isn’t it, how new parents can find crap so adorable? I remember grabbing a baby wipe and realizing that, despite how it felt like I’d shot out a watermelon, that wipe was HUGE compared to his little butt.

And now, as we close out his Tween years, I no longer find his poop adorable. In fact, laundry day pretty much squicks me out. But him? Oh, yeah. I still sigh sometimes when I look at him… when he’s not talking… which is, basically, only when he’s asleep. Oh, and the baby wipes? Yeah, I’m the one using them now on my own ass. It’s the circle of life, y’all!

Oh, and it’s also my blog’s 9th birthday. Yes, that’s right: I started Electric Venom on my son’s third birthday, a time when most other mommies would probably lie through their teeth have been doing something all nurturing and stuff. Me? I’d spent the previous six weeks single-parenting a child who would not. shut. up. (Some things never change.)

Here’s hoping that, a year from now, I post another entry celebrating both birthdays again.


August 11th, 2011

In Praise Of Minty-Fresh Toilets

by Venomous Kate

What really happens when a bug says kachoo Back when the Big-Eyed Boy was still a cuddly toddler, one of his favorite books to read was Dr. Seuss’ Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo!. You know, the story about how a bug’s sneeze sets off a long, improbable chain of events with global ramifications? Only, my son — who was still cute as a bug himself back then — would stop me after the first couple of pages, spreading his chubby hands out to prevent me from continuing the story.

“Mommy, do you know what really happens when a bug sneezes?” he’d ask. And I, although I’d heard his version a dozen times already, would shake my head. “When a bug sneezes on the other side of the world,” he’d squeal with glee, “YOU get sick!” Sadly, he’s not all that wrong.

It irritates my friends and family, but the reality is that I catch just about everything. Colds, flus, viruses, you name it — if there’s a person anywhere near me who’s been anywhere near a sick person themselves, I’ll come down with whatever that distant stranger had. It’s all but inevitable, even if I practically bathe in Purell after being in public, take more vitamins than a 70s health guru, and consume a produce stall’s worth of fruits and vegetables each week. I. Just. Get. Sick.

And I hate it.

It’s not just that I hate being sick — though I do, especially now that I’m a mom since “Mommy’s sick” really means no one’s going to lift a finger to do a damn thing around the house because that’s all my work, so the place just goes to hell in a hand-basket until I drag my phlegm-filled, feverish self out of bed to feed the starving cat, pick up my son’s dirty underwear from the kitchen floor, remind my husband that we do NOT use the kitchen sponge to clean our tennis shoes, and defrost some frozen dinner I’d stashed in the freezer in anticipation of days just like this. (And if you’re thinking that perhaps the reason I’m continually sick is due to my family’s horrifying inability to comprehend sanitation basics, let me just say the same thing’s dawned on me, but good luck trying to convince them that the germ theory of disease isn’t really a theory.)

So. I’ve been sick in bed since sometime on Tuesday. I don’t remember much of that day except that I had a long To Do list, much of which revolved around my daughter, who’d come home to earn college spending money by cleaning my house. Three hours after she’d started cleaning, I was on the sofa, sick as a dog, except when I was in the bathroom being equally sick. My first thought was how VH shares an office with a man whose live-in girlfriend just got over what they’ve been calling “the grunge”, some malady that lasted close to three weeks. Maybe he’d brought the germs home somehow? But, after comparing symptoms, I learned she hadn’t been camping out in their bathroom with her head in a toilet, so clearly, it wasn’t the same thing. I chalked it up to yet another weird bug I’d managed to pick up somewhere and got on with the business of puking my guts out.

Meanwhile, I kept mentally blessing my daughter for having just cleaned the bathroom right before I got so very, terribly sick. Seriously, there are few things more miserable than hanging your head in a toilet that smells, well, like a toilet. Okay, finally getting a chance to catch your breath and looking up to find that you’ve been resting your forehead on a crap- and urine-splattered toilet rim is pretty damn miserable, too. It’s also been known to prompt even more puking, just when you thought you couldn’t possibly hurl one more chunk.

So I was glad — so very, very glad — that my oldest child, my responsible daughter, my sweet angel who’d initially come up with the idea of cleaning my house in exchange for pocket money had, in fact, cleaned house so I didn’t have to. I was glad for a minty fresh toilet in which to puke, and for the knowledge that once I stopped puking I wouldn’t find my house filth-riddled and in need of my immediate attention.

Which is why this morning, when I finally felt well enough to shuffle to the kitchen, I was shocked — shocked, I tell you! — that I didn’t find two yowling, starving cats or my son’s dirty underwear or a grime-riddled sponge left by VH to float amid the detritus of last night’s dinner. They’d kept the house clean! I didn’t have to jump into action! I could finish recovering, rather than wearing myself out!

Or, at least, that’s what I thought until I found the pile of cleaning rags my daughter had used to clean house while she was here. Filthy rags. Rags from the bathroom, rags from the kitchen, rags she’d used to scrub the laundry room floor near the cats’ litter box. Rags, I was horrified to see, which she’d piled right on top of the non-used cleaning rags. The very same clean rags I’ve taught VH and the Big-Eyed Boy to use to wipe up messes instead of using the kitchen sponge or my dish towels. Then, thinking back, I realized they’d been there the last time she’d cleaned, and the time before that. In fact, I’d assumed all this time that she had been washing the cleaning rags along with all of her laundry that she does whenever she comes home.

Silly me.

Silly sick, tired, incredibly irritated and disgusted me, who must now clean — and disinfect — the house from top to bottom.

Not that it will keep me from getting sick again, I’m sure.


March 10th, 2011

More Importantly, Eleven Years Ago Today (Photo)

by Venomous Kate

Happy 11th Birthday to my Big Eyed Boy. Of all the things in my life that I wouldn’t change, being his mom is on the top of the list.

And, yes, that’s the Venomous Hubby next to me in the picture and, no, I’m not wearing a bra.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, the baby you see in that photo earned his Yellow Belt in karate tonight. I’m going to go make suitable cooing noises and hope that he’s not too old to put up with that stuff.

January 30th, 2011

I Bet This Comes Up In Therapy

by Venomous Kate

Make it stop! Not long ago, I pointed out to the Venomous Hubby that most children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, have answers tending toward the overly ambitious: an astronaut, President of United States, an NFL player, a prima ballerina. Hell, one of our friends has a son who literally misspells his own name on a regular basis and that kid wants to grow up to be a brain surgeon. (Our friend has wisely begun making large annual donations to a nearby University with a medical program, because it never hurts to grease the wheels.)

When we asked the Big-Eyed Boy what he wants to be when he grows up he said, “Oh, I don’t plan to be anything because I’m not going to college, and I’m never moving out.” Needless to say, VH and I didn’t share his enthusiasm.

Don’t get me wrong: we love our little boy like crazy. Most days he’s a joy to be around, he’s an incredibly affectionate and usually sweet-natured kid, and he has such a funny, quirky sense of humor that our house is filled with laughter.


Every piece of furniture in my house is either ripped, stained or scarred. Our walls are begrimed with little hand prints despite my near-obsessive scrubbing. The floors — where the tiles haven’t been cracked by someone dropping a baseball bat, heavy book bag or other item not ‘fessed up to — are so far from their original white (chosen by the previous homeowners, I assure you) that I now claim they’re actually beige, not white, so people don’t look at me in horror.

The BEB is my youngest, and LAST child. I’ve been raising children for 19 years now and I have the gray hairs to prove it. I’m tired. VH is tired. We can’t remember the last time we ate at a restaurant that didn’t pass out crayons along with paper menus, and we sure as hell haven’t been on any type of trip one could consider “romantic” (unless you count the 2 hours or so on the drive to my mother-in-laws when the BEB falls asleep in the back of the minivan).

There is NO WAY that child is skipping college, must less spending his adult life in our home. Just as I did when his older sister, the Princess, graduated from high school, I’ll be boxing his stuff up the day after graduation and asking what address he wants his stuff shipped to.

This is why VH and I have lately taken great pains to encourage the Big-Eyed Boy to explore his various interests. For a while there he’d expressed foodie tendencies, so we bought him a kid’s cookbook, a chef hat, and a child-friendly set of knives. And, while we did diligently supervise his use of said knives, the first time one of us turned our backs (*cough* VH *cough*), the boy proceeded to hack into the trim on my kitchen counter-tops at precise 1-inch intervals. On every counter. And all the way around the kitchen island. So much for encouraging that

His precision didn’t escape our notice, though, so when he mentioned an interest in learning to build things we jumped all over THAT, too. VH got him a child’s tool box and loaded it with smaller-sized tools. They went to the lumber yard and bought wood. They went to the paint store and bought paint. They downloaded plans to build a birdhouse, and even though I despise birds (primitive, scary things!), I forced a smile of approval on my face. It was a beautiful bird house, too, and the boy was quite proud when he sat it on the deck railing where we figured it was close enough for us to watch our backyard birds take to it. Unfortunately, it proved close enough for our cat to watch them, too. Somehow, in the time it took for us to realize the cat had shot out the deck door the damn animal managed to catch, kill and behead a bird right there on our deck. The boy now cringes in horror whenever we suggest another building project.

Then came the day I took him to see The Karate Kid. When we returned home, he proceeded to jump all over the house yelling heeeeee-YAAAAAH as he pantomimed disabling bad guys. Great! Cool! We’ll enroll him in martial arts training, VH and I agreed. After all, it teaches self-discipline (something we’re in favor of) and confidence (often a good thing to have) AND would help him burn off steam (thus maybe sparing my furniture). What we didn’t count on? The confidence came long before the self-discipline did, and this kid apparently has an endless supply of steam. Walking through my house feels a lot like being Inspector Clouseau: you never know when Kato — or, in this case, the BEB — is going to jump out from behind something and scare the crap out of you. Folks, my nerves are SHOT already. I’ll be damned if we’ll renew this karate school contract once it’s up.

Then one day, I remembered just how very good my kid is at Rock Band and Guitar Hero. No, seriously: he blows our friends’ minds on a regular basis when they watch him nail guitar licks and drum lines on the expert setting with 100% accuracy. So, okay, encouraging him to become a musician won’t necessarily ensure he’ll go to college and one day move out of our house (and, arguably, it might be encouraging the exact opposite), but we thought perhaps it would be a good place to start on that confidence thing and all.

I was as excited as a kid myself the day his new pro-style electronic drum set arrived. This was the answer to ALL of our hopes, I figured. For one thing, unlike a true drum set, it’s quiet: you either have to hook it up to a speaker, which I wisely ‘forgot’ to buy, or wear head phones. For another, it’s versatile: plug in your iPod or other mp3 player and you can drum along with your favorite tracks… also audible only through a ‘forgotten’ speaker or the headset. And, in addition to karate, we figured it would help him burn off more steam — something important, since I have my eye on a new pair of wingback chairs.

That was two weeks ago, and let me just say again, when it comes to musical talent my kid is mind-boggling. He’s learning new songs daily, loves drumming so much that he practices it without prodding, and is rapidly building a concert-worthy song list. And that confidence? Well, apparently the drums are helping with that, too, because now he’s so comfortable with the drums that he’s starting to sing along with them.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize at first that’s what was happening. No, instead, while I was down in the basement I heard what I thought was a pained animal, so I dropped the load of wash I’d been folding and raced two flights of stairs to find out what was wrong with our cat. The boy, seeing me, stopped his drumming and pointed out the cat was sleeping peacefully.

“You’re hearing things,” the boy said.

I shrugged and went back to the basement to fold more laundry, only to hear another horrible noise not five minutes later. This time, though, it sounded like my little boy had hurt himself so I shot up those two flights of stairs even faster, but the noise had stopped before I got there.

“Maybe you’re hearing something outside?” the boy suggested.

Being out-of-shape and out of breath, I decided not to go completely back down to the basement this time. Instead, I lurked in the kitchen until the noise started again, then crept upstairs to figure out what was the problem.

It was my son. Singing.

Except that it wasn’t singing, it was that horrible off-key screeching that people make when they’ve got earphones on and can’t hear themselves.

Except he didn’t have earphones on because his father had found a speaker for the electronic drum set, so he could hear himself just fine. And he sucked. Su-uh-uh-uh-ucked.

And as I stood there watching him drum and “sing”, he got a big grin on his face then reached down to pause the music. “I know what I want to be when I grow up!” he announced. “I’m going to be a world famous singer/drummer and go on world tour with my band!”

“Oh, no you’re not,” I told him. “Trust me.”

Yeah, that’s probably going to come up in therapy. The question is: his, or mine?

June 15th, 2010

And How Is YOUR Summer Going So Far?

by Venomous Kate

With all the rain we’ve had lately, the Big-Eyed Boy’s been cooped up indoors (read: near me) too much lately. So, it’s been a long, grueling day here at the Venomous Household — as in, a day I’ve spent thinking almost non-stop, “You know, I really should’ve just given the Venomous Hubby a blow-job when he came home from that business trip 11 years ago.”

But enough about me.

How are you staying sane so far this summer?