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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chuck, you have to get the damn V! Do you hear me?


You know the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy first lands in Oz and she hears giggling coming from the the bushes? Then one by one the Munchkins come out and greet her? And soon she is surrounded by Munchkins? And they're everywhere and staring at her and all up in her shit?

That's what the neighborhood in Mulletville Lite is suddenly like: There are parents and children everywhere.

It happened after I stole the neighbor's umbrella. She invited us to a Memorial Day picnic hosted by the neighborhood, which we went to. I don't think holy fuck can even begin to describe the sheer number of children at the picnic. They were running and shrieking and crying about skinned knees. Babies hung from breasts. Women gave birth by the grills. Fathers flung hotdogs into the mouths of five, six, seven hungry beastlings.

It was worse than my Lord of the Flies experience at IKEA.

It made me want to take a Valium.

I wasn't just freaked out by the abundant fertility of the neighborhood (does anyone do anything other than boink and boink and boink?). It's the parents that made me twitchy. These people have taken parenthood to an extreme I have not yet before witnessed—and they're peeking out their windows and watching my house!

"I saw your plastic," one woman told me.

"My plastic?"

"Plastic kids' toys. We knew you had kids. Four years and six months, right?"

"Five months—"

"It was a little too cool for just a t-shirt on the kids, don't you think?"

Ok, I added that last line, but she may just as well have said it. Lord knows people were passing commentary on the parenting foibles of other neighbors at the picnic.

Missy and Steve? They let their kids go outside barefoot in the winter. Dale and Whitney? He bosses the kids around so the wife got him a dog to train. Alex and Julie? Such hermits! Their sheltered life will surely affect their daughter Brianna.

Oh.My.Gawd.

I can't claim this over zealous parenting is a localized phenomenon. Claire Dederer describes something similar in Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses, and she lives in Washington. Surely Connecticut has pockets similar to Washington. I guess I just needed a heads-up that I'd be living in a place where parenthood trumps all. Where family is your bread, butter, mistress and nightcap.

It's kind of hitting me as I write this: If we stay here, I'm almost 100% certain we will be swallowed whole by this homogeneous blob of people who are consumed by their children. We'll no longer be Chuck and Mrs. Mullet. We'll be "Those parents who let their children out of the house with peanut butter on their faces."

Even worse, I see another one or two kids in our future. Everyone knows that one of the first things people do when trying to fit into a new environment is mimic those around them.

Boink and mimic. Mimic and boink.

I'm probably pregnant already.

And the neighbors probably already know.

I'm frightened, Auntie Em! I'm frightened!

12 comments:

VandyJ said...

They say it's something in the water that causes that. My husbands boss told him that it's not something in the the water, it's something in the air---they're called feet.
Keep your feet on the ground and you should be just fine.

Frogs in my formula said...

You mean instead of over my head? Hah.

Pricilla said...

Maybe it's not so bad living in the middle of freakin' nowhere on a goat farm.....

Brittney said...

OMFG I love you! That shit was hilarious!! Thanks for commenting on my blog! Your neighbors might shit a brick if they lived in my neighborhood my kid goes outside with his underwear on backwards and nothing else the other kids walk around in swimming trunks and cowboy boots! Haha keep your feet on the ground and dont drink their kool aid.

SmartBear said...

Ahh...life in the burbs. My neighbors hate me. It might have something to do with me shouting the f bomb when they blow off their damn firecrackers on the 4th of July. And they are all obsessed with Disneyland. OBSESSED.
Stay strong sister.
Best,
Tina

Lady said...

I also am surviving in the CT suburbs....that post was soooooo funny! Lol, my fave part was the women giving birth by the grills! You might just long for mulletville after a little while with these supermoms, it's nauseating!

Sparkling said...

it's going to happen no matter where you go. once you have the kids, everyone else with kids races to you like a magnet.

Mrsbear said...

One of the benefits of living in a big city is nobody bats an eye when you feed your kids Chinese made plastics.

I'm all for boinking, but mostly I'm for sleeping. Avoid the water. It's usually in the drinking water.

Stephanie in Suburbia said...

Wahahaha! I'm pretty much signing my husband up for the Big V the moment I pop out the kid. Soon as my stitches heal, his begin. People are breeding quite a bit around us, too, and it's disturbing. Especially with people looking at us like "you just have the one? get going!"

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

Wow. Just wow. I'm frightened for you.

The Mother said...

You can always adopt my approach to avoiding Stepford syndrome:

NEVER GO OUT. That way you can't be infected.

See? Works.

Mama Badger said...

This is why I don't hang out with my neighbors. I just don't care if they think my child rearing skills are sub par. And I don't want them to like me...