June 22, 2014

wherein the girls boost my self esteem and other stuff

My niece, Mik, posted this sign on her bedroom door:

At age nine, Mik has sorted out the important things in life.
I thought it was a great idea.
I made one for my front door.

You might have a wreath or a welcome sign on your door. Or maybe one of those As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord plaques.
I don't.
So Kirby Dude and Jehovah's Witness Person, don't come knocking at my door again unless you're bringing me a pizza.

Molly will be five next month. I felt sad about this last night, and asked her how she felt about growing up so quickly. I held up four fingers, holding my thumb down, Molly, I wish you could be four forever.
She was like, I don't do dat. Looking at me disdainfully.
I was like, What?
I don't hold my fingers like dat. The disdain deepened. I felt like a loser.

I go like dis.

So. It has come to this. Our four year old baby is making up her own gang signs.
And in case you noticed the "chocolate" on her upper lip, it isn't chocolate. She took a pan of cookies out of the oven, and tried to get a closer look at those babies. She kissed the pan. She didn't even cry. I would've cried. I sat on my flat iron one time. I cried.

Anyway, Molly is really into being a maiden these days. I have no idea where she came up with this idea. She does her own thing.
So this morning she's all, Sun, can you do my hair low like dis? Dat's how maidens do it.

Gangsta maiden.

And then she saw this old picture of me:

Let me bring that in a little closer for you. I don't want you to miss anything. Not pictured are the lace gloves.

That's from Old Fashioned Day at our church in AL, when I was about 19. Yes. We had Old Fashioned Day, and we would all dress up like Little House on the Prairie, and we mostly all hated it. I have no idea what the point was. Sometimes when you're a Baptist, you just do random stuff like that. Anyway, I wasn't doing Little House on the Prairie, I was a Jane Austen fan. That's way cooler. Some kids might go through an Emo phase, or maybe Goth, or Punk. I went through a Jane Austen phase, and I wore those clothes out in public.
I went to Walmart like, Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't cha?
To my surprise, none of the guys there asked for my phone number. Uncultured swine. (Name that movie)

Back to Molly. She found that picture of me.
So this morning, as I was fixing her maiden hair, she asked me about that picture.
Sun... were you a maiden back then?
Yes. Yes, I was. In fact, I was the fairest maiden of them all.
I wish I could describe the look of love and admiration in her eyes as she stared up at me. She literally caught her breath. And then she sighed the happiest sigh ever.
I knew it. I knew you were a maiden.

And that, my friends, is why I'll always be one of the coolest people on this planet in Molly's eyes. Once upon a time, I was a maiden. That's all that matters.

Molly also drew this picture of me:

She perfectly captured my are-you-kidding-i'm-going-to-punch-you-in-the-eye face.
And then she told me, Can you write Brave and Sunny on it? Because it's for you. That's you being a brave princess. Like the movie.
A brave princess and a maiden. You see why I like it when this girl comes over?

My sister, Shelly, sent me a jean dress awhile back. I really love it. Hello, it's Anthropology. What's not to love?
I wore it to church this morning, and Lily came into my room and stared at me with the same adoration Molly had looked at me with earlier.
Oh Sun, oh Sun, oh Sun. I love your dress. You're so BEAUTIFUL.
I was like, Thank you, and mentally congratulated myself on being so beautiful.
It's so beautiful, Sun. You look just like a farmer!
I stopped congratulating myself.

And then I went to church, and one of my friends told me I looked like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Here's a picture of me in my Farmer/Dorothy dress. And Lily adoring it:

You might be a hot mama. Or a sexy beast. Or America's Next Top Model. Whatever. I'm a Fair Maiden Farmer. Eat your heart out. There can only be one.

And last of all, I leave you with this:

Because sometimes, when your name is Molly and you can't hold it, you just gotta drop your pants in the hallway and make a crazy run for it.

The Fair Maiden Brave Princess Farmer Dorothy. Amen.

June 03, 2014

i hate all the cats that poop

I don't hate very many things. Actually, that's not true. I hate a lot of things. Or, at least very much dislike them.

Like really, super cold, freezing weather. I don't wanna be a popsicle.
Folding my ever gigantic pile of laundry. I have a pile hidden in my closet right now if anyone wants to come fold it for me.
Almost all vegetables. They taste like dirt.
Anyone who messes with me when I'm asleep. I won't hurt you if you wake me up, but in my heart, I will think all sorts of bad things about you.
The sound of people eating. I have Misophonia. It's a real thing. If you're going to be around me, please starve. Just until I leave.
Running out of coffee.
Running out of creamer for my coffee.
Not having coffee.
Going to a friend's house and they're all, Yes! We do have coffee! and then they pull out Folgers. That's not coffee. That's brown stuff.
Dirty bathrooms. I don't want any of that getting on me.
Petty, easily offended people. Ain't nobody got time for dat.
Anything remotely scary or creepy. Like Willy Wonka. I'm sorry, but that guy is weird, and that movie should be over in the horror genre.

After all that hating, I should tell you that I love animals. I really do. No, I am not one of those animal lovers that's like, I love my dog more than my kids. That's just weird. I don't have a dog or kids, but I'm pretty sure that if I did, I would love my kids more. And I'm not going to sacrifice myself for an animal either. A human, yes. An animal, no. If it's raining outside and I only have one umbrella, and me n' the dog won't both fit under it, guess who gets the umbrella? Me, that's who. I'll feel bad for the dog, but not enough to hand over my umbrella.
However, I do still love animals. We occasionally had pets growing up, and I always liked them. I would like to have a dog one day. And maybe other random animals like rabbits and chickens.

But there is one rule that I have with any animal: Don't mess with my stuff. In particular, don't mess with my garden.

We had this one dog when I was a teenager that I really liked. He was a happy dog. He had his drawbacks. For one, he really liked... umm... playing piggyback, to put it delicately. With anything. Pine cones. Whatever leg happened to be walking past. Clothes that he pulled off the clothesline. Nothing was safe.
But like I said, he was a smiley dog, and we liked him. But then one day I caught him digging in my flowerbeds. And then it became a regular, almost daily thing for him to go dig up my plants. Nothing I did could dissuade him from it.
Oh no, he didn't.
Our friendship ended right then and there.
And when he eventually died or ran away from home or whatever it was that happened to him, I was glad.
I know, I'm heartless. Sometimes, I'm ashamed of myself. But usually not.

So this past winter, I started noticing that some cat decided to start using the flowerbed by my front door as a litter box. I know this cat. I've liked her. I've pet her. I've even been all, Aw you're such a good kitty I love you you can come live with me but not really because my landlord would freak. 
But oh no, she didn't. Friendship over.
She even started using the planters in my back yard. The ones that I just planted heirloom tomatoes in.
War was declared on my part.
Mom and I had to dig out the front flowerbed and replace everything. And I've been trying to keep an eye on my tomatoes.

So this morning, when I was sitting on the couch reading, and this cat came up to my back door for the first time in a month or so, I told her to run for her life.

She was like, Meow.
I was like, Seriously. Go.
She was like, Meow meow meow I don't take you seriously.

So I got up and ran at the door to scare her off. She ran away like 3 whole feet. So then I chased her out of the yard.
I went back to my reading.
Four seconds later, she was back like, Meow, hello can I poop in your tomato plants?

So I got up.
I filled a large saucepan with water.
I walked out on the back step.
That infernal cat was so happy, Ohmagosh. I knew you weren't serious. I shall poop in your flowerbeds for eternity. Will you pet me? And she rolled over onto her side so that I could pet her better.
I was like, Why, yes. I shall pet you. You shall love it. And I poured the pot of water on her face.

Whereupon, she ran so fast.
Whereupon, I returned to my reading.

I have never felt so good about myself.

She Who Enjoys Pouring The Occasional Pot Of Water On All The Cats That Poop

June 02, 2014

my mini-me

Out of all of my nieces, Emma reminds me the most of myself. I mean, sometimes we're opposites, but other times we're like, basically twins (Except, she's only 9 and I'm 30. But whateva.).

She likes pink and I hate it. She loves veggies, and I hate their guts. So we aren't alike in every way.

But we both have crazy, thick, gigantic hair. Lion hair. I was braiding her hair one day, and in a surge of affection, squeezed her hard and told her, Babycake... we both have the same hair. It's like a crazy lion's mane. And kinda frizzy.
Whereupon, she promptly burst into tears.
I was like, Dude, why are you even crying? You should be happy.
So I hit her in the head with my hairbrush and told her to get used to it. So much for affection.

We're both creative. And neither of us like following directions. Which means we usually make super cool stuff that will fall apart pretty soon. But Emma, like myself, is really optimistic about the mistakes she makes. Case in point, our friend was having a baby girl. Emma loves sewing. So she took one of her old t-shirts, cut it up, and attempted to make a little hand-sewn dress out of it. She did it entirely on her own, without knowing anything about sewing. You could actually see that it was supposed to be a dress. But there was a giant pucker sewn into the front.
Emma was not deterred when I pointed it out to her. Oh, I know! I saw that. But I didn't want to resew it, so I figured it could be like ruching. No one will notice.
Brilliant. That's exactly what I would've said. Don't you love the ruching there? Took me forever to perfect it.

She likes writing and drawing pictures. She, like myself, can't draw a decent stick figure, but she, unlike myself, hasn't given up on her artistic abilities and draws me multiple pictures every week. It's usually a picture of me. Me with weird hair. Me wearing ugly clothes. Me with T-Rex arms and three fingers. Me with a giant nose. Me with flowers growing out of random body parts. Me with elephant ears. Me wearing a crown. Me with chicklet teeth. And she always writes on these pictures, Sunshine, you're so beautiful.
And I'm like, Dear God, if this is how I really look, please strike me with lightning and end my misery.

She, like myself, gets very indignant if she feels she's been truly wronged. And she doesn't forget it either.
One time, she told Rachel, I don't much like going to Aunt Sunny's house. 
Rachel was like, Oh really? Why not?
So Emma replies, Because one time she punched me right in the eye. For no reason.
I did not punch her in the eye. Okay, so I did. But it was an accident. Emma, however, still thinks I did it on purpose and still wonders how I could ever be so cruel to her super nice self.

Gift giving is her love language. Same as myself. But she is the queen of the tacky regift. She came running into my Sunday School class a month or so ago, and handed me a teeny little brown box with I love you, Sun written all over it. Aww. I opened it after she left. Inside the box was a pair of pink flower earrings... earrings that I had given her this past Christmas.
Later on, she asked me how I liked my new earrings.
Emma, I gave you those earrings for Christmas.
She stared at me blankly.
Scratched her head.
And then brightly said, Oh well! I never wore them anyway. You can have them back!
And then she beamed at me, pretty happy that she had made me feel better.
I punched her right in the eye. Accidentally.

She has the most tender heart. I don't so much. But it's amazing what you can learn from a 9 year old about tenderness. If she thinks she's hurt someone, it bothers her for days. She accidentally headbutted her cousin, Marianna one day. And while we were all making sure that Marianna's nose wasn't broken, I noticed Emma was gone. I looked around, and found her huddled in her closet, crying her eyes out. Not because of the Romulan looking goose-egg growing on her own face, but because she felt bad that she had hurt Marianna.

I was sick yesterday and couldn't go to church last night, so she wrote me a love note.
Dear Sunny, I love you. I hope you get better soon. I love you so much that I'm leaving you my love. Love, Emma
P.S. Try to come over and I have a surprise. Come at 5:00 pm or at 10:01 pm.

Leaving me her love:) And why 10:01? Why not 10:02?

She, like me, wants a happy ending. She hates sad stuff. The girls are always begging me to tell them a story, so the other day I told them a story that I read in a history book years ago. It was about some man who was tortured in Vietnam. He was held over a fire and his feet were burned off. (Okay, in retrospect, it probably wasn't the best story to tell the kids, but they asked for it.) Anyway, suddenly, Emma buries her face in my arm and starts crying.
I was startled.
Why are you crying? Are you hurt?
So after that, we watched Frozen for the ten millionth time, and I held Emma while she cried over that poor man's feet. I told her to let it go (Get it? Let it go. Because we were watching Frozen?).
I tell myself that I'm teaching them compassion. And the guy survived, by the way.

This is me when I meet someone new that I like.

I'm an unabashed friend stalker, man. Ask any of my friends. I don't apologize for it.
I love my friends. I like being with them. And sometimes I knock on Rachel's door and I'm like, Do you want to build a snowman? Come on, let's go and play...
And she's like, Didn't I just see you yesterday? Go away. (Amended: Rachel would like to point out that she's never actually said that to me. She's a lot nicer than that. What she has said was more like, Sure! But it should be a snow DALEK because that's cooler than a snowman. And then I would be like, YES! And she's right.)

Emma has a best friend. Bayley. Emma stalks Bayley. Emma loves Bayley. Emma breathes for Bayley. Emma is like, Every step you take, I'll be watching you. Oh, can't you see? You belong to me.
And then she hugs Bayley until her ribs crack (Which is something I'm often tempted to do to my own friends.).

So one Sunday morning, I walk into church and see Bayley hiding behind a chair. I had a suspicion.
Bayley... are you hiding from Emma?
Bayley's like, sheepish, Well... yes. Kinda. Do you know where she is?
She's downstairs. Looking for you. I won't tell her where you are.
Bayley looked relieved, Oh, thank you.

As I walked away, I heard Emma shriek from behind me, BAYLEY I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU!
And I turned to see Bayley's eyes widen in terror as Emma proceeded to crack her ribs.

Emma wrote this card for Bayley one time when Emma was leaving to visit family in Missoula for a few days.

I'll translate:

Dear Bayley,
If you ever leave, read this card. I love you, and you love me, right? And no one, not one single person, can break our love, right? If you got this letter on Thursday, I left on that day to Missoula. But no worries, I come back on Saturday. I love you so much. *hug hug, kiss kiss*
Your best friend Emma

I love the no worries part. Because Bayley was probably really worried. Obviously.

I love her. She's such a weirdo.

She Who Sometimes Punches Her Niece Right In The Eye For No Reason