June 29, 2010

Snakes on a plane?

At precisely 11AM every day, Claire starts asking, "Papa, can I ride my tricycle outside?" You can set your watch by it, but since I don't wear a watch I'm always caught off guard. Anyway, she's relentless about it. Tenacious might be a better word for it. In fact, I'm thinking of changing her rapper name from Little C to Tenacious C, but that's a whole other story (the attached photos are an 18-month old Little C throwin' down some rap beats back at our Robbinsdale house using a mini baby shampoo bottle for a microphone). So yesterday was no different. Claire asked to ride her trike, but I was sort of busy at the moment. You see, we're planning a Thanksgiving trip to Florida to see my family and go to Sea World to see dolphins - but definitely NOT sharks, according to Claire - and I was knee deep in an email battle with a customer service agent for budget airline, Allegiant Air... which is also a whole other story. So there I was, working diligently crafting an email complaining about the excessive fee I was being charged for simply removing one checked bag from our itinerary. And there was Claire, standing next to me repeating over and over, "Papa, can I ride my tricycle outside?" Well, she finally broke me, and we agreed I would back my SUV out of the garage so she would have plenty of room to ride around in circles in the safety of the garage. But Claire has apparently learned negotiation skills by listening to Linda on conference calls when she's working from home. So in addition to my moving my SUV, Claire was able to get me to agree to some extra perks: 1) Bogey would join her in the garage, and 2) I would leave the garage door open just a crack because Claire [quote] "needs some air". Since Claire rides her trike in the garage all the time whenever we're outside doing yard work as a family, I thought this would be fine. The door wasn't open enough for either dog or toddler to try to escape, so please don't call Child Protective Services on me just yet.

After about 15 minutes, my battle with the customer service agent was over, and I emerged victorious. Well, sort of... I am now in possession of a $37.50 credit voucher from Allegiant Air that I will likely never use. To celebrate, I decided I deserved a Starbuck's venti iced mocha, so I headed out to the garage to get Claire. We let Bogey out to pee before putting him back in the house. Then, just before I was about to push the button to fully open the garage door, Claire screamed, "Look, Papa! It's a snake!" To which I screamed, "What? Where?!?!" That's when Claire pointed at the bottom of the garage door, where a snake was just starting to slither up the garage door track. So I let out another scream, this time like a little school girl - no offense to little school girls, but there's no better comparison to make. You see, the three things a child of a Southern Baptist upbringing are taught to fear most are snakes, Catholic girls, and alcohol. Obviously, I've managed to conquer my fear of the latter two having married a Catholic girl, and I think I've pretty much exposed myself for being quite a lush. And even if you've never cracked open a bible, you likely know that Satan presented himself to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden while in the form of a serpent. Therefore, all snakes are pure evil!

So the snake is slowly slithering up the garage door track, and that's when I decide that if I open the garage door, the snake will be knocked to the floor and escape out into the landscaping from which it came. Unfortunately, my analysis proved incorrect, and the snake was instead transported up to the top of our garage door opening - as if taking a ride on an elevator - where it was able to slide over into some spare drainage tubing the previous owners left in the garage. So Claire goes walking over to the corner of the garage where the snake escaped asking, "Where'd he go, Papa?" That's when I realized my little girl is fearless... or possibly insane. I've never seen the movie, Snakes on a Plane, but I know enough about it to know snakes are capable hunters and can easily kill you at any moment! So, I pulled Claire back away so I could evaluate the situation from a safe 20' distance. Before I go any further, you should know the snake was a common garter snake - a Thamnophis sirtalis for you science nerds. Regardless of its relative harmlessness, a garter snake is a snake and is, therefore, evil by default. I instructed Claire to remain near the entry door to our house while I used a 10' long window washing squeegee pole thingamagig I bought five years ago (and have never used) to poke around. I used the pole to lift the tubing and throw it out into the driveway, but no snake emerged. Then I had to slowly remove all the spare lumber I have stored up against the wall in the corner, thinking doing so would eventually expose the dangerous garter snake. But no luck. I cleared everything out of the corner but could not find the snake, leaving me to conclude the snake made its way to our attic where it is plotting to slither into my bedroom some night and choke me to death.

So it's been 26 hours since I've left the house or gone upstairs. Last night, I slept on the couch in our main floor family room, although I wouldn't actually call it sleeping. Rocking back and forth while in a fetus position is a more appropriate description. I recently removed the leather work gloves I've been wearing just long enough to write this post, but I'll be putting them back on as soon as I finish typing just in case I actually have to confront the snake and - god forbid - touch it. Meanwhile, Bogey's nearly in tears because he has to go outside to use his bathroom, and Claire's been demanding to go outside to ride her trike for the last three hours. But one can never be too careful when dealing with a snake. Who knows? Maybe the snake is actually hiding in my SUV waiting to attack when Claire and I are on the way to her swim lessons later today. Note to self: phone Foss Swim School to let them know Claire won't be at lessons today... and possibly not on Thursday either.

Please pray for us.

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About This Blog

Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

OUR FAMILY - Provides a brief bio on each family member.

THE SAHD CLUB - A rip-off of the letter written by the kids from the 1980's blockbuster hit, The Breakfast Club.

THE DOG DISH - Here you'll find the occasional rant or story written from a dog's point of view.

COMEDY - Here you'll find stuff I think is funny, typically video clips, cartoons or jokes.

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VIDEO VAULT - Home videos of Claire set to some of our favorite songs.

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