Happy Birthday, Baxter!

Baxter turned ten-years-old yesterday and he insisted on making it a big to do.

Now, I’m not one to judge, but I think he let things get out of hand. I made the decision to shut it down after one of the neighbors called the cops. He was clearly angry at me and yelled something about me not being his real Mom before passing out on the couch.

I came right out and this morning and asked him about the three-legged labradoodle I saw him hitting on before the cops showed up. She wasn’t even wearing a collar. Skank.

I’m not sure how much he will remember from last night, but I hope his memories are fond ones. You do only turn ten once.

Baxter's Birthday

How To Know If Your Dog Is On Drugs

In the days since Luke’s tonsillectomy there have been many a skirmish to get him to take his pain medicine. He’s a strong-willed five-year-old boy and even getting him to swallow the thing that makes him feel better creates a fight. These struggles happen so regularly that we have taken to calling them The Great Lortab War of 2014. 

It was during one such battle that Luke thought he outsmarted his old Mom by squirting half of his pain medicine onto the floor. Much to my disappointment Baxter appeared out of nowhere and downed that narcotic like it was something he was born to do. 

That was the first red flag.

Then I began noticing other changes in Baxter. 
  • Irrational behavior and jumping on table tops
  • Aggressive munchies
  • A chewed up medication syringe
  • Then, finally his new found taste for extravagant jewelry. He surely cannot afford such things on his allowance.

(Borderline popsicle rape)
So what is a concerned mother to do? I’ve phoned several veterinarian offices inquiring about doggy detox only to have them hang up on me. 

It’s clearly intervention time. 

I have already begun drafting my letter to Baxter to let him know how his drug abuse has negatively effected me. I can’t find half my jewelry!! I’ve asked Brantley to do the same, but he keeps saying things like “Turn the TV back up!” and “Have you found a job yet?”

Clearly he’s still in denial and needs more time. 

However, if you feel called to take part in Baxter’s intervention then  feel free to leave a letter to Baxter with your thoughts and feelings in the comments. Don’t hold back. He needs to hear this. 


Dog CPR And Making A Fool Of Yourself: How To

While I was in Montevallo, AL over the weekend visiting with friends and signing copies of You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, my husband stayed home for a work-related obligation.

(Pictures from the Montevallo, AL book signing here.)

He used this time away from me to go out and buy himself a fancy, new smart phone. This is a big deal because I have purposely spent years making sure he had a phone that could barely take a picture. Internet access?? Fuh-get about it. I NEEDED him to be dumber than me, technologically speaking, so I could retain the balance of power in our relationship. 

Well, it’s safe to say that the tides had shifted. 

As soon as Luke and I returned home, Brantley was there with his new phone. It had a giant screen and the amount of time he spent looking at it was really starting to bother me. 

“Must regain the upper hand,” I thought to myself. 

When the bottom fell out:

That night at dinner the conversation came upon what would happen if our Yorkie, Baxter went into distress and needed CPR. Brantley had the audacity to say that I wouldn’t know what to do. Puh-lease! I wasn’t about to take that lying down and immediately began a tutorial on canine mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

One minute I was explaining how to hold Baxter’s little mouth closed with both my hands while simultaneously blowing into his nose, and the next minute Brantley was snapping a picture of my demonstration with his fancy, new smart phone. 

Not a good look for me…


Look Out Below

Today was a good day right up until 3:30pm when Luke “fell” off one of our bar stools leaving him with a bum foot. His reaction was quite dramatic, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the pain was that bad, or the time of day was bad. Around our house things usually fall apart around the four o’clock hour and go downhill until someone, anyone falls asleep.

On closer inspection I could see some swelling and bruising, so I deferred to someone with a little more education and phoned his pediatrician. She said to ice it and put a walking boot on him. We happened to have one handy because Luke fractured his foot a year or so ago. However, when I came at him with boot in hand, he expressed that he would have no part in it. He quickly hobbled over to his tricycle and pedaled away with one foot. The smart bad guys always have a getaway car handy. He was so fast it was hard to feel sorry for him.

I later told my friend about our afternoon and she reminded me of what happened in our home a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t forgotten about poor Baxter because I’m still medicating him twice a day, but I certainly hadn’t considered there had been treachery afoot when the stool hit the floor.

You see, it was early-ish morning- the time of day that I like to parent from my bed. Luke was awake, had already created a path of destruction, and had accidentally let Baxter (our Yorkie) up the stairs. I asked Luke to make him go back downstairs and he complied. However, instead of shooing him down the way I do, he grabbed his collar and “helped” him down the stairs resulting in my first born (Baxter) tearing his ACL.

Now I can’t help but remember this afternoon when I was on one side of the counter, Luke and Baxter on the other, and wonder if Baxter gave that stool a nice shake with his good leg. It hasn’t been proven in a court of law and I hope it never has to be. I have no idea who I would side with.

After Luke and Baxter had limped off to bed I began plunging the toilet that Luke had earlier stopped up with hand towels. I couldn’t help wondering if I would be next. I feel a little bit like I have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. How will it happen? I’m guessing I’ll fall down the stairs and shatter my hip, although none of it matters as long as we keep Brantley healthy. He’s the reluctant leader of our motley crew. Very, very reluctant.


On the Road Again

Having the husband working out of town has become our new normal, and I have to say that I kind of hate it. Aside from the laundry piling up (Shut-up, I do it when I can) and the garbage can being full, I’m also left to solely take care of all these kids. The fact that Luke (4 yrs old) only takes up the space of one person is truly an optical illusion. I assure you that he is as busy as three or four full-grown adults.

This afternoon Brantley said goodbye (truthfully, I think he said, “Later.”) and hit the road. With one slam of the door the balance of power had shifted. Smelling my weakness, Luke quickly cut his eyes at me and gave me an upside down middle finger which landed him in an immediate time-out. (It may have been upside down, but the sentiment was the same.) I began vacuuming up a mess that had appeared almost out of thin air when he began shouting.

“Mom! Mom! Mom! Hey, Mom!”
I turned off the vacuum cleaner. “You aren’t supposed to be talking in time-out.”
“I have to tell you sumping so important.”
“What is it?”
“If I ever get my own free (three) pigs I’m going to name them Pinky, Brownie, and Crappy.”
“That’s wonderful.” I turned the vacuum cleaner back on, but again I was shut down.
“Mom! Hey Mom, is it polite to do this with my hand?” he asked making an “ok” symbol with his thumb and index finger.
“What about this one?” he said as he made an “I love you”symbol.
“Yes, that’s fine too. Now, be quiet.”
“And, what about this one?” he asked as he, yet again, mis-used his middle finger. By this point I was hot. My voice became raised.
“Stop that right now!”
“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! I’m so, so sorry. I’m just making sure which one is ok to…”

At that point I turned the vacuum cleaner back on and went about my business thinking how Baxter had just moved up the family totem pole. Sure he has accidents in the house, but really, so does Luke. And, since dogs don’t have hands he could never give me the finger. Brantley might divorce me if he returned home and Luke was sleeping in the crate and Baxter was in his bed, but then again, maybe not.

(Hang up the phone. I’m not really going to do it. I’m just wallowing in my own self pity for a minute. It’s a right I get to exercise when I’m forced against my will into single parent-dom. But on the serious, I totally understand plural marriage now.)

All my kids

En Construcción

The Wescott home is undergoing some updates. We are replacing all of the floors upstairs which has rendered me unable to use my bathroom, and left me feeling somewhat displaced. In preparation, Brantley removed the toilets and placed them in the shower so the tile could be laid. He was very pleased with himself over having done this, and informed me of the situation by saying, “I have a surprise for you in the bathroom.” Finding a commode sitting in the spot where I normally clean myself is not my idea of a good surprise, but what do I know.

On second thought, having a commode IN the shower could really be a time saver.

To ensure that the workers do their very best job I am constantly forcing Gatorade and snacks on them. This, however, has led to several awkward encounters. Despite the fact that they all speak fairly good English I first communicated with them by shouting and doing sign language. Realizing how dumb that was, I then shook my head and quoted the Ricky Ricardo refrain, “Ay, ay, ay.” Later in the day when one of the men walked out the front door, Baxter used the opportunity to make a run for it. I’m sure they were impressed with my Spanish when, after retrieving him, I said that Baxter can be very “Andale.”

Brantley now asks that I leave the workers alone. It’s probably not a bad idea.


I’m normally not one to share Luke-isms relating to private parts because one day he’ll be an adult who needs a job worse than he needs stories of his genitals spread all over the internet. Having said that, I feel the need to share this story because, well it’s just funny.

Today Luke asked me, “Mom, do you have a penith?”
“No,” I answered. “Boys have penises and girls have vaginas.” We are very clinical with our terms at the Wescott’s. After all, we are talking about body parts, not toys (although, he will probably one day test that theory).
“You can use mine,” he said.
“Well, that’s very thoughtful, but it doesn’t come off.”
“Well, I don’t wike that.”
“You know, God wanted you to have one, so he made you that way.”

Luke was pretty satisfied with that answer and the conversation ended there. Flash forward to bedtime when Luke was saying his prayers.

“Dear God, thank you for Daddy and Baxter, and the thun, and the moon…” (To be clear I never get mentioned) …altho thank you a whole, whole wot for the penith you made me. Amen.”


After being taught to act like a gentleman and say, “After you. Ladies first.”-
“No, Mom! It’s after you. MANS first.”

“Hey Mom, Baxter painted the back door. It wasn’t me.”
“Lucas, don’t tell a lie. That would be impossible.”
“Nuffing’s impossible.”
(Sadly, Baxter sensed danger in being thrown under the bus and instinctively put himself in his crate.)

Luke shown here wiping paint off the door.