Such A Pure Little Thing

Max came home from kindergarten came with a travel-size bottle of a gel-like substance that health professionals claim cleans soiled hands. His “friend” gave it to him. I wish I could believe him, but Max is the type if kid you have to literally pat down before exiting a store, and he’s always coming home with “prizes”–so if it came from an actual friend or his teacher’s purse, I chose not to investigate. I knew what harm this kid could do with such a substance, but I decided to cautiously allow him to keep it. I am gullible, and forgetful, which many times makes me a parent. My teenage daughter once argued, “You said when I was thirteen I could get a lip piercing,” and I was left wondering, Did I? It’s not impossible. 

This funny prankster started his career of jokes early. His first major successful involved sneaking out past bedtime and scaring the crap out of yours truly–very effective. The bubble wrap slid into my pillow case didn’t unfold as he expected which probably involved me placing my head down to the sounds of fire crackers–not so effective.

In the bathroom, Simon’s face contorts after removing his toothbrush from his mouth. “Ew. It still tastes like hand sanitizer.”


“Max put hand sanitizer on my tooth brush,” the older brother clarifies.

With my family’s history of alcoholic issues, I panicked. My son’s liver succumbing to cirrhosis and/or his eyes cease working permanently (because it’s methanol, not ethanol) is a future I cannot risk, I took the contraband away indefinitely.

One can almost visualize the atom splitting. The Manhattan Project has nothing on this kid. 

In between endless tears and hyperventilating, out of his mouth spewed:

“How am I going to wash my hands at school now?”

“But what if I can’t there isn’t a sink?”

“You don’t understand Mom!”

“What happened to the sanitizer?”

“That was my hand sanitizer! It meant so much to me?”

“I can’t calm down!”

“That hand sanitizer meant so much to me, Mom! This is the worst day of my life!”

And on, and on, and on, and on, until he fell asleep.

How to Buy A New Car and Still Remain the Most Boring Person Alive

*I have been going through all of my old drafts and either publishing them as is,  finishing them, or trashing them. This one was from May 25, 2012.*

There is one thing I have perfected and that’s how to buy a new car and still retain my  status as the most boring person on the face on the planet. No, I didn’t lease a station wagon or a minivan. I’m not that boring.

When I purchased my 2004 Toyota Corolla back in the Fall of 2003, I promised myself that I would drive it until it died…and I did. That ended up being nine car years. I expected its life span to stretch a bit longer, but apparently, my subconscious felt the need recreate Jane Manfield’s biggest mistake, minus the scalping and death thing, of course.

Bumping into a tractor trailer can cause irreparable damage to your car and/or yourself. Thankfully, Zeus was looking out for me that day and allowed me to walk away with only a bruised knee and an empty stomach…just like he did in February when Brian’s car bumped the neighbor’s. After the police discussed with me about the incident, the men in blue abandoned me on the side of Route 130 in a parking lot belonging to a establishment named the Liquor Barn and because I had no cash and didn’t particularly want to drink in a parking lot a few miles east of Camden, NJ, I did not venture inside.

Fast forward one week and I find myself in a car dealership. The world has changed since my last vehicular purchase. Even I have changed, but only slightly.

 After picking out a sensible, economic car, one with low gas mileage, my husband and I sit at a desk in the showroom. The salesperson says, “You are already in the system.”

“I bought my Corolla here.”

“Do you still live at ______?”


“Is _____ still your home phone?”


“We also have ____”

“That’s my work phone. I’m still working at the same place.”

 “We need two references of that don’t live within the same house as you. You have Deanne listed from last time, can we still use her?”


“George is also listed. Can we use him?”


“He lives in the same place and has the same phone number?”


Well. at least I am sitting in a different spot and the car is a different model and a darker shade of gray.

My Mother’s Podcast Addiction 

I love my mother. Not only is she awesome, funny, forgetful, and somewhat crazy. She’s well rounded. I would say she’s well adjusted, but that would be a total lie. Her wide range of interests requires constant attention, so I turned her onto podcasts. Now she’s a podcastaholic. 

When she’s not watching Narcos, Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Bloodlines, or Days of Our Lives, my mother listen to Criminal, Sawbones, Stuff You Should Know, and various other informative shows. This septuagenarian listens to these at night until she wakes up, ear becoming one with her still playing cell phone. She’s been doing this so much that she’s worried about the corresponding radiation affecting her brain. I assured her that she probably has nothing to worry about. Besides, if it did, how would we know?

“She really has a problem,” my nephew Kevin said. “I walked in the other day, and she looked up and said, ‘I’m learning about why men have nipples.'”

In an attempt to get her friends and family hooked, she has been filling everyone in on the fact that she has recently learned how to shrink heads. On one of their afternoon walks, she told her friend Joyce, “After you decapitate the person, you weave their ponytail through their mouth and out of their neck so it’s easy to carry–kind a like a pocket book.” A few steps later, “Then you boil it for a half an hour, but no lady longer. If you boil it longer, its hair would fall out.”

Um…The Dog Ate My Blog Posts

This was a draft for a post on January 2013. Some things never change.

Anyone that pays any remote attention to this site may have noticed that I’ve been a tad absent. It’s been almost two months since my last confession. For those of you, I’m sorry. Simon’s dog ate my posts. Because this sounds like a pathetic excuse for being lazy, and to prove that the Cottrell-Thompson household includes one of the canine species, I’ve attached a photo of Simon and his dog named Simon.

Simon also has a teddy bear named Simon, but I refuse to…

Okay. Okay. Okay.

I’m not terminally ill (I hope). My marriage is intact (I think)(I’m pretty sure)(we do fight daily though…over who loves the other person more). This kids are physically okay. So why haven’t I at least posted some quotes or a picture in 30+ days?

I had intended on scripting a few wonderful snipets during the month of December: one about adopting Simon on the one year anniversary of the event (16th), another about Max’s birth on the one year anniversary of that occasion (28th), and approximately 3-4 anti-consumer Christmas-related stories. I failed.

Something clicked on my ADD. I haven’t been officially diagnosed with this. My brain won’t stop traveling.

I’ve made my own laundry detergent and shampoo.

I’ve become an extreme recylcer.

Made record bowls.

Transformed plastic bottles into flowers.

Read a few more chapters of…

Sleep deprivation vs. parental stress

Another true story straight from the trenches of motherhood: May 17, 2012

Upon arriving at work, I stand in a fluorescent lit box and desperately attempt to focus on these circles with arrows on them. I stare.

A voice questions, “Up?” 

“Yes, I want up.”

The same voice asks, “What floor?” 

My eyes concentrate ahead hoping a number will step forth to be identified. “Um, 6? Yes. 6.”

My uterus expelled its contents months before, and still, successive hours of sleep are not possible.

Later during a procedure, after whistling the Jeopardy them song, Doctor X asks, “Did you get your hair cut this weekend?”

“I don’t think so.”

“You don’t even know what day of the week it is, do you?”

“It’s Monday, right?” I quickly check to make sure my scrubs are not inside-out.

He knows. “My wife and I had calculated out the trajectory from my son’s window, and often wondered if we could make people believe he crawled out the window.”

Me, nervously, “Ha…haha…ha…ha…”

Then he professes a very informative lesson. “And he turned out to be the good kid. Our daughter on the other hand became a drama queen. That just goes to show you that current performance is never an indicator of future performance.”

True. So true.