Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Card 2012

I'm sure you all have been unable to sleep, waiting and waiting for me to post the letter for this year.  It was a difficult one this year.  I do believe blogging had something to do with it.  I started writing it at least five times, saving them each as something different.  The title started as "Christmas Card".  Then "Christmas".  At some point it was "THE card".  Lastly, it became "For the last time".  I tried a texting theme, an obituary theme, a straight out letter from Phoenix.  Finally, for some reason I looked up insanity quotes.  And the letter was born.  Get comfy.  It's a long one.


Dearest Friends and Family,

We have a bit of a debate going on at the Coop house.  Basically, has Mom lost her mind?  We would like you to weigh in on the topic.  First, the kids will give you the family point of view.  Mom will then give her rebuttal statement. 

The Kids’ Statement

This past year has been a rough one for Mom.  She has been acting quite off most of the year, and we are starting to wonder if the many events have finally pushed her over the edge.  Our suspicions started at Easter.  She wished at least five people, including the pastor who had just officiated the Easter Vigil Mass, a Merry Christmas.  Things have gone downhill since then, to the point that she dropped Phoenix off at a basketball practice that didn’t exist.  Two hours later, she finally went to get him, unaware that he had been alone at a facility full of strangers.  (It’s Phoenix here.  Just thought I’d throw this out in case anyone talks to her.  I could really use a phone.)

We did some research on insanity, and we think we may have to do something about this real soon.  Here is what we’ve found and observed:

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. –Albert Einstein

1.      Like constantly doing laundry, dumping the clean clothes on the couch, and expecting children who never do anything without being told to jump up and not only fold but put the clothes away without being told.

2.     Or expecting Cuckoo to wipe himself, despite the fact that for months, each and every time he goes to the bathroom (8 times a day and twice at night) he screams from the throne, “Wipe my bottom!”

3.     During the drought this summer, Mom was cleaning out the pig waterer every single day.  Birds, in their attempts to get a drink, would fall in and drown.  Some days she would find three birds floating in that waterer.  One time, she even found a live opossum.  Did she do anything to cover the waterer in order to keep the birds out?  No.  She just kept on changing the water, each time saying, “Surely it will rain tomorrow.” 

4.     Every year Mom plants flowers somewhere around the house, and every year the dogs decide that the newly planted area is the coolest place in the yard and dig up every plant.  This year, she chose to plant some flowers right next to the front steps, an area too small for the dogs to lie down.  She got one side looking nice, went to get something from the garage, and when she returned, the flowers were on the walkway and Hershey was lying in the freshly turned dirt. 

Insanity is often the logic of an accurate mind overtaxed.  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

1.      Cuckoo needed to be potty-trained.  He was ready.  Unfortunately, since we are always going somewhere, Mom didn’t have time to train him properly like she did with us.  It proved too much for her.  In the end, she simply encouraged him to pee outside.  Before we left the house and as soon as we returned and when we were outside playing or working in the yard, all he had to do was pull down his pants and let loose.  When he started dropping his drawers at inappropriate times and all over town, everyone but Mom was mortified. He once ran out the door naked, yelling “I have to go potty!”  He once tried to pee poolside at a friend’s party.  At least Mom caught him that time.  The time he did it on the soccer field of Giant’s game, right in front of the parental spectator line, she was too late.  The pee was flowing.  Instead of stopping him, she simply used her umbrella to shield him from the players.  Sane people do not do this.

2.        Plumbing in the kitchen has been a problem.  It started when the kitchen ceiling started falling down.  Three plumbers and a new toilet later, we still had a leak.  Mom couldn’t take it anymore, so she simply shut off the water to her master bath toilet.  Three months later, the ceiling started to fall again.  This time, it was her tub.  More of the ceiling came down, and plumber number four was finally able to fix the two leaks.  The hole in the ceiling remained.  As did the leak in the kitchen faucet.  Plumber said that it would be too much trouble and money to clean up that mess.  He advised her to simply put a bucket under the sink and hurry up to get a new kitchen.  She put the bucket under, but wasn’t able to get a kitchen until mold overtook the cabinet under the sink. 

3.      Two days before Halloween, our kitchen was ripped out.  Down to the studs.  In her attempts to cook with no oven, stove, or kitchen sink, she has resorted to some odd meal choices.  One day, she cooked a whole chicken in the crock-pot.  It stunk.  Both literally and figuratively.  We won’t get our new kitchen until December 21.  Someone needs to step in and give her some perspective.  A meal out every once in a while ain’t gonna hurt anybody.

4.      In the span of 2 months, Buttercup had a heart scare, a head scare, and breathing problems.  After an MRI, an EKG, a heart monitor, and lots of doctor exams, she was diagnosed with isolated PVCs, a pretty good concussion, and sports-induced asthma.  She was banned from any physical activity for approximately four weeks in those 2 months.  Mom broke out into tears at least 15 times in those 2 months.

5.      With four of us now in middle school, the homework is getting more time consuming and harder.  We have to ask for help more than we’ve ever had to before.  We may have to start going to Dad more often, though.  Giant’s class was reading Old Yeller and they had to look up and write down the definitions of vocabulary words.  Giant went to Mom, unable to locate the word “castrate”.  After reading the section of the book to make sure “castrate” really was a vocab word, Mom simply told him, “They cut off the pigs’ balls.”  Giant’s bugged-out eyes told us that he was appalled.  We don’t know if he was appalled with the thought of castration or with the fact that Mom could be of so little help.

6.      She is no longer able to conduct herself in an appropriate manner.  Dad was invited to a Colts game, in the suite right on the end zone.  He made the mistake of taking Mom with him.  The game came down to a last field goal attempt, aimed directly at the suite they were in.  In her celebration of the completed field goal, Mom stepped on the game-winning ball, got her rear end on the big screen when she bent over to pick it up, then got caught in the field goal net when it was being raised.  We could have forgiven her for all of it if she was embarrassed, but sadly, she was not.  She was actually calling around to see if any of her friends saw her on TV.

7.      Mom is also starting to overreact to situations.  When the pigs were delivered, Roy went berserk, barking his full head off as Dad and the farmer unloaded them into the barn.  At one point, Roy jumped the fence and ran into the barn.  While he did get in the pig’s face, Dad was there to stop anything that might happen.  Mom didn’t wait to see.  Instead, she jumped over Dad and a pig, took a flying leap, and tackled Roy.  Took him out and put him in a headlock until Dad could save him.  Poor Roy.

8.      The pigs are going to be the end of her.  One morning this summer, she went out to feed them and found one pig halfway in the waterer.  Unfortunately, it was the part of the pig that does the breathing.  She had a 200-pound dead pig upside-down in the waterer.  It was 100 degrees that day, so Mom needed to take care of it immediately.  And this is where her insanity really started to show.  She made Phoenix get some gloves on to help her drag that sorry animal across the pen so she could attach it to the mower.  He may have put the gloves on, but he wasn’t much help.  All we can say is, Phoenix did not choose to be a farmer, and a 200-pound, drowned pig is heavy.  And disgusting.  And muddy.  And smelly.  And made worse by the three other pigs trying to eat it as it was drug across the pen.  She then used the mower to drag it out to the field.  We’re still finding its bones scattered all around that field.

9.      Each year it is a bit of an ordeal to get the pigs on the trailer for transport to the butcher.  Mom thinks that just because she dealt with the dead pig, she’s a real farmer and can help Dad and the two farmers load up the 300-pound uncooperative pigs.  We’ll just say that at one point, the biggest pig did a duck and swerve to get around one farmer, then went straight for Mom.  He went through her legs, and, being 300 pounds, got stuck.  More accurately, Mom got stuck and rode that pig backwards all around the barn until she could get a leg over and fall off. 

In closing, we love our momma.  She just needs a bit of a break to get back in touch with reality.

Mom’s Rebuttal

Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Sorry we have to pull you into this little bit of family drama, but I have my good name to protect.  I have a few quotes and observations of my own. 

The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. – Bruce Feirstein

1.       Sure, there were a couple of unfortunate incidents of pants-dropping, but the kid potty-trained in record time.  And more importantly, with very few accidents that required me to do even more laundry.  I am a successful genius. 

2.      When working with kids, you need to talk to them in words they will understand.  Giant understands the word “balls”, so now he understands the word “castrate”.  That is called success, my friends.  If his teacher doesn’t like the answer, she shouldn’t have asked question.

Insanity is hereditary.  You inherit it from your children.  – Sam Levinson

1.      During Buttercup’s two-week heart scare, the song she was learning on the piano was “Her Heart Will Go On” from the Titanic.  Of course I was crying.  I think she did it on purpose.

2.       Cuckoo gave up napping this summer, and when Cuckoo is sleepy, he gets very ornery.  Ornery enough to rip wallpaper off the walls up the stairwell.  And flush his new favorite socks down the toilet.  He has also intentionally clogged the bathroom sink with the hand towel in order to fill and overflow the sink.  He takes his socks and shoes off in the car, then chucks them to some dark corner of the van, requiring a search party to be formed in order to track them down.  It wouldn’t be so bad if the change could be predicted.  Unfortunately, he goes from sweet and well-behaved to ornery bugger in two seconds flat.

3.      I received a call from school saying Star knocked out a front tooth while playing tag at recess.  After a two hour dentist appointment, it was explained to him that he could never again bite into anything crunchy, like carrots or apples.  All was well until the day I got another call.  He rebroke his tooth.  This time it wasn’t from tag, but because he tried to open a packet of sour cream with his teeth.

4.       Picture little birds in their nest, waiting for their mom to bring some food.  Their cute little beaks open and non-stop cheeping coming from them.  Now picture those birds as six children, and instead of cute little cheeps, there are non-stop calls of, “Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Mom!”  Non-stop.   At home.  At the grocery store.  At the shoe store.  At the fair.  Everywhere, all the time.  Not one of them waiting long enough for me to answer.  Not one of them waiting their turn to ask a question.  Just, “Mom!  Mom!  Mom!  Mom!”  If I am insane, I most certainly got it from my children.

The thoughts written on the walls of madhouses by their inmates might be worth publicizing.

1.      From Cuckoo: “I pooped out my nose.”  Turken translated: “I think he means a booger.”

2.       After being told that we have pigs so we can eat their meat, Turken asked, “When will they start laying it?"

3.      While playing “It’s a Small World” on the piano for the first time, I asked Giant if his piano teacher picked it for him to learn.  He responded, “No.  I asked her if I could.  I want to annoy Star, and he hates this song.”

4.      After the kids were told to clean up the mess they made while playing house, Cuckoo yelled down the stairs to Buttercup, “I’m the dad, and dads don’t clean!  Put this toy away!”

5.      From Turken:  “It’s hard to burp your ABC’s.”

6.       After finishing dinner, which included some delicious ribs, Hubby went to give the bones to the dogs. In my concern for the dogs, I jumped and said, "You can't feed those to the dogs! They'll choke!" Hubby was quick to remind me, "Honey, the dogs have been known to eat pig ribs directly off the dead pig lying in the field. I think they'll be alright."

7.      I’m not a fan of all the pink during October, and the kids know it.  While watching an NFL football game, someone pointed out the pink flags the refs were using.  The kids then had this conversation: "Mom doesn't like pink." "I bet she doesn't like the pink flags."  "Yeah, Mom doesn't like breast cancer awareness."  "She doesn't want people to be aware."  "She doesn't want them to find a cure."  "She likes cancer."  "Yup, she's pro-cancer."

 We leave you with our new family motto:

I can’t explain going crazy or being crazy.  Crazy is just being myself. 

Merry Christmas!  We pray you all have a fun-filled 2013! 


  1. OMG that is hilarious!!!! Loved the story about the Colts game. Girl, I sure hope you keep sane with some alcohol. If not, you are a true saint!!!

    1. Glad you thought it was funny. I am always worried that it will be less funny and more dumb. As for the alcohol, I do indulge every once in a while. :)

  2. I should have known better than to open this at work! I actually had to apologize to those sitting around me for my fit of hysterical giggles ... and one snort! ;)

    1. Hope you didn't bother them too much. And thanks for sharing the link to this.

  3. Hehehehe great fun. Well done you

  4. I couldn't agree more that you have true genius blood flowing through your veins. Tell the peanut gallery your blogging friends declare you as sane as the next mom. For what THAT's worth, lol!

    1. Finally, some reecognition for my genius! Sorry to hear you are as "sane" as I am. :)

  5. Hilarious letters! Both of them! The closest I ever got to funny was our series of unfortunate events letter and that was sarcasm. I know of others who potty-trained their sons that way...wish I'd thought of it! I also am sick of October (actually year-round now!) pink!

    1. Thanks! Glad you liked them. I'm feeling the pressure to come up with something equally funny this year. We have the material, I just need the theme.
      The ones I've read of yours are great! People actually know what has been going on at your house and the personalities of your family members.
      It was handy to potty train that way, but it was a bit embarrassing at times. :)
      The pink has been overdone, unfortunately.


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