Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Hot Mess

Why does July seem interminable?  Perhaps it's due to the fact that ever since having children my internal thermostat seems permanently set to "hot as hell."  The slightest rise in temperature causes my upper lip to perspire (God only knows why we need sweat glands under our noses--seriously, does that really do any good?), and I usually spend the entire month of August with sweat pooled under my breasts and half-moons of perspiration under my butt cheeks.  My inner thighs are permanently slick, and sometimes rogue sweat rolls down my legs to christen the backs of my knees.  Believe me--if I could strap an air conditioner to my ass, I would.

The fact that this is my natural summertime state is bad enough, but lately things have taken a turn for the worse.  Despite fervent opposition on my part, my husband signed us up for an energy-savings program where the power company uses a little box to turn off our air conditioning at random times during peak usage periods.  Theoretically, one is not supposed to even notice the difference this might make.  Um, try telling that to someone whose bra could qualify as a slow-cooker.

Lately, this nasty little box has been malfunctioning and shutting off our air conditioning for hours at a time, causing me to become even more of a cranky, swampy mess. 

One such incident happened yesterday morning when I awoke to an eighty-degree bedroom and rising temperatures throughout the rest of the house.  I tried not to be cranky, but it was hard to start the day in a cheerful mood when I woke up to find I'd already sweated through my underwear.

As the morning progressed and the air conditioning still did not turn on, I grew increasingly miserable and desperate.  So when my son asked in a whiny voice if we could go to Chuck-E-Cheese for lunch, I piled us all into the minivan without hesitation.  Blasting the air conditioning in my face and soaking in the blessed coolness like water from a desert oasis, I wondered if it was feasible to spend the rest of the afternoon idling in the driveway, just sitting in the coolness of the minivan's interior.

I believe I was imagining myself standing under an ice-cold waterfall when my son yelled "Let's GO!!"  and shattered my reverie.

Off we went.

Amidst the relief of the air conditioning lurked a nugget of dread in my belly--trips to Chuck-E-Cheese are generally a nightmare. Maybe I'll appreciate this "kiddie casino" when my children are older and don't need as much supervision, but as of right now, taking both children to Chuck-E-Cheese by myself is only slightly more enjoyable than gouging my eyeballs out with a spork. On the rare occasions we go there I spend the whole time in a state of mild panic, worried that one of my children will run off and disappear amongst the masses of humanity.

I was therefore relieved when we arrived to find that Chuck-E-Cheese was fairly uncrowded.  We installed our stuff at a table and the kids immediately began running about, wild-eyed amidst the multitude of flashing lights.

Evan quickly gravitated to the shooting games (what is it with boys and guns?), while Clara became overwhelmed by the flashing lights and proceeded to hang on me like a terrified koala bear.  I had hoped to get a cute picture of her on the mini-carousel, but she was so terrified by anything moving that she clung to me and shrieked "Nooooo!!!" whenever I got close to the thing.

Her only moment of real joy came when someone dressed up as Chuck-E(?) came out of the back room and led the kids around the place like the pied piper.  Her face lit up in a huge grin when she saw the giant mouse, and we happily marched along behind him.

My joy quickly turned to horror, however, when I saw how the children in general were treating the poor employee--the child in the front of the line was taller than the rest, and he repeatedly jumped up and punched Chuck-E in his chubby rodent cheek.  When Chuck-E turned around to see who was attacking him, another child grabbed his bucky rat teeth and yanked his head around violently, causing Chuck-E to flail about and look like he was having some strange sort of seizure.

I glanced about to see where the parents of these hooligans were, but no adults came forward to rein in their violent offspring.  Other kids followed suit, and soon Chuck-E was being punched, kicked, and slapped from all angles.  It was like some bizarre kiddie flash mob. My son observed all of this with profound confusion, and I puzzled over how to explain to him why Chuck-E was being assaulted by his fans.

The abuse continued, and I steeled myself for what was to come--I was pretty sure I was about to hear Chuck-E suddenly bellow, "Get the hell off me, you little sh%&heads!!!"

To my amazement, Chuck-E stayed mute through all of this, and he even danced with the children when we got to a special corner of the room.  A female employee helped him lead us in the "Cupid Shuffle," (it's sort of like the Electric Slide, except you kick your feet instead of doing a little dip), and the kids stopped their abuse and clumsily stumbled about to the music.

I danced with the mob, and Clara giggled and squealed as she bounced around on my hip.  Evan just stood there, gaping at the group with his brow furrowed and his mouth hanging open.  Despite my coaxing, he wouldn't come dance.  I suspect that by that point he had lost all respect for the shuffling rodent and was just waiting for us to finish up so we could go back to playing games.  He wouldn't even participate when Chuck-E's helper instructed the kids to sit in a circle to get free tickets. 

I wondered how the whole episode would affect his four-year-old psyche.

Fortunately Chuck-E soon retreated to the employee area, and I began the impossible task of convincing a four-year-old to leave a wonderland full of fun and delight so that he could go home and nap.

It took some arguing and bargaining, but Evan finally counted his tickets and selected his prize--a cheap plastic Slinky that broke on the drive home. 

We arrived home, exhausted, to find that the air conditioning was still off.  After consoling my son, who was crying over his kinky Slinky, and bribing my daughter with a couple of Hershey kisses, I was finally able to miraculously convince both children to nap.  I stretched out my aching back and changed my bra and shirt, which had both become soaked with sweat in the few minutes I had spent wrestling my kids into their beds, and then I placed a rather hysterical call to the power company, demanding that they come and take the cursed box off our house.

And... just this morning, they did.  Our air conditioning is back on and fully operational, and my husband is happy to have a wife who's no longer foaming at the mouth.  I've promised to buy Evan a replacement Slinky from the Dollar Tree, and life has otherwise resumed as normal.

But still, as I sit here enjoying my cool and comfortable home, I can't help but realize that somewhere there is a sad employee sweating in a hot Chuck-E-Cheese costume, getting punched in the face and kicked by a mob of rabid children.

Maybe being a stay-at-home mom isn't so bad.  I may be sweating and getting kicked, but at least I don't have to do it in a rodent costume!!

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  1. We took a tour of The Alamo last summer, and the whole time I was there my mind was consumed with one question. Why would anyone want to fight for this hell hole?
    S.B. Niccum
    Author Website
    Author Blog
    Chicks In Lit Blog

  2. Once, JUST ONCE, I wish the guy in the costume would yell... you know... that thing you thought he was going to yell.


    Love the story!

  3. my stomach hurts from laughing so hard. you paint the most hilarious picture with your words...i love it!
    poor chuck-e. i would love to see him just go insane on everyone, rip his head off, throw himself into the cage of balls and start tearing the place down in a rage!! LOL
    i'm right there with you on the sweaty body parts. the heat index today and tomorrow is 115...i've been walking around the house half naked with my cheeks hanging out!
    you're an awesome mama...dealing with the chuck-e madness and still dancing to the cupid shuffle!
    stay cool my friend <3

  4. Great blog! Love the design. Your article cracked me up. My son is begging me for a Chucky Cheese b-day party. That poor mascot-he was probably wasted or something and didn't even notice what the kids were doing. LOL. Visiting from the Epic Adventure blog hop. Check Mommy Masters out at and follow please. Thanks!

  5. You are too freaking hilarious!! I found myself literally laughing out loud as I was reading your blog. I will definitely be coming back!! hahahaha...

    Visiting from VoiceBoks community,

  6. I loved this post! I'm near Ft Worth. We're on the um-teenth day of triple digets here. Praying for rain but will take a cloud!I just came from the Finding Friends Blog Hop. Just fllowed your blog. Feeling your pain, Melissa

  7. HILARIOUS!!! I'm a sweaty disaster right now too! I was trying to have a conversation with another mom outside this morning when I picked my son up from reading camp, and while she looked cool and breezy in her little sun dress, I was sweating buckets and nearly soaking through mine. I know she saw me sweating too, how could you miss it?? It was thisclose to rolling down my forehead. Don't even get me started about my boobs. Glad to know I'm not the only sweaty wreck out there.

    Happily following you from voiceBoks! I would love it if you would stop by my blog and say hi, and maybe consider following me! :)


  8. Aloha!!! New follower here via the Blog Hop... Hope you have a great weekend!!! :) -

  9. UGH!! Chuck E. Cheese = horror!! I have witnessed a mouse beat down a time or two myself - pretty scary! Your blog is adorable by the way!

  10. This is awesome! Not awesome in an 'awesome!' sort of way, but 'awesome' in an 'I can see this happening to me' sort of way. Poor Chuck - taking a beat down in that stinky, hot costume.

    Jamie @

  11. Thank you for sharing! We participate in the same 'energy savings plan', and boy, does it drive me crazy! I usually plan activities for then (crazy-the hottest part of the day to go outside) and often end up at the library where all the other 'energy savers' are trying to cool off!

  12. Following from the blog hop and SO glad I stopped in. This had me in stitches. You are hilarious. Feel free to pop by mine if you get a chance. Very nice to meet you. Kim

  13. Ah, this post is so funny. And I can totally relate. My husband loves taking the kids to Chuck E Cheese, and I let him because that means I get the house to myself for a couple hours! But on the rare occasion that I go with them all, I spend my entire time "looking" for my kids and freaking out that some weirdo took them out the back door. (the stamp-on-the-hand security measures do not make me feel at ease....there are back doors to this place, right?)

    I'm a new follower of your blog ~ love your writing and your sense of humor!

  14. hey jenn...thank you so much for your sweet and encouraging comment earlier! it can only get better right!? i sure hope so...anyway, i was going to email you where i live (not that i think anyone is going to stalk me here, lol) but i couldn't find your email.
    i live in a town called phoenixville...what about you?
    it would be crazy if we did live close!!
    surely, we'd have to meet up at chuck-e cheese's :)
    happy hot n' humid weekend! <3

  15. Hilarious! I live in just north of Houston and it is so hot and humid. On the news some guy said when he arrived in Houston for the first time he didn't realize we were so close to the sun.

    Already following you. Following via FNFW blog hop. Stop by and visit sometime.

  16. OMG! SO funny! I still can't get over the butt cheeks part! So true! LOL

    Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm following you back! Hope you have a great weekend!


  17. Poor you! You do sound really hot! I love the way you write about it though!

  18. I live in a tropical country so as not to rack up enormous electric bills, we go off to the mall to cool ourselves. I let the little one play to her hearts content at the toy store. Everybody happy :)

    Got here from New Friends Friday Bloghop.

    The Twerp and I

  19. I so feel your pain on the heat and sweating thing!!! My doctor swears I'm not in menapause but I beg to differ!!! What a great post!!! I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at poor chuckie getting abused!! You really must have been hot because you could bribe me with a Channel purse and a diamond ring and I still would not go to Chuck E Chesse!!! So glad I found your blog on VoiceBoks and so glad I'm now following you so I can read more great posts!!!

  20. I found you through the Time 4 Mommy blogger moms. LOVE this post. I was giggling to myself the whole time. Our air conditioner broke during a huge heat wave last summer when I was 8 months pregnant. I was not very patient with the repair guys that took over a week to fix it...

    I submitted your post to StumbleUpon and am now following you via GFC, Facebook & Twitter. Stalker-ish... I know. ;)

    Please check out my blog for links to family friendly giveaways open to the US & Canada.


  21. Oh my goodness, so hilarious. I'm with you on this disgusting July heat - it's miserable! My husband asked me to run the air a little less while I'm at home with our 7-month old during the day. I think the look I gave him was answer enough because he hasn't mentioned it again...

  22. Oh my......We go there on a school day, during the school year around 2:00 when it is empty:) Poor Chuck E Cheese. I am following you back a few days late via Hop Along Friday - I was on vacation.

  23. Too funny! I hear ya. It's been over 100 degrees everyday here in Texas. Everytime I step outside, I feel like my face is going to fall off. Not to mention the insta sweat. You can literally burn your hand on our front door.

  24. I'm a new follower Monday Mingle Thanks!!

  25. LOL! Your post has me on the floor rolling in laughter. Oh, boy. Thanks. I really needed that! My girls both love Chuck E Cheese, but I only agree to it about once a year. In fact, my oldest daughter had her 4th birthday party there. I've never seen anyone attack poor Chuck E. But I have wondered how awful it must be to walk around in that costume.


  26. Thank you for sharing a wonderfully funny story that any mother could relate to. It was a nice surprise to find you in the Finding New Friends Weekend Blog Hop and I am happily your newest follower! I hope that you will stop by my blog soon Saving Your Green and visit. I love new followers!

  27. Hilarious! New follower from blog hop! thanks for hosting, laura

  28. Okay, seriously, you are too funny for words! I get a laugh from everyone of your posts. Keep them coming!

  29. Great Blog! Following back from the hop thanks for stopping by :)

  30. I am a new follower from the Finding Friends blog hop. This post absolutely killed me, I have tears rolling down my face! SO FUNNY!! Thank you for the laughs! LOL


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