Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fruit Flies, Vacuums, and Opie Taylor

First of all, thank you Thirtysomethingland for teaching me how to post links!! As you can see, I believe I have mastered it (watch it not work now...haha). Thank you! You should all check out this blog. Thirtysomething is incredibly funny and insightful and she is quite a wonderful writer!

Okay, next order of business. The dang fruit flies are back (Shoo, fly, Shoo ). Except this time, they have evolved into a smaller species who will not fall for my apple cider vinegar and dishwashing liquid brew. I left a blue bowl of the stuff sitting on the counter for 24 hours and when I woke up this morning, not a one was in the pool. Just a bunch of mini-fruit flies lounging around the sides of the bowl, like they were sunbathing on vacation. Our electrician came over on Friday and left the back door open alllll day while he updated our power box thingy and let all of them inside. My husband thinks these fruit flies have been warned already by the relatives of the ones I killed last week. I'm at a loss.

In other news, a discovery! If you put your child in a walker and let them tool around a carpeted area in your home, the path that the wheels leave in the carpet makes it look like you have vacuumed. It's a good tip for when an aquaintance calls and says they are "in the area" and then ask if you mind if they "drop by" in a few minutes. If your house is a mess, then of course you mind, but you can't say that (who wants to be considered rude?), so this is a quick solution. Your child can "vacuum" your living room while you stash dirty dishes under the sink and hide dog toys and piles of old mail under the couch.

And finally, on a more serious note, let's discuss my post-mommy emotional response to Opie Taylor. One of my favorite TV shows of all time is The Andy Griffith Show. I grew up watching re-runs with my parents and I now love it as much as the next Fife fan. Some of the best episodes are the ones centered around Opie, especially the episodes that take place when he is very young.

Ok, let me start by saying, as much as I love this show, I have never cried during or after any episode. Never. Well, not quite never. After yesterday, I now have to say I have almost never cried during any episode.

Having my son left me very raw. Any news story, television show, commercial, or movie that involves a little boy, somehow in my warped head, become my little boy. This includes Opie Taylor. Actually, especially Opie Taylor. I'm not sure why Opie and his storylines in tv land affect me more than other made-up kids, but he does. Maybe it is because Ron Howard was so shazam-ing cute wearing plaid button-downs and carrying a fishing pole with a head full of red hair and freckles. I don't know.

Anyway, there was a MARATHON of the show on tv yesterday. I was thrilled! And they were all the black-and-white episodes when Opie was little bitty (not the crappy ones in color when Barney Fife wasn't even on it anymore. I turn up my nose to those). The episode that upset me was the one where Opie is being bullied by a kid from school. The bully takes the nickel that Aunt B gives Opie every morning to buy milk to drink with his peanut butter sandwich. Like Opie says, if you don't have milk then your bones will go soft and "a peanut butter sandwich sure tastes better with milk!"

When Opie is leaving Andy's bedroom to stand up to the bully on his way to school, I lost it. Completely lost it. I was sitting on the couch by myself, eating something probably fattening, and bawling. Opie looked so vulnerable, so frightened. My mommy brain took over and I automatically replaced that red hair with my son's blond locks, inserted my son's blue eyes. I couldn't believe I was crying so hard over an Andy Griffith Show episode. It's not like someone died or discovered they had a disease. It's not like it was "Terms of Endearment" or "Steel Magnolias" or anything. I even started to tear up when I was telling my husband about the Opie episode.

I think the reasons it upset me so much was: 1) Becoming a mother has turned me into a blubbering mess - even worse than I was before, 2) Becoming a mother has turned me into every other child's surrogate mother, even made-up ones, 3) and finally, Opie grows up a little in that episode when he faces his fear and stands up for himself. It reminded me of how my son is growing up so quickly. Before I realize it, he will be walking to school, growing up a little day by day, facing his own fears and situations he will have to go through alone to learn his life lessons. Things I won't be able to go through for him, no matter how badly I want to -- just like I know Andy Taylor would have loved to take care of that bully for Opie -- but he didn't. He let him grow up.

Now I'm crying again. Blubbering mess, I'm tellin' you. Blubbering mess.


  1. I know how you feel. Many of those "young Opie" episodes make me cry too. I guess it's a mother thing. (Sorry about the fruit flies.)

  2. Oh my goodness I am feeling your pain. I cry over old movies set in the 1800's, Billy Ray Cyrus' song "Get ready set don't go" (sad but true)and other similar weirdness.
    Must be associated with the raging hormones of motherhood. Or early psychosis.
    AND...HOORAY on getting the linkage and award photo figured out! Isn't it so fun to use that little link feature. Okay I am easily amused.

  3. You are too funny. Next time there's an Andy Griffith Show marathon on you've got to call me!


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