Before you try to guess what I am moaning about, let me tell you that it isn’t what you think. Oh, sure, you’ve read my pitiful complaints before. You think you know me.
“I’m getting old,” you’ve heard me say. “My back hurts! Boohoo!” Sure. Pain is definitely a pain, but that isn’t what’s going to finally break my noble spirit.
“I lift hundreds of pounds of little kid, every single day,” I’ve written. You think that I’ll just curl up one fine day and die of pure fatigue. But that’s not it, either. I still have weekends and school vacations to rest and recover. I will not succumb to toddler-hefting syndrome.
“The current madness in this country is too much for me!” OK, I admit it. That one really does seem dire. The President is a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad man. He is mean, nasty, dishonest, evil and probably has dementia on top of his malignant narcissism. Worse still, his entire political party is pretending to be blind, deaf and ignorant as far as he’s concerned. We are probably headed for the collapse of the world economy, the American Republic, democracy and perhaps human life.
But even that is not what has me perched on the brink of utter despair.
No, my friends.
Tonight I am facing a more demoralizing and devastating reality. Tonight I am contemplating another week of having to cope with the two most diabolical inventions of humankind.
Glitter and string cheese.
Glitter is my worst nightmare. It is insidious. You try your hardest, as a good modern progressive Nonni, not to use it or have it in the house. You do NOT buy jars of glitter just for fun. Even when the adorable little girl with the world’s most beautiful brown eyes gazes at you and whimpers with desire for such a thing.
You hold firm. But it gets to you anyway. It arrives the sparkly nail polish that an aunt bought. It attacks you from the blue gauze of the multiple tutus and Elsa dresses that have found their way into your home. It sneaks up in Christmas wrapping paper and inexpensive headbands.
And it hits your floor, sticks to your feet, finds its way into your eyeballs and nostrils. No vacuum can defeat it. No duster can erase it.
It. Will. Wear. You. Down.
And then there is the string cheese issue.
Now don’t get me wrong; string cheese is the perfect toddler snack and dog training treat. It is not messy. It doesn’t stick to things. It is healthy. It is super easy to carry in a purse or diaper bag. It’s inexpensive.
When you need it most, it will be impossible to open.
This is especially true if you have a barefoot toddler who just broke a glass and two puppies running around the house. If this happens, you will think quickly and grab a string cheese so that you can lure the pups outside and settle the toddler in the playpen while you clean up the mess.
You will be in a huge rush to open the cheese and get everyone out of danger. You will grasp the cheesy little niblet in one hand and try to pry apart the opening with the other.
You. Will. Not. Find. The. Opening.
You will give orders, “Stay!” “Down!” and “Sit down on the couch!” You will scrabble for the two tiny pieces of see-through plastic that keep sticking together when you’re supposed to pull them appart. And you’ll scrabble some more.
You’ll curse. You’ll tear at the plastic. You’ll scrabble even harder. You’ll try to use your teeth, but the sturdy freakin’ plastic will defeat your strongest molars.
Time will go by. The pups will dance around and the baby will chortle. All of them will be thinking, “Cheeseycheeseycheese!”
After about ten minutes, you’ll be soaked in sweat and will have cramps in all ten fingers. You’ll finally grab a pair of scissors and cut right through the words “easy open”.
You’ll give out the cheese and clean up the mess.
Then you’ll say, right out loud, “I will pay two million dollars to the person who can make string cheese in actually, truly “easy open” packaging!!”
One or the other of these will finally be the end of me.