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Our Christmas Letter 2001

We had such excitement at the house this year when Mom discovered that although Dad leaves the house with his briefcase and a pocket full of writing implements, he has not been going to work. Instead he changes into old army fatigues and chain smokes while telling knock-knock jokes on intersection medians for quarters and burger coupons. The abundance of love gift Big Macs had made her curious. Somehow he slipped the quarters past her. What an imp!

On his last day (actually, last moment) of work, Dad’s boss sprung a funny joke that was probably the inspiration for Dad’s second career: Knock knock. Who’s there? Not you! We wonder now if bringing baby "Zip" on Take Your Daughter to Work Day was too presuming on our part. She certainly livened that dull ol’ office up when she played Tarzan with the power cord to the main frame and then shucked her clothing and ran naked through the stockholders board meeting. Dad decided to create a distraction so he could whisk her out of there in a fast moving crowd. You know those handles you pull to set off a fire alarm? -- they spray a sticky fluorescent powder. What will they think of next?

Tyke had a fun time at a slumber party at the juvenile detention facility and met many new friends who taught him lots of new skills and vocabulary words that schools don’t have time to teach what with wasting time on recycling videos and diversity celebrations. He and his mom still can’t agree on whose fault it was that he went through the security scanner at the grocery store with all those high dollar items under his jacket. Mom will admit that the cart was getting full and she didn’t want the vodka to bruise the bananas and she might have asked him to help, but still, he is a big boy and certainly capable of putting a few bottles and jewelry items up on the conveyor belt for the cashier to ring up. Children have to learn responsibility!

Big sister "Carnage" is in a snit with some stodgy teachers at school who can’t tell creative writing from a bomb threat. Haven’t we all heard, “Write about what you know.”? Why do they teach chemistry and physics if they don’t want the children to apply them? They should be proud of a student who takes initiative and encourage her to develop it into a science project. Maybe help her find a grant. And you would think they’d appreciate the chance to get out of those stuffy classrooms for some fresh air in the parking lot. I know some of those PTA meetings make me so mad I just want to shoot them all. I’m sure you know the feeling.

Four year old R.B. has the middle child blues. Baby Zip gets most of the care because she’s the baby, older brother Tyke gets all kinds of attention helping him with his schoolwork, while R.B. gets forgotten at the laundromat and has to find his way home at night and crawl in the dog door when no one answers the door because the SWAT team broke the doorbell. Don’t you find odd numbers hard to cook for? Hot dogs, six-packs, Twinkies – just how do you set out a meal for five without winding up with those bothersome packages with one item left inside? So we all howled with laughter when his neighborhood antics showed up in newspaper reports of a “feral child” living in the woods. Those pea-brain neighbors of ours, calling him the “Raccoon Boy” for rooting around in their trash cans. Don’t they know that name calling damages a child’s self esteem? I’m glad he strewed their garbage all over.

With all the confusion about pawn slip due dates and scheduling around protection orders, poor Oreo hasn’t gotten enough attention. The dear puppy enjoys a good scratching and tidbits from the table but with the fence falling down and vaccinations forgotten he has taken to slobbering a lot and walking sort of crooked. Maybe he can get a head pat from the kids waiting at the bus stop.

Well enough bragging from this proud mom. We are such a happy family that we don’t need presents this year, unmarked bills and notarized testimonials to our good character addressed to the court would be appreciated more.

Merry Christmas and Much Love,
The Quij Family

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