Can you hear me now?

Motherfessions Tales from the ’Hood

Posted: Sunday, November 26, 2006

MySpace, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Michels. Its never-ending mission: to explore this strange new world, to guide young lives, to seek affordable vacation destinations and to boldly go where many parental units have gone before.

Co-Captain’s log. Star date 60369.7.

The entire crew continues to voyage through the fringes of an amazing and perplexing galaxy known as the Information Age. Onboard: Myself, Captain Kenny, pre-tweener Patrick, No. 1 Space Cadet Daughter, and her genetic mutations, Baby Gabe and Toddler Girl Alyssa.

A recent inventory confirms that our little away team is equipped with all the latest and greatest technology including, but not limited to: a landline telecommunication device, a digital cable/ Internet/wireless combo including universal remote, a Logitech video cam-pod thingie that looks like a prequel to R2-D2 and sits on the computer screen like a compass rose guiding us through the atmosphere and beyond. And in case we get lost, we have a GPS.

Pre-tween Pat has his own handheld walkie-talkie and an assortment of techie toys, Alyssa babbles in mutant toddlerease to her imaginary alien via her personal play pager. Then there’s baby Gabe, who comes fully loaded and equipped with a sound- and motion-detecting baby monitor and a whirly-twirly mobile that orbits his crib. We also have four handhelds, three cell phones, two CD ROMs and a cartridge for the printer tray.

But let me (Mom) say something like, “No eating in the living quarters,” and I get a Spock-like “Uh-huh.”

This utterance is usually devoid of eye contact while the culprit(s) remain glued to the TV/ DVD/VCR/CD/ Game Boy/radio/phone, be they connected by land or by satellite.

“Hello? It’s cleanup day and I have four shoes without partners. Why is the remote floating in the dog dish? Someone hung GI Joe from the counter with my recharger cord! Who engineered the Post-it note origami sculpture in the toilet?

“Heloooooo? Earth calling everyone.

“Where’s the plunger? Anyone know why the radio antenna is weggied between shift and enter on the keyboard? The garage door is going up and down, the truck is running and I can’t find my keys! Hello! I need a little help here! Where’s toddler girl? What is that rose-colored stuff smeared all over the wall? Uh-Oh. Where’s my purse? Has anyone seen a left black clog? It’s the biggest shopping day of the year! I need to get to the store!


“Uh-huh. That’s nice, honey.”

“Uh, Mom, while you’re at the store I need batteries for GI Joe’s submarine. Couldja get me some double As?”

“That’s it, I’m leaving, shoes or not!”

I prepared to put my Trailblazer into warp drive and make a quick trip to Freddy’s, but ran back in to grab my list, which, by that time, had been added to the sculpture.

On my way back out I scribbled on the door in crayon, “I’ll be back — Mom.”

My mission: copy the keys; purchase several hundred remote locators and a wall-mounted shoe rack.

(Please excuse this interruption for a commercial break from Cellular Fun: Scene: Home looking like it’s been hit by an asteroid. Mom’s headed out the door as she begins to broadcast the following message on a high C frequency — “Please don’t eat ... .”

This is the part where the network drops her, however. Her lips are still moving. She’s now vigorously pantomiming a large bird flapping its wings.

“ we’re having dinner at seven!”

And now back to our regularly scheduled column.)

I left the store with 25 assorted keys, fixings for leftover turkey sandwiches, four neon signs boldly declaring, “HELP WANTED” and a shoe rack. For Joe, I bought four double As but try as I did, I couldn’t find a Klingon warrior Barbie who was preprogrammed to say “Joe honey, I’m not your maid, clean your room.”

When I arrived home I threw open the door and delivered the stash, only to find my mutinous crew sitting on the couch, noshing on great slabs of fowl, watching TeVo no less, while toddler girl finger painted the screen with mayonnaise.

“Where’s the remote?” was all I could manage. Remote locators! I knew I forgot something.

I could take it no longer. Fearing I might begin experiencing technical difficulties in the extreme (a migraine) I retreated to the neutral zone, aka the master bathroom, hoping to deflect a critical warp core meltdown thus initiating an auto destruct sequence that would begin with me launching into a lecture resembling a photon torpedo.

After mediating upon the captain’s throne for some time I discovered that — oh no! What a moronodite I am! The toilet was overflowing! Guess I forgot about those sticky notes I’d flushed earlier. This was definitely an antimatter containment loss if I ever saw one.

Computer take a message:

“Dear Scottie,

“It appears that all hailing frequencies are offline and the wastewater evacuation portals have become jammed.

“Please advise, what is the Federation term for a co-commanding officer wishing to abandon ship?

“Strike that, maybe I simply need an upgrade. Isn’t the Intrepid Class Starship Voyager run by a (uhuum) FEMALE Captain Janeway? Never mind that they are lost in some parallel dimension, approximately 70,000 miles from the nearest Delta Quadrant. My suspicion is her crewmate refused to ask for directions.

“Please tell her I’ll stay awhile, as I’ve noted signs of intelligent life. After all, they did invent a debris-sucking Roomba that cruises around blindly bumping into the furniture, and they did elect a female governor.

“Anyway, wishing you and all of yours a very happy holiday season, universal peace and good will to all life forms.


“Captain Mom.”

I spoke not a word, but went straight to work, deploying a low-tech solution to the flooded deck — a mop. From down the hall I overheard toddler girl telling Pat that she “lubed” him. Next, my hubby showed up bearing gifts of paper towels and Lysol. Truly, there’s hope.

Jacki Michels is a freelance writers and Captain Mom who lives in Soldotna.

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