This week I've been paying the "stupid tax". This is a random amount of money paid to various people or organizations as a result of a stupid decision. Jim and I coined the phrase after he unknowingly tripped a safety valve on a furnace, causing it to go out in the middle of January. Stupid tax: $74. Lesson learned: don't try to save money on gas by turning down the pilot light on the heater.
Last Friday I bought a blow-up pool for the boys. I figured it was $18 and would buy me lots of kid entertainment. Plus, hey, I could always dry it and put it away and use it next year! First installment of stupid tax: $18 on a blow-up pool plus 3 hours of work in blowing the dang thing up. A moment of panic when I noticed the cats eying the pool...nope. They have not managed to pop it yet. Toby bit a hole in one of the three sections, so it doesn't go quite as deep, but that isn't the point here. We got a second installment of the stupid tax last night when I paid a doctor $45 to diagnose Aidan with swimmers' ear. Then another stupid tax bill arrived at the pharmacy when I had to pay $35 for ear drops for said swimmers' ear. So, I'm up to $98 on a blow up pool, 3 hours to blow the dang thing up, 2 hours at the doctor's office with four kids thank-you-very-much and 2 wakings up in the night to administer ibuprofen before I relented and took Aidan in to the doc. All for a couple of days of them splashing around and causing me extra laundry in clothes (not just swimming trunks, but entire sets of clothes) and towels. Next time, I'm spending $5 on a sprinkler and telling them to run through it in their unders!
Oh, and just so you feel more sorry for me, I've smashed at least a dozen crickets in my house today. And they're just the brave ones who are venturing out, that doesn't include the several I hear hiding in the walls. Weenies. They make a crunchy sound when you squish them, but it's better than their "crick-ey" sound when they crick!