Hi guys it’s me Chooch and I’m going to tell you about how my dumb cat ruined my puzzle and I cried A LOT and then ran to my room and cried A LOT MORE.
No I didn’t cry. You’re right.
Drew is the dumbest cat ever. I take back everything I said about my mom’s cat Penelope. Penelope is like a freakin’ dream compared to that dumbass cat Drew.
She’s not my best friend anymore!!!!
Also, I think Taemin is a really great dancer & performer.
Just kidding, it’s me, Erin. Chooch is still crying too hard to relive the trauma through writing. But that doesn’t make all of the above any less true! This puzzle is destroying our lives. First of all, Chooch is constantly nagging me to help him with it because he hasn’t learned yet that you have to let me do things on my own terms or I will freak the fuck out, so then he tells me I’m a horrible mom who doesn’t want to spend time with her son and I’m like, “IT’S BECAUSE YOUR ELBOW KEEPS BUMPING ME AND THEN YOU TRY TO GRAB THE SAME PIECE AS ME AND THEN, THE WORST PART OF IT ALL, YOU TRY TO TAKE CREDIT FOR PARTS I ALREADY DID!!!”
I was crying about this at work today and Glenn was like, “So, two 10-year-olds are trying to put together this puzzle.”
Why didn’t Henry try harder to stop this puzzle from entering our house?!
And then it’s making Henry resent us because the puzzle is taking up his serial killer Christmas card work station, right smack in the middle of our busy season, so he’s been using the kid-size desk in Chooch’s room to fulfill orders.
(Speaking of Henry, he just came home with supplies from the craft store and sadly said, “See you guys later,” as he trudged upstairs to his makeshift greeting card sweat shop. I’m dying.)
What I’m trying to say is, even without the feline factor, this puzzle is TEARING MY FAMILY APART.
It all came to a head last night though. Chooch and I went for our nightly walk and he was excitedly telling me about how he’s about to make a big connection between two large chunks of the puzzle that we were working on over the weekend. He was so amped about this and I of course was just like, “Whatever, I did most of it.”
I’m competitive even with puzzles, OK.
Then we came home and it happened. Chooch went to pick up stupid Drew off the puzzle when it backfired. She went limp and then grabbed an entire corner of the puzzle, the part that Chooch, I mean, I was making so much progress on, and FLIPPED IT OVER.
Chooch processed the severity of the situation. Earth-shattering chaos ensued. And then he yelled at Drew! He’s never yelled at her before! But in between yelling, he was cooing, “I’m sorry I yelled at you. BUT YOU RUINED MY PUZZLE! I didn’t mean to yell at you. BUT YOU’RE FUCKING GROUNDED!!!”
I was on the phone with Henry while this was happening, because he was — where else — at the store*. So I relayed the situation to Henry, who was probably heel-clicking in the middle of the sad dad aisle because he wants us to give up on the puzzle so he can take back his table.
*(It’s a running joke in our house that “the store” is where Henry goes to get away from it all by mindlessly pushing around a squeaky cart while getting lost in the dulcet tones of grocery store soft rock. You do you, Papa H.)
With his hands against his head, Chooch yelled, “JUST TELL DADDY TO THROW THE WHOLE THING AWAY! I DON’T CARE ANYMORE!” He stormed off to his room in tears. I told Henry that Chooch was in his room, so Henry, who is able to control Chooch’s Echo with his phone, made Alexa play Dashboard Confessional’s “This Ruined Puzzle.”
That went over real well. Chooch came storming back downstairs which only resulted in him having to look at the puzzle again and then the fury returned. He was still sulking over it, trying to piece it back together, when Henry came home from the store.
More pandemonium ensued because Henry brought home ice cream BUT IT WASN’T THE KIND THAT CHOOCH WANTED SO YOU KNOW WHAT, HE JUST DIDN’T WANT ANY ICE CREAM AT ALL, GOODNIGHT.
It was only 8:30 but he was “putting himself to bed.” A classic page right out of Erin’s bi-polar playbook. As soon as he shut his door, Henry made Alexa play Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River.” Shit hit the fan at that point and Chooch started shouting for us to grow up and leave him alone and I was laughing about it but secretly was scared that maybe he might burn down the house.
He came barreling down the stairs and yelled, “YOU KNOW WHAT?!?!?” like he was about to verbally assault us, but then he stopped and broke down into psychotic laughter/tears and begged me to help him fix the puzzle, so I did because I was afraid of the fall-out.
[SIDE NOTE: Everyone thinks I’m the dastardly parent—I mean, I’m the reason we had CPS called on us once, right?—but Henry is like the sleeper hit of pranks around here. For instance, Chooch lately has been playing ambient sounds on his Echo at night to help him fall asleep; Henry waited until he was sleeping Saturday night before changing it to some horror soundtrack, with some creepy girl saying, “I’M GOING TO GET YOU” over and over. These are the best parts of parenting, my friends.]
“THEY’RE CIRCLING ME LIKE SHARKS!” Chooch cried that night in one of many attempts to perform puzzle surgery, while the cats prowled around under the table, waiting for their chance to pounce on more pieces. This is our life now. Anyone want to come over and finish this fucking puzzle for us? I lost interest in it the night we started it.