I‘m frustrated and tired. I’m wringing my hands and drowning in the sound of Gordon Lightfoot. My pug is asleep next to me, with a pug baby clasped between his paws. He’s snoring, and I’m wearing Joe’s noise-canceling headphones.
My sister Heelya is particular about her teeth, which is understandable. She’s had so many teeth drilled we joke that her mouth is a member of OPEC.
It was disgusting. I partially blame my Opa who owned the exact same kit – a zippered pouch of metal nail files, clippers, tweezers, and whatever other crevice digging devices might accompany such things. PK coveted the pouch as a little girl and whenever we visited my grandparents she would help herself to it in the cabinet with the bath towels and immediately start picking at her feet blisters. She was a figure skater so blisters ravaged her feet.
Soon she assumed ownership of the best tweezers in my house, the ones my father filed into daggers with points so sharp you could pierce the skin in one pinch, or kill an intruder under hostage circumstances. Regardless none of this has anything to do with the story I’m about to tell.
We all shared one bathroom – me, PK, Heelya, my mom, my dad and on weekends whatever friends had spent the night. Our toothbrushes never fit in one of those cup things with the holes in it. No matter what cup thing my mom purchased there were only four holes in it. God friggen forbid someone use the same color toothbrush, the same no-name brand Reach toothbrush and risk mistaken brush identity.
For weeks, maybe months, my sister Heelya would wake up for school and brush her teeth with the same toothbrush my father had used to brush his teeth three hours earlier. By the time she grabbed the brush the bristles would be dry. She was totally clueless.
Until one day, she woke up earlier, reached for her brush and realized it was wet and the bristles were flattened. Over her morning bowl of cereal she asked my father, “Dad, what toothbrush are you using?”
“Omigod,” my sister shrieked.
Or so I think this is how it ends. When I called my dad this morning to confirm the details he said, “Yeesus Christ. Did your sister call you complaining about some kind of mouth virus?”
The Singing Cat. The only pug baby with a functioning sound box. Contrary to what you’d expect, The Singing Cat doesn’t meow but rings instead. Whenever it goes off Joe thinks my cell phone is ringing.
Pug Baby Sr.The dog’s second favorite baby. Eyes, ear,muzzle and tail are easily chewed off. Sewn three times, re-stuffed once.
Elfin Baby. Needs to be sewn. Not a favorite. Came from Japan. A present from my Japanese exchange student, Yuuki. Used to have a hat.