This has been the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad month from hell. Octobers usually are for some reason and, as such, we have renamed the month "Sucktober" to more adequately express our feelings about said month. A combination of four or five sixty-hour work-weeks, no sleep, school closures, several missed deadlines, children in trouble at school, an injury and subsequent argument with a day care provider or two, two drops of rain causing a three hour trip to the dentist (yes, D.C., it's sprinkling so let's all drive ONE), and a dishwasher that I thought we'd fixed but had to ultimately be replaced, thereby causing financial distress for next three or so months have all formed together to be a perfect storm of ennui.

After her dentist appointment this week, The Dormouse was given the chance to pick a small toy out of the toy bin (this dentist, wisely, does not give out lollipops to good little children who behave, but rather non-cavity-inducing toys). She took... oh about... SEVEN YEARS to peruse the entire selection of Oriental Trading Company crap and then carefully picked a set of neon green vampire teeth. Because, and this is reasoning for a six year old, they would go well with her Halloween costume. This costume:

Say no more. I know.

So after the dentist and the one and a half hour car ride to take her back to school and before the one hour car ride for me to get back to work, she asked me if I could walk her into the school and if she could wear her neon green vampire teeth into the office to play a prank on the attendance clerk. I let her do that but told her that she was not allowed to bring them to class. Instead, I agreed to take them and keep them safe in the car for later. She complied (reluctantly) and I walked out of the front door with a set of neon green vampire teeth in my pocket. But somewhere between the front door and my car, the teeth must have fallen out of my pocket and I lost them. I knew it almost immediately as I drove away but I was pretty sure I wasn't going to find them if I went back and thought one of three things might happen: a) she'd forget about them completely, b) she wouldn't care by the time she figured it out, or c) I'd buy another set at the drugstore.

Well, she did not forget about them completely. In fact, the SECOND she got off the bus that night, she asked for them and I had to fess up like a kid explaining to his mom how he'd lost his retainer again. And boy howdy, let me tell you, she DID care and there was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. So amidst all the tears, I promised that I would get her another set of vampire teeth. But then I didn't have time to do it that day, because hello? sixty-hour work week.

So last night I finished the latest Big Work Thing - as in The World's Gonna End if You Don't Finish It On Time But No One Cared When They All Missed Their Deadlines to Give Me Their Part of It, Big Work Thing - and took this morning off to take care of a few things like personal hygiene and buying a new set of neon green vampire teeth, mainly because she has her Halloween Costume Parade today and she "needs those vampire teeth to complete the look" since she wasn't allowed to bring an actual pirate sword to school. (the run on sentences, they just keep a'comin')

I didn't even care if they were neon green. I just wanted a crappy plastic set of vampire teeth. It was the one thing I thought I could accomplish, could control this month, could be successful at, buying that set of plastic vampire teeth, and I was bound and determined to accomplish it. So I went to not one, not two, not three (yadda yadda yadda, you get the picture here), but EIGHT, count them EIGHT different party stores, Targets, Wal-Marts, grocery stores and drugstores with The Caterpillar in tow - in and out of the car with inevitable complaints every time and chasing her through the store when I happened to look at the shelf to see if a tooth or two were hidden behind the gummy eyeballs - and none of them, NOT ONE of them in a twenty-mile radius, had a single pair of fake vampire teeth - TWO DAYS BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

I even considered finding a vampire, asking him to bite me, then once I was turned, going to school before the parade started and pulling her into the bathroom to bite her so by the parade she'd have her very own vampire teeth but, as you can imagine, that was only slightly less successful than finding the stupid plastic teeth in the first place. At some point, I realized that I should have just given up on a two dollar prop, but this was the one thing in my week I could control and dammit, I was GOING TO FIND THOSE TEETH. In the end, I was as unsuccessful as I have been with every other effin' thing I've tried to accomplish this month, and I know that it's just a stupid set of teeth and I'll remember this more than she will in three days, but I promised her and THE GUILT, IT BURNS.

Sometimes, when you're a parent, you look back over your single life and you think, "If anyone had told me I would waste a half a gallon of gas, an entire morning, and a good portion of my sanity to find a set of plastic molded vampire teeth to go with a pirate girl costume for a school parade, surely I would have called them crazy."

Look who's crazy now.