Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 279 - Goodbye Ichikawa

This past Tuesday, Grandma and Grandpa Ichikawa returned home to Sacramento via rickshaw; they should make it back home by the end of July. I asked them if they wanted to wait one more weekend so I can help them more with the move, but they said they wanted to return as soon as possible for three reasons: 1) To check on the house. 2) Wanted to rest up for a couple of doctor appointments next week. 3) Their coupon for a free buffet dinner at the Indian casino was about to expire.

In the days since they've left, we've been adjusting to living life once again on our own with twins. Lisa has mentioned that spending all day home with the twins is more exhausting than working. I don't really understand how that can be when she has twenty kids in her class and she just has two kids at home. Consider all the ways that it's easier to take care of 9 month year old kids versus 20 students: you can let your kids poop in their pants; if they're hungry you can hand them your breasts; and most importantly, you can drink on the job.

As for me, I've been trying to make our place a little more child-proof. It's hard enough keeping an eye on Andrew moving around, but imagine how crazy it will be when Emma starts crawling. All of our electrical outlets have safety plugs, sharp corners on shelves have foam, and cabinets have latches. I still need to fasten a few bookshelves to the wall, and we ordered another pack n' play and a few storage ottomans which will replace our living room coffee table which had one too many sharp edges. After I get all of that done, I guess I'll eventually get around to remove the barbed wire in the crib and the antique guillotines in our dining room.

And I suppose in a small way, my parents are adjusting to not spending time with Andrew and Emma. Grandma Ichikawa wants to video chat with the kids every other day. They've done it several times already, and I think the kids know Grandma and Grandpa because they always get a little excited and smile. I think that's great for Emma and Andrew because every time I see Grandma Ichikawa I get muscle spasms and my ears bleed a little.

Today, I went to the apartment complex my parents stayed at to pick up a small pile of stuff they were unable to bring back to Sacramento. It was a pretty sizable stack of things, and it took most of the day to do the move and figure out where to stow everything at our place. The very last thing I had to do at their former apartment was to do a walk-thru with a representative from the leasing office.

I figured this walk-thru should be a piece of cake because of how neat my mom is. The woman I did the walk-thru with reminded me of Broom Hilda. She had a cartoony body, a smoker's voice, and frizzy hair. All she was missing was a witch's hat and Irwin the Troll. So Broom Hilda inspected the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. She told me that the following would be deducted from my parent's deposit:

Steam cleaning: $100
Dirty drip trays on the stove: $8/each
Crumbs in the oven: $25
Dirty shower: $25

What the hell? How could this be? My parents stayed three months, they take their shoes off before they walk around in the apartment, and now they have to pay $100 for steam cleaning? If you think the oven has dirty drip trays, then you're a dirty douchebag. And then I looked at the dirty oven and shower. I wasn't too sure what was wrong with it, so I asked her to explain what was dirty. Broom Hilda told me that there were crumbs in the oven, and the shower was a little spotty. I wanted to smack her, but I asked her if I cleaned it to her satisfaction would she not charge my parents. She said yes.

I took a paper towel roll and got to work. I swear it didn't take me more than 3 minutes to clean both the oven and shower. It was basically a wipe down. Broom Hilda looked over what I did and she erased the $25 cleaning fee. I sarcastically suggested that she pay me $25 for my three minute cleaning job. She glared up at me from behind her glasses and said, "Why would I pay you $25?"

PLEASE! Could I smack her?

Finally, my time spent at the anal retentive apartment complex ended. On the way home, I called my parents to tell them that they were completely moved out and there were a couple of cleaning charges. Of course, my mom was livid about the charges. How dare they tell her that she isn't clean! It's a slap in the face of a clean freak.

"What? Dey charging us for being dir-tee? Did you tell them we take shoe off in apartment? What they expect us to dooo?!? I'm so maaaaaaad! You know what I going to do? I going to make Dad call dem!"

Then in the background I hear my dad say, "Linnndaaaaah...I don't want to call them."

My mom continues. "Ahhhhhh. Daddy don't wanna call. Well I call den! Dey tink I'm dir-tee? I no dir-tee! Humph!"

Later, my mom called and told me she did call the apartment complex. The office told them the charges were standard with every person; no exemptions -- even for Asian people who take their shoes off in their apartment. Sorry Mom!

For the time being we don't know when Grandma & Grandpa Ichikawa will be coming back down to babysit the kids for an extended visit. But we do know two things: 1) It will be at a different apartment complex; 2) If she has to scrub, vacuum, dust or caulk. As God is my mom's witness, she'll never be accused of being dirty again!

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