Thursday, March 30, 2006

Putting away the books

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offense.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down. I could say "Elves" to him,
But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather
He said it for himself.
--Robert Frost

Geez, all I got was a baby

I sure wish my uterus overflowed with chocolate candies!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Scarf o' TERROR!!

I'm nearly finished with my scarf! The project that will be finished and that will justify the purchase of at least one set of knitting needles.

Shellie and the girls were over this afternoon, and I showed her the scarf. "Okay," I prefaced the presentation, "It's only the second thing I've knitted ever, so if you think it's really ugly, just lie about it. Got it? Lie like a rug."

"No," Shellie said, "I like it. I don't think it's ugly at all."

Just then her youngest ran up. Youngest is almost 2. "Look, Youngest," Shellie said, "See PK's scarf?"

And here's where I'm sorry that this isn't a photoblog: If you could've seen the look on that kid's face. It was a look of sheer horror--clenched jaw, wide eyes, drawn-down lips, head shake.

"Lie, Youngest," I said gently yet seriously, while Shellie rolled around in hysterics on the sofa, "You're supposed to lie."

Not to say that Girls don't appreciate the Power of Mud(tm)

Because of course, they do.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about gender roles. They still bite me in the ass. When the Boy was born? Oh, there would be no guns, no Power Rangers in my house. But damned if that kid didn't learn to love them despite NEVER SEEING THEM! After about the 5th time of doing the heavy sigh treatment with another mother about how despite my best efforts to nix the whole male aggression stereotype, the Boy kept wanting to play guns and so forth, I realized--shit. How would I feel if someone in power, especially the person I loved and looked to for identity, to an extent, kept telling me, directly or indirectly, that the stuff I liked was awful and I was wrong to like it? So that was the end of that. I still don't like it that the Boy likes to play these typically "boy" things, but I'm not going to make them into bad things. Maybe, sometimes, our gender does influence us to like/dislike certain things and that's okay.

And now, at about the same age, the Girl is sticking the "I want to be beautiful and a princess" thing in my face. What interests and scares me is how much more willing I am to pat her head and say fine than I was when the Boy was in his "gender-appropriate" phase. Because what it comes down to is that I want both my kids to know that they can like whatever they like, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else. And sometimes they'll like "girl" or "boy" stuff, and sometimes they won't. The Boy really likes to paint his nails. I'm okay with that, but I find myself wanting to do it only on the weekends. And that makes me mad at myself. I'm less evolved than I think I am. I have to be aware of my immediate reactions, because I don't like them at times.

We had a conversation the other day about why people of the same sex should be able to marry whomever they want. "But when I wanted to marry a boy," the Boy said, "everybody said I couldn't." "Well," I explained, "a lot of people don't like the idea because they say that isn't the way it's supposed to be, but just because it isn't usually the way it is doesn't make it wrong. Different isn't wrong, but a lot of people think it is because different scares them."

I want people in this country to have the right to love each other with equality. My state is working to get an initiative on the ballot this November that will, if passed, grant expanded rights to same-sex couples, things like insurance and adoptive/inheritance rights. Reading an article about the issue, I saw a great quote from a woman working for these rights. In a nutshell, she pointed out that same-sex couples are not eroding marriage. Money woes, infidelity--these things erode marriage. How the hell can two people loving each other and committing themselves to that relationship erode someone else's relationship? How can parents turning their backs on their own children because of those children's sexuality be "pro-family values"? How can people spout hate and fear and then claim to follow Jesus in the same breath? Jesus! The guy who liked to hang out with tax collectors and prostitutes and bitch out the religious right of his time??? It makes no sense.

If you want to help the institution of marriage, make it possible for ANY couple to afford decent housing, medical care, and child care (or prevention). You can't tell me that Mr & Mrs Blow's marriage is going to be threatened more by the lesbian couple next door than by the fact that they can't afford to take their kids to the doctor when they're sick, that they both have to work ungodly hours to make ends meet, that they constantly worry about money, and that their kids spend afternoons unsupervised because of all that. But that's just what a very forceful faction in this country is trying to make voters believe. And it's working!!! It astounds me.

I can't even bear, sometimes, to think about the incredible amount of strength and pain that must make up the lives of my friends who just want to be a family. I don't know where you stand on the issue, but you go read the words of these men and women and then tell me they don't deserve that right. Just be forewarned--if you do? I'm kicking your ass. And this year, if I accomplish nothing else, I'm going to help fight for equal rights for every couple. And I'm going to paint my Boy's nails, if he wants me too, while the Girl plays in the mud while wearing her Cinderella dress.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The good things about having a son

If I didn't have a son, I wouldn't have learned ...
... to like crickets
... the glory of mud
... the power of all that is preshrunk and cottony
... that I can't make everyone happy

How dull would the world be?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

tick tock

Going off the Lexapro has been interesting. I think it's going to be okay. When I cut down to 3/4 pill, I got odd physical symptoms--headache, jittery stuff--but felt fine emotionally. Cutting down to 1/2 pill, I noticed I had to work a bit harder to stay patient and attached--I'd find myself more easily annoyed and more likely to zone out emotionally. That's a weird issue for me that I don't really like to talk about. I've been this empathic freak girl since I was just a kid--a total sap, really likely to put myself in others' places and get weirdly emotional--but then there are these windows when I just don't feel anything. I get completely detached and it's very disturbing to just feel...nothing. At all. It doesn't last long, a few hours at the most, except during The Big Depression and then it was pretty much more than that.

Anyway, more of that than had happened during the past year, I felt a bit more likely to fly off the handle, so I just started reminding myself to keep an eye on that, and it seems to be okay. The cut to 1/4 pill didn't really produce any noticeable changes. I went off completely a few days ago, and mostly I just have a little bit of dizziness and some odd sleep stuff. I'm a little nervous about being off them, which just makes me more determined to be done. I don't like not wanting to let go of something.

The Boy's started tic-ing again the past few weeks. He hasn't done that for quite a while, and I wonder if it isn't because we haven't been letting him chew everything in site. He started on that about 1.5 months back, and it finally got too obtrusive. I need to find him some of those rubber tubes the OT keeps for chewing, and see if that helps with the tics. His tic is that he does weird things with his eyes...blinking and sort of rolling them and pulling his lashes. It isn't too noticeable. The eye ticking was always his paternal aunt's thing, too. I had the vocal tics. Oh, the joys of our gene pool. It makes me wonder if we'll have to revisit the Tourettes diagnosis, but I'm not making any decisions right now.

Here's the thing with my Boy. He is pretty much a normal kid. He does well in school--not freakishly well, but well enough--8 out of 10 well. He's reading at a 4th grade level, but more often than not he'd still rather be read to than read a book himself. He's good at math, and he enjoys it. He is interested in learning, but it is often difficult for him to focus--he talks a lot, and gets goofy, though not so goofy as Flea's Alex. He always makes sense, he just gets...wild. The biggest issue for him is his mood--one minute he can be a calm, sweet, funny kid, and the next he can be lashing out, yelling and kicking. He is very sensitive and blows things out of proportion. He tends toward black-or-white thinking. He has a hard time letting go of things he's fixated on.

He's in a group therapy that meets weekly with the goal of teaching social skills and problem solving. Right now there are only 2 boys in the group, but hopefully more will be added; the ideal group is 3 or 4 kids. As far as he knows, it's 1 1/2 hours of play every Friday afternoon, but in reality he and the other boy are learning how to solve the social issues that arise as a result of their own challenges, and how to help each other to do that. I try to minimize TV, I try to make a pretty solid routine for homework and dinner and bed, and make plenty of time for physical activity, including one structured event (right now it's swimming classes). Over the past year, what I've learned is that I have to lighten up, and let him learn to deal with his own stuff. We go to the park now, we invite other kids over. I try to keep a grip on my own tendency to overanalyze and overprotect and overcompensate.

The thing that worries me most, I discovered, is that he'll turn out to be his father. And I don't mean that his father isn't a good guy. He is. He's a good person, he's brilliant and funny and kind-hearted, but he's also miserable most of the time. He lives most of his life under a cloud. He hates everything more times than not. It's miserable and it's horrible, and I dread, dread the thought that my baby will see the world like that. Because really? All I want is for him to be happy. And what scares me most is that his genes won't let him be. But I'm trying hard, now, to remember that he's as much my child as his father's, and that his father also went through a lot of environmental shit that our Boy will hopefully never encounter. I also try and remember that I was a complete freak as a child. I had the tics, the neuroses, the self-harming and obsessive behaviors, the eating disorder, the cutting, the fear, the anxiety, the melancholy--and dang if I didn't turn out more or less okay and actually a happy person more often than not. I truly enjoy life. I am happy. I have to choose to believe that my Boy will be, too.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

cheap and desperate, desperate and cheap

If you haven't heard from me lately, and you have Blogger commenting, it's because STUPID BLOGGER keeps giving me word confirmations, which I type in all nice and purty, and then it gives me a second word confirmation screen WITH NO WORD ON IT. Now that's strong security--but it means you ain't gettin' a comment from me.

Why, why do preschoolers love that damn annoying Elmo? Gah. Grover's the cute one, everybody knows that. Elmo can't even use pronouns correctly. And Mr. Noodle's a cross-dresser. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

At my final therapy session, Dr. Zen asked me whether I thought I might think about dating at some point. "Now don't say anything," she said, "but you know, Internet dating is pretty popular now." Yeeaaaah. Obviously, I know we can make friends over the Internet. I like you guys! But for some reason, the idea of meeting a guy that way? I don't know. I mean, I have friends who met their husbands through Internet dating services, and they're really nice couples, I just have a block. As I told Holly, for some reason I taste desperation when I think of doing it myself. No judgement on anybody else.

But anyway. So I was bored a few weeks ago and thought, aw, screw it, I'll fill out the eHappycrap forms just for giggles. I fill out like a million pages, and then it runs my little matches throughout the ENTIRE country and comes back with....

Four matches. FOUR! So basically, out of the entire country, I could get along with four men.

Yeah, okay, so within the next few days it sent back more matches and some were local. I was talking to my mom on the phone and relating the fun with Internet experience when one popped up. I started reading the profile to her when I got to the "I live for yoga" part. "Oh my God!" I yelled, "It's my Hot Yoga Dream Guy! Ooh! And listen to this! And this! Hot damn, he's perfect! And to communicate with him will cost me....$60. Eh, fuck that."

"PK," said my Mom said, "for $60 you could actually go to the yoga center and sign up for classes and check out ALL the hot yoga guys. And don't say 'fuck', honey."

And that, people, is why my mom will fit in just fine around here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

THAT's what I'm talking about

Canada's comment to my I-hate-security-system-ads post reminded me of the true story of my friend and neighbor Shellie. (I might have talked about her before, but I can't remember what I called her previously, if anything, so let's make up a new pseudonym, shall we? Blog hazard.)

So. Shellie and her husband get a security system, and they have it set up for motion detection in the basement. This is in the old neighborhood, before they'd finished their basement, and they lived on the end of the street that bumped up against a pretty busy major street, so it seemed like a good plan. One night, the alarm goes off--it's the motion detector in the basement. They both jump up--the babies are crying, the thing's going off, and they're good and freaked. Shellie's husband Tom runs downstairs, and she's right behind him. (She's British so you have to picture this with all happening with an accent.)

"And then," she tells me the next day, "the bloody man picks up a ladle! A soup ladle! I said, 'For God's sake, Tom, what are you going to do? Spoon him to death??!!' And he said, 'Well, you know I don't have very good aim, and this thing's pretty heavy.' So I grabbed a proper knife. What the hell was he thinking? Men. Then the cat ran out of the basement."

Ironically, the next day (after going downstairs the night before and seeing nothing amiss), when they checked the outside of the window, they realized someone really had tried to force it open. Which of them do you think would've kicked the most ass if whoever it was had actually gotten in?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


"I wish I was just a guy who could go and sit on the potty and fall asleep and never wake up!"

"Kinda like Rip Van Tinkle?"

Nobody but me got the joke. And I'm still not wiping his butt.

TV sucks

But then, we knew that.

So, we got the absolutel minimal number of cable channels possible when we moved. Why get any at all? Well, my mom enjoys watching football and news, so we had to get something, and this package actually saves me enough on my Internet that it all evens out.

Ok, I like "Lost". And reruns of old sitcoms I used to watch. But for the most part, the damned thing stays off. I'm on the lookout for a funky standing screen to put in front of it so that I can pretend it isn't there.

So today, in a moment of boredom, I turned the thing on. Here's where I get totally disgusted: Have y'all seen that awful Brinks ad? Where the guy leaves for work, and the wifey goes back in the huge house, and then the seemingly innocent jogger breaks down the door but oh, thank goodness, she's turned on the alarm the second she went back inside so she's saved!

I hate this ad so much I can't even articulate it properly. What the hell? Little rich wifey has to lock herself away all day in her castle because there are BAD MEN waiting to get her. And the husband never says a word in this thing, he just stands around being protective. Ugh. Where's the wife who kicks the bad guy's ASS? That's the ad I want to see. Stupid Brinks. I hate it when people sell fear.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


Nothing makes a girl more smug than a winter storm warning when her kid's bus stop is across the street and two houses down. Hee hee.

Okay, so it's the little things. Sue me.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Blame it on the sake

I had a horrible dream last night. In the middle of the usual parade of ridiculous searches for a dozen scones in the middle of a snowstorm and doors that wouldn't stay open, I dreamt that a doctor told me the Boy was a reincarnation of my dead brother, and I needed to leave him with her overnight so that she could hypnotize him and help him come to terms with his death. One: I don't have a brother, and the weird thing was that somehow this brother was also the Boy. I just kept crying and crying in this dream, and the doctor told me I had to leave him and I had to pull it together. And I couldn't stop crying.

I hate that shit. Feel free to analyze. Or not.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Heeelllloooo Mover Guy!

I have no shame, so I called Mover Guy's company to come move my furniture today, in the hopes that he'd be on the crew, and he was, and I still love him. Sigh. I'm pretty sure we had a "moment" when he was loading up the chest of drawers. Pretty sure.

I think this blog has reached a certain pinnacle of borishness, sort of like the cat toys that cascaded out from under every piece of furniture I own. I am boring, but at least I'm not sleeping on the floor anymore. I was starting to get a little delirious, and I'd wake up in the middle of the night and think, "This is the way to stay young! The Cave Women would have killed to sleep on a floor like this...I've got the nice soft wood, and the carpet pad, and the carpet, and the sleeping's practically decadent. I should simplify!"

Yeah. Screw that.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

ah, the smell of paint in the morning...

...and the afternoon, and the night...

I am so. tired. of painting.

The furniture moves in tomorrow. A bed, a real bed! And a table! And a couch! Oh, I could weep from joy.

I miss you guys.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Princesses Keep Falling on My Head

...or, at which The Nuclear Family(tm) bums me out.

I have this love/hate relationship with the whole Disney Princess thing, y'know? Gosh, how I loved those danged Disney movies when I was a kid. Longer than that actually--all the way up until I had a kid. Then I started realizing--dang, those things are kinda violent. And what did Walt have against mothers, killing them off left and right? And uh, hey. Those princesses? What a bunch of lame-asses. "Listen," I told the Boy, "that princess and her pea? Forget her. He should've picked the one who liked to ride horses. Really." I read him stories from the Arabian Nights, pointing out that these were the types of chicks a mother would like her boy to bring home. Fourty thieves? No problem. I got your hot oil right here, bub.

Then along came the Girl. Who obviously was swapped with someone else's girl at the hospital, cause man. Is she girlie. And me? Not so much. But oh, man, she loves her some princesses.

So. Yeah. We went to the Skating Princess Bonanza. And the Girl hasn't stopped twirling since. Strawberry Shortcake? Who is this Strawberry Shortcake? We've moved on to All Cinderella, All The Time. Sheesh. Maybe I can at least get her over to Mulan's camp. I think I can. When Mulan came out, she whispered in awe, "She skates sooo pretty. And she's so pretty. I want to take her hooooome."

Oh, all right, it was a decent show, except for the blatant "hey, look at us, we're a happy heterosexual two-parent, two-child, boy/girl, nuclear family going gaga at Disney World and shelling out a god-awful amount of money to make it look like we're all SO FRIGGIN HAPPY--and we're doing it ON SKATES" moment at the beginning. I admit, I threw up a little in my mouth. And at one particularly gagging princess-gets-saved-by-her-one-dimensional-prince moment, the dry ice started up and the Boy asked me, "Why is it all smokey?" "Because this is the mooshy part, with all the loooove, blahde blah blah," I answered. Erm.

Aw, but dang. There was some spectacle. And the kids loved it. And hey! Anyone else who has seen this--confirm or deny for me. I swear, I swear, that during the initial Aladdin skit, when Jasmine's doing her exposition schtick about how she has 3 days to marry, she says, "Jasmine, you have to marry a prince--or a princess--in 3 days!" Am I wrong? Did I mishear? I hope not. It kinda made me fall in love with Walt all over again.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Do any of you not already know about Annika, and Moreena? If you don't go here.
I am going to make a donation; I just wish I had something raffle-worthy to offer. I'll talk to the Boy about holding a bake-sale. I'll let as many people as I can know about this incredible family, and what they're going through.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Into the future

As I type this, I'm lying on my living room floor, working on my wireless laptop that my new employer paid for (but which belongs to me, yay), with Sex and the City reruns playing in the background (the people in the little box, they move!) and my half-painted walls and half-opened boxes scattered around (not to mention the half-opened bottle of vodka, oops). And what's the point of this? I don't know. New house, new creaky noises, and I'm camping out on the bedroom floor, and the yard is a big mass of mud, and I love it, I totally love it. The park is at the end of our street. Literally--and the bike trail starts at the other end. It's all good.