Monday, May 29, 2006

Live the Myth!

You might notice that I have a festive new Summer Motto going on here.

The kids and I went to the pool today with S and her kids. S used to be one of my neighbors at the old house, and now we're neighbors in the new neighborhood, too. Our kids have pretty much grown up together. I love S.

The olders were swimming around in the big pool while S and I watched the youngers splashing in the kiddie pool. S's oldest is a year older than the Boy, and absolutely gorgeous. I mean, this girl is lovely, smart, and can kick butt to boot. As she stretched out on her towel to dry off, I shook my head. "So," I asked S, "Is her father starting his heart condition yet? The one he's going to have in about 6 years?" I tease her husband a lot about his three daughters and how he'd better start his gun collection now. The girls are all stunning and ... independent. The poor man.

She laughed. "No," she said, "I think he's in denial. He's just pretending that it's never going to happen. I just tell him, enjoy it while you can, honey. Live the myth!"

We both looked at each other and started laughing at the same time. "That's got to be one of the most brilliant things you've ever come up with," I said. "It should be our new motto," S agreed.
"This summer, we will Live the Myth!"

The youngers in the baby pool started screaming at each other over one of their pool toys. S and I leaned back in our deck chairs. "Live the myth, baby," she murmured. "P! GIVE IT BACK TO YOUR SISTER!!!!"

God, I love that woman.

Way to start the morning

G, wandering into the bedroom in which I'm checking blogs: Mama. I didn't eat any candy canes.
Me, looking up suspiciously: You didn't?
G: Nope.
M: Okay then.
G: Mama. My hands are all sticky.
M: Oh really?
G: Uh-huh.
M: From what? From the candy canes you didn't eat?
G: Nooo. From the candy canes I DID eat!
M: Mmmhmmm. And where exactly did you get these candy canes?
G: I dunno.
M: You don't?
G: Zippehzeezazoo.
M: Beg pardon?
G: That's a French thing!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Be careful what you wish for

The pool is open!
Discuss amongst yourselves.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

An exclamation ends the sentence right-UH!

For some reason, the Girl appends "uh" onto words to show emphasis:

"But I waaaant to-UH!"
"I said so-UH!"
"I need it now-UH!"

It's like she's the James Brown of the preschool set.

Well. That explains a lot.

I don't watch that Popular Music Voting Show. But I was just watching the little news clip on my Internet home page, about who won and yada yada, and I got as far as the part in which the host announced the winner and then said how many votes he got--stating, "That's more votes than any presidential winner has ever received!"

He said that like it's a good thing. The crowd went wild. Ye gods, no wonder this country is in the crapper. Maybe if someone came up with a way for people to determine the future of the free world from the comfort of their fucking armchairs, we wouldn't have a president whose head is so far up his ass he can pick his own nose from the inside.

Oh. That got a teensy bit more bitter than I'd expected it to do. Gee. Sorry.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What you say?

Today is "Author Tea" for the Boy's 1st-grade class, in which we will have cookies and tea and listen to the kids read from the poetry journals they've been creating all year. God, I love elementary school.

The change in my Boy from last year to this is astounding--so astounding I forget sometimes to get down on my knees and say THANK YOU on a daily basis. Is it because of the improvement in his sleep after having his tonsils/adenoids out? In the change in my own mood management? His wonderful teacher? The passage of time? The excellent play therapy? I don't know, and I don't care. Likely all of these things in some combination.

Sometimes, I forget to tell you how friggin' funny and gorgeous he is. It's easier to see that in the Girl, because there isn't as much wildness distracting me from it.

For example. Here's the conversation the Boy and I had on the way to pick up his sister the other day:

Me: So, we could kill two birds with one stone.
B: What? What does that mean?
Me: Ah, it's a saying. You know what sayings are, right, you've studied them in school?
B: Yes!
Me: Okay. Well this saying means, to accomplish two things with one action. For example, your teacher needs to clean up her classroom, and she also needs to find a consequence for the kids who've been kind of naughty. If she has those kids put the chairs up and pick up the room, she's killing two birds with one stone--she's accomplishing both things at once. See?
B: Oh! Yeah! [thinking pause] But why do you kill the bird? With a stone?
Me: Well, I guess it comes from back in the days when people used to actually eat certain types of birds, and they used to hunt them with slingshots. You wouldn't actually do that.
B: I think it's mean to kill the bird, though. You should say, "hurt two birds with one stone."
Me: Good point.
B: Or, you should say, "Hurt one bird with one stone, and throw a couch at another bird! [laughing] Naaaahhhh. That doesn't make ANY sense!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I don't talk about the Ex a lot, and we all know the good reasons why not. But I have said more than once, I believe, that he's a good guy. He is a great dad. He tries hard. He is smart, and can be generous and funny and kind.

About once a week, more or less, he also calmly mentions that if it weren't for the kids, he would most definitely not be here. And I am trying to be subtle, but understand I don't mean "here" as in this town, or this country. Think more globally. He says he doesn't see the point. Life is misery, and he will never be happy. So why bother? Although I know there are many people who have been and would be his friends, who care about him, I have seen him pretty much dismiss all of them or simply neglect to maintain a friendship. His moods are like a washing machine on the fast spin cycle.

This is what I am afraid of. I am afraid that one day he will forget that he loves the kids more than he hates his life. I am afraid that this misery is inherent, something glued to a gene, something that can't be washed away. When I watch my Boy dismiss a friend because of nothing at all, or insist that it's an awful day, or that no one likes him, I am afraid that it isn't because he's 6, or having a bad day. I am afraid that his unhappiness is writ in blood.

On good days, I tell myself that fear is a magnet, fear is a cloud, fear is a lie that I can hold at bay with my clear intentions. I am more stubborn than my fear.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

What the hell?

I was going to sit down and right about a subject near and dear to so many of our hearts--boys and the color pink.

This was, of course, before my children got insomnia and continued to exit their rooms for nearly 2 bloody hours past their bedtimes, the client email I was supposed to get so that I could send out materials that must be sent tonight failed to materialize (yet), and the wee black ants decided to swarm my dining room.

So much angst, so little time. What the hell, I'm not going anywhere, and it's going to be a long night anyway. Let us begin.

What is it with the Pink Hate? I swear. Tonight the Boy decided to be a kind big brother and put in "Sleeping Booty" (as the Girl calls it, which almost makes up for how often she begs to watch the damned thing) for his sister. After a minute, he said, "I am not going to tell anyone my secret, except for my family. I will only tell you, my family, my secret."

What mother could resist an opener like that?

He looked seriously at us. "I kinda like princesses. But you must not tell ANYONE ELSE. Don't tell any of my friends, or they won't be my friends anymore."

"Well, that's silly," I replied with extremely intentional nonchalance. "There isn't anything wrong with liking princesses."

"Don't tell," he insisted. "And M says he's going to quit being my friend because I like pink."

Well, that did it. "Oh for Pete's sake!" I fumed. Believe me, this is a subject that has gotten my goat more times than I have goats to count. Or something. "B. What is pink?" He paused. "A color?" "EXACTLY," I said, "A color. Would you like or dislike somebody because of which colors that person liked??" He rolled his eyes. "Noooo." "So," I said, "What do you think you can say to someone who says you can't like any color you please?" He thought again, but not for long. "Get over it," he shrugged. "Great idea," I told him. Then I reminded him of several other boys his age who liked pink as well, at which he brightened further. "Besides," I threw in for the finale, "you know your [6'4", 200+pound, kickboxing, Harley-riding, ex-military, tattooed] father wears pink all the time. What do you think your Papa would do if someone told him he couldn't wear pink?"

This time the Boy didn't even pause. "Kick 'em in the nuts!"

Okay, so it wasn't what I was going for, but hey.

Does anyone else have that little part in the back of your brain that can SEE you getting totally overly annoyed with your children [for the child-free, insert guilt-loaded noun here], that KNOWS you should just chill out and not get flustered, but that obviously has NO control over your friggin' mouth? Okay, so work already had me crazy today and the kids were a bit wild and the Boy spilled a water glass on me at dinner because he wasn't paying attention to what he was doing and they Would. Not. Go. To. Sleep. But for crying out loud. How hard is it for me to just say, screw it, so I'll be up until 2 a.m. getting everything else done so that I can take the extra 20 minutes to sing them both to sleep when they're having trouble getting to sleep on their own? I have this dread that they're going to look back and all they'll remember is their mother bitch bitch bitching about every little thing. Fuck.

...and Vermin
And the ants pick NOW to invade? Tonight? Too late to call the Orkin guy until morning, but not too late for me to spend a half hour scouring the boxes out in the garage in search of the bait traps that I think I bought and never used at the old house, double-sweeping the floor, making sure all the dishes and food are sealed up tight, and being generally squeeged out by the little effers. Oh, the humanity.

I might be tempted to go outside and shake my fist at the heavens if I didn't have the sneaking suspicion I might get flattened by a stray meteor or something.

Like living in a sitcom, or, Kids are weird

Scene: The bathroom
The Boy is using the toilet in what he now insists on referring to as "the buttroom" because, as he accurately points out, "there's no bath in here."
B: Mom, can you come here!
Me: [Suspecting the typical begging to have his butt wiped] Whaaat.
B: Mom, I really need you to come here! I need you to get the key, unlock the door, open the door, and come in so I can talk to you!
Me: Hrm. [after opening the door] What do you need?
B: Mother. Please turn off the light. It makes it easier for me to finish my thoughts.
Me: Okaaay. [switching off the light]
B: Thank you. Now, go on and close the door. Goodbye.

Scene: The couch
I'm reading Dr. B's retelling of her PK's midnight adventure with cheese. I begin laughing.
G: What you laughin', Mama?
Me: I'm laughing at Dr. B's little boy, PK.
G: I wanna laugh at him! I wanna laugh at him!
Me: Go ahead, then.
G: Ahahaaaaaa!

Scene: The Boy's bed, last night
I'm cuddling with the Boy for a bit as he tries to go to sleep. He's been tossing and turning, complaining that it's TOO HOT IN HERE!
B: [sighing] I wish I could take off my skin, without it being all bloody and gross. I wish I could take off my skin, and then I'd be soooo nice and COOL.

Scene: The living room
The Girl dancing around, waving her arms and turning in circles, with the occasional somersault thrown in.
G: [singing] Preeetty, pretty, preeeetty. Pretty, pretty. Mama? Am I goin to haf lotsa birfdays? I wanna saaaaaay "rootbeer". Rootbeer. Roooootbeeeeer.

Friday, May 12, 2006

And what I can

Do I want to open this can of worms? What the hell, it is a small can.

I was talking to the Fabulous J about the whole weight issue, and she mentioned that she had joined Weight Watchers online. I belonged to WW in college, during my post-bulimic weight gain bonanza. I've thought about it again recently, but man. Those meetings drive me batshit.

But now you can join online and never talk to a soul! Brilliant! So ... yeah, I went ahead and did it. I always have respected that company's approach in that you deal with real food and real life and although it's all very listy, I love a good list. So, we'll see.

Also, I am now hooked on Buffy. I know, what took me so long. People, I didn't have TV reception. But that is why God made Netflix.

Oh, and I took the Girl and her friend to see the Wiggles live a while back, and wow. Those guys earn every penny. I was not as fond of them as the Girl was, finding them somewhat bland in an overzealous way, but they put on a dang good live show--how much coffee did those guys drink before that show? And they genuinely seemed to enjoy themselves and had a good ensemble thing going on. Plus, when the Girl looked at Captain Feathersword, her face lit up like she was gazing on the holy host.

Yep. Worth every penny.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What I can't tell you

Is that the Chica and I went to something really fun today, and we had a blast, and I totally have a crush on a performer who kinda looked like Johnny Depp but only because we were reaaaaally far away. But I can't tell you what it was because it would give away where we are. But I can tell you that there was great music, and later there was saki, and chocolate, and you can't beat that.

It takes a pinata

Dang, I don't know how to make tildas in this thing. Oh well.

So guess what finally happened? The Boy gave himself a stomachache from eating candy after I'd told him to quit eating the candy, already! They had a pinata at school, hence the bag of candy.

Boys should listen to their mothers!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Extra, extra

I love Jo(e)'s stories about her family, including her Extras. More than once, I admit, I think I've offered up a little prayer that my kids will feel that comfortable with me and within their family. I would love our home to be the place where they hang out. And okay, I admit it--not least so that I can keep a watchful eye on them. Not suspicious or controlling, mind you--just...watchful.

I worry a lot about the Boy, you know that. Stupid things that I shouldn't even think about. But maybe everyone thinks about the same things. I was an awkward kid and I worry that he will have the same difficulties making friends, that he'll feel lonely like I did. The closer he gets to the ages during which I felt most miserable, the more this creeping anxiety grows. Should I reconsider the Lexapro, or is this just my cross to bear? Do I just need to meditate, get a grip? I worry that other kids won't like him. I worry that he'll become some sulky loner, or worse yet, find the kinds of friends that will lead him to trouble. For heavens sake, the poor kid's only 6. I think the grip seems the most likely option, don't you?

Anyway, there's this one little boy in his class. I really like this kid, and he's been really kind to my Boy, in a way that you can tell he really likes him. I think the teacher is trying to make sure they get in the same class next year. But this little boy--there's something about him, too, that gets to me, and I don't know what it is. I don't know that much about his family, other than that he has a few siblings and one is old enough to watch the other two after school. They live with their father, and their mother lives out of state; they spend the summers with her. Not an unusual arrangement, but it hurts me. I can't bear the thought of my boy being so far away from me, for so long at a stretch. Oh, look, someone's projecting again. There's a shock.

So the friend lives in our new neighborhood, just around the block. I'd called and left a message asking if he could come over one day after school (the Boy had asked); no response. Finally, we just stopped by last Thursday and asked if he could come over for the sleepover Friday night, which he was able to do. Then yesterday after school, there was a knock on the door and it was the friend. He showed up again today. I'm happy to have him here--though wow, do I need to finish up the playroom in the basement. Two boys are twice as much crazy as one!

Anyway, I just realized that I think my Year of Solitude has totally warped me. Or something has. I don't know what's typical of elementary-aged socialization. When I was this age, the world was totally different. We used to run back and forth all over the place, as long as our folks knew where we were, and we didn't cross the railroad tracks or go near the pond at the park (alligators!), it was fine. When I was older and we lived out here, the closest kid lived a mile away. There was a loop, probably 2 or 3 miles if you followed the road, and we pretty much could go anywhere on the loop, to see if there was anyone around who could play, as long as our folks knew where we were and we didn't climb too far down the flat top (rattlesnakes!). And here I am, with this stupid worrisome ache in my heart because this little boy showed up at our house from a block down the street, and I worry. I'm so glad he's coming over to play, but I worry--is he ok at his house? Is he lonely? Will he and the Boy stay friends despite his being away for the summer? Maybe I should just show up somewhere, and quit worrying, and be happy, you know?

Grip. Definitely grip.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Drink responsibly

Ooh, I know one TV show that don't put up with no DUIs!

Monday, May 01, 2006

May flowers

When I was a kid, we made May Day baskets out of those strawberry containers, did anybody else do that? And we had a May pole at school. Whatever happened to May Day?

Here's the way my May Day started. This is pretty much the way every day starts. Warning: it's pretty gappy until the very end, so only spend the time if you're addicted to cuteness of the 3-year old variety.

this is an audio post - click to play