Friday, December 9, 2011

What Do I Do?!

I'm sitting here listening to my daughter scream.  Again.  She screams and cries more these days than she did as a newborn.  Funny, I look back on those years as 'the quiet time' when things were easy.

The slightest thing sets her off.
My days are a constant battle, and my stomach is always in knots.
I think she hates me.
My hands and feet are riddled with awful, itchy 'stress eczema'.
My sleep is shot to hell - I am always tired.
I even have diarrhea from the stress... the physical symptoms combined with everything else are just wearing me down so much.

Right now as I'm typing this, I'm listening to her try to beat down her bedroom wall... it's amazing how strong she is, and how determined she can be when she gets going.  What kills me is that it's nothing... it's always nothing.  You'd think she'd been grievously wronged the way she is carrying on.  The most hideous injustice has been done to her, obviously.

The truth:
On the way home from school her sister got upset and started crying because Dad ate the last chocolate chip cookie.  Anna thought that was the perfect time to say "My teacher looked up 'Ella J' on the computer, and it said that she doesn't eat enough vegetables and her writing is chicken scratch.  She's very close to being on Santa's 'bad list'."  Of course, Ella cried much, much harder and started wailing about being on 'the bad list'.

I asked Anna WHY she felt compelled to say that, and said it wasn't true, that Ella was not on the bad list.  She argued with me about it, said her teacher DID do it, and she WAS close to the 'bad list'.  She screamed.  Then she claimed she didn't say that and I misunderstood.  Then she continued to scream the rest of the way home... she screamed, thrashed, called me stupid, blew raspberries at me in the rearview mirror.

When I sent her to her room when we got home she wanted to know WHY... said she didn't do anything.  So she's been screaming for the last 45 minutes and trying to beat down her door because she's been WRONGED.

This wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't pretty much an everyday occurrence.
I don't know what to do anymore.

To top it off, I feel like it's all my fault.  She must have gotten it from me.  I remember behaving similarly as a child, and thinking that nobody understood me, and that the whole world was against me.  My childhood SUCKED.  It truly sucked.  I feel like I'm being paid back for it... like God is punishing me.  And also, my heart is breaking... I want to be a good parent.  I try my damnest to be a good parent, and my kid is probably going to feel the same way - that her childhood SUCKED.

I must be a bad parent, because I don't know what to do.  I am at a loss... I have tried everything at my disposal, and I'm just not sure how much more I have to give.

Life is a constant stream of stress and unhappiness, it seems... especially lately.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Failure Is The Path Of Least Resistance


Some days, and weeks, just suck.
They chew you up and spit you out.

I think there are times when everyone feels like a failure, but I have to tell you: it's really an awful feeling thinking you're failing your child(ren).  I mean, I know everyone feels badly when they don't think they are doing a good job... but it really, really gets to me.

I tried explaining this to my husband, and he didn't really seem to get it... until I said to him "How would you feel if your life's work seemed to be spinning out of control?  If you had no idea how to handle it, and everyone judged you and thought it (even the worst of it) was just supposed to 'come naturally' to you?  Would you be upset?"

The answer?  Of course.  Especially if he were doing his level best.

My kids are my life's work.  I didn't go back to work in order to raise them.  I never used my degree, and any skills I might have had once upon a time are outdated and useless.  THIS is my life's work... and I feel like I must be doing it all wrong because there are always so many problems.

I guess I had the idea that things would be a bit nicer, a bit easier....
I didn't know it would be so lonely.
I didn't know I would have a child who didn't respond to virtually anything like the other children I know.
I didn't know that the endless cycles of picking up junk, doing laundry, and just trying to keep up would fill most of my waking thoughts so completely.
I didn't know that love isn't enough to be a good parent.
I didn't realize just how demanding parenthood could be, and how much everyone expected of you.

So yes, I feel like a failure.  But according to Sir James Matthew Barrie, I guess maybe I'm not.  He says "Failure is the path of least resistance."


I certainly don't feel like this is the path of least resistance, so perhaps I'm not failing at all....
We shall see.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's All Good (A Good Things/Gratitude List)

Things I love right now:

* Looking into my living room and seeing the Christmas tree lit up, and the fireplace blazing.
* Hot, delicious coffee.
* The heated seats in my minivan.
* Kids singing Christmas songs.  :)
* Frost on the grass in the morning... it makes our yard look vaguely magical.
* A Charlie Brown Christmas.
* Two comforters on the bed, with the window cracked open - best sleep ever.
* Hair long enough to keep my neck toasty warm (for the first time in years).
* McAdenville lights.  :)
* My cute new closed-toe shoes (though I do miss my flip-flops).
* Buying presents for people I love, and the anticipation of hoping they'll like what I've chosen.
* Winter clothing that hides a multitude of sins.  :D

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pavlov's Dog

My daughter has a bad habit of putting her pet on people's heads... just sneaking up behind you, putting on your head, and walking away.  She did it to her Grandma a few months back, got a lot of laughs from her Dad, and so of course she keeps on doing it.  Everyone loves a laugh, right?

It might not be so bad if her pet was a puppy, a bunny, or maybe a furry little hamster... but my daughter's pet is a Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.  She loves the darned thing, walks around with it on her shoulder, does her homework with it on her arm, and tries to let it eat at the kitchen table with her.  (I put my foot down on that one!  Though, she does keep trying to sneak 'Girl' (that's her name) by me.)

Anyway, so yeah... she's got this annoying habit of putting Girl on people's heads.  Including mine.

The first time she did it I wasn't expecting it, and I freaked out...  I jumped up, shook my head, and shrieked.  BAD MOVE.  (That just made it even more hilarious, apparently, and when something's hilarious she keeps on doing it.)

She's done it to me repeatedly, and it's gotten so bad now that if she simply comes up behind me and touches the back of my head, I jump a mile.  Sad.  Very sad.  I squeal like a little girl.

She's stated a few times lately that when Girl dies, she wants a tarantula... yeah, like THAT'S going to happen!

You may think it's funny to make me into one of Pavlov's dogs with your 'bug on the head' experiment, but you're shooting yourself in the foot here, chickadee.

Note to self:  remove 'giant bugs that might eat your face off' from the approved pet list.

Friday, November 4, 2011

"Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together." - Elizabeth Taylor

Pull yourself together.

It doesn't matter if you are undervalued, it doesn't diminish your purpose.

It doesn't matter if love fails you, there are endless opportunities to find happiness in other things.

Hurt happens to everyone, but only you can choose not to let it define you.

People let you down, but for every one that does, there is another that won't.  Find them, and keep them.

The past belongs to you, but you don't need to keep revisiting it just because it's there.  Put it away.

Don't worry about what you aren't - focus on what you are.

If someone wants to change the core of you, they don't love you.  Believe that.

If someone loves you, they will let you know.  Believe that, too.

If someone is interested in staying in your life, they will make an effort to.

Life is too short to be bored.  If you are bored, move on.

Don't waste your time building and sustaining a relationship with someone who doesn't make you a better person for knowing them.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Past

I don't talk about the past much... at least not in concrete terms.  I know I allude to it at times, but rarely do I discuss it frankly; especially not here.

But tonight I am.  I just feel like it, and it's my blog, so there.

I have Daddy issues.  There.  I said it.  Daddy issues.
It seems like a psychological buzz-word, doesn't it?  Something celebrities and whiners talk about, but it doesn't really mean much, am I right?  Some entitled, lazy, Prima Donna trying to blame everyone but herself for her problems, no?  That's what it calls to mind.

I'm a normal woman, for the most part.  I'm not lazy, or self-centered, and even though I majored in Psychology (and know a pretty decent amount about it), I have always been loathe to talk about this kind of stuff for fear of seeming like a 'whiner' and a 'blamer'.  I don't like chronic whiners, and I don't respect people who blame everyone else for their issues.  That's why this is hard for me to admit, and to write.

That being said, I'm going to do this anyway, so here goes.

My Dad walked out of my life when I was 4 years old.  He never looked back, and it fucked me up good and proper.  (Sorry if you don't like the language, but I can't think of a better way to put it.)  He left, and then he went off and made a whole new family for himself.  Oh, but that's not the best part... he pretended we didn't exist.  That's right, he never mentioned us... it wasn't until MANY years later that his most recent family (there were three altogether) found out that my brother and I existed.  Lovely, no?

Every little girl's first love is her Dad.  How are you supposed to feel, knowing that you were interchangeable?  Well, it's not a good feeling, I can tell you that.  Knowing that someone you loved so dearly can walk away without a second thought is a shitty, SHITTY feeling.  You spend most of your childhood fearful that your Mom will walk away, too.

After that, you don't trust.  You just don't.  You feel like everything is temporary, and can be gone in the blink of an eye.  But someday you have to date... someday you are bound to fall in love.  What happens then?

You date a little... some of us make a lot of BAD decisions along the way... but eventually you find someone to trust.  It feels like a whole new world, being able to trust a man... loving someone and feeling like they love you in return.  I never thought it would happen, really.  In reality, I was shocked when it did, and was shocked to realize that I really trusted him.

Most teenagers/young adults go from relationship to relationship without much thought.  They 'love' but it's never that involved, really.  Well, for someone with 'Daddy issues' it's a little different.  We don't use the words 'love' or 'trust' arbitrarily, because we trust few.  To really LOVE is even rarer, because it requires a great deal of trust and abandon that just isn't at all normal for us.  We've been burned, badly... and when we trust you, it's serious.  We mean it.  And it's a great responsibility not only for us, but for the one we trust and love... because we take it very seriously.

For any men or boys who might stumble upon this: when we love and trust you, it's a giant leap of faith and hope... please don't destroy that.  We've already been destroyed by one man... please treat us gently.  And don't ever say "I love you" unless you mean it... because we will believe you.   Throwing our love away hurts more than you could ever imagine.



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

ADHD

My daughter has always been different, from birth on.

As in infant, she slept only in 30 minute increments... at night sometimes we'd get up to two hours, but rarely more than that.  She didn't sleep through the night at all until she was 2.5 years old.  I nursed, but it was tiring... she only ate for a few minutes at a time before she'd get fussy and want to stop.  I thought it was me, until she got older and I realized that she wouldn't eat because she wanted to look around.  She would repeatedly latch and unlatch, latch and unlatch to look around... feeding her took forever.  I had little time to do much else, so at 5 months I started giving her bottles so I could have a break from the endless feeding.

When she became mobile, she never sat still again.  I would read her books, and she would be all over the place... running, playing, examining something, hanging upside-down.  I got often got frustrated and put the book down, only to be subjected to a hissy fit because she wanted me to keep reading.  She wasn't verbal, though, so she couldn't tell me.  My daughter barely spoke until she was 3.5 years old.  Once she really started talking, though, she would tell me "I want to read!  READ!"  I accused her of not listening, but she would recite back to me everything I just read.  She was listening, but simply could NOT sit still for it.  It was as though she had a desperate NEED to move.  Even watching TV she never sat still... she would jump, run, play, hang off the back of the couch, twirl, do somersaults... anything.

As she got older, I started to notice that she took no notice of social cues.  She was (and still is) very friendly and outgoing, but she just didn't get it when people were shy, or standoffish, or even downright mean to her.  She just plowed ahead, kept talking to them, and invading their personal space.  She has no concept of personal space whatsoever.  I've had other kids run away and hide behind their Moms to get away from her, because her lack of boundaries upset them so much.  She will talk to anyone, anytime, and is seemingly impervious to 'looks', snickers, or rudeness... she just doesn't seem to notice at all.

We still, at age seven, have potty training issues - something I always assumed would be long over by now.  She gets engrossed in what she's doing sometimes and will not switch gears, even to use the bathroom.  Or she starts to go to the bathroom and notices a bug... and never makes it there.

Even the most simple instructions have to be repeated over and over again, because she gets sidetracked so often.  I even have to remind her constantly throughout mealtimes to EAT.  She forgets what she's at the table for, even with the food in front of her.  She is messy and disorganized because her mind jumps from one thing to another so quickly that things end up all over the place.

She cannot stand to be wrong, and will argue sometimes until she loses it.  Her temper can be downright scary, and she can be incredibly rigid, stubborn and belligerent.  She's even broken her bedroom door during one such episode....

I know that some people see it when she talks back, or melts down in public, and they think that she's a misbehaving little brat who doesn't listen and won't sit still.  I know they think that, because before I had kids, I immediately jumped to that conclusion too, when a kid was melting down in public.

She's always been different, and I admit, she presents me with challenges that I sometimes have no idea how to deal with.

But oh, how I love this child.

You know what those people see?  They see the ADHD symptoms.  They don't see my little girl.  They don't see the child who has a mind like a steel trap... she never forgets a fact, an experience, a story.  They don't see the child who collects bugs, looks them up on Wikipedia, and lovingly names them all before setting them free a few days later.  They don't see the little girl who, in times of quiet clarity (that her meds afford her), reads her little sister 8 books in a row at bedtime.  They don't see the child that is so infectiously friendly that she delights adults and makes everyone feel special and worth talking to.

People talk.  They give me 'looks' and I know what they are thinking - that I can't 'control my kid'.  That I'm a bad mother, and that a good swift hand to the backside would solve my problems.  I can tell you now, it WON'T.  It doesn't.  I promise you.

I have one thing to say to those people, and I wish I could print it on a t-shirt:  GOOD MOTHERING CAN'T REMOVE A PHYSICAL CONDITION.  IT CAN ONLY WORK WITH IT.

My daughter is a little different.  But by god, she is fiercely loved.  I love everything about her, even if sometimes those very things frustrate the hell out of me.  She is this amazing little person, this little pinball ricocheting around in my world.

See the good.  Don't be so quick to judge a child... or her parents.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Hi, my name is Dawn, and I'm a sing-aholic.
(And before you ask, no.  I cannot sing worth a damn, but that doesn't stop me, much to my kids' dismay.)

I'm always singing or humming, because there is ALWAYS a song stuck in my head.  The other day it was Bon Jovi (specifically, Never Say Goodbye).

My kid didn't like it, apparently.
(I prefer to think that it's because she has questionable taste in music, rather than that I sound like a cat being tortured....)

Me:  "Never say goodbye.  Never say goodbye-ee-eyeeeeee...."
Ella:  " I can't take it anymore.  Sing Lady Gaga songs... that will get it out of your head and you can stop."


Um... thanks for the advice?
(She clearly had no idea what she was getting herself into with that one.  If Lady Gaga gets stuck in my head, it doesn't go away easily.  By the time I get rid of it, I've found myself considering at-home brain surgery to destroy that particular sector of my brain; THAT'S how desperate I eventually become to be rid of it.)

Yep, seems my kids are FULL of great advice.  Like, about how to avoid getting peeved off about a messy office, for instance.

Me:  "You girls need to clean this mess up right now.  It's a DISASTER in here, and I'm tired of it."
[Silence]
Me:  "Did you two hear me?  I want this cleaned, now.  I am SICK of looking at your mess all over my floor!"
Ella:   [sighing patiently]  "OK Momma.  Just lay down right here.  Right here on the floor... relax, and look up.  Now all you see is the ceiling, and you won't have to look at the mess on the floor anymore."


Right, chickadee... nice try.
I have to hand it to her for creativity and thinking on her feet, though.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Talk About A Sugar High....

The other day, the dog found a treat.  Oh yes she did, and she enjoyed every second of her secret binge.

 Unfortunately I discovered said binge when we came home from a birthday party and found a massive pile of disgusting, curiously-colored puke.  BLECH.  Only... it looked like melted chocolate.

Yep.  We trawled the house and found that one of the kids left some dark chocolate-covered raisins on the floor, and it seems Olive simply couldn't resist.  The temptation was just too much to bear, and she ate a good bit of them....

I was so worried.  SO very worried....  I love my doggie, and I have warned the kids over and over about the dangers of dogs having chocolate.  I hoped she'd be OK, because it looked like she vomited a good bit of what she'd eaten onto my kitchen floor (never thought I'd be HAPPY about dog puke).

As the night wore on, I watched her... she started to shiver violently.  I was in tears, thinking she was a goner.  (There's nothing the vet can do, apparently, but induce vomiting and hope for the best.)  My negative side (that does tend to win a lot) was convinced that my wee furball was dying.  :(

Eventually we went to bed, and I tucked Olive in with Ella.

I'm drifting off to sleep when I hear: 'Thump.  Thump, thump, thump.  BANG!' 

I had no idea what was happening so I'm lying there, frozen with fear, listening...  It's the dog.  The dog apparently has a caffeine/sugar high, and has decided she wants in my room.  NOW. She is repeatedly throwing herself against my bedroom door.

I scold her, and put her back in Ella's room.

Twenty minutes later, I wake with a start.  'Bark.  Bark, bark, bark, BARK!'  

Yep.  Her again.  This time barking at the baby gate to be let into the living room.  I obliged and went back to sleep.

A bit later... 'Scratch.  Scratch.  Scratch.'  I get up and let her out where she proceeds to run around the yard like a madman.  Then, back in.  She wants to play....  Um, no.  It's 10:30, and I want to sleep thankyouverymuch.

I try letting her in my room to sleep.  Ten minutes later... 'Thump, Thump, thump, thump.  BANG!'  Seems she wanted back into Ella's room.  FINE.

Finally at about midnight I was able to fall asleep to the sound of little feet pitter-pattering up and down the hallway and around the house.  The darned dog was HYPER.

No chocolate, ever again.  If it doesn't kill her, I just might!


Friday, September 16, 2011

I Wish

Sometimes I wish I was:

A heartless bitch.
Someone who does only what's best for herself and uses people for her amusement and pleasure.  Maybe if I could master this, what people say and think wouldn't matter to me. Because if you don't care about people, what they say and do are of no consequence.

A true cynic.
If I were a true cynic, I wouldn't believe in fairy tales... then I wouldn't be hurt/disillusioned/defeated when the path to 'happily ever after' is strewn with obstacles.

Unforgiving.
If I were unforgiving, I would never have to deal with people disappointing me more than once, and making me wonder if I'm just a really shitty judge of character.  For unforgiving people there is no 'three strikes' rule...  you piss them off once, and you're out of there!

Sheltered.
If I had no experience, I wouldn't know any other way.  I wouldn't have longings, past hurts, or dreams to haunt me.  Perhaps true contentment is afforded only to those who are sheltered from any other sort of life than the one they live, with people they've known their entire life.

Self-Centered.
If I cared mostly for myself, people would be mere accessories rather than thinking, feeling beings.  If I were self-centered, I wouldn't feel devastated when someone I love hurts me with careless words.  I wouldn't feel like a failure when I can't help someone, or be who they expected me to be.

Beautiful.
If you are beautiful, at least when someone rejects everything else you have to offer, you have that to fall back on.








Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Dog Ate My Homework

So the wee one started Kindergarten on August 26th. (Hooray, Huzzah, Yippee! OK, I'm done now - I swear.)

 Ah, Kindergarten... the land of play centers, ABC's, reading, toys, and homework.  Huh? Homework?

 Yep. Homework. Not much, mind you, but homework nonetheless. And the teacher gave wee one many great ideas as for her first assignment/masterpiece.

 You see, the 'homework' was to decorate a gingerbread man for school, to hang in the hallway. Mrs. S gave them all sorts of clever ideas, including one that E latched onto immediately: decorating with Cheerios.

 We decorated that gingerbread man beautifully... she colored, glued buttons on, and even coerced me into sewing a SKIRT for her gingerbread LADY. But that was not enough... she was absolutely fixated on the Cheerios, so I obliged and pulled out the Cheerios. Honey Nut Cheerios, to be exact... and she gleefully glued them down, feeling that her masterpiece was then complete.

 E was very proud of her homework, and wanted to show everyone, and so she kept pulling it out to show it off as one might a priceless artifact, or fine jewels. The thing is, though, most people don't leave masterpieces lying on the coffee table after showing them off. This is where E went wrong, and ginger-lady met an unfortunate fate.

 When it came time for ginger-lady to return to school (and to her rightful place on the wall outside E's classroom), she couldn't be found. Fabulous. The kiddo's first homework assignment, and it's been misplaced. At least that's what I thought... until I heard a blood-curdling scream from the living room.

 I walked in not knowing the carnage I was about to witness... it seems that ginger-lady met with a formidable foe: the dog. Olive the dog apparently has a penchant for Honey Nut Cheerios. Who knew? She smelled those bad boys and went to town, leaving disembodied construction paper limbs and bits and pieces all over the living room rug. The Cheerio eyes and nose, however, were history.

 I found it a bit funny, but couldn't laugh, of course.

 No, I couldn't laugh, because E was quite upset and it's my job to calm her down. So I did. I calmed her down with hugs, kisses, and promises to re-do ginger-lady even better than before. That is, until this exchange:

E: [sniffle] "And if we don't get done in time, I'll just tell my teacher." 
Me: "So let me get this straight: If we don't finish in time, you'll just tell her that your dog ate your homework?"
E: "Yes."

 I'm sorry to say that hearing that, I lost it and laughed my head off.

 In all my years of excuses as a kid, I never thought I'd see the day when "My dog ate my homework" was actually TRUE.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?

Some people are afraid of the boogie man.
Some are afraid of clowns, spiders, snakes, monsters....

As for me, when I was a kid I was afraid of The End of The World, and all the fire and brimstone loveliness that goes on in Revelations. Hey, what can I say? I was raised in a Pentecostal church where readings from Revelations were sermon staples.

Most people eventually grow out of their childhood fears, and no longer look at rain gutters with trepidation (the clown from 'It', anyone?) or squeal when a spider inexplicably ends up on their arm. (Yeah, yeah... some. Not all. I still shriek and run in the opposite direction when a butterfly comes near me, but that's beside the point.)

No, the point I'm driving at is that most people grow out of these things, and that most kids think their parents are invincible and fearless. Including my kids. Or so I thought....

A few weeks ago I hear this from the back of the car:

Ella: "Daddy's not afraid of ANYTHING."
Anna: "UH HUH! He is too!"
Ella: "Is not."
Anna: "Is TOO!"

(I'll spare you the infinite back and forth that went on for a while there... you get the drift.)

Ella: "Then WHAT is Daddy afraid of? Monsters?"
Anna: "Yes. THE IRS!"

Bwahahahaha!

Now, there is nothing untoward going on here with us and the IRS... we generally have a rather bland (if resentful), relationship of give and take (and take, and take, and take). I couldn't help but laugh, though. What adult ISN'T afraid of the IRS and their mighty money-demanding powers?

Oh yeah... people who don't work. I forgot.

At any rate, yeah. I think she's hit on something there... the IRS is some scary stuff.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kids. They Chew You Up, And They Spit You Out

I'm in my mid-thirties , I've been married for 10 years, and I've had two children. I'll admit that I'm not exactly super-model material. I mean, really... I usually don't wear make-up, I almost always have my kids in tow, and I drive a minivan. Needless to say, I don't exactly have a long line of guys hitting on me, or people stumbling over themselves to praise my looks.

Despite that, though, sometimes I think I look pretty good. Well, until children get involved, then all bets are off.

A few weeks ago, there was a bridging ceremony for my daughter's Girl Scout troop. Being that it was a special occasion, I got semi-dressed up in a nice dress, and even put on make-up. I thought I looked pretty good! Cue kid to make me want to crawl into a hole:

Girl Scout (walking up to me and fondling my belly): "Ms. Dawn, are you having a baby?"
Me (mortified and mumbling): "No. No baby. That's just a lot of cookies."

I went on Weight Watchers, pronto.

After a few weeks on Weight Watchers, some of my confidence returned, and then I'm confronted with this little scenario:

Ella (looking at me): "That's a beautiful shirt."
Ella (reaches out and tugs said shirt up over my cleavage): "I don't want anyone to see that."

You can't win for losing. If you're not too fat, your cleavage is too prominent. LOL!

Then, there was this gem directed at our good friend and baby sitter, Heather:

Heather: She's a lean, good looking girl.
Ella: Yeah, not at all like you, Miss Heather.

Ouch. I'm secretly glad it's not just me getting the shaft, though.

Crying's For Sissies

Once upon a time when my feelings were hurt, I was heartbroken, or had a really bad day, I would cry. Maybe it's a girl thing, but as far as I'm concerned there's no better release.

I rarely cry anymore.

The bad days still come... my feelings get hurt, and my heart gets broken, but the tears don't come anymore. I don't have time for tears - I am never alone, and it's a luxury I just don't get. I don't like to break down in front of my kids, so I just don't. Period. Now, instead of tears, anger breaks down the door.

Because I can't cry, anger elbows in and takes the place of tears. Everything gets on my nerves and I lose my patience. I don't like myself very much then.

It feels like a bowling ball sitting on my chest that I just can't get rid of.

I wonder when exactly this happened? When did I suddenly decide that crying is for the weak? I don't know, but I don't like it. I want to throw something and have a nice, big, adult-sized tantrum.

Bet you can't guess my mood today. Better duck before that book hits you in the head....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Kid That's Crazy (And Isn't Mine)

Sometimes other people's kids crack me up, too. Yeah, I know... I've said it before; I'm mostly annoyed by any kid that didn't emerge from my own hoo-ha. But, there are exceptions. :)

One of those exceptions is my great-nephew Bryson. He's generally a really laid-back kid, and mostly rolls with the punches... I like that in a kid. AND he cracks me up, to boot.

Today the kids were all playing together when I hear Bryson talking to nobody at all... at least, that's what I thought. Turns out, he was talking to his scooter. A scooter that happens to be named (according to him) 'Uncle Chris'. This is what I hear:

Bryson (looking tenderly at said scooter): "Uncle Chris, are you OK? Are you OK, Uncle Chris? Did you poopy on yourself, Uncle Chris?"

Of course I have to find out just what this is all about, which is when I'm informed that his scooter has been branded with that particular name (I can only guess, in honor of my brother Chris). And Chris The Scooter seems to have an unfortunate tendency to 'poopy' on himself. Who knew?

Oh, but that's not all.

My sister has a perpetually grumpy Jack Russell Terrier named Chester... Chester is not only completely grumpy, but also suffers from Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (Doggie Alzheimer's) and hates pretty much everyone. Well, Chester begins barking, and acting nuts in Bryson's general direction, and this is what he had to say to Chester:

Bryson: "Chester, what's wrong? You mad?" (in a sing-song voice) "You mad? You want to eat my eyeballs out? You want to get me and eat my eyeballs out?"

Then, he starts cracking up and barking right back at the dog.

I swear, sometimes kids are crazy little buggers. I just like it when they direct their crazy at someone (or something) else and I get to laugh at it!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Who Took My Babies?

Who did it? Who came along and replaced my babies with little people?
I'm not sure when it happened, but I've been noticing more and more lately that these little people have lives, ideas, and knowledge that I know nothing (or very little) about. They have their own 'circles' and day to day lives that are coinciding with mine less and less (their circles on the good old Venn Diagram are really starting to stretch out).

The other day my youngest and I had this conversation:
E: "Mom, I'm going to get you a butterfly for your birthday!"
Me (horrified): "WHY would you do that?!"
E: "Because you love them!"
Me: "Actually, I hate butterflies."
E (thoughtfully): "Oh. Well, then, OxiClean. It gets red mud out of clothes. How 'bout that?"

She's 4. I didn't teach her about OxiClean... so where did she learn about this magical substance and become convinced that it's a fabulous birthday gift (right behind butterflies, of course)? It must have been TV. When she was watching alone, without me, and absorbing whatever crap they deem suitable. (SCARY!)

To further prove my point, last night at Target (shopping with just Anna), I was spotted by a classmate of Ella's. I hear him before I even see him... he's half-shouting "Hey, Dad! DAD! ELLA! THERE'S ELLA!" He comes tearing around the corner to where we stood at the register and a look of profound disappointment registers on his face when he sees only me and A. He looks at me and demands "Where's ELLA!?"

See? There we go again... her own little life, her own friends, her own circle in which I (and her sister) am largely irrelevant.

Several times now, while out and about, my oldest has accosted random strangers with huge bear hugs. I, of course, am frozen with a look of abject horror on my face before being assured that said random person is her school librarian/cafeteria worker/janitor/bus driver. Whew. I mean, I know my kid is friendly, but random strangers is taking it a bit too far.

Thank God that strange looking lady with the hairy mole is the school janitor.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Kissing Tree

What is it with kids and one-word answers?

Me: "How was school today, Anna?"
A: "Good!"

*crickets*

Me: "What did you do?"
A: "I played."

Uh oh... two words! Now we're getting somewhere!
Usually I would just let it go, but for some reason that day I kept asking questions.

Me: "Who did you play with?"
A: "Waylan. He's my boyfriend!"
Me: "Waylan is your boyfriend?"
A: "Yep! And every day when we go outside me and Waylan wait until nobody is looking and go behind 'the kissing tree'. He kisses me, and then we go play!"

Uh, WHAT?! *cue Mama Bear* At this point I'm freaking out a little, wondering what in the world is going on in FIRST GRADE these days, and why this little punk is kissing my daughter! *growl*

Me (in a dangerously calm and level voice): "Waylan kisses you? WHERE does he kiss you?"
A (smiling): "Every day we go to the kissing tree and he kisses me right here (holding up her hand and pointing to the back of it) and then we go play together!"

On the back of her hand, like a little gentleman. Every day, Waylan kisses my little girl on the back of her hand, and treats her like a princess. Some day, when she's old enough for a real boyfriend, I hope she finds a nice guy who will treat her exactly the way Waylan treated her in first grade. :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rawr. I'm A Dinosaur.

Do you know how old I was when I got my first computer?
I was sixteen years old... AND there were exactly two things my computer could do (or rather, only two things I could feasibly make it do) - write stuff, and play 'Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?'

My first experience with internet access was when I was 20, living with my sister, back in the AOL 'You've got mail!' days. My first computer with real programs and *gasp* internet access came when I was 22... and even then it was only the pop-up happy, connection-challenged freebie access from Net Zero.

So, with all that being what it is, my daughter's proficiency with the computer is a little unnerving to me. I'm minding my own business today when I hear an unfamiliar song coming from the office... so I go to investigate. Turns out my daughter (yes, my SIX YEAR-OLD) was on Google watching a video about how to make a Leprechaun trap.

WTF?!?

Seriously, I'm kind of a dinosaur. I love my iPhone, but if it weren't for my husband I would probably still be happily chatting on my 7lb flip phone (circa 1996)and using dial-up. And really?? HD, Blu-Ray, plasma screen, 4G... what?

Apparently my daughter got her Dad's genes because she's already mastered the search engine and randomly asks when she can 'get her own Facebook'. Yeah. That's gonna happen.

Time to implement some parental controls, methinks, before she figures out the whole 'hacking' thing. This could get ugly.

Monday, March 7, 2011

In the Nick of Time

Ever have a moment in your life that feels like that? Like you've made it in the nick of time, like everything has come together to make it possible....

I did. Once upon a time I had a moment like that, one that seemed too good to be true. 100% in the nick of time. The coincidence of the moment seemed too much to ignore... as if it was meant to be.

Now that I'm older and more jaded, I realize that 'in the nick of time' translates roughly to 'on the rebound', 'on the heels of a crisis', or both a and b. Lets face it, normally we don't think of ourselves as being in the nick of time if there wasn't something we were up against.

I was reading a book, and the author used the phrase 'in the nick of time', and I realized without a second thought that I knew exactly how the story would end. I was completely unsurprised.

It never translates in real life the way people think it should. Real life is far more complicated. That 'nick of time' moment may have been just that for someone, but even if it feels right you must always remember that you might not be the beneficiary... the nick of time moment might have been for the other person. YOU might have been sent to THEM in the nick of time... sometimes that's enough.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dawn and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yeah. It hasn't been a good one.
9:22 am, and I already want a do-over!

Last night I made the cutest Thing 1 and Thing 2 cupcakes for my daughter's class, complete with cotton candy hair. I was quite pleased with myself... I had everything ready to go, and was on top of things for once.

I should have known that signaled trouble. When animals begin acting strangely, you know a natural disaster is coming... well, same here. When I'm on top of things and seem to have it all together, it's a clue that a catastrophe will soon follow.

The morning started off as usual... but then I went to peek at the cupcakes. DISASTER! The cotton candy 'melted' (for lack of a better word) and formed a hard, gross-looking coating on my lovely cupcakes. Emergency repairs needed to be done, and they just didn't look as good after that. *sniff*

Tense. I decide to go relax on Facebook for a minute. Right before I plopped into my desk chair, something caught my eye - cat vomit. The little creep vomited all over my desk chair, and all over the floor surrounding it. I get it cleaned up, and it's about this time that I realize I've lost my phone.

*sigh*

Yeah, I know. Call it! No can do... it needed to be charged. I spent two hours searching and stressing out before I found it.

To top it off, as my oldest daughter was leaving, she reminded me that it is school picture day. Ask me if she's dressed nicely? Yeah. You guessed it.

Then the little one couldn't find her shoes, and her breakfast was a cheese stick in the car on the way to school. Which, by the way, she got all over her lovely outfit. Oh, and before leaving P asks me if I'm going to the gym today (yet again). By this point I'm feeling rather stabby.

Seriously? Do-over?