My Presents For Me

20 11 2012

I made a list of presents I plan to give myself this holiday season.

It might be the most over-used adage in the mommy blog–o-sphere, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your family.  So these are presents for ME, but they will probably be gifts to the whole family.

1)  Four appointments with a Personal Trainer between TDay and New Years.

  • I actually have about nine appointments pre-paid from last winter.  But I broke up with my trainer after three visits and haven’t been able to get back on that horse. (How is that for mixed metaphors – apparently my trainer was both my significant other and a barnyard animal?)

2)  Send money, a letter and pictures to a “Searcher.”

  • Last year at this time, I was given the name of a man in Ethiopia used by a few of my friends.  He has aided them for years.  I contacted him.  He got back to me promptly.  I froze.  I am afraid to open this door.  But I know better than to leave it shut.

3)  Find an Attachment Specialist Councilor and meet with this person face-to-face.

  • Yes, we have been so, so, so lucky in the attachment department.  But it is time to take a hard look at some of our unhealthy family dynamics.  I think the attachment lens will work best to get a clear picture of the correct path for moving forward.

4)  Kick the Diet Coke habit.

  • I promised I would give this gift to myself for my birthday.  Then lots of things shifted in our extended families and I needed my number one crutch to get through the day.  Time to kick aspartame to the curb.  I feel it is melting my brain.

5)  Eat Raw Foods

  • I think I can handle this one day a week, every week, for the first three weeks of December.  Is Diet Coke considered raw?

6)  Organize MY closet.

  • Moved into this house 16 months and 2 weeks ago.  Still haven’t organized MY closet.

7)  Read at least HALF of Karyn Purvis’ book and HALF of Patti Cogan’s book.

  • I own the damn things, might as well read them.




One 19-yr-old Cat = Two Large Dogs

19 11 2012

…not in my heart, but on my todo list, anyway…

Our 19-yr-old cat, Zed, died.

I wrote a whole obituary in my head for him about six months ago.

Then, as the time drew near, then passed, I wrote and rewrote it.  But, I never actually wrote it, wrote it, as in wrote it down, typed it out, committed it to any form that other people could see.  The problem is, in my head, it kept coming out in a journalistic style (maybe because I went to journalism school.)  But he deserved better than that.  He deserved a love letter, or a beautiful poem.  Maybe I will put together a Haiku for him soon.  The fact that when thinking about a Haiku I get excited that cat rhymes with lots of other words is proof that I will not be able to write with the beauty his special soul deserves.

He was a great cat with many quirky, endearing habits.  Ridiculously patient with children, he loved to lay in the hot, hot sun.

But he is gone.

And while we did not “replace” him, we did add two large dogs to our family.

Although, technically, one is a “foster” dog.

She is an 8-yr-old boxer (a breed with a particularly short life-expectancy).  And, all signs point to the fact that she has cancer.  So even if we do officially adopt her, chances are she won’t be with us all that long.  Her name is Lucy.  And while she is still “just a foster dog,” she is occupying space on my couch, and my todo list, and, honestly, in my heart.

The other dog is Boomer.  He is a Black Mouth Cur.  Yup, that is a real breed.  I have a whole post written (in my head – where I apparently like to keep these things) about how to get the best dog at the shelter.  And about how I almost ignored my own advice and passed Boomer by.

With these two dogs (and the dog we already had), with the two cats we STILL have, with the children, the holidays, my desire to work out… well, I miss blogging.  But we might be reduced to pictures for awhile.

In the meantime, here’s Boomer…





The Aftermath

5 11 2012

The Librarian:

Well HE isn’t exactly running but clearly this is going to be trouble, she thought as she saw the pre-schooler hurrying down the hall.

As he ducked into the bathroom foyer she told her co-worker, “I am going to have to keep my eye on him to make sure he doesn’t go in the restroom.”

Why cant THEY keep track of their kids, she contemplated as she eye balled him drinking from the fountain and interacting with a white pre-schooler who arrived shortly after him with her mother.

The Kid:

I am not running.  I am not running.  I am NOT running, the boy’s brain repeated as he skipped and scurried down the hall as fast as he could while not EXACTLY running.

I am winning.  I’ll get the first drink.  I will DRINK all the water in the fountain before they even get there, he told himself.

Mom’s right behind me and she hasn’t even yelled yet.  I am almost there.  GREAT, the step-stool is here.  HA, I found it all by myself.  I am going to drink, drink, DRINK.

The Mom:

Well, he isn’t exactly running.

This has been the best trip to the library we have had in a LONG time.

Jeeze, these books are heavy… what was I thinking?

No point in raising my voice now, I will close the gap in a second and he went exactly where I told him to.

Wow, that librarian is CONCERNED.  Should I do my normal nonchalant claim, raise my voice and give him a command to ‘wait’ so it is clear ‘the black kid is my son’?

No, not going to bother. 

We are all back together now… just gonna aim a big smile at the librarian and forget about it.  After all, it is kind of her job to pay attention to these things.

Relaxing a few feet from the drinking fountain with the two giant bags of books resting on the floor.

Quiet – do NOT say anything.  Your kids are cooperating perfectly withOUT you.  If you interfere they will start to squabble.  They are taking turns.  Keep quiet so you don’t spoil it.  Wow, they really are doing great today.

We are in NO hurry.  Silence your brain and relax.  Let them take turns drinking on their own time table.  There is no reason to rush them so Do. Not. Rush. Them.

The Kid:

Finally tired of drinking, walks a few steps towards his mom to ask a question.

The Mom:

Spies her neighbors headed down the hallway with their grandchildren.

At the same time, she is looking at her son standing just a few feet away, contemplating what he just asked her.

The Librarian:

After watching the scene for MORE than a few minutes makes her move.

Cutting BETWEEN the black boy and the white woman he is talking to, she stares down at him.

“Where is YOUR mother?” she demands.

The Kid:

Silence

The Sister:

Silence

The Mom:

“I am HIS MOTHER,” she states clearly.  “Thank you.”

With a follow-up, loud and snide, “Thanks for your concern,” as the librarian moves back across the hall and behind her desk WITHOUT acknowledging a thing.

“Look here’s Mr. Chris.  Boy that baby is sure growing up and starting to look like you,” she says to the neighbor who has arrived at precisely that moment carrying his grandson.

“Say hello to Mr. Chris,” she says to her kids.

Resist the urge, resist the urge.  Do not blurt out the story of what just happened to Chris,  she coaches herself.  DON’T do it… The kids are listening.

“Oh, hello Ms. Mary,” she says to Mr. Chris’ wife.

“Say ‘Hi’ to Ms. Mary,” she tells the kids.

NO, Ms. Mary does not need to hear the story either… keep quiet,  she chides herself.

Is she watching us?  Does she see me talking to these upstanding, WHITE, senior-citizens?  Look, we are a part of the community?  Look! These are our neighbors who know and respect us, her brain screams as she picks up the book bags, grabs hands, says good-bye to the neighbors and prepares to leave the scene.

The Kid and His Sister: 

Mumble hellos while preparing to leave.

The Kid:

“Mom, I still want a bagel, ” he says as he buckles himself into the car seat.

There is an unusual quietness in the car as they drive to the bagel store and then head home.

When they arrive at the house, the boy, searching for control, thinks, There is NO WAY I am letting my sister get out of the van through this door.

The Mom:

Here we go with the stupidest fight on record; daughter refusing to get out of the van on the other side, son refusing to let his sister move past him.

I really can’t take this, she thinks after trying to solve what is becoming a nasty and physical confrontation between her children – the same children that had been getting along great all morning.

She moves towards the house throwing a promise to read the new library books towards the kids who are continuing to squabble.

Both kids panic when she goes through the front door and scramble out of the van to follow her.

Terrible parenting, she thinks.  But at least we are all in the house now.

The Kid and The Mom:

Shortly thereafter the kids are gathered on her lap for a cozy reading session.  A tiny skirmish breaks out – typical of what happens 1,000 times a day in the house with competitive, close-in-age siblings.  Except this normal event causes the boy to completely fall apart.

His body goes limp.

Tears stream down his face as he is racked with sobs.

She knows she needs to pick him up but he is thrashing now.

She knows she needs to hold him tight despite him fighting her with every ounce of his body.

Fucking librarian, she repeats over and over in her head while rocking her son and whispering.

“I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”

The Sister:

Later that afternoon, the sister (who happens to be a securely attached bio child) is practicing her skipping while leaving a big box-store.  Watching her own feet in awe she hears her mother yell her name from BEHIND.

Quickly looking up, she realizes the woman she was following, the woman she thought was her mother, is a stranger.

She rides home in the car silently.

She does NOT tell her mother what is wrong.  She does not tell her mother that anything is wrong.

Upon entering the house she immediately goes in search of her security blanket, Pink.

The Mom:

After checking in with the father, whom she called home from work to help re-regulate the son, she can’t figure out where her daughter has gone.

She was sure her daughter would run in the door to show her father her new glasses.  Confused, she searches for her.

She finds her upstairs frantically looking for her blanket.

“I know where ‘Pink’ is,” she says locating the blanket and handing it to her daughter.

As she sees her daughter’s eyes well up with tears a light-bulb goes on.

“Honey, are you upset because you thought that other woman was me?” she asks.

“It is no big deal.  I was right there the whole time.  I could SEE YOU the whole time.”

The daughter begins to cry in earnest.

She gathers her daughter onto her lap and sits down in a chair.

“I will never let you get away from me.  It is fine.  I am your mother.  I watch out for you and your brother.  You are fine,” she repeats.

The girl is wracked with sobs.  No matter what her mother says she can’t calm down.  She cries herself to sleep at 4 in the afternoon.

Fucking librarian, the mother thinks over and over as she holds her daughter.





Thursday Toddler Trick

1 11 2012

Sometimes, when I am working in my office, adjacent to the playroom, Little Dude wants to do something naughty and not get caught.  So he closes my door very quietly and builds a barrier so I can’t come out and catch him.

Two problems, (for him)

…despite being strong, he doesn’t have a good understanding of building materials.  His creativity is awesome but six small throw pillows, an empty peanut butter jar, an empty Parmesan cheese canister, an empty plastic container that held pretzels, a candle and an old, rubber frisbee, won’t slow me down, much.

Also,

… the door opens IN.