Sunday, August 16, 2009

Public Announcement

Dear Children:

Due to the present economic and socio-economic situation I have been forced to re-evaluate my present position. Rising costs and time demand necessitate the need for an immediate restructuring of our family dynamic.

Starting immediately my rates as "mother" have gone up to 100,000.00 per day with a ten dollar surcharge for every ten minutes served after 9:00 pm or before 7:00 am.

This charge will be drafted directly from your allowance. If you do not currently receive an allowance a record of all charges will be archived until such time as you earn a wage.

Also, be aware the following services have been deleted-

1. Deciphering words from whine. (Please note the spelling as wine is still included in my daily routine.)

2. Repacking lunches to include a source of protein, fiber and something, just one damn thing that is green.

3. All Social Secretary functions have been suspended until further notice.

Thank you for your attention,



Thursday, August 6, 2009

Keepin' the kid out of Juvie

Today one of my very best friends announced she had won a prestigious award. An award highly coveted by many of the people who follow the blog- byebyepie. I have been to this blog. It is addictive. The mind behind this genius- a somewhat zany, kinda scary woman who I took to right away. "She's crazy!" I thought. "I like her!" Well, she was introduced to me by my friend Chinamommy who also has her own blog which is very funny as well. Yes, Chinamommy won the award of "cleverest comment of the week" for her comment she posted to byebyepie's blog regarding the lovely scent of lilacs and her associated memories.

Yep. HMMM. Well....Yeah. Nice. Guess what award I should win!?! For my recent adventures as mom ...... yeah, you get it...where am I going with this?

Of course my story involves Kayla. Now if you have ever doubted Karma- don't. Kayla is my consequence for that summer I spent sneaking out at night to run the town with my friends. Kayla is my consequence for all those quick little trips I took down the basement stairs to sneak a swallow of the blackberry brandy stored in that scary little moldy room. Kayla is the consequence for the time I stole the pumpkin from outside the Buy Rite in Hesperia only to realize that it was larger and heavier than it appeared and that theft should probably involve a get away car- something most 16 year olds of humble means don't have at their disposal. Yep, Kayla.

Kayla is going through a bad patch right now. It's hard for an almost eight year-old to figure out the ways of this crazy world. She's frustrated, all tied up into a tense little ball. She's taken to well- taking. Four episodes of recent add up to the reason for this post.

First- she stole a- oh hell, I can't even remember now, then she stole an ipod from my friend's little girl. Right out of her house! I should have been smarter than this, I should have questioned that odd little detour she took before we left and patted her down before leaving, but I was tired that day. Then on a walk through the path we made where our property borders the woods I found a hand held radio. Hmm, I already knew how it got there. Only, it was not a radio but, rather, some expensive little navigational device that formerly lived in my husbands dresser.

He was not happy. He doesn't even know about the ipod. I used my Motherly and Wifely discretion on that score and decided it was better all the way around that he not know. And then, last Thursday, I used the discretion again because some incidents are just beyond the comprehension of ordinary MEN, and because I don't have life insurance on my husband I didn't want his head to spin around on his neck until it popped off. Another day, perhaps.

Seems that our daycare, which I love- it is run by these energetic young Christian people who never run out of second chances for small delinquents, has been updating their security. Protocol set out by their administration required that they have certain equipment on hand in case of emergency. (and a frickin alarm at the door so that every day I have to settle the fight of who gets to punch the code in and then I promptly forget to punch the green exit button on the way out so an alarm goes off and I have to yell "sorry" at the top of my lungs so these very same Christian Youths don't come running to stone me to death, have I mentioned how much I am loving being a mother....) but back to the supplies-

Somehow in between the unpacking and the logging in and the decision of where exactly to store it- a large can of Mace went missing. Yep. "Missing."

The perp apparently took the can of "pepper spray" as she later called it and I still to this day don't know how she knew to call it that- and hid it in a room behind the curtain. The next day this same perp, on "free time" retrieved the stolen article and took it in a bathroom to spray large amounts of it. Then she quickly exited the bathroom, allowing a cloud of chemicals out into the general area. A couple of children coughed, workers descended on the bathroom, children were ushered outside for yet another recess. The director of the daycare who had just left work was called back in to assess the situation. All this time I am at work, working away, thinking it's just another day at work.

I'm always a little suspicious when the director approaches me looking me directly in the eyes. It hearkens memories of previous discussions of Kayla daring other children to bare their bottoms or other such situations. I fought the urge to look the other way and then bolt into the bathroom. But today, Ms. Director was quick. I had no chance of a get away. So instead, as she said that she needed to discuss a "situation" with me I went right to whining. "NO, Please- it's been a long day- I don't want to hear bad things, can't you write it down, give it me all folded up and ask me to call you tomorrow and I promise by the end of the week I will call you?"

She laughingly assures me that everything is "Okay-now" which to me means uh oh, this was a bad one- I hope it doesn't involve nudity. Then continues on to tell me the story which I only hear parts of as I am thinking "OH MY GOD! What the hell? Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse? Were the police called? Am I being sued by some parent of an asthmatic child? Is this it? Do I have to find a new daycare or can I solve the problem by taking the kid directly to Foster Care? Really, you got called back into work? That would really piss me off, good thing you are so young and Christian hearted- you're amazing! Can I buy you a beer? Cuz, God knows, I could really use one right now!"

She was at the point where she could see the humor in the "situation" as she explained how she handled Kayla. She told her that everyone at daycare still loved her but that they were disappointed in her choices. She would have to miss the next field trip outing. Kayla tried to negotiate terms as well. She begged Ms. Director not to tell me. She swore that she would tell me herself and that would be "OK". When Ms. Director kindly but firmly told her that would not be happening Kayla threw herself on the floor claiming "They're going to send me to Juvie, they will, they will!" Kayla is a fire sign, I have to face it, there is at least ten more years of drama in front of me.

Ms. Director assured her she would not be sent to Juvie. I assured Ms. Director that it was probably my husband who put that thought in her head after she stole his "Garmin Satellite navigator". He means well. But back to does sound like a possibility at this point.

As the story unfolded I could tell I would have to do some thinking on this one. I was so very tempted to drive right over to the State Police Post and ask if they could give her a stern talking to and show her the inside of a cell but, as I always try to think of every possible outcome to every situation- was a little concerned they would take down my information and report me to social services for being so very inadequate as a mother. More thinking.

I came home with very docile eight year old who took me very seriously when I told her to be quiet and sit still as I had some thinking to do. The other child was also quiet. Somewhere in her little heart I know she was gloating over her cousin's situation. But, this child has always known when to stay "small" so as not to have any trouble attach itself to her.

On my answering machine was a call from a friend I hadn't heard from in awhile. She cheerfully apologized for not keeping in touch but if I had a moment would I call her as she had a "decorating" question. Sorry, Friend, I currently am only trading free decorating advice in return for advice on how to keep my kid out of Juvie.

The next morning at work I was quickly trying to execute my newly hatched plan of asking Kayla's karate teacher for help. I put Kayla in karate earlier this summer because I hear that it helps with focus, discipline, respect, self esteem, blah blah. It's had it's ups and downs but I have faith that karate may actually help her over time. So why not ask her big, very large hulking, eighth degree, three time world championship karate teacher to help? Because of my pride, that's Why! But desperate times (what could be more desperate than the evacuation of an entire daycare center- I ask you- what???)

I'm awaiting the reply to the plea for help I sent the night before. I pull up my e-mail at work, and what appears but three, not one but three e-mails from Chinamommy sharing her giddy glee at being chosen as "winner of the cleverest comment of the week".

Typically I would be happy for her. Happy and jealous in a good way. Today, only chagrin. What could I ever have done to deserve a problem named Maria (oops, sometimes I break into lyrics from classical musicals) I mean what the hell did I do that was so bad that I have to deal with daycare disasters and delinquent eight year old thieves! I could go on about how I feed and clothe her, take care of her when she's sick but then the other voice in my head has to pipe in and say "yeah but you yell at her all the time- no wonder she needs negative attention so much" so I will skip this. But, let me say chagrin was all I had for my friend at the moment. I was like- "Really? Decorating advice last night and now another friend winning an "Emmy" could someone just throw a pie in my face and GET IT OVER WITH ALREADY! I get it- my life sucks, you win. Now shut up as I have to grovel to a karate guru who already gets 130.00 bucks a month from me!

So I wrote back to said friend and told her I was mad at her-but in a funny way so she wouldn't be mad at me-but spent all weekend thinking how wrong that was until I felt so guilty that I e-mailed (didn't have the strength to actually call and say it) her an apology to which she laughed at and told me to chill out.

Now, the karate dude? That's another story. I'll get back to you with it.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Blissful Morning to Write

Ingredients for a blissful morning

I was right to refuse a 9:00 appointment with Margie Fuller. Here are my recommended ingredients for soothing start to the day. Just when you thought I could never be calm or balanced see, it really isn't me- it's my life! Oh, oops, sorry, no more whining.


Several cups of coffee consumed on your deck on a warm sunny morning. Close all windows and doors to the house that let out the sound of your children or Spongebob. Listen to the sound of the breeze and the various birds. Read a little, write a little.

Here's what I wrote-

With first an explanation; I have been trying to concentrate on "boys" a little. My artwork and writing is always girls. I don't really like boys. They are loud and clumsy and destroy things for fun, then they turn into men. But I am trying to "like" them better. For so long I have concentrated on the things I don't like about my husband. Now I am trying to appreciate more the things I do like about him. There are many, I find. Plus thoughts of my brother have been hanging around my head. I miss him. I miss the brother I would have had as an adult. Sometimes, I even wish I had a little boy of my own.. but then my period starts and other equally crazy thoughts take over. So here is what I wrote this morning and I don't really know what inspired it.

"I don't know you" she said peering up at him from under heavy lids covered in crepe paper skin.

He leaned over and put his hand on her arm which seemed to startled her. Her shoulders lifted slightly and then settled back into their familiar slumped position. She turned her head slightly away as if his presence was just too much for that moment.

What thoughts passed behind those clouded eyes, he wondered, how do I reach into that world she stays in? "I know you, Grandma" he said softly, "I came to visit with you awhile."

She looked at him now, fully. First his shape looming over her and then his tan skin stretched over taught muscles. Then his thick hair growing unabashedly over his collar. His sideburns were unsuitably long and he hadn't seen the sharp side of a razor recently.

But those eyes- those beautiful eyes hadn't changed since the day his toy plane flew out the kitchen window of her house and dropped into the lemon meringue pie she'd set outside to cool. She'd seen it happening and when he looked around to see if he'd been caught she was standing there with her hands on her hips.

"Looks like your pilot is in a bit of trouble." She said as his eyes turned large and tears held tremulously on lower lids.

"I'm sorry, Grandma, I didn't mean it..."

"It's alright honey. We'll call it 'decoration'!" And that's how they served it later, plane and all. Everyone laughed and it became a family story.

"I meant, I don't know you since you got so grown up! So big and tall. And handsome!" She put her hand over his,and looked him in the eyes, and smiled that familiar smile he'd been looking for.

This was the world she lived in. She'd done her work, been a child who became an adult, raised a family, been a part of proper society. But now she rested, done with obligations, she visited her accumulation of memories. While others watched game shows and did crosswords she re-ran episodes that in total had equaled a life. A good life.

"Do you remember..." she plucked at his hand, and of course, he did. They had the conversation they'd had the last time he'd visited, the conversation that would become part of his accumulation of memories he saved for later. For dessert.