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 Juvie....it 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.