Thursday, February 18, 2010


"I'll come and make love to you at five o'clock, if I'm late start without me"
Tallulah Bankhead

You would think that three a.m. would be a quiet time...the world is asleep..more importantly your children are asleep-have been for have even checked to make sure..So you turn on the stereo..very low...Barry White is playing is time for a little romance..or maybe just a little intimacy..or... maybe not..."Mama!?? Whats that noise?...I think it's aliens!" NOoooo!..."Go back to sleep's just the cat jumping around." "But Mama..I heard lots of weird noises..what if it IS aliens? "Sammy, I swear it wasn't aliens..go back to bed buddy".. "But Mama!".."Sammy-look, I have all the lights on..see? Papa is up you think aliens would dare to enter our house with both me and Papa awake?" "Ummm Mama? Why are you and Papa wearing blankets?" Sigh...

Sex seems to be a pretty hot topic around here lately. What it is..why people have it..what it looks like..even the kids are starting to ask questions. I am trying very hard to be open on the subject. This isn't an easy task considering how I was raised. Sex was a non-issue growing up. My parents, especially my mother, refused to acknowledge that any of her children had anything below the neck and above the ankles. So everything that I learned about sex as a girl,was either from books or experience. Oh the misconceptions that I had! I remember reading a book by Judy Blume called "Deenie". It is a coming of age story about a girl with scoliosis. In the story "Deenie" has to make a decision about whether or not to have back surgery or wear a brace. She is interested in boys, and is afraid that a back brace would make her less attractive. In the story she ponders these things while lying in bed at night, sometimes, she is touching her "special place." Now, I was eleven years old at the time. I had absolutely no idea of what she was doing. All that I knew was that my mother read the book and was disgusted. She even went as far as telling me "I want you to know that what Deenie did was WRONG!" For years...years..I thought that my mother had something against scoliosis and back braces, And I could not for the life of me understand why! It wasn't until I was in my thirties that I finally understood. Deenie was masturbating, and my devoutly Catholic mother found "that", not scoliosis, appalling. Sometimes, I am slow on the uptake.

I refuse to let this happen with my kids. I don't want them growing up thinking that sex is wrong or something to be ashamed of. It is a difficult thing to do. This teaching of sex. Figuring out just what they are ready to hear. That's the problem. At least with Sammy. He doesn't want to hear anything...even though he has questions. "Mama? What IS sex".."that's a good question is a wonderful expression of yourself either alone or with a can feel really good..I can give you some books if you are interested..""No..No that's o.k...I don't ever plan on having sex anyway.." "But're eleven years old..give yourself some time..I'm sure that you will want to..""NO I WON'T!".."Sam..I am pretty sure that in the next year or so you will start getting more and more interested in it".."NO. I won't" ..sigh.."O.K...but if you ever have any questions you can always come to me or Papa.." "I WON'T HAVE QUESTIONS!" "Sam! Everyone has questions.." "I won't! I am just not interested.." "Uhh...Sammy? do you feel about scoliosis?" "Huh..?" "Never mind.."

It is hard watching your kids struggle with growing up. As with all things, I have to let them learn and grow at their own pace. I can't force them to learn something they are not ready for. As long as they know that I am there when they are ready- has to be good enough. I don't want them figuring out things like I my thirties. I don't want them thinking that sex is wrong or shameful. I want them to grow up with a strong sense of self. But, until then I want them to quit waking up at three in the morning..or bursting into our bedroom at inopportune times. I would like some time with Omar-uninterrupted....and I don't know how much longer blaming the cat is going to work.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's not easy being queen...

"It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would

Kill you quicker if they didn't"

Barbara Kingsolver

I knew it would happen eventually. It was just a matter of time. The quiet routine of my family was bound to be disrupted. If there is one thing I have learned as a mother, it is not to take anything for granted. Things might be going along swimmingly for a time, and then all of a sudden-BAM! Something comes along that knocks you off kilter.

For eleven years, I have been the queen of the castle, the lord of the dance, the herder of the herd. My word was law. Oh sure, they might not like what I was saying, might not agree with me about cleaning up, going to bed, bathing and whether or not Pokemon was real. But they trusted my judgement..trusted me. I have been quite comfortable here on my throne. A little too comfortable. I wasn't paying attention..reading the signs.

A new group of parents have moved into town. I will never personally meet them-they are not welcome in my home. Oh, but they will try to get in anyway, to spread their influence. I remember meeting them when I was a kid. My parents didn't like them either. At the time, I could not understand why. I thought that they were great! I thought that they were wise. I thought that they could teach my parents a thing or two. I even invited them home, formally introduced them . My parents shunned them. It infuriated me! How could they be so mean.?Sigh...I understand now. After ruling the roost for eleven years, after working hard to establish a routine, a pattern..this group of unknown parents is trying to usurp me!

Sammy, has tried to bring them home a few times these past weeks. So far, I have thwarted their influence. "Mama?".."Yeah buddy?"..." know that show "Family Guy"?".."Yeeees?".." know how you won't let us watch it?"..."Um..yeah.." "Well..OTHER PARENTS let their kids watch!" ..."Sammy, come on we've talked about're simply not exper...wait a second...who?".."OTHER PARENTS." ...Nooooooo!.."Mr. and Mrs. Other" have come to town. You all know them. Some of you may have already heard about them. Their influence is like a virus. They are the ones who never make their kids go to bed early, don't care if they eat healthy, let them watch anything on t.v., think firecrackers are great fun and that jumping off the roof is wonderful exercise. (The "other parents" that I knew as a kid..let their fourteen year old daughters attend rock concerts out of state with a group of college boys.) Have they no conscience? No boundaries?? Have they never been to the emergency room?

No. I can not let their disregard for manners and safety lure my children. If I concede, even if only once, they will take over! Infecting my children little by little until chaos reigns! I will not give in without a fight! So, I have come up with a anecdote. The last time Sammy decided to tell me what the "Other Parents" were allowing the "Other Kids" to do, I suggested that he invite those "Other Kids" over to the house. (I imagine they would be an unhealthy looking bunch....what with staying up round the clock living on popcorn and lemonade..not to mention riding their bikes all night long.) I told Sammy that they would probably be happy to come over to a welcoming house with healthy food and someone to look after them. I also told him how envious they would be seeing that he had a mother who took such good care of him. And about how lucky he was to be growing up healthy strong and very well rested. So far this tactic seems to be working. They haven't shown up yet. Then again, we have a house rule-no guests until I personally talk to the parents. It seems that "Other Parents" phone number is unlisted. I don't know what I'll do if that changes. But, so far so kingdom is still intact.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

circular conversations and classifieds..

"Always be nice to your children because they are the ones
who will choose your rest home"
Phyllis Diller

FOR SALE: Mother. Well groomed LIGHTLY wrinkled older model, slightly used. Very experienced. Skilled at multi-tasking. Can cook, clean, shop, assist with homework, do laundry, unclog and repair any toilet, make beds, make appointments and miraculously remove peanut butter, yogurt, and "other" things from carpet, walls and windows. Educated and well read. Can recite from memory the major works of Eric Carl, Judy Schachner and Dr. Seuss. Would do best in a quiet home. Current owners are sadly UNABLE to appreciate this model. Call now! No reasonable offer refused!

Sigh...sometimes your kids..sometimes they just wear you out. You know?

"Lily?..Can you please go pick up the stuffed animals that are all over the playroom floor?"

"Why? I didn't do it."

"I know you didn't, I did. I was looking for something in the toy box."

"Well, it's your mess. You clean it up!"


"Hold on a minute Sammy.. Excuse me? I'm asking you for some help...SIGH!"

"Well I didn't do it. You have to clean up your own mess."


"Sammy-hold up a sec buddy.. Lil, I was just upstairs cleaning up the mess YOU made in your room, then I did the laundry-yours included, now I'm making brownies for everyone. My hands are kind of full at the moment. I see no reason why you couldn't help me!"

"You were supposed to remind me to practice trombone"

"What? Tromb..Sammy! hold on a second

"Well you have to do those things...that's your job."

"No Lil, I don't. I could send you to school in dirty clothes, I don't HAVE to bake desserts for mother only let us have apples..apples Lil! For dessert! Is that what you want? I didn't have to clean up your room...I did it because I was there and it didn't bother me I am now asking you to help me. It is five stuffed animals. The dogs will eat them if they are on the floor. So could you PLEASE go and pick them up for me??"

" I can't, my legs are tired."

"Mama..why didn't you remind me!"

" Sam! ...Fine. Then I am too tired to make you dinner..and no dinner-no brownies."

"ALRIGHT! I'll clean them up..sheesh!"

"Thank what about the trombone?"

"You didn't remind me to practice."

"But..go practice..why are you reminding me to remind you..Oscar what are you doing?"

"Because you are supposed to remind me."

"I'm looking for Willy"

"Wait..Sammy that makes no sense..where is Willy, Oscar?"

"It is your job to remind me to practice"

"Lost lost lost...Willy is lost he's gone...oh where oh where is Willy!"

"No Sam..we talked about need to take some responsibility for practicing...remember the contract..oh come on Sammy, don't cry"

"Gone gone gone...Willie is dead..flushed down the toilet.."

"Oh Sammy.. if it makes you feel.. Crap! Oscar did you flush willie?!! Sammy please just..come here buddy..please stop crying...Oscar!

"Can I have a hug?"

"Say "where oh where is Willy" mama...SAY IT!"


"Hahahahahahah! NO! I was just joking! where oh where is willy?..hahahahaha!"

"Mama?... you are starting to look like an old have old people lines.."

"Mama you DO look your face supposed to do that?"

"Do what??? What is my face doing?!..Oscar toilet jokes are not funny"

"Don't worry Mama, we still love you"

"O.K.... WWWiiiilly WWiiiilly! say it mama!..Say "Where oh where is WWWiiiiilly?"

" Where oh where is WWii...So you're NOT going to love me when I get really old and wrinkly?"

"WRINKLY!..hahahaha...Mama YOU'RE wrinkly..hahaha!"

"I'll always love you Mama..even when you're all worn out"

"I'm all worn out NOW!!..Oscar..I'm not that wrinkly...?"

" Mama...where are you going?"

" Somewhere me and my wrinkles appreciated.."

"You are going to sit with the dogs?"

"They at least appreciate me..they don't care that I'm long as I feed them, they are happy-they don't need anything else..maybe a pat..a rub on the belly.."

"We appreciate you Mama."

"Even though I'm wrinkly.."

"Yeah...we appreciate you mama AND your wrinkles....what does appreciate mean?"

"It means that you acknowledge the good things that I do for you and you are thankful."

"Oh. Does that mean I still have to clean up the playroom?"

"Mama wants us to rub her belly..hahahahaha!"

"No I don't Oscar you would just be nice if you guys would helped me out now and some things without me having to ask you fifty million times..clear the table..carry up your laundry..keep the play room clean..simple know?Lil, you still need to clean up the playroom."

"But that's your job."