Saturday, November 19, 2011

This post brought to you by the letter "P"

 ~"Paradise is exactly like where you are right now... only much, much better~" Laurie Anderson

                   P is for plumbing- A year ago I wrote this was all about renovating our house..and about getting a second bathroom. Actually, I have written about getting a second bathroom many times over the might even say that I Perseverated on the Project. Well, I am Pleased to Proclaim that this week I have become the Proud Possessor of a second bathroom-a Porcelain Paradise! Although, I have to say that even though we now have two-my children always seem to know when I am in one of them. It is as if my crossing the threshold turns on some sort of homing device..
"I'm in the bathroom.."
I'm in the bathroom."
"I AM IN THE BATHROOM!" knock knock knock..."Mama? Mama are you in there?"
"But the door is locked!"
"I'll be out in a minute."
"What are you doing?"
"What do you THINK I am doing????"
"I don't know...what?"
As I forcefully swing open the door..."O.k...what is it that you need so badly????."
"Oh...I was just seeing where you were."

I know that this bathroom phenomena is not unique to my family. In fact, I am sure parents have dealt with this situation since the...way back to the cave man days "Mama?"... "I'm in the bushes..." Maybe even to the beginning of time.."Eve? where are you?"  "I'm behind the tree..." "What are you doing?"..."What do you think I'm doing?" "Can I come back there?" "Go eat an apple..I'll be out in a minute.."

P is for podiatrist. *sigh* Yes, I have a podiatrist.  Due to a series of unfortunate events-or my lust for a potato chip...I have wound up under the care of a foot doctor. He has advised me of all the different torture treatment options he has for my foot...and I..very graciously listen as my eyes glaze over..while I slowly but  figuratively put my fingers in my ears and say "lalalalalalalalalalala".  I believe that he thinks I am a crack head..or mentally unstable....or weird.   I on the other-hand, believe that he has poor taste in footwear. (This is an actual picture from his office-don't they just scream "old and complacent"????)
 Not that he has suggested I choose anything from his cabinet of undesirable shoes....yet.  Although, I probably wouldn't hear him if he did.  Sometimes having to take four kids to any kind of appointment has its advantages. But only sometimes...

P is for Puzzle and Perplex and Promise.  This week, Lily had a brownie meeting. (A younger version of a girl scout)  They are learning Christmas Carols-to sing at the senior center next month. Now, Eight year old girls are lively and energetic...or at least they are supposed to be..So, you can imagine my dismay when I walked in and they were singing these songs as if they were funeral dirges. I mean come on now! Are the seniors at the center already dead?  Do they want to sing them to their eternal slumber?  So....I did what any carol loving woman would do.  I hi-jacked their rehearsal. Me and another mother decided to show these girls what singing was about!  So what if it involved interesting dance moves. We showed them the way it should be done!...much to my Lily's absolute humiliation...heehee  "You are the MOST embarrassing mother in the WORLD!!!"  "Well...not really...there was another mother singing with me."  "I can't believe that you did that to me!!" "Oh come on Lil...the other girls had fun."  "Not me!"  (this from a girl who has absolutely no problem singing at the top of her lungs with me in the car..or at home...or the supermarket..)*sigh*.."Alright..I will never sing like that again." "Promise?" ..."I promise"...She is at that age(between 8 and 30) where she is becoming so very self conscious and self aware-an age where ones mother is someone that should only be seen and never heard... I totally get her embarrassment (and will respect her wishes)  Although, I'm still going to sing in the car .  I just hope that she still sings with me.

  And finally, P is for patience and persistence is for being pissed off(my dryer broke) and pleasantly surprised.  It is for pacing, pondering and porcelain...and as pleasing as much of it has been-I am ready for this P filled week to be over. I am going to go and enjoy my lovely new shower...perhaps I'll even sing.  I hope that Lily hears me. That would be Perfect.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

They shoot (My Little) Ponies-don't they?

  ~"All of us have moments in out lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them"~Erma Bombeck

   My daughters have been tap dancing on my last nerve. When they aren't at each others throats...they turn their attention to me .Let me tell you- it is a sad day when a mother has to hide in the garage-just to get away from her daughters.   "Mama!...Mama?....Mamaaaaaaaa!!!! Zoe's copying me!' "Well you're being mean to me!"  "I am not".."Yes you are!..Wheres Mama?  I'm telling on you!"..."NOOOO!!!!" "Mama!...MAMA!!!!!!???..."  "I'm in the garage."  "Where are you? I can't hear you!!" "I'm in the garage."  After a good ten minutes of not coming for me (which I don't understand- but don't question!...I mean they KNOW where I am...sort of)...they give up..and I have gotten some much cleaning done.  Hey-it works for me!

  There used to be a time when all of there problems were solved with a hug and perhaps a "My Little pony" video.  But those days are long over.  Oh, they still like's the ponies that have gone by the wayside. longer can they be appeased by Pinky Pies adventures..or the hi-jinx and hilarity of Tula Rula.  No longer do we hear the ummmm...dulcimer tones of the ponies singing their theme song.  Nope.  The real world and all its drama.(well as much drama as a six and eight year old can conjure...believe me-it is a lot) has crept up on my girlies-and they aren't quite sure what to do about it....neither am I...well, except for hiding in the garage.

  This year Zoe is in school full time. Although she does love going, at the same time,she is quite anxious about all of it.  Social situations...reading..and the dreaded scissors. "Zoe...stop hitting Lily!"..."Well she has all the markers and won't give them to me!" "She doesn't have all the markers.." "Yes she does!"  "No, you decided that you didn't like your markers and threw them all over the floor before we got in the car."  crying now..."Fine! Now no one likes me!" "What? This has nothing to do with liking you..?????" "Yes it you don't like me!"  No Zo...I don't like your behavior right now...but I love you with all my heart."..."Fine! Then I'll never be famous!"..."What???" still crying.. "I'm not famous!"   ..'...Well...umm...what?..What does being famous have to do throwing your markers on the floor?" "It's a secret."..."I'm really threw your markers...hit Lily..and you're crying because you aren't famous?"  "Well..WELL...famous artists know how to use scissors!!!"  Are you as confused as I am? This is NOT typical behavior for my girl...But as they say  "Life imitates art"..sigh.but in our house..Zoe imitates Lily...

 My  Lily has undergone a major transformation this past Summer.and it would appear (from what I have heard from other parents) that she is not the only one. EVERYTHING is a battle...a struggle...a fight. From the time she gets up in the morning-till the time that she goes to bed.  I really think that it would be worth the Discovery channels time to film a documentary on this phenomenon. You know, there is a very good reason why eight year old girls don't have children-simply because they would eat their young.  My girl has gone from joyful to incredibly anxious in just a few short weeks. All of a sudden her friends have become enemies...and social status is everything. The world as she knew it is upside down and she doesn't quite know how to handle things.  Besides pick on me.  I'm doing my best to teach her how to survive adjust...and for the most part she listens.  It really is a terrible time for her-and I worry that I'm not as helpful as I could be. It is just so hard difficult hard when your girl is hugging you one minute and yelling at you the next. I am so not looking forward to adolescence..

  For the most part, my girls do get along.  Seeking each other out to play..sing really around like wild women. Their bond is magical. They will spend hours together thinking up adventures for their latest obsession.  "Littlest Pet Shops"  Have you seen them?  Small, plastic-large headed oddities( in the shape of various animals) with enormous eyes.  My girls think that they are cute..I think that they are trying to kill me. Really I do!  I keep finding them in strange places...the top of the stairs...the bottom of the instep at three o'clock in the morning. I can't tell you how many times I have tripped over, knocked in to, or sat on top of one of those enormous headed bits of seething evil. Far too many to count!  Sure, I could blame my girls..could say that they just hadn't cleaned up after themselves..But-they insist it isn't them. So, the only conclusion I can come to is that "Littlest Pet Shops" want me gone...You don't believe me do you?  You think that I am exaggerating... Well, this morning, I walked out my bedroom to find this outside of my door. All of
them just sitting there...watching...waiting and watching.  I fear my days are numbered.  Please let me know  if you have any words of wisdom or advice. If you want me- I'll be in the garage.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tumultuous times and other tails....

~“There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit. Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.” ~

When last I left you- I was stuck on the couch watching countless hours of mindless television (As a rule, I generally don't watch much t.v.-I thought that it was because I am way too hyper to sit still- but after having watched seemingly endless cycles "America's Next Top Model" I changed my mind... ) in a huge and heavy cast..In other was just no fun..neither for me or the herd.  Since then I have gotten rid of the cast (for now)...all of the herd are in school full time..Sammy..I mean, Sam has become a teenager..And we recently celebrated our eighteenth anniversary. Oh..we also have mice.

  School started off like it does every year.  Everyone excited about seeing their friends..wearing new shoes...using new lunch boxes. But, after the first week (which was only three days long) Sam asked if he could be home schooled next year, the girls hated their new shoes (shoes that they had spent the entire summer begging for..really expensive shoes that light up when they move causing the parent who ties them (me) to have blinding headaches-or burnt retina's..really-they ought to have seizure warnings on these shoes) and Oscar..well Oscar-was Oscar..recess is still his favorite part of the day. This year, the school district changed its entire format..from the way that they teach to how they test. These changes primarily effect Sam more than the others...and Sam just ADORES change-not.  He is a teenager now-or as he likes to say "A young man"..and times are not the easiest for him. My boy young man works so very hard-so I'm hoping that things calm down for him a bit. Because home schooling is so not an option! I mean I JUST got them ALL in school full time! I would make a terrible teacher..we'd probably wind up watching "America's Next Top Model" all day.. It would be a terrible thing.

   The beginning of the school year also brought about the dreaded IEP meetings(cue screams)  For the most part, they went o.k. We got the services that we needed-the kids are set for the year. There were however, a few glitches...minor snags...things that you might say.. royally pissed me off. Oscar needs occupational therapy. It isn't something that we ask for because we are bored..or have nothing better to do. In other words, we don't gleefully rub our hands together chortling   "Hee hee! Lets think of ways to make the school pay for things that we don't need!"  No, we request these services because our son requires help with his fine motor skills. Crazy-I know! Which leads me to a topic I think needs addressing.  "Things that special services coordinators should NEVER upon pain of torture, NEVER EVER say to a parent of a special needs kid."  1)" Maybe it isn't O.T. that he needs...maybe it is his stimming that needs to be addressed"  2) "Sure it is nice that his friends accept his stimming now-but it won't be so cute when he is an adult" 3) If he were in a Autism School they wouldn't let him get away with stimming."   I stated quite firmly (but *sigh* not as coherently) to the special needs coordinator "Firstly, he isn't in an autism school-he is here. Stimming isn't your problem to worry about. He works exceedingly hard at controlling it in class-he does a great job. Furthermore,  He is MY son-It is MY job to help/decide what is best for him in the world." Just as a heads up to any coordinator reading this-if a child's entire team (teacher, aid, O.T., speech therapist and service coordinator) says that said child NEEDS a specific service.-it might be worth your while to actually listen-(especially if you have never met said child) instead of trying to think of excuses ideas in order to save the district money. It doesn't make you look very good...and know...appearance is everything. *sigh*

  So it has been a tumultuous beginning of the school year..Although it hasn't been all bad.  Sam-my wonderful boy young man, has turned thirteen! I still can not believe I have a living breathing teenager.  Why If he were a houseplant-he'd have been long gone by now. I mean, no matter how well I take care of my plants-they all eventually wither and die.  Thankfully, I am so much better at child rearing than gardening. The same goes for marriage.  Omar and I celebrated our eighteenth anniversary last month. (Same day as Sam's birthday). After eighteen years, four kids, three dogs, three cats and numerous "fixer uppers"...we still really like each other.(Love is a given-I'm madly in love with my husband..and he with me) We certainly have had many an adventure- although we've had more good times than bad.. it only keeps getting better and better...well, with the exception of the mice. Which brings me to the tail end of this tale of tumultuous tails...

  We seem to have acquired some mice. Now, we live in an older house (132 years old)..and older homes, much  like older people can have "issues".  One of our homes issues is that every fall, all the neighborhood mice, looking for a winter home-think our house is the place to be. I disagree. Strongly.  In fact, I disagree so much that in a preemptive strike/forewarned is forearmed sort of way (remember-experience is a mother) I set out six glue traps...kind of like little  unwelcome mats for our mousy friends.  Well...yesterday morning...much to my horror..I found one little mouse stuck on a trap...and yet the persistent little guy(I think it was a guy-definitely not looking) insisted on dragging his mousy self across the floor in an attempt to escape. All while he was still attached (quite firmly) to the trap. EEK! He was so intent on making his escape-that my presence didn't appear to bother him at all. He just looked at me(with disdain) as he dragged his little mousy self across the floor.  He even posed for this picture.  See the attitude?  The contempt? The utter disregard for my mental well being?  I immediately did what any other savvy and sharp minded person would do.  I went upstairs and woke Omar up. Who promptly rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.  But I was insistent! "You must get rid of the mouse" I proclaimed.  "I'lldoitlater.." he mumbled..."I can't relax while he drags himself across the floor!" I yelled.."I'll take care of it when I get up..." he sighed.."It's freakin me out!" I cried..I began to jump on the bed.. fiercely and with great emotion.."I'll do it now" he said resignedly..As he got out of bed and down the stairs..

Moments later, he "disposed" of our little friend.(you can see why we have such a great marriage. Teamwork!)  The problem is..well, remember I set out six traps?  One was "disposed" of..that should have left us with five. Much to my dismay...I can only find four. Which means that there is a mousy somewhere roaming my house attached to a glue trap! ICK!!!!!  We have looked EVERYWHERE...well..Omar has looked everywhere..I him suggestions of where to look...from another room. Ah  teamwork. It is the basis of a happy marriage.

  So, another school year has begun. Halloween has come and gone...and soon it will be Thanksgiving. For as tumultuous as times have been lately-I really can't complain. I have got great kids and a fabulous husband. All together- a wonderful family.  Mice not included.