~"Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain"
I'm pretty sure we have all heard the Forrest Gump quote.."Life was like a box of chocolates.You never know what you're gonna get" I can kind of relate to that..kind of. But only if you imagine the box of chocolates in the shape of a school bus...because lately, at the end of each school day-I really don't know what I'm going to get. Will it be four happy kids?-which to me is the equivalent of a chocolate covered caramel...Or will one or more of my kids be having a
massive freak-out rough time which is like one of those chocolate covered pink ones (you know the ones everyone takes a nibble of and puts back in the box once they realize what kind they are) Problem is-as much as I would like to on some days-I can not in good conscience put my kids back on the bus. Besides, I don't think the bus driver would let me.
To be fair, I have to say that the boys are pretty good at the end of the day. If something has troubled them, or caused them anxiety-they are easy to read..to draw out..to help. No big surprises.. Not so much for my girls... Lily is very vocal in her feelings. She lets me know EXACTLY how her day was and treats us all accordingly. Meaning that if it was a good day..she is joyful and fun to be around..if it wasn't? Well, it can go many ways. It takes incredible skill (think professional poker player) and diplomacy (think Libya) to ward off what can be a hissy fit of epic proportions...I am not exaggerating..but the girl can go from lovably affectionate to evil spawn of...evil in three seconds flat. It all depends on how I handle it..
"Hey Lil..how was your day?"
"Not very good at all" (time to put on my poker face)
"Oh..I'm sorry to hear that...what happened?"
It can go two ways now...either she will tell me what is wrong-and we have a nice chat...figure out how to make things better...OR-
"I don't want to talk about it."
"O.k....but I'm here..(swallow) if you need me."
"I said...I.DON'T. WANT. TO. TALK. ABOUT. IT!!!!!"
Now is when I pull out my mad diplomatic skills-BECAUSE, even though she says that she doesn't want to talk about it...what she really means is "I am going to stalk you until you say what I think is the wrong thing.."
"O.k..o.k....would you like a snack....honey?"
"What do you have?"
We have now entered the danger zone... She will either calm herself down..OR NOTHING..NOTHING WHATSOEVER will please her. "You don't have what I like! You always get what everyone else likes! It's not fair! (and my personal favorite) You don't love me as much as you love everyone else!!!!!!" followed by much foot stomping and door slamming..and an all around not good time had by everyone. Unless...unless I stop it before she can even start. Somehow shock her out of it before she can even begin.
"Would you like a pair of bosoms?! (all three of us women find a bodacious amount of humor in that word-I couldn't begin to tell you why-but there you go)
"It's not funny Mama!".
"Oh come on..how about a nice pair of bosoms "
"Not even one bosom...hhhmmmm???"
"a half a bosom? Bosoms on the half shell?..a cornucopia of bosoms? I know!
how about some...Bosoms in a Box?
(I am like the priest in The Exorcist"-"The power of bosoms compels you..the power of bosoms compels you...until she simply can't take it anymore..
"I DO NOT WANT BOSOMS IN A BOX!!"
And we have success.
The absurdity of what she has just yelled-stops her in her tracks...and then we both start laughing..and the crisis has been averted. Of course the next hour or so is spent making bosom and bosom accessory related jokes till my cups overfloweth...but at least she is laughing. Yeah, I admit-to the casual observer-or you who is reading this..this may seem bizarre. but it works. And yes, sometimes I catch myself "mid-bosom" and think "What the hell am I saying!?" but again-it works. I take nothing for granted. My girl has a short fuse...it burns bright-but it burns fast. I know that hormones are making their evil appearance..and that it is hard to be almost ten. So we are trying to give her some space..make a few allowances....because at the end of the day we are always o.k. with each other.. she sits on my lap...she cuddles..I stroke her hair..(casually looking for sixes) we talk it out. Life returns to steady....
The unpredictable moodiness of Zoe has got me on my toes this year. First grade in many ways has not been easy. There is more expected of her..both socially and academically. There have been just too many days that she has gotten off the bus an emotional wreck. A non stop tsunami of feelings(-that she doesn't understand)..a hurricane of hell..that can go long into the night.( I don't use these storm metaphors lightly.) The really hard part is- she saves this behavior for home. All of it. At school she is quiet and unassuming...soft spoken and gentle..meek! The total opposite of how she is at home. AND to make matters more difficult...If Zoe does tell me what is bothering her-and I contact the school to let them know...when they question Zoe-SHE DENIES what she has told me! (Am I being gas lighted by my seven year old? OR could it be that she does not want to talk and will say what she thinks you want to hear-simply to get you to leave her alone?) Which I swear has led some people to question my very sanity..or at the very least-my concern.(and they don't even know about the bosoms!) "Oh Kathleen..(softening of the eyes, a gentle voice-head tilted to the side) It's normal for kids her age go through this." Yup-and fifty is the new thirty and orange is the new black. *sigh*you say potato and I say potato you say tomato and I say chocolate covered pink candy.. I try and stay open-I do. I recognize that my girl is going through many of the things girls her age are going through. I just have no clue as to how to help her with this. The way that my girl internalizes things, the way in which she fails to recognize some very basic social cues...the way in which she reacts.... is different. That needs to be recognized too. I have to admit that there is a part of me that wishes she would just once let loose at school. Just once...really, it would be enough..
There are 6 1/2 days of school left this year...7 bus rides home. 7 days where I do not know what is going to walk through the door. I am weary..and maybe a bit over wrought. I mean holy crap-I'm singing about bosoms...but then again..over wrought or not...I'd be singing about them anyway...bosoms are funny...and that's just the way that I roll..