dramatic boy….

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“So tell me…how was the bathroom floor last night?” I asked Bay Sunday morning. He smirked,  bore his eyes at me for a moment before sidestepping past me; essentially ignoring my laughter as he exited the room. “What was that about?” my hubby asked. “That was the boy admitting defeat” I exclaimed triumphantly. Confused my husband simply shrugged and we moved on with the day.

********

For the last two weeks, I’ve been trying to get the boy a haircut. The last time his father took him, the barber shop was so busy they spent an hour waiting.  So long in fact, they both apparently began dying from hunger.  As the result, Dad paid the barber $13 to remove little to no hair. Of course I’m exaggerating here… but considering how bushy he became soon afterward; makes a mom wonder. But I digress. Saturday following the funeral, I looked at my greasy son and announced, “We’re getting you a haircut today…go take a shower”. “But mom that will take forever…” The boy pointed out. “Do you have other, more pressing plans? I asked. “Yes, I planned on doing little to nothing all day but watch and play video games” he explained. Noting the look of seriousness upon his face I replied, “I’m trumping your plans…go take a shower.” “Mom, why must I take a shower? Can’t they just wash the hair there?” he asked. “That’s a valid question bay, except how are we to explain the rest of greasy you? Go. Take. A. Shower!”  I instructed and with no other recourse, he did.

*******

Following the return of my handsome son, once his hair was cut properly (who knew just telling the barber to make him look less bushy results in a good hair cut–hubby wink wink!) as we walked to the car he asked, “Momma, can you take me to Steak and Shake for lunch?” “Uh no.” I replied. “Wha…? But I just got my hair cut…” He replied. “What are you two? You need a reward? I would think the haircut is the reward here” I explained.  When we arrived home he marched into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator for a moment, looked inside and then declared, “We have nothing here to eat!” “True…if you’re looking for greasy food, you’re right, there is no food here. If you’re looking for good nutritious food…” “MOM!!” “Bay, why not look at the large selection of healthy choice meals we have in the basement…surely one of them will taste good to you” I came back. “NO!! Those are horrible!!” He declared, ramping up his anger. “You know-because you’ve eaten one before?” I asked. “No, because I’ve smelled one before!” He answered.

In the meantime his father walked into the kitchen as the boy’s voice rose in an attempt to drown out my replies. “Boy, why don’t you at least take a look…” His father offered. “Because they all smell like crap!!” the boy yelled. “You have such a discerning nose too” I began, “If the grease smell at BK or MCD’s is telling you that’s good food…then something is wrong with your schnaz dude…” I replied. “MOM!! You’re trying to kill me!!” Looking back at his dad I smirked. Tired of his crap I replied “I’ve been arguing with you over this same issue since you were two years old! I am done arguing with you. Either you give this healthy food a try or you starve. You’re choice!”

That’s when the bargaining began. “What if I eat an apple and some grapes?” “You’re on the right track, but that won’t cut it. You need a balanced meal-not just one with sweets…” I replied. “MOM You’re not being fair!!” He replied. Applying one of the many standard mom replies I said,  “Bay, when you pay for the food you can eat all the crap you want. Until then…” Seeing I meant business, he relented. Looking upon his food choices, he took the one food that looked the least healthy in his eyes, “Chicken Pasta Pesto with spinach, zucchini and squash”. Four minutes later, I placed his meal in front of him and said, “Enjoy”.

When the bay was younger and forced to eat food he was dead set against eating, he would employ his gag reflex and throw up all over the kitchen table-infuriating his father and I. Thank goodness he’s outgrown that method of driving his parents insane. After the first bite he announced, “It just burned the hell out of my tongue!! It’s too damned hot!!” “Well that’s good right? Then you won’t be able to complain about the taste if our tongue is burned right?” I replied.  Though the boy was not amused, he did eventually eat the entire meal.

******

Later the boy approached me and in a hurt voice said, “I’ll have you know, I have a stomach ache now.” We were out for a walk at one of our favorite parks. “I’m sorry to hear that bay…” I replied, not really caring much about his “imaginary” ailment. “In fact, I think I’ll be sleeping on the floor of the bathroom tonight–you know, to be close to the toilet.” He explained. “I see…why?” “Because of that green(spinach) stuff you made me eat in that meal!! I can actually feel it wrapping around my intestines and causing the pain I’m experiencing”. “Bay, don’t you think you’re being a tad too dramatic here?” I asked trying not to laugh. “You won’t be laughing when I’m throwing up or having the runs all night!” He announced before turning and walking away from me.

Actually, I’ll sleep like a baby… I thought as he walked away.

 

 

 

 

enjoying the time we have together….

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Sunday morning when my alarm went off at 6:30 am, my husband asked, “Did you forget to turn off your daily alarm?” “No….” I replied as I rose from the bed to turn off the alarm. Puzzled he asked, “Why are you up so early?” “I’m walking for the cure this morning…” I reminded and then began to get ready.

*******

There is an old joke with my large extended family that says, “You can’t spin a dead cat around this town, without hitting a relative. This was certainly the case Saturday as many of us gathered together to celebrate the life of my Aunt Mickey.

My Grandparents had five children. Those five children created thirty-seven grandchildren  who created… God know’s how many more (we’ve lost track…)

********

My sister-in-law Jean approached me Saturday at Aunt Mickey’s funeral luncheon and asked if I were interested in participating in the  “Walk for the Cure of Breast Cancer“, with her, in support of our mutual friend Laurie; the following day. I unequivocally said  “Yes”.  Two years earlier my friend Barb and I walked the course in support Laurie; who at that time was undergoing chemo and radiation treatments and could hardly muster the energy to stand, let alone walk. A few weeks earlier Laurie had called and left me a voicemail-one I’ve never erased; inviting me to her head shaving party…as the chemo was stealing the hair from her head. Although I couldn’t attend, I’ve always felt privileged she had asked me to attend the intimate affair of saying goodbye to one life and hello to the unknown future.

********

During the funeral lunchon, I had the occasion to mix and mingle  with our various cousins, offering condolences where needed and catching up with others; often remarking how “well” all of us looked…comparitively and lying aside. Some of us have kept track via Facebook, a few even read my blogs and the rest we leave up to chance, whether we ever see one another again. Many of us remarked the need for family reunions-instead of family funerals. My dad is the last member of the generation which brought us all into being…we all need to celebrate Grandpa Bill, Grandma and Aunt Nonie, Ray, Joyce, Doris, Jerry and Mickey and the love that brings us together under the banner of family. A time to gather, with the only agenda being, to enjoy one another’s company.

********

Laurie and Barb-both cancer survivors and heroes.

Laurie and Barb-both cancer survivors and heroes.

On Sunday I grabbed hold of the opportunity to celebrate Laurie’s hard fought battle and victory against breast cancer. Proudly, walking next to her as she triumphantly managed the entire course. “Please don’t take my picture…” she kept saying to us-though we failed to listen. When we first arrived downtown, we were invited to walk in the parade of survivors, since we were part of Laurie’s group. As I looked around at all the courageous women I felt humbled. My friend Barb, who again was walking in support of Laurie; has also been battling vaginal cancer. I looked at my sister in law and said, “I feel very unworthy to be walking with this group…” She nodded in agreement and then added, “I know what you mean…just go with it…” which we did.

*******

Walk for the cure survivor/participant..carrying a baby and oxygen with her...

Walk for the cure survivor/participant..carrying a baby and oxygen with her…

It’s alarming the rate of breast cancer that is showing up in women my age. In the last six months I can name three–the saddest thing being, two are within the same family household. Is it the processed foods, the GMO’s the air that we breathe, the dna we’re born with; what is the cause of all this nonsense?  I don’t know…but…if yesterday’s attendance of 30,000 people walking, in support to find a cure for this horrific disease is any indiciation, I know someday somehow, we will find the cure!

Until then, I’ll continue to walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

briefests of moments….

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Sadly, a typical night at my house as of late:

Last night at dinner, the boy reached behind his sister to grab a veggie/fruit drink and was hit with this barrage: DON’T YOU TOUCH ME, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT TALKING TO ME, STAY AWAY FROM ME OR I’LL KILL YOU!!”

“Oh wow!! That’s nice and Christian of you doll” I replied. “Mom he’s so annoying!!” She complained. “Be that as it may doll, that does not give you the right to threaten him with bodily injury. Let me ask you a question, had he asked you to grab him one of the juice cans, would you have?” “No I try my best to just ignore him” she tried. “Apologize to him right now!” I demanded. “Sorry boy…” she replied.

Yet then there’s the briefest of moments when they both surprise me…

We had a 2-hour delay this morning due to fog. Upon learning this little nugget of information, I went back to bed hoping for an additional thirty minutes of rest. The boy, who was already up and dressed, used the extra time to cook his new favorite food for breakfast: Sausage. Meanwhile, no one (the boy) told the doll. At 7:45 am she nudged me awake and asked, “Mom are we on a two-hour delay or something?” “Um…I guess your brother didn’t tell you?” I managed to say, as I began waking from my slumber. “Whew!” She said. “…cause I walked down there in the fog and the parking lot is empty. It was really eerie…” She explained. “Oh sorry doll, I would have thought your brother would have stopped you from leaving the house…” I replied. “To be fair, I wouldn’t have listened to him anyway…” She replied. “Huh” I replied, surprised she let him off the hook. “Why don’t you get yourself some breakfast…?” I suggested now that I was fully awake, up and moving. “I already did, the boy made me some sausage for breakfast”.

Ten minutes later, when I emerged from the shower and began getting dressed I overheard the kids downstairs talking to one another-emphasis on talking. The boy was making some quirky high-pitched noises designed to annoy for his sister. “BEE–E–EEP.” (then a break for silence before starting again) Booboopdaboop. (break)  Bebebebeeeep ba doop waap”. He continued to make these noises for about five minutes until the doll had listened long enough. She asked, “Boy have you taken your meds today?” “No-not that it’s any of your business…” He replied. “Do you remember what Mom told you last night? You have to take these every day; they’re expensive and help with your Asperger’s” She said, taking on the air of the adult in the room.  “Doll, I will take my meds right before I leave for school…that way they’ll be most effective…” He reasoned. Instead of taking “no” for an answer, she grabbed his bottle of meds and handed it to him saying, “I’d take them now…so you won’t forget…” Reluctantly he accepted his bottle of meds and took his daily dose, without yelling or fighting.

For a moment, I wanted to poke the two of them and ask “Who are you and what have you done with my bickering children?” But decided better not. Who knows, this could be a new turning point in their relationship. Nah, probably not…but one can dream, right?

******************

By the way…the doll upon reading my blog interview yesterday asked me to clarify a few things. “You used the word(s) “over think” too much”. She said. “But isn’t that what you told me?” I asked. “Yes, but looking back on the conversation, I should have left that out…I don’t want people to think I’m over thinking every single thing…even if I am.. I mean,  a girl’s gotta have a bit of mystery to her…afterall.” she said with a smile. Shaking my head I could only laugh. She also noted that I left out all the other people she would like to meet-namely the girls in the Percy Jackson novels with whom she identifies with most–to see if they would indeed get along.

Something tells me, she would outshine them all

********

Best thing I heard today: The boy upon exiting the car this morning said to me, “Momma I’m going to have a 10 out of 10 type day!” Sounds like a plan” I replied and smiled.

the interview…..

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I conducted an interview of my children the other night…not because I was curious to see where their heads were at (although that was a nice perk), but more as an exercise in fun–or for the lack of any other reason, we were all bored…

Q. Tell me one thing about yourself that many people don’t know….

D: I overthink everything. In fact I’m overthinking this answer mom. Nevermind. Then again… yep forget it.

B: I have an amazing wit.

M: About…?

B: No Mom, you don’t get it…I have an a superb sense of humor–although you seem to be dense when it comes to my humor.

M: Next Question: If there were one person in the world you wish you could meet, who would that be?

D: Percy Jackson.

M: Doll, he’s a fictional character….

D: Doesn’t matter…I’d still like to meet him. In fact his new book will be released in two weeks….I’m so excited!!!

M: How about the author of the book then?

D: Perhaps…but he’s old…so…no that wouldn’t work either.

M: Oh brother.

B: John Green

M: John Green the author of The Fault in our Stars, John Green?

B: Yes, but not because of that disconsalate book, but because he and his brother host a hilarious Youtube Channel called the Vlogbrothers.

M: Is that what you do instead of studying for your classes, watch his videos on Youtube?

B: Among many many others…

M: Would you like to actually meet him or simply continue to watch his videos on Youtube?

B: Eh, the videos work just fine.

M: You do realize he actually leaves his home–goes outside…

B: Exactly. I can live vicariously through him without ever leaving the comfort of my couch.

M: Note to self, diconnect Wi-fi immediately.

B: You do realize I was joking right?

M: Disconnect wifi like yesterday!!

M: Last question: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

D: I’ll have a puppy and be going to high school.

M: Seriously…?

D: You said when I was 15 I could have a puppy…that’s less than three years from now…and I’ll be in the tenth grade…

M: Okay…anything else?

D: Jeeze Mom…isn’t that enough?

M: You have such low expectations for yourself.

D: Actually they’re quite high….but I tend to overthink them all the time…

B: I’ll be attending College out of state…

M: Really? Any clue what you’ll be studying?”

B: Video blogging….. ;)

M: So long as you’re the one paying for school…

B: What? Wait…you and Dad won’t be paying my college tuition?

M: Why do you think your father and I bitch so much about your grades? We’re paying for a higher quality high school education now…so you can better qualify for college scholarships…because dude…upon graduation you’re on your own.

B:When were you going to tell me this?

M: We’ve been telling you all along…you just chose not to listen…

B: I guess I’ll have to rethink my position. I mean I don’t have to go to college….

M: No…but you won’t have to live here either….

B: In the words of Homer Simpson…. DOH!

And thus concluded our little Q&A session… God help the boy get into college;  God help the doll stop overthinking everything and God help us if the boy doesn’t go to college and the doll saddles us with a another puppy in two years.

 

Klunkers….

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Today’s blog is brought to you by the two monosyllabic words… Shut and Up–which just so happen to be, the doll’s favorite two-word combination as of late.

The other night I sat down in the living room only to find the doll and her father watching a marathon session of Project Runway. While I wasn’t surprised to find the doll watching, I was a bit shocked to find him there too. “What? Don’t you think I have any fashion sense?”  He asked. “Um, no…” I replied. Feigning hurt he replied, “I’ll have you know, I’m very fashion forward..” Which brought both the doll to laugh and me to add, “If anything, you’re fashion backward considering how old some of the shirts you like to wear are…” As our conversation carried on, the boy wandered through the room, looked up at what we were watching and said, “Oh you’re watching the show that glorifies anorexic people?” Turning our attention to him, the doll replied, “What are you talking about?” “That show…you know the one where they create fashions for women in sizes only anorexic women could fit into” He explained. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Do us all a favor and just Shut Up! No one’s interested in what you have to say!” his sister bluntly said to him. Trying to keep the relative peace of the evening,  I said… “Bay, unless you’re walking in the model’s shoes,  you don’t know have the right to call them anorexic or not. You cannot make a blanket statement like that simply because you do not like the television show. And doll, please stop telling your brother to ‘shut up’ It’s unladylike and frankly I’m tired of hearing you say that over and over again” I suggested.

“Well never mind about them…let’s get back to my forward fashion style….” their father announced, cutting the tension and lightening the mood in the room. For his efforts, he was rewarded with an eye roll and “Dad, really?” reply from the doll.

*******

This morning as I began pulling the cobwebs from my eyes, my doll and her brother engaged in a marvelous conversation which goes as follows…

*The boy was on a two-hour delay for school. The doll was not.

Boy: Hey Doll (said in a high-pitched obnoxious voice) doll. doll doll doll doll Daaahhhh–ollllll….!

Doll: SHUT UP BOY. SHUT UP. SHUT UP BEFORE I KILL YOU SHUT THE HECK UP!!

Boy: Wha? (feigning hurt) but I made you breakfast….when you’re done getting dressed I’ll have sau-sage for you…

Doll: I don’t care! Go away! Stay away! Leave me alone! Or I’ll kill you!

Mom: Could we please refrain from threatening death to one another this morning please?

Doll: I can’t help it Mom, he’s annoying! He needs to Shut up and leave me alone.

Mom: Do you think he might stop needling you if you stopped overreacting to everything he says in your direction?

Just then the boy’s voice ambled through the air saying….

Boy: Whenever your ready Dolly Wolly, the sausage is ready…..!!!

Doll: AHHHHHRRRGGGGG!!!

Mom: Boys and Girls….?

Boy: Hehehe….

 

 

 

there but for the Grace of God go I…

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I was writing a completely different blog today…one you may read in the future, but who knows. I stopped because I can’t stop thinking about the fragility of life on this little planet. As I arrived to work this afternoon, NPR reported on the military airstrikes the US and their partners were raining down upon Syria and Iraq in an effort to eradicate ISIS or ISIL-whatever their name; from their murderous ways. But I wonder if those within the airstrike zone-those who’ve surrendered to these barbarians in an effort to save their families, really understand what is happening.

Why must there be so much death?

Thankfully for me, this is happening on the other side of the planet-far away from me and my family. We can simply turn off the news at night and  look…it’s premeire week on television!! Everything else becomes out of sight and out of mind. Sad commentary for the world we live in right? We often pray in our family for those we can’t see or help. For those who are struggling in this life. I remember when my mom was first diagnosed, I prayed through heavy tears at Mass, for God’s will to be done-so long as the pain was minimal. I look back sometimes and wonder whose pain I was praying for, my mothers or my own?

******

Yesterday my Aunt Mickey passed away, the last living child of Bill and Gladys Corrigan.  While we’re sad she is no longer here on earth, we are happy that she is finally pain-free and at peace. Yesterday I ran into her son Dick and offered condolences saying “Right now my mom is watching her little sister run…” Mickey suffered from MS most of her adult life and had limited use of her arms and legs. He smiled and said, “Yes it’s a blessing…but it’s still hard.” I knew exactly how he felt and could only offer him a hug, hoping that conveyed what he needed to receive.

****

Over the weekend, I learned of a terrible accident one of my former classmate’s daughter (15) had been in and began praying for her recovery. Today I learned she succumbed to her injuries and passed away. Upon reading the news I found myself overcome with sadness and felt for his family’s devastation.

Life is so fragile…yet we forget and become complacent. We see death daily on the internet, in the newspapers or in blurbs scrolling across our television screens. We’ve been exposed to death so much we’ve even become immune. We move forward, muddling through; all the while hoping against hope, death knocks on someone elses door, but our own. Thus explains why I couldn’t write that different blog today. Why when I see my kids and hubby after work they will get upset with me for lingering in those hugs a little longer than usual and why I’ll be praying fervently for the Yost family; as they learn to somehow go on and live without their daughter Laura.

“There, but for the grace of God, go I….”

 

PS. If everyone who reads this could say a prayer or send positive energy to the Yost family, what a blessing that would be. They surely need them.

 

 

 

 

growing up despite mom’s unwillingness…..

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“You see mom…I’m okay.” The doll said with a huge smile. She was lying across the love seat, playing on her Ipod while the television droned on in the background; the dog nestled against her torso.  “Being okay is good…still doesn’t mean I have to like it…” I replied and walked out of the living room. Opening the refrigerator door,  I grabbed a beer, opened the can and took a nice long sip. I had a stressful night…

*****

I know my kids are growing up. As much as I’m ready for them to spread their wings and fly, another part of me wants them to remain small. My mind constantly goes back to when they were little and the power struggles we had then-which aren’t much different from they are today only on a smaller scale. The boy and I don’t discuss things anymore. Instead we get into shouting matches. “You two are too loud!” My hubby will interrupt. “This is the only way mom hears what I’m saying” the boy argues. As the other parent I know I shouldn’t allow his shouts to elevate my voice in return…but unfortunately they do. My impassioned pleas for him to listen to ME his MOTHER and my sage advice needs to be made with inside voices-but rarely do. “Bay if you would just stop arguing every single point…” I say…which fall upon deaf ears; regardless the volume employed.

*****

Saturday night the doll was set to accompany me to a friend’s house (40 minutes away) that evening, even though I knew she would be bored. We had made plans to have a “couples” get together, several weeks earlier, but life’s circumstances prevented my husband from being in town. In addition the boy went with him., thus leaving the doll in my care, alone. “You could just stay home…” my husband suggested. “I could, you’re right…but we’re making packaged dinners for this winter. I’m providing the chicken…” I explained. “Mom, can’t I just stay home alone?” the doll asked. “Alone? On a Saturday night? Absolutely not!” I replied.

*****

Saturday morning while watching our girls’ volleyball game I said to my BFF, “By the way the doll will be with me tonight”. “Really? Why?” She asked. “Hubby and the boy are out-of-town…” I started to say. “I would have thought she’d rather stay home and read a book rather than hang out with us..” she replied. I’m not giving her the choice. I don’t want her to stay home alone….” I replied. “Oh…” She said and the conversation dropped. As I sat there and watched the game, I began to reconsider my position; an imaginary pro and con list came into being…but I was still unwilling to budge from my original position.

“Doll, it’s not that I don’t trust you…I do. I just don’t like the thought of you being home alone at night.” I explained. Shaking her head in agreement I asked, “What do you think?” “Mom, I understand what you’re saying…but I think I’ll be fine if I stay home…” she replied. Nodding my head, understanding her position I smiled. “I’m sure you will be…but I’m not willing to take the chance you won’t….” She nodded resigned to my plan.

*****

The doll is my responsible kid. As the two go, the doll unlike her brother, tends to remember everything-not just what she’s interested in. Rare is the day when I hear her utter the words “I forgot”.  When their father and I began leaving them in the evenings-trusting them to stay home, the boy was twelve and the doll nine. The belief they would be safe and sound at home was entrusted more to the doll-for her commonsense; than the boy for his age and size. She has always been the more responsible of the two.

So why was I having so much trouble letting her stay home alone this one time? “I don’t trust the bozo’s out there who might try something…” I heard myself say to her. “It’s not that I don’t trust you…I don’t trust them…” I explained. “Mom, just who are “them”  you’re talking about?” She asked.

“The unknown” I acknowledged to myself. I’m afraid of leaving my baby to the unknown. In a few short years both of my kids will be on their way-away from their dad and I. As much as we like to pretend we’re excited for them I find myself feeling sorry for myself that they are growing up so fast. Allowing her to stay home alone is giving her another token of independence…permission to keep moving on-away from her dad or more importantly me. If she accompanied me to the party, while she would be bored, she would still be my baby… not my independent and growing into a nice young woman doll.

*****

“Doll, I’ll tell you what… there’s supposed to be thunderstorms headed this way tonight. I don’t trust the dog to not pee or poop throughout the house because of the thunder. But if you’re home with her…perhaps she won’t be as afraid…”I said to her. “Okay…” she replied, with surprise in her voice. “You are not allowed to tell anyone you are home alone-no one-not on the internet, none of your friends, no one, got it?” I asked. “Mom, I wouldn’t do that….” “Doll…you could let it slip without even realizing this. So why not grouse about how your brother is driving you nuts tonight…? I suggested. “Okay Mom.” she said. “Oh and do not open the door for anyone…got it?” “Mom, I’ll be fine.”

As I pulled out of the driveway, I argued with myself the entire drive to my friends home. In addition I could not allow myself to relax-to the point they’re used to seeing me. “Why didn’t you bring her with you?” One of them asked. “I wanted to…but she would have been bored…” I replied honestly. “True…but then you would be relaxed…” He replied. I laughed and said, “Perhaps”.

A few hours later when I pulled into our driveway, the house looked the same as when I left.

We both survived the night.

One a little sad, the other triumphant.

Both of us changed.