Monthly Archives: August 2012

a nice neighborhood walk….

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As the doll and I walked down the street toward my dad’s house yesterday, she complained to me, “Mom, when I walk like this my right pinkie toe hurts.”  Not really paying attention at first I replied, “Well then, don’t walk on it….”  “But mom, how can I not walk using my toe?”  Looking back at her I asked “How about I step on the same toe of your other foot, making a matched set?”   “Mom!! Why…..how could that make it better?”  she replied.  “Well it would make me feel better, because then you really would have something to complain about…”  I smiled.

We continued to walk and she recalled some of her day at school.  She was particularly excited because some girl-a popular girl, listed her among her best friends.  “Mom, can you believe it?” she said with a giant smile.  “That’s wonderful doll.  Perhaps she had more fun than we thought at your birthday sleep over” I replied.  “Oh, and you wanna know the best part?”  “What?” I replied. “I listed her as one of mine too.”  “Was that before you heard her list?” I wondered.  “Yep, I basically listed all the girls” she replied.  I stopped, leaned over and gave her a hug saying, “Way to go doll…be nice and friendly with everyone is the best course to take.”  She smiled, shaking her head in agreement.

****

Last night KLR made a surprise stop over at our house to play with the boy.  We haven’t seen him in a while, but the boy still considers him his best friend.  While the boys played Bionicles and watched television, I could hear the boy making obnoxious noises.  “Boy, you sound like a Wookie!” I yelled above the TV din.  “That’s what I’m trying to sound like” he replied before going back to the obnoxious noise.  “Boy, please stop with Wookie noises” I shouted back.  KLR replied, “He’s trying to, what is that word, oh yeah, He’s just trying to annoy me”.  Smiling I replied, “KLR if that noise he’s making doesn’t annoy you, you’re a better man than me!”  All the kids started laughing before the boy said, “Well mom, you’re not a man so how does that make sense?”  “Got ya to stop making those noises, didn’t I?”  The boy walked into the kitchen, where I was seated and said, “Ah….hem”.  “Boy, knock off the Wookie noises–if you know what’s good for ya…” I said, implying something more…

He knocked off the Wookie noise and turned to another annoying sound.  In an effort not to embarrass him further, I found some ear plugs, which helped tremendously the rest of the evening.

 

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ch-ch-ch-changes…

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Over the summer, the doll made the decision not to return to ballet.  “Mom, all that stuff that happened didn’t bother me.  But I know it bothered you.  But that’s not why I’ve changed my mind about going on with ballet” she told me.  “Alright, why then?”  “Well I want to play volleyball and if I go to ballet, I’ll miss all the practices.  Who will want me to play then?”  She had a valid point; but dance is not completely out of her picture.  “How about I find a nice dance studio where you can take jazz or lyrical or modern dance?” I asked her.  “What’s lyrical?”  “That’s like ballet, without points” I replied.  Shrugging her shoulders she said, “Whatever…” and our conversation came to an end.

So far she’s had three volleyball practices and has complained loudly about her right wrist and both thighs hurting.  “Doll, you didn’t dance all summer, so your legs are out of shape…plus you are using new muscles…” I offered.  She was not impressed with my answers.  “You don’t know what I meant mother!”  (Ooh, I got a “mother”=Mom’s are dumb sometimes).  “Alright doll, whatever…but I bet if you continue to practice, all of these little discomforts will fade away, as your arms and legs become used to the game”. “How would you know…?” she asked, yet didn’t stick around for an answer.

****

Yesterday after school the doll asked me, “Mom, why do we have to go through puberty?  I think it’s just dumb!”  In many respects, I agree with her.  “Well sweetheart, it’s like this.  You were born with hormones that don’t really come alive until you’re about 11 or twelve.  Their only function is to turn on and help lead you into your next phase through life.”  “You mean they are just sitting around waiting for something to turn them on?”  “Yep, something in your brain triggers them…” I replied.  “Well I don’t like those hormones.  They’ll just make everything more difficult in my life…”  Smiling I replied, “Well cheer up…these hormones will continue working for the next 30 odd years and then you’ll go through a change and wish you still had those hormones running through your system”.  She scrunched her nose and gave me a curious look.  “I don’t think boys have it nearly as bad as we do” She finally said.  “Well, they have their own problems, believe me.  Besides, being a girl means you’re smart and mature–something boys have a difficult time achieving.”  “You’re probably right Mom.” She replied.

No probably’s about it…

scientific minds….

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The doll came home from school excited about an experiment her class was doing from home.  “Mom I need two eggs and some vinegar, along with two jars and corn syrup.” she informed.   “What about two glasses with lids–we don’t have any jars.” I suggested.  “That works too.” she said as we gathered her ingredients.  “When do you need the corn syrup?” I asked, seeing as we didn’t have any.  “Not until day three…” I sat back and watched my daughter become very scientific, grabbing the eggs, filling each glass with eight ounces of vinegar, then placing an egg in each cup.  After she had affixed the lids, using a magic marker she marked each one #1 and #2.  “So what are you supposed to find out?”  I asked.  “I dunno” she said with a smile.  two egss and a brain...imagine that

The look on her face was of pure wonder.  I can remember stealing time in our downstairs bathroom as a child, mixing a bit of this, a bit of that; from all my father’s skin care products. She had the same look of wonder in what the outcome may be. For two days the eggs sat untouched.  On day three, the doll and I purchased corn syrup to progress the experiment along.  After donning cleaning gloves and grabbing a slotted curved spatula, she gently removed the eggs, one by one.  “Eww, mom, these eggs feel different” she said.  “Well they certainly are pickled…” I replied. Her father upon entering the kitchen asked, “What’s with the gloves?” “The paperwork expressly stated we were not allowed to touch the eggs dad.”  “Oh, well then, carry on” he said as he walked past.

She emptied both containers of their vinegar and replaced one with water and the other with corn syrup; place the eggs back into their respected cups and resealed them.  “So what do you think will happen with them overnight?”  I asked. “I dunno mom, but the eggs are weird now”.  Finally the day arrived to find out what happened to the eggs.  The doll put the cleaning gloves back on and carefully removed an egg from #1–which had the corn syrup in the container.  “Ew mom look at this…it’s almost like all the white’s have been removed, leaving just the yolk”.  “Actually it’s made the white transparent somehow” I remarked.  “And the egg feels really odd” she replied.  After setting the egg back into the container, she removed the egg from container #2.  “Look at this egg, it’s still white, but now it looks like a hard-boiled egg”.  “So what does all this mean?” I asked. “I have no idea..but I suppose I’ll find out on Tuesday when we go back to school”.

“What am I supposed to do with the eggs now?”  she wondered.  I smiled and suggested, “Let’s test their soluble nature against running water and a garbage disposer…” Looking oddly at me at first, she then smiled and said “Lets”.  With that the experiment had come to an end.  On Tuesday afternoon when she arrived home from school I asked, “So did you all discuss the science experiment in class today?”  “Nope”.  “Nope?  Why not?” I wanted to know.  “The subject never came up.”

The doll still hasn’t told me whether her class as a group came to some cool conclusions…which disappoints me to no end.  I wanna know too!

*****

The third glass in the picture contains a brain…one that grows when placed in water.  While the doll was working on the experiment, in a devilishly hideous sounding voice one day she said, “Bwahahahaha!! I’m growing a brain!!”  Which prompted her dad to ask, “For you?” to which she responded, “No, for the boy–maybe give him some common sense!”  At which her father and I smiled to one another and responded in unison, “Carry on” at which time the doll jinxed us.

 

 

dictionaries welcome…

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The boy is….(gulp) a country music fan.  I say that with a bit of sarcasm, as over the years, the newer brand of country music has found its way to my Ipod on more than one occasion.  The difference is, he has very little tolerance for other music…except for God love him, Jethro Tull.  Me I’m eclectic.  So every time he hands me his mp3 player to download music, I add a bit of my own, eclectic flare.

“Mom, what did you do to my mp3?” he asked me.  “What do you mean?” I replied trying to sound innocent.  “Mom, I asked you to upload a few songs for me and you’ve wiped it clean and put your detritus on it.”   I paused and looked at him for a moment trying to figure out what the heck ‘detritus’ is? Judging his reaction, I figured  whatever it was, he didn’t like, so I played along, hoping I’d use the word correctly in my response.  “I wouldn’t call it detritus  exactly….the rest of your songs are gone too?”  “Yes!! You’ve infringed on my listening pleasure.”  “Well boy that was unintentional on my part.  Give me your mp3 and let’s see if we can correct that” I said, just before I added all the country and Jethro Tull music back onto his player.  Of course, being me, I did add some eclectic fare…

*****

I came downstairs the other day and the boy met me with a complaint to lodge against his sister.  “Mom, the doll was mad at me and eviscerated my arm”.  He held out his scratched arm as evidence of her attack.  “I beg to differ bud, she may have scratched you, but she didn’t remove a body organ from you… Did you scratch her?” I asked.  “That’s because I stopped her before she ventured further…”  “Did you scratch her in return?” I asked again.  “No, she was unable to scrutinize that I was wasn’t finished viewing my program”.  “While she had no right to scratch your arm, I’ll lay odds you’ve been on the computer for several hours..?”  “Yes, but that doesn’t give her the right to eviscerate my arm.” “Find a new word boy…” I said before adding  “I’ll take care of your sister…okay? No retaliation please.” I plead.  “I won’t reciprocate this time…” he replied.

****

“Mom Grammy and I spent all afternoon, cutting out the many geometric shapes, so we could affix the tabs together and create 3D objects for math class…” the boy said when I arrived to pick him up from his grandmother’s yesterday. “But as you can see, I’m having trouble with these two shapes, as I don’t have the correct mucilage”.  I glanced briefly at his grandmother, who was helping him use scotch tape to put the shapes together.  “Boy, I think on these two you’re going to need some good old Elmer’s school glue” she added.  “Thanks Grammy, I think you may be correct” he happily agreed.

*****

Each night I spend time on Dictionary and Synonym websites, trying to figure out what the heck he is saying to me…which makes me a better, more informed person.  Gotta love dictionary vocabulary speaking boys.

Detritus synonym: Debris

eviscerate: to remove entails from; to disembowel

Mucilage: A gluey substance

service contracts….

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When I was in elementary school, girls were not allowed to become altar servers, which left many of us upset, we could not join the boys in service to God.  As the ranks of boys willing to become altar servers dwindled, the church authority had no choice but to open the door to girls.  Today, when I attend mass, the ratio of girl to boy servers seems to be 2:1.  When the boy told me he signed up to be an altar server, I asked “Why?”  “I thought it would be fun….and I thought you would be proud.”

I remember watching the boy up on the altar as he looked back at me for clues on what he was supposed to be doing.  As someone who never had that opportunity he was looking for help in the wrong direction.  Afterward, several parishioners approached and congratulated him on his first mass.  Honestly I think they were being kind to both of us.  Needless to say, by this year, the boy is not longer an altar server, primarily because the task stopped being fun and he quit.

At the end of last year, the doll became eligible to become an altar server and along with the rest of the girls from her class, she joined the ranks.  Over the weekend she was asked to serve a funeral.  This was the second funeral in as many weeks for her and was excited to do so.  “Mom funeral masses are only slightly different because of incense and caskets” she told me.  When she returned home following the service she had an odd look on her face.  “Doll, how was the service?”  “Mom, it was for a baby.”  “Oh, boy, did you cry?” I asked.  “Almost, I had a tear trying to come out of my eyes for most of the mass, but I held it back, because as an altar server you have to remain in a certain form–show no emotion.  But it was hard!” I can only imagine.

On Sunday I began gathering the children to prepare for Sunday mass.  “Mom, I served yesterday” the doll argued.  “So…your point is?”  “My point is I already went to mass this weekend.” she argued back.  “True, you served a funeral mass, but you did not attend a weekend mass–they are different.”  “How?” “Because the weekend mass has different gospels and readings.”  “So!”  “So, that means you need to go to mass with me, now stop arguing.” “That’s not fair!” she shouted at me, disappointed I hadn’t given in.  “Welcome to catholic mass and moms 101” I replied.  She gave me her usual upset face before stomping off.  My hubby turned to me and asked, “Would it have been so hard allowing her to stay home?”  “Well, Mr. Pagan, no it wouldn’t…” I began, “…but this is where I get to sound like my mother; annoying as that may be; she has to come with us.  Besides this will give you an hour kid free…” I replied.

Okay, you may wonder why I am being persnickety about this especially in light of my never having served a mass;  the doll is desperate for friends to play with.  What better place to run into classmates or cousins and hatch a scheme?  As for the doll, she had the good fortune to run into her cousin Mary, who along with her father invited her out to breakfast and then to spend the night.  Mary and her sister Elle are no longer a part of our after school plans and the doll misses them terribly.

Even at the risk of sounding like my mother….win win for all of us.

permanent records…

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Her tears were genuine.  She was truly hurt and it seemed,  my attempts to console her were not working.  She simply needed to cry.

“What’s wrong Doll?” I asked as she walked toward me yesterday afternoon.  I could tell by her gait, something was wrong.  She walked with a purpose–like she were trying to escape something awful.  As she approached my heart sank, I do not like seeing my children upset.  The closer she came, the more tears began to escape her eyes until she finally lunged into my arms and let loose a tirade of teary sadness and anger over having been given 2 infractions for talking during class.  “Mooooommmm it wasn’t my fault.  I was just minding my own business, doing my seat work when Ms. S asked who was talking and three of the kids at my table pointed their fingers at me.”

I tried not to smile and was admonished for doing so.  “It’s not funny mom, I didn’t do anything wrong” she yelled at me, then huffed out some more tears.  “Did you say, ‘whoa it’s not me, I was doing my work!’ when they did that?” I asked.  “Uh huh but then they said, “Yes you did doll, don’t lie”.  “But I wasn’t lyyyyynnnnngggg”  she drew out with one long cry.  After several attempts on my part to reel her back in, “Doll,  take some deep breaths, when you catch your breath we can talk okay?  Just breathe” and failing miserably I decided maybe this was one of those times when tears are simply preferred.  “Okay doll, let the tears fall…get it all out of your system.  When you feel better we’ll talk okay?”   I said hoping this would make her feel better.

She let loose and allowed herself to feel the sting those two infractions inflicted upon her.  I sat next to her, watching her cry and trying to will myself not to laugh as I listened to her wails…  “It’s just not fair….I wasn’t talking…..and I was hoping to have a perfect record since third grade…..now this will be on my permanent record!”  “…You know doll, your brother has enough infractions over the last few years to wall paper his bedroom…” I tried to lighten the mood.  “But that’s him and not me….!!!” she replied, gasping, trying to regain her composure.

Once all the tears had fallen I smiled and said, “I know it feels awful when others betray you by pointing their fingers at you.  But guess what?  Nature has a way of getting them back.  Tell me, were they the one’s who were talking at your table?”  “uh huh” she agreed.  “Well then, just know, cheaters never prosper and they will get their comeuppance one day.  As for the infractions….take this one for the team–perhaps for something you do wrong during the year, that you don’t get caught doing.”  The look she gave me was priceless…”Like I would do anything wrong!!” She said and then added “Whatever mom, you just don’t get it!” and then she turned and walked away.

I was left standing there with a goofy grin on my face, remembering my fifth grade year and all the trouble I got into.  As the errant thought ran through my brain, I also realized, this is going to be a loonng year.

 

Our house, is a very very fine house…

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Every day early morning in the distance, an alarm goes off somewhere… Your lungs fill with air, you roll to one side, lift your head to assess the situation and give out an audible, ugh.  If you’re like me, you pull yourself out of bed, walk across the room and hit the snooze button on top of the alarm, then in a zombie like motion, return to your bed for an extra 15 minutes of sleep.  The process repeats a few times before you finally, unhappily discover, you’re awake.  Time to start the day, ugh.

This morning, as I made my way down the stairs, I stopped and listened as my children interacted.  The boy was making some odd noise, while the doll laughed heartily.  I thought, “I prefer hearing laughter.  Most mornings are filled with venomous attitudes when they interact”.  I emerged from the stairway to find them busily getting ready for school.  The boy, is laughing watching animal videos on our laptop, while Big Cat Diary plays on the TV in the background.  The doll walks past me saying, “Hi mom, did you remember to sign my homework paperwork?”  Wiping the cobwebs out of my eyes, I utter, “Um, bring it into the kitchen so I can sign…” As I entered the kitchen, I make a bee line to the refrigerator to grab a diet Costco chocolate shake so I can take my vitamin and allergy pill .  I make note of the mess of dishes scattered about the room.  “Have you eaten breakfast yet?” I shout to no one in particular.  Both kids wander in, “Mom, I had to get up, wash my face, put on my acne stuff, get dressed and make my lunch” the doll informed.  “Well now you have to eat breakfast” I said with a smile.

“Mom…” The boy giggles, “You gotta see this video…” The boy says, holding up the laptop for me to see, a man attacked by a bunch of puppies.  “You showed me this one yesterday…” I remarked.  Turning the laptop back toward himself, he says,  “Oh wait, watch this video…” and turns the laptop back to me.  He giggles loudly as we watch a baby goat jump and knock over other baby goats.  “Doll, you gotta see this video…” He says and quickly turns toward her to show.  Together they laugh.  I am marveled.

As our morning time together winds down, I make sure they are properly dressed, have their lunches and books before they walk out the door to walk to school.  Today the boy and I exited the house first.  As we approached the street, the school librarian drives by and waves.  I turned to the boy and wish him well on his day.  In turn he looks at me and smiles saying “I love you Mama.” Giving him a brief lunge hug I replied, “I love you too, have a great day, let’s make this the best one yet.”  He nodded in acknowledgement and then crossed the street.

The doll meanwhile slowly exits the house, thankfully not closing the door behind her (last year she locked me out of the house when she did just that). “Should I go see if Anna needs walking to school? she asks.  “Sure, I think she would like that.”  Anna is a kindergarten student who enjoys the doll’s company.  I watch proudly as the doll approaches the house to ask if Anna’s ready for school”.  I stand at the edge of my driveway, looking to the left as the boy arrives safely on school property; then to the right, as the doll and Anna begin their walk.  I can’t help but feel proud of my family, my babies, my loves.  As I walked back up the drive toward my front door, a thought divides my day, “Should I go back to bed or get busy living…”

Sigh… decisions, decisions…