Monthly Archives: March 2013

unlikeable me….

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“I don’t care what they say!” the boy said angrily at me. “Well I do!” I replied. “Mom, it’s my life. I don’t give a monkey’s butt what the other kids think of me–at all!” He yelled. On most days I would be standing there raising my fists in the air saying “Way to go boy!!” but not when it pertains to wearing deodorant. For the love of God, at what age does it finally click in? “Look the other kids will make fun of you if you smell–especially at this age!” I said trying to convince him. “They already do and I don’t care!!” He returned. “What? They already make fun of your body odor and you STILL don’t remember to put it on? Don’t you think you could get them to stop taunting and teasing you by actually wearing the stuff?  I mean it only takes a minute to put it on!” Undaunted he put his school shirt on without putting deodorant on first.

“Okay bay, look, there was a guy I used to work with, his name was Jim. He was fired from Best Buy because of his stench. I kid you not. The man took one bath a week, regardless the weather outside and tried to hide his stink with Brute aftershave. To this day I cannot stand the smell of that stuff. This man was FIRED-LOST HIS JOB-all because he only wore deodorant one day a week…if that. Please don’t be like Jim–especially when we’ve given you several different bars of deodorant to use.”  “You’re just saying that.” he replied.  “No I’m not…and I can find people who will back me up.” Defeated, at least for the moment (aka tired of mom nagging) he lifted his shirt and applied his Old Spice.

+++++

The 8th grade class’ annual Passion Play took place Thursday morning and will be performing again tonight at 7 pm at the church.  The boy was given three roles: a man in the crowd, a pair of hands holding the cross steady so “Jesus” doesn’t topple over; and Herod, the Jewish King. “Mom, I’m going to see if I can switch with Keller. He wants to be Herod and I’d rather be a narrator.”  “Why don’t you want to play Herod?” I asked. “Because its a well known fact mom, Herod was an asshole.” “What?” I asked trying not to laugh.  “I had to do a report on the man and he was a douche bag asshole.”  “Um, is there an chance we could use better language?”I asked him.  “No other words adequately describe who he was; I don’t want the class to say, Oh look, perfect casting the boy is Herod”.  Hiding a smile behind my hand I asked, “Are you an asshole douche bag at school?” “NO” he emphatically replied.  “Well then, give it up to God; someone has to play that role, it may as well be you.”

After the Passion play, I walked over to Louise, a friend who helped direct the play and gave her a hug. “Your son did a great job in his role today…and boy did he ever try to get out of it.” She told me.  “Yeah, I know.”  “Well he did a great job and really took Herod’s character to heart and did a great job” she said.  “I thought so too. He wasn’t too happy playing–in his words–an asshole.  Louise looked back at me, covered her mouth and began laughing.  Smiling back I added, “Yeah, I know, I told him to give it up to God and take on the role.”  “Well he certainly did that!”  And I could say nothing else but concur with her.

Happy Easter everyone 🙂

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grad(e)ual change….

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Last semester the boy found out the true meaning of how important grades are when he came home with an extraordinarily bad report card. In all the years they have tested for comprehension and cognitive skills down at his school, he has always sat within the higher echelons of the students.  For instance in third grade, his reading comprehension tested higher than some 8th grade students.  His father and I always expect him to do well, because we know how intelligent this kid is. Plus it doesn’t hurt that for the most part, the boy loves learning new stuff. What the boy does not love to do however is turn-in homework.

So when he handed us a report card that was so far below his ability last January, understandably we blew some circuits. Everything electronic was taken away from him-to earn back as the quarter progressed and the lack of homework notifications shrank. It also didn’t hurt the school offered an incentive of a free “swim” day at our local YMCA for all students who did not have a missing assignment during the quarter. The first three days of school, in the new semester the boy forgot to turn in 4 assignments, thus blowing his swim chance. But he was newly inspired. “Boy, you understand your father and I disagree about where you should attend high school. I’m still trying to figure out how to get you into Central, but I need your help. These grades last quarter are unacceptable. If you want to attend CCHS I need your commitment to work harder and bring those grades back up. If you think they don’t look at your grades–your nuts. This year is more important than any other…you really need to show you want to go there.” I informed him. For our part, his father and I became more progressive and began checking against the school classroom websites;  to see if he was indeed turning in the work and studying for tests. With a better understanding of how everything worked, the boy began his climb out of the large hole he put himself into. In other words, he took ownership of his studies.

When the kids returned from our modest Spring Break session, I joked with them Friday morning before school…”It’s report card Friday! Friday! Friday!” Both kids smirked as the boy said, “Piece of cake  mama, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”  “I hope so bay…” The doll asked, “Mommy, last quarter I made second honors where the boy barely made third. Where do you think I’ll land this quarter?”  “I don’t know, what do you think?”  I replied. “Eh, probably about the same…” Later that day, when I arrived home from work I asked their father, “Did the kids give you their report cards?”  “No, they didn’t” he replied. I wondered if that was a bad sign.  “REPORT CARDS!!” I yelled as the kids scrambled to retrieve them from their backpacks and hand them over.

First the doll: No significant change…though she went from a 3.5 GPA to a 3.7. “Very impressive doll. Your teacher seems to be very impressed with your effort” I said, pointing at the note her teacher left behind.  Then the boy handed us his card…and bounced with anticipation at our reading… Last quarter his report card read 2.7 GPA with an F in math (one of his favorite classes too).  This quarter he had worked hard enough to improve his grades in every class, save one-he remained the same; pushing his GPA to 3.7 and achieving 2nd honors and bringing home an A in math.

His father and I are very happy and proud of him. What’s more, he’s very proud of himself as well. He took ownership of his classwork and worked diligently to bring his grades back up. What’s more, he’s going to attend Central in the fall. His efforts are being rewarded. Yesterday the doll brought home her permission slip to go swimming at the YMCA for turning in all of her assignments. As the boy looked upon the paperwork he said, “Ah, yep, I messed up right at the start of last quarter and missed my chance. But there is another opportunity this quarter and I’m going on the next trip.”

So happy!

bull of embarrassments….

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The boy has a habit of closing down the laptop every time I draw near, to see what he’s watching. “What are you watching? I asked as he hurriedly turned off the page he was viewing and muttered, “Don’t you just hate when that happens?” “Why did you do that?” I asked, suspecting perhaps what he was viewing was not something he should have access to. “It’s just some Japanese anime…nothing important” He said in nonchalant voice. “Uh huh, and if that’s the case…why turn off the laptop when I’m checking on you?  Seems to me you’re trying to hide something.” I said. “Uh no mom, it’s not that bad. It’s about a culture that carries their ancestors ghosts around with them…” He began to explain. “Huh. If that’s the case, then why turn off the screen?”

He squirmed in the seat, trying to come up with an explanation I would buy before he finally said, “I get embarrassed okay?” “What?” “Mom, everything embarrasses me”. He said as if I should already know this. Taking a moment to think, before I responded, I agreed; he is easily embarrassed. “Well if that’s the case…then how come last year when you had questions about puberty, you came to me-and not your father?” I asked thinking I had him cornered. “Because you explain things better…” He said, catching me by surprise. “Okay, but don’t you think your dad may be able to answer some of your questions better?” I said in return. “No, because he’s just like me and gets embarrassed too.”

I’m not sure why, but during that conversation I felt like the proverbial “bull” in the china shop.

****

Hey Hub… Have you ever watched that Japanese Anime show the boy watches about the ancestors thingy majig?” I asked walking into our bedroom. “Yeah. Why? he replied. “Well when I tried to see what he was watching and he closed the laptop down on me.  Then when I suggested that maybe I should watch an episode with him-to ensure the show was harmless he announced you already had. Is the show okay?” “The show’s not bad, if that’s what you think; I found it boring. As for the boy, well he was probably embarrassed” His father informed.  “Hmm, that’s what he said too.”  I replied.

Leaning against the door frame I said, “So, I asked the boy, if he’s so embarrassed around me, how come I’m the one he picked to fill him in on puberty…and not you.” My hubby looked up from what he was doing, giving me his full attention before I continued, “He said it’s because you don’t explain things very well because you get too embarrassed too!” Smiling at me, the boy’s father shook his head up and down in agreement and then added, “The boy has his embarrassments, we shouldn’t make fun of them.”  “Whose making fun? I just wondered… so tell me are you too embarrassed to talk to your daughter about puberty?” I asked even though I already knew the answer. “I don’t have to talk to her, you’re doing a find job of that all on your own.” he replied patting me on the top of the head; wearing a smirk across his face before adding, “We all have embarrassments…”

Yes we do…and somehow being the “bull” in the family is not one of mine…

$500 dollars….

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I arrived home around 10:30 pm; sent home to retrieve my husband’s Blood Pressure medication information so that the hospital could write him up a new script with a more potent dosage. When I entered the home, something was immediately wrong. I stood still on our landing wondering what else had gone wrong with this night. “Dixie!! Here girl!!” I shouted. Stepping into the house and flipping on a light switch a thought occurred to me “I did let the dog in earlier didn’t I?” and went running toward the back door. We have a little Jack Russell terrorist and even though there is no love lost between the dog and me, the thought I had left her outside for several hours on a cold and windy night propelled me forward toward the back door.  Swinging the latch to open the door I yelled “DIXIE!!” while panic swept through me because she wasn’t there.

“WAIT!!! I never double latch the back door!” I said out loud; ordering myself to calm down. “The boy and Grammy stopped home to get his toothbrush. She must be with them…” I thought to myself. Opening up my cellphone I called and confirmed the dog’s whereabouts, calming myself and chalking up my anxiety to the night at hand. “The boy decided it would be cruel to leave Dixie at home alone, considering you left her outside for about an hour.” My mother in law informed. “Oh jeeze!” I said with a nervous laugh. “It’s okay, you were stressed and she’s safe.”

By the time I returned to the hospital, my hubby was pretty much ready to leave. All of the blood tests and the chest X-rays turned up no evidence of a heart attack. Our best working theory is he suffered a panic/anxiety attack, brought on by stress from a new position at work; along with other less interesting variables thrown in for good measure. Though still a bit shaky, his blood pressure fell within normal parameters and before midnight, he was released. Fresh with a new script for blood pressure, and an order to call his cardiologist first thing Monday morning, we arrived home, both happy with the results and dog dead tired.

Sunday morning, as we’ve become accustomed to, we talked about the craziness of the night before. “I didn’t understand why all these people kept coming into our house after the EMT’s arrived” he said. “Because they care about you…and wanted to make sure you were alright” I replied. “I think they came because they care about you…” He said. “Six of one…we’re a matched set” I replied. “Why did you send for the boy to come home?” I wondered. “Because if this was something really bad, I wanted to see him….” He answered. “Good thing the doll spent the night at her cousins…” I said. Yeah….”

And our conversations continued on that lazy Sunday afternoon where the hubby was given the day off to rest; while his family did their best to huddle around him, keeping him safe and loved.

Q. What price love?

A. $500-Insurance deductible met… 😉

What price love…?

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My fun Saturday night was rudely interrupted by a phone call asking me to come home. I had just taken a bite out of my chicken ranch wrap and chased the food down with a swig of beer when my phone rang. My husband on the other end said “Come home”. I was like Wha? He said again “Come Home” Whhhy? I asked a bit annoyed and worried at the same time. Are one of the kids hurt? “I don’t feel well, somethings wrong…my blood pressure is off…” “Okay” I said and then hung up the phone. I stood up from my chair looked at my dinner friend and said I have to leave. Then sat back down and took a bite out of my wrap again. “What?-Why?” she asked. “My hubs having a heart attack.” I said calmly as I took another swig of beer and then tried to wrap my head around everything.

She looked across the table at me and calmly asked “What?” “I don’t know, he wants me to come home. His blood pressure isn’t working right.” I said and took another bite of my food. I think I was in shock… “Call him back and tell him to call 911.  Its going to take time for us to get out of here and back home.” She was right, we were on the other side of town at least 30 minutes  away.  (thank goodness one of us were thinking clearly). I called back and he reiterated “Come home!!!” “Honey, call 911. Its gonna take us awhile to get out of here; we have to pay the bill and everything….” He agreed. I took another bite of my food.

“Do we know someone who could bring aspirin down the street to stop the effects?” My friend asked. I pulled out my phone and began to search for numbers. She did the same. In the end, between our calling and his calling 911 a party showed up at my house. Everyone-my whole neighborhood was there but me. My mother in law, who happened to have the boy with her, showed up as the EMT’s arrived. The boy sat back and watched his dad being checked over. Today when I asked him about everything he said, “I think I handled it pretty well…” His grandmother added “As we pulled into the driveway and  saw the Rescue Squads the boy said, ‘Oh I hope it’s not the doll'”  The boy, looking a bit sheepish smiled and then added, “Well I do love her even if she is annoying.”

My friend and I finally left the restaurant and headed toward home, trying desperately not to get into an accident ourselves. At one red light we held hands and said a prayer for his health. Fortunate for us, my cell phone is connected to my car’s radio service so we received regular updates as we drove along…and everyone assured us he was okay-but shaky. Five minutes from home my friend Shelly called to let me know they were taking him to the hospital “He’s OKAY okay? He’s Okay-he just wants to be checked out to be sure…” “Can you wait 5 minutes? I’m 5 minutes away…” I said. She handed the phone to my hub who said, “I’ll see you there…”

What goes through someone’s mind during this event? Not a lot I can tell you. My need to get home over the reality of what I would find is overwhelming. Am I allowed to be mad at him for ruining my fun night-by rudely getting sick or does that make me a selfish bitch? When I finally arrived home, I let our dog out into the back yard and changed into more comfortable clothes.  My friend told me to stop and sit down for a minute. “I can’t. I got to get over to the hospital. “Marsha, your hands are shaking…calm down.” I smiled at her…”They aren’t that bad” I said as I held out a trembling hand as proof.  I sat down, took some calming breaths and we split a beer. Then
together we said a prayer for his wellness and then I left to meet our fate at the hospital….forgetting all along the dog was in the back yard.

daylight sleeping time…

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I’ve been having trouble staying awake during the afternoon. I come home from work and sit down for five minutes and I’m asleep for ten.  Today the doll took off my shoes and tried to roll my head down onto the couch, before I woke up. “Mom, you need to rest” she informed.  Me? I didn’t have time to rest. Seems the boys drank all the milk and I had to  go buy some.

Ever since daylight savings time began, my kids refuse to get out of bed in the morning. “Mom, it’s too early!” They yell, lifting their hands over their eyes in anticipation of me turning on their bedroom lights. “Really? If I didn’t have to be up this early would I be?” I said to the general population this morning. The doll yelled back “Just to spite us, yes you would!” I guess I’m going to have to test that theory some weekend and wake them up early; provided of course I can wake up early enough to do so (its the weekend after all).

doomed

Someone posted and article on Facebook about how women need to get more sleep than men. Evidently, women suffer greatly from lack of sleep, whereas sleep (or lack there of) doesn’t seem to have the same effect on men (ain’t that always the way?). I took the article to mean as women we are doomed. At times there are not enough hours in the day to get work done, let alone time for cuddling.

Ah, but I digress. The children fought me on going to bed the other night. Their usual bedtime is 9:30-10:00 pm, simply because they’ve worn down my resistance to set a firm bedtime. The boy argued, “Mama, I’m right in the middle of something, please let me finish watching.”  I was tired and didn’t feel like having a drawn out argument and agreed. “How much longer?”  “About fifteen minutes”. He replied.  “Okay then lights out.” I agreed. The doll piped in, “Hey, no fair…” But I squelched her adding, “Doll, he’s three years older. Let him have fifteen minutes please?”

A half an hour later I look down the hall and see a light coming from his room. “Boy, it’s now been a half an hour…” Getting my drift, he said “goodnight” and turned off his light. I went back to working on the blog. As the night began to fade and I had more and more trouble staying awake, I decided I could finish the blog in the morning; set the laptop down and prepared to go to bed.  As I turned out lights I noticed a small sliver of light emanating from the boy’s bedroom. Swinging open the door, there he lay, his Nook an inch from his face, watching some dumb program an hour and a half after I said to turn out the lights. “Bay, give it here…” I said holding out my hands for his Nook.  “But Mom, ugh, I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist, uh…I mean I don’t need as many hours of sleep as you do…uh….it’s a really good show…” “Be that as it may, it’s way past bedtime-go to sleep and maybe you’ll get the Nook back by summer!” I replied.

I realize this has been going on for ages…kids sneaking to read more-flashlight in hand under the covers; but I think what upset me the most was not that he broke my trust, but that he implied he didn’t need as much sleep as me. If I follow that article that means he’s right…and lord knows, when it comes to following mama’s rules…he can’t be.

a night at the opera….not

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Very rarely do the kids and I sit down to watch a television show together.  We all have such different tastes and if the doll had her way the television would be eternally stuck on Disney dreck day in and day out. The boy if he had the ability to schedule his own programming  would subject us to non stop American Family-which I believe is pure filth myself; but I digress. Last night we decided as a family to watch American Idol.  We kind of kept an eye on the show during its various changes this season, but  never invested much time into watching a full episode until last night.  Perhaps this is why….

The boy: Wait, they’re doing Beatles?

Me: Shhh yes…

The boy: Why?

The doll: She sounds kinda pitchy

The Boy: As if you would know…

The doll: Shut up boy, I’m trying to listen

Me: Would you both knock it off? How can you tell if they sound pitchy if everyone’s talking over the singer?

The boy: How come no one is singing “I wanna hold your hand?

The doll: That would be a better song than some of these choices

Me: The Lennon/McCarthy catalog is thick.

The boy: Who’s Lennon and McCarthy?

The doll: My friend Emma loves the Beatles

Me: Who’s Lennon and McCarthy?  Go to bed…

The boy: Mom, I know who they are I just wanted to see your response…

Me: uh huh.

The doll: Why are the Beatles so big anyway?

The boy: You see doll, the Beatles music arrived at a time when music was stagnant and floundering…

Me: What are you talking about?

The doll: That’s just it Mom, he never knows what he’s talking about

The boy: Like you do!!

Me: The Beatles spurred on the British Invasion of music in the 1960’s and were one of the first bands to experiment with different sounds to create music harmony.  They’re music is legendary because the music had such a broad appeal–all music formats fell in love with the genius and artistry.

The boy: I don’t think they’re all that great

Me: One of these singers should do Obla Dee Obla dah…”obla dee obla dah life goes on brah la la how the life goes on…”

The doll: I love that song

The boy: Mom, you should consider never applying to be on American Idol

Me: I’m too old boy-regardless whether I can carry a note or not

The boy: Well your something all right.

Me: Look at the clock-time for bed!

The doll: But I want to watch the end

Me: It’s only recaps

The boy: Wait how come no one did Hey Jude? I mean that song was played at the Olympics!

Me: That’s probably why–goodnight

As you can see this was only a slice of the overall conversation the three of us shared while watching the contestants sing.  Frankly, it’s a wonder we heard any of the show itself. There were plenty of “Shh’s” and plenty of “Pitchy” or “Ooh that high note really wasn’t there”. But most of all there was playful banter back and forth as the boy tried to be sarcastic, the doll tried to be attentive and I just tried to hear/filter over them…

Just like every day life in my household.