Monthly Archives: April 2013

a mean mommy notch…

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The children have been at odds with each other more than usual lately. Sunday night, when they realized I had control of the television, they both raced to the basement-where they yelled and argued over of whose “program” was more important to watch. The doll, who was already perched on precarious ground for being disrespectful earlier in the day, began to raise her voice. Her brother matched her in volume and soon thereafter I called them upstairs saying “That’s it! Go to bed!”  Which was then echoed by their father. Both kids stomped up the stairs, into the living room and with incredulity said “What?” “Go to bed!” I reiterated  The boy fearing the loss of electronic devices for the week, immediately said, “Okay, goodnight mama” and moved quickly toward his bedroom.

The doll however just stood there;  dripping wet with attitude to spare. In a raise voice she questioned “Why? It’s not my bedtime”. “Well tonight it is” I replied calmly. “That’s not fair mom!” she yelled at me. “I don’t care. You’ve been completely disrespectful and rude to your father and I today. When I asked you to help your dad you never even moved. You sat there as if you were the queen and we were your minions. So guess what? I’m exercising my right as the one and true queen of the house and am sending you to bed NOW!” “Well you better get used to it MOM, I’m a teenager and that’s what teenagers do!” she replied. “Really? Well guess what? You’re two years shy of being a teenager, but the result will still be the same. Go. To. Bed! “FINE!” she screamed stomping as she passed; pausing only long enough to reach for her Kindle. But to add to the drama I stopped her and said,  “You don’t need your Kindle to sleep with…” Then unexpectedly she threw her Kindle at me before shouting, “I HATE YOU!!! YOU ARE THE WORST MOTHER EVER!!! YOU’RE JUST BEING MEAN!!” When her bedroom door slammed shut, I turned and looked at her father and said, “Well I guess I’m earning that mean mommy badge again”.

A minute later her bedroom door opened. As I turned to look I watched her arm release not one, but two stuffed animals in quick accession  at me. Thankfully her aim stinks. She also unloaded two glue sticks and a barrage of other small projectiles aimed at hitting me, before she slammed her door shut again. Looking back at her father I said, “I wonder what her bedroom is going to look like when she finishes redecorating a la thrown stuffed animals?” I’m not sure what time she actually fell asleep, but when we checked a half an hour later at 9:00 pm she was fast asleep.

Today when she arrived home from school we discussed what had happened the night before. “Mom I think it was a mood swing. I just couldn’t control my temper and everything made me angry and upset yesterday”. Having been on that side of the fence more often than I care to admit, I agreed with her. “Yes there are will be days like that; the key is to not let them overtake you.” I said. “You should have seen my room when I finished throwing all my animals around. It was a mess!” “Better to have a mess to clean up than do something you’ll regret later” I replied at the same time she came over and gave me a hug. The boy who pretended to not be   listening to our conversation chose that moment to say, “Oh isn’t that sweet the “detail doll” acquiescing to her mother”.

The doll’s swift response proved that while she may not be a teenager yet, her mouth and attitude are; said “SHUT UP BOY!! and this time I agreed with her.

Acquiescing: To accept something reluctantly but without protest

TTYLXOX….wha?

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004Every year when auditions for the school’s annual talent show come home, the doll’s desire to participate rises. The year before, her plans were thwarted when her cousins bowed out, deciding one dance recital was enough. So this year, she tapped her BFF Felicia and the two girls found a song and created a dance routine and practiced like crazy for the audition. “Mom, I’m soooo nervous” the doll announced before her audition.  “Doll you and Felicia worked hard. Just go out and have fun…” I encouraged. Then lo and behold their dance routine was picked to perform.

One would think this would encourage the girls to practice more, but instead, they kind of stopped-except during of recess at school. Otherwise they really didn’t practice all that much. I guess the hurdle to be chosen felt more important than the performance itself. Regardless, when we arrived Friday to see her perform, we hoped for the best. “Mom I messed up on Thursday-I switched too early” she said. “Well no one knows that but you…so don’t worry about it”. “Oh I know, I’m not worried.” she replied.001

The school gym was jammed pack with proud parents and grandparents waiting anxiously for their student to perform. We didn’t have to wait too long, as the doll’s routine was third. I will say, the entire show was very cute and we have some very talented singers at the school. The only thing that could have been improved upon were the use of karaoke CD’s so we could differentiate between the “singers” and the “artists”; but no matter. The show was entertaining nonetheless.

Afterward the doll told me “I messed up again…” “Really? Because I never would have known had you not told me.” I replied. She shrugged her shoulders and went on about her evening.  I will say however, their song choice to dance to-while super annoying, played perfectly for them. Being BFF’s its almost a requirement…

TTYLXOX (presumably TalkToYouLaterKissHugKiss?)

Watch this!

Be be be my BFF
‘Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Show up in the same dress
We don’t know who wore it best
Not make a big deal
Act like it’s a new trend
Look good when we go round here
Try on these boots
I found this boy who says you’re sweet
He’s got a best friend
(You’ll always be mine)

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

I’m a better me
When you’re here next to me
I’m JK can’t you tell
We’re ROTFFL
Who needs words when we got hearts, smile
T-t-t-time goes by so fast
But we are meant to last
(You’ll always be mine)

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

(TTYLXOX)
Come on!
(You’ll always be mine)

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX

Be be be my BFF
Cause IDK what’s coming next
And I’ll be LMHO with the rest
So TTYLXOX
X!

 

the attempt to embarrass…

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The other day after Charlotte sat down in my car she looked over at me and said, “Marsha, you should treat old people like children, with a lot of patience”. Smiling back at her I replied, “Really? So, does that mean you’re going to be more patient with me?” “She smiled back and said “No”. “Well then, we’re both in the same boat” I said and we both laughed. This sums up my relationship with Charlotte and I couldn’t be more blessed by her if I tried.

When she first entered her assisted living facility, I asked her, “Are you participating in any of the activities they have to help keep you engaged?” Shaking her head no she replied, “No, I just stay in my room”. “Why?” I asked, surprised. “Because I don’t like old people.” she said. Smiling back at her I asked, “Have you looked in the mirror lately?” Giving me a “if looks could kill smile” she guffawed and then said, “Regardless how OLD I am, old people freak me out.” “Dear God-that’s  a hard row for you to hoe darling” I replied. Nodding she added, “That’s why I’m having fun driving the aides nuts”.

Well there is always that… I thought.

Charlotte and I have cyclical conversations that do not vary week to week. I’m not sure if this is her dementia or her attempt at driving me nuts. Either one fits.

When I pick her up for her weekly hair appointment we have the same conversation.  She asks me “Did you sign me out?”  “Nope I’m kidnapping you” I reply. “You can’t do that I’m not a kid” she’ll say indignantly  “Alrighty then, I’m old lady-knapping you, let’s go.” I reply. “Did you sign me out?” she asks again. “Yes, let’s go.” Charlotte carries around a bag, which I suppose you could call her purse. Contained within is her wallet and identification, along with a few necessary items in case of accidents. When we reach my car, I place her bag, along with her walker in the back seat. As we drive along, she’ll look down at the floor and ask, “I don’t even have my bag?” and I reply, “It’s in the back seat with mine.” A minute later she’ll ask again, “You didn’t bring my bag?” and I reply, “Its in the back seat with mine.” and so on and so forth until we arrive at the hair dresser.

After every hair appointment, as part of our routine, we go out to lunch. This is the most entertaining time of the day, as she makes fun of everyone she sees. One day she said “Marsha-look at that baby over there…I think he’s been kidnapped”. Glancing over my right shoulder I spied a presumed Dad, child and grandparents eating lunch. “What makes you think they kidnapped that child?” I ask amused. “Listen to that child; he’s saying ‘This is not my family'” she said and then added, “I think you should tell the waitress to call the police.”  Smiling back I said, “Well, since you obviously can translate baby-speak, I think you should be the one to tell the waitress”.  Needless to say, the family ate their lunch without incident.

Another time she spotted a woman who had dyed her very short hair a bright reddish orange color. Of course, it didn’t help that the woman was sitting under a sky light, which amplified her hair color. “Marsha, that woman’s head is on fire!” she said. Looking at the woman, I agreed with a small laugh. “I think you need to get a bucket of water and pour it on her” she encouraged to me.  Smiling back I replied, “No, that’s what the waitresses are for.” As luck would have it, as we prepared to leave, so too did the other woman. I handed Charlotte the remainder of my glass of water and said, “Here’s your chance….put out her fire”. Charlotte only smiled in reply.

About a month ago, Charlotte was fitted for dentures, though she does not like wearing them. So I was surprised on Monday when I picked her up, she had her upper plate in. “Your dentures look nice.” I said attempting to be nice. “Easy for you to say…” She replied. As we sat at an Ihop she looked across the booth at me and said, “I can’t eat with these in my mouth” pointing at her dentures. “Do you need to take them out?”I asked-not really wanting her reply. “Well I don’t want to embarrass you…” she replied. “When has that ever stopped you?” I said. Acting very insulted she said “Ugh, you think I embarrass you?” “Darling, you attempt to embarrass me at every turn…don’t even deny it.” “Well then why should this day be different” she said, grabbing a napkin and pulling her dentures out. “Don’t look at them!” she ordered. “Um, I won’t but…you may want to put them in your bag instead of leaving them on the table” I suggested. Picking the dentures up from the table she said “Fine, I’ll just put them in my diaper!” Waiting a moment for her words to settle I said “Takes that expression ‘getting bit in the ass’ to a whole new level huh?” She looked back at me with a smile and then we both laughed.

After a few minutes passed I said “Darlin’ we may not have much, but at least we have laughter on Monday afternoons.” Nodding her head she smiled again and attempted to finish her lunch.

 

 

nervous nellies…

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When the announcement came home a few months back, about the School’s annual Talent Show try-outs, the doll convinced her BFF Felicia to help her come up with something, that could showcase how talented the two are. In truth, the doll missed taking ballet again this year and wanted some attention for how well she could still dance. So with a little assistance from me (purchasing T-shirts they could decorate and use as costumes) the doll and Felicia choreographed a dance routine and tried out. Whether the girls were picked because they were good or the teacher needed filler for the show, one cannot say.

This year’s Talent Show consists of two performances; the first of which takes place this afternoon, in front of the student body.  The second show takes place Friday evening for parents and family (the boy has already requested to stay home for the second show-go figure).  Last night the doll made a point of showing me her shaking hands and then added  “Mom….I’m nervous about tomorrow.” “Have you and Felicia been practicing during recess?” I asked-as they haven’t had much time to hang out with one another after school lately. “Yes…” she replied. “And what about the rehearsals, how did those go?” “Oh we kept messing up. First Felicia switched before we were supposed to and then when it was my turn to switch I didn’t because we already did.” she replied sporting a whimsical smile at the memory. “If you mess up in front of the audience, will they know you’re messing up?” I asked. She furrowed her brow and said, “Maybe, maybe not”.  “Doll the neat thing about creating your own dance is the only ones who know the routine are you and Felicia. The audience might think that is just part of the show. So just relax and have fun..that’s what this was all about right?” I tried to encourage. She shrugged her shoulders and then asked, “Would you like to see me dance my part?”  “Not really” I wanted to say. But being a mean mommy sometimes dictates watching my obsessed perfectionist daughter dance over and over instead. So I said “Sure, doll let’s see what you can do….”

a change in venue….

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“Hey boy and doll! Thanks for coming! Thank you Aunt Marsha for coming to see me perform.” My nephew Ben said excitedly last night as we approached.  The boy, doll and I attended his Junior Jazz Recital held at our local university’s Performing arts college. “Ben is it true you did this for a grade?” The boy asked. “Yes, ha ha, I did get graded on my performance.” He replied. “Huh” the boy said in return. “Mom, can we leave now?” the doll asked pulling my arm and moving toward the door. “Doll, really?” I replied. Giving me a sour look she simply replied with an “Ugh”.

My nephew Ben is a very talented Jazz Pianist. What began with piano lessons some years ago has blossomed into a full on love affair with the instrument-as evidenced last night while I watched him play. “Did you see how Ben was playing that piano?” I asked as we drove home. “He was smiling and jamming and having a blast! He was showing us the joy in doing something you love. I tell you, if Ben can make a living out of this, he’s the luckiest man on earth”. Hearing such praise for their cousin took the kids by surprise. Their only real acquaintance with him is watching; rather listening to him play the piano and family get together’s.  Ben may stop to eat and converse with others for a few minutes or so, but otherwise, he happily entertains our family functions with his expertise.

Over the years, my brother has sent emails inviting us to hear Ben play at various musical venues around town, but the timing has never been right. After reading the recital would take place at the university, I informed the children they would be attending with me. I decided an infusion of culture along with a change in their nightly viewing habits were sorely needed. They however disagreed. “Mom, I’m going to miss Dancing with the Stars” the doll informed. “Too bad, so sad…” I replied. “But Mom, we hear Ben play all the time” the boy added. “Not like this. No more arguments, you’re going with me”.

As the lights in the performance room went down, Ben’s youngest brother sat next to the boy, playing a video game app, while the doll grabbed my phone so she could call her cousins and tell them how bored she was. Then Ben and his accompaniment began to play, mesmerizing the audience with his musical arrangements.  I love jazz music and beyond being his proud aunt,  I can honestly say, he was phenomenal. I especially enjoyed watching how fast his hands were moving on the keys, while at the same time his body “rocked” and “jammed” to the notes he was producing. At one point the doll leaned over and asked, “Mom is he playing the songs by heart or by ear?” Later when we mentioned that to his mother, she smiled and said, “A little bit of both”.  When the first song drew to a close and the audience clapped in appreciation, I noticed a bit of competition occurring between the boy and his cousin–who would make the last clap noise.  In and effort to stop their “horseplay” I reached over and clamped my left hand down on the boy’s hands. His cousin smiled in victory amusement.

Later when we were home I asked the doll what she thought. “It was boring mom” she answered truthfully. “Now do you understand why people think dance recitals are boring?” She gave me a “What are your getting at?” look and replied “Mom, at dance recitals their’s movement and life. Here there was just boring music.” Smiling at her I replied, “Poor doll, you must have been at a different recital than me.” Not quite understanding what that meant she simply said “You’re weird mom”.

So be it….

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If you would like to listen to one of his original songs, click the Youtube link below.  If you have trouble viewing link, let me know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqj_y0mCwnI&feature=youtu.be

 

a muzzle would be nice…

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“So he’s the mayor now when he was an inmate before?” the boy asked and was answered with “shhhhhh’s” from his father and I. We were  watching  the movie  Les Misérables while the boy worked on his homework in the same room. “I’ve never seen this or heard the music before, quit asking questions and do your work in the kitchen” I replied. He shrugged his shoulders and went back to “working on his homework” before asking another question “So she became a prostitute?” “What’s a prostitute?” The doll asked. “Someone who sells herself to another person” the boy replied. “Please do your homework in another room!” I announced and was again summarily ignored by the boy. “So wait, is that guy supposed to be Napoleon?” the boy asked. Looking to his father for support I again told the boy to finish his homework in the kitchen, away from the movie he was not supposed to be watching.

Yes watching a movie with the boy offers some challenges. He cannot for the life of him keep his mouth shut.

The night before the doll and I rented three movies. Two for the kids one for myself. The first movie up, The Guardians kept getting stopped in our DVD player, so we gave up trying to watch that one. Instead Life of Pi began to play. The hubby has to work Saturday mornings at 5 am now, so he was fast asleep before the movie began. I was finishing things in the kitchen and began to watch, just as Pi’s life changed.  In one segment, the lead character Pi is looking into the ocean, as the stars reflect back to him in phosphorescent lighting and he begins to swirl the water, dazzled by the display, in response. The doll, watching from her “nesting” position on the couch said, “Yeah like that could really happen.” The boy replied. “Actually it’s quite possible. There are many biological organisms, most specifically in fish, that characteristically have phosphorescent details which would enable the water to resemble a soupy mix of stars”. The doll looked over at him and said “What?” I sat on the couch and laughed.

As the movie rolled on what dialogue I heard came not from the movie, but from the boy and doll arguing with one another. Most specifically, the boy offering his take on something and the doll telling him to shut up. “Wait, Meir cats are aggressive animals. They wouldn’t be cute and cuddly” “Shut up boy!” “You know the Tiger really…” “SHUT UP!!” “Wait, this could have all been..” “BOY!!! STOP TELLING ME WHAT YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN. I’VE ALREADY SEEN THE MOVIE KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, JEEZE!!”

And there I sat trying not to laugh, agreeing with the doll and still trying not to laugh. “Let me ask you bay, if we were at movie theater…” I began before the doll interrupted, “HE WOULDA BEEN THROWN OUT!!” The boy for his part finally stopped talking and simply smirked at her response. When the movie finally ended the boy looked over at the doll and I and said, “Well that was an interesting movie”. “The doll growled at him and I laughed.”  “Mama, what’s so funny?” He asked. “Nothing..biological organisms with phosphorescent details have nothing on the two of you…go to bed.”

Thankfully they did.

 

C’mon spring….

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001We all remember the adage, April Showers bring May flowers, right? But really, must the showers come in snow and sleet form? One day recently, when our area temperatures climbed out of the 30 degree range for a day, the hubby and I jumped at the chance to take in a walk at an area park. Everywhere we walked you could see the desolation of the woods-screaming out for rebirth, wanting desperately to renew their yearly tradition of Spring, bringing life back from the brink. While the day was beautiful and sunny, our walk was not. We kept looking for signs spring was in the air yet had a hard time finding them. 011

The very next day brought another weather pattern of freezing temperatures and rain. I understand Spring is tumultuous, but really? How many days of cold temperatures do we need?  Our flood plains are filled; the banks of the river overflowed. Why was spring being so fickle? We’re midway through April, surely spring should be showing some signs of coming back!!

Then spring surprised us with an 82 degree day. Taking the opportunity to return to the park for another walk I was amazed how a few days could do to change the atmosphere of the park. Finally true spring was in the air.  The first thing I noticed were the green buds on bushes, just off the path, that only days earlier were not present.  Rhododendron sprouts were there too, filling in with color.  Spring finally began pushing through the winter muck. The more I walked, the more spring came into view; my hope for winter’s end was actually proving true. When I left the park, I was  hopeful; ready for warmer temperatures; ready to take my daily antihistamines…with pleasure.

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Ah Spring, you fickle season, why do you tease us so…? As the signs of Spring keep appearing daily, our temperatures keep trying to pull us back into winter’s grip. The day after our beautiful 82 degree day, we were watching sleet and snow try to make an entrance back into our lives. But spring is blooming and can’t be stopped. Kind of like my children…beautiful without a doubt.

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