Monthly Archives: February 2015

A boy at 16…

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“You need a haircut,” I tell him almost daily. He barely acknowledges my comment as he brushes past; making clicking noises and maybe sporting a small smirk. Unconsciously his right hand lifts to ruffle through his thick mane to “see” and then he’s gone.

Last week he earned service hours at our parish Fish Fry, clearing tables and talking with folks. Several people approached his father and I, many which haven’t seen the boy in some time; all anxious to tell us about him. “Wow, he’s gotten big!” Said one. “He actually resembles an adult,” said another, which made me laugh at the irony. “You know what I mean!” She said.  Of course I do! The boy’s physical appearance has changed tremendously over the last few years. Standing at about 6’1″ he’s also quite broad and looks a little like a linebacker. His face has elongated and now sports facial hair. He’s also determined to grow sideburns, regardless how crazy they curl about on his face. On the surface, he does look older.

“I’d like you to disconnect from the Internet tonight and come out and hang with me tonight,” I told him yesterday.”Why?” He asked, sporting a put-upon face. “Because I miss you Bay…” I said. “Um mom, no offense but you’re boring” he replied. Feigning offense I closed my mouth and said “I could say the same about you. But I won’t. Whaddaya say? Let’s hang out!!” “Umm I’d rather not,” He said and walked away.

I stood there for a moment, trying to figure out if he was being a brat or simply a teenager or both. My mind jumped back almost 17 years, to the time when the pregnancy test I had just taken displayed a positive result (for a change). Seven years of trying and failing, I wasn’t used to seeing the positive sign and excitedly took two more tests for confirmation. A smile crept across my face when all the feelings of elation at finally being pregnant came happily flooding back.

I was so overjoyed to bring this sarcastic, sometimes moody, hard-headed boy into this world. I used to tell him I should have named him Payne–because he’s a pain, but he’s my pain; a pain I’d never ever give up.

On the way to school this morning he was unusually quiet. “What’s going on in that head of yours?” I asked. “I’m thinking it’s about time I get my temps…” “Scary thoughts there Bay” I replied with a smile. “No more scary than your driving on a daily basis mom” he replied and laughed just before  exiting the car. Then he stopped turned and said “I love you Momma!” Before closing the car door and walking into school.

I love you too Bay! Happy 16!

 

 

knocking on the sophomore brick wall…

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Just about every year  I write a blog about words or combinations of words the boy uses (poorly, I might add) while trying to explain himself on most topics out there, but most notably school and grades. He uses these same words in combination so much, I sometimes wonder if, in his mind, he’s combined them to form one new word altogether.

Iforgot”,  “Ican’t“, “itwasanaccident

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Q. “How did you get a poor grade on your math test if all the homework leading up to the test is an A+?”

Yesterday, his first attempt to answer my inquiry fell flat:

A. “Mom, I’m just not very smart”. He began.

Which lead to the following discussion/argument:

“Oh, I see. I guess this means we need to hire a tutor and meet with your teacher to examine what areas you need help in”. I replied. “Mom, Ican’t do the work.” He tried. “Okay, got it. I’ll email your teacher so we can set up a time to discuss this matter with him”. I said. “Mom, there are certain algorithms you need to follow and Iforgot the correct ones.” He continued. “Right, so I’m going to enroll you in the after school math program on Wednesday’s so they can help you memorize what algorithms you need to learn and use.” “Mom, that won’t help. Ican’t do the work because I don’t remember the correct algorithm. Why won’t you allow “Iforgot” as a valid argument?” He asked, raising his voice in frustration as he did so; hoping I would cave under his loud timber. “Bay, because “Iforgot,” sounds more to me like you’re saying, “I don’t want to apply myself. I’d rather not study. I’d rather do what I want to do, rather than what is expected of me to do”. I explained.”That is not what I’m saying at all. I want to get the algorithm right I just can’t” He argued. “Because you don’t want to study…” I inject. “Because Iforgot” He continued, “Because you didn’t apply yourself…”

As he realized he was losing ground in this particular argument, the boy changed his strategy, deciding to throw a distraction bomb, hoping to dissuade me from the topic at hand and with luck get rid of me all together.

“WHY DO YOU HATE ME?” he yelled.

“Bay, if I hated you, we would not be having this conversation,” I replied. “That’s not true. You hate that I’m not the smartest kid in the school! Well, guess what Mom, I’m not very smart!!” He tried again. “Bay, I don’t care where you place in the school or class. What I DO care about is you getting the quality education we are paying them. What I need you to do is get out of your own way; which you seem content not doing–preferring to play on the internet after school, rather than using a third of that free time to study your school subjects”.

“Mom you just don’t get it…” He tried once more.

“Unfortunately Bay, I do. Both your dad and I get it…you, however, don’t or won’t. But until you do, we’ll continue this tired conversation over and over again.” I said hoping to see a light bulb go off over his head.

Still waiting…

 

 

 

 

pipe dream…

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There is a destiny that makes us brothers, None goes his way alone, What we give to the hearts of others, Comes back into our own.” The Guiding Light

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Amidst all the garbage that social and news media outlets try to inundate us with, sometimes we can find a few diamonds in the “human landscape” rough, trying to show we aren’t all barbarians.We just have to be willing to wade through all the crap first. The other day I read an article on how over 1000 Muslims surrounded a Jewish synagogue in Norway, trying to protect and protest anti-Semitism and anti-Islamism which has erupted due to recent terrorist attacks.

A nice feel good story, I thought until I read the very next article, related to this story, in my queue. There were 1300 people in attendance at the event, but only about 20 Muslims took part in the attempt to encircle the building. Another related article popped up and noted that the “organizer” of the event has been known in the past to make anti-Semitic statements, and on and on and on.

So much for that good story and deed…

I began to wonder why the news media was so quick to poke holes and throw this story into disarray with doubts? Why did it matter the number of Muslims who participated? Why couldn’t this be a story about human solidarity, regardless of religion? Why couldn’t the news media celebrate a group of people trying to make a difference?

Perhaps I’m oversimplifying or asking the wrong questions. What would make me happier, a story truthfully written or one filled with faults and lies?

Does it matter?

In my estimation, whether the event organizer made anti-Semitic statements in his past, was of no consequence. His actions that day were speaking louder. Also, the number of Muslims who arrived to try and make a difference shouldn’t matter either. But rather their intention to show the world that kindness, regardless of religion, should be the norm, rather than the exception.

We should be riveted to stories about man’s humanity toward their fellow man, rather than the inhumanity.

Tell me, wouldn’t that make a nicer morning read?

 

 

 

 

 

fiver….

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On February 24, 2010, the doll went to the dentist to have a cavity filled. Once the novocaine had worn off and she was back in school, she went to the nurses office in search of some relief but ran into me instead. “Why are you here?” I asked even though I had a feeling, considering she was holding her hand against her cheek. “My tooth hurts.” She informed. “Sorry baby, but there is nothing they can do for you here,” I said, knowing full well I had not authorized a medicine dispensing for her. “But they told me to come to the nurses office” She replied. “Well, you did, but they can’t do anything for you..”I replied. Again she gave me a frustrated face and replied, “But they told me to come…” Each time the doll replied, quiet laughs could be heard coming from the office staff on duty, which the doll did not appreciate. Finally after watching our verbal tennis match, the parent “acting nurse” invited the doll into the office and after a little talk, sent her back to class with a small ice pack for her sore mouth.

Thus began the mean mommy’s memoirs. I remember joking with the office staff that when I arrived home I was going to start writing a blog called the Mean Mommy’s Memoirs about the just happened incident and surprisingly, I did.

Five years later to the day, as I sit here writing, the novocaine from this morning’s cavity is beginning to wear off for me and I too kind of wish I had something to take away the discomfort. Perhaps that will come later, following my work day.

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Staying with a toothy theme, yesterday after the boy’s orthodontist appointment he began to complain of pain derived from an elongated piece of braces poking the back of his throat. Giving me a “hurt” look he stuck his index finger into his mouth and complained,  “Mom, I’m serious!!” He whined. “Bay, let’s see if you can manage for the night and if not, then we can call the orthodontist in the morning to see if they can squeeze you in…” “I can’t wait that long!! Can’t we just get some wire cutters?” Smiling back at him I replied, “Oh yes, that would make a fine sight and land one of us in jail…” “How about I give you some ibuprofen?” His father offered. “DAD THAT WON’T STOP THE POKING OF THE WIRE!!” the boy yelled then returned his index finger to his mouth. “Well, I tried,” He father said, walking away.

A few hours later, as we sat at the kitchen table eating dinner, the boy poked at his food but did not eat. “Bay, c’mon, you can eat this…” I said trying to encourage him. “I CAN’T EAT ANYTHING. I CAN’T CHEW!” He whined at us. “You don’t have to chew mashed potatoes” The doll informed, which elicited a mean look from her brother. “There must be something…” I said, thinking aloud. “THERE ISN’T ANYTHING EXCEPT FOR THEM TO CLIP THIS!!’ the boy continued his whining diatribe. “Since that will not happen tonight, you need something else…like…wax!” I said happy I remembered that easy tool. “My friend Emily uses wax all the time” the doll added.

“THAT WON’T HELP!! WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING TO ME? I CAN’T TO ANYTHING UNTIL THIS WIRE IS CUT. I CAN’T EAT, I CAN’T SLEEP, I CAN’T DO MY HOMEWORK BECAUSE THIS FRIGGIN WIRE IS DRIVING ME NUTS!!” The boy complained bitterly. “Wax helps Emily, perhaps if you give it a try it can help you…” the doll offered and received a growl and faux punch from her brother in return. “HEY!” I raised my voice at the boy, “…the doll is trying to help you. As a matter of fact, we all are not that you deserve some, by the way, your acting. But right now, you have limited choices. The doctor’s office is closed so we have to deal with that wire tonight. You know your dad and I both had braces and wax worked for us. Believe it or not, experience does count for something here.. I wonder if we can buy some over the counter somewhere…” I finished, thinking aloud. “I have some” the boy weakly replied. “Then do yourself and US a favor and apply some wax to the spot and see what happens”.

He was quiet the rest of the night. Yes, wax and braces are a good team. As a bonus, before bed, the boy handed me the paperwork he received from the orthodontist, which included a statement revealing his braces have been paid completely.

Now onto saving for the doll’s…

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Five years, 1,274 posts, 27,943 views, 86 comments on the blog site.

One GIANT Thank you!!

accessories…

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My goal every day is to bring a smile to someone’s face. My kids might argue, however, that I’m horrible at doing so with them (The answer is “No”. “But why? Why are you trying to ruin my life?” “Because that’s what mom’s do”).

Whereas some of the ladies I hang out with during the week might say I excel at my goal. Take for instance Mary Alice, whose seated next to me while I proofread this aloud. Probably to be nice, she’s giggling at me. “How’s your breakfast?” I ask. “Very good” she replied. “Good, I’m always happy to know I haven’t poisoned you..” I return and she laughs at my reply. Score!! Though stand up comedy is probably nowhere in my future, I at least have found some to appreciate my humor. In reality, however, my life would be a mess if I didn’t have a reason to smile everyday be it the doll rolling her eyes at me or the boy scowling when I tell him to do his homework. Even on days when everything seems to be going wrong, if at some point I’m able to crack a smile, then I’ve lived another successful day.

Saturday night, my husband and I attended a surprise 50th birthday party for a neighbor of ours. “I don’t own any nice clothes…” I mentioned to my husband as I threw clothes on the bed trying to find something nice to wear. “Marsha, they know you, where a nice sweatshirt…” He tried until I gave him the evil eye in return. “Just let me know when we’re supposed to leave.” He said and exited the room. I found a nice dress shirt and pair of jeans. All that was left was to accessorize which for me is hard. This is not my forte. Fortunately for me, the  doll had one of her best buds over  to help. “Should I wear this scarf?” I asked. Studying me, Stef replied, “I don’t know…there’s too much texture…where are you going?” “Across the street to friends…” I replied. “Oh, in that case, you’re fine. Just not in real life public”. She added and both she and the doll began to laugh. “Gee, what aren’t you telling me?” I asked as they both burst out laughing.

Score another successful day for me–even at my own expense.

 

 

 

 

 

minus 17….

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Perspective: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

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Judging from the numerous posts on my facebook timeline this morning, I guess it’s safe to say, many people were excited to see that the temperature had dropped down to -17F; shattering the previous record set 1885. This made me wonder…were people (Blizzard Bill Spencer) out there yelling “Come on!! Come on baby, one more degree!! You can do this!! One more degree!! Let’s do this!!!”

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When my nephew Jarrod was younger, we found out he was allergic to certain types of chlorine–which made him sneeze. I remember one day when the levels were higher than normal he could not stop sneezing. To keep him from stressing out, we turned his sneezes into a game: “How may sneezes…” and together we began to count 1-2-3… As we continued to count using excited tones to our voices, Jarrod began to count as well, even going so far as to hope for more “Come on, one more… Come on just one more…” He enthused. When all was said and done, if memory serves correctly, he sneezed 22 times in a row. But instead of being miserable, he was excited for having set the all-time record for consecutive sneezes at the pool. Shortly after blowing his nose and wiping his face off, back into the drink he went; hoping to challenge his record.

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As previously stated before, I gave up cussing and swearing for Lent again–as did the boy.This year, however, if he curses or swears he needs to do five sit-ups for every swear word while also saying five Hail Mary’s as penance. For every curse word I utter, up to a dollar per word will be dropped into a jar for a future donation to HMI (Hetrick-Martin Institute). Last night as I explained the outline to my husband, the kids entered the room and began to taunt me. “Hey, I’m trying to do good…” I said and then began pointing at the both of them “So no pushing me or arguing back to make me upset. That’s when they usually fly out before I can stop them” I said. The boy walked over and began poking me in the arm saying, “I’m just going to stand here and continuously poke you…poke, poke poke.” His sister locked eyes with me and shot me a devilish grin. “Who us? Please you start all the fights…” She said, sarcasm dripping from her lips. Looking back at the hubby he replied, “What? Don’t look at me, they’re the one’s to look out for. I’d never do anything to upset you…”

Good God this is going to be a long hard 40 days of no swearing..

 

firfteen….

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Since turning thirteen, last Friday, the doll has made a point of telling me exactly how old she is every single day. “Hey Mom, guess what? I’m 13!” or “You know mom, I’m 13!!” She tells me in passing. “NO!! REALLY?” I want to ask her in return, but instead, only smile. I remember how much “older,” I thought I was when I turned 13. So much older, in fact, I told the younger kids down the street I could no longer play with them simply because doing so would make me look immature. Yet on a daily basis, mostly due to boredom, I made exceptions.

Growing up, the age of 13 seemed so large and magical…like taking the next big step in development. Before long I would be ready for high school and beyond. Being thirteen was empowering!

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When the doll was a little girl, she wanted a puppy. At the time, we had a perfectly good old dog and I had little interest in adding another pet to the mix. So I told her “When you turn 13 we can revisit the idea of a new pet…” My plan to placate her worked and no new puppy entered our home. But this tactic did not deter the doll. In fact, every few months she would ask “Mommy can we get a new puppy?” And each and every time I would reply, “When you turn thirteen, we’ll see”. Perhaps as a way to change her own tactics, one day she asked if instead of a puppy we could get a rabbit. Looking down at her I said, “Oh no…those things come pre-loaded.” She gave me a puzzled look in return and then dropped her questioning.

One day, when her speech impediment got the best of her, she asked, “Mom, so when I turn firfteen can I get a puppy, right?” Instead of correcting her, I took advantage of her misspeak and without missing a beat, I replied, “That’s right. When your FIFTEEN you can get a puppy”. She then lamented, “Why is fifteen so far away?” “Doll, I want to make sure you are capable of being responsible for another living creature,” I said happy I was able to add two years to the original agreement without her realizing.

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Several years ago, we adopted an older dog in need of a home which I had hoped would squelch the doll’s desire for a puppy of her own. If anything though, her desires were reignited. As the years continued on, little changed in her mind. On her birthday last week she said, “You know, I’m pretty responsible now…” “And your point is?” I asked. “I could take care of a pet. I mean really Mom, what’s two years?” Smiling back at her I laughed replied, “Exactly doll, what’s two more years? Look, we already have an old dog (12) here who probably can’t or won’t tolerate another puppy/dog…” Giving full thought to my argument, she nodded before adding, “Okay, but I don’t like it”. “No one says you have to…” I added before closing out our conversation.

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At thirteen, unlike her brother, I do believe the doll is mature enough to handle the responsibilities involved with owning and raising a new dog. However, her recent track record with two hamsters and a school guinea pig have left me a bit skittish in determining whether I should let her in on the mistake from years ago. While I continue to wrestle with the idea, I’m fortunate knowing she doesn’t like to read this blog (too embarrassed for me) and God be willing, none of you will tell on me…

Right?

Right?

Please and Thank you!

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