Saturday, May 31, 2008
She: You're alright.
He: That wasn't very nice.
She: Yeah, well you called me sluggish.
She: This morning.
He: Sorry. You know I couldn't love you more.
She: Maybe a little more.
She: Don't leave me.
He: Why would I?
She: What if you wake up one day and think, this sucks?
He: Honey, that's everyday. But I'm not going anywhere.
She: Gee. Thanks.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
"Is that an expression?"
We heard this question a lot, then had to explain what the expression really meant.
Today...she invented her own expression.
"Mommy, want to hear a new expression I made up?"
"Sure! Hit me." Hit me is an expression.
"Well, if someone is blaming you for something, or accusing you of making a mistake you can say,
"I didn't dirty the diaper."
It may take her longer to get a concept, but once she does, she's on fire!
* She once cried on the way home from church, because I said, "Rev. Nancy was on fire today." Riley thought Rev. Nancy was literally getting burned.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Riley never once was aggressive toward another child. She had been in the program for over a year already and was making progress. She had one friend. She wanted to be there.
We were given two weeks notice, and no referral to anywhere else more suitable for her. This was in November of her fourth year, so Riley missed a whole year of preschool because of this. No one else had spaces and who would take her after being kicked out anyway?
I guess I should count my blessings that Riley wasn't "voted out" by her classmates. I guess I should count my blessings that to this day she has no idea she was given the boot.
Monday, May 26, 2008
"Get on your shoes."
"Get on your shoes.....please."
"I asked you to get on your shoes!"
"Seth! Put your pants on. I mean it!"
Finally, I got mad. I threw a sneaker. I screamed at them. (Remember when Riley was the one who had the tantrums)?
I aborted the trip.
I sent them to their rooms.
When I cooled off, we sat down to talk.
"Do you know what happened?" I asked, gearing up for a looooong explanation of how frustrating it is for me when they won't listen and don't follow directions. I was even going to throw in a little something about how lucky they are to get to go places, topped off with a bit about how I NEVER got to go anyplace as a kid, and how grateful I would have been as a child.... lousy rotten little kids.
But this is how it actually went:
"Do you know what happened?"
Then Riley, in her sweetest little Shirley Temple voice said,
"Fear crept in and you lost your temper?"
Did I mention she does not have one sarcastic cell in her body? She could not roll that way even if she tried. Did I mention she was looking up at me with her huge hazel, love filled eyes? Or what about her dimple? The one in her right cheek that the nurses went nuts for when she was born?
"Oh Michelle! Your baby has a dimple in her right cheek!" They said, as they carried her over to me, just before she pooped on one of the nurse's shoes.
"Your baby just pooped on my shoe!" Everyone laughed.
Wait...where was I?"Yeah Riley. Fear crept in. That pretty much sums it up."
One last squeeze and I released them from the mandatory post argument hand holding ritual. "Now get your shoes on and lets go."
And off we went.
Friday, May 23, 2008
"Riley where were you today?" One of them asks. I'd kept her home from school.
As Riley tries to tell them she was having a bit of "tummy trouble"(again), Seth stands on the edge of our yard, and yells innocently across the street,
"SHE WAS CONSTIPATED!"
That oughta help her make lots more friends, don't you think?
The death toll is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Fred Rogers (Mister Rogers) advised us to tell our children to "look for the helpers" in times of disaster.
Seems they are finally going to let some helpers in.
Brave souls, those inside and those trying to help.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
But if I had a kayak; if I'd ever even been in a kayak....I would totally need this product.
But it's not just for kayaks. It's for keeping an eye on lots of things; skis, surf boards, unruly children(I'm not suggesting strapping little darlings to the luggage rack, it has velcro for use inside the car).
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Thought of changing my name.
And I got downhearted
Everytime that I....
Pumba, not in front of the kids."
She glanced at me, a glint in her eye, then busted out laughing. The kind where the little flippy floppy thing hanging down in the back of her throat was exposed. The kind where her eyes turned to slits and her neck was completely bent back, face toward ceiling.
Pushing eight years old, Riley was finally brave enough to watch The Lion King on DVD and... she got the joke.
Last year she didn't even know the word "fart."
We couldn't be more proud.
Monday, May 19, 2008
From sounds of children shrieking,
covering their ears
in department stores
From mothers crying
hoping their children
before they do.
From stranger's stares
and pointed fingers.
From ten year olds
who cannot wipe
their own asses.
From pleading eyes
that cannot reach
From the arrogant
and ignorant who
turn their heads.
and victim hood.
Give me something,
for not being
Sunday, May 18, 2008
So I think I have to start posting some scenes, and just get used to the feeling of being exposed. Really explore it as it comes up. Keep asking Little Thyroid what she's afraid of and what she needs.
Three fears, right on the surface:
1) Fear of being pitied.
2) Fear of readers wanting me to take care of "their own feelings" that might come up after reading my work.
3) Fear my writing sucks and no one will be interested in my non story.
In the meantime, I dip in my pinky toe and give you this little bit:
Bare wooden 2 x 4’s separate the kitchen from the dining room, it's always been this way. Exposed electrical cords hang down between the 2 x 4's and we stand in the door frame of what isn't really a wall.
His scratchy wool lumberjack shirt itches my nose and I breath in the smell of wood chips. Already, I come up to his chest. He hugs me, then lets go, but I keep clinging.
“Daddy, please don’t go.”
“C’mon.” he says peeling me off of him. He rolls his eyes and tries not to look at me.
He’s going to the Pine Inn.
He goes to the Pine Inn almost every night, but this time is different. Someone was killed there.
“A beer brawl,” Mom said.
“He was hit over the head with a bottle.”
The Pine Inn is a quarter mile down the road and it used to just be the place where Daddy peed all our money away. Sometimes we go in for cokes and he lets us play the juke box or gives us a quarter for the pool table.
But yesterday, Daddy’s friend was hit over the head with a beer bottle and got his skull cracked in two. The doctors tried to save him but they couldn’t, so he died.
All day I’ve been imagining Daddy’s dead friend. The one with the red beard and the round face. I think he was married. I think he had one kid, a baby. In my mind, I see him, blood drippin’ down his face. His tongue hangin’ out. Skull cracked right in two.
Lunging forward, I throw my arms around Daddy again. I try to meet his eyes. If I can just keep his eyes, he won’t go.
Keep lookin’ at me Daddy.
He takes me by the shoulders, shoves me aside, walks through the kitchen, and out the back door.
Standing there, between the wooden beams and the electrical cords I blink my eyes and swallow hard.
If only I were more lovable.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
The sweetest man alive turns 43 today. Here he is at Janet's wedding.
Thank you doll, for "all this." Picture me looking around our messy house, arms out wide, taking it in.
"All this," we say.
You're a good man.
Don't ever leave me.
And if you do, take the kids.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Click here if you'd like to read more about the Healy interview.
It was Diane's first day at college and Diane couldn't wait. She had to get ready. She bathed, moussed, put her make-up on, and then she was ready.
In college, Diane met a friend named Mika. Mika was a mouse with skin the color of silver glass slippers. She had braids as blond as canaries. And bows the color of a purple sunset. Her braces were as blue as crystal clear water and her nose was as pink and rosie, as roses. Her lipstick was as red as apples, and her teeth were as white as the moon.
Diane and Mika worked together in college. They studied projects, took tests and spelled long words, like "catastrophe." They even studied a project called the Relax-o-Matic Back Scratcher, as seen in David Slonim's Oh, Ducky.
Monday, May 12, 2008
As we parted ways he said, "Take care, darlin'."
Riley tugged at my arm as we walked away. I leaned down and she asked in a whisper, "Is he your second boyfriend?"
"What do you mean?" I asked incredulously.
"He called you darling," she said.
So, ...this gave us the opportunity to talk about "endearments" as we walked along home.
Relaying the story to Todd this evening, all he asks is,
"So who's your first boyfriend?"
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Seth also colored a picture for me. A dog giving his mom a bone. "A yellow bone, 'cause yellow is your favorite color," he said in his little nasally voice. [private wink to Laura,thank you]!
Riley read to me from the book she is working on. She's just completed chapter 14, and in this one, Diane (her main character) is afraid of growing up, because she's scared to leave her mother. In the end, Diane resolves her ambivalent feelings and goes off to college.
Let us pause here for a moment of reverence.
We had a lazy day...reading books, listening to talk radio, surfing the net. I showered but got back into PJ's. Clean ones. After, I snuck up in "my room" to try out my new bench while they watched a Charlie & Lola video from the library.
Talked to my mom. Took a call from my sister. My teenage niece is heartroken for the first time. Zipped off a highly inappropriate e-mail to her, telling her what this boy could do if he does not recognize the gift that she is. Rhymes with bucket.
Ate a bowl of ice cream.
Helped Riley study for a math test.
Wiped Seth's butt, twice.
HT is home now. I'm up in my room while he gives me a break and bathes the kids.
We'll put them to bed and then order delicious take out food from someplace. Thai?
Probably spend the evening on the couch, watching a movie.
I'll snuggle in under his arm.
He'll laugh at everything I say.
Not a fancy Mother's Day,
just a charmed one.
* Happy Birthday Clarissa Douglas!
**Happy Mother's Day everyone!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Seth says, "Riley, who's the boss? You or fear?"
She takes five breaths and tries to calm down.
Later, Riley tries her hand at coaching her brother out of his own little snit.
"Seth, is this a big deal? Or a little deal?"
He kicks her in the shin.
Did that answer your question, Sis?
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I love Queen Latifah.
This post made me happy.
"But I had such a moment right then, standing in my own ordinary room. I heard a voice say, Lily Melissa Owens, your jar is open. In a matter of seconds I knew exactly what I had to do--Leave."
-From Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Even though her three daughters are profoundly affected by autism, she does not begrudge parents of "higher functioning" kids the need to vent about the challenges we face.
I could go on and on about how higher functioning kids have it rough, because of the "invisible" nature of their disability.....but please.
-My child has always been able to talk to me.
-My child is learning to advocate for herself.
-I am pretty sure, when the day comes, my daughter will be able to manage her menstrual cycle independently.
I pray for these things for Kim's girls too.
And I hope I'd be as generous to moms like me, if I were in her shoes.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
Screaming and fighting from the other room. They come running and I put out two hands.
"No Mommy!" She cries. "Now you're going to make us waste all our time meditating!" I smile.
They know the drill. Each kid takes one of my hands and the hand of their sibling. I look at Riley.
"What are you afraid of?"
"I'm afraid he was going to throw that truck at me!" she says.
I pause then look at Seth and he begins.
"I'm afraid she doesn't like me anymore." His lip goes out and his chin trembles.We've been doing this for a long time and they are so good at it. They are still so open.
"Seth, were you planning on throwing your truck at your sister?"
He shakes his head(even though he probably was).
"Riley. Do you love your brother?"
"Yeah," she says looking at him, studying that trembly chin. "Even when I'm mad at you." She adds."Are we cool?" I ask them.
They say "yes" and hug each other tight before running off together into the next room.
Took about three minutes total and they played nicely the rest of the morning.
Yesterday I asked them four times to come to the table for breakfast. They were being silly. Not listening. Pissing me off.
"If you don't get in here right now, I will take those puppets you're choosing to ignore me with and you won't see them again."
They scoot into the kitchen and as Riley takes her seat she asks,
"What are you afraid of Mom?"
Exhaling I start to say I am afraid their breakfast will get cold but stop myself.
"When my children ignore me, I'm afraid they don't have any respect for me."
Riley looks sad. She pushes her french toast around on her plate,
"Sorry Mom." she says.
"Sorry." Seth adds.
If it doesn't look like love it must be fear.
Poof! My anger was gone.
It's amazing how liberating it is to fess up to your fear.
* If you are interested in learning more about A Course in Miracles, Marianne Williamson's A Return to Love is like the cliff notes.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
Friday, May 02, 2008
Yeah. "Keep an eye on them," okay? And while we're at it, let's put the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse.
Reuters (5/2, Fox) reports that officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that an "unprecedented number of U.S. youngsters are fainting after getting shots, especially teenage girls, and doctors need to keep an eye on them." Approximately "463 people fainted after getting vaccinated during an 18-month period from 2005 to 2007," according to data appearing in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
There were only "203 reports in 2002-2004," officials noted after reviewing the "Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a database run by the CDC and" the Food and Drug Administration, added WebMD (5/1, Hitti). Yet, in 2005 and 2006, the "CDC added three new vaccines for adolescents... the meningococcal conjugate vaccine Menactra, the tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis vaccine (Adacel or Boostrix), and the HPV vaccine Gardasil for teenage girls." Subsequently, this "may have meant more opportunities to faint after vaccination."