Archives for September 2006

If You Wanna Make Me Mad…

One of my least favorite things to do is drive. I hate driving. I’m a good driver – probably a bit on the slow, overly-cautious side (with the exception of the one day I had a lead-foot and got pulled over – but, as it’s important to note: I did NOT get a ticket), but nevertheless, I’ve never got into an accident (my fault or otherwise). Knock wood.

My mother, on the other hand, has a serial lead foot problem. A pretty severe tailgating, slam-on-the-brake-two-inches-from-their-bumper problem. A hit every deer in a ten mile radius problem.

So, you would think that driving, with my mom as a passenger would be fine – as she really has no room to judge.

You would be wrong.

Today, we loaded up the girls and went to Old Navy for their baby sale (Got Pumpkin’s Halloween costume – she’s going to be a purple dragon – and two pair of pants for The Princess who is all of the sudden way to tall for her 4Ts). After Old Navy and lunch, we took a quick jaunt to Costco, and as we were leaving, it was a chaotic mess of stopping and starting, as the parking lot was full. Many people were coming and going, without paying attention – it was busy, and it was a bit tedious trying to get back to the road to head home.

At one point, I had to brake because a car suddenly turned (too wide) down the aisle I was driving up. I looked over at mom and she had the white-knuckle-death-grip on the door handle. “You make me SO NERVOUS!” she said.

That really irked me. “How many accidents have you been in, Mom?” I asked.

“Only one that was my fault,” she replied.

“That’s one more than me (knock wood!), so I have a better track record than you.”

“Hmmmmph. You’ve just been lucky.” Argggggggggggggggggggggggh! “Why don’t you turn here?” I continued driving the road I always take to get home. “Or not.”

Something extremely grating about having someone tell me how to drive that really pushes my buttons. If I was such a horrible driver, I’m sure I’d know it by now (with evidence of speeding tickets, squashed cars, and Hubby not allowing me to take the children anywhere). As it is, I’m guilty of driving a bit like Grandma Moses, and getting a touch of road rage. Sue me.

Note:We got home safe and sound. Even mom. She must just be lucky.

Tap, Tap, Tap

Today was The Princess’s first dance class. We were prepared well ahead of time – last night, I got her tights and leotard out and lay them flat on the floor ready for her to wear this morning. I put her tap shoes and ballet slippers in a small backpack in the van, so we wouldn’t forget them. Class started at 9:30, and by 8:15, The Princess was asking me if it was time to go yet (it’s a ten minute drive, max — I had to tell her to hold her horses).

When we finally arrived, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of mothers and children – the waiting room was packed and there were dancers and their younger siblings everywhere. I sent her off to the studio and waited for the next 55 minutes next to a woman I went to high school with (Note: She had changed SO MUCH that she had to tell me her maiden name — she used to be one of those girls who weighed about 80 pounds soaking wet… Ahem. Not anymore).

The Princess came out after class somewhat deflated. It seems they spent much of the almost-hour talking about the rules. “That was boooooooooring.” I tried to assure her that next week, now that the talk of rules is out of the way, they will likely spend more time on dance.

I guess we’re both hoping for something different next week. Next week, I plan to take Pumpkin to Starbucks instead of sitting in that cramped waiting room with all those other moms. I think a grande cappuccino can ease the pain of sitting around with nothing to do.

Agua Va…

My high school Spanish teacher used to tell us this story about how in Spain, way back when, back before indoor plumbing, people would go to the bathroom in chamber pots, and when they’d go to empty them, by tossing the pee out the window, they’d shout out, “Agua va!” (Which translates into “the water is coming” or some such).

This evening, when getting Pumpkin ready for her bath (she was covered with couscous from head to foot), I took off her diaper, and for the first time in her 13 months, she peed on the floor. I’ve been pretty lucky so far – I remember getting christened by The Princess fairly early on in the parenting game. The Princess had peed on me (and worse!) several times before she was a handful of months old. Either my reflexes have sharpened with age and experience, or Pumpkin’s got a better hold on her bladder, I don’t know – but we’ve managed to NOT have a urine mess.

Until today.

Today, as I took off the diaper, the pee started flowing as soon as the air hit her. And man – agua va. I thought, “Okay, she’ll trickle a bit and be done with it.” I was wrong. I ended up having to create a makeshift diaper out of a towel to catch the fountain (as she had tossed her diaper out of reach when I undid the tapes).

Now there’s one for her scrapbook.

44 Down, 28 To Go…

(Hours that is)

Stepson is here for the extended Labor Day weekend, and we’re about halfway through and I am exhausted.

I don’t post much about him, perhaps because I’d like to avoid “The Wicked Stepmother” backlash, but Stepson is a very difficult child, and we’ve spent the past few days on our guard, as well as half walking on eggshells to avoid setting him off. We made it through 24 hours of the visit before he got truly angry – an episode I tried to diffuse when I saw his jaw setting, his fists clenching and his face tightening up. I told him, “Stepson, you’re getting angry: take a minute, catch your breath.” And, typical of Stepson, as he got to that point, he just careened past it in an episode that ended with him storming through our yard, picking up everything in his path and either throwing it or trying to throw it (including one of The Princess’s toys — which caused her to start sobbing as he broke her toy in two).

I can’t even describe what it’s like to be around a kid who is so angry and with such an unbelievable sense of entitlement that every time one dares to disagree with him, he becomes agitated, argumentative, and convinced that the whole world is doing him wrong – that he’s a victim and it would just go figure that this wasn’t going his way, that nothing ever goes his way, and how unfair is that.

This is my husband’s son. My husband, who gave me the two most beautiful daughters – the girls that bring me an infinite amount of joy.

Hubby is trying to work closely with Ex-Wife (EW) to get help for Stepson, though it feels like EW kind of relishes the drama Stepson brings to her life. Hubby has lined up counseling appointments for Stepson, so that every week, we can spend more money to have a therapist tell us how angry Stepson is. There seems to be no fix to this. EW keeps doctor hopping, and having them prescribe a virtual pharmacy of medications for him – so far, nothing has helped. He has seen a handful of counselors over the past few years – so far, no one has helped.

To have this area of my life that is so much out of my control – that I have no say in – is very difficult to me. To have this child with so much negativity around, and I can’t help, and my husband can’t help, and the doctors can’t help – it’s frustrating. These weekends are draining.

Animal School – Read it and weep!

Animal School – Raising Small Souls

One of my dear friends sent this to me via email yesterday, and though I typically am not one of those people who adores forwarded email, C tends to only send me thought-provoking messages – or messages so funny I laugh out loud.

This presentation, is one that makes you think, particularly if you have kids in school. I thought it was very well done. I might even go so far as to say that we may very well print it out, and send it to Stepson’s teachers (because he’s definitely a Kangaroo-slash-Eagle — and if you want to know what that means, you’ll have to watch this presentation).

It’s funny, not so much in a ha-ha way, but in an ironic sense, that even in the days of “No Child Left Behind”, kids are getting left behind anyway. When kids are born, they aren’t being pressed out with cookie cutters – they are all different. What works for one, might not necessarily work for the other, and parents and educators need to stop and take the time to remember that. It’s hard, I know. But, as you’ll read on the Raising Small Souls website:

“Your child is a unique blend of talents, personality, and ingredients nowhere else to be found . . . Each and every child is as unique as their fingerprints; a sparkling diamond of unparalled beauty.”