Thursday, September 25, 2008

License and Registration please

My oldest son will be 23 next month. (You're right! I don't look old enough to have a 23 year old. Thanks for noticing!) One of my favorite stories regarding him has to do with when he got his first traffic ticket. The kicker to the story is that he was only 20 MONTHS old. Months, not years.


My boy was, what we called then, a handful. We now call it ADHD. He was hyperactive in the womb and still is. From the moment he could motorvate around, he climbed. And climbed. Monkey George (what Silas calls Curious George) had nothing on him. There were many times that I rescued him from atop the fridge, the dining room table, even the top of the kitchen cabinets. This is at not even two years old, mind you. This kid could run at 11 months old.

Needless to say he was a master escape artist. I learned quickly to lock every door. He learned just as quickly to unlock them. He climbed over the baby gates, went around blockades, and climbed out of his crib. One morning I was slumbering merrily away and all was safe and sound, so I thought. I suddenly woke with this undeniable feeling that "something is WRONG!!" I sprang up out of bed (I was only 20, I could still spring) and ran to the Dude's nursery. Empty crib, pounding heart. I quickly run down the hall, checking each room as I go. All deserted. Down the stairs, front door is standing open.*

*a quick aside to let you know what had to happen in order for the front door to be standing open. This kid had to climb out of his crib, open his nursery door, climb down the stairs, get a chair and push it to the door, climb up on it, reach up and turn the deadbolt, get down, move the chair, open the door. Did I mention he has a genius IQ level? Back to the story.

I run to the door looking around wildly for this child. No where in sight. I had a very large front yard with the driveway about 100' feet away from the front door. He's not in sight so I run around to the back yard where the playground is. Deserted. Heart in throat, I gingerly approach the pool. The gate is still locked but he's a climber. I go through and the alarm sounds (sweet relief) but I check anyway. I collapse in an internal heap as the pool is clear.

At this point I should mention that it is close to 6 am (that's in the MORNING), I am in my nightshirt, and since this is 1987 we're talking about here, my hair is approximately two feet high by four feet wide. My mascara has run down to my knees and I'm barefoot. I am also constantly screaming my son's name. I return to the front yard and I spy my car. My new (NEW) Iroc Z. Blue, in case you were wondering. I am drawn toward the car. Did I mention it's new? Yes? As in, got the day before new? Ok, moving on. I gravitate hesitantly toward the car. I spy movement. In the car and OF the car. OH MY DOG, the car is moving!!!!

Poppets, I put it in high gear then. I have never, nor will I ever run that fast again. I take off at a sprint toward the car, which has just started drifting backwards. I lived at the top of a hill, and gravity, it works. The car is gaining speed, but still, barely at a roll. I reach it when it just starts to pick up to a fast clip. I lunge for the door handle. I see the Dude, grinning up at me from the steering wheel. It seems he has an attraction to mommy's new car too. He's apparently come out to do some driving. He liked to stand on the bottom of the steering wheel and hold onto the top. This way he could turn his whole body like a carnival ride. He was also shifting gears. Like out of park and into neutral, hence the rolling. But it's not rolling too fast yet! There's time still! I grab the door handle. LOCKED! Who in the hell taught the kid to lock the doors? How'd he even get the door open? How'd he shut it once he got in? Those doors are heavy. Are you gonna stand here asking questions or are you gonna stop this car? I grab onto the mirror simply because there's nothing else to do. And I have to do something. He turns the wheel by throwing his body to the left (he's having a ball), so the car actually backs around so it's heading down the driveway frontwards now. The very steep driveway, with a straight drop off to one side that I will NOT LET MY SON PLUNGE OVER IF IT MEANS I HAVE TO PICK THIS CAR UP! I throw myself in front of the car and push on the front because I will stop this car.

I didn't stop that car. It ran over me. Well, over my right leg to be exact. and proceeded on it's merry way right down the driveway. The steep driveway. But not the drop off. I managed to push on the tire and turn the wheel while laying on the driveway. I jumped back up and took off after the car. But wait, I'm not getting anywhere. Shit on a cracker, my stupid leg isn't working right. Somehow (I'm not sure how) I get the bottom of the drive, where the car has jumped the curb, crossed two lanes of traffic and is sitting nose down over a bank, resting up against a tree.
I am swiftly approaching the border to hysteria at this point. My baby is in that car and I can't get him. I cannot articulate the helplessness. I get to the car and see him in the passenger side floorboard. The doors are still locked, of course they are. I go around to the drivers side window and I use my elbow to smash it and smash it and smash it and dammit why won 't it break I can't get to my baby. Finally! I reach in and unlock the doors, go back around to the passenger side dragging my stupid useless leg and get my baby. He's fine. He's not even crying. I crumple with relief, the adrenalin finally ebbing or at least not dumping into my system anymore. He's fine, he's not hurt, he's not crying. He's smiling and babbling, see? he's fine, it's ok. He's saying vroom vroom car go. Yes baby, car goes vroom vroom.

The police have arrived now. They have called for an ambulance. But he's fine I say. Not even a bump. Yes he is says the nice policeman. He gets the registration from the car and calls my father. There is a muffled conversation that I don't hear. I don't care. He's fine. It's ok. The ambulance arrives and the EMT tries to take my baby. Oh, no. No, I don't think so. He's fine. We're fine. I have failed to notice that I am sitting in the middle of a road, bleeding copiously from gashes on my elbow and knee. That I am hysterical, but calming down slowly. (Really, who knows when they're hysterical? Isn't that the very definition of hysterical?) They talk me through letting them put him in the ambulance as long as I can go with him. Well, alright then. As long as I can go too. They nod smugly. They strap me down to the gurney and off we go. They decide I don't need a sedative since I'm so admirably accompanying my baby to the hospital.

By the time the hysteria leaves me completely, the pain sets in. I have shattered my elbow and broken my leg. I have lost a considerable amount of skin from all over and injured my back. My car (did I tell you it was new?) sustained major front end damage which the insurance declined to cover. But my baby? He was fine.

The police officer came to the hospital. He gave me a ticket for the Dude charging him with driving without a license and attempted vehicular momslaughter. I still have it framed. and the Dude? He's still fine.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A List or two

Traffic laws I've broken since 8am this morning (it is now 9:38am):
(none of these were on purpose)

Turned the wrong way up a one way street
Cut through a gas station to avoid a stop light (ok, this was on purpose)
Ran a red light (twice)
Parked in a no parking zone

It's going to be a loooong week, poppets. Be prepared.

**awkward change of topic**

Yet another list of sorts. Does anyone else get these brilliant ideas of super!wonderful!fun! things to do, go out and buy a bunch of stuff, then either lose interest or run out of time? C'mon, I know it's not just me. Fess up so I don't feel so alone.

These are things, that in the past 6 months, I have started and dropped like they were hot:

Scrapbooking. My intention was to start a scrapbook for Silas sports memories. One page for tball, one for tennis, etc. Spent a bazillion $$ on scrapbook stuff, which I could totally go bankrupt buying, it's all so cute, and it's all still laying on the table. I blame the fact that the paper hasn't printed the tennis results yet, and I simply can't start without all of the clippings.

Embroidery. Bought an adorable little scene for my niece, with all of the accoutrement's (circle thing to put it in, needles, thread.....), opened the fabric and there was no picture on it! End of embroidery endeavor.

Family Tree. I'm done with mine, but I need to do Sams so Silas has his complete history. Bought new software. Have yet to transfer my information or input any of Sams. Actually, have yet to install new software.

Organize pictures. Since you all see the same 80 pictures rotate up there in the badge every time you click over, you can guess how this is going. I have upwards of 6000 pictures. I have 82 in flickr. Moving right along.

Knitting. Silas discovered the "nippers" (knitting needles) and I haven't seen them since. I haven't really looked.

BlackBerry. I've had my blackberry pearl since it came out. Probably close to a year. I have not set up my email or transferred my contacts. I still carry my palm pilot.

Someone can send motivation please? Or a swift kick in the ass?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Have I mentioned?

That I currently despise blogger? For both those of you who have me in a reader, how many times did the last entry post? After trying to get it edited at least ten times, I gave up and left it alone. Then it ate my title! And my changes, so if it doesn't make any sense or flow well, let's just blame blogger and call it a day.

And my pictures! They are falling out of their frames again, only this time up. Sigh. I need more coffee.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I just finished reading Lisa Gardner's latest novel, Say Goodbye. (Eventually I'll learn how to put the icon of the book I'm reading over there-------> under my "Reading" heading. Until then, bear with me.) It's a brutal and disturbing story and I wish I hadn't read it. It's absolutely haunting. I'll spare you the horrid details.

This passage, copied directly from the book, should be sufficient to chill you to the bone:

You think you're safe. You think you're middle class, suburban, the right car, the nice home. You think bad things happen to other people-maybe the poor schmucks in trailer parks where the ratio of kids to registered sex offenders can be as low as four to one.

But not to you, never to you. You're too good for this.

Do you own a computer? Because if you do, I am in your child's bedroom.

Do you have an online personal profile? Because if you do, I know your child's name, pet, and personal hobbies.

Do you have a webcam? Because if you do, I'm right now convincing your child to take off his or her shirt in return for fifty bucks. Just a shirt. What can it hurt? Come on, it's fifty bucks.

I'm not sure why this disturbed me so much. The brutality imposed on the children in this book, taken from actual occurrences, hit me where I'm vulnerable. SweetieDarling has had unsupervised internet access since she was 16. I had the computer out in a public area, where we could walk up and look at what she was doing. When she got a laptop for Christmas, she started using it in her room. It never occurred to me to monitor her activities. (Mother of the Year Award is on it's way) Silas, of course, being only 5, doesn't get past NickJr. But what of the future? How will I protect him?

My worry is that our children are growing up in a culture that I am not familiar with. They are growing up with constant and instant communication. They will forge friendships and build relationships with people that they never see in person. I worry that they will forget how to interact personally. Not having grown up in this type of culture, I worry that I won't be able to protect them or teach them to protect themselves.

How do you send your love through a text message or myspace page?

Monday, September 15, 2008

We have confirmation...

...that I am a total goofball. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his eyes, just like you said. (you are soooo wise!) It was decided amongst the professionals that I have a bad case of the google-itis. I've been advised to abstain from any and all medical websites for the rest of forever.

He was looked at by his pediatrician, who, just to shut me up (because I was all 'you're sure, absolutely positive, swear on your mother', etc....), sent us over to the opthamologist for a little look see. She dilated his pupils and had a good look around. He's peachy and he was thrilled to get to use the cool "look through" machine. I was entertained all afternoon as he stumbled around into things because his pupils were dilated.

That picture shook me up. Probably a combination of having always been a little worried about his eyes (he can move them independently and it skeeves me out), having read a novel a few months ago about a little boy who had that disease, and then reading the msnbc article two days before I downloaded that picture. It was like the perfect storm I tell ya. All the factors needed for a complete mommy meltdown.

So thanks for being kind and patient and only rolling your eyes when I wasn't looking. I do appreciate it. You (and my good friend Ms. Xanax) helped me get some sleep when otherwise, I would have paced all night.

Now that we know Silas' eyes are fine, guess what I need? BIFOCALS!! You'll notice the capitalization, bolding AND italics? I can't believe it. I'm only 29. (With 12 years experience) At least I can get new glasses now, and keep them on instead of only needing them to read and then not being able to find them because they're on top of my head and who would think to look there? (see, good side to everything)

Awkward change of topic:

Saturday was my 10th wedding anniversary, and also my 41st birthday. If you've been around here any amount of time, you know that neither of these events inspired much of a celebratory atmosphere. We went to Olive Garden for dinner and I had a glass of Sangria. Did you know Sangria has alcohol in it? I did not. until it mixed with my prozac and I passed out. I didn't wake up in a panic attack on Saturday night, no sir. I wouldn't have awakened if you had burned my feet with a poker.

Because my Sunday night recap/update haven't decided what to call it yet post got pre-empted by my meltdown post, I'll leave you with the funniest pic I saw this week. Peace out, poppets.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Please tell me I'm crazy

Poppets, your mission for this day, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me that I'm mad as a hatter. A few sandwiches shy of a picnic, that I have finally, after putting up a heckuva fight, lost my tenuous grip on the last vestiges of my sanity. If you could do that for me, I would appreciate it, because I have managed to freak myself completely out.

I have always thought that my son was too good to be true. Always. After what I went through to get pregnant with him when he was finally here I couldn't believe my fortune. When he turned out to be the easiest baby ever, I was elated. After failing my first three children in every way imaginable, and having to live with that guilt, I thought surely that this chance to redeem myself was just to good to be true. When he practically weaned and potty trained himself, taught himself how to get dressed, and was just generally the best kid ever, I couldn't believe my luck. I know I'm making him sound like the second coming but he's just that great. I could go on for pages about his accomplishments, how smart he is, blah blah blah, but couldn't we all? My point is I've never felt that I deserved him, and I've been waiting for the rug to be pulled out from under me for five years. Because the rug always get pulled, or at least bunched up enough to trip me.

Would you please tell me that these two pictures look nothing alike? Pretty please? Because the first picture is of a little girl with retinoblastoma, which is a cancer of the eye. It was found because of that reflection in the picture.

Can you see why I'm freaking out? I can assure you that we'll be at the pediatricians office when they open in the morning, but maybe you guys can help me at least sleep tonight. Of course, that'll be after Dr. Google has his way with me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just the basics, please

I'm taking a course in the basics of digital photography. You saw the "basics" in the title, right? Me too. Apparently, basics consist of things like "aperture", "ISO", "shutter speed", and other words from a language I don't understand. But I did learn something. My camera has modes! It does. And I know where they are and how to get to them now. Something you'd think I would have figured out in the four years I've owned the camera.

The instructor asked if we had brought all of the cables, manuals, and various accoutrements that came with our camera. ??? People keep these things? Really? And they know where they are when they need them? Fascinating. I kept the battery charger. I haven't used a cable to connect my camera to the computer since the invention of card readers. Take the card out of the camera, put it in the computer. Easy peasy. Whereas, tear apart house finding cable, figure out how to hook up to camera, then figure out how to hook up to computer, then figure out how to make pictures travel through little cable to computer? Not so easy peasy.

So yeah, I'm gonna be that student. The one that makes everything complicated. He'll tell everyone to hook up their cameras, and I'll have to argue my point about card readers and him being a dinosaur, just to cover up the fact that I can't get my shit together and bring what I need.

On the bright side, I'm the youngest one in the class, and two other people have crappier cameras than me. Nothing like a little pettiness to perk a gal up!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Perspective altering questions, Part the deux

Today's epiphany inspiring question came from the mother of one of Silas's friends. The preschool our boys go to has a strict locked door policy. Meaning, no one enters the building, at all. So we parents congregate in front of the door waiting for our children to be brought to us. Of course, we chat and whatnot. We've gotten together with this particular mother and child several times for playdates and lunch and we get along rather well. We seem to take to each other as the outsiders. We both have interests in meditation, organic food, peace retreats and other crunchy granola hippy stuff that the rednecks around here don't get.

One afternoon, I walked up to the door holding my blackberry behind my back so as not to disturb any conversations. I had it on speakerphone because I was on hold with Spr!nt. I apologized for being obnoxious but I didn't want to lose the call. She looked at me questioningly, and I explained that I had just gotten a $3000 cell phone bill and the representative had me on hold while she corrected the mistakes and issued the credits. Her response? "Man, it's always something with you, isn't it?"

Now I don't think she meant it unsympathetically at all. She's a very kind person and I believe she was remarking on how there constantly seemed to be something going wrong or causing stress in my life. I know you're probably thinking I'm some big bawl baby, whining all the time to anyone who'll listen, but that's not the case. I'm actually a very private person (quit laughing) who rarely tells anyone anything. This is in real life, poppets. Here in my computer, I let it all hang out. (You're welcome). So the fact that she picked up on this in the few times we had gotten together or had a conversation puzzled me.

After much deliberation, I asked her what made her think or say that. She replied that the tension shows on me like I had it tattooed on my forehead. Well. That answers that. I had no idea. I thought I came off as some carefree spirit who just went with the flow. Apparent fail. She pointed out that I am rarely present in the moment. That I'm constantly checking my phone or watch or thinking of what has to be done next instead of focusing on what I'm doing right then. And she was right.

I thought a lot about that for a long time. I didn't want to be the person who always had something going on. It was around this time that I started letting things slide. That I stopped doing everything and started doing less. And then less. And then just a leetle less. The fact that I spiraled into a depression didn't help. I failed to find the balance I needed. The pendulum swung from one side, -doing it all, alone- to the other, doing absolutely nothing. The happy medium? The peaceful middle ground? No such thing in my world. Apparently, it's all or nothing.

I shoulder my part of the blame for the situation I found myself in. For twelve years I did it all gladly. I now realize it was because if I did everything and he became dependent on me, he wouldn't realize how ultimately unloveable I really am and leave me. If he couldn't live without me, then, well, he wouldn't live without me. (None of that changes the fact that he LET me do it all.)

Thankfully, I've been able to find that middle ground. By standing my ground. I refuse to do it all anymore. I started putting my foot down around two or three years ago. I refused to work all day, be Silas' primary caregiver, then come home and start the second shift of household chores. I'll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that when a man runs out of underwear, he learns right quick how to work the washer.

Our marriage was rocky during my pregnancy and directly after Silas birth. I attributed that to hormones. But our serious problems started when I stopped being his everything and started being true to myself. What I've found is that if I don't take care of everything and live to serve his every whim and anticipate his every need, it's not going to work. So evidently, it's not going to work because Wonder Woman? She just hung up her lasso.

*this is the last post pissing and moaning about my marriage, pinky swear. and that's not me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Perspective altering questions

Have you ever been asked a question that triggered an epiphany? One that shed light on something that until then, you hadn't considered? When SweetieDarling was ten years old and playing softball, I would associate with the other mothers. Usually only at games, but we were friendly. During a conversation one afternoon, during which I was lamenting yet another shortcoming of Sams', this woman looked at me in all seriousness and asked "do you even like your husband?". Needless to say, I was taken aback. But after much consideration I realized that there would be no way for her to have any other perception. I never praised anything he did or any efforts he made. I only criticized.

And there was a lot to praise. He was a considerate and helpful person who wanted me to be happy. He would surprise me with weekend trips away, where all I had to do was pack and leave. Bring home something he saw that he thought might please me. There are years worth of examples I could give extolling his virtues. We were deliriously, stupidly happy for six years. We were living our lives to the fullest.

But it's all changed now. We've both changed, and I am so torn. When taking inventory of this relationship, the bad is starting to outweigh the good. The inequality is starting to weigh heavily on me and I don't know if I can continue to bear it. Poppets, I do everything. He won't even mow the lawn! I do all housework and household related chores and errands. I do all the yardwork. I run our business and handle all of our money. He goes to work, comes home, and sits on the sofa. This person is not someone that I would choose to be friends with if I met him now. We're strangers. We have no shared interests anymore. I am a person who reads voraciously. Usually one or two novels a week. I have a library of over one thousand books. My husband doesn't read. Well, he can read, obviously, just not for pleasure. But it was this way years ago, why does it matter now? Our other differences that didn't matter then suddenly seem like deal breakers now. We haven't slept in the same room for six months and I don't mind. When I'm on my way home and come around the bend in the road and see his truck in the drive, I wince. When I see his number on caller id, I cringe. I don't wish him any ill will. As a matter of fact, I want only the best for him. He'll always be the father of the best kid in the world and that has to count for something. We just have such different ambitions and goals. He is never happy, always wanting more, bigger truck, bigger house, bigger and more more more. Whereas if I have a dependable vehicle and an adequate home, I'm good. I just can't see spending the rest of my life always looking for that one thing that's going to make it all right. There is no thing, it has to come from within and I can't make him see that. If we, his family can't be enough, then nothing ever will.

I know that I can't stay in this marriage. But I also know that I need to be very smart about leaving it. I know it will take me at least a year to put together what I need to be able to walk out with a clear plan for taking care of our future. It is imperative that I wait until the housing industry picks up, because until that happens my stock isn't worth the paper it's printed on. It also has bearing on how much equity there is in our home, of which I'm entitled to 60%. There's just so much to think about. But since I'm actually to the logistics stage, I think that's a fairly decent indicator that I'm ready. The emotional stage is over.

So in answer to that long ago question: No, not anymore.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Trophies & Birthdays & Parties, Oh My!

Whew! What a week. It was quite a whirlwind.

Tuesday was awards night for the tennis program. As I've mentioned a million times once or twice, Silas won the tennis championship for the six and under set. This is the look that trophy inspired:

Then Wednesday was his fifth birthday. He woke up convinced he was two feet taller and ten times stronger because now he was a "five guy". He's going to chop the firewood and mow the lawn later. This is the first glimpse of him as the newly awoken five guy:

His day at school entailed him being 'helper of the day', which is like being the pimp daddy of the preschool set, and then having birthday cupcakes for snack. When he got home he got his gifts from mom (new scooter and helmet) and from dad (new fishing pole and tackle box).

Sunday was his birthday party at a local arcade/waterpark/golf course. That place rocks! They have waterslides, bumper boats, splash zone plus the inside stuff. They had a blast. Even got to ride a train during which the "conductor" gave them each their very own train whistle. I'm putting pins into his voodoo doll as we speak.

So that's where I've been this past week. You can rest easy now that you're caught up. (a bit of facetiousness there, lest you think I'm serious) I'll probably spend the rest of this week trying to figure out why my pictures are falling out of their frames up there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Let's have a bit of humor, shall we?

We've all had a long weekend, no one's excited to be back at work, and no one wants to have to think. (No one=me) So I found some pictures at a political website that made me laugh. Out loud. There may have been a snort involved. Enjoy.

Okay, maybe not a single picture.

My favorite: