Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Spring Break

Hello and long time no report! A shout out to Dani for reminding me to sit and write! Spring Break? It's Winter Break, you say. Spring Break is a reference not to that week off in the spring, but to my daughter who parades around the house as though she were on spring break. Try not to picture it, help it if you can--a 14-year-old in a sports bra and underwear pulled into her crack cruising through the house like it's no one's business. While we get on this girl and MAKE it our business...she still manages to drop our jaws on a daily basis. We actually have to remind her every time she steps out of her room that she needs SOMETHING on, ANYTHING, we say--a towel would be great! The robe not so much. It's no use to me when she doesn't use the sash to tie it around her, you know? I hope someday a man somewhere will come to love her for who she is in all her gassy (man-size gas), toe-nail chewing, naked-jaunting, nose-picking, clothes mismatched glory. Gotta love this girl--and we do, we all do.
Apparently so does "Jonah." He's her 'boyfriend.' I use the quotes because he doesn't have any classes with her and I'm not sure he's aware of his end of the deal. Her drama queen girlfriend, Alli, who I now call Allidrama, told her the other day that Kindsay's boyfriend had been shot by some kid and was in the ER. Take every female hormone, combine it into a seismic ball of emotions, hold it in with a vengeance, then let it go. THAT was Kindsay upon hearing about her beloved. A complete fabrication on her fantastically imaginative friend's part, but the tears were real, the sobbing, the mania...I just sat in my room on my bed on top of the covers, hands folded in my lap, and had a glazed stare at nothing just wishing the day would end. Telling Kindsay that Alli is making it up is like me telling her there's no Santa. What? You didn't know I guess, Kindsay is the last of my children to believe in Santa and her wish list this year warrants framing and a bundle of apologies from the North Pole since it's NOT GONNA HAPPEN. Sorry, Kinds...you aren't getting a Chihuahua nor are you getting a cell phone. Santa's gonna be a bummer this year~! (maybe it's better I let him take the heat.)
TOP IT OFF...Adult children are NOT easier than toddlers--don't let anyone fool you. ENJOY your little ones, while you have some measure of control over them. Adult children think they know everything, just like when they were fourteen, except now they want to go act on it all because the magical number is theirs. Oh brother.
Top it off with my youngest son losing his progress report for 3 days, while everyday I say, "did you turn it in???" He tells me, I can't find it. I can't find it. I even saw him on his knees praying to find it because I had grounded him until it surfaced. I finally checked his backpack. The only thing in it? His progress report. I told him he had a concussion that caused brain injury...bad idea. He casually explained to big brother while decorating the tree that he was brain injured. Can't have him going to school and reporting to his teacher...whoops. On top of that he wants to be a substitute teacher because he asked me how much his mom's friend made subbing in his class and I told him a hundred bucks. Eyes lite up, dollar signs popped around his head...I look right in the camera and shake my head. Let's just say I gave birth to Yvette Jr. and Greg Jr. In my next life, I'm running off to Greenwich Village, getting a job as a corporate lawyer, and buying a dog. hmmm...scratch the dog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Garon--Senator in the Making

This is a quick one, but man--my son is going to be on a billboard someday. He has such grown-up thoughts and figures things out long before I ever do.
While cleaning the kitchen table, Garon was noticing all the stuff stuck in the cracks. I'm scrubbing and reminding him WHO is responsible for that... his response: Being a parent is kinda like payback for being a child.
Nailed it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kindsay Strikes Again

Does the fun ever stop with Kindsay?, you ask...after reading my blog I'll let you answer that. For you newcomers--NO! With children with special needs, being extremely specific to the details of little consequence, is very important.
Picture it--It's Sunday afternoon and Grandma has taken the children to her house for a "party"--meaning, she took my boys (of course Kindsay declined) and my two nieces and had them over to make cupcakes and popcorn balls. I was not going to turn that down--Sunday afternoon in silence? Beautiful. It wasn't until around around 6:00 PM that they returned, arms full of treats that will eventually make their way to my backside. Chocolate cupcakes and popcorn balls, along with left over pizza oh yeah. Well, actually, the cupcakes were done by the children so you can imagine the ghoulish concoctions they made. Chocolate heapings of icing topped with mounds of candy corn that disguised the cupcake altogether. The popcorn balls, however, were Martha Stewart's marshmallow versions, and I could eat my body weight in those. Won't tell you what that amounts to but it's enough to get a Christmas card from Orville. Man those are good...I immediately made my way to the bag which had about 6 in it. The boys were so thrilled seeing me enjoy their homemade treats. I placed the cupcakes in my cake dish, about eight in all. By the end of the night there were only 3 popcorn balls and 4 cupcakes left...just enough to get us through the next day! We all went to bed with visions of sugary goodness. Well, I usually do anyway, but that's beside the point.
Morning comes, and we wake to a Monday with the usual bustle--getting all kids ready to go to school plus Mom and Dad dressing for work. Feed the kids, get their clothes, get us dressed, find shoes and backpacks...blahhh! Kindsay, where's Kindsay? And where are all the cupcakes? I find her face down in bed, blankets skewed and twisted around her barely dressed body. Kindsay? moan, grunt. I look down at the side of her bed to find a box of poptarts along with wrappers scattered under her table. The boys are hollering, "Where are the popcorn balls?" and that's when I abruptly stop and look into the camera. She ATE THE POPCORN BALLS???? Kindsay, what did you do? "oooh, I don't know, I think I ate all the cupcakes and popcorn balls, I don't know why I did that. My teacher said if I get in trouble that I have to stay home from school. I think I'm in trouble." and the poptarts? "Oh, sorry." Talk about a midnight binge. The boys are wailing because they made cupcakes specially for themselves with extra sugary treats on top. I'm looking at Greg as though he should get in the kitchen stat..."the popcorn balls," I'm whimpering. Apparently, Kindsay somehow heard at school that if you get in trouble, you have to stay home. However, no one gave her enough details to know what that meant. "Kindsay, you only stay home if you get in trouble AT SCHOOL! And that's if you do something REALLY BAD!" She figured if she got in trouble at home she wouldn't have to go school. Au contrair! If that were the case she'd still be in pre-k. In a sugary hangover she lopes out of bed and pulls herself up looking like she'd been in a backseat with all the windows down, hair in all directions. Greg and I just stand there, once again, stumped and dumbfounded, hands on hips or folded and gaping at the amount of food she put away in one sitting. At least the poptarts were FiberOne. Combine that with all the sugar and she'll be empty and ready to go at it again by the time she gets home from school. I don't know how it all gets in there, but I know how it's all getting out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kindsay's Island

Some people have heard me say that if Kindsay was left on a deserted island, she could survive just fine. She can't tell you what day it is, what she did last week, answer anything abstract at all, but she can swing a deal. I'm telling you--RESOURCEFUL.
Her birthday was Oct 2, and we gathered as a family at a restaurant. I offered her cash or a friend party and she threw her friends out the window without a tear in her eye or a glance backward. She pretty much made the rounds with my family that she wanted cash. Hi--how are you? yeah, yeah..for my birthday I want cash. Bye. End of conversation. My brother, my sister, my parents, everyone was included. There we sat at lunch on her birthday--Kindsay of course was in a ball chewing her nails off. After we ordered we handed her our gifts--all cards. She knew what was inside. One by one she ripped them open, smelled the cash that fell on her lap, glanced over the card for politeness sake, and went on to the next. By the end she had $115 in all kinds of bills, and she smelled them in their fullness throughout lunch as the rest of us ate. She didn't touch her lunch, didn't even give her cake (a Cold Stone cake, mind you) the time of day, but smelled the cash that would soon go into the little change purse she brought strapped around her wrist. Why, after the cards/gifts/money, she was done and over with her party--"take me home!" That was the end of her birthday.
or was it?
My mom asked her to go to the movies with her, and Kindsay declined every invitation and went right to her room, door shutting behind her. Greg and I shrugged and went off to take our weekend naps. Sunday rolled around to business as usual, until Monday morning came. Now, a typical school day morning consists of Kindsay face-down in bed, parents begging her to get up, parents threatening her to get dressed, and shoved off out of the bathroom, where she now spends half her day, and onto her bus. This particular Monday morning wasn't a typical day. Greg and I got up to find her already dressed and pacing the house. We looked at each other with puzzled bewilderment (is there another kind?), but began the morning routine. We were so baffled, though, that we stopped her pacing and asked what the deal was? The deal...well she blew up at us as though we took away a teenager's cell phone. "Just because I bought a dog--You said I could have a puppy--you said someday! I'm not having this--this is getting old!" Puppy..dog? wh..? WHAT? What puppy? "I bought a dog and he's coming in the morning from Cassie!" Cassie? Who is Cassie? "It's $25 and it's my money--I'm tired of this--stop talking to me!" Love how she turns her bad deeds into my fault, right? We had a little "no you aren't getting a dog" talk, finished the morning routine, and all of us went off to school, except Bek who doesn't have school on Mondays. Greg and I felt like we'd dodged that one...and what was she talking about anyway? Beats both of us (please, with a stick), so we went on as though it was typical Kindsay ranting in La-La land (remember, she's good friends with Justin Beiber too.)
then we got a call.
Greg called me about 10AM that morning. He is terrible when it comes to breaking news. He hesitates, beats around the bush, like a horrible suspense movie that makes you topple out of your seat in anticipation. "We have a...um..well, there's a new...uh--Kindsay bought a dog." What? When? How? Apparently, Bek heard whimpering in the house and found the dog shut away in Kindsay's room. It was a 3-mo-old rat terrier that had peed itself and was starving. What...were we never going to discover this? Bek took care of it while Greg and I scrambled to uncover the mystery of how this deal went down. I phoned her teacher who could get Kindsay to admit to shooting JFK, and she was on it. Turns out, Kindsay got on Craigslist, found a dog she liked, texted the woman, made arrangements to meet out front our house at the crack of dawn, and had cash ready for delivery. I was, as you can well imagine, livid at the idiocy of a grown woman. and livid, terrified, and impressed that my special needs child who has a cafeteria of disabilities could pull off such a stunt, and without us knowing! The school psych even had to talk to her to get her to understand the very dangerous thing she had done. After the long talk, reviewing scenarios of what could-have-been, Kindsay gushed, "do you want to see my puppy?" Teacher and psych exchanged looks of concern, knowing that I was in for a real treat that night. Even if I wanted to keep the dog, I couldn't because I can't affirm the actions Kindsay took. It had to be a life lesson for her. I phoned the woman and told her she sold her puppy to a child with disabilities who killed her last four pets. "I'll be by after 7 to pick it up." 7:30 PM she came, apologizing profusely, and exchanged puppy for cash. No, I did not chew out the woman. I figured she'd never forget this incident and learn to ask for an adult next time. Besides, her punishment is the fact that she has to live with the kind of rationale that says, "sell to a minor without parents' permission." Scary. I can't stand the thought of another dog, especially with short hair that gets left on EVERYTHING. And a puppy? Chewing, potty-training..ugh. The dog, named Brandon/Shadow/Midnight (yes, they went through all those names in the time of about 3 hours) had peed on multiple things in my house, which confirmed my convictions NOT to keep it. Kindsay cried the first part of the afternoon, called everyone to tell them what a bad mother I am, but was chewing her toenails off in typical nervous fashion by the time the dog left...oh well. So long. Unfortunately, picking up the dog so late allowed my four children to bond, and left me with the original yet unfairly appointed nickname "Cruella"...a short-haired rat terrier fur coat? Hmph...I don't think so.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here I Am!

Summer is over and I'm back into the grind. I go home after work and literally topple over. For some reason, my job is mentally and physically exhausting. Updates? Here ya go:

Bek is a college girl! Yessirreeee....at Reedley City College she goes full time. It looks good on her since she seems to get hit on everyday at school, she tells me...yikes. She has NO idea what she is aiming towards, I keep pushing the dental field so I can have nice teeth when I'm old, but she ignores me. Heck, I'd like some teeth now for the love. We did get her another car, though not as nice as the last one, but she loves it--a Dodge Neon that zips around still insured but better-be-accident-free-or-else. Job? anyone have a job for this girl?
Kindsay is in 8th grade. and still naked. Not kidding--sports bra and panties around the house. It wouldn't be so bad except that she pulls her panties clear up her behind giving her a full blown wedgie. She won't wear pants because she doesn't want something up her butt, yet her underwear spend all their time up there...hm. I buy her boy shorts type underwear so she covers more, and yet we wind up seeing butt cheeks all day. I assure you, I plead with her to get dressed and somehow she eludes my pleas. She is on the phone non-stop! She talks with her friend Alli who seems to be personal friends with Justin Beiber and takes frequent "day trips" to Mexico. Will they ever "get" it? *sigh* Funny--I have the dialogue between Gingy and the bad ruler on Shrek as my ring tone when Greg calls me. It's Gingy giving in to where the fantasy creatures are. It starts out, "OK, I'll tell you, Do you know the muffin man?" the muffin man? "The muffin man" yes, I know the muffin man, who lives on Drury Lane? --Gingy is my favorite character and I love that exchange, makes me laugh. So my phone starts ringing this morning with Gingy speaking "OK...I'll tell you..." and I hear Kindsay, startled, respond "what? what?" then Gingy continues, "Do you know the muffin man?" I can hear Kindsay still not aware of what's going on answer back, "yeah, I know the muffin man. what? oh. oh. oh. oh." She finds my phone and realizes her dad is calling which puts her over the moon as she answers. I just thought it was interesting that she answered this mystery voice about a muffin man...and then she admitted to KNOWING the muffin man...does she REALLY know the muffin man? I don't even know the muffin man.
Garon is in 4th grade and told Ty that if he needed to know anything about 3rd grade that he'd be glad to help him out seeing as how he's a professional 3rd grader now. He's in cross country and a sweaty ball everyday after school. He ran a lemonade stand the other day with his friends. He comes in my room and asks if Grandpa can come over for a visit. Huh, why? I ask, seeing as how he's never asked so randomly to have Grandpa over. "I just haven't seen him in a while, I'd like to hang out with him. Call him, will you?" OK...I still don't understand what's going on...you want Grandpa to come over and hang out? What's this all about? "OK..well, see if he'll at least come and buy some lemonade...then you can talk with him, have a visit while he drinks it!" Ahhh, ever the senator in the making, Garon thinks if we casually invite Grandpa over he'll buy up the stand and make Garon rich, in the meantime getting some quality time with his 2nd oldest child (me).
Ty, now in 3rd grade, is too busy being "popular" to sell lemonade, he says. Do my kids really care who is popular? Oh no. Ty can name every girl in his class, but only one boy, am I worried? His teacher wants to know if there's anything she should know about him in order to serve him better as his teacher--yeah, he's IN THE CLOUDS ALL DAY, you might want to get a long stick and have it leaning against your desk so when you need to tap him to rejoin the class you won't have to go far to do it. Well, as long as he's still not embarrassed to kiss me in public, I'm good.
Greg and I are still married, in love, and locking ourselves away in our room so we can have peace and quiet, only to have all my children inquire about the lock-down as we drive back home from lunch. My husband answers them, "Well, we lock it because sometimes Mom gets dressed without clothes on." hm...that didn't make any sense and then my children started gagging, why did he say that? Couldn't he just say we wanted privacy and leave it at that? My 18-yr-old is over voicing him, "Change SuBject!" Good thing I was devouring my Cold Stone favorite otherwise I would've given him no reason to ever lock the door again. hmph!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Foot Meet Mouth

I am the first person to admit I am a social moron. I hide from social activities for that purpose. I don't know what comes over me, but I almost can't act right in public so I avoid it altogether. I remember reading somewhere that kids who were super smart academically were usually lacking in social skills, and I, having gone to special schools for smart kids, fit that description neatly. You can almost picture us brainiacs wandering around the school yard, bumping into each other and not knowing how to get around the awkwardness of it all. No, they didn't teach us how to deal with each other interpersonally in school, only how to program computers and dissect starfish. Enough said? I think not. Case in point:
It was a warm spring day, and I was attending a baby shower with one of my best friends being held for gal I had known for a few years. She was having her fourth child, and a baby shower was necessary because she hadn't had a girl in enough years to have had any hand-me-downs. The house sat in a cul-de-sac in a new neighborhood next door to the honoree's new home. The houses were single level spreads with the finest in decor and landscaping and of course every car out front was only within a few years of the Toyota factory. I didn't quite fit in as I care very little about this and that for the sake of appearing well to do and being pretentious is not what I believe to be a weakness of mine. Other weaknesses I have, however, and one is that my mouth is unusually large in the state of being flappy in a figurative sense, which unloads a tremendous amount of irony in this case, soon to be revealed.
The shower was held outdoors in a setting found on after school specials. White tables with white linens and centerpieces of pink made with great care and detail were carefully organized throughout the well-manicured yard. A table for the honoree and her closest friends sat beneath a canopy to keep the expectant mom-to-be (again) cool from the late-morning sun. Another table off to the side held the beautifully wrapped packages that seemed to get larger as the eye strolled along the length of it. My gift, which was shared with my friend and fellow attendee, only appeared lamer and lamer as I noticed the luxury gift wrapping and professionalism in the formation of the bows. My own homemade concoction wasn't anything to ponder, and I was starting to wonder if the extra five bucks wasn't worth the relief from gift-wrap humiliation. Inside the House Beautiful was a quaint, and healthy I might add, potluck of finger foods and salads. As the party started, we ladies of leisure and class assembled inside to help ourselves to a polite mixture of the treats. The majority of us knew each other from church, including the woman of honor, but the woman in whose home we were standing was a stranger to us. As we chatted in small ways with each other, we slowly began to pull the home owner into our conversations as we introduced ourselves in various ways. The woman, in her mid-thirties, was a beauty and looked incredibly familiar. It dawned on me that she looked like a friend we all had in common (apparently not in common enough to have been invited though). "You know who you look like?" We had all agreed that she had a great deal of familiarity written into her features, but couldn't pinpoint it until genius here spoke up. "You look just like our friend Shireen!" The women around me chimed in their agreements, discussing with each other how right on I was. Shireen's twin looked at me and smiled, not knowing how that worked in her favor. Another woman piped up, "and you also look like Rita Wilson!" again with the chimes of agreement and awareness by the other party goers. "Yeah!" I said, "that's it! You, and Shireen for that matter, resemble Rita Wilson! You all have those sparkling gray eyes!" Women repeating my words around me, nodding their heads to each other as the light bulbs went off over their heads. I persisted, "You have the same high cheek bones..." murmuring of agreement..."the hairstyle and color is almost identical" (oh yes, the hair! the eyes, cheeks and hair! mm hm, yes I see that.) Shireen's twin is looking around at the women seeing the conformity in their decision and seeking, perhaps, a way out of this attention...yet I persist. "you have the same smile too! The same smile with the same big mouth!" oh!, the expecting mother places her hand over her mouth and gasps. It's quiet for about 10 seconds as the twin looks at me with a smile painted on by her now "big" mouth in all its big glory. "No, I don't mean big, wide...large, no,..." No word seems to satisfy anyone and my moment to pull my large foot out of my mouth is yanked away as over half the women chime in, now against me, backtracking my words by soothing her with statements of the twin's unmatched beauty, and how Shireen is also beautiful and Rita Wilson a stunner. Their words intend comfort as their hearts resist the need to shun me. In the next instant, the attention is turned to the food, which is where mine usually is and SHOULD HAVE BEEN all along. The group disperses and the twin is left standing there looking for a way under a rock. As the party moves outdoors to the seating areas, I find the twin filling up a plate. I come in next to her and tell her my word choice was terrible and that she is more than lovely. She nods with pleasantries spewing from her big mouth as she delicately places a few items on her plate, most likely to prove to us that nothing on her is really big. I load up my plate with anything sugary available, only proving once again that my mouth is not only literally big, it is figuratively big and ready to accept anything large enough to keep it busy from talking for the rest of the day.
And yet my question remains, aside from the proverbial big mouth, what was wrong with having a physically BIG mouth? They are sexy and sensuous yet classic. They create the most amazing smiles and create envy in everyone. Is the word "big" so horrid or tacky? Can I have big eyes and be okay, or big lips? It's not like I said "big behind" or "big teeth" or something unflattering. Maybe a big mouth is associated with Mick Jagger, at which point the mouth becomes freakish. Anyone know? In any case, I can admit that I wish my mouth was physically big in that supermodel sexy way, and not figuratively big, at least not enough for my size ten shoes that I manage to chew on a regular basis. So in my house I sit, safe from my own big mouth. Y me?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Red Blue Face

Embarrassing moments are character builders, aren't they? When we hear about others' embarrassments, we're so glad it wasn't us, and yet we all have them, don't we? I certainly have my share. This post is one of them...and hopefully not one of many I remember.
It was 1996. I worked at a produce procurement company that arranged purchases of produce from local shippers to grocery food chains nationwide and up through Canada. That was the job I had when I realized I needed to seek higher education. There I was, fresh-faced and right out of high school, and within six months I'd gone from secretary assistant to a buying assistant. I was labeled a buying assistant, but reality was I had the largest and only international account as my charge, and yet I was making the least amount of money. I'd sit at a large wheel, like a lazy susan, and it spun between all of us buyers with all the accounts filed inside it so we could access any file at any time. It was a cool concept, but it got hard some days looking at the same people. The small office also only had one bathroom. Ten guys, four girls, and one bathroom. Not pretty, oh boy...no privacy at all. Anyway-part of the job was scouring the produce through California, which was our main region, on top of the southern deserts of Arizona and Chilean markets, plus parts of Mexico. I had to go out one day and check out local soft fruit as the season was at its peak and our office manager wanted to know what our shippers were shipping to our customers. Yeah, I knew them all--Driscoll strawberries, Grimway carrots, Ito peaches, Fresh Express salad, the Dole empire, and on and on. It's a small world in produce, but I suppose it's also obscure to the main population. I didn't mind going out to look at produce, which required me to meet with shippers, go into their coolers and packing houses, and describe in detail what I saw. In return shippers would place large boxes of fresh fruit in my company's car so I could take it back and dole it out (dole...punny~). This was back before GPS and I would have a heck of a time finding the small shippers in the tiny towns outside of anything remotely plottable on a map. At the time I was five months pregnant with Kindsay. I was heading out early summer and she came in October, so I was showing pretty good..I always looked pregnant too soon, you know? On top of that, the maternity clothes were L-A-M-E so I was wearing this overall-jumper-shorts outfit that added a few months to my look. What did I care? I had a job to do, and my goodness--I was gonna do it! I had my paper to fill out and my flowing pen of ink ready to jot till my heart couldn't take it any more of the soft fruit that I picked up and marveled at with feigned interest. I had no idea what I was looking at, looking for, nothing. Even now I couldn't tell you how to pick a good watermelon though I got first-hand instruction from watermelon growers of California's agriculture wonderland. I still thump, smell, and look around at what other people are buying. Whatever, I was right out of high school and doing a job so off I went. I had about four shippers to visit, all plums, peaches, and nectarines--which meant great samples to take home! But first I had to get my report done. After I visited two shippers, I went to PacSun and found it pretty empty. I was the "client," the one the shippers had to woo so I would tell my clients how great they were and buy from them. I entered the shipping yard looking around for any sign of packing life. I found a worker and he told me he'd get his manager to come out to talk to me and show me around. I nodded and sat on a set of pallets to wait for him, and thought perhaps I could start filling out my paperwork. As I started writing, the wind whipped up between the buildings and through my arms, blowing my papers up. Thankfully, I had both hands on them with the pen ready to write as I snatched around trying to get the papers in order, fighting against the wind and it's attempt to trash my visit. As I was getting myself together, the manager appeared. There before me was a former neighbor of mine, from my childhood, the older brother of my girlfriend down the street who was so stinking cute that everytime he mispronounced my name I giggled instead of correct him. He'd call me Y-vette, pronouncing the Y like you say it, then adding "vet" on the end. *sigh* He recognized me before I recognized him. Apparently I have a distinct face. I remembered him right away after he said his name. He was still a good-looking guy. He went on to small talk about how his sister, my childhood friend, was tall, beautiful, and living the good life down south as a single, free woman of leisure. There I stood with my pregnant belly, overalls (bleh), fuzzy wind-blown hair, and my "fruit paperwork" with all the authority of newly hired produce boy. Just what was he inferring? That I wasn't tall, beautiful, and living the good life? I had a great husband, children, and a job that paid, well, better than flipping burgers I guess. But still...I wasn't scraping the bottom of anything! I smiled and nodded as he created this goddess of southern California, a "coulda been me too" fantasy of a person that just couldn't be real. And yet, there he stood with his blue shipper shirt and his name stitched on the front. Hmph. We chatted, then he showed me around, I took notes diligently with all the seriousness I could muster as I described the plums in their purpley plumpness. The flesh was orange and fleshy. The plums were round. Oh yeah, I was taking some important notes. Watch out people, I'm rising up the produce ladder. You'd be able to pick out one of my described plums in a box of regular plums in a heartbeat. I finished up my visit and shook his hand, looking into his dark eyes and watching his thick hair flitting in the breeze. I'm married, I remind myself, can't think some other guy is cute, but I also couldn't help but be swept back into my childhood with my youthful crush on my friend's big bro. I went back to the car with authoritative fruit-describing urgency, ready to meet another 'competitor' shipper and say some good stuff about his nectarines, yeah--you've got competition and I'm not taking sides, buddy, no matter how cute you are. He stood and watched me get into my car then walked back into his warehouse. I sat in the car for a moment, getting my report in order and preparing to find my next shipper in the next remote, no-name town. My mind went back to his overly kind description of his gorgeous sister. What does she have that I don't have? I'm not half-bad, right? I flip down the visor to peek into the lighted mirror. Horror stared back at me. Yes, my face had it's baby-carrying glow, but it also had a five-inch blue line drawn from the top of my brow down to my lower cheek, almost jawline, on the left side of my face. What? What was that? The silky blue inkpen I carried that was so easy to write with as I walked around with shippers quickly became my enemy as I remembered grabbing papers in the wind with the unlidded pen in my hand whipping around careless of what it swiped across in an effort to save my beloved fruit reports from flying off into some forsaken field. I had inadvertently whipped the pen across my face, so smooth was the writing that I barely felt it, yet it left a solid line down my face. All that time I spoke with my old crush I looked like a hillbilly in my overalls, unable to master my fancy writin' utensil, hair mussed and face red and shiny with a blue streak of naivety. Yeah, my childhood girlfriend was living the good life. Why he had to stand there and go on about her while he could tell I was a complete mess is unknown to me...just another unquestionable question in the life of a girl unsure of, well, anything and everything. Except I could describe the pants off a peach, you better believe it. Those "fuzzy, peachy peach things" hmm!
...I still got it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The (Circular) Conversation

There's a Spongebob episode (I love that little yellow dude) when he thinks everyone is a robot because of a movie he saw the night before, which freaked him out. He was paranoid from the movie and happened to overhear a conversation Mr. Krabs was having on the phone. Mr. Krabs liked a new song on the radio and went to request to hear it, but the DJ had to correct him. Mr. K--"I want to hear the song that goes 'boop beep beep bop boop boop bop'; DJ--"Actually it goes boop beep beep bop bop"; Mr. K--"bop bop?" pause while listening to DJ "beep bop?" pause for DJ again "bop beep?" (you can now picture Spongebob freaking out because his boss sounds like a robot when in reality Mr. K is just talking music with a DJ.) ANYWAY...Kindsay has conversations like that all the time, where I hear her side and it sounds like Mr. K just "boop beep bopping" while she is on the phone with her girlfriend. So last week I hear Kindsay's side of the conversation going in circles with her special friend.
Kindsay--"Thursday and Friday?" pause for friend to talk "Saturday?" pause "Wednesday or Thursday?" pause "Sunday?" pause "Thursday, Friday and Saturday?" pause...over and over and over...I'm thinking--what the...? Then Kindsay hollers at me through the house, not caring where I am or what I am doing, I am to respond to her. "Mom! When is my birthday party?" Birthday party? I tell her not till October. I hear her say on the phone, "Not till October." pause "Sunday?" pause "Monday or Tuesday?" pause "Thursday?" pause "MOM!! What time is my birthday party over?" Party? What is it with the party? I tell her, Your birthday isn't until October, there is no party. Kindsay proceeds to tell her friend, "Uh, we don't know when it's over. I just don't know." pause "Saturday or Sunday?"
and around we go....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Update Update Update

It's been a while. That doesn't mean Kindsay has been an angel for the last couple of months...it just means that I've been a bit distracted with life. Who isn't, right? So, just to keep you on top of my unquestionably questionable life, here's an update of the fam:
Bek graduates in May--can you believe it? My baby who was born three weeks early and had the biggest cheeks (butt and face) is now a woman ready for college. We've got her enrolled at Fresno City (she doesn't know what she wants to do except that the ex-boyfriend is at the Willow/International location and that option is out)...and we have to drive to Utah on a Wednesday night to be at her ceremony Thursday evening to leave Sunday and be back for work on Tuesday. WHEW! (can't she just fly home and video tape the ceremony? I'm not very sentimental am I...) We are also buying her another car when she gets home. WISH US LUCK. For those of you without a driving teen--it's a blessing and a curse.
Kindsay--what can I say? Is there another home she can move into? People are always saying, "oh I'd love for her to live here!" Do you really?? Do you want all your toilet paper rolls unrolled and re-rolled into balls? Do you want all your food eaten in the middle of the night even after you've been through great lengths to hide it? Do you really want all of your animals lost and scattered in your yard? (mice, people, mice.) Do you really want feminine products in your laundry that you don't know is there and you go to grab it only to discover it's a used pad? Do you really want someone eating Cheetos in your bed and then telling you off when you balk at it? Do you really want a full sized car seat with an anatomically correct boy nakedly lying in it in various places of the house? Do you really want someone taking hour long showers that you don't know are happening until you get home from work and find her still in the shower dumping all the shampoo down the drain? Do you really want...what am I doing? Sorry--venting. In any case, we've told her she can move into a halfway house and learn to appreciate how good she's got it at our house and that our rules need to be FOLLOWED.
Garon...my adult in a baby body. He tells me if he finds someone more beautiful than I am that he'll send it away, but he also says that is not likely to happen. Oh yeah...my boy is sprung. I had to take him to a doctor appointment at a female doctor for Kindsay (yes, we got something to help with her bloody periods, what she calls them...how fitting?)...and Garon went on to discuss the differences between the female body and the male body along with all things similar. While we're trying to discretly discuss Kindsay, Garon is inserting his opinions left and right. Not wanting to dissuade him from expressing himself, I keep giving him the look of "okay, dear, that is enough" until I finally had to tell him straight out "NOT ANOTHER WORD CHILD." Only to have him jump into the origins of his name. What?? He's definitely like some adults I know.
Ty--my artist, my dreamer, my Alice-in-Wonderland, Tim Burton film loving child who can draw the most amazing pictures right out of his imagination. Greg and I keep all of them because we just marvel at them. Really marvel. He's a sensitive child but a teaser and a stinker that loves to rile us up. He's mister social out in the neighborhood doing whatever he can to leave the house even if he has to lie about having his homework done. One day a boy grabbed him and he came home just devastated. I worried about his little heart and gave him some comforting snuggles. Then just last week some boys were bullying Garon at our neighborhood park. Garon finally gave up the teasing and came home (they were teasing about him liking a girl, and they were RELENTLESS)...Garon was frustrated because he really wanted to be outside. As Greg and I were getting our shoes on to shut those jerks down, Ty rode up on his bike and said, "Hey--I told those two boys to shut their portholes, potty mouths, and pieholes...they said they are sorry." and off he went, just another day in the life? Greg asked him later--weren't you afraid they'd beat you up (they were older boys and already flipped Garon over) and Ty scoffed, "Uh, no, I have the Holy Ghost." Technically not yet since he's only 7, but I'm glad that he's using it so much now--imagine what he'll be like when he gets baptized! A bullet not to mess with!
Other than that, all is well, nothing out of the norm, and life is a basket of peaches. (sigh)

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Day We Dreaded From the Beginning

I went back and forth on whether or not I should share this, but then I realized I am documenting my history in addition to venting, and this is definitely worth documenting. I'm also trying to entertain my friends who are up all hours of the night with their own problems--help a girl out, right?
It's the day my husband and I dreaded since the psychiatrist told us many years ago that my special child would be even worse through adolescence. That was obvious, but having a professional cement that very sentiment was a frightening realization. Every time Kindsay would burst into the room and scream "I've got blood!", every head would turn in chaos and panic would set in--it didn't even matter who was in the room because everyone felt the same way I did--nothing could be worse to have than a menstruating Kindsay. The last time she did that we were in Utah visiting my sister. Kindsay appeared in an instant at the top of the stairs and exclaimed, "I have blood!" My sister and I were standing at the bottom talking and both of our heads whipped up to her then back to each other then back up to her then back to each other...you get the idea...until Kindsay continued, "It's on my finger--I need a band-aid!" Our bodies must've gone from 0 to 60 and back because we released such relief that we both had to hold each other up. Each year after 11 we bit our lips in anticipation. Was it this year? This birthday? This weekend? The time was ticking, getting more and more away from when we thought it would be that the crazy notion of her never entering true womanhood started to tip-toe in. Halt! Isn't that how it is? The moment we change our thinking, the expected happens. Just when my guard was down. See how this girl is? A master of mischief! She knew my guard was down and I was started to feel like it was never going to happen...only to hear the dreaded line, "I have blood!" Now you can picture this with certainty--My husband and I were standing in the bathroom with Kindsay as she prepared to shower. She had just finished a week-long bout of diarrhea so her showing us her underpants was beginning to be a norm...lucky me, right? She has zero shame, so what comes and goes is on her sleeve. It was as she was getting off the last piece of clothing that she threw her underwear at me and said the line of doom, at which point I was certain it didn't mean what it meant. I was thinking that perhaps the diarrhea had caused some kind of--I don't know, something that would cause there to be bleeding, so I looked...oh my. In the midst of the skidding was a drop or two of womanhood. Next to me stood my husband who cannot even buy toilet paper for fear that others around him would know that he goes to the bathroom and needs to wipe himself. Private? Just a little. I love reminding him that someday he may grow old and feeble and may need me to change his diapers...I think that would warrant suicide on his part because he'd rather die. Kindsay got in the shower with her usual level of drama. I looked at my husband who looked back at me as we exchanged the "OH...NO...IT....ISN'T!" It was Saturday night, the day before the Sabbath which we observe, so we had to act fast. Kindsay got out of her shower (after the usual begging and pleading from us as she runs every last drop of hot water), and went to her room. Years ago, when big sister was just starting her period, I explained to Kindsay that the period meant an egg was being flushed from the body...but nothing more. I knew she'd seen the videos in school, but the whole sex topic has been avoided for obvious reasons. Her sister would leave around the used pads in the place of purpose being young and inexperienced in dealing with those things, and Kindsay would find them only to panic as she questioned why her sister had blood. The egg explanation satisfied her, though she insisted Bek needed to have a baby right away. No.
So here's Kindsay with 'blood.' I told her, I think you started your period, Kindsay. Have you ever seen glee on a person's face with so much of it it scares you? That was Kindsay. "I'm going to have a baby! My sister is going to have a baby! I have eggs! Oh I'm so happy!" My husband and I exchange looks of fear and worry unlike any other. Kindsay, I say, I've never seen anyone happy about this. And no, you are not going to have a baby, not until you are married, and neither is Bek! Her legs are shaking, her hands are clapping, the grin on her face is just too much. She runs out and comes back with a handful of pads Bek left behind. I figured she knew all about that so I didn't do the demonstration. (Why is that? I don't know, I honestly don't know.) I figured she'd only need half a dozen, which is what she had, until Monday so we were good. WRONG...I'm always wrong. Sunday comes and she's used all the pads in the course of 3 hours, I guess just for wiping herself. I tell my husband that he has to go Monday morning to buy her pads. Oh no, he tells me, no way. You have to! If I go to the store at 6 AM and buy pads I'll look like a woman with a crisis--you will look like a loving husband! After 12 hours of begging and setting foot down, he goes in the morning and comes back with, not the Always box of pink pads, just a pink box with pads. A set of pads for those who wear thongs. Teeny, tiny, skinny, 'what's the point?' pads. Needless to say, I picked Kindsay up for her dental appointment after school and as she walked in front of me into the dentist office, I see a huge blotch on the back of her skirt. Apparently, the pads didn't do it for her, and I wasn't a good mom because I didn't do the demo. Ugh. Now then--I have to keep the 'how-to' of sex away from her because she is already soliciting strange men on-line to have a baby, which may just scare them all away if they know she wants that, but she'll find the one guy who shouldn't reproduce and that will be the grandchild I have to raise. I will demo everything else and explain with as much detail I can, but THAT...that will be a secret. I don't want a grandchild that badly...nobody does. In fact, when she asked me "where is the blood coming out of?" I told her "from down there"...and that's all I'm saying. The fact that that was obvious to her but she accepted it as an answer is enough to say, "this child shouldn't reproduce." 'nuff said.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Poopy Kindsay

This is a story of historical qualities...meaning-it doesn't necessarily happen often enough any more to make a big fuss, but I do need to document some 'good old times' with Kindsay before the dementia kicks in. Kindsay loves the bathroom. Don't we all? We go there to escape, sometimes pretending to have to use it just to get away. From the time I can remember, Kindsay used the bathroom as her place to recollect herself to move onto the next thing, whatever it was. Even at school, the teachers had to make deals with her about her bathroom visits because they were so frequent. But Kinsday doesn't just stand in the bathroom collecting herself. She goes through all the motions, even if nothing is there. I know she's just collecting herself when I know she's in the bathroom and call her name, only to hear her skirt slip back up her legs the moment I say it. On top of that, Kindsay for a while had a fondness for going to the bathroom in the strangest places. It was like a fettish or something (kinda weird to use that word with her, but when it's freaky, it's freaky.) Allow me to enlighten you with some pictures you must create in your mind because, well, I didn't get this on film, and I would've been arrested if I had.
We're at the beach. We know Kindsay's constant need to use the bathroom so we make a camp about 100 feet from the public bathrooms (we're at Avila, you know what bathrooms I'm talking about.) She's about 6 or 7 years old, maybe older. I prop up a tent, one of those tiny ones, to lay Ty since he was baby and it was a good place to let him sleep sans sand. OK, Kindsay, there's the bathrooms, if you need to go, we can go! She loves toilets, but that day, that special day, she thought going to the bathroom somewhere else would make the day more memorable. Indeed.
"where's Kindsay?" we call her name, don't see her up and down the beach, and get frantic. She finally shuffles around in the tent. I swing the tent flap open to find her squatting in her own hand...number 2 I might add. Now for what reason do you think she was doing that knowing the bathrooms were a step or two away? So what is the point in my asking "WHY??" There is no answer, and there never has been...but oh how I ask the question in vain! Poop plopping into her hands as her head shoots up to her new audience as deer in headlights. Back then, things still surprised us so that wasn't a fun realization. It didn't make it easy that we had a baby or two. That meant we had diapers. Oh how Kinsday wishes she were an infant! The way she can STILL, with all 5.5 feet of her, curl into fetal position is amazing. I cannot tell you how many long distance trips we went on to have her cry to use the bathroom every 10 minutes, every..... 10..... minutes, even after we'd just stopped for her so she could merely tinkle in the toilet. Then when not giving in to her demands, we wind up smelling a foul stench of large child urine wafting through the shut in van. She'd slipped on a diaper, found a paper towel, or used a regular towel taken to clean up accidents in the car, and strapped it around her crotch. This would be done in the back of the van, practically in the trunk behind the luggage so we wouldn't see her in the rearview mirror. The diapers would be full of urine, not like little baby amounts, but big kiddo bladders-full. That would force a pull-over, which she l-o-v-e-d. If she can control us, she's in her version of what heaven will be...that and it will have a toilet on every corner. Now if I can get her through adulthood without knowing there are "Depends" for sale in the drugstore down the street. It would be heaven to strap on a diaper all day. And yeah,...she would.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Rolling Good Time

Sometimes my sons ask me what's wrong with their sister. Why is she like that? they ask...I tell them she was born with a different brain. I don't know what to call it, and I don't think there is a name for what makes her special. She's a cafeteria of 'needs' and I live at Hometown Buffet. Thank goodness for medication. And I really mean that. The dear girl takes three different medications everyday. Some people don't believe in meds, but I do...and after today, her teachers do too.
It was one of those days when my husband and I looked at each other in stark realization that there weren't any more meds--we were out! We sent her to school like we were sending her across a tightrope--the uncertainty of failure or success was there with everything to gain or lose. I had the prescription ready to fill, but you know how those triplicate meds are, being so closely watched and all. I waited for 'the call.' It came in email form and it read exactly how I imagined it would. Her functional skills teacher writes, "Kindsay is having a really bad day. Is something different going on? She's agitated, keeps putting her jacket over her head, I can't get her to focus on anything, she's up and down and every where...." She's very kind and loving about it, and I cringe as I return the email with profuse apologies for having been a dope about the dope (that's just a pun, she's not on dope). It wasn't until I got the OTHER email, from her block A teacher who has her twice a day. This email read a little differently, though the message was the same. To some effect she tells me that we need to address some serious behavior issues, that Kindsay literally prevented any child from learning in her classes, that her rolling on the ground, breaking school equipment, constant noise-making, flailing, etc, were nonstop....they actually pulled someone from her usual job to be Kindsay's 1:1, and that still wasn't enough. Eventually, she was sent back to her functional skills class. The email was a few paragraphs in detail and shock, and I wrote back with more apologies, but this time I added that today they experienced the Kindsay I know. How many times do I hear how adorable, sweet, wonderful she is--and don't get me wrong--yay! I'm happy to have her be so loved in the world, but MAN...when she gets home, the meds wear off and her charm does too and I got Kindsay the Hun to deal with. I said, "You now know what I live with every night after school." I think I owe them some serious Starbuckage. (legally I don't have to medicate her and the school would have to put up with her behaviors if I chose that route, but I am not a hater...I want to go to heaven.) But then it hit me--I have to go home to her. I raced home, first stopping by the pharmacy to get the med order going so the next day wouldn't be a repeat...and I call home to check on her. "How was your day? I heard it was hard." Oh yeah, it was hard...as she tells me about it, which to her it wasn't as hard although getting in trouble all day isn't fun--but she is so out of her mind that I don't think she notices the turmoil around her. All the while she's talking to me she's in the mouse cage. She lets loose the baby mice so she can hunt them down. "Mom, I think I grabbed the baby too hard, his eyes are big." Here we go, George. I tell her to leave the mice alone until I get home!! (I find out she put the mama mouse in a box and squirted water from a water bottle on it to make it drown. Yes, we are getting rid of the mice.) I come home and find this whirlwind of a child. Her arms are flailing, literally, over her head, around her body, she's making noises without purpose, she's making food in large quantities and leaving it on the counter untouched, she's pulled out huge shelves in the garage in an effort to hunt down the mice (I could only move that amount of stuff if I was trying to save a child beneath it...it's huge.) I finally sit down in the oversized chair in my family room to meditate--aka--go out of body. I imagine myself somewhere-anywhere!-else. She sees my guard is down and I'm cornered. Out of my fridge she pulls a gallon of milk that has about a cup left. She walks up to me, tilts her head back and tells me, "watch this" and begins to drink from the gallon. OK--that is a huge no-no in my house (as with most) but I hold every muscle back from giving her the response she so badly wants from me. She tries to poke me, rub me, grab me, she's all over the place and I'm in la-la-land. I had told Greg to stop by the pharmacy and get her pills plus I put an order in for my anxiety medication (is that really a shock, now come on!)...he comes home but I only know he's home because here she comes with all four bottles of meds in her hands. All the sudden she's salsa dancing through my kitchen with all four bottles acting as some kind of rattling instrument. She's literally four to five feet from my kitchen island which has a double sink and fervently shaking the bottles while making some unearthly noise. Then I see it--an entire bottle's worth of meds goes flying through the air and lands 'without the net' into the garbage disposal. Now, in a million years I couldn't pull off that stunt, but Kindsay has done it...I jump to find what meds they were and I saw white round pills that looked like her night pills, which keep her sleepy and not up all hours of the night which she is without them. I start pulling them out of the disposal--of course my dishwasher is on so the sink is watery and the meds are too! I grab the bottle--whew! They were mine, though I realized I had half a month's supply for the next month. Help us all. My mom knows Kindsay is 'out of her mind' and came over to check on us. Kindsay is still going in circles, whirling, chirping, but this time she has a throw blanket she's whipping around. My mom approaches her with loving attention only to have Kindsay begin to whip her with the blanket. Yes, my daughter was whipping her grandma while grandma was trying to ask her about her day. I am watching this, wondering how long my mom would hold herself together while fluffs of her hair are static charged in the air with every whip. Let me explain something you might be wondering. No, she cannot have her morning pills in the evening. No, she cannot have her night time pills until a certain hour or she is off her schedule and up at 3 AM. No, we cannot tell her to go to her room and stay until her next meds (there isn't a punishment in the world that would keep her in one spot). She wasn't even interested in the computer, which is her most favorite thing. She was like a wound-up toy on coffee-spiked Rockstar. By 6 PM I give her the night time pills. A few times already I had to calm Greg down and pull him away from a situation before it escalated, reminding him that when it came down to it--it was our fault she was the way she was. We gave her the meds, and slowly...in small doses, she finds her way to her room, crawls in bed with the computer and finds her favorite song "Superman" and plays it over and over until she drifted off to sleep with the laptop on her stomach still replaying the song. My husband and I leaned over to see her and it was like looking at a baby...they drive you nuts but then they are so cute when they are sleeping that you feel bad for ever getting impatient with them. People called to console me after the day they knew we had and the question I get all---the---time "how do you do it?" I say the same thing every time...because I am no "Superman"...'you would do it too if you had to.' They always pause, 'yeah, I guess I would if it was my child,' then they politely refrain from letting me hear the sigh of relief under their breath. Y me?...Y not?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's "A DOUBLE I-Told-You-So" or "The 3-day Valentine's Weekend that lasted 1 hour**" or "Y Me?"

Okay, so I can't figure out what to call this post--any ideas? Allow me to share with you my weekend thus far, which is only composed of about twelve hours, but was ruined in one. It all started about a year ago when Greg and I realized Kindsay's bed had the BEST mattress in the house--perfect nap-taking bed. The room gets super dark, the temperature is always perfect, and the bed is soft soft soft. Greg, who is not one to take naps lightly (and I mean that in both senses), would take naps in her room only to be disturbed by the bursting in of children at random times about almost nothing. This is one of two things that will take hold of Greg's temper and flare it right up. The other has to do with his PS3, but I'm not even going to glamorize that dumb thing so 'nuff said. ANYWAY--Bottom line: Greg loves his naps, loves Kindsay's room, hates the constant barging in and disruption of said naps, so what does he do? I come home one day to find a knob with a lock on her door. Greg, not being a sophisticated domestic-type, doesn't get a knob with a push-button lock, he gets one with a key. Yes, a real toothy-edged key. One key might I add. I told him then and there--that key is going to get lost and Kindsay WILL lock the door from the outside and THEN what? Ignore, ignore, nap, ignore, nap, nap...you get the idea. Well, an hour into my 3-day weekend and "what's this? Kindsay's door is locked and she's in the garage? what's that? You say the key is inside her backpack which is inside her room?" Needless to say I spent the entire night trying everything on Google to get that dumb thing open, only to go to bed with raw hands and a kink in my neck. Still locked. Greg wasn't too upset...until I told him I was going to sleep alone in Rebekah's room until the door gets opened--so there he was in front of the door trying my tried-and-not-true Google methods, only to find himself frustrated and yelling at Kindsay "why? why? why?" I pulled him out of the room to which she was banished (the boys'), I remember a child psychologist saying never ask a child "why" because--they don't know why! So now I'm in Rebekah's room and her wall lines up with the garage-and what's on the other side of the wall but Kindsay's mice...2 have run away, we're thinking the other (female) ran off the men once her babies were born (10--yes 10), so behind me is one mouse mama and her ten babies...Wal Mart take me away.
I wake up this morning, having slept very little that night because 1) I have trouble sleeping period 2) I am a scaredy cat and imagine Freddy Kruger TO THIS DAY is still in my closet AND (all 3 apply) 3) I hear Kindsay talking to herself in the garage in panic. I hear the words "mouse" "dead" "trouble" "I'm in"...I add it all up (because I'm a mathmatician) and conclude that she has killed a mouse. I get up to tell Greg who is a lone man in our room, and he rolls over commenting about not believing that was really the case. I braved it alone--out to the garage I go...and there's Kindsay, holding a baby, which isn't pink anymore but a small little bundle of fur, and she's distraught. She sees me and starts in on her self-punishment "Oh, I shouldn't have done this, why do I have mice? I shouldn't have mice! We need to sell them, I think it's time we sell them or take them back or something...oh I shouldn't have done this!" What did you do, Kindsay? Apparently, in an effort to feed the baby, Kindsay stuck a CRAZY STRAW down the baby's throat. At that point it was still alive but she was anticipating its death as its little legs kicked around. Then I went back to Greg with a full report at which time he leaped out of bed (he really loves those mice babies). He tried to assess the damage, but Kindsay had stuck it back in the baby pile so he didn't know which one to pull out. He came back in the house "Kindsay! You are not allowed near those mice again! and you are grounded for a week!" Is this on top of the week you grounded her for locking herself out of her room? So, I have 2 'told you so' moments. I told Greg "don't put a key-lock knob on the door" AND "Kindsay can't have animals because she hurts them." and they happened within 10 hours of each other. Kindsay doesn't mean to hurt them, she just gets something in her head and goes for it without thinking about the possible consequences to her actions until after the damage is done. And her "ideas" are usually c-r-a-z-y ...so let's not involve real lives, huh? No one listens to me. and now we're all in a foul mood. So which is it? "A Double I-told-you-so", "The 3-day Valentine's weekend that lasted 1 hour" or "Y Me?" ....or should it be "KINDSAY!!!!!!!!!" It's a good thing I love that man because this would send any other girl running out the door on Valentine's weekend.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Rules of Friends (Kindsay-style)

Kindsay has become the typical female adolescent with the nonstop phone calls and all. The phone calls are to and from one girlfriend from her class--but it's a friend nonetheless!!--and I will look no gift horse in the mouth! The last girlfriend from her class was banned from talking to her on the phone because the calls were coming from Kindsay around the clock (not to my knowledge of course!), but in the case with the new girl on the block, she has met her match. New friend, I will call Alli, calls us around the clock and leaves tiny-voiced messages looking for "Kindsay! Where are you?" Yes, Alli is a special needs child too so we've got them chasing each other's tails about the unknown all evening on the phone. I've enjoyed seeing Kindsay socialize, I have not, however, enjoyed missing every call coming in through call waiting...well, not entirely true, but you know what I mean. I will not be one of those parents who ban any child from calling my house, especially not special little gals like Alli. My husband and I both think she is just about the cutest thing and we want to eat her up in a non-literal, figurative-only type of way. She's half Kindsay's height and twice her width, just a round, jolly little thing with so much spunk she makes Hannah Montana look like a wallflower. All night, every night, Kindsay and Alli talk about going to each other's houses. With all the time they spend planning they could've had world peace figured out, but alas they want to know "when and what time" they can see each other. Since Alli's parents only speak Spanish, I direct all correspondence to Greg (whew!)...but at least once a night Kindsay will just randomly hand me the phone while I look at her puzzled (yeah, I know, will I catch on one day?), only to say hello to Alli who begins quizzing me about the "when and what time." Kindsay finally went to Alli's one Friday night. Greg dropped her off, and when he brought her home Kindsay had a shopping bag. Seems she went through Alli's house and whatever she saw she liked they gave it to her. Aye! Kindsay comes home with 2 sweaters and a box of barritas~(not burritos...barritas...look it up)~Again, we reviewed the rules of 'what to do when visiting at a friend's house'...#1--don't tell the parents you are mad at them (like she did with 'banned' friend) #2--don't ask for everything you see that you want #3--don't lock yourself in the bathroom and ignore their pleas for you to come out (banned friend again) #4--oh who am I kidding? These rules come along when we turn a corner, or hit a wall...whichever...either way, we're not prepared to prepare her because we don't know the problem exists yet. sigh.
It had been another week and Kindsay and Alli again made plans. This time I never got let in on the plans, which isn't surprising. My doorbell rings on Saturday morning and there stands Alli, ready to pick up Kindsay. Kindsay rushes to the door...dirty clothes (food all over from breakfast) that she slept in, major ratty bedhead, and a big purse on her shoulder. No--uh uh...you aren't going anywhere, and the gates of hell opened. I put my foot down while the mom got out of her car with an English-speaking aunt. "We didn't know if you knew that Kindsay was coming over." Um no. I ask Alli, 'do you want to stay here today instead since Kindsay isn't ready to leave the house?' Alli is nervous all the sudden and stammers something about not wanting to because Kindsay's dad will touch her. I'm taken aback--what? no! Kindsay's dad isn't going to touch you! I turn to the mom, "My husband and I both work in schools, we know how to deal with kids...we don't touch them...we won't touch her..." I'm explaining like I've been caught plotting, but Alli's mom nods and smiles...it's okay, she says, Alli can stay. Alli comes in, but she's so nervous she can't hold still. She moves through my house like she's walking in the dark, completely disoriented and unsure with every turn. She keeps repeating something about Kindsay's dad touching her and I actually started wondering, "what did Greg do??" Finally, Greg comes in the room and hears Alli announce that he's going to touch her. You can imagine his surprise! "No! I'm not going to touch you, please don't worry, etc." (while he's doing this he starts picking up stuff on the floor by her feet...later I said, "way to go to make her more comfortable by invading her personal space to pick up socks off the ground") At last we gave in and Greg took Kindsay and Alli to Alli's house. The next morning, I get in my car to find a policeman's business card. What's this? Did Greg get a ticket? Then it dawned on me--since when do policemen give out business cards after writing tickets "Nice doing business with you, let's do this again soon!" not likely. So I call him. Greg laughs a bit, apologizes for not telling me about this, and proceeds to explain. It seems Alli has a neighbor of a questionable nature. It must've been the parents' approach to protecting Alli by scaring the bows out of her hair by telling her what a freak he is and all the bad stuff he would do to her if she went to his house. Alli decided to let Kindsay in on 'freaky neighbor' and got Kindsay so riled up she called 9-1-1. Yup. Greg pulled up to Alli's to pick her up only to find cop cars and their owners at Alli's door with two little special needs teenage girls heroically alerting them to 'freaky neighbor'. OK..so now we have rule #4...don't call the police on the neighbors unless the parents tell you to. I can't wait to find out what rule #5 is going to be. Any predictions?

re"LAX" ??

Have you ever been to LAX? I can't imagine the entire airline industry's problems not being solved after stepping within three miles of that place. Granted, it was just days before Christmas, but my goodness--the entire world was there. We met up with the Wards, our fellow travel companions, at the hotel where we all caught a shuttle to the airport. All twelve of us were heavy-laden with baggage...each child carried a backpack and a 'can't do without' Snuggie along with a carry-on, plus Greg and I had one checked-in bag carrying all of Christmas as granted by Santa himself. Matt and Aimee had their share of luggage and arm-busting carry-ons..so it was every man for himself. Every man, woman, and child. We stood in the lobby of the hotel waiting for the shuttle that continued to circle to the airport and back through all included hotels without stopping because it was never-endingly packed full of people. "Five more minutes," the hotel bellboy would tell us...slowly the lobby went from just my little family of seven, to the Wards after finishing breakfast, to many more people...each getting anxious that the last and only ship to sail that day would never arrive. Five minutes--psh! Another five, and another...slowly people began to move their way outside into the freezing cold dawn(not really to some, but to us Californians? ew...40 degrees.) I am never one to be unfair, but I know people, especially those catching a plane, are not going to be the same way, so I ushered my clan outside to their balking. I didn't want to be obnoxious and say, "I want to make sure we get on that shuttle because we've been waiting longer than anyone here!" but...I'm not a child I suppose, so trap shut--body language loud and clear. At last, twenty more people and twenty more bags later the shuttle arrives, and in it is an older gentleman who has the world in his hands and every minute to spare. We lug everything on, piece by piece is taken by the driver and placed on carts lined up against the front of the bus walls. We push back, standing or sitting, but not going anywhere because the whole sardine concept was in full force and in case of impact, well, I feared for the glutton that hits us. At last, kids getting louder as they get more excited, each feeding each other's frenzy as they look about them in awe of their circumstances, and the driver putts his way to the airport, foot looming over the break versus stepping on the pedal. Thankfully we were the last hotel stop, so next was LAX...should be BLECK or GAG or something else than a word that resembles 'relax.' The driver called out for airlines and we chimed back as he made mental note of all his upcoming stops. The departure area was alive with all walks of life, and to sit and people watch would've made a great Christmas on its own, but the money to get to Hawaii was spent so...oh well, off we went. Delta, our airline, was third in line to stop, and it was like the bus threw up when we got off. Bags, backpacks, purses, blankets, and this was just my family, not including the many others who fell out behind us. I had the misguided idea that checking in my bag in advance would speed up the process, but as I looked down the long line of brilliant people with the same idea, I realized...after too long in that line...that it would've been easier to go inside and check in at the counter. For one, it would've been warmer! We lined the kids up inside the airport along the window so we could watch them, but we mostly watched our breath escape in clouds and inhaled for at least half an hour. And we thought getting to the airport 2 hours early was getting the worm, but we were among early birds that already ate my worm, chewed it, digested it, and pooped it out. As we stood in weariness staring at the single man checking in people that had one problem after another that would never have occurred on any other day, we see a limo pull up. Out steps the leathery, cowboy-hat wearing, skin tight clothing having, fakest of fake faces to the point of complete new identity, her two kids and her wannabe famous husband. He appeared to be somewhat of a celebrity by the way the airline was treating him--the limo wasn't just a ruse I suppose, but the whole charade was ridiculous as those of us anonymous travelers stood by daring to breath the same air. Hey--at least it was entertaining watching this woman's plastic cheeks and lips move about in rapid motion as she spewed fake kindness and charm. Shrug. We were behind the next person to be helped. I looked around myself, found and counted my kids, checked for their bags on their backs, and realized--our suitcase to check-in was missing. The realization warmed me instantly as heat shot up to my head and through my ears. "Greg! The suitcase is on the shuttle!" I don't know what was worse, not making the plane or having spent all that time essentially for nothing because I had nothing to check in. Matt and Aimee looked around with relief as they spotted their two to check, but Greg dashed off looking for anyone with a name tag and I was in panic mode, which means I'm incapacitated. Matt got on the phone with the hotel and gets info about the shuttle while I'm scanning the street for shuttles with extra luggage on them just to have something to give my kids for Christmas. Inspired by the luggage gods themselves, Aimee remembers the shuttle driver had to loop back around because he skipped one airline...so he'll be back around any time! I feel like I'm auditioning for the next Christmas movie by Disney as my head jerks around, hair whipping, glasses slipping...looking looking...what color was it? What print was on the side? It was blue! the blue shuttles that drove by were like in families that flocked together. The lady in front of us was summoned to the counter which means my chosen time was coming and I was going to be ill-prepared! Greg was racing around downstairs finding a phone to call the shuttle whose name he absolutely did not know so he was really moving for the sake of moving because what else was he to do? Through the traffic, the masses of cabs, cars, buses, and shuttles, I see the blue van with the elderly gentleman...chin up and falling into his seat heavily like he was floating on a cloud and not performing airline miracles. I run to him, which was behind us and back about a hundred or so feet, dodging people and cars, throwing myself into harm's way for the sake of a stocking stuffer. I get in front of the shuttle and wave like groupie and the driver looks at me in bewilderment but stops and opens his door. He doesn't even have to hear what I say as he turns to look at the single bag sitting on the cart like a lost child. He grabs it and lunges it at me gently, and I thank him profusely, thinking how grateful I was for tipping the guy the first time around. I grab it with superhuman strength and hustle it back to the line in time to check in. Crisis averted! We whip through check in with the Wards and haul to security like every other maniac of delay...the lady at the line shook her head and pointed to the back of the line that lined up outside the airport and down the street, practically back to the hotel. I should've had someone waiting in that line while I checked in, but hindsight is so obnoxious. It was like a Christmas miracle. We raced, all twelve of us with each an extra fifteen pounds or so, to the gate only to get right into line to board the plane. People probably saw us and thought...hmph, they didn't even have to wait...but waiting is all we've done. And now, all I I wanted to do was sit in a seat, with a football player-sized man in front of me reclining into my lap and crushing my ice water cup on the tray and dream of tropical sunrises and poi. Taro root--take me away.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in Hawaii...and more things to make you gag

Yes, Christmas was in Hawaii, and it was a great decision and trip! It was a little weird on Christmas morning when we only had stockings to open and then a trip next door to the Ward's hut to see what they wanted to do that day. Everything was closed, except the restaurant that we loved down the street, so of course we visited that establishment; otherwise, it was a relaxing day...a little rain...a little fun around the house. There's just too much to tell. The plane ride went smoothly except for one glitch which hopefully wasn't discovered until after we got off the plane and no pictures were taken. Once the small tv in front of each seat finished its feature of how to save your life in an airplane, showing us how to float on our seats, breath the oxygen out of the released masks, and put on the vest that lies between the seats neatly packaged and ready for use, we were ready for take off. Because the plane was packed and there were seven of us, we weren't able to sit together. Kindsay and Garon say by the window and Greg sat a row in front of them in the middle aisle. I sat with Ty three rows back and Bek and Brit...well they never left each other's side. So Greg was the supervising adult for our Miss Kindsay. Is it possible to cause trouble three minutes into the plane ride, before even leaving the ground? You betcha! Once the Angelina Jolie wannabe woman completed her instruction of safety, Greg turned to check on Kindsay and Garon only to find Kindsay fully strapped into the yellow safety vest on the verge of pulling the tabs to inflate the dang thing. Crisis averted as Greg yanked the vest away, avoiding the near strangulation of one very resourceful child. The madness of arrival is never worth mentioning...so I won't. The houses were beautiful, yard was immaculate, and the location was in-cred-i-ble...as my friend and fellow Hawaiian traveler Matt said, "You nailed it on the house." (the house was my job to find). See pictures (and grab a Kleenex)...The laundry facility on the side of the house, out front, was packed full of boogie boards, chairs, snorkel gear, and even a kayak. We grabbed everything we could, except the kayak because we were going to just rent some down at the beach. That was such a money saver! Off we went...doing it all, while Kindsay sat bundled up under a towel in a ball on a chair or in the sand. She really didn't care that we left the house everyday, but she wasn't going to be coerced into doing anything. The only thing she loved was kayak-day. She insisted she ride each time Greg took it out...front and center, rowing opposite of Greg so it took them twice as long to get anywhere, but smiling wide all the while. The next day, Greg and I sat at the private house beach watching Garon roll in with the waves and roll out with the waves...he just loved the water and was becoming one with it when bursting through the bushes down the path comes Kindsay and the kayak from the hut out front. There is no way that child will ever be able to convince us that she can't do anything. Greg warned and warned that the waves would not permit a kayak...but Kindsay wasn't going hear any of it, pushed the kayak into the water, and fell back as the kayak slammed into her legs by the waves. Greg and I videotaped and failed to go to her rescue...it was just too funny. Garon was beside himself trying to save the kayak and Kindsay, screaming at us to be parents...pflt...I say. Kindsay's attempt at kayaking was too funny to jump up and change scenery. But Kindsay loves anything wild and the tropical yard was full of life. Geckos, frogs, roosters (I kill em if I see em), and peacock filled the yard. I went out one morning, leaving Greg and Kindsay. Greg woke to find Kindsay sitting in the tv room, casually enjoying a show, with a ginormous tupperware bowl and an even bigger frog inside, rrriiiiiibbbbiiiiiit. "Oh oh, I'm taking this home." Greg and I placed bets at whether or not we'd be stopped at security because officers find an animal only found in Oahu in our suitcases and we'd be arrested and never allowed back. Only my family could cause a plague after a Christmas holiday. Here's a video of the house.
videoThe boys had a blast too...Garon enjoyed the shark tank, see following video, and Ty found himself lost in the largest maze at the Dole Plantation. Bek and Brit giggled the entire trip about...well, nothing as usual, which means they speak their own language and we'll never understand them, but oh well...we had Hawaiian shaved ice everyday...Ty hated the stuff. After the third day straight eating it he exclaimed, "I hate shave ice! I don't want any shave ice! Why do you keep saying, 'come on, let's get shave ice?' I don't want to hear anymore about shave ice, capush?" Capeesh, Ty...and too bad! The shave ice was soooooo good...as we ate our treat, Matt and I would get back in line for the next flavor. Aimee even found a few she liked..and I must say I was quite hydrated by trip's end. The shark tank was cool, though I preferred seeing it from the boat.
videoGaron was a brave boy who got in, with Bek, Brit, Emma, Aimee, and Matt--and me for about two minutes. I got wet up to my neck. Me no like wet. And, my friends, that was only one of two times I touched the water the entire vacation. What do you expect? I don't swim in my own pool! Obama too enjoyed his stay while we were there and we have pictures from his entourage, which caboosed with an ambulance...that man is prepared I tell ya. Bottom line--we did it all...snorkel (well, I didn't), kayak (that either), Pearl Harbor (I watched from the bag check-in), Banzai Pipeline visit (no water required...cool), Polynesian Culture Center (Disneyland in the tropics...minus rides and mice), temple visit (closed), shark tank (the guilt got me in, the cold got me right back out), and plenty of R & R on the private beach. Greg had the burger of his dreams, twice...see picture. And we all got lei'd at one point...mind the spelling please.
videoThis doesn't mean we're done with our adventures...and Kindsay, she didn't do too badly, whew! While she looked like Mother Theresa most days with the towel draped over her head wearing her mumu, she was pretty content. Garon's birthday was fun spending it at the PCC, and his cake from a famous bakery on the North Shore was divine. We went to the luau at the end of the day. The PCC was huge, and it was packed! 3000 plus visitors. Kindsay, before we got in the door, was already falling over with fatigue and disinterest. I walked her up to the rental booth, asked the lady how much for a wheelchair...turned to Kindsay, 'you want a wheelchair' only to receive an excited nod...put her in the chair..and voila! a fun day for all. Emma was a dear to push her most of the day, and Kindsay was pretty content in the chair, until it got to the luau. We sat at a long table where the 12 of us fit next to a buffet. The table was lined with pitchers of lemonade, punch, and water. The luau hostess asked those of us in love to come up and dance so Greg and I went up along with Matt and Aimee and danced to their little hula song. I gave Kindsay her night night pills, and perhaps a little soon. If she doesn't take them she gets W i L d...but if she does, she gets loopy. We sat at the buffet chatting, eating, chatting some more, and turn to see Kindsay with a pitcher of punch going down her face with her eyes half open. She said in a drunken stupor, "skip the glass, I'm gonna drink this stuff straight from the bottle!" Needless to say, we let her finish the punch. The show afterward was awesome, and the shopping was satisfying...Overall, it was a dream having all four of my kids at my side, along with a niece and dear family friends...and the 80 degree weather wasn't bad neither.
Rebekah's favorite part: all of it! especially L & L down the street!
Garon's favorite part: the shark tank, being so close to the beach
Ty's favorite part: the Dole maze and being at the house so close to the beach..and the plane!
Kindsay's favorite part: kayaking
Kindasy summed Hawaii up like this: all the facts and fun she had in Hawaii in one big long sentence, then a blurb about Hawaiians..."they are really nice, super nice, they might take you and kill you and murder you, but they are nice." Take a chance...it was fun!