Sunday, November 20, 2011

Surprise Surprise!

If my husband knew I was posting this he would K-I-L-L me....but it's history that must be written down and if I don't it will be forgotten, though it may take our lifetimes to forget it. 
First...a little update on my other children. Ty is my free spirit who looks up on Google "How to be a hippie"...rainbows, long hair, Birks...hurray.  I tell him it's also a view on life and that he may need to wait to understand life a little more before he rushes into a lifestyle.  He takes art classes on Fridays and rolls his eyes that he has to be "the oldest one there--I mean, the others are what, seven, eight?  and I'm nine!  Just great."  Oh the trials in life.  His interest in Spongebob has resurfaced and his interest in school has shlumped, which means bye bye computer, video games, and tv!  I recently asked him to describe someone he had teach a class and he said "she's blond."  I said, can I have more detail (he didn't know her name) she skinny, a little heavy?...what's heavy? he asks. Well, I say, it means a little bigger than skinny, maybe rounder than others.  "Mom...all you adults are heavy-look how big you are!"  note to self-stop eating.
Garon takes fencing two nights a week.  Get that kid's energy OUT, I mean--jumping on my lap at 3 wks, running at 10 mos...wide-eyed at birth?  Hep me hep me!  (praying to the heavens)  So out of the 3 types of swords he can choose from he chooses to learn Saber (as opposed to Epee and Foil)...but on Friday nights they bout all night versus receive instruction.  Greg and I are standing by the door Friday night waiting for him to finish up and he's fighting some 15-yr-old and getting his butt-kicked (it's not leveled by experience)...afterward, in his frustration, he approaches the crowd of awaiting parents and explains, "We're using foil tonight and I'm a Saberist, so that's why I'm not that great."  Oh brother...I'm slinking out the door as the parents look around for the parent of the child who is a "Saberist" and must explain his weakness at fighting that night to save face.  He's also playing basketball which is great--come home tired, child!  Just walk in the door and fall into bed---love it I tell you.
Bek is doing great as a missus.  She "missus" me, she "missus" her brothers, she "missus" her dad, her home, her state of CA that has more than po-dunkiness to offer.  No seriously, she's a lovely lovely young woman and a good friend now.  I told her--no kids till your dog dies.  Let's see how long that gives me.
Back to The we call her.  I told the kids I was spending X dollars on each of them for Christmas.  As they blow it with me, I subtract their dollars.  The boys are scrambling to keep track of their hoodies, backpacks, etc., that would cost them out of their $, but The Kinz couldn't care less.  Let's she's learned how to make grilled cheese.   Here's how:
 Put one stick of butter in a bowl and nuke for a minute, allowing butter to splatter inside microwave for parent to clean later, slather bread and put on electric skillet that will sit out until parents put away.  Use all the bread because making grilled cheese is so much fun and sit sandwiches out for the duration of the day to get old and nasty only to be tossed by parents later.  Leave my sandwich on my bed for dog to get and run away with so I can chase her and throw her (literally) out the back door, only to feel bad and bring her back in a make MORE grilled cheese to feed the thieving dog. 

OK--so I never have bread and butter, essentials, wouldn't you say?  (and I buy REAL butter...NOT ANY MORE).

Hmmmm there's some muffin mixes in the cupboard.  Mom wouldn't mind if I made those.  To make muffins:  put all ingredients of each box in separate bowls.  Fill 2 muffin tins to the top with no liner and no spray, stick both in the oven and let bake until something is burning.  Then open the oven to release smell even stronger and let brothers run through the house screaming that the house is on fire while parents nap on a Sunday afternoon.  Leave cinnamon bread muffuns in cupboard so Mom can find it later and trash the whole thing, tin and all, and leave poppyseed in oven so it can continue to burn while Mom gets up and walks into kitchen with make-up smeared nap face and the look of death. 
Oh but we're not done.  Chef Kinz continues....get up at 3 AM and empty can of Spaghettios into bowl.  Nuke uncovered for 2 minutes and let tomato sauce splatter all over microwave so Mom can find it four hours later so it's good and caked on.  Leave empty can on counter, spilled tomato sauce on grout, and put contents of bowl into tupperware and put in fridge.  Go back to bed.
 Now for the surprise.
 A note left on bathroom counter for my niece who lives with us to find:
Britney--I love you!  Look in the bathtub!  It's a surprise!  You will laugh LOL LOL (heart heart)....this is written over and over on back and front of two pages with a "beautiful mind" motif, folded like a Hallmark card, and left on the counter at 5 AM.  Brit, she doesn't watch enough horror movies to know that when something is awaiting you behind a curtain, you don't go alone.  She moves to the commode/bath area and pulls back the curtain.  The MONSTER TURD attacks!!!  The size of a bear's log, she jumps back in a shriek, ewwwwwwwww....scoops it out with a toilet paper roll and it's so big she has to plunge it until it goes down.  Since no one was awake yet and she had to get ready for work, she felt she had no choice...but for me?  Oh no--that kid would've been yanked out of her Justin Beiber filled dreams with the fury of a spurned demon and ear-dragged into the bathtub.  LOVE? what? Surprise?  huh??  OK--she FINALLY gets a sense of humor and it involves her squatting in the tub and taking dump to leave as a surprise?? 
Greg was so disturbed by the whole incident, he made me take an oath of silence because to him it was a clear sign of her leaving to the dark side of insanity and embarking on a new kind of disabling condition.  Let us not forget that Greg still says Number One and Number Two when talking about the bathroom, so yeah, for him this is like entering a Jewish woman in a spare rib eating contest.
No, I didn't think it was was twisted and freaky and weird, but honestly, I wasn't Surprise!'d.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Madonna Brewster

I recently had an IEP with Kindsay's teachers.  Oh, what an angel!  Sweet sweet girl!  They go on and on about how wonderful she is.  Good--I tell them--better that she is an angel for you than have her treat you the way she treats me.  Bup Bup!  I DO get to see a wonderful Kindsay.  Don't get me wrong!  I have moments that are tender and lovely with her, but they are few and far between...trans-Atlantic if you will, trans-Pacific more likely, but because of my unconditional love for her and her overly comfortable feel in her own home, she allows all demons without inhibitions to cater to her every whim, and this tends to cross me...well, WRONG.  I've asked her why she is so mean to me and not people outside the home and she never has an answer.  I know how many parents are nodding their heads in condescending-type comprehension....all children do that.   No, friends....I've already raised a child--and while she has already apologized for how she behaved towards her father and me, the fond memories of raising her outweigh, by galactic tons, the bitter ones.  Kindsay makes every day of mine a challenge to rise in the morning and a fifty-meter dash to get to bed to finish the day every night. 
However, she is funny.  She has actually started, in her fifteenth year now, to develop a sense of humor.  She laughs mostly at herself, and much of her laughter in the past was created by mania treated by medication she currently takes.  (We can always tell when the meds wear off because the mania/hysteria grows exponentially.) 
She is funny because she loves fashion and clothes and jewelry, and make-up, but not within any American convention...actually not within any Gentile convention that I know of.  I stopped trying to intervene in her dressing rituals when I pulled a skirt out of the closet to suggest as something to wear one day and she told me off for trying to interfere--yelling at me that she was A N  A D U L T.  I had to remind her that she was indeed NOT an adult, but that was fruitless and I walked out having been defeated once and for all.  So here she comes with a blue skirt polka dotted in white, purple chunky beads, "It's a girl!" red bow in the front of her untouched bed-head, blue sparkly make-up that places her on a roller rink somewhere in the midwest, a multi-design pink shirt decorated in pastels, shin-high fur boots, pink lipstick that draws Susan Lucci's character "Erica" to mind as the producers attempted to create far more lip than nature provided, and every bracelet she could find for under a buck from all dollar stores within a five-mile radius.  Madonna, mixed with Punky Brewster, shaken and stirred by Erica Kane, rocked by a 1980s thrift shop and you have my dear girl dolled up for school. She then grabs her lunch bag which is covered in old food because she tells me "I needed to wipe my face after lunch", and her backpack that contains a hoarder's dream of absolutely nothing of everything and will...yes WILL knock you down if she turns around while wearing it and you are within two feet of her and off to the bus she goes! I know that no matter how much time has passed that the bus driver still does a double-take every morning.  Don't tell me otherwise because I teach this population of child and have several teen girls in my class and NONE of them have any resemblance of Kindsay in any way possible.  Yes, some are fashionable and some are not...but NONE of them remind me of Kindsay even in the tiniest way.  Nevertheless, I used to want her to wear a little sign on her shirt that read "I am special" so when she threw her tantrums in stores and other public places people would look away realizing she was not a typical child, but now I don't need one. 
Her clinical anxiety which causes her to retreat into herself in public adds to her mystique.  She chews her nails, picks at her skin and her nose and her ears, shakes her knees up and down in anticipation of nothing, and will stare you into next year without a batting lash.  Get her texting you on the cell phone and you are calling me pleading for her to stop, but face-to-face there's little if any response to your inquiries as to how she is.  We will then walk into the house and every question, comment, tirade that was hiding behind those intense brown eyes unyields to itself and explodes in my face...literally within inches.  She then strips to a tiny sporty bra and underwear that no matter how large I buy them or how they are really supposed to sit on her hips they are pulled clear up her back and into rear, thus causing me to reminisce of the Madonna/Punky Brewster times only moments before.  Yes--she's a sweet sweet girl. 
So she is funny in her style, in that she wants to use her creativity all at once and every moment, and most parents would smile and say, That's okay, but isn't it always "OK" when it's NOT your kid?  I'm happy to let other children express themselves without judging the parents' sanity, but when it's my own...I'm judging my OWN sanity...what have I done? 
But then Kindsay will have a moment of endearment, when she reveals her true maturity and age of understanding of life with her doll that pees in a diaper after she pours water in its mouth, her multiple posters hung on her wall with screws she hammered in (sigh), the writing of notes to a boyfriend she has never met and their eight kids that don't exist...I can go on and on...but when she asked me very insistently and matter-of-factly, "Mom--is this the only world we can live in?  Is there another world where we can live?"  I stumbled on answering that one..does she mean while we're on this earth...after we die...?  She laughs upon sensing my confusion and to herself remarks--"Oh, what a funny question.  Why did I ask that?  I shouldn't have asked that."  Then I laugh at her self-realization that she didn't even know what she meant and we both moved on without further ado. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Story

We have been advised to write "our stories" for future generations.  I'm going to start writing mine, but I wonder if it is something worth sharing?  I'd love your feedback about whether or not I should make this public.  I know my kids will have to wait until I die before I'll reveal it to them because some information about our parents is too "ew" to know about as long as we can look them in the eye.  So, here's my introduction of my "journal-in-a-bag" (since I don't keep a journal nor do I want to daily.) 

My favorite kind of reading is history, even historical fiction as long as it’s strongly based on real events.  I love knowing about how things work, what people have lived through, what the human race has accomplished, and so on.  Not that my story is literature worth perusing, but it is therapeutic for the author, and I’ll take what I can get.  In other words, I have read more than a few memoirs, and each time I think…how does that person remember that?  It was thirty-five years ago and the very dialogue that took place back then is written verbatim?!  It is very distracting while reading because those thoughts can’t hold themselves back from surfacing over and over, which gets in the way of some potentially juicy stuff.  Needless to say, I will not attempt to recapture perfect conversations or recall what I was thinking in given instances if I truly don’t remember.  I can tell you what I think about them now, but what weight that holds is irrelevant.  The bottom line, and I’m very much a lover of the bottom line, is that I won’t share with the reader my version of my own fiction because I may end up on some cable show with people providing evidence contrary to my claims and I’ll wind up having to take back everything I said.  No disclaimers, just satisfactory truth that I hold here and now.  Someday, I’ll forget bits and pieces until this is all a blur, so thankfully I’ll have this around to remind me of everything I’d hoped to someday forget.

I’m by no means a fascinating person.  On the contrary, I’m quite ordinary because I have no passions, no specialties, no mastery of anything.  I realized only a few years ago, to my utter disappointment about my life, that I am a jack of all trades, but a master of nothing.  That really flat-lined what was remaining of my so-called ego.  I’ve been told all my life how smart I am, but I don’t have enough smarts to push me over the edge and make me newsworthy, or even fifteen-minutes worthy, just the ordinary ability to go above and beyond the average person on menial things.  Whoopy-doo.  I can eke out art, sort my way through difficult levels of math, write almost brilliant pieces, have enough strategic thought processing skills to save my rear, but nothing notable enough to have anyone say, “Wow, you should see how she does what she does so well, it’s like watching a genius at work.”  OK—I’ve never sat and fantasized about that--at the same time, knowing that’s not ever an option makes my upper lip curl and my brows raise to yet another acknowledgment of “meh.”  That’s me—meh.  (You have to say it with a slight shrug of the shoulders too, don’t cheat yourself.)
In order for my brain to sustain any sense of order, I must tell my story, or stories, by theme.  Maybe you prefer me to start “I was born in a small town in a hospital just up the road from where I live today.”  Trust me, you don’t want me to start that way because it won’t end with “and here I am now.”  Nope.  It’ll only become dust on a shelf and yellowing paper or some kind of fragmented piece of memory in my laptop.  Please, allow me to tell it the way that it wants to come out naturally, and we will all be winners in this adventure.  One more thing—I can’t guarantee it won’t embarrass you or make you read with your head turned completely away with your eyes straining to read the words.  My life, while no Slumdog Millionaire in the making, was also no life and times of a Girl Scout. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Home Home On the Range

Yes, my daughter married this last July.  No, I wasn't happy about it.  Yes she is in another state.  No the there will not be any children ANY time soon...Yes I'm a mother-in-law and it's all over.  I miss her, I mope about it on occasion, but what can you do?  You can say, "Well, at least you have Kindsay for life!"  Thanks...
The hamster?  Who placed bets on when it would die?  Let's not be hasty, it's still early, and the conditions for him have worsened.  Allow me to fill you in. *sigh*
The boys are extra protective over Hank because they know it's their last shot at a pet. So when Kindsay has Hank, they panic, hover, and ultimately fight.  Kindsay isn't allowed to have Hank in her room alone, but every now and then I'll hear her giggling with hysteria and saying, "Oh Hank that tickles!"  at which point I go rescue the poor guy.  And once when Garon went to fetch him, Kindsay retrieved him from her bra.  That creeped us all out.  My response is always, "hey--I warned you!"  Goose bumps aside, Hank is well-loved.  Even by me.  Especially by Greg...and that's not a good thing.
So after running a bra labyrinth, getting kissed by Kindsay's reality version of "I will love you and squeeze you and call you George," and having to hear screaming children at a close enough range to deem him deaf, Hank began a mission of urgency to get the *bleep* out of his cage by chewing at all hours of the day on his cage walls.  This got Greg worried and he actually Googled "hamster chewing cage" only to find out it's normal.  Normalcy shmormalcy...that wasn't good enough for him.  Greg went out to the back yard and fashioned a west wing and a north wing for his cage and connected them with the plastic tubes it comes with.  Now Hank had more square footage than I did ratio-wise.  And yet, he still chewed...after giving him a chew carrot, after extending his home, after limiting Kindsay...hmm, this hamster wants OUT.  Hey you know how many times I've wanted to chew my way out of my house?  Do you know how many times I could've been the star of 127 Hours?  Buck up Hank!  Greg still worried constantly over Hank's happiness and decided to let him have MY HOUSE. 
Yes, Hank is a free-roaming house hamster.  He shows up where and when he wants.  He built a summer home under my kitchen sink with bits from his cage liner and food.  Every now and then I'll walk into a room and jump 50 feet because something scuttled by.  Hamster poop and pee?  No problem!  So we look infested with rodents.  So what if I might step on Hank in the dark and smoosh him to his death.  According to Greg "he'll die happy."  Ah me.  If you come over and find lanterns and flashlights in odd places, it's because my kids are constantly playing "Where In the World Is Hank Boden?"  I've finally given up.  I step lightly, I wave at him when he goes by, I lift my foot to let him through, etc.  Until Friday night.
This is long, but it's getting to the climactic part of the story, so keep your seatbelt on.
Fridays I'm exhausted.  Especially this past one because it was the first week back to teaching.  I came home dead, Greg even knew looking at me that I was worthless to him, so he planned on video games that night.  Needless to say, I went to bed early...8:30-ish.  I didn't fall asleep though.  I struggle to sleep, despite the heavy fatigue and throbbing headaches, but I was determined to stay in bed until morning so I laid there face down in the dark.  The kids are still on a summer schedule so going to bed earlier than 9:00 PM was a joke.  I could hear the boys in their room, next to mine, and they were once again responsible for a huge mess of hamster food on the ground.  Greg, my savvy shopper, went to buy me a vacuum for the house and came home with a John Deere-like shop vac that I SHOULD be able to drive around while I vacuum, but no...I lug it.  Hey-it was on sale!  Great.
The boys are getting their floor vacuumed...Kindsay is on some tirade that has become so normal for her that I'm researching group homes, and Greg is comfy in front of the tv playing the PS3....when
Screaming from Ty's lungs like never before, not even when Garon stabbed him with a shovel...Garon chimed in, then Kindsay joined once she entered their room.
HANK!!  Greg comes storming in, all of them are yelling like they are in a war zone and the enemies just killed the commander--absolute chaos chaos chaos.  They are all screaming at each other...What did you do?  I didn't do it!  I didn't know he was there! 
Ty yells at Greg something I didn't catch but I caught Greg's response..."Me calm down?  You're the one that vacuumed up a rodent!"  (why Hank was referred to as a rodent and not his third son is still a lingering question in my mind.)
Yes, folks, Friday night at my house is never dull, animals are always trying to escape, and I can't find a sleeping pill big enough to put me out of my misery.  Time to seek professional the meantime, I'm making me a summer home under the sink.
PS--Hank is alive and kicking.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mr. Mom

I've got the best husband in the world.  His philosophy is that if I'm happy, he's happy, and not begrudgingly either.  And I'm glad he's got that attitude because while I'm working summer school, he's at home with our kids and uses the time wisely by taking care of business.  For example, he learned how to use the washer and dryer the other day.  He also scrubbed a toilet, which he hated but I loved pointing out that it's his teaching the boys to stand and not sit that there is pee all over it.  I vote for sitting!  And dabbing dry!  Hey, drippy is drippy no matter what part it's coming from.
Back to my story.
This also has included meals.  Greg is NOT a cook.  He has proven competent with a few things, but he doesn't read all.  I hate cooking.  I cook well enough, even to where my oldest daughter who moved out has expressed a longing for it, but my three remaining kids are food critics that use only one star for rating unless it's a pancake or a bowl of oatmeal.  Either way, I went on a cooking strike since they were so particular and couldn't choke down the healthy stuff I made for them.  Fine with me--it's all yours Greg.
I also give him a small to-do list before I leave for work.  Actually it's a "I'd love to have this one thing done when I get home" it's only one item long and DO-ABLE.  so......
I asked Greg if he'd do the floors while I was at work.  They were miserably dirty and I was miserable at the thought of having to come home and do them.  As usual, Greg happily agreed and I anticipated the lemony smell of cleanliness that afternoon.  And what a sparkle they were!  No smudges, no spots...just clean and ready for traffic.  I head down the hall that has a sharp right turn halfway through.  I'm always in a hurry so I hustle down the hall headed for my room and feet lost their grip and I had enough sense to grab onto the hall hutch and cling to keep me from going to the ground.  A sharp pain went through my shoulder as it wasn't supposed to jam like that onto a counter.  I steadied myself and walked a little further only to feel my feet nearly gliding to my room.  My first thought is--what did he do.  He swears he just used Pinesol mixed with water.  He then pointed to a squirt bottle he used.  It only had a little left in it so he didn't think it mattered.  Greg, I tell him, that's's a DEGREASER.  You DEGREASED my floors and now no one can grip and walk on them.  We have to hold onto the walls while we go down the hall.  And it's been like that for over a week now...back to needing another cleaning, but slick nonetheless.
He then proceeded to make dinnr every night, and by Saturday I told him I'd make a nice Sunday dinner.  My kids were giddy with anticipation.  I looked at their eager faces...what's all the excitement for?  You never eat what I cook!  Seems Greg had been feeding them chicken nuggets EVERY NIGHT.  Yep...oven baked chicken nuggets, and nothing else.  They were ready to start grazing on the lawn.  Ah-ha.  I had them.  I cooked a full meal and dessert all from scratch.  With trepidation I set it on the table in front of them with a warning...If you don't eat this dinner you will have nothing but chicken nuggets next week too!  You've never heard such praise and adoration in your life.  Even my pickiest and tactless child raved about it being the best he'd ever had.  Though they held their noises while they ate the green beans, they did it with smiles on their faces and twinkles in their eyes.  My mom tells me she did something similar when I was a kid.  We, my siblings and I, were never happy with the healthy meals she cooked so she went on strike.  But instead of handing the spatula to my dad, she doled out Snickers for every meal.  She said after a couple of days we were begging for vegetables.  And once again my mom proves in her subtle and passive-aggressive way that what goes around comes around.  Anyway, bottom line is that by the end of summer, Greg just might be wearing an apron and carrying around a wooden spoon, whether it's for cooking or threatening a spank.  As long as my clothes still fit after he washes them...I'm good.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Summer has begun...actually it's almost half-way over, but our vacations began last week.  Kindsay's phonetics dependence has her sending massive texts out to all those in my contacts in my cell saying we're off to "Elay"...I never bothered explaining, but we went to L.A. with some friends and their kids and an hour into our visit I told my friends to get a good look at my kids because it would be the last time I take them on vacay.  grrrrrr.
Prior to leaving for Elay, Greg and I are scrambling to get everything together.  It's anxiety inducing, cranky making, final straw material.  As I'm packing inside, Greg is loading the van.  I needed a few things and since we didn't plan on leaving for another hour, Greg suggested I run to the store while he continues preparing the car.  Oh the bliss I should have enjoyed.  Walking through Target, no child at my legs, no calling for the insubordinate son to return from the toy aisle, no forgetting everything on my list because I'm preoccupied with fighting children.  I strolled though...I did stroll.  I glanced at the people with crying kids...tsk tsk. Poor saps.  I smiled kindly at those threatening to paddle their kids in public.  Stroll....
In the  meantime, Greg is up a creek with our beloved Kindsay.  Instead of offering to help Daddy, she finds her bike buried in the garage and decides it's time to take a ride down the street.  She doesn't care that her face is covered with food.  She ate and didn't wash herself, so she had the food goatie, and I'm guessing a decent amount was stuck in her hair as well.  She was wearing a maxi older one...but it was a maxi nonetheless.  (yeah I know, at least she was dressed!) 
So she boards the bike unbeknownst to Greg and takes off down the street with high hopes for a quick sail around the neighborhood, but she got a few feet from the house and her maxi dress billowed out like a sail, underwear on display with her long legs losing momentum.  The dress quickly becomes tangled in the spokes which knots up and drags her down.  Greg ran out hearing her screams.  He said all you could see was this parachute of  dress flying over her head, ripping as it caught in the spokes, food all over her face as she wails like a banshee.  He had to rip the dress to get her off of the bike, the bike I imagine she will bury back into the garage.  I know the neighbors can hear the racket, but they also know Kindsay so I can picture them perking up from their newspapers to discern the horrible sound, realizing it's the neighbors (us), shrugging, then taking a sip of their coffee and back to the editorials.  After all, the little yellow bus stops in front of our house everyday, there are no secrets on Carson Avenue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Here We Go AGAIN!

Product Details husband is allowing another animal into my home, one that is weak against the fury of an unforgiving master.  It's my neighbor's fault.  They went and got a hamster for their cute little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girls.  Sweet girls with only the best intentions for their new ball of fluff.  That got my boys into a frenzy.  They've been on a hamster kick now for the past couple of months.  Slowly, Greg came around and starting campaigning for them.  I, on the other hand, am campaigning on the hamster's side.  I know what's going to happen to that poor thing.  The boys swear they will protect it with their own lives against the misdeeds of big sister, but she's too smooth, I don't trust her.  In fact, I'm taking bets on how long it will all last.  Anyone want in? 
Trust me...I am fighting this even now.  With Father's Day coming up, I thought I had a fool-proof way of stifling this fight.  Every holiday that Greg gets a gift, he wants a new game for his PS3.  He has it decided on months, if not a full year, in advance.  He counts down...sometimes he purchases them without my knowing before I get a chance to because he can't stand the waiting.  Oh brother.  Is there anything in my life that gets me so riled up?  nah.  can't think of anything.
This time I thought I had him--OK, want the kids to have a hamster?  Then you'll have to use your Father's Day game money to pay for all the stuff because I'm not funding this disaster-waiting-to-happen.  (remember the mice?  $60 for 3 mice that lasted 3 mos...including their stinkin' pinkies.)
No answer.
Aha!  I got him.  Then the kids caught on--Yay Daddy wants a hamster for Father's Day!  We'll get him one..a black one!  Can we go now?  When can we pick out daddy's hamster gift?
Chuckling, I tell them - No way is your father going to be willing to give up a game for a dumb hamster.  Sorry, guys....
Then Greg came around. 
And around.
And around again.
To where Kindsay is already counting on it and even shopping for it.
See the picture at the top?  That's what I found on my computer one night.  Yes, Kindsay is shopping for ferret harnesses because they are the closest size to a hamster and she plans on taking her hamster for a walk.  I just looked at her.  I'm picturing this gargantuan girl (she's like 5'8") in her bra and underwear (have mercy on me) walking a three inch hamster around the house (reality show here we come)...every step she takes takes the hamster a whole minute to clear before she can move on.  *sigh*
I see ferret harnesses all over the computer...different sizes, colors, shapes...are you KIDDING me?
I can already smell the hamster cage, hear the fights over who holds it but who has to clean the cage, cries over where the hamster went because Kindsay let it out to stretch (thinking it would willingly return home to it's cage), and the anger of why did we let Kindsay touch it because now it's dead?
Kindsay is absolutely positive she will not hurt it.  She has been scouring the Internet for weeks now, hunting for supplies, cages, hamster care information, etc.  She swears she will only be a loving mother and will give it only the best of care. 
I'm starting to give in, thinking maybe she's ready and has had enough bad experiences.  I'm starting to warm up realizing that the boys will keep a watchful eye on it.  I start having sympathy for Kindsay who just so desperately wants to love something and will never have a baby of her own (if I can help it).  Only to be stopped in my mind tracks once again.
Last night Kindsay burst into the kitchen with new information.  She found baby rabbits online.  She found little cute bunnies that she wants so so so bad.  (she had a bunny in her last class she called Panda Foo Foo and she was the main caregiver.)  I start shaking my no no no!  I'm not willing to even discuss having a rabbit.  They stink even more, they poop more, they are larger.  NO!
Kindsay is quickly frustrated with my ignorance--Mom!  I don't want to have it for a pet!  Gosh!  There's a recipe on the Internet for rabbits!  The computer says you can EAT them, geez Mom!
uh-oh..I smell trouble, or is it hamster stew?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kindsay Dearest

Kindsay has many strengths--she's great with technology and decoding print.  But social skills?  I remember when she was in preschool and I'd ask her how her day was.  She couldn't answer the question.  I started asking her the question and then answered it for her so she could hear the proper response with hopes that she would eventually start answering me herself. 
"What did you have for lunch?  I had mac n cheese." etc.
When she'd have friends over, before all the little girls outgrew her, I'd have to sit in the next room and facilitate her dialogue so the friend could understand what she is trying to say.  Now she's a great talker, and question asker, and truth teller (to a fault), but making and keeping friends is still in the works.  Don't believe me?  Let me enlighten you.
You've heard of her friend Alli, and the teacher tells me Alli can be very mean and nasty to Kindsay.  She tells Kindsay lies, according to teacher, and says stuff like "my church told me not to talk to you anymore" and "I can't be your friend" and so on.  From what I'm told, at school there is constant turmoil.  Oh I believe it.  The many afternoons of the door slamming upon her arrival and the hours of self-chats while sitting on the toilet are perfect evidence of this.  Finally, Kindsay's teacher tells me that she's not taking Alli's crap anymore.  At first I was glad to hear that she is standing up for herself and not letting someone walk all over her.  Then, I found my phone and all that was added to it.
Where's my phone? I asked myself while frantically searching the last place I put it.  Ahh, wait a minute, I have a teenager without a phone, so that's where mine is.  Kindsay, sure enough, has my phone plugged into her wall and is texting like a scandalous fifteen-year-old while under her massive down comforter.  I can see the light under the white blanket with the perfect dome peaking where her head is.  "Kindsay!"  Lights out because she's slammed the phone onto her lap and played possum, which was useless because she sits three feet tall on her bed.  She reluctantly hands it to me, all the while the look of the devil in her eye as she suspicously watches me check my phone for her activity.  She's guilty...guilty guilty, so I quickly scan through the texts.  A scorned woman she was too...the texts were so furiously created and sent that Alli's sister finally texted to please stop.  I immediately texted by an apology, then choked as I pulled up her texts.  The contents were atrocious and certainly containing words I don't want any child to be the recipient of (nothing vulgar, just mean like "you have the face of a butt.")  I called out to Greg who looked them over, and as I walked into the garage to run an errand I can hear him light her up.  Busted.  But even with all the hormonal nasty girl teen dirt she can pull out of herself, Kindsay isn't threatening or scary at all, rude yes, but not scary, though she tries with all her faculties to bring fear into her enemies.  Why don't I just show you what I am talking about?
This picture was sent to Alli with the following text (exactly how it was sent, mind you):  Several "pist" faces follow with more similarly angry texts. 

I am mad and pist at you ***(Alli's full real name here)*** you are mean to me why would you not come to my birthday mad face and pist look on my face do not call me ***name here*** please don't call me.

She then attempts to put fear into poor Alli's heart.  Here's the picture with the text just as it is sent:

I am a scary zombie white eyed girl person staring at you ***Alli's real name***

Now excuse me while I have to go in and delete each picture one at a time along with several lines of obnoxious texts that only add to my embarrassment having them sent from my phone.  There is, however, a lesson to you all--do not cross this woman without expecting to suffer the consequences, one of which will be relentless texting and harassment with pictures that just might keep you awake at night.  In the meantime, I'm teaching those social skills as fast as I can.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Life: A Walmart Commercial

I don't shop at Walmart...I have before, but it's something I try to avoid at all costs (no pun intended.)  Lately, they've been using a commercial where you see a shopping conveyor belt rolling along with a bunch of seemingly unrelated items until you see the person who bought them in a predicament that brings all the items together.  I've realized how very true that is.  You all know that I clean Kindsay's room on occasion...usually when the smell gets bad, when I can't see the floor, or when there's a gnat--whichever is first.  Once again, I found myself cleaning the room.  I'm all alone (I stayed home from work for a special reason), and I'm carrying a garbage bag because...let's face it...90% of the stuff I'm picking up is going in the trash.  I start at the door and work my way to the bed and along the way run into quite a scene....batteries, hm...the socks are pulled out of her drawer,'s a stack of books on a stool that need to be put away, hm...flashlights, three to be exact, on the ground by her bed, hm...a cardboard box, hm...stool is pulled to the lamp by the closet, hm...WHAT'S GOING ON?  Oh no, these items were not random.  Let's back up a bit.
Picture it...eighth grade functional skills room with twelve plus children with varying disabilities and they are gathered around a new display to go over a science concept.  In the midst of these fine children is an incubator with an egg inside, heat emitting from a large bulb in the center while the egg is nestled amongst warmth on the floor.  A few days of watching this spectacularly fascinating egg go by and Voila! Baby chick.  I was not aware of this incubator lab going on, so when I was cleaning her room, I had no idea that Kindsay Einstein Edison was working on her very own self-made, home-based lab...with an egg out of her friend's fridge. 
So the normal human is not going to permit eating a fertilized egg that contains an embryo.  Yummy...sizzling baby and  The eggs I eat are not fertilized and are for my consumption, not my breeding.  Kindsay, the darlin', doesn't get that.  Remember--I left the male out of the reproduction talk?  Now it's coming to bite me...go for it...everything does eventually. 
Back to Kindsay.
Kindsay comes home mortified that I cleaned her room.  Where is all my stuff??  Uh...the trash, where it belongs.  The room was a mess, Kins.  In her most graceful tantrum, she puts together her incubator and pulls an egg nestled at the bottom of a Hanes-Her-Way sock out of her backpack and puts it in the cardboard box, which is sitting on a stack of books, which are set upon her stool, which is pushed up beneath the burning heat of her lamp, which is multiplying its heat with three flashlights that are perfectly aimed at the egg sock.  The conveyor belt all makes sense now.  As I futilely try to explain that there is not going to be a chick any day now, (she has taken the sock to school and took it to church, of course I'm unaware of this!) she is shaking her head, pulling up the laptop on her lap in her bed, and looking up incubators for purchase.  Even though she found a heck of a deal at $50, there was no way I'd ever give the girl another birthday buck again as long as I lived if I thought for a moment it was going towards the purchase of an incubator so she can breed an army of chicks that would turn into chickens, which would make her chicken coop of a room an actual chicken coop.  Of course my heart was broken for her knowing that she'd most likely never experience the joys of procreation and birth (help us all), but at the same time, if I gave in to her now I'd only end up getting bit in the end as she would be begin breeding anything that had potential to live in her room...and that would include more than my nerves can handle.  Not gonna happen.  Yet, compromise always prevails with Kindsay because she will perseverate over this till I jump off my roof, so I tell her--take it to your classroom--maybe your teacher will let you use her incubator!  The light bulb over her head goes on, the bedroom light bulb goes off (along with all three flashlights), and then...I was content and so was she.
Follow up:  Kindsay came home the next day sans egg sock.  I thought she'd come home in complete despair having lost her precious egg as her teacher broke the news of the non-fertilized egg.  Oh, the teacher broke something alright...and it wasn't just the bubble Kindsay bobbed around in..."Where's the egg, Kindsay?"  Oh oh...she says...we broke it, the egg is cracked and we threw it out.  Onward.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Border Patrol

It's no secret that my oldest child is from a previous relationship, although my other children are unaware of that and will continue to be so as long as I can hold them off.  When I say relationship, I mean he was a former boss who dated an employee.  When I say employee, I mean I was a minor preyed upon by an older man (six years older, but hey..when you're seventeen, that's a ton.)  When I say preyed upon, I mean it was date him or lose my job, which I did both eventually.  The sorted story that describes the tumultuous years (was it two?) with him is long and probably, no--definitely--R-rated.  It's nothing I should go into detail about, although it would make a great indie flick.  Actually, most of my pre-Greg years would make a great indie flick, and we'll leave it at that.
In any case, what was done was done and I was with child.  Fast forward nine years and I'm giving the sex talk to my daughter.  It wasn't anything planned in terms of organized conversation, though the need to explain it to her to some degree was premeditated.  I remember the snowball building as I went along until my brakes went out and I was a runaway truck driving the 99.  She would hardly blink her eyes as I described with very little detail to the point where the organs of the process were sketchy in terms of recognizable gender.  What does anyone say besides get out the book made by the "Poo Poo In My Potty" people?  The words were flitting out of my mouth while my hands tried to make some sort of charades-like images in the air.  The math was adding up while I was talking.  She was six months when she met Greg.  He taught her to crawl.  She was three when we married, she was there at the wedding, though to her the big moment of the day was crawling on the back of the statue in front of the temple and waving her arms.  Here she was six years later and none the wiser as she remembers very little about her days of calling him Greg.  He's just always been the dad that she saw her mom marry.
Mmmmk.  So about description of the man fitting together with a woman to create life was brief, but my blurting out that "her dad wasn't her real dad and that she had another person help me create her who she has never met although he did meet her when she was born and saw her again when she was two but she has no idea who he is and would never be able to pick him out between two guys standing in front of her oh and by the way he's Mexican and his last name is Romero" came out even faster and jumbled together like the longest word in a Mary Poppins film.  Too much and biological fathers.  So, any questions? 
The next day she had school and I worried so much about her.  What is going through her mind?  Is she able to focus at all on school?  Is she telling people about what Mommy told her last night?  Does she look at boys with utter disgust now?  I wished and wished I had waited for the weekend when she could take more time to absorb, then ask, then absorb again.  But no, I had to muddle her life-altering lessons in with her multiplication facts (truly, there were no puns intended but man...that was a good one...multiplication and sex...hah!)
She came home and I watched her, testing her attitude, mood, reactions, etc., before I braved a check-up.  She seemed to be alright except a little quieter than usual.  Could anything be stranger than reproduction?  I mean, yeah...once you've done it it's like--okay, this is how it goes.  But for the first time hearing it?  W-E-I-R-D....W-E-I-R-D.  Ew...WEIRD.  I follow her to her room and try with all the casual tones in my throat to pronounce the words, "how was your day?"  afraid to hear the answer...afraid she'd want drawings, afraid she'd heard some horrid sexual vocabulary like the O word and require explanation (that actually happened to my friend and she had to explain it to her son...bleh.)  She was indifferent in her answer, "fine" the usual, "So...did you have trouble understanding what we talked about, were you confused?  Were you able to focus at school?" 
She answered, "Yeah, it was so weird.  All day I kept playing it over and over in my mind."
Oh no--my baby is thinking about porn!
"I just kept thinking how weird it was and everyone looked different to me."
Oh no--she hates boys...she wants to be a lesbian!  I'm clutching my hands together holding a timid smile.
"I just kept looking at all the kids that I've seen everyday all year and now I see the Mexican kids and think 'I'm one of them.'  It's so weird.  I'm a Mexican."
I sat down trying to put myself into her shoes.  What would that be like to find out your are someone you never identified with before?  So, maybe the additional 'father' information was good to throw into the sex conversation.  I mean, how far away is her mind right now from the big O? With a squeeze of her shoulders and a peck on her head I tell her, "yeah, that's weird huh...but it does explain your beautiful skin!  You're lucky!"  Once again my words of encouragement and gestures of love and affection prove that I truly am...Mother of the Year.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Sleep Over

I know, it's a scary prospect, but it has been done, and if my respite angel is in a good mood, it'll be done again.  Speaking of angels, there are few people better than family.  My baby sister has zero patience for kids, yet she's a special education aide and she has two of her own.  She continues to struggle with children, yet she's committed and dedicated to her children and students.  And on occasion, those rare moments in life that require self-pinching, she even extends her care to my children.  Not that she doesn't love my kids and isn't an awesome aunt, on the contrary, but she's got typical 'grandmother syndrome' where she enjoys them but hands them back sooner than later.  And yet she's a chicken, much like myself, to where if husband is gone over night, there'd better be a sleep over.  Sure enough, with hubby and oldest daughter in D.C., my sister needed company.  I really lucked out.  My mother does respite for me and decided to kill a couple of birds with one stone  (not Kindsay's way, the figurative way.)  She took Kindsay to my sister's to provide security for my sister and a break for me.  It was Friday morning and there was a carry-on sized suitcase by the front door next to Kindsay's backpack.  I shrugged, assuming it was one of Kindsay's many bags that she carries non-essentials around with, like a hoarder on wheels, and I walked on by.  Later my mother reminded me that she's getting Kindsay after school and does she have everything packed?  Ahhh, thus the suitcase.  I assured my mother that nothing she actually needed would be in the luggage and she would have to stop by my house on her way out to pick up the stuff she REALLY needs.  Kindsay packs twelve pairs of underwear and no shirts, a tube of toothpaste and no toothbrush, etc.  In any case, I'm telling my mom to help herself to whatever she needs in my house, even if that includes my own bed, because both Kindsay and I need the break.  Afternoon came around, and I came home to an empty house, nodding in the satisfaction that my kitchen hadn't been raided since the night before, that my daughter wasn't spread-eagled over the toilet with the door wide open for me to catch sight of, that there wasn't a trail of crap leading to her mattress where she looms under a large down comforter waiting for her fellow passengers of the Kindsay Express to call her.  It was great peace of mind to know where she was, that she was actually socializing and doing something fun, and that I had the night off.  My mom's plan was to go to the movies, grab dinner, then go to Aunt Brit's to spend the night.  I don't care if they went panhandling under a bridge, as long as Kindsay was out of the house instead of balled up in the corner of her bed in between hitting my cupboards with her grocery cart for hands.  Evening came around I thought it might be good measure to check in with her, or my mom, and I called to no avail.  Probably already in bed.  Kindsay...she can really pull herself together when she wants t---- ring house phone rings.  I ignore it.  Ring cell phone rings.  It's Brit.  Awww, how nice of her to call and fill me in on their adventures.  How lovely of her to call to thank me for lending my little girl to her so she could enjoy a fun Friday night my way.  Ahhh..."Yvette, are there any other pills we can use?"
My delusions are yanked back to reality as I look at the clock.  Nine pm...which is late for them to be up considering my  mom and sis are in bed no later than eight every night.  "um...she took the Seroquel?" 
"Yes, we gave her the usual pills, but she's kind of losing it tonight."
I'm ready to make the crackling sound in the phone and plead 'riding an elevator, can't talk,' but then I might be shooting all future opportunities out the door.  Just please don't make me go pick her up. 
"What do you mean?  What's she doing?"
"Well...."  now, my sister knows Kindsay, she's around her a lot and my mom has Kindsay even more often.  They know my little cuckoo for cocoa puffs well and know to a degree what to expect.  However, somethings can never be taken for granted.  Like how well your children go to bed at night.  Britney proceeds to fill me in on the insanity ensuing.
"We gave her the pills and then she went to bed but then she'll get up a second later and go in the bathroom and sit on the toilet.  I can hear her talking but I don't know what she is talking about or why." 
mmmmhmmmm....I wait for the abnormalities to surface....
"Uh, okay, then she goes back to bed, then she's up another second later in my kitchen.  I can hear her opening up everything in my cupboards, which is no biggie because we're ready for shopping and she's eating the last of the last stuff before I go...but I don't hear an end to the food, cupboards, fridge, and stuff."
alright....I wait....the unusual behaviors must be next.
"Uh, then she goes back to bed and then she's up a second later back in the bathroom talking on the toilet."  pause...silence...still waiting...
"Then I can hear my fridge open.  Then I tell her to go to bed and she tells me to leave her alone and she's tired and stumbling around."
and....then what?
"Um....then she goes back to bed and then she jumps up again and goes back to the there another pill?  Mom is sharing a bed with her and she's not able to fall asleep with all that going on and my dogs are going nuts watching one can settle down."  I can hear the panic in her voice.
I have no other pills I tell her.  But, Brit, this is all typical Kindsay, it's her routine, that's her sleep pattern.  I just drown out the sounds with a box fan and look forward to the kitchen raid surprises in the morning by seeing what is left on the counters, in the sink, splattered in the microwave, and wrapped in foil in the fridge.  Britney sees that she's in a corner and I can feel her frustration.  "I know, my kid is weird."  I give up...I'm on my way---"What if she takes an Ativan?"  Oh mom carries those in her poison ring...give her one of those, well, a half...and that should calm her down.  I can hear Brit calling out orders for Ativan STAT to my mom and that was the last I heard from them.  What Brit didn't realize is that my mom had taken an Ambien to help her sleep through the nonsense and it shut off her body but kept her subconsciousness awake enough to function as though she were really there.  In other words, my mom has no recollection of the whole evening.  Britney, had she known she was alone in that episode, probably would have called a taxi for Kindsay.
But what's the big deal?  So Kindsay never stays in bed or sleeps through the night, or stays out of my kitchen for longer than twenty minutes, and prefers sitting on the toilet to have quality self-talk for hours on end....aren't we all creatures of habit? 
Saturday afternoon came before I was ready, and my Kindsay Grace was back, stripped out of her clothes and drowned in a down comforter in the corner of her bed before I could ask how her sleep over was.  Back to business.  Brit called to tell me all was well after she took the pill.  With all the casualness I could muster using the improvisational training from three drama classes, I tell her, "Hey, let me know if you ever want her back over to spend the night...whenever you want, okay?"  Having a sleep over with Kindsay is like having a baby.  You can't have another until you've forgotten the pains of having the last one.  And since Brit's baby is ten, I may be waiting a while before another invite.  I can hear the radio blasting out of Kindsay's room right now at 9:20 at night...while we are all stumbling to find sleep...she's ready to go again, making her check list of bathroom visits and kitchen raids for the evening.  And I turn to the white noise...peace out.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Black Hole

I realize you are apprehensive about reading any further, and I don't blame you knowing what we know about my Kindsay Grace.  Just when you think you've heard it all, or dry-heaved it all, we are blessed with more.  I try to imagine her husband-to-be...perhaps that guy on movies that the girl dumps for the better guy because the nerdy one has an allergy to everything and has a humidifier hooked up to his face?  Or maybe the guy who cannot clear up his pizza face?  I imagine her future mate to be someone from my class, one that walks by you and lets a big one rip without flinching or apologizing while agonizing over the embarrassment.  Yes, a typical guy, but one who appreciates the flatulence of a woman too.  If only Shrek were real, right?  Because Shrek enjoys bubbling up the spa using natural gases and loves the flavor of his own ear wax...which is a lot like Kindsay.
Needless to say, Kindsay is gross.  Most girls of fourteen are no longer gross.  They worry about their looks, their smells, what people are thinking, etc.  Not's all about her own perception of herself, which can be a great thing, but sometimes not because the rest of us have to suffer for it.  Take for example her eating habits.  I've explained to her on numerous occasions that she cannot eat everything on her plate as though it were one long spaghetti noodle.  By the time she's done, she hiccuping and rashing up from the food goatee left on her face.  It's not like I have twelve kids and only seating for three so my children have to fight their way to dinner.  In fact, I'm down one kid now, but still Kindsay acts like a recently saved POW from Ethiopia.  Not only does she eat like the food is running out and cannot be eaten in pieces, but she does it while balancing the plate on her leg.  No, not her knee.  Aren't we lucky?  I'm watching t.v. and Kindsay plops down on the couch.  Beware the couch.  She's wrapped in a huge down comforter (believe me, I've tried) because she thinks it's an adequate alternative to clothing.  She's wearing her uniform of sports bra and large panties up the booty.  I'm watching something like Avatar because the boys cannot get enough air bending, and I look over to an NC-17 rated food fest.  Her leg is propped up so her calf is perpendicular to her chest and her plate is on her calf (well, whatever the side of her calf is called) and her foot is sticking out past her plate while she engages in her usual shoveling, her eyes darting around the room.  The blanket is NOT covering the part of her body that is exposed when one hikes her legs over her head, and the girl doesn't care if the undergarments are a week into wear.  At that point I want to drop to my knees and express gratitude that I'm either A) done eating, B) not eating because I'm dieting, or C) needing to diet because that would certainly remove any fragment of an appetite.  I want to jump my body in front of her peek-a-boo show to save my boys from childhood scars that can only be removed by hours of shock therapy that I will have to pay for because it's ultimately my fault, but I'm in horror.  Thankfully she's not experiencing any kind of monthly action because when that is the case, which is at times, it looks like my daughter has been shot, as clean as she keeps herself, and at that point it's only pity one can feel...for me.  Despite the loss of air, wind, lung, and energy I consume to remind her to be dressed and sit at the kitchen table when eating, she eats it so fast that she's done while I'm repeating myself once again and is flying back into her room, down comforter trailing behind her like a fur on Cruella DeVille.  While my boys are not exactly unaffected by this, they are also becoming desensitized since their reactions are becoming slower and less dramatic.  Instead of a gasp of horror, pointing, screaming little boy terms to describe what they see, it's more of an--EW! 
But bless her heart, I hear her thudding down the hall because when she walks, even in bare feet, it sounds like she's wearing Doc Martins.  I'm never sure if she's going to stop in at her toilet for her hour long session of dangling freely while carrying on one-sided conversations with herself, or if she has to say something to me and will thus come to my room.  This time, she goes by, thudding in furious speed, and goes to my bathroom, flipping open cupboards.  I ask, "What are you looking for?"  As she picks everything up one at a time to smell it to decide if that's what she needs (her smell senses are keen whereas her sight cannot be trusted from what I've gathered), she tells me her bellybutton is black.  "Oh oh oh, I have black stuff in my belly button, ew it's gross, I have to get it."  WHY DO I ASK?  Why?  Do I really think there will ever be a time when I will get an answer that doesn't cause seasickness or a desire to hit my head on the ground to lose my short-term memory?  In the meantime, she digging for something to do the digging.  Yay.  Her bellybutton at birth was such an outie that we would push it like an elevator button.  It was large and round, comical and cute.  But now, with her very poor eating habits, or binges, whatever you like, her bellybutton is quite the innie.  So much so, that we're not sure how deep it goes, and it should probably be cleaned regularly.  Sadly, I know this because...sports know.  Finally she finds cotton swabs and proceeds, in front of me, to describe what she is cleaning, and how she is actually disgusted by it (that deserves a perfect 10 in my book), and she is flicking it into my bedroom trash can.  My face is now stoic mixed with despair.  She finally gets to the bottom, or as far as she could go, and says, "oh oh, that's gone, okay, the black is gone.  I don't know WHAT that was, I just don't know why it's black."  Could it be a gnat that lost it's way...thinking it was finding the perfect cave in which to hide and hoard from the other gnats?  Unlikely, but whatever it was, it is now halfway in my trash can, partially flicked onto my armoire, and repulsing some poor cotton swab that preferred the hairy ear of an unbathed 90-year-old homeless man. 
Now go eat some lunch.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


This is an embarrassing post.  Please do not judge me.  Until you've lived with Kindsay, you can't.
As you all know, my oldest has moved out and left a vacant bedroom, one which my youngest, Ty, claimed the day after she left.  He moved his Littlest Pet Shop onto her bookshelf before I could clean it off, and has adamantly corrected me every time I've referred to it as "Bek's room."  The boys have been sleeping in there because it's got a full bed versus the two chickens sleeping in a twin together (they won't split up though there are 3 twins in their room.)  The other night I heard my husband, Greg, telling the boys they had to sleep on the twin so Kindsay could have the full bed.  He came into our room and I asked, What's going on?  Why does Kindsay need Bek's room?" (Ty yells from obscurity "it's MY room!")  He tells me Kindsay saw a bug flying around and it freaked her out.  I said, She's probably getting bugs because of the horrid mess she lets pile up.  We'd been on her forever to clean her room.  When there is incentive (cash,....yeah, just cash) she'll do an awesome job, even bed made and closet cleaned out. But no incentives we've tried worked...I don't want to pay her to clean her own mess.  Then she'd just continue to make it filthy to exploit money out of me.  Last weekend Greg said she could go see Justin Beiber's movie if she cleans it...guess who went anyway--and with a friend!  Room still gross, if not worse adding the movie trash.  If I'd taken a picture of it, you'd judge me without consciousness...but now you can't imagine on your own how very bad it was.  She'd be on the next season of Hoarders had I sent in a picture.  Actually, it's not as bad, it'd be more like "Hoarders-in-Training" or something.
Needless to say, I'd hit my limit.  When I hit my limit I just break down and clean her room.  But it lasts for two days and then back to an atrocity so I get disheartened to even bother.  But every time I walked by her room I could smell it.  The door was shut, and I could smell it.  Baaaad sign.  She was terrified of the bugs so she wouldn't go in, which is funny because she'll pick up a frog, but a small beetle will freak her out.  I thought--why am I going to let her trash her room then go into a new room and trash it too?  nuh-uh...not on my watch.  So on Valentine's Day...what is it with Kindsay always blowing my V-Day's?...I grabbed a trash bag and said "I'm going in!"  Greg tried to stop me,  No honey, it's your day, go relax.  I can't, I tell him, I've had it and can't take it any more.  I'm going to just bag everything, trash or not, and kick her out of the room!  I open the door.
Her room gets super dark because it's in the shadow of the front porch facing away from the sun.  It was already early evening, or late afternoon, and it was light enough that I could see where I was going, but too dark to be able to do a good cleaning.  I approached the lamp with hesitation as I imagined I was entering a scene on "The Birds" except they were gnats.  They had taken over and I was an intruder in their new territory.  I clicked the light gnats.  I looked around, scanning the walls, ceiling, closet area, no gnats.  Hm...she must've seen one and freaked out.  She is great at exaggerating...loving the drama as she does.  I pulled her mattresses away from the wall, which were bare and skewed from each other.  Along the edge of the bed lay every wrapper from now way back to Halloween.  I made my hand into a scoop and just, well...scooped.  Scoop after scoop of trash.  Candy wrappers, food, old fruit peels, you name it....I pulled the mattress the other way and continued until half the kitchen sized trash bag was full.  Greg came in with another trash bag and I turned to him..."Look at this.  This is crazy!"  Kindsay was in the shower so we couldn't confront her yet, but we kept on scooping.  I rounded the bed and headed toward her desk.  Now, this desk serves as a hoarder's domain.  It keeps all the brochures, pamphlets, old magazines, newspapers, etc. that she picks up for free in front of the store.  It has bows and ribbons strewn about, paper tossed, she even had her picture of Jesus with a picture of Bek's ex-boyfriend in a Speedo stuck in the back on her desk.  I started scraping along the desk, junk falling into the bag below.  I crouch down to find another trash bag.  This one was Kindsay's.  It was half full too.  I pulled it out and got Greg's attention.  "She has a bag of trash in here.  Look at..."  I didn't get my sentence done and the exodus began.  A swarm of gnats began charging at me to defend their lands.  A dozen escaped before I shut the bag and knotted it.  Being white plastic, we could see inside where hundreds of gnats swarmed like a bad horror movie.  We just stood there, gaping mouths, widened eyes, motionless except for my quick reflex to shutting the bag.  Gnats flew around my head.  I had read online, trying to find out why Kindsay had what I thought was "a gnat" in her room.  The websites said one gnat can lay hundreds of eggs...drawn to piles of trash...if you see one you must kill it immediately.  So here I had a small swarm buzzing around my head like Pigpen on Charlie Brown.  I grabbed a fly swatter out of the kitchen while Greg grabbed the bag and headed outside to the trash bin.  I swatted away, like a mad woman.  The swatter had holes bigger than the gnats so I knew I'd have to hit them just right to kill them, so I swatted...swatted the walls, the table, the lamp, the desk, the air...I was swatting so furiously I was probably airborne for a while.  Greg returned and saw my madnes as I swatted the air, he could see nothing, but I didn't care.  I wasn't going to let one get away so it could go lay eggs! 
Here comes Kindsay, strolling down the hall out of the shower.  She stands in the doorway holding the towel up to her, the back opened wide for any unsuspecting hall walkers to see, and she looks at me, then Greg...then me...what's going on? is on her face.  Greg started on her.  "Kindsay--WE are cleaning YOUR room.  You were supposed to do it!  I love you Kindsay, but you are a filthy person!"  "I'm a filthy person?" She echoes.  "Yes, we found...." he couldn't finish his sentence before she started in, "Beevee, beevee, beevee, beevee, beevee, beevee" (it's the word she loves repeating over and over until we beg her to stop.)  She stops for a moment, "Do you like that word?" and back again "beevee beevee beevee" as if there was nothing going on.  We are standing there with bags of trash, I'm swatting away, and Greg is fuming.  Beevee beevee beevee. 
Oh well, at least for now I don't have to smell her room.  Although, every now and then I find a gnat floating in my face, taunting me like a scout sent out to find a good nesting place.  You can hear my claps all through the house as I kill myself just to smear it's bug body into my hands.  And the question remains, "Y me?"

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Gulliver's Travels

I don't use bad language, not that I'm condemning those that do, but because I don't, my kids are very naive about cuss words. Sometimes it's funny to hear a child innocently cuss, but it's even funnier when they use it incorrectly. The most my son, Garon, has cussed happened in the last month, and within a week of each other. The good thing is that he was so unaware of the words that when he said them he didn't even know how bad they were. The bad thing is that two ugly words came out of my babe's mouth. Bear with me if you haven't heard the story--it's worth it.
Incident #1-- My boys go to an elementary school called Freedom. It was a cold December afternoon, and I was racing to the school to get there in time to watch my oldest son wrestle. I've missed them all because I never get to the school in time, but I keep on trying...and this time it was at his school so I had a great chance! Upon reaching the MPR, I saw him approach me with disappointment which means I missed it, again. He told me how he did, losing by a point, and when his dad got home I reminded him to retell his event. My husband asks, "Who did you wrestle?" My son answers-- TK, the kids at Freedom call them Toilet Kissers, you know..TK? My husband nods, "What do they call you guys?" Well, my son explains, the kids at TK call us the Freedom F***ers. The nonchalance in his tone did not brace Greg for his response. It was like wind knocking out of him as his son's mouth even found a way to form such horror. I'm so glad I missed that conversation. A little boy voice and that word? Inconceivable.
Incident #2
I took my children to see Gulliver's Travels during the winter break. My oldest daughter, Bek, did not go, she had to work, but the rest of us went and loved the film. The only bad part was when Jack Black's character was angry at the guard captain for imprisoning him and referred to him as a "lame-a**" when talking to the other prisoner. The captain happened to be standing behind him and said, "Lame-a** better mean something good where you come from!" Jack said, "Oh yeah, yeah, it means AWESOME, the's the best thing you can be!" Well, said the captain, I'll have you know I'm the biggest lame-ass you'll ever meet....or something like that. Thinking little of the scene, we move on. It's not until the next day that while shopping with my oldest daughter she recounts how when playing video games with Garon she teased him about being terrible. He lashed back...Hey--I'm better than you at this game--in fact, I'm a lame-a**! My daughter sat stunned, wha...? Garon, she says, first--that's a bad word, and second--it's not a compliment to yourself! I went home laughing at that and when I saw him I said, "Hey Lame-a**!" He immediately went searching for Bek to lay into her. That night we went to dinner with our friends and told them the story. I told my friend to call Garon a lame-a**. When we got to his house after dinner, he casually said, "Hey, how's it going Lame-A**?" Garon stormed out of the room in utter embarrassment and annoyed with me for sharing his foible. Later that evening my friend's brother came over and told Garon to go next door where other little boys were playing. "No, I want to stay here," Garon tells him. The brother says, "But that's where all the boys are, aren't you a boy?" Garon thought he could beat him to it--"Well, maybe I am, or maybe I'm a LAME-A**!" My husband caught the exchange and roared in laughter as my friend's brother slowly turned to him with the look of being completely flabbergasted, even a little guilty as though he drove my son to such lengths! After explaining the story, we got a kick out of using that word at each other the rest of the night. Thankfully, it's been laid to rest. Moral of the story--don't assume your kids understand everything they hear, even at a kid's movie. In other words, don't be a Lame-A**.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Code 4

It finally happened.  I know what Code 4 is!  I think.  I'm assuming at least. 
Picture it--a calm Thursday evening after school.  I'm content after having straightened the house, finished getting dinner ready, and getting the children's homework done, which is most of the time MY homework.  I'm enjoying a relaxing moment in my bedroom checking emails, reading the news, listening to my boys play the PS3, Kindsay is quietly lying in her bed, and Bek is at work.  Greg should be home at any time, and life is good.  errrrrrrrr!  Screeching halt when the doorbell rings.  My boys come barreling down the hall in urgent whispers, "MOM, there's a police at our door!"  It's been nothing but quiet in my house, so this was really weird.  I mean, if Kindsay were in her raging moods and the neighbors heard and called someone to check on us, I would say, "Is everything alright you ask??  Great!  The usual!"  HOWEVER, that wasn't the case, so I felt completely willing to help the officer with whatever he needed.  Perhaps he needed a sponser for a fund raiser (who knows?), maybe he had some questions about my next door neighbor's fire alarm going off for no reason again (though I didn't hear it), maybe he just wanted to tell me what a great citizen I am.  I turn the corner towards the front door, still feeling leery and guilty like they'll drag me away for some song my kid downloaded one time.  Hey, usually I'd say, take me with the siren on, but tonight was a nice night...what's going on?  I begin to open the door to face the cop when I turn behind me to see Kindsay backing up slowly with the look of "UH OHHHHHHH."  I knew right then.  Kindsay, what did you do???  "Sorry, mom, sorry."  I face the officer with a smile like we're all normal, nothing to see here.  "Good evening Ma'am, is there anything wrong here, we got a 9-1-1 call from your house."  I turn back to Kindsay she's still backing up ever so slowly, hands in her mouth chewing what's left of her stubby nails, hair askew as though an animal were building something in it, and her robe was barely closed around her Spring Break outfit.  "Officer, I'm terribly sorry.  Kindsay, come here."  As the officer gave a "Code 4" into the radio on his shoulder, I had her face the cop herself, she had to own this!  He explained to her that when she accidently calls 9-1-1, it's okay, but when the police call back to confirm an emergency and you answer the phone, make some freaked out noises and hang up, they assume there's a problem and send someone out.  Next time, he tells her, just answer the phone and tell the dispatcher there's no problem.  I said, "What do you say to the officer?"  She responds, "ok."  No, apologize. 
Now, if I had gotten in trouble to where I summoned a CPD to my house, I would probably be on my best behavior the rest of the night after the close call.  NO, oh no, not Kindsay.  The moment I shut the door she empties out my emergency dinner Costco box of Dino Chicken Nuggets onto a plate (there were probably 30-40), and stuck the plate into the microwave and hit start.  The nuggets were all stacked on each other in frozen stuckness which would take more than a few microwave minutes to make even slightly edible.  I come in the kitchen, the annoyance of the recent incident slipping out of my mind, when I see the chicken coop in the microwave.  At that moment Greg walked in.  YES! Tag!  You're it..I can't finish this round!  "Greg," I say, "Kindsay just called 9-1-1, hung up on the police, and we had a cop at our door, now she's got that going..." I point to the massive amount of food cooking.  Greg went from "ah, so happy to be home" to "what's wrong with my genes?"  Needless to say, Greg summarized the last five minutes of Kindsay's life in complete astonishment, aggravation, and outerworldly amazement while she sunk into her robe.  Though I had dinner going, guess what all the kids ate instead?  So glad I spent the time and money.  With resignation, I zombie-walked back to my room, closed my door, and locked it in an attempt to fall back into my blissful evening.  I mean, what else could happen?  Am I so naive?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The TALK, you know what I mean?

So here's the deal I made with my husband, although he did not agree to it.  I will explain to our daughters where babies come from, and he has to explain it to our boys.  Since his mother taught him about sex by never talking about it and hoping I knew it all and could teach him on our wedding night, it was an awkward thought that Greg hoped would never transpire.  I told our girls when they hit age nine and eleven, respectively, because, well, how does one tell Kindsay about babies when she's dying to have one?  I had to be creative and a bit vague about it to her, but she got the female part of it to the point that when she started her period for the first time she cried out, "YAY--I have eggs!  I'm going to have a baby!"...okay, so I did my part, which includes putting her on the pill right away. 
Now, as our youngest son turned eight, I realized Greg hadn't told our oldest son and that the deed needed to be done.  Greg had the look of sheer dread on his face, but he knew that it was only fair.  With great reluctance and going at a speed that doesn't even register, Greg found Garon and took him outside to have the talk.  I was inside with Ty while Greg gave the most humiliating speech of his forty years.  Soon after, Garon came zipping through the front door, "Disgusting!  Gross!"  Greg came in, looking worn out from discomfort, and summoned Ty out for the talk.  Let's face it, there's no way Garon was going to keep that to himself, right?  Ty soon came back in laughing...I thought--did Greg tell them how it happens or do I have some correcting to do?  You know, men have different viewpoints about such acts than women.  Greg came in laughing too, and  my curiousity was whirling.
Greg tells me...Garon's response after hearing about the deed--"Am I asleep while it happens?"  Greg--uh, no. But you do have to be married before you do it.  Garon--"ohhohhoho, don't you worry--I won't be wanting to do that!"  ok now I have it in writing.
And with Ty--Greg tells him it's an act that happens between two people when they love each other.  Ty's response -- "Will I ever find someone to love me?"  Awwww...wait a minute, why didn't it gross him out?  I couldn't even wrap my mind around it after my mom explained it to me....even thinking about that conversation thirty years ago makes my eyes wide...oh well, I'll be sure to update this blog when puberty hits them.
Let's put it this way--
Having children = all of the money we make; giving them the sex talk = two limbs, parent's choice; reactions from our boys about the birds and the bees = priceless.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Thin Line

As most of you know, my daughter is special. For those of you just joining us, she is a fourteen-year-old anomaly that no child psychiatrist has been able to diagnose. I know we shouldn't live and die by a diagnosis, but as a parent, having answers is important. Her current label is one with a form of autism and emotionally disturbed with severe anxiety, but she's run the gamet of labels in the nine years since we realized we had a bigger problem than we thought. Sure, at the time she was born she was tested for Down's Syndrome, but chromosomal issues have been deemed irrelevant in her case. Genetics don't play in the picture at all. Even still, for a child to have the peaks and valleys that she does in terms of abilities is rare, and she has turned into quite an adventure.
Lately, as you know, she has gotten into a fictious world. I listen to her talking to herself, having full blown conversations with herself, and I also listen to her talking to her friends on the phone. Remember now, her friends are in her special class at school so they will go around and around about nothing--consider them the Seinfelds of Special Education. Listening in on them makes me dizzy sometimes. So I'm listening to her talk to herself in the bathroom, holding only one side of the conversation but clearly responding to someone as she answers questions (questions that I can't hear, I can only hear her giving answers which come out of nowhere and make no sense. Sometimes she'll just agree "oh yeah, uh-huh"...she gets along so well with herself. Refreshing.) I finally asked if she could hear voices--that's how in depth her self-talk gets. No, she says, she's just talking to her pretend friend. Oookaay. She gets into these fabricated worlds with her friend Allidrama too. I can hear them planning their adult lives--minivans, houses, and all. They get into such delusions that they start talking as though they are in the present with their different issues. I listen in, feeling some concern as I wonder how much of it she realizes is her imagination. I talk to my parents about it and friends and they say, "Oh, you know how kids like to fantasize about their grown-up lives." So true, so true..until she demanded that my husband take her to see her kids the other night. She wasn't talking on the phone, she was quite adamant and certain. I heard her say, "Dad, you have to take me to my kids so I can see them." Greg looks at her questionably...what kids? "My six kids! You need to take me so I can see them." So, what you are telling me is you have kids? "Yes, we need to go." Did you actually give birth to the kids, do you remember having a baby in your stomach? "No, I did not have them, I adopted them and my rich boyfriend has them. Now take me to see them. I'm going to be so mad!" You don't have kids, Kindsay. You don't have kids. "Yes I do! Alli says their at my boyfriend's house!" Her temper is flaring. Mind you, when she talks to Greg she starts out with level tones, but when I so much as ask her how her day was...SNAP! "Why is my mom asking me that? Oh, I just don't know if I should answer her. Just shut your mouth!" Ah, nothing like mother-daughter bonds.
In any case, Greg refused to drive her to see her six children, or should I say, my six grandchildren. But children aren't the only topics of interest to Kindsay and her friends. Oh no, they also like to be sweet and cute and loving to each other. Why just last night Kindsay had Allidrama on the speaker phone and this was their conversation, verbatim:
"You shut your mouth!"
"No, YOU shut your mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR mouth!"
"No, you shut YOUR MOUTH!"
"No, you shut your mouth!"
"No, you...
well, I think you can see the pattern. It was only until Greg and I stepped in and directed the stimulating conversation elsewhere that the need to shut each other's mouth soon became old news. Back to the talk about boyfriends, children, and minivans. Perhaps I need to create a make-believe world of my own that I can visit instead of listening to non-stop banter between Kindsay and her friends. A world where chocolate grows on trees, rivers flow of Diet Pepsi, and french fries bloom every spring...oh, and there aren't any children...reproducing is against the law. I suppose that also removes men from the picture since the only legal activities are reading, napping, and taking long hot baths. Back to reality as I hear Kindsay in the next room crying over some terrible news about a boyfriend that she doesn't have and her six children that don't exist. Huh, there's no consoling her so what am I to do? Off to Yvetopia I go...until next time...