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. 

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