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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Parenting

So since I am a therapist and all, one of the basic premises of my personality (besides being a glutton for punishment) is that I want to make people feel better about themselves.  Keeping that in mind, here is my contribution for the day towards that cause.  After reading these gems, you are sure to feel better about your parenting and mental stability in general.


Charlie is playing with a bunch of bowls of water and some cups and spoons.  This usually keeps her entertained for almost a full hour.  I happened to look over at her and she is standing on top of the picnic table where she is playing.  I tell her to sit down and she sits...on top of the table.  Advantage, Charlie...next time I will need to be more specific.


When Elizabeth was about five or so,we had a Jack Russell Terrier named J.D.  Charles REFUSED to get this dog fixed.  REFUSED.  J.D. was lying on the ground one day, and his balls were sticking out from under his butt.  Elizabeth, of course, notices them and turns to me and says, "What are those things under J.D.?  Those...balls?"  I lost it and laughed and probably peed myself a little.  I figure that probably tacked on a minimum of 6 months of therapy...


These weren't my children, but just to show you that my stellar skills extend to other children as well (you know, in case you were ever contemplating leaving your children in my care...)...I worked at a daycare for years on and off.  My last stint was in a 3 year old preschool classroom, co-teaching with my sister.  We were talking about traveling or some shit, and what the kids would pack.  We got all of the typical stuff...clothes, nightgown, blankie, etc. (Though one kid did throw out "ointment", which of course I cracked up about...what three year old says "ointment?")  We were almost done when this one very sweet little girl pipes up with her contribution.  Now before I tell you what it was, keep in mind that her father always complained about how old he was to all of us.  Her contribution?  "My daddy packs little blue pills when he goes out of town."  The poor children did not know why their teacher thought that was so funny.  I told them all to ask their parents, cause I am so good at deflecting like that.


Both Elizabeth and Alexis could use fuck as a noun, adjective, and a verb by the age of three.  Charlie is probably well on her way there too.


Charlie comes walking into the kitchen in nothing but her diaper and a shit load of Mardi Gras beads.  Charles turns to me and goes, "Well, I guess she earned those beads, didn't she?"


Alexis is driving along in the car with me when Rhianna's S & M comes on.  She goes, "Oh, Mommy, turn this up!  This is my song!"



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Toddlers

Toddlers can be such assholes.

This was my status on Facebook today.  And it is the honest to God truth.  I have said it before, but living with Charlie is like living with a person who has rapidly cycling bipolar disorder with psychotic features and who is quite possibly withdrawing from a substance.  In this case, that substance would be the crackers and marshmallows that I have the nerve to not allow her to subsist on.  (And hell yeah I just ended my sentence with a preposition.  That is what living with a toddler will do to you.  Their assholery will make you do things like have poor grammar.  And make up words like assholery.)

I could not even begin to imagine the emotions that that child must experience, not just day to day but minute to minute.  She will go from throwing herself down on the floor in a murderous rage when I won't allow her to climb inside the stove to running up to me with those big baby blues and asking sweetly, "Outside?  Play?".  She is very good at knowing exactly which buttons of Charles's to push and will do things like look him directly in the eye while turning a cup of milk over to pour it all over the floor.  She has perfected this unholy screech that makes angels cry and shatters crystal.  She can arch her back in the midst of her temper tantrum and put the back bend of an Olympic gymnast to shame.

But then there are moments like tonight, when she calls plaintively for me from her crib.  "Mama! Mama!"  I go up there wearily, bracing myself for the onslaught of passionate, unbridled emotions that she can sling my way.  She is standing up in her crib, holding Doggie in one hand and her blanket in the other.  She wants me to pick her up and hold her.  She snuggles into the center of my chest like she did as an infant, tucking her butt under her legs and just melting into me.  And I think, "What did I do to deserve the love of such a passionate, dynamic creature?  Why does she need me so when she is so capable of doing and being whatever she wants?  How did I get so lucky?"  All is forgiven and I can laugh at her toddler antics.

Yes, toddlers can be such assholes.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Rainbows

So because I really like to put my Zoloft to the test, I decided today that I was going to join the community garage sale. That was today from 9-4.  At 11 AM.  I put my stuff out and got rid of a lot of baby shit...and made enough to go buy Alexis her bike. She wanted one for her birthday, but I am not so mean as to make her wait until the end of September (though certain other of my children may dispute this point...).

I felt a twinge or two as I was shameless giving away crap that I don't ever have a use for ever again.  It is quite public knowledge that I hate being pregnant.  I am happy about the size of our family.  The twinge was not about that.

Rather, it was more about giving the damn Bumbo seat, the red toddler bed, the Jumperoo, etc. away before ALL of my children had a chance to use them.  I had overheard Alexis telling her friend on the porch today as they colored, "I DO TOO have a brother!  He is in heaven!  I don't see him, though..."  Talk about being shot through the heart.

I went about my day.  I ran out to do the grocery shopping, and of course as soon as I get out of the grocery store, it LETS LOOSE.  I turn and look at the west...sun is shining as brightly as can be.  I am torn.  It is pretty much a tie between what I hate more...water, or being pregnant.  (This only applies to water that is on my body.  I drink tap water like I am getting paid to do so.)  Do I stay facing the east, in the rain, and look for the rainbow, or do I get my groceries, the crabby baby I  have with me, and my tired ass, in the car and headed in the opposite direction?

Practicality won out.  Plus I was cold.  I got in the car and headed home, convinced that I was not going to see the rainbow.  Disappointment was felt by all involved (which pretty much was only me).  

You see, rainbows have had a special significance for me since my son's death.  When I was in labor with him, I saw my father.  Big deal, right?  Yeah, except for he is dead.  He was holding a baby, wrapped in the God-awful receiving blankets that hospitals use, and singing this God-awful song he used to sing to all of the grandchildren:

Teera, Leera, Loora, 
Teera, Leera, Lie, 
Teera, Leera, Loora, 
Hush, now, don't you cry.

That was the first time since I had learned that I was going to have to deliver a dead baby that I felt comforted.

Fast forward about a month.  We were on vacation, and it started to storm again.  In the sky, there was a gorgeous double rainbow.  It was almost as though my dad and Gabe were saying, "Be at peace; we are here."

Since then, it has always seemed that whenever things were tough, or I was thinking about Gabe a lot for whatever reason (well, more than usual I should say...) a rainbow will come out.

It did not fail me today, either.  Looking in my rear view mirror, I saw the biggest, most beautiful rainbow against the dark slate gray storm clouds.  I almost drove the car off the road; I literally could not take my eyes off of it.  It was THAT brilliant and beautiful and big.

Thanks, son.