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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Reggie

So apparently my daughter turning 18 is not just a huge ass deal to me, but her friends.  And also apparently, there must be like gifts that you are supposed to give like for anniversaries...like the gold anniversary, silver anniversary, paper anniversary, wood anniversary.  (Side note...I'd be pretty fucking pissed if my husband got me paper for our anniversary, and we don't even celebrate our anniversary usually.  Just sayin', whoever thought of that shit obviously was hittin' the Absinthe a bit hard...)

The 18th birthday must be the pet birthday, because not only did her best friend ask me if she could buy her a goat for her birthday (answer: no place to keep it outside as Wakeman bans goats and marsupials outdoors, apparently, and I'll be goddamned if I'm having a goat in my house...), Elizabeth got not one, but TWO hamsters for her birthday.

One hamster she is keeping in her room.  This hamster is all sugar and spice and everything nice and is named Bean.  She enjoys long walks on her hamster wheel and looks a bit like the devil when she has her pictures taken due to the red eye, but over all...well, she's a fucking hamster-y hamster.  Not much going on here.

Reggie, however...totally different story.

That little fucker has taken crazy and elevated it to a whole new level the way that Donald Trump has elevated a bad hair day to a whole new level.  She (yes, Reggie is a she...apparently she was already named when Elizabeth received her.  And had been almost killed by a cat.  More on that later...but point is, don't be so goddamned judgemental.  Jesus.) is bat shit, certifiably, and undisputedly crazy.

She's a dwarf hamster, which means that she looks more like a mouse than a hamster and is seriously like three inches long.  And before you go all, "Oh, that sounds adorable!  Stop exaggerating the Satan that is present in this adorbs little rodent" let me tell you...possessed by the devil doesn't even cover it.  That little shit runs around her cage and evades capture like the best of terrorists.  She seriously makes Forrest Gump look like he's taking a leisurely Sunday stroll.   She makes this God-awful squeak too when you try to pick her up, like the hounds of Beelzebub are escaping from her larynx.  She climbs up the side of the cage like a character from the Matrix, and I honestly think that she may be plotting my death in a way that makes that sucker fish look like he just wants to give me a hug vs strangling me.

Charlie convinced me, against my better judgment, to take her out of her cage and put her in that hamster ball and let her run around her bedroom.  I am now firmly convinced that Reggie is holding that humiliation against me and is going to slowly disembowel me because of it.  I went to go and put her back in her cage (and mind you, it took us a solid half hour to get her in the fucking ball to begin with...I apparently cannot take a hint...) and she leaps from the ball to the top of her cage, and then down to the floor.  Again, the cage is on top of a nice tall dresser.  She possesses Satan ninja skills.

 Satan in an orange ball.  Look at her glaring...

In her defense, she has had a near death experience with a cat when she had escaped from her cage at her previous owner's houe.  That being said...while I am not one to judge people on their mental health symptoms, she is beyond what one would see from a traumatized hamster.  She is just pure evil and likes to mind fuck you while darting around like a meth-addicted gnat.

That fucking hamster then proceeded to hide for about 45 minutes in their room.  She kept running away and hiding and then stopped running and just kept hiding behind the bookshelf and I couldn't move it so I had to wait.  And fear that she was going to come at me like some kind of tiny spider-monkey like killer and gnaw my nose off.

We finally did capture that little shit.  She's currently in her cage and she just GLARES at me when I walk past.

Fuck.  I think we found Charlie the perfect pet.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mindfulness

It was a Tuesday evening like any other.

Got off of work, went to dance.  Ran in to check Lexi's homework and managed to find her missing jazz shoes that another child had accidentally grabbed last week.  Picked up Charlie to bring back home from her dance class in the preschool room and loaded her up in the car.  Gave the hubby a quick kiss after he helped her get buckled in, then headed home with all I  had to do on my mind.

Find some dinner for myself.  Not really hungry though.

Pack lunches for tomorrow.

Figure out my outfit for tomorrow.

Unload the dishwasher.

Sweep the floors.

Put a load of laundry in.  I should probably fold the two baskets that are down there too.

Eh, let's be honest.  That ain't happening.  The folding at least.

Clean up kitchen.

Get Charlie in the bath.

As all of this was running through my head, Charlie was keeping up a steady chatter despite claiming not five minutes earlier that she was not talking to me because I would not let her play a game on my phone because I am an asshole parent like that.  She started to talk about what we were going to do when we got home, and I teasingly told her we were going to poop our pants.  She started to laugh and said, "Mama, I'm not a baby!"

"Aren't you my baby, Charlie?"

"Well, yes, but I'm still big, Mama."

She then got quiet for a few minutes after this, obviously thinking.  She then asked:

"Mama, are you done growing?"

"Yes, I am."

"Well, then, why are you getting older still?  You aren't growing but you keep getting older and older..."

"You get older even after you stop growing, Charlie."

"So, are you going to die?"

(Now we need some background here.  Dorothy passed away a few days ago.  Charlie was pretty devastated and of course we had the whole death conversation and how it is pretty much a permanent thing and the opposite of sleeping and being awake, if you could have a third option for opposites that is.  So death was fresh on her mind; its not like she is going through some kind of emo/goth stage here.  Though Elizabeth did go through a period at just slightly older than Charlie where all she would wear was this black witch's dress from an old Halloween costume, so who knows.  Anyways...)

"Not for a long time, I hope baby."

"Will you live to be a thousand, Mama?"

"I'm certainly not planning on dying any time soon, Charlie."

This seemed to satisfy her, but it got my mind going.  All of a sudden, all of those things that I was planning on doing seemed unimportant.  I had no desire to plan for the next day until Charlie went to bed.  I did not want to do the housework that would still be waiting for me until the day I'm finally crazy and/or senile enough to be locked away for my own good (and let's be honest, for society's good as well).

So...I did none of that.

We decided to have some ice cream and read through a dancewear catalog.  I let her have a scoop of both mint chocolate chip and mint Oreo ice cream.  We chose the best outfits on each page and debated the merits of a flowy skirt vs. a plain leotard.  We rolled out the yoga mat and practiced her cartwheel.  I told her I would learn to do one along with her and we practiced mine.  We gave each other pointers.  Then we put on music and danced our asses off until it was time for her to get in the shower.

In typical Charlie fashion, of course, she managed to slip in the shower and bust her eye on the faucet and is now likely going to have a black eye.  As I was drying her off and comforting her, she asked me if people were going to make fun of her because she had the black eye.  We snuggled on the couch and held ice on it and she wondered if people would just think that she did a really bad job of putting some "eyelash" on (which is what she calls eye shadow).  She asked if I thought people would make fun of her (talk about another shot to the heart...)  She then wondered why she always is the one who gets hurt.

"First stitches in my head, Mama, then my chin.  Now I have a black eye!"

I wonder, had she not asked me about dying earlier, if I would have been as likely to let the comforting linger like I had.  Would I have taken the time to snuggle as much, or would I have felt antsy thinking about what I had to do?  When did I stop trying to be mindful and start being a stressed out, over exhausted, and burned out parent/wife/coworker?  Why did it take a question about my mortality to make me stop and start living?

I feel horrible about all of the potential moments I have missed out on because of lacking mindfulness.  Will my children remember it?  Is it too late?  Will my kids, when I do (hopefully decades in the future) die, remember me actually living, or will they only remember the stress, frustration, anxiety, depression, and illness?

What a wake up call.  What a re-birth.  Time to start living again.



Friday, November 13, 2015

18

Today is the last day that I have a minor child.  Tomorrow, Elizabeth turns 18.

This is a huge ass victory.  All of the people who thought I would never go anywhere or do anything because of her...wrong.  All of the people who thought I would not be able to raise a child as a young single mother...wrong.  All of the people who thought that she would be FUBAR'ed because of me...wrong.

Or maybe it was in spite of me.

My daughter is absolutely amazing.  I know every parent says that.  But.  She has overcome some pretty steep challenges against her.  A mother who lived at the poverty level for a pretty long time.  A single mother.  A mother and father who did not always get along so well.  A YOUNG single mother.  Somewhat dysfunctional families on both sides.

She is not a statistic.  She has grown up and evolved to be a pretty goddamned fantastic human being.

The kind of person who will make it a mission to make a perfect stranger she has never met, who got stood up for homecoming, have a great night.  The kind of person who will stop at Walmart on her way home from work to buy her baby sister five goldfish when the one she got her for her first birthday died.  The kind of person who will text her mother "go get em, tiger" when she is interviewing for a job that could potentially change all of our lives.  The kind of person who will stand up for her friends when they are persecuted for their religion.  The kind of person that other people tell me, without fail, is a genuinely nice, sweet girl.

Don't get me wrong.  That kid has her faults.  She is stubborn as hell.  I blame her father for that one.  She knows her mind.  Blame him for that as well.  She is messy at times. Again, him.  She has the Lambkins temper.  I don't know yet if she has the Lambkins tolerance for alcohol, nor do I want to know if she knows this yet.  I can't figure out a way to blame her father (or stepfather, for that matter LOL) for either of these so I guess I have to own those...

But the fact that she is not some god-awful hellion child that teachers wince and brace themselves for in the classroom...the fact that she is able to have a relationship with both sides of her family...the fact that she has an inherent sense of right and wrong and that she acts on this sense to make sure right is done...the fact that every employer she has had, every person she has babysat for loves her to pieces...

All of that is despite her parents' best efforts to totally fuck her up.  And trust me, all of us tried really really hard to do so.

Happy birthday, Elizabeth Carle.  Mamacakes loves you ever and ever so much.  And remember very very hard as you venture out into the world tomorrow morning as an adult:

You are my sunshine, 
My only sunshine, 
You make me happy, 
When skies are gray, 
You'll never know dear, 
How much I love you.
Please don't take 
My sunshine away.