What I wore to the "American Girl Fashion Show"

Monday, October 31, 2005

Suck it, Uber-Mom's Posted by Picasa

What type of person works at this desk?

I have always found the things that people display at their desks to be wildly interesting. I contend that if one looks hard enough, One can really see the secret of their co-workers souls in what can be found on their desks.

(I exclude the "cat people", "beanie baby", or "excessively optimistic saying's" people. There is nothing to be had from their souls. They have crossed over)

So here, gentle readers, is a shot of what is on my desk. Behold. I have looked and it is dark indeed.

New American Girl Doll this Year: "Dorothy, the biracial lesbian single parent who works for Planned Parenthood"

I stand corrected. Thanks to marshatm for sending me a link to this article.

I am now proud to have lent my daughter to a liberal, abortion pushing, lesbian loving organization. If the Catholic church wants to protest it, than I need to buy more dolls.

I will march into their doors in New York City this November the 23rd for our "American Girl" dinner with my head held erect. I will hand over my liberal credit card, and spend...liberally.

Soylent Green is American Girl!!!

I would like to mock the American Girl Fashion Show. Really, I would. I endured two showings of the teenage announcer saying “barrette”, when the word should have been “beret” As in, “Molly’s outfit is capped off with a jaunty Beret” – but them pronouncing it “barrette”.

However, I suppose that standing up and shouting “It’s Beret, you moron! Does Monica Lewinsky mean NOTHING to you?” and making a 14-year-old cry wouldn’t have been helpful.

I did wear my Fussy t-shirt and saw noone looking at me or my boobs. Of course, this was a crowd who would rather die than admit they had a traitor to motherhood in their midst – and that the Traitor’s kid was up there on the run way modeling clothes. The Horror! How does the misfit’s kid get to be up on stage? When there were lots of other mothers much more “fashion show” worthy than I?

But my kid seemed to have a really great time. And she was really good at the whole thing. Very poised and confident. After I practically knocked some one’s grandmother over to get up front to take pictures of her [I saw the raised eyebrows at that table as I crashed to the front and sat my ass on the floor in front of the stage]

By the end, a Mom I like very much leaned in and said, “I wish they served drinks – anything to anesthetize me.” This was at the point we were asked to stand up and practice our curtsey – or perhaps when we were asked to stand up and wave our wands and proclaim that we were proud to “Be an American Girl – I like your style, I like your style!!”

And then we all took pledges to kill the infidels and to bear lots of babies to stimulate the economy. Praise God!*

(* this is an ironic use of this phrase)

How to spend a Saturday Night

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Four Hours of carving must count for some kind of Parental pennance right? I have bruises on my wrists from these damn things and a wedge of pumpkin under my thumbnail.

Oh, and please feel bad for the disabled Bat - I totally hacked off a part of his hand.

Jo-Jo the Shedding Dog Faced Girl

Friday, October 28, 2005

Last night at dinner, my husband took my hand and said:

“ I hate when you leave your hair all over the sink”

I was a little drunk, so I was less defensive and said:

“Are you sure it’s my hair?”

Now, I am the only white person in the house. It is fairly obvious to whom the hair belongs.

“Ok”, I say, but it is hard to remember hair in the sink when you are just trying to get out and go in the morning”

“I’ll remind you”, he says.

So this morning, I walk into the bathroom to do my hair and there it sits. A brand new sticky pet hair picker upper.

I’ll play along, methinks. So when I was done with the stylin, and the sprayin, and the fixin, I take the sticky thing and I run it around the sink – then I put it back next to the hair products.

Terrance walks in and sees it sitting there.

“You plan on throwing away the strip with all the hair on it?”
“Yeah, I was getting to it – I’m not quite done” (Very defensive tone I take)
“No you weren’t – I don’t even know why you lie to me”

So I rip off the strip and walk into my room to dress. I yell out:
“You know, I WAS lying, I was going to leave it there covered in hair – I don’t know why I pretended to get upset when you said that.”

From the kitchen he responds, laughing:“I know!”

Clash of the Titans

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The scene: Last night,My bedroom

Me: ( On computer reading witty Internet friends…silence)
Em: (On bed rolling around watching Disney Channel) Can I have some ice?
Me: In a minute, honey – mommy’s looking at something.
Em: Can you get me some ice?
Me: I said I would get you some in a minute, please wait.

Five minutes pass

Em: Mom, you said you would get me some ice.
Me: I know – just let me finish this
Em: (Loud, audible sigh)
Me: Ask your father if you can’t wait.
Em: I can wait, I just want some ice.
Terrance: (From other room) Get her the ice yourself!
Me: Fine, I will get you some ice!

I go to the fridge and retrieve three ice cubes for my child to chew on. At the same time, my husband requests that I fetch him something from another room “since I’m up”. I scowl at him and march back into hand my child her accursed ice cubes, then march back out to give him the paper he requested.

2.7 minutes later

Em: I’m ready for bed – I’m done with the ice cubes.
Me: You have got to be shitting me. You’re done with the ice cubes? After all that?
Em: Yeah, just put them in the sink.
Me: You know, it’s lucky you are so cute, or we would have left you by the side of the road to be raised by rodents a long time ago.
Em: (perfectly serious) One Time you did.*
Me: Oh no, sister, that was your father – you can’t pin that one on me. That’s one therapy session in which I won’t be featured.

** Back story.

When Emily was just three, she had a bad habit of throwing things at us when we drove. Her shoes, socks, toys, books. She would get mad and throw things. One rainy day she threw something at her daddy as he drove and he said:

Terrance: “You do that again and I am going to stop and put you out at the side of the road”
Emily: Throws something
Tee: “I am serious, little bad ass – don’t think I won’t stop and put your ass out”
Emily: “Go ahead. Do it.”

(I am in the passenger seat with my mouth a perfect O – cause it is ON now, mofo. White parents will threaten - Black parents will DO)

Terrance pulls over to the side of the road.
Tee: Ok – Get Out”
Emily: Unbuckles her car seat “Ok, I’m going”

She GETS OUT of the car and stands by the car in the rain and shuts the door,

Me: Turning to Terrance “Holy Shit – what are we going to do?”
Tee: I don’t know – I didn’t think she would really get out
Me: She is such a bas ass. I am going to unroll the window and ask her if she wants to get back in.

Me: Em – are you ready to get back in the car?

She stares at me with her little lips puckered up in defiance

Me: “You can get back in, if you are ready to listen to Daddy’s words”

Emily silently opens the car door and climbs back into her car seat.
We drive home and I prepare myself for the hell that will be her teenage years.

Blinded by the Light

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Holy Shit. I see blue sky. My eyes, My Eyes! The Pain, The Pain!

Some random thoughts to share today:

I like the show "Supernatural" on the WB far too much.

I was pondering that I probably drink too much coffee last night at 12:30 a.m. as I lay wide awake in my bed.

I do easy New York Times crossword puzzle books so I can feel superior. Just ask me about the "URAL" mountain range.

Today I resisted the urge to scream "I hate every bit of clothing in this Closet" and call into work because of limited wardrobe choices.

People now probably think I'm a wicked bitch for telling my mother to hurry up and die, but you JUST don't know. Of course, throwing the American Doll shoe at my kid doesn't help my image either. Don't worry, my mom will get me back, in triplicate, I assure you.

I laugh at inappropriate things. Frequently. In public.

Does it hurt my daughters self image when I say things like "You smell like butt - did you wipe enough?" or "Nobody likes a nose picker" - or am I just preventing other painful social issues later on?

I like foreign films - especially Chinese films. I also like sub titles and not dubbing. I used to attend film festivals, but that was before child.

I can "drop it like it's hot" when the occasion calls for it.

Conversations with Crazy D

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Conversation 1:

Me: “I think that we have known each other in a past life. In fact, I am pretty sure that all the people in my life have been with me in various forms in previous lives.”

My Mom: “Yeah? Who do you think I was Before?”

Me: “I think that I was your parent in a previous life”

My Mom: “Why do you say that?”

Me: “Because you are a young soul and I am an old soul. I think I must not have done a very good job as your parent, so they sent you back to be my parent this time ….as punishment.”

My Mom: “Punishment?”

Me: “Yeah, punishment. Clearly I didn’t give you enough attention when you were my kid, so I was sent back as a captive audience.”

Conversation 2:

My Mom: “You know I went to this end of life care workshop this past week. It was a good conference and talked about how when people approach the end of their life, they need to have the people they love around them.” (She is a nurse who works with geriatric patients)

Me: “Hmmmm.”

My Mom: “ So the facilitator had us start with this list of the people important to us, and then we had to go through and take people off the list during different exercises.”

Me: “OK.”

My Mom: “So what I came to is that I don’t want to be alone when I die and that you and your sister are the two people I want at my side when the end comes.”

Me: “Ok, but just don’t linger- just get to the point and die.”

My Mom: “Just for that, I am going to linger a long time.”

Me: “Ok, but remember who gets to eulogize you and I am not above dishin' some dirt."

Suck it, Wilma

Hey Weather-Deity. Why all the hate? My state turned blue in the last election. The northeast loves them some Democrats!! I “get” the whole destroy the Southeast thing, but Come on! My septic system is falling apart and no one likes to start their day with eau de shit as they walk out to their car. Let’s give the rain thing a rest. Nnnnnkay?

Foliage, schmoliage. They are all on the ground wet now. Suck it tourists.

I drove right up to the Dunkin Donuts drive through today!

I got my “Writing well in the best revenge” shirt from Fussy.org in the Mail. I plan on wearing it to the American Girl fashion show. Suck it uber-Mom’s.

I got to hear “Gold Digger” twice on the radio this morning. Because I ain’t saying she’s a gold digga. But I am that white girl.

I love Steven Colbert and his show. Anything with a screaming eagle of freedom rocks. And that is where yesterday’s blog title was lifted from. Gotta give the man his props.

Today I feel better, Thanks for the love Internet friends.

With Darkness Falling and one flare left, Could Armando keep the coyotes from his leg?

Monday, October 24, 2005

I called in sick today. Soul sick.

Depression, much like the Spanish Inquisition, is never expected.

I was trilling along life - tra-la-la- and for some reason - late Saturday, my depression crept up and slid in next to me.

I expect that depression feels different for every person, but has similar attributes. Like I expect orgasm's must feel for each person. Different, but the same.

For mine, the best description I ever came up with was something that happened to me when I was five.

We were living in North Carolina at the time - on Camp Lejeune. I was walking along the beach behind my mom, who was chasing my brother ( who had some kind of infant death wish to be dragged out to sea). I was most likely looking for treasures - starfish, conch, sand dollars.

I stepped forward and fell into something. A very, very deep hole. I can only guess that this was a type of sinkhole caused by the currents on a beach. I went down so fast, and so unexpected that I didn't have time to yell. One minute I was walking along, the next I was floudering in a deep giant hole that I had no idea was there.

I could see my mothers back moving away as she chased her son. I was the dependable child. I could be trusted to not go too far away, or too deep.

But there I was. I gasped and sank down - trying to find the bottom to kick off from. When I did, and kicked off - trying to grab the side of the hole to pull myself out, it all disintegrated in my five year old hand. I went down at least three times - each time watching my mom's back move farther away - each time having the side of the hole disappear as I tried to pull myself out.

Magically, just as I had the five year old thought that I was about to drown, I pulled myself out.

I lay next to the hole, panting. Quiet. On my back. I did not cry. I did not move. I looked the way I have seen other children look when they have glimpsed that they are mortal. That wide eyed fear.

Then I picked myself up and caught up with my mom. I never told her about the hole. I think I felt it was my fault for falling into the hole. A pattern I was to repeat my whole life.

And that is depression for me. A hole that keeps changing shapes. Every time I get out I lay beside it, shocked and wide eyed. I am always shocked when I fall in. I try to figure out what weather patterns have caused this to occur, like my own Weathercenter, and map them for future reference. But it is never the same - the falling into the hole, nor is it ever expected.

So now, I try to recognize when I am in the hole that is my depression, and take a soul sick day to get out of it.

An open letter to the Patron's of Dunkin Donuts

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Dear Fellow DD aficionado's,

I like Coffee. I like Dunkin Donuts coffee. I know, not the not most highbrow of coffee places, but here in New England, Dunkin Donuts rules. There are 5 Dunkin Donuts on my commute to work. If there is a Dunkin Donut's shop in any given area, I will find it. And I will purchase a coffee beverage. I even have one of those Dunkin Donuts cards, that I recharge with 50 bucks every two weeks. Yummmmmmmmm, coffee.

So, please fellow patrons of Dunkin Donuts, do not have false expectations of the people at the counter. Unless they are young teenagers, I have reason to suspect that these are people for whom life did not go as they had planned. Do not befuddle them with mystical and complicated requests. They are here to pour coffee. Maybe hand out a doughnut. They are not here to toast bagels with complicated requests about margarine versus butter. They will do it, but they will fuck it up. You should not act outraged or suprised at this.

Please do not request complicated variations of coffee, nor should you stand and stare at the server when you get to the counter. Were you unaware that you were standing in line in Dunkin Donuts before you made it to the head of the queue? This place sells coffee. And Donuts.

Tell them what flavor of coffee you want ( my current fave: Vanilla Spice), what Size coffee you want, if/what you want as a cream, and the amount of sugar or other sweetener you would like.
Four things. For example, "I'd like a Vanilla Spice great one with extra cream and 3 Splenda"

Give it to them all at once. Don't make them ask you for each tiny piece of information. What do you think - this is an National Security issue? They can handle the four pieces of information. This is what they DO.

Oh and if you wanted toasted bagels, and a dozen donuts and a massage....Go inside. Do not muck up the drive through line with your vast orders. Those of us in the Drive through line usually JUST WANT COFFEE.

Finally, on a Saturday morning, when a crabby looking mother walks in, because the drive through line is out into the street - let her get her god damn cup of coffee. Yes, I see that you have brought an entire baseball team into the lobby. I am not afraid to hurt them. I just want a cup of coffee. I do not want to hear about what this child wants or that child wants. I don't care.
Seriously. I have 5 mintues to get my kid to ballet, and I really need a cup of coffee.

Thank you for your time.

But "Supertrouper" still rocks....

Friday, October 21, 2005

On the way to work this morning, I was rabidly flipping through my radio channels when I got

"One Night In Bangkok"

And, suprising even myself, I knew all the words. Now I can't get the fucking song out of my head. Thank you very much "two guys from Abba" - Swedish pricks. Or maybe they're Norweigan...I can never tell. They all look alike.

When will I learn that I am not one of them

I was never what you would call a “popular girl”. I suspect many of the women who’s blogs I read and love know exactly of what I speak.

I was always a little off center – too loud, too opinionated, not skinny enough, too smart. For my town in Vermont, the norm was to be thin, upper middle class, blonde and look like you spend every day skiing ( water or snow). Not me. I dyed my hair, I pierced unusual places, I wore black/funky clothes from the Mission (our Goodwill), and for one memorable phase – I wore gloves every day. Not winter gloves – but the 1950’s gloves. Everyday. I had quite a collection.

So imagine my surprised reaction when someone asks my daughter to model. “Really? You want her to be a model? – She’d be thrilled!!!!” Who is this person speaking out of my mouth? Where did this woman come from?

I am simultaneously disgusted with myself and overjoyed. I have produced an Attractive child! People Like her! She is cute! I have not sullied her with my social outcast status that I wore with resigned acceptance through high school. Maybe the crazy gene has passed the genetic barrier, but not the weirdo gene.

So, I take her to the rehearsal last night. We walk in and I immediately feel like I am back in high school again. There are uber-mothers everywhere. Blonde, tall, thin. They look relaxed, efficient, not a hair out of place. They are all wearing clogs and Merrills.
( If you want to know the caliber of people you are with – look at their shoes. The high end crowd wear Clogs – wooden and wool- Merrill’s or some other German boutique shoes. It is almost NEVER sneakers – and if they are - white Keds only)
And now, Dear Jesus, Miss New Hampshire walks in. Where the fuck am I?

My little brown daughter is awash in blonde whiteness. I resist the urge to shield her eyes and pull her out of this trainwreck before it even starts. She is the fly in the buttermilk. I am gadfly in the beehive.

The mothers start chatting. I have no soccer tales to tell. No knitting to work on. What I would really like is a glass of wine and a sit down and maybe a real conversation poking fun at the fact that we are selling our daughters to the mass media – acting as “procurer’s” if you will.

This ain’t that group. They are the Junior Service League. They LOVE being mothers and wives. They believe in this shit. I would be stabbed with knitting needles if I said what I was thinking, which was “What is this? A Nazi youth rally?”

I leave. I go to the bookstore where I get a strong cup o’joe and sit down to laugh (loudly) at the new Onion anthology. There are lots of funny swear words. I buy David Rackoff’s new book (which I Highly recommend). I leave to pick up my child.

I repent. Again.

I wonder how she gets such beautiful skin?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I actually woke up thinking of this story at 5 a.m. this morning. It occurred to me that my subconscious wants me to share this with all of you, so here it is, from the Dawn and Terrance early days of dating vaults…..

I met my now husband when I was entering my senior year of college. And Yes, it involved drinking and a bar.

Now, I lived with a roommate of whom I was quite fond. She is an Italian American Lass from Long Island, of the Sicilian variety. My husband (then boyfriend) is a black man of the African American variety from Detroit.

The dislike was instantaneous. She referred to him as “The Black Claw”, he referred to her as “Hairy”. It became safest to keep them apart – so when he would come to visit, she would go elsewhere.

At some point, Terrance decided to get into her bed every time he visited and roll around in it. Yes, very mature, I know. I loved him regardless.

One weekend, he jumped up from bed after one of our many, many long leisurely sexual encounters (Ahhhhh, those were the days – and in a single bed to boot!) and ran over to her washcloth that was hanging on the towel rack. Yes- you all see where this is going. He snatched the washcloth from the rack and proceeded to clean himself very thoroughly.
Then placed it back on her towel rack.

The weekend progressed and I forgot about the “cleaning of the genitals with my roommates face cloth incident”

Until……Sunday night. When she returns from the bathroom and says “Did my face cloth fall on the floor or something? It smells really funky”

Oh dear god. I am frozen. What do I do? I can not possibly tell her that she has just washed her face with my boyfriends semen. That would put her over the edge. So, I lie.
“Yeah, it must have fallen – here, I’ll go throw a load of laundry in – put it in here with my stuff”, and I run down the hall to wash out the evidence.

Terrance loves this story. When I first told him, he did a triumphant dance on her bed. Years later, when we attended her wedding, he wanted to yell out the truth during the ceremony, or at the very least write it in the card.

No, No and No. He just has to live with his secret happy memory that his arch nemesis washed her face with his love juice.

The Difference between Mommy's and Daddy's

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Right after I wrote that last post, I got a phone call from my husband. I have made him the Notorious B.I.G “Big Poppa” ring tone, so I instantly know it is him.

“Hi Honey, I didn’t mean to call you”

“Oh, well what do you need?”

“Well, (pause) I got a call from Emily’s school this morning.”

“Ok – is she OK? ( I am waiting to hear of vomiting, or fevers etc)

“Well, they said she was marked absent”

“What?” (Panic edge creeping in my voice)

“And I said, ‘What do you mean? I put her on the bus””


“And so they said… “HOLY SHIT - OH MY GOD – LOOK AT THAT!”

“What? What? Is she ok? (I now have a vision of my bleeding child staggering down the road)


“Where is our daughter? Ignore the moose – where is our daughter?”



“Oh yeah. Yeah, she’s fine – she was just getting her breakfast in the cafeteria, and they marked her absent by mistake. You should see this moose.”

“Don’t ever do that to me again. And yes, the moose is big. All moose are big. I’ll talk to you later.”

My external soul

When you have a child - of any age - it is as if a piece of your soul is living in front of you.

Yes, sometimes you want to throttle that soul and get some god damn peace and quiet, or for the love of god please pick up that wet towel from the floor -Who the hell raised you?, or if Mommy doesn't get some alone time, some very bad things are going to happen.

But, still, that piece of soul is Yours. Entirely Yours. You know every inch of skin, every fold, every roll, every toe and finger. I tell Emily all the time that she is my favorite person in the world. That anyone who grew in my body will always be my favorite person in the world. "More than Daddy?" she asks. "Yes, honey, more than Daddy.", I reply.

I say all of that to say this.

Yesterday I had to go to my daughters "team" meeting at school. I poke at the team, because it is my nature to do so. I sign in with all my educational credentials out there for them to see, and make my husband write all of his educational credentials - then write Mother and Father at the end of the credentials. It is my professional way of saying "Don't fuck with me. I know what you are talking about."

Professionally, I do know what they are talking about. I understand "phonemes and graphemes" and syntax and all of the other things that gets thrown around in these discussions. Professionally, I agree with their assessments. I know that my daughter has to work REALLY REALLY hard to understand how letters make words. That these concepts aren't easy for her. That keeping her in first grade was the right decision. That her articulation is rotten and her grammar is non-existent.

So, after the academic assessment , speech assessment and before the occupational therapists assessment, I almost started to cry. I actually had to look down - think it through and make myself suck it up. The urge to put my head down on the table and cry was so strong, it was almost irresistible. Here we sit - two ultra educated parents of an only child. Here we sit - two ultra high achievers and perfectionists. And we can't do anything. They are ripping my external soul to pieces.

Then, just as I am about to crumble, the academic assessor says "She doesn't sleep through the night? Have you talked to the pediatrician?"

Oh sweet sanity. I am able to snap back to my professional self.

"We have been talking to her pediatrician since she was 2 weeks old. Of Course, we have. It is just the way it is." Please, do not broach the issue of her sleeping in her bed with me. I will surely have to open a can of whoop ass on this woman if she dares to offer me any advice on getting my child to sleep through the night.

And we finish the meeting.

Being a parent hits you in odd unprotected places. Places I thought I had covered with my shell suddenly reveal themselves to be tender and open. I guess that is what love is.

"My child killed your child at the Lord of the Flies Day Care"

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I am an Early Childhood Professional. I have devoted my life to the well being of very young children.

My own failings as a Mother aside, I now plead for the returned dignity of young children.

This means that young children should never have to be in places that bear the following words within their names, in ANY combination

1. Lil' - This is terrible! Who thought this would be charming? This is my all time most disliked attempt at a word in any name of ANY facility. I almost immediately hate a place with "L'il" in the title, simply on principal.

2. Little - We get it - they're small people!

3. Precious, Treasures, Happy, Jolly - Any name with this title can almost be guaranteed to be the exact opposite of the adjective being used.

4. Angels, Cherubs, Leprechauns, Munchkins, Pixies, Hellhounds, Ogres, Wraiths or any other fantasy creature.

5. Kidz - Welcome to the illiterate preskool. Now give us your mooney.

6. Words that are spelled alike ( ie Kidz Kollege) . If you are a parent with more than a GED, you should know better than to place your child in a program like this. I like alliteration as much as the next person, but honestly.

7.Titles with Animals: Farm Friends , Happy Bears, Kute Kritters,Busy Bees, Angry Ants, Irritated Iguanas, Gnarly Guinea Pigs, Lethal Leopards - GIVE IT A REST!

8. The word Tot. Paired with Express. Double the misery.

9. Titles combined with other titles : ie: The Bloody crucifixion of Christ Happy Days Child Care. The mental images are alarming enough.

10. "Animal Farm Day Care": I about fell off of my chair when I first saw this as a name for a child care center. Can you see it? Drop off you child and when you return, they will have killed and eaten a classmate. Why not just "Lord of the Flies Daycare?"

This goes hand in hand with "Playmates Learning Center". Do you find that you don't have enough time in your day to school your daughter in the art of seduction? Would you like your child to be well versed in the different breast implants they could get?

I apologize in advance if your child attends any of the above programs.

Payin' the Therapist bills forward

Monday, October 17, 2005

I will look for two weeks to find the perfect red-haired wig for your Halloween Costume and then purchase it for $26.00, because I understand - deep down to the very fiber of my being - that accessories truly do make the whole outfit.

The fumes of Autumn

Sunday, October 16, 2005

We went on a pumpkin hayride today.

For those of you unfamiliar with the joy of the "pumpkin hayride" , it involves climbing into the back of a wagon and sitting on extremely hard straw. Counterintuitively hard straw. Scratchy too. Hard, scratchy straw. Which in this case, was vaguely damp from the 98 inches of rain that have fallen in the past two weeks.

Adding to the "Atmosphere" is the diesel spewing tractor that pulls the wagon. You are behind this tractor. Since the laws of physics do not suspend themselves for "pumpkin hayrides", you spend the ride deeply inhaling raw diesel fumes. An unhappy looking farmer type is in charge of driving this tractor around and around for 4 hours a day in the fall.

Small children who are amped up on hot cider and frosted pumpkin cookies run around like lunatics screaming "PUMPKINS!PUMPKINS!PUMPKINS!

There is a "petting zoo" to the side of the farm. The wary animals look like they could use some seditives as the same screaming children throw hay, ripped up grass, gourds, and anything else they can get their hands on at them. Only the goats, whom I consider the "gangsta's" of the petting zoo world, come close. The rest stay far, far away.

At these events, I really wish they served alcohol. In fact, I would pay ten bucks a head if you served me some spiked cider to take with me on the ride. This would add to the natural high from inhaling the diesel fumes. I may go around 2 or 3 times, if this was the case. But alas. They do not. Parents would buy a LOT more pumpkins, if they boozed us up a bit.

What is that Stench???

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's raining, and raining and raining.

Our septic system is flooded and is now forming a large, ominous puddle next to our house. This smells like just what you would assume a flooded septic tank filled with the composting poop of yourself and all your loved ones to smell like. Unholy.

I have candles burning in every room of the house to combat the eye watering aroma.

I have a fairly humorous vision in my head of the septic tank collapsing in on itself and taking the whole town I live in with it - kind of like Keanu Reeves being sucked into hell in "Constantine"

When I don't show up to work on Monday, People I work with would nod their heads sagely and talk about the tragic septic tank incident.

"Ah, the tank got her."
"Yeah, you gotta keep a close eye on those septic tanks. All hell breaks loose when they go bad."

If CNN cuts to the New England floods, and there is a "septic tank" story - you'll know who it is.

Jeebus, Help me!

Friday, October 14, 2005

My husband is in New York. This means that I am a single parent. This means, more specifically, that I am in charge of dinner, packing snack, getting homework done and back in the folder, making sure library book is being returned on library day, medications ( me and her), getting us both showered and dressed and out the door, with the hope that I am going to get to work on time.

Let's take a look at how I have done so far:
Dinner yesterday

I arrive home at 5:15 and walk over to the neighbor's to pick Em up. We walk home. I am thankful that the man my husband called to look at the furnace seems to have fixed it, as there is now heat in the house.
Em asks "Can I have dessert?"
Me: "Talk to me after dinner"

Me ( a few minutes later) "Hey, you want me to bake this chicken pot pie?"

** Don't get impressed - we now buy a weeks worth of meals from a personal chef and put them in our freezer. Best damn money we ever spent.**

Em: "No, I want salami." Pause "Can I have salami?"
Me: "How about some meatloaf? and potatoes?"
Em: "How about some salami......and cheese."

I am now at the very limit of my motherly meal offerings. My temper is beginning to wane.

Me: "Well how about some salami and potatoes and a vegetable?"
Em: "How about salami and corn?"
SOLD. I fix my daughter a plate of salami and corn.
Em: "Can I have dessert when I am done?"
Me: "I don't know yet - talk to me later."

I eat the rest of the meatloaf.

We get homework done, and she asks to watch TV. It is before 7 p.m. so, OK, you can watch a little tv.

With my husband out of the house, my daughter attempts to crawl into my colon. I can't shake her. She stands outside of the bathroom as I pee. I walk to the kitchen to get some water, I turn , she's standing right there. I walk to the living room to to turn off a light, she shadows me.

Me: "Stop following me!"
Em: Shooting me a very baleful look indeed, walks back to the bedroom.

I get to the bedroom. I turn on the computer.
Em: "Can I have desert? Mama? Can I ? Can I have dessert Mama?"

I don't know what child's terrorist training camp she picked up this little tactic from, but it grates on me terribly. She repeats my name over and over, asking the same questions. I could rent her to the military. The Guantanemo guys have nothing on my kid.

Me: "Emily, if you ask me one more time - that's it. You get nothing."
Em: Silence
Six minutes pass. Yes, I counted. Six damn minutes.

Em: "Mama, I am not asking you the thing. But can I Mama?"

I am at the very edge of my patience. Like the "about to flip out" edge. I turn, and look at her. She is carefully not looking at me.

Me: "I told you, you asked again. No dessert. Now please - leave me alone. Mama is begging you."

The crying starts. No, let me re-phrase - the banshee wailing starts. I am now forced to say:
"If you don't stop that noise, you are going to bed AND I won't let you be Addy in the American Girl Fashion show"

Ooooooooo. That is an effective threat. The noise stops immediately.

She settles, we read. I get her ready for bed. Ahhhh, blessed aloneness is coming. I can taste it.

Me: "good night honey - you can come in my bed when you wake up"
Em: "Ok, night Mama. Oh, and Mama? Can I have dessert tomorrow?"

Baleful or Warm? What's it gonna be?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Baleful Regards:

Make me sit in a meeting. Talk about things that I don't care about.....for hours......and hours.....
Eventually my mind wanders and I begin to think "What's the most inappropriate thing I could do right now?" Make me smile at you vapidly and plot your demise.

Warm Regards:

Tell me how much I make you laugh. I love that.

It's On, AAP, It's On!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Yesterday, I began to write about the American Academy of Pediatrics. They, of course, have devised a whole new way to make parents feel real, real bad.

Parent's like me, for instance, who have tried every way - short of illegal, like tying your child down to her bed at night, to get her to sleep in her bed - not mine.

Believe me. I have no need or desire to share my bed with a spastic, bony seven year old who shoves me into 2 square inches of bed and pummels me with various body parts. There was no moment that I woke up to the "family bed" and said "Yes - I'd like some of that please. Some additional abuse whilst I sleep would be superb!"

It just happened. And now these arrogant mo-fo's at the AAP are going to tell me that I am a worse parent for allowing my child to have slept with me for the last 7 years?

Lets' talk about the reality of sleeping with a child of any age. I have never been so asleep that I have rolled on ANYTHING and not been aware of it. At no point in the last seven years have I awoken on top of my child and wondered how I got there. This must be a myth written by the same people who claim they didn't know they were pregnant until they were in labor. This same woman gave a quote to NPR that went something like "Parents may roll on top of their babies and smother them, or the baby may get wedged between a headboard and mattress and suffocate"

What? Has this person encountered a real, live baby? Mine hasn't stopped moving and/or making noise in 7 years. Even when she is asleep.

As an infant, she nursed all the time. Yes - and had a binky too - but I perfected the "roll over and nurse with the opposite breast" technique so I could stay in one place and meet everyone's needs. I heard every snuffle, every snort, every "eh-eh-eh" that meant she was waking. We were exhausted and the family bed was the only option. It was that or listen to her scream, as we sat in our bedroom sweating like addicts and counted off the 5 minute increments that Dr Ferber had prescribed.

And yes, we tried that too. After 4 hours of screaming, on night three - we gave it up. Fuck Dr Ferber and his method. I would have punched him right in the face on that last night. That would have been right after I knee'ed him in the nads.

Oh, and also , while I'm on this topic, American Academy of Pediatrics, She slept on her belly. ALL THE TIME. Sue me.

Then when the ear infections came - every 2 weeks for 18 months, I could sleep with her on my belly, at an angle - while I slept immobilized in one place - from exhaustion and the fear of changing her position which would surely start the wailing again.

And by that time, we were transitioning her to a "big girl bed" and now she could move freely about the cabin, as the seatbelt light had been turned off. We tried a gate on her door. She climbed over it, and/or kicked it down. We tried the gate on our door - until we both tripped over it on the way to the bathroom at 2 a.m. Ever had a baby gate in the crotch at 2 a.m.?
A not so jolly feeling.

So, at some point, we just gave up.

Sure, occasionally we try and convince her that she really should sleep in her bed. We threaten, we bribe, we scold. It doesn't work. She ends up in bed right next to me, every morning.

And you know what? In the scheme of things? Not a big deal. Very, very soon she will come to the conclusion that Mama and Dada aren't so great. She will want to do things with her friends, and not with us. She will stop coming into my room and cuddling up to me. She will grow up. I will get my bed back.

Go on, Play at home...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The is the "[insert your name here] needs" google game.

Here is apparently what I need:

1. Dawn needs a reality check
well, no shit.

2. Dawn needs a tripod
I would argue that I am not using the one I have quite enough to upgrade.

3. Dawn needs a process for expenditures; invoices and receipt system
my husband agrees implicitly

4. Dawn needs concept artists
there could be worse things, I suppose

5. Dawn needs to develop more speed endurance
this is definately worse

6. Dawn needs you. She loves you
Have you met me? Seriously?

7. Dawn needs to get out of the house
I'd like to see you try and make me

8. Dawn Needs to Firm Up Her Group’s Flextime Options
What the hell, I'm game.

9. Dawn needs to know where she came from; she needs real answers.
Why start now?

10. Dawn needs cash support
NOW, we're talking!

11. Dawn needs quiet.
Cash support and quiet? I'm yours!

12. Dawn needs a singer in the hard rock/ heavy metal styles
No, really - the cash support and quiet are enough for me.

13. Dawn Needs Includes "Avatar" Gear.
Sadly I know what this is. Thank you Nickelodeon.

14. Dawn needs substance like Stevie Wonder needs a piano
Depends on the substance.

15. Dawn's needs for a robust and flexible system for coding and classifying thousands of drugs
Can I drink them?

16. Dawn needs to get over herself.
Again, no shit.

17. Dawn needs tummy tuck.
If you're buyin', I won't say no.

18. Dawn needs little prodding to commit crimes against society and good fashion sense.
Very little prodding, so it seems

19. Dawn needs a sweetness and light coach
Who's the sorry mother fucker who wants this job?

20. Dawn's needs can be met in her local community at a special needs centre in mainstream education
You ain't the first to say, I can't imagine you'll be the last

Yea, though I walk through the valley of sore breasts, I shall fear no elbow.

I awoke this morning having my left breast and nipple crushed by my child. GOOD MORNING!!

You see, Emily likes to be really, really close to me. I think if she could sleep in my uterus, she would.

So, like most children who sleep with their parents - the ones who aren't dead yet according to the new American Academy of Pediatrics full o' shit report about the "family bed" - she relegates me to a tiny, teeny section of the queen sized mattress. Try as I might, I can not get her to avail herself of the cavernous space that is the other side of the bed. I place body pillows between us - she burrows under them. I put my back to her -she climbs on like a baby orangutan.

Now, I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months. The girls have been good to her. Yes, she didn't gain any weight from the milk they produced, but there was always plenty. They do not deserve to be mangled at 6:50 a.m.

In fact, they have been very sore and achy this week. Which means that they have been bumped , jostled, grabbed, man and child handled since the moment any ache beset them. This causes me to walk through the house, protectively holding the girls and shouting "Don't touch my boobs!", while dodging husband and child. Last night, Terrance offered to massage them.

My response: "Why don't I massage your testicles after the vascetomy? I'm sure that would be comfortable."


Can you pass the dish of oppression?

Monday, October 10, 2005

It is no secret that my politics are.....quite left. I AM that left wing bleeding heart liberal that gets demonized in the press. The fact that my spouse is a bit more left than I am makes for an interesting parenting experience.

Now, aside from the lack of godliness in the home ( which I am sure indicates a lack of "values" or whatever the hell else won the republicans the last election)- there is a decided "anti-establishment" theme to many of the books in our home. Look, there is the Marx reader ( my husband's), See there Alfie Kohn's books on the failings of the American educational system, Behold "Lies my Teacher Told Me" on my bedside. Our child had no regular alphabet in her room - she was looking at the "Alternative Alphabet" - featuring "P is for Peace and Y is for Yoga". You get the point.

So when our daughter comes home from public school with a cut and color Columbus day ship and asks us if we are going to have a Columbus day feast to honor Columbus - you get two dumbfounded adults scrambling for a response.

Terrance's response: "Daddy isn't into Columbus. I don't do Columbus day."

Oh, very helpful. Thanks ever so much. That was quite illuminating.

I bring out the children's book "Encounter" by Jane Yolen- which we read, and re-read at this time of year. Being an early childhood person, I tend not to answer my daughter's questions with the same cut and dry responses my husband uses. I want to engage her thought process and get her to think critically. Terrance thinks that this is a bullshit approach.

So we talk about what the experience of the Native People's must have been like. That discovery isn't the same when you discover something that belongs to someone else. It would be like me walking into her room and "discovering" her Playmobil house and claiming it as my own. Not very heroic.

"That's stealing.", she says.
"Yes it is, honey. That's why daddy and I are uncomfortable with Columbus Day. He may have been very adventurous to sail over the ocean to find and see new things- but he was very unkind to the people he found living there already."

And Emily - as always - absorbs this information to the best of her ability. And says

"Can I stay up late and eat popcorn?"

Fight the power, honey, fight the power.

This post has no point

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Today we tagged our Christmas tree and ordered our wreath.

I know, I know. It's October.

But, if we go now, we can do the searching for the tree without slogging through knee deep snow, with below zero wind chill. Plus, since I have already pre-paid for the tree now - we get to hunt, capture and cut the tree and drag it home without the feeling that we have paid for this privilege.

Let me clarify. Emily and I went to tag the tree and order the wreath. My husband - the Detroit born man, has always been a bit uneasy with my quaint New England traditions. For eleven years now I have been forcing him out into snowy New Hampshire fields in December to saw down a balsam and drag it back to our house. This has included hot cider and cookies and jolly small talk with the owners of the tree farm. "Can't we just buy a tree that's already cut down?" he used to plead.

Blasphemy!! We live in New England!! We are surrounded by tree farms!! We will have tradition, dammit!

So, Em and I tromped out to the tree farm in the wet weather and tagged our tree. In about 4 minutes flat. It was the fastest capture of a tree on record. We paid the surly New Hampshire tree farmer and left to go to Walmart. I called Terrance to announce the successful capture.

He was getting ready to leave for the grocery store. My husband does a majority of the grocery shopping. This is for 2 main reasons.

1. He thinks I spend too much money on things we don't need - including continuing to compulsively buy chicken broth, since I am always convinced we are out of chicken broth.
2. He does 99.9% of all cooking in our household.

So, as a gesture of good will he says, "Anything you want me to pick up at the store?"
"yeah", I say, "get me some summer squash, zucchini and ground beef. I am going to make myself a casserole."

We both know that only I will eat this casserole. He is highly suspicious of my cooking. I can't remember the last time that he ate any main dish that I prepared - and I am not being funny here. It isn't that I can't cook - I just cook weird combinations of food, in his opinion. To me, these combinations are comforting.

So - Em and I visit the evil empire and Terrance goes off to the grocery store.

Upon our return, Terrance tells me that the store was out of Zucchini, so he got Italian squash instead. "It looks pretty close to zucchini." he says.

I forget about this - as I am now busy with Em, and laundry and everything else that any parent does in an afternoon.

At 7:30, I decide to go ahead and make my casserole. At the very least, I can bake it and eat it tomorrow. I sit down and open the bag with the summer squash and the Italian squash. And lo and behold, I see a bag with summer squash and zucchini. I start to laugh.

"Terrance, this is zucchini!! I hope you didn't pay more for Italian Squash!"
Terrance ( from the bedroom) "I thought they looked alot alike.

Zen in a double wide trailer

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Today I took my daughter to a birthday party - the first of her public school experience.

I had called several days ago to chat with the mom and flesh out what may be appropriate gifts, as well as what constitutes acceptable parental birthday decorum. My daughter is in class with the little boy - and he has a twin sister, so I needed to get 2 gifts.

Since I do not know these children - or any, that my daughter now attends school with, I find it hard to judge what the likes and dislikes of the group may be.

School stuff is a touchy subject for me. I have over extended myself to make sure that Emily has the nicest clothes, the best toys - a sense of plenty that I never had as a child. I never had the right clothes, or things and knew it every day of my school life. My husband has called me a snob during some of the less proud moments when I cried because I didn't want to buy a coat at Walmart, or when he tried to get boots that weren't LL Bean. I know, I know, I know. I am not overly proud of this trait in myself. It has cost me more money that I can even bear to describe. It has caused fights between myself and my husband. And....yet...I...Can't...stop......

There is a rather infamous moment when a girlfriend was in the Hannah Andersson store and was buying Emily a gift, but didn't know her size. They called into the Main store - who told her over the phone what sizes Emily was now wearing. Shameful.

So, I went and bought these children Playmobil. Playmobil has been a god send for Emily. She loves her Playmobil to distraction - almost as much as Bitty Baby and American Girl. The Pirate Playmobil set for the boy and the Unicorn Fairy Playmobil set for the girl. Emily practically swallowed her tongue when she saw these in the bag. She has neither of these sets. So we wrapped them in fancy ribbon and paper ( presentation is half the battle!) and off we went at the appointed time to the place.

When I called the mother, I made some assumptions from the phone call.

A. the woman's name is Candy.

B. I was told to look for the double wide trailer, behind the fire dept.

C. The kids have never seen playmobil and have no idea what it is.

I'll give you a moment to put this picture together in your mind.

Have you fixed it in your mind? Yeah, I did too.

So, off we go to find the double wide trailer at 11 a.m. in the pouring rain. When I find it, it is all that I expect, and more.

There is a bathtub Mary in the front yard!
There are several less than funtional vehicles parked to the side!
There is some sort of shed which looks to be a serious fire/health hazard!

We park and I walk up with my child to, what I can only assume, is the entrance to the house.
We come in. I quickly take in the interior - which looks exactly like I assumed it would. There are different shag carpets from the early 70's. There is a great deal of sheet rock that is being used as wall -- sans paper or paint. There are Nascar pictures. The only thing I didn't get to look for was the "Screaming eagles of freedom" collectible plates.

Now, don't get me wrong. I was born in West Virginia. These are my people. My 30+ first cousins were lucky to graduate from High school, and most had their first babies at the median age of 16. I am, if truth be told, one genetic leap away from hillbilly. And not even a giant step.

I sized Emily up, and she said "I think you should go Mama." "Are you sure?", I reply - half wanting to stay and imprint this scene on my mind the way an anthropologist would , half wanting to get the hell out of there as fast as I could!

I leave. I get to my car. I begin to turn around in the very narrow driveway. I am almost all the way around when my front tire slips off the pavement and hits the mud that is the front yard. My car slips farther down onto the mud. Sliding, sliding. All 4 wheels are now on the mud.

A sheer wave of unadultrated panic slides over me. I try to reverse and the sound that my tires make is not a good one. Squelchy, and muffled. I go forward, and inch further out on the mud to get a more solid spot. Then reverse again. Minutes pass. I am not going anywhere. I try to call my husband - because he will surely get me out of this mess with his 1987 Jaguar? It would be like the blind leading the blind.

I go forward and backward. I call my husband. I get no fucking signal. I resist the urge to fling my phone and watch it sink into the mud. If I get out, I'll have to do it in bare feet, since my Birkenstocks will be no good in this mess. MOTHER FUCKER!!!! I try to call again and get a signal, but no answer. Just the voice mail. I practically scream "Where are you!! I am stuck in this fucking front mud yard since these people have torn up their yard and I can't get out and where are you!!!" and hang up.

Terrance calls right back. "Hey babe what's up?" Whats up? WHATS UP?? I am stuck in some metaphor for my fucking life. In the mud filled front lawn of a god damn double wide trailer.

"I'll be there in just a few minutes"

I put the car in park and sit.

A small hand knocks on my window. I jump. The birthday boy is standing outside in the rain. I roll my window down.

"You're stuck in the mud." he says.
"Yeah, I know."
"My dad can pull you out - he's got a four wheel drive"
"Ok, I called my husband too."
"I got stuck right over there when I was driving my four wheeler - see the hole?"
"Oh yeah, Emily says you like her hair", I say
He smile shyly, "It's fluffy", he says

And then the nicest man I have ever seen drives a 1983 GMC truck down, hooks a chain to the back end and pulls me out of the mud. This guy even looks like he could have been one of my cousins.

"I'm really sorry for tearing up your yard", I say to him.
"No problem - want to come in the house?" he says.
"No, my husband just pulled up - I'll go let him know I'm ok - Thanks again"

And like Buddah himself has come down to re-teach me the lesson of judging others, I drive home.

The tangled web we weave

Friday, October 07, 2005

I have never pretended to be a good wife. I have never greeted my husband with a home cooked meal, or a sparkling clean house, or wrapped in cellophane. I suspect, at this juncture in our marriage, that if I were to do so he would suspect that either the medication had completely stopped working, or I have been taken over by an alien life force.

The one thing I do - however- is laundry. I love to do laundry. I find the whole laundry process to be very Zen. There is a beginning , middle and end. The clothes I love are returned to me smelling warm and good. I feel motherly as I fold my child's clothes neatly and place her little panties in her underwear drawer. Also, as a child, it was the one chore that I could do while watching television.

This may not seem a big deal to those of you who had unrestricted access to TV, but for my TV limited world, it was a huge deal. I was only allowed to watch 2 hours of television a day - pre-approved shows only and before 6 p.m. on school nights. The weekend days were split into before noon and after noon and we had 2 hours each block. This included video games and videos ( pre DVD days and let's be honest, it was a Nintendo original system). As an adult, I am wildly grateful for the fact that TV is not a necessary part of my life. I watch it, I turn it off. I am just as likely to read a book ( or play my gamecube - Video games rock!). As a young teen, I had no idea what people were talking about when they talked about television. We didn't even get cable until I was 16. And therein lay the beginnings of the ultra literate geek I have become.

But I digress.

On my wedding anniversary, we went out to dinner. I had two very tasty, very potent Margarita's. I don't want a pussy strawberry one - I want straight up, on the rocks with salt. It was at this point when I can be relied upon to start being more straight forward than usual - which is a stretch, I know, but possible. I decide to confess a secret I have been holding for years.

We'll call it the "Electronic Organizer Demise" story.

My husband has no memory. Frankly, I am surprised he has made it home and can still name me as his wife on a daily basis. He can not be counted on to remember dates and times, peoples names, where he left his wallet or keys, etc. His electronic organizer is what held all of his memories.

While doing the laundry one day, many years ago, the electronic organizer tumbled out of the dryer. Instantly I realized that this was not good. The organizer had been through the washer AND the dryer and that I had not checked the pockets and that it was my fault.

Shit. Shiiiiittt. Shizz-it.

I instantly hatched a plan to make sure that no blame would be assigned to me, and to take advantage of Terrance's lack of memory.

I waited until he got home. He had been asking if I had seen his organizer for a couple of days now, so he was vaguely aware that it was missing. Once he was safely involved with the baby, I ran out to his car and dropped the organizer on the ground - to scuff it up a bit. But, that wouldn't be enough to explain why the thing had stopped working. So I wedged it under the front tire of his Jag, in the shadow of the tire. This way, he would be sure to run over the organizer at least once.

I scurry back into the house. My plot is unhatched. {insert maniacal laughter here}

During the night, it begins to rain. Oh, the very gods above have smiled upon me! Rain AND being run over? The organizer has no chance against the mastermind that I am!!

That evening, he finds it. He has indeed run it over at least twice. It has been sitting in the rain all day. He walks in the house, holding the shattered organizer. "I found it", he says forlornly.

"Oh? Where was it?", I respond soundly both uninterested and innocent.

"It must have fallen out of the car and I ran over it, and it's been in the rain all day." He sounds dejected.

"That's Ok honey, we can buy another one." I am internally gleeful. I have made it! My plan worked! No one is yelling at me for not checking the pockets!

And that is it. The secret I have kept for almost eight years. Maybe someday I'll tell him about this blog.....

I dedicate this entry to Dr. Pap Smear

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Yesterday I went with my spouse to the Penis doctor and we talked about his vascetomy. I do not have familiarity with doctors such as this, as my needs are quite different. However, I can tell you that when I have been in the office of my midwife, there are lovely paintings, fresh flowers, soft classical music, and an overall sense that things will be just fine.

This was not the case at the office of the Penis doctor. The chairs looked like something that I remember seeing in my grandmother's basement in 1975. They were that Pleather stuff with the multiple buttons punched in the cushions. There was a bucket of skanky looking toys to the side, swarming with typhoid - although why anyone would be bringing their child to this office, I can only imagine. It had a definite "Guys Bathroom" feel about it - without the obvious urine smell.

The highlight, aside from the vast assortment of car and gun magazines, was the electronic Viagra quiz display. With my husband next to me, I delightedly grabbed it, turned it on and announced that I would take the Viagra quiz. There were five simple questions to determine if I needed Viagra. The first was "Do you have trouble getting and maintaining an erection?"

My answer: Yes.

Second question: "When you penetrate your partner, are you unable to sustain an erection?"

My answer: Yes!

By this time, my husband is looking apologetically at the one other man in the office. I am taking too much joy in the Viagra quiz. I am taking this joy loudly. I finish the quiz and score a 5. Apparently if you score anything under a 21, you need viagra. My husband congratulates me on not having a penis.

The woebegone nurse calls his name. I leap up enthusiastically, my high heels and swishy skirt discordant with my surroundings. We walk back into the weird warren of rooms and are shown into a cube of a room. We sit. I announce "This is the crappiest doctors office I have ever been in!". I observe the giant posters of the penis, bladder and prostate. Terrance shrugs. I observe the giant penis related health scramble they have laminated and pasted above the exam table. While having your examine, they would like you to search out words like "vasectomy" and "prostate" and "testicle".

I express my hysteria at this word scramble! The midwife had lovely poetry and inspirational thoughts above her exam table. "Is that supposed to keep your mind off of the "finger up the butt" exam?". I am practically howling with laughter.

The doctor enters and I compose myself. He begins to give us the "Vasectomy Talk". He has a pamphlet which he opens and refers during his speech. I enjoy this speech very much. He gets to the description of the actual procedure where he explains that he will poke two holes in my husbands testicles and cut and burn my husbands vas deferens. My husband looks slightly unwell at this point. I am grinning.

We move on to the discussion of "after procedure" issues. I am instructed to examine my husbands testicles for "bleeds" and told that a cantaloupe sized sack is normal - grapefruit is not.
If I could have fallen from the chair and rolled around on the floor, clutching my sides in laughter, I would have. The doctor then sternly tells us that my husband and I must have sex a minimum of 20 times before he can bring in a sample for testing. Terrance perks us at this news.

I sign the paper giving my consent. Terrance signs the paper. We get his Valium prescription and make a date for the deed - November 4th.

Then - and this is BY FAR- the best part of the whole thing. The doctor asks to examine the husbands penal area. I feel like I have won the fucking lottery. I am fully clothed, not on an exam table, not in labor and my husband is being asked to drop his pants by another guy and I am watching. Oh, the sweet, sweet irony.

I watch, intently. I can not, truth be told, look away. My manly man stand up, fumbles with his belt and drops his pants. Another man puts on gloves and starts examining his testicles. They are chatting and the doctor announces that he has found one vas deferens, then the other. "You're perfectly normal - this will be an quick procedure", the doctor announces.

We leave. We get in the car. "That rocked!", I say. "I'm glad you enjoyed it", says Terrance.
"Happy Anniversary!", I say. "Happy anniversary to you.", says Terrance.
"Now", he says, "let's go get our daughter and go out for some margharita's at Slims."

I grin at him. "I'll even buy.", I say.

On the occasion of my ninth wedding anniversary

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Today is my ninth wedding anniversary. I have been married for almost a decade. Here are some things I have learned:

1. Check the pockets before you throw the pants in the wash. It can save you a lot of pain, suffering and elaborate cover up schemes.

2. Encourage him to go out with the boys. He comes home sooner and much more relaxed and appreciative for the wife he has.

3. Sometimes I just have to shut up.

4. No matter how clever I think I am, he knows when I have been buying more shoes. He kindly allows me to think that I am pulling one over on him.

5. I am rarely criticized for spending money on the child.

6. The aforementioned sex observation. It can really pay it forward, so to speak.

7. Men don’t consider that you need enough full sets of silverware for every guest when having a dinner get together. That, and the location of all serving dishes, is purely my function. Towels and napkins too – all me. Oh, and Christmas Cards? Woman to Woman.

8. We don’t have to enjoy the same music. I can do without the dancehall and reggae and he can do without the alternative folk and bluegrass, but they can live together on the music shelves.

9. His complaints of being sick and/or tired are cries for attention. I don't have to heed them, just know what they are.

10. You can love someone after 15 years of togetherness, 9 years of marriage and one bad ass child more than the day you married them.

An observation...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

It is amazing what a night of good sex can do to restore the overall happiness in a house.

The end of the innocence

Monday, October 03, 2005

A few days ago ,during the "drink the bottle of wine" night , I had a terrible day at work. That, in and of itself, is not usual. I have an emotionally taxing job and some days are much harder than others.

Yes, on that day I had to deal with some unpleasant issues involving child abuse, including calling a case into intake. But again, in the course of my job, I see these things and they roll off of me. I do my job, I am the boundary setting adult, the voices of reason, the weathervane of common sense.

So what was different about that day?

On that day, I saw something that rattled me. I saw a person whom I respect crumble into nothing.

It isn't the first time I have watch a person whom I thought principled fall in the face of authority, or self preservation, or a million other things. Even I have chosen my battles in life, and sometimes have gone along with things I didn't love to keep the peace, or keep my job.

But this was unexpected and in an area that I assumed was somehow off limits for discussion.

I work for a State Agency. That means very little. However, the Bureau that I work within is comprised of Early Childhood professionals. My supervisor has preached the importance of having the right people - those with ECE backgrounds and degrees - for the jobs that we do. She has portrayed the work we do as special and that without that ECE background and degree, I assumed you couldn't get into this Bureau. I was proud to be a part of this team. Here we were, ECE professionals who have done the hard job that providers do and are working hard to advocate for these professionals. We present the stance that if you are not a professional in Early childhood, you have no business speaking for our profession.

Until last week. I watched my supervisor give away 2 positions in our bureau with no regard to background, experience or expertise.

And everything I have listened to her say, everything I have diligently parroted to the world suddenly rang hollow. It wasn't true.

And I can't tell her that it is OK that this happens. She wants me to say this - she asks me over and over again to get me to agree that this is a good thing. Getting people is better than standing on principal...right?

But it isn't.

The benefits of 17 years of therapy

Sunday, October 02, 2005

My mother is crazy. Now I come from a long line of certifiably crazy people - with the involuntary committment papers to prove it, so when I call someone crazy, I know of what I speak.

I talked with my mother yesterday - for our traditional Saturday morning talk, except that I haven't talked with her for the last two Saturdays since she has been too busy talking with her internet boyfriends.

One of the more frightening things as an adult - aside from finding myself the mother of a hyper active girl who acts like a cross between a crack addict and Puff Daddy - has been the divorce of my mother ( numero dos!) and her susbsequent re-entry into the world of dating, complete with internet photo of her wearing Ugg Boots and blue jeans laying across her bed. I shiver even now to consider that photo.

The last divorce happened at the end of the 70's and beginning of the 80's - so there was still the basic bar dating scene. The benefits of this style of dating was , at the very least, the ability to visually size the other person up - with or without beer goggles. The ability to see the person ruled out some basic safety precautions .. ie Does he have the heads of the last women he dated mounted over his fireplace? Is he doused in "Polo" cologne? Are there visible blood stains on his clothing? Is he wearing appropriate shoes for the season? Does he talk like a midget on helium?

But the internet - well, you just can't tell these things from someone's typing! Shit - we even have spellcheck, so you can't tell if the person is illiterate.

I have warned her ad nasueum that she should stop, stop, stop this internet dating. I have told her that I will not identify her mangled body when she runs off to meet some freak in New Jersey, after not telling anyone where she is going. Nor will I bail her out of jail when she gets busted for stalking.

So, as I am on the phone with her she tells me about the guy in Nebraska who asked her to fly out for a few days. My internal self preservation instincts are screaming out "DON"T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!!!". However, I know that I have inherited my mothers need to do to the opposite of what ever I am told - so I pause. And say "I think most serial killers come from the Mid west."

"Ha-HA - I learned that lesson from the New Jersey trip - but I have been talking to another guy , who says he 's a lawyer, and then there is another guy who just went to Australia, and I think I could see myself falling for him....""

I am laying on the couch with my hand on top of my head - to keep it from exploding off.

Don't get me wrong. I love my mother. I am mystified by my mother, but I do love her. I am often baffled where I came from within her genetic pool, but I do love her. She gave me the gift of saying what I am thinking, and being unconcerned with housework, of being sure that I am capable of surviving anything, of being proud of being a smart woman.

And like every weekend, at the end of our conversation, I tell my mother that I love her and hang up the phone.
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