Across the Great Divide

Friday, September 30, 2005

Right after I entered my previous post – having consumed the aforementioned bottle of wine – I proceeded to initiate a fairly spectacular fight with my husband that lasted about 2 hours. It was the “money fight”. At a certain point in living together/marriage, the fights take a very predictable course.

In our repertoire, there is the “money fight”, the “You are a slob” fight; the “I am a superior parent” fight often intermingled with the “I am a better human being” fight.
While occasionally a new argument will emerge – these are the basic quartet.

Generally, I am a mellow and happy drunk. I giggle, I tell secrets and then I fall asleep. Last night, however, I was not. I was determined to prove my sober husband WRONG about how much money I deposited into the house checking account. He gets on line and starts checking banking statements against other banking statements and I think, “FUCK!!!!” since I am not really super sure about my stance, but now I have to defend it in the face of potentially contradictory on-line banking statements.

I get surly. I turn off the light. I roll over in bed and refuse to answer questions. He starts using the phone banking service for MY checking account to verify dates that I transferred money. I am trapped in my semi-drunken, obstinate state. So I do the only thing left to me in this situation …… I cry.

This is a risky tactic. My husband is not a man to be swayed by tears. It didn't work when I thought I wanted another baby, or a cat, or when I wanted our daughter to stay in private school ( even though on that one I cried in a restaurant - I thought I was golden for sure!)

But tonight, he softens. He rubs my feet, He kisses my back. He tells me that he loves me and that everything is going to be ok. But that I still have to transfer the money in the morning.

And that is why I love him.

Shock and Awe

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I have had a hell of a day.

No, seriously, a hella-day.

I have now, as I type, consumed almost an entire bottle of white wine by myself. My husband had one glass and I killed the bottle. I would drink more if I had it – but it would be unseemly on a work night to drink that much and would, truth be told, make me look like a lush.

Why such a shitty day?

The most disappointing thing , I have found, about being an adult is that not everyone plays by the same rules. This is wildly disappointing to me. I am not sure why – I mean I spent my whole childhood in the company of adults who acted mostly like three year olds, so one would expect I would be accustomed to this behavior.

But I am not. I am still shocked. Shocked And appalled.

We regret to inform you that your parents are Godless Heathens

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Last school Year, my daughter was introduced to the "Veggie-Tales", by a very sweet classmate who is the daughter of a lesbian couple.

Now, my child has had very, very little exposure to religion. Yeah, she gets a very commercial "Baby Jesus" story at Christmas, but I have never taken her to church, or prayed before meals, or asked God to send me anything "In his mercy".

I was raised Catholic - at least until my mother divorced my father and that whole scene fell by the wayside. Since I didn't want to take responsibility for getting myself to Catechism as a 4th grader, I left religion behind. Yeah, I can do the motions and say the prayers when confronted by either a Catholic OR Episcopalian service - but these are purely motions for me. I can wear the camouflage of religion if necessary. I chose never to go through "Confirmation". It seemed an unnecessary step for an 7th grader.

So, when our daughter - who has not been baptized ( can you feel my grandmothers heart seizing up right now???) starts asking questions about "God" - I don't have alot of answers.
I dodge the questions with a variety of techniques:
Emily: "Mom, where does God Live?"
Me: "Hey, you want Chinese food tonight?"

Ok, not the most sophisticated technique in the world, but I am almost always driving when these questions come up and it is hard to field questions about philosophical topics, as well as requests for food, toys, and other non-stop chattering that is occurring.

So, after watching a Veggie Tale video one day at school my daughter hits me with this , at 5:45 pm on our one hour commute home.

Em: "Mama, why don't we pray?"

I froze like a deer in the head lights. I supposed the response "Cause your parents are godless heathens" wasn't going to do it.

Now, as a segueway, when my mother graduated with her Master's degree, she graduated from a Catholic College. At the Prayer, the Head guy asked everyone to bow their heads in prayer. My daughter ( 4 years old at the time) Says - very loudly - "What's everyone doing?"
My response: "They're thinking really hard, honey"

My track record with explaining religion, as you can see, hasn't been too hot.

So, why don't we pray? Here is what I came up with:

"well, some people pray to God - but Mama thinks that doing good work is like a prayer. When I am kind to another person, or help someone, my actions are like a prayer. I don't need to have a special time to do this, or go to church - just living a good life and taking care of people is what I think God wants me to do."

When she gets older, I'll tell her that we're really just godless heathens.

All good things come from Rum

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Have you ever looked at two people - usually those who have a child- and thought "What was the courtship like in that relationship?" I generally follow that mental question with "Was there liquor involved in the hooking up?"

My husband is a very well put together man. Very high maintenance. He was a bachelor with few long term relationships until he met me.

I am fairly low maintenance, as a rule. I am messy and goofy and put on my pajamas as soon as I get home from work. I would wear pajamas all day if I could. I really like pajamas. There are days when I wouldn't leave the house if I didn't have to.

My husband is a social butterfly. He drags me out all the time to just be "out". "We need to get out of the house", he exclaims! "What's your plans for today?"

I have no plans. I want to lay in my pajamas and read. I will eat cream cheese and crackers as a meal in bed. This drives him nuts.

But I love him. And he loves me. Thank god for liquor ( more specifically Malibu and Pineapple juice).

Labia, Labia, Labia!!!!!!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Moments ago, I said something to my daughter that I can't believe that I am forced to say. This is it , in a nutshell:

"Is there something wrong with your labia? Do you need to go clean your labia?"

OK, yes, I said the word "labia" twice in less than 30 seconds, which is funny enough - but the fact that I have to say this to my daughter is torture. I said this because I watched her grab and dig at her labial area, then ( OK, faint of heart look away!) SNIFF her fingers.

Good God! What type of heathen have I raised?

She, in an automatic response, says , "No." and snatches her fingers away from her nose.

"But I watched you grab at your labia", says I.
"Oh, yeah", she says non-commitally.
"Go clean you labia and wash your hands!", I say.
"OK." and she marches into the bathroom.

There is no sound. No water turned on, no cleaning noises, Nothing.
She walks back out and lays back down on the bed.

"Did you clean you labia and wash your hands?"
"Yeah." she murmurs.
"But I didn't hear any water turn on, or the toilet flush."
Deep sigh from my daughter and she walks back into the bathroom to pretend to wash her hands.

There are no "do-overs"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

I am coming to terms with my husband's upcoming vascetomy. I was the one who actually suggested it - during the last depression. In a fit, I shouted that this was all his fault - that if I wasn't on birth control my hormones would be normal and I wouldn't be depressed.
This is not a true statement, of course, but I was looking for someone to blame for my depression and he was convenient. I suggested, after accusing him of being the source of all my woes, that he get a vascetomy.

These are magic words for him. In fact, he has wanted to get one since Emily was born. He knew immediately that he did not want to travel the parenting road again. I have been the hold out. Once of twice a year, I am overcome by longing to be pregnant again. Not for any particular reason - sometimes hearing a baby giggle, or smelling the sour sweet smell of a young infant and you can practically see the oxytocin release in my brain.

But did I enjoy parenting an infant? No, I did not. The lack of sleep combined with crippling depression made me pretty miserable. I adore my daughter. I would single handedly defend her from any and all predators, but another baby?

So, as I was crying in my therapist's office about my telling my husband to do this and now he was actually making appointments ( that I have to participate in!) , and I don't know, I don't know. Maybe I want another baby?

Her calm rational voice said . Why? Why do you want to have another baby?
My honest response - So I can prove that I can do it better this time. Be a mother that is. Since I feel as though I have royally screwed up the first time.

And she paused and said "Is that a good reason to have another baby?"

No, it isn't. I still comes to terms every minute with my failings as a person and mother. I come to terms with my daughter's ADD and her brain injury. I come to terms with the small quiet voice in my head that it really is all my fault. That is the voice of the oldest child - the overachiever, the person who must be in control - at all costs. And while that is a person I know intimately, and she has been very good to me in surviving the obstacles in my life, she is a lousy companion when it comes to the un-certain science of being a mom and an imperfect person.

I don't get to "do-over" in mothering, or in life. Dreaming of another baby - a perfect baby that I can be a perfect mother too isn't useful. So, I come to terms with my husbands vascetomy and I let go of that anxiety.

Something that made me laugh

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sadly, I am not terribly witty today. Well, I am - but in a crabby sort of way. I have a headache that won't quit - no matter how much ibuprofen and Sudafed I stuff down my gullet.

My humor today is dark and biting.

So here is something that made me laugh...Hard. Really, really hard. I was crying by the end of this article.

This truly is a series of unfortunate events....

My mother, the bomb

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Last week, my daughter brought home her school pictures. Now, I never expect much from school pictures, hence I have always been pleased and suprised when my daughter has come home with photos that reveal her inner cuteness for all the world to see.

I had been out at aforementioned evening with girlfirends and had imbibed ONE margarita. Only one. We were out by 7 p.m. and I was home at a very reasonable hour.

I get home, I change into my comfy clothes, and get into my bed with my daughter to read to her a chapter of Harry Potter. Her father's voice comes from the living room "Em - did you show Mommy your pictures?"

At first, I thought he had to be referring to a picture she drew or painted and I was annoyed, since it is harder than you can imagine to pin my daughter down long enough to read a whole chapter of Harry Potter. It is like herding an earthworm. There should be no disturbance once mommy and daughter start reading.

So, she leaps up like a piston and rolls into the living room and runs back with an envelope - flings it in my face. Oh - I slowly realize - the school pictures are back.

I open the envelope and exclaim "These are HIDEOUS!!!"

All right. I said it. The words leapt out of my mouth. But - they were and are hideous. My child - who is wildly cute- looks demented. Her sweet polka dot dressed is all crumpled, her shoulders are scrunched up and her face is contorted in some wierd reptilian semblance of a smile.

I realize after I have said it and turn to her and say "Oh no baby - you're gorgeous - but these pictures are awful. You are much, much cuter than this!

She seems happy with this and snuggles back into me. Then Terrance comes in to ask my opinion.

Once again, I can't seem to control myself and spout - "Those pictures are HIDEOUS! - They are god-awful! Did you see them?!!!"

He sends me the glare of death. I see this glare alot from my spouse and I usually disregard it conpletely. Occasionally it alerts me that I have crossed some social boundry. This was one of the latter times. He purses his lips and stomps out.

I read, and get Em into bed. I walk out to the living room to accept my fate. I am even vaguely humble as I sit on the couch and try to make small talk.

Now - in relationships there are topics in arguements or disagreements that are saved for their ultimate value. I know that when I really want to zing my husband, I call into question his ability to earn enough money to support our family. I also point out times in the recent past - when I have been supporting our family. Now, I say - for the record - that this is not entirely true - but I know that it has maximum value. It is the atom bomb in one of our arguements, and the fall out from this statement is equally toxic.

"Dawn - that was a terrible thing to say. Just terrible. When you said that - I could clearly see your mother. I have to believe that those words were something that your mother said to you. They were selfish, awful words. I'm done talking about this."

OUCH!!!!! Holy Shit! I sat there in stunned, awful silence. Then muttered "Your point is taken" and wandered back to the bedroom.

Being my mother is my atom bomb. And worse - he was right. That was something my mother would have said. Maybe even did. I have worked so hard all my life to Not be my mother that it still suprises me when she pops out, like some wierd inner crazy spirit I forgot was living in there. The comparison shakes me to my core.

The next morning, as we drive to ballet, I say to Emily : "When mommy said that your pictures were awful last night - did that hurt your feelings?"

Emily paused, look thoughful and said "Yes, it did"

"I am so sorry. I did not mean to hurt your feelings. It isn't that you aren't beautiful - I just don't think the photographer did a very good job at taking your picture. That is what I should have said - that the photographer did not do their job very well."

"OK- can I have a doughnut?"

In my daughters eyes, I am redeemed.

The members of Phi Delta Badass salute you ( with our middle finger)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

One of my friends wrote to me and said "We are in a sorority - Phi Delta Badass!"

This may be, of course, the closest I ever get to being in a sorority. In life, I have been rather the antithesis of sorority - Not skinny, not perfect, not perky.

But, as I grew up, I found that the people I liked were also members of the Phi Delta Badass family. I always preferred pushy chicks for girlfriends - the ones who are honest and funny and also not perfect - with crazy families and the sense to know that when you talk about it with friends over drinks, it really does help.

My sense of honesty - my sense of needing to be authentic - is reflected in my choice of friends.

Sadly, I am still shocked when I encounter the sisters of Gamma Gamma Dumbass. Although I do having an overwhelming urge to push them over and mess up their hair and kick their size 4 asses.

So either you are with us - the sisters of Phi Delta Badass -....or agin' us.

True love fo-evah....

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

You know you have been married a long time when your spouse comes in during one of your shows and when he moves one of the pillows on the bed you shout:

"Stop fucking with me!!!"

I should have had that written in my marriage vows- "I Terrance do solemly swear not to fuck with my wife Dawn when she has found a comfortable spot in bed and is watching a television show"

His response: "That's very sweet"

Anxiety, the gift that keeps on giving

Monday, September 19, 2005

I saw my therapist this morning. I love that she has 7 am appointments.

We talked about how my anxiety at times keeps me from doing things out of my fear. This may suprise some people that know me, as I can seem fairly fearless - but I'm not. I have lots of fears. This comes of growing up in an incredibly turbulent household, with teenage parents, in which I was often the most rational and clear thinking person in the home.

Many fears are similar to other people's - fear of being stabbed, fear of spiders. But I have others- fear of having no health insurance, fear of having to eat Ramen noodles for meals involuntarily, fear of dressing my child in clothes found in Wal-Mart. Most of these fears have to do with having - or not having money. Having had no reliable adults to trust as I was growing up, I had to rely on myself. While it is all well and good to be self-reliant, I now have a hard time placing even a smidgeon of my life in any one elses hands - Even my husbands.

Take my doctoral program. I can do the work - I can do the work with my eyes closed - I am having a hard time prying my brain off of being an "earner" for the household- because then I am out of control - reliant on someone else for my daily bread.

But, as my very wise therapist pointed out this morning - I am choosing this anxiety. But why? What purpose does it serve? I can see what purpose it served when I was a child - or even a young adult, but now? There is no reason for my keeping this residual anxiety around, except to continue to hold myself back.

The sad sound of a daddy left alone

Friday, September 16, 2005

I am going out with the friends from Graduate school tonight. My husband called at about 3:30 to tell me the chinese food order for me to pick up. He had forgotten about my dinner with girlfriends tonight.

Him: "So, what time should I call the order in?"
Me: "I'm going out with the girls for dinner tonight?"
Him:"What, I don't remember that?"
Me: "Remember I told you about this awhile ago- and then a few days ago"

This is one of the games of our marriage. I remind him CONSTANTLY of when I am going to be gone. He will ALWAYS insist that I never told him a thing. I have considered becoming a notary so I can get his signature on slips of paper outlining dates and times I have informed him of something he later claims to know nothing about.

After a few minutes of prompting, he gets surly.

Him: "OK, That's fine. I can handle it"

His tone implies he is not fine and he would rather not handle a thing.

Me: "I don't think I'll be out super late - just dinner and drinks with the girls - then home"
Him : "(Surly tone) It's stupid anyway - what you guys want to do..."
Me: "I don't care. I didn't ask your opinion"

What he is now referring to is that we are going to "welcome" the new off campus students. He doesn't like this and tells me we are acting like we are in a sorority or something. I really don't care.

I'm going out and he can eat Chinese food alone with our daughter!


Ain't nothin cute at 2 a.m.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Actually, that was a paraphrase of what one of my best, oldest friends said to me at one point in her beginning days of motherhood.

I happened to have had experiences last night that made those words - the very words that made me laugh like a hyena in my car as I navigated traffic while listening to my voice mail- pertinent again. What she really said was "Between the hours of midnight and 6 am, the word cute does not exist in my vocabulary"

Last night, at 2 am, with my daughter howling in her bedroom and my husband howling from the couch and me - half asleep- wishing we had a much bigger house where I could escape from them both, I recalled that phrase.

The battle lines had been drawn earlier in the evening. Daddy, once again, leveled some threat regarding the door being shut and her staying in her bed. "You're seven years Old! You are too old to be sleeping with us every night." and then it went on - as usual- to involve some thing that would be taken away if she didn't stay in her bed.

So at 10:20 p.m., my husband of 9 years and partner of 14, attempted to claim his rightful place in bed next to me. He also had some high hopes for a little love being sent his way, so he shut our bedroom door and sidled in next to me. Four minutes later -no lie- I heard a tiny thump in the area of my door. P-A-U-S-E. Knock, knock, knock- "Dada?"

Now, this is actually my husbands WORST nightmare - having our child walk in on us during any kind of intimate moment. So he leaps up like he has been electrocuted, scrambling for a towel or something he can put over himself. I yell "Emily - go back to bed!" and start to laugh ( very very quietly) because he now has his shorts on inside out and is making for the door to see what her issue may be. I know what her issue is......She telepathically picked up that our door has closed and we must be touching and that none of this involves her nosy ass.

Now she knows something is up. Her solution is to stay awake to prevent any more shenanigans from occurring on her watch. Now, I fell asleep before the Daily Show, and awoke again at 2 a.m. to hear them yelling at one another from their respective corners. She had been awake all that time, waiting for him to fall asleep so she can run into my room and get into bed with me. But he keeps intercepting her and sending her back to her room.

I get up - go to her room and say "It is Two in the Morning! Why on Gods Green Earth are you awake with your lights on?"

Emily: "Oh, it's two o clock? I stayed up a really long time."
Me: "Go to sleep!"
Emily: "OK Mama, good night"

seven minutes later, I open my eyes and she is standing in front of me, trying to get into my bed. Me: "Emily what are you doing?"
Em: "I had a bad dream"
Me: You couldn't have had a bad dream, you haven't gone back to sleep."
Em: "I haven't?"

Emily retains her crown as the master. She is betting that I am groggy enough to have forgotten I spoke with her a few minutes ago. Maybe if she sells this hard enough, she'll make it into my bed.

Terrance: "Dawn, is Emily in there with you?"
Emily: "Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" This is accompanied by her running back into her room and throwing herself on her bed.
Terrance: "I swear to god child, I will beat your ass if you get out of that bed again"

@ 4 minutes later... I hear the quiet foot falls of her trying to see if he is asleep on the couch from her bedroom. I think "This kid has the biggest, brass cojones EVER" In a weird way, I am proud of her tenacity.

She appears like a ninja.

Me: "Em, you are about to get in a whole world of trouble that I can't protect you from. Daddy warned you."
Em: Sigh. "Ok, I'll go back to my bed"

And where was she this morning? Tucked under my arm - fast asleep.

The master retains her crown.

The cult of motherhood

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This is a letter I sent to a friend today:

I have also cried as my daughter - who is now on her own set of brain fixing drugs - refused to sleep, refused to remember her numbers, answered "Yellow", (but pronounced it "Lello") to every question she was asked between the ages of 18 months and 3 years of age, had a brain injury diagnosed that I surely must have caused because I put her in her crib too hard at some point in my exhaustion and craziness

Because it is all my fault. I am her mother and it is all my fault- just like everything was my mother's fault.

But, it isn't.

There is a cult of motherhood and it is a vast and powerful network. It has been around since the dawn of time. We are not meant to fight it, nor are we even meant to know it exists. We are simply supposed to take up the torch and perpetrate it on the next un-suspecting woman who stumbles our way into motherhood.

That is why mothers with six squaling infant on Discovery channel shows are supposed to look like the Madonna herself ( and I am talking the Jesus Madonna - not our cultural Madonna) - Or maybe they are supposed to look like both - alluring, fit, fashionable and all sacrificing wearing sack cloth and preparing organic meals.

While I am not talking about a vast right wing conspiracy here, I am talking about what women allow to be done to them, when we accept this fake version of what is really happening in our homes and in our lives.

You can't smile and be supportive EVERY time you are wiping up shit off your childs ass - or you've been puked on AGAIN, and you are so tired that you find yourself washing your face with shampoo. Sometimes - when your kid has decided that the only food item they will eat without a Massive tantrum is full on nitrate-ridden hotdogs - even though you have prepared their all organic meals up to that point when a family member introduced them to the wonder of hotdogs and now that is all they will eat and you think "I am the adult, I can tell her to eat the peas and I willl stand here until she does so"

And after three days of your baby not eating, you crumble and boil her a hotdog and hand it to her.And now all she will eat is hotdogs and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

And when you cry to your real friends and your therapist, they ( all realistic mothers) say - "Honey - she's eating something right? Then it is no big deal"

When each of my friends approaches motherhood, I give them this gift. At some point before their baby is born, I sit with them and say "I am the mother that you can tell that you HATE being a mother, You hate this child and you hate your life." I will not judge you. I will agree that motherhood sucks and that you may well be going crazy. I will agree that the husband you planted this demon seed in you is an evil, evil person and this is clearly part of his plot to bring you down. Then I will help you make a plan to get through this - because that's what real mom's do - they get through it- however they can."

The best gift we can give our friends and daughters is the truth. Motherhood is hard and we are human. I don't want my daughter to be thinking "How did my mother do this?" as she cries over her newborn. The best gift My own mother gave me was when I said to her "I just want to drive away from her - I can't stand it anymore" and she laughed and said "Honey - there are so many times I wanted to drive away from the three of you - so you tell a real friend and they agree and then you don't. You don't drive away forever - you may need to take an occasional break -but you come back. All mothers want to leave - they just don't talk about it."

That is the cult. The cult makes sure that most mothers don't talk about it - don't even acknowledge it is happening. Cult's isolate and make insiders feel superior - which is what the race to be the uber-mom is all about. I can bake, I can work full time, I can paint the house, I can give my husband sastisfying sexual relations, I never need sleep, I can sew ALL the costumes for the school play and read to my child every night so as to encourage their brain growth. I can grow and can my own organic vegetables and fruit. I can grow, slaughter and process my own organic beef, chicken and fish. Did I mention that I grow and pick and mill the cotton that my families clothing, towels and sheets are made of? I weave and dye the cloth between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m., so as not to wake anyone else. At 4 a.m., I take an hour to throw and fire the clay plates we will need so that at 5 a.m., I am setting the breakfast table and ironing the clothes I have just finished making. Then I cheerfully sing my family awake with the song that I have composed on the lute I have crafted from the willow by our house. And the forest animals and birds come to sit on my porch and rejoice in the beauty that is my voice as they all agree what an excellent mother I am.

Mix with a little sangria and watch the fun begin

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This summer my husband and I had some friends over for 4th of July. Normally, our child is safely ensconced in Detroit and we have a blissful month, where we act like we are child-free sophisticates once again. But this summer, she was home with us.

When she is in Detriot, we do wild things like eat dinner after 6 p.m., stay in bed until 10 a.m., read the paper all the way through without exclaiming "Emily!!", drink wine and other adult beverages and have really relaxed evenings in which I remember how and why I concieved this child in the first place.....Summer nights exactly like that.

So, we have friends over for the 4th and Emily is there. I proceed to drink ALOT of wine. In fact, we all drink alot of wine and allow our child to run around the yard with the flaming sticks of death that are sold under the brand name "sparklers."

Through our 3rd pitcher of sangria, I am a giggling mass of female. It hasn't gotten dark enough to see fireworks, but I am well on my way to drunken debauchery.

And in the distance....we hear sounds like.........the song "the Entertainer".........which would make it............the theme song for............................

"The Ice Cream Man!!!", come the joyous cries of my child and her neighbor girl friend!
They tear off running - full tilt- in the direction of their houses, each running and screaming "I need money for the ice cream man! Mommy, please, please can I have money for the ice cream man?"

I must admire myself in my mind's eye. I am quite intoxicated. I also realize the importance of having money for the ice cream man. . I leap up from the picnic table in the middle of our yard and begin to run - full tilt- toward our house. I am not a small woman, nor do I have a small bosom. I must have been HYSTERICAL to watch run from the picnic table. Like pee your sangria drinking pants funny.

So I get into the house and empty my purse in my bedroom. I know this because I found it there the next day - emptied, upside down. I find my change purse and then begin the run into the street to catch up with my child and the ice cream man. I have had several glasses of wine. I should not be attempting to chase down the ice cream man on foot. About half way to the ice cream man, it occurs to me that I am not built to be running in this manner. But, I make it and thrust my wallet out to my child to take what ever she wants from within, as I bend over - hands on thighs- and begin panting in exhaustion.

Emily gets her ice cream and we walk hand in hand back to the house where I resume my glass of sangria. I may not be the most perfect mother in the world, but she's gonna have ice cream from the ice cream man, dammit. Even if I have to chase him down.

I learnt alot from you

Monday, September 12, 2005

This is a comment that was posted on my blog:

truman said...
Hey! I never knew the joy of blogging until I found your site. I run a website covering self-teach materialconcerning Antioxidants and similar matters. Today I discovered a way to give money for relief purposes with none of the funds being spent on administrative or travel expenses. What I learnt will amaze you. Check out my report here. And do visit my mall with its Antioxidants-related products. Thanks a lot.
4:14 PM

SERIOUSLY! You didn't know the joys of blogging until you found my site? Well, I can sleep soundly now! And Is "learnt" a real word?

A friend emailed me at home and said she couldn't believe that I was getting junk blog mail. I guess I just find it kind of funny. What if I really believed that this person truly never knew the joy of blogging until he/she found my blog? I could become a new cult - a sort of god like figure- The cult of Dawn, the ultra crabby sarcastic mother, who knows too much for her own good and often mocks those with less intelligence. - Imagine that ceremony?

If you're going to spam my blog, at least spell check it!

The Towers, and my sanity crumble

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Happy Anniversary to me. It was 4 years ago - on Sept 11th that I decided I was really going crazy and needed to seek medical treatment for my depression before I really did kill myself or my family

The underappreciated plight of the underwear fairy, and her cousin the swimsuit fairy

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Today was the first day of dance classes again. While all of her friends have signed up for "Hip-Hop" class, my husband put the kibosh on this idea. He Feels - and I quote - "I am not paying money to have some white woman teach my daughter to dance in a hip hop manner". So she gets to take ballet and tap and maybe jazz.

This is her fifth year of dance. Correct, she started when she was three. And she is decent at it and she enjoys it. For a child with her issues of motor coordination, this is a good opportunity for her brain to work to move her body in a specified manner. I enjoy the other mom's at dance class and we chat for the hour or two we sit in the studio waiting for our children to re-emerge.

Later I scored at LL Bean where they had kids bathing suits on clearance for 1.99 a piece!!!! Holy shit, that is a great deal. I stocked up with like 8 or 9 new suits. We live on a lake and she uses bathing suits like crazy - sometimes she wears 2 a day, so between washing, drying wearing and drying again, we need lots of bathing suits. My husband was staring at me, in vague disgust, as I gathered this armload of bathing suits in my arms.

"Why are you buying all these suits for next year?"

Silly man - can't he see? They are only 1.99!!! It doesn't matter since they are only 1.99 a piece! Can't he see the hunter/gatherer logic in this? I am the best mother in the world!! I have found an awesome bargain!! I have anticipated a need and provided for it. Next year, when I whip these suits out, I will be revealed for the magical fairy creature I truly am.

Apparently, I also anticipate underwear needs in this manner as well, since my husband has not bought himself underwear since we began living together in 1994. During some long ago arguement after he was criticizing my household spending, I blurted out :

"When is the last god damn time you bought yourself underwear? You Don't! I look at your underwear as I am folding it and if you need more, I throw away the bad underwear and buy you new underwear!!! Don't you even notice when I have taken care of this? Do you think there is an underwear fairy that lives in the closet??"

This is the same with toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry detergent, and all the other household items that women seem to compile lists of in a particular section of their brains - that also holds the information of where ( and what) the syrup of ipecac/activated charcoal is, if you have pedilyte in the house, and possibly how to perform an emergency tracheotomy with a common straw, if needed.

Now, it is time for me to pick up my daughter's underwear off the floor next to MY bed where she seems to have decided to drop it tonight. Then I will gather her shirt from the bathroom floor, one sandal from the living room, trip over the other in the door to her room, and look around for where she has thrown her skort.

No wonder my mother finally just started throwing away things that were not put away.

Why mothers really work....Silence

Friday, September 09, 2005

My morning has started like countless other mornings. I wake up – the alarm is on and NPR is wafting toward me. I have intentionally put the radio/alarm clock on the OTHER side of the room on a high shelf. I do this because if it were next to me I would turn it off. I know this about myself. I admit it. I have to outwit my reptilian self in the wee minutes of my awakening. And Yes. I also set the alarm clock 20 minutes ahead of the real EST to fool me into thinking I am waking up early….only to lay in bed for 20 minutes coming to conciousness. If you look closely, you can see the faint “L” on my forehead.

That is when I realized that my daughter was kissing me. At first, it was sweet. A little kiss on my arm. A little kiss on my back. Then it became torture. This is for two reasons. I don’t like to be touched in the morning. I want to wake up slow and get myself in the shower. The second reason is that she was doing this to wake me up. And yes…I know it SEEMED sweet, but it wasn’t - it was evil. She knows that she can’t turn on the television until I am awake and having snuck successfully into my room YET again ( for the eight billionth time in her life) she now has the goal of watching some ungodly loud show at 6:30 in the a.m.

As soon as she has determined that I am awake, even if my eyes are closed and I am pretending to be sleeping, she starts the rambling:

“Mama. Daddy said I could come into your bed last night. He said it was Ok. Mama, daddy said it was OK that I come in your bed. Mama? Mama, Daddy said OK.”

Now – let me give you the background on this. Getting into and sleeping in our bed has been Emily’s #1 life goal. We have tried a variety of tactics, which have failed. These include a gate on her door and a gate on our door (she kicked them down) Locking my door at night (until I forgot one night), we ferbered her as a baby and she outlasted us after 4+ hours of SCREAMING. Loss of priviledges, loss of her bitty baby…. you name it. And where does she end up? Next to me in my bed. She is the master. Last night Daddy told her (as she produced a hail of tears) “No Chinese food for dinner tomorrow night if you don’t stay in your bed tonight”
She wants to confirm with me that Daddy gave her permission, so this negates his threat of taking away Chinese food for dinner. This is her first concious thought.

“Mama, Mama, can I turn the TV on? Mama? Can I? Can I turn the TV on? Mama, Mama – can I watch TV? Can we turn the radio off? Mama – can we turn the radio off?

I hate the TV on in my bedroom in the morning. I actually resisted having a TV in the bedroom at all, as I think it is a little funky. I gave in about 8 years ago. BUT no TV when I am sleeping – or falling asleep. I like it quiet and dark. I prefer to read in bed, or play video games.

It is 6:43 a.m. and I am already feeling beaten into submission. I roll over to get away from her. She scoots over like a lamprey and re-attaches on my back. I am now on the very edge of my bed. Finally, I can take it no more. I sit up; take my med’s and wanders to the bathroom.

“Mama, where you going? Mama?”

Our entire house cannot be much more than a thousand feet of space. There are a total of 4 rooms: The Living room/Kitchen, her bedroom, the bathroom and our bedroom. That is it. It is not a palatial estate.

I murmer and move to the bathroom. She bounds out of bed and leaps into her father – who is on the couch. I am now in the relative safety of the bathroom. While this sanctum is occasionally breached now, it’s integrity remains intact today. About a year ago, I threw a fit because as soon as I said I was going to the bathroom, her little ass would dart past me and throw herself on the toilet. Without fail. I would be standing speechless in the door of the bathroom watching my daughter smile at me, on the only toilet in the house. I finally flipped out. I now enjoy a child free bathroom experience.

But today, as she is bouncing off the walls, and my husband is grumbling and I am just trying to get pantyhose on that isn’t ruined and find something I don’t have to iron, and get her clothes laid out on the bed and maybe do her hair if I have time, and pack her a snack, and make sure that all things are in her backpack, and get her medicine in her, and do my hair so that it looks vaguely presentable, and now my husband is in the bathroom with the door shut and my eyeliner is in there, so I either go to work without eyeliner OR wait until he finishes to run in and put eyeliner on, and Emily is asking my about a fruit roll up she mysteriously produced since I don’t allow this level of fake food to be purchased and consumed, and I finally grab my purse and get out the door after blowing kisses at my husband and kissing my still chattering child, and close the door.
I get into the silence of my car and smile. I love going to work.

Victory is sweet - when you can stop and enjoy it

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The crabbiness is passing - thank god.

I think my "bullshit-o-meter" was overloaded yesterday and that this was the main cause of my moodiness.

I am now just tired. I haven't been sleeping well. I was on vacation and am now back so there were 110 emails and stacks, and stacks of mail waiting for me on my desk. I am a super-competant person at work, so it is hard for me to feel like I am so far behind the game.

Luckily, I am catching up and that relieves a little of my anxiety. That, and the fact that the school has backed down and will now welcome me into the school any time I want. I am still digesting this tidbit, but will want to write more on it later- Once I fully get around to it.

There will be no niceness today

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I am in a rather crabby mood. Free floating crabbiness.

I will often tell people that I don't like most people. This statement will draw shocked gasps and nervous titters. I find that this is more true on some days than others. This is a day when I truly dislike almost every person I come across.

It started this morning. Today is Picture day at school. My husband and I have differing opinions on how our daughter's hair should be done. It is only 7:14 am when I get this remark "Well we can see by every other hairstyle You've tried in her other pictures that your decisions are incorrect"

I am forced to ask - as I sit on the edge of the bed trying to wrestle my ass into some pantyhose that doesn't have a hidden run in it somewhere - "Can we not have a fight about this at 7 in the morning?"

So, I unbraid her hair, brush it out and goop it up with Citre Shine. This is vaguely satisfactory to both of us. My daughter's hair is soft - like mine - but curly - like her father's. It does not braid like black hair. It acts like white hair - gets all fly away and funky. Her dress is ironed and we dress her - while I try to convince her not to accessorize the hell out of her outfit. She wants necklaces, earrings - you name it. None of which matches or looks at all nice with her New York dress.

By now, I am running late. There is an insane amount of traffic on my 25 mile commute. A red neck dude in a Ford truck totally cuts me off. I try to remain calm. I think about how not to yell at certain people in my work place. I walk in the building and get to my desk. I snap at the first person to come to my desk - and this is a person I LIKE!

She looks abit taken aback. I feel guilty and try to explain. There is a person who has been hired to "help" me - kind of. But this person wasn't really hired to help me and we all know this. I am sick of pretending like this new person is going to ease my vast workload. I am sick of smiling at Admin folks and pretending like they have done me some great service - when they haven't AND WE ALL KNOW IT! The phrase I used was "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining".

So today, I hate people. I hate republicans. I hate men, I hate stupid people, I hate bureacrats, and I won't be nice today.

"Trick or Treat, I'm an emanciapated slave!"

Monday, September 05, 2005

My husband is transfixed by the news. He has family down south and he has started calling clients in the south to try and get news of the extended family. As he is from Detroit, and his grandfather was a Cajun man - our ties are well within the affected territory.

The longer I am married to a black man - the more ashamed of my race I become. To see white people walking with guns looking out for the niggers to shoot? Disgusting. Kanye West wasn't that far off the mark with his statements. I keep waiting for a black woman to get a hold of Bush as he wanders around saying stupid things and lay into him. My mother in law would, if she had the chance.

My daughter is blessedly oblivious of it all. She plays with her toys and neighbor friends and is worried about her first grade concerns.

And of course, the topic of race revisits our conversations always. Yesterday my bi racial daughter announced that she wanted to be Addy for Halloween. Now - for those of you without a 3 to 14 year old girl in your home - Addy is an "American Girl" character. She is an escaped then emanicapated slave who finds and reunites her family in Philadelphia. She is a strong young woman and Addy's story was a way for my husband and I to begin to raise Emily's conciousness to the issues and history of her two races through a story that she could relate to.

Emily had her costume all planned out and announced this to our oldest and dearest friends at dinner on Saturday. They listened to her explanation of the character and then looked at my husband and I for our reaction. I dryly commented, "I will have to hang a sign around her neck saying "I am an emanciapated slave" as she trick or treats in our ALL white state of New Hampshire."

Later, my husband and I talked about this dilemia. As a biracial child, she needs to understand the complexity of race relations in the US. We have raised her to identify herself as black and to be proud that her mommy and daddy loved each other so much that they wanted to have her - our beautiful baby girl. We want her to understand the seriousness of Addy's story and be proud that she has roots in such a courageous and strong people. But.... we can't let her dress up like a slave - even an emanciapated one - and send her out trick or treating.

So I called my mother in law in Detroit and asked for mommy advice. Would she have let her children trick or treat like a freed slave in Detroit? "Hell no!" came the response. Could I expose my daughter to the ignorance of uber-white new hampshire in the guise of trick or treat Addy? Hell no.

So, we explained to her that Addy was a real person - a characted to be sure - but based on the experiences of real people and that Halloween was a time to be made up people. She seemed to accept this explanation. Daddy then told her that to be Addy for black history month would be more appropriate. She was perfectly content with these explanations and decided to be Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk.

And we navigate the waters of race relations again...

If only they'd prayed harder to be white, this would have never happened...

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Please America, Please see what has happened in New Orleans and all over the south. Please understand that the republicans have facillitated this - the death of all these poor people.

please let this be the death toll for the republican stronghold on American society. THIS is the shitty response they have spent millions, billions of our dollars for AFTER sept 11th. Come on!

AND they get richer as our gas prices go up.

Vote, people, Vote.

By "parents' , we specifically mean you Dawn

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yesterday ended the first week of my child at the public school. She has today and Monday off - which is fine. She has been increasingly exhausted and weepy in the evenings.

In her "Friday Folder" yesterday, I recieved this school wide notice: ( this is verbatim - I shit you not)

"We would like to remind all parents and those visitng our school of the need to check in at the office. To avoid disruptions to the classrooms and to maintain security, we ask that all parents and visitors sign in at the office. If your child needs to be dismissed or is re-entering school, those transitons must be processed through the office. Parents are not allowed to escort their children to and from the classroom. If you wish to speak to your child's teacher, you should do so by appointment"

Did you hear my name screamed at the end of the sentance? "THIS MEANS YOU DAWN"
I read this to my husband over the phone. He normally is the one who tells me I am being extreme and to calm down. He paused and said "Oh no, that is NOT good." So now I have the raging, dreadlocked black man on my side.

I have to drop her off late of the 15th of Sept. We have a dental appointment and guess what? I'll walk her to her room. I am actually looking forward to my letter to the principal, school board and any one else that listens.....
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