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I did ooooh and aaaaah, though that was mostly reserved for the kids and their tricks they performed on the scaffolding for my heart stopping enjoyment.
“Back in my day kids, we played on metal jungle gyms over concrete just like this. And we liked it. None of that pansy soft ground covering to break our falls. We fell and broke our bones… and we were thankful.”
I am going to have to paint it all this clapboard this week once it is up since we only have the scaffolding rented for a week. Just so you know I do pull my weight around here. And I definitely do more than my fair share of complaining.
But before we put the clapboard up, we wrapped the house in Tyvek. And did you know that it is preferred by NASCAR? Me neither. And no I don’t know why NASCAR prefers it, or what they prefer it over. I would prefer to wear a suit of clothing made of Tyvek, rather than say, thorny brambles. Perhaps NASCAR would prefer cars crashing into Tyvek, rather than another car.
If you go to the pharmacy and stock up on all your cold, flu, fever, headache supplies and find that you can only buy one box of your beloved extended release sudafed, making a joke to the pharmacist about running a meth lab would be ill advised. I fully expect the next time that I venture in there to replenish my stock that my name will be flagged and I will be forced to suffer with the watered down pretend sudafed.
I decided to grab some pumpkins for the kid’s jack o’lanterns while I was handing over my weekly tithe to my place of worship, Home Depot. Mir alerted me to the pumpkin shortage this year, and I sort of thought she was exaggerating, until I saw how few there were everywhere. But as I placed seven pumpkins into my cart, I couldn’t help but feel like I was hoarding pumpkins. And it was going to cause some sort of pumpkin panic.
So I felt compelled to tell everyone who even glanced at me that I have SEVEN children and they all want their own jack o’ lanterns, and because I had such a suck ass childhood and never had a jack o’ lantern I like to indulge them this, and frankly every single other, desire they have. And that is why I have SEVEN pumpkins. Not because I am an oportunistic pumpkin grabbing freak.
Last night I felt so horrible that I went upstairs to bed right after I hit publish. I guess I just didn’t feel complete until I shared my misery with the internet.
I went upstairs and just flung myself onto my bed, without even brushing my teeth. I just didn’t think I could walk the last few feet to the bathroom and put forth that sort of effort. But as I lay there in bed I just kept thinking over and over that if I should die during the night I really hope that the funeral person brushes and flosses my teeth before putting me in my coffin. I would hate for my children to bend down to kiss me goodbye and smell like the rotting prime rib. Oh the melodrama that exists inside my own head.
Luckily I lived through the night.
This morning at first light Miles woke up. I kicked gently woke Rob and told him, “Get the baby.” He thought I said, “Go get Miles and put him in our bed and promptly fall back asleep so that Miles can climb on my head, pull my hair, and jump about my body like I am the unfortunate person on the bottom of the mosh pit.” I can understand the confusion. They do sound so similar.
Finally I gave up and got out of bed. I drank my coffee and perfected my martyr routine by baking muffins for breakfast because, “Somebody has to take care of these children, and it obviously isn’t you.” Yes, I am good. I should give martyr lessons.
I did think briefly of killing Rob with my evil martyr eye when he said, “if you want me to do something all you have to do is ask.” Because he sounds so reasonable and martyrs don’t like reasonable. We like wallowing, sulking, and possibly the threat of being burned at the stake.
But then I remembered that he is residing a portion of our house this weekend. And truly that is a fate worse than death; a fate which is slightly worse than having to live with a martyr ’til death do you part.
And yes, I do feel much better today, thank you for asking.
I realized this afternoon, after several tantrums, during which I may or may not have refused to step outside and see all the work my husband had done on the house, may or may not have stomped my foot while whining, and may or may not have slammed to door on him. I realized that I am sick.
Sick. With the chills and a fever and stuffy head that makes my eyes water and feel as though they are just suddenly going to plop out of their sockets and roll down my cheeks.
I am sitting huddled next to the wood burning stove. And despite the fact that I had to take my earrings off because they were burning me from my proximity to the fire, I am shivering.
I am out of Nyquil, elixir of the gods, and was forced to take some old theraflu tablets, which suck and that is why they are still sitting in the back of the cabinet in their dusty little box. Now I just feel really nauseous, light headed, and also still sick.
And wishing that I had a slanket, the blanket with sleeves.
(I have a new post up over at my other blog continuing the discussion of picky eaters and focusing on food portion distortion)
I have never liked to cook.
I think in part it is because eating and dinner time was never enjoyable to me as a child. I have none of those warm fuzzy food related memories that I hear people talk about all the time. Like “Oh my mother’s home made apple pie.” or “Oh when I was a child we would always make___ for this holiday.” Unless you count the number of times I was served eggs which would cause me to dry heave at the dinner table as a warm and fuzzy memory.
My mother didn’t know how to cook. Nor did she own even a single cook book.
Her favorite thing to make was chicken thighs. Which might not have been all that bad I suppose, but she would arrive home from work and take the package out of the freezer. A huge amorphous frozen mass of chicken and stick it into the metal 9×11 baking pan. She would then sprinkle a butt-ton of Thyme on the top of it (a spice I have yet to use in my adult life). Into the oven it would go. The meal would be made complete by opening a can of peas and boiling them until they were no longer pea shaped. And maybe there would be some buttered noodles.
I was almost an adult when I realized that you could buy chicken that tasted good and didn’t have bones it.
Other than apples, I don’t recall fresh fruit in our house. Salads were iceberg lettuce with that orange French dressing on top. Vegetables came in cans with dusty tops. And baking of any kind happened once every few years for Christmas and was always a stressful, NOT AT ALL fun event. In fact I would try and stay as far away from the kitchen and my rolling pin wielding mother as possible.
So is it any surprise at all that this is yet another area in my parenting that I arrived at by learning from my mother what not to do.
Yesterday we went to a small organic farm near us to pick raspberries. I frequently go there to buy produce and they have fresh baked goods that make me want to cry because I can’t possibly eat them all and still fit into my house. Though I try. I try.
We came home and made pies. Or more accurately, they made the pies and I supervised.
And I contained my brain matter for most of the pie making extravaganza, until this.
Why must they poke the pie all willy nilly like that? Dear God why??? It was then that my eye began to twitch uncontrollably and I was forced to whisk the pies into the oven so that I didn’t have to gaze at their hideous disfigurement any longer.
Miles clearly won, though the pie put up a valiant effort, second only to the front of my pants.
Last night right before dinner I ran outside to grab a water bottle I had forgotten in the car. Before I could even close the front door behind me, Miles was there dragging a full sized baseball bat and tee out the door. Woe to anyone who tries and take those away from him.
So I let him come outside and practice his hitting skills, in his underwear, in our front yard. We are nothing if not classy here. He has really slacked off on his practice schedule lately. We may have to start him on a steroid regimen should he keep up these lackadaisical habits. He is 21 months old now afterall.
And can I just say right now that I have the most annoying voice ever. God Lord woman, shut up.
As I put him to bed last night, we were doing our nightly dog and pony show. I tucked him in and turned on his little Kid Clips jukebox (which by the way is the best kid toy ever and I have no idea why they stopped making it). The song Kiss the Girl from the Little Mermaid came on. Every time I sang the sha-la-la-la-la-la part he would hold his finger up to his mouth and say “Shhhhhh.” Even though he was almost all the way asleep and had his eyes shut. I would be offended if it weren’t so darn funny. And of course I had to keep doing it through out the entire song despite his protests. And I wonder where my children get it from.
So now we just sit back and wait for the college scholarship offers to roll in.
I have never had a lot of friends. I am pretty wary when it comes to letting people in, trusting people, sharing more of myself than the superficial pleasantries. I am really good at the superficial small talk stuff.
It takes awhile for me to build trust, to call someone a friend.
I am a loyal friend. I never talk about someone behind their back or share intimate details of their life that are not public knowledge. I never talk about someone to make myself feel more important, or put someone else down to make myself feel better. My motto is that you can never say too little about another person.
I have discovered the hard way that other people don’t feel this way.
The same people who pretended to be happy to my face when I was pregnant with my last child were the ones who were saying not so nice things behind my back. And wasn’t it so nice of the person who took it upon themself to tell me what they were all saying at the birthday party?
Also, I seem to attract people who are a) really needy and/or b) thrive on putting me down to make themselves feel better. So I end up becoming friends with people who want to talk to me on the phone everyday, unload all of their problems to me daily, and put me down.
here is an example of a conversation:
Her: [her son] had a cavity at his check up. I can’t believe it.
Me: Well, kids get cavities sometimes. I don’t think it should upset you that much.
Her: Oh yeah, coming from you that should make me feel better…
Her: The dentist loves to see you coming.
Me: (thinking what the fuck does that mean): What?
Her: Your kids always have cavities. Not like you can take care of all their teeth.
Me: (thinking why do I even need to defend myself) No they don’t and yes I do.
By the same token, fuck with me once and you are out. I accept apologies, when they are given. I will remain civil, even friendly to someone who has hurt me and apologized. But they are never back in again like they were before. Never. I just can’t do it. I am a master grudge holder.
My husband thinks I am overly sensitive. And maybe I am. But when someone says something mean to me or does something knowingly to hurt my feelings, I can’t help but replay it in my mind over and over again. It does sometimes take on a life of it’s own and gain greater importance than it originally had. And perhaps this is a sign of my own brand of crazy, that I can never let anything go.
Likewise when I know that I have hurt someone I replay it in my mind and beat myself up over it. I still think about things that I did when I was a child, like the time I was about 7 or 8 yrs old and I called my neighbor friend Fatty Patty in one of those stupid little sing song voices to hurt her feelings. She went home and told her mother who came over to my yard, slapped me across the face, and called me a little bitch. I never until this very moment considered how inappropriate it was for the mother to behave that way to me. But regardless I have spent 30 years obsessing over my part in that incident.
One of the things that I think is important to instill in my children is the fact that when they tear another person down, they are bringing themself down too. When you talk about someone in a negative way, people will probably forget what it was you were so intent on gossiping about, but they will remember that you are the type of person who gossips and makes disparaging remarks about friends. The type of person who can not be trusted. Is that that the sort of person you really want to be?
At least that is what I have always thought, though it doesn’t seem like everyone else does. There are times when I think I am operating by one instruction manual for life and everyone else has a new updated version.
Do I expect too much from people?
I wonder sometimes if the friendships I have made via the internet have spoiled me from having real life friendships. For all the talk of the wackos that flock to the internet, I have found some of the best friends here. The people who are the most real, the most authentic, the least judgemental. Wackos are apparently my kind of people.
Recently I made the decision to distance myself from people who were sucking me down into that vortex of feeling bad. On the one hand I feel like I should miss them more than I do… and on the other hand I now have no one that I could pretend is a friend. And that makes me sad.
Other people seem to make friends so easily. They have great big groups of friends to do things with and I can’t help but wonder what I am doing wrong.
Lucinda has been doing these awards for awhile now and while I have been meaning to participate, it was the following post by Journey Mama that finally prompted me to email Lucinda and tell her that I wanted in. Then I went on my way thinking I had lots of time to go back and write my post about why I thought it was deserving on special recognition. I am nothing if not a procrastinator extraordinaire.
This weekend I went back to find the link to her post and I couldn’t remember which post it was that I had in mind. They were all that good, that worthy of reading.
In the end I went with the post that I had in mind first. A letter to her son on his fourth birthday.
Her writing is so authentic and has such depth. Our lives couldn’t be more different, and yet I am sucked into her life. To me that is the sign of good writing that I can imagine being at a Rainbow gathering, living in a communal environment, having dreadlocks. My idea of roughing it is a four star hotel, and yet when I read about going to a Gathering it sounds fun and tempting. For a few minutes I think, wow we should do that! And truly, that alone is miraculous.
She is a Christian and talks about her faith in terms that aren’t legalistic or restrictive. Her words flow with love for all people. And when I read her blog I can’t help but feel that this is the way God would want it. It gives me hope. I feel that I could show up at her house, that they built completely with their own hands, and I would be welcomed in.
1) A device that keeps the chairs tethered to our kitchen table. So that a) my son can’t drag them all over the entire house getting into things that are purposefully out of his reach,or b) I don’t have to put them all up on top of the table so that the house looks like a bunch of elementary school children went home for the night.
Though I should probably add that my son has now learned how to hoist himself up onto the table and will just shove all the chairs off onto the floor. Nothing like the sound of 6 chairs crashing to the tile floor to send you running into the room shortly before you collapse to the ground clutching your chest.
2) At night I like to lay in bed and read before going to sleep. It is cold in my house during the winter months which isn’t much of a problem at night since I have warm pajamas, flannel sheets, a down comforter, and a husband who throws off as much heat as a furnace. But when I lounge in bed reading my upper body is out from under the covers and my arms and shoulders get cold. It is a huge problem in my life. Honestly, I complain about it every single night and my husband has come up with “helpful” ideas like wear gloves to bed, don’t read, and shut the hell up already.
The other night I was thinking that they should make bed covers with slits, like big button holes that you could put your hands through to hold your book. That way you could have the covers pulled all the way up to your chin, yet still have your hands available outside of the covers for holding the book and turning the pages.
Today I took my 5 and 7 yr olds to the grocery store with me to pick up a few one hundred dollar cans of kidney beans for chili that I was making for dinner tonight. They saw a stuffed animal display and we began looking through them, because my children do not think a person can own enough stuffed animals.
Me: Oh look at this one! What a cute octopus!
Child: Uh, mom, that is a squid.
Me: Oh. But it is cute isn’t it? Look at this one! What a cute ferret!
Child: Yes, it is cute. But that is a sea otter.
Me: Oh. Oooo look at this one! It’s a leopard! Roar.
Child: It is a cute tiger.
Thus concludes the educational part of this post with is meant to reassure everyone that I am in fact qualified to teach my own children.
I bought new sneakers this weekend, which means I no longer have an excuse not to exercise. This pains me greatly.