My Child…

Between a new job and a new puppy, I have been quite busy these days and haven’t had any time to write.  But I wanted to share something that happened about a week ago.  I did share it with friends on Facebook, but I also wanted to preserve this memory.  And with it now being Halloween, it seems fitting.

First I will say that I have some pretty unique girls.  I’m sure I blogged about the fake blood my girls made when they were younger by bleeding the ink of various markers until they had just the right color combination – which then ended up on my carpet.  I never did mention my youngest shaving her head.  Then there are the freaky, goth and bloody selfies they like to routinely create.  So to assume my girls are like other girls their ages would be a false assumption.  I never know what to expect with them.

    

So about a week ago (also my first week in my new job), I received a text message from my youngest, Klara:

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She had gotten into a fight?!  Not my baby!  This seems out of character for her, but is it really that far-fetched?  My first thought was “oh shit”.  From the angle of the photo, I assumed she sent me the text as she was being walked to the principal’s office at her school.  My responses immediately started flowing:

Why?”  …..Was she being bullied, because she is unique?….nothing

“Did you Win?” ….wait I’d better not ask that unless I know if she started it first; message deleted.

Call me” .…and waited…and waited….. No text from her, no call from the school.

With who?”  …..Not that this really mattered, let me at that kid….nothing

Who started it?” ….Dying to know, because if it wasn’t her, I hope she won!….nothing

How is your face?” ….If her hand looks this bad, I can only imagine….nothing

What’s going on?” ….Is the school going to call me?….nothing

Call me

I was getting more and more anxious.  I couldn’t believe I was going to have to leave work during my first week.  This was the only thing that kept me from taking off for the school right away; I was going to wait until they called.  Still, I needed to be prepared for that call.  I went to the school website to look up the disciplinary policy on fighting.  Fighting – a category 3 offense, comes with five days of out-of-school suspension and possible referral to DHA.  Oh shit.  There goes my AP student’s grades.  There’s a black mark on her school record for college.  But worse than her school punishment, look at that hand – it looks broken!  That is going to require a hospital trip and x-rays.

She finally responded, “It’s special effects day”, and “You signed the permission slip for it“.  Special effects day!!!  I remember signing a permission slip for something, but who really reads those?!  When my girls want to do something that requires a permission slip, I figure it must be alright and let them enjoy whatever they like.  I rarely read the slips, and most of the time I am more annoyed that I have to give teenagers permission to participate in school activities.  I think they are old enough to decide what they do or do not want to participate in.  Then she added another photo indicating she got burned too.

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Ha Ha Ha.  Relief set in, but I still could have killed my child for scaring me like that.  I told her to make sure her teacher knew she deserved an ‘A’ for her prank, and from what I understand, the teacher was quite amused.  I’m glad someone was!  Ok, I was too…after several minutes had passed. All I can say is, I am glad I didn’t run out the door at work since this was my first week in my new job!!! Kids!!

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The Age of Too Much Information

There is no doubt that we are living in an age of information. Anyone can receive any information they wish at any time at the click of a mouse or even via a voice question on a smart phone. Sounds great…right?  I am starting to see why this is not so great.

First I have to apologize for I am not going to be able to be 100% forthright in my thoughts here in order to protect someone’s privacy, but I will do my best to explain why I am starting to see that the age of information may be doing more harm than good. While  this may be true for both adults and children, I am going to focus on children.

When I was a kid, I don’t remember ever feeling like I had to  label myself in any way whatsoever. I was simply a kid running about with my friends and enjoying life. Sure I know some kids had identities with various groups (i.e. Let’s say jocks vs hoods), but over all, we were just all kids having a good time.  We faced peer pressure from other kids in our environment, but it seemed relatively easy to withdrawal if need be so that those pressures could be dealt with or even avoided.

We weren’t inunindated with so much information from the media (such as tv, news media, social websites). We didn’t have constant contact with people like we do now. Withdrawing to your bedroom to be alone didn’t mean you were alone on Facebook with thousands of your closest (sarcasm) friends and instant messaging. You may have had a magazine or two with new ideas or human interest stories to contemplate, but it wasn’t to a computer with endless news stories of celebrities making sex tapes or having sex changes.  No, it meant you were truly alone…or maybe on the phone with one person.

Fast forward a few decades, and now there is constant contact. With that contact, information is thrown at kids from every facet of media you can think of. As if being a kid with hormones throwing your emotions out of whack isn’t enough, now they are constantly being bombarded with ideas that were once unthought of to kids but have now become mainstream news stories.  For example, gender identity. Ok, so yes there have always been kids who struggled with their gender. Many girls went through tomboy stages and still ended up being girls in the end. Many girls or boys eventually found that they were gay, and they evolved in their sexual preferences as adults; when they were better able to deal with those changes. But in today’s information society, it seems kids can no longer work these issues out over time and serious contemplation. As the idea of being transgender has become more and more mainstream, now kids feel the need to pick their identity early. Perhaps too early. At a time when their hormones are out of control, emotions are out of whack and they are still trying to adjust to natural changes, they seem to feel that they must strongly identify one way or another before their body has even completed the natural process of deciding for them. A time when being transgender has become mainstream.  If a child’s body hasn’t fully received the amount of hormones it will ultimately receive, this may leave him or her confused about who they are. Enter the dangers of media, and thoughts grow into doubts or become questions of gender identity.

Now forgive me if you are reading this and are gay or transgender, but at such a young age (while there are a few exceptions) not every child is ready to make such strong life decisions such as taking hormones to change what nature hasn’t even completed yet. If a 30 year old can regret a tattoo received at 18, isn’t that proof enough that we don’t always know what we truly want when we are young? Sure we think we do, but then time shows us who we really are. I think over centuries we (people) should have learned by now that time and experience are the best teachers in life, not endless streams of media telling us what we should believe. After all, we are starting to learn relying on sites such as WebMd may not always be the best source of health information, as it can easily make your common cold look like you’re going to die. So too the media is twisting the minds of our young into making them feel they have life or death decisions to make, when in reality they may just need a dose of downtime and a little less information.

 

After I wrote this blog, I came across an article worth reading.  You should check it out here.

Meet Virginia

virginia - 2My Baby is turning 13 today.  Unbelievable.  It was just yesterday that I held this tiny little angel in my arms; a little tiny life so dependent on me that I didn’t sleep for the first three days home from the hospital.  My first adventure into motherhood.  Every step has been and still is brand new with her.  Her dependence on me didn’t last long.  She has wanted things her own way and on her terms since she was a toddler.  Meet my first baby.  Meet Virginia:

    • As a toddler, she became a willful child.  She would throw a fit to being strapped down in a car seat, to wearing shoes or to being held or babied.virginia 3c
    • When she was 3 and entered her first day of preschool, she entered her new classroom, turned to me and stated, “You can leave now.”
    • At age 4 she entered Pre-Kindergarten.  She begged me to let her ride the school bus the first day.  I didn’t let her that day, but I gave in on the second day of school.  As any mother would do, I followed the bus to school, parked and met her as she got off the bus to make sure she knew where she was going.  With a stern little voice – as stern as one can be at age 4 –  she frowned, held one finger out towards me and firmly stated, “Don’t Follow Me!”
    • virginia 3bAt age 5 she wanted her ears pierced.  Being a realist, I wanted her to know that it was going to hurt.  I warned her that she would cry when she felt the first piercing, and that they would still need to complete the second ear.  She sat down in the chair and didn’t  flinch or even blink as her ears were pierced.  I knew at that moment this child would do anything to prove me wrong.
    • From age 6 to 10 we had numerous battles over her independence.  Too many to even try to list here.
    • At age 10, she begged me to allow her to attend a magnet school that would mean her having to travel alone downtown on city buses – ultimately sending me to therapy.  (Blogged in: Learning to Fly and numerous other blogs)
    • At age 11, I caught her experimenting with ink from markers….she was making her own blood (Blogged in: Not your typical girly fascination). She also took her next step toward independence by attending summer camp and staying home alone during the summer months as opposed to going to daycare.  That was a nail-biting time for Mommy!  (Blogged in:  Summer Camp?)
    • At age 12, she took going to summer camp one step further by sleeping in a tent.  An adventure I thought for sure she would hate.  Once again she proved me wrong.  (Blogged in: Camp)virginia 4

And now my baby is turning 13.  For her birthday this year, she doesn’t want a party. Instead, she asked that I drop her and her friends off at the mall so that they can go see a movie and then shop afterwards on their own.  Does this start at age 13?  Once again, I find myself in a slight nervous state at the amount of independence she exudes!  Not only that, but in the coming months, she will be traveling to Boston with her school.  That’s right – out-of-state – without family – without me.  As she finds her way through life, she is forcing me to also find my way through parenthood and the difficulty of letting go.  I believe she is an expert in this area.  I, on the other hand, feel more like a novice.  My baby is growing up, but I didn’t now it would happen so early (childhood in her case!).

She’s my beautiful, smart, thoughtful, passionate and independent baby.  She may not have been a “baby” for a long time, but she will always be my baby.

I love you Virginia with all my heart.   Happy 13th Birthday!



virginia 2013 Virginia

December 21st

mayan calendar

I make a joke about the world ending in three days due to the Mayan calendar ending.  But in all seriousness,there is so much senseless violence in this world (and it just seems to be getting worse), that sometimes I do wish it would just end.  Especially in light of the terrible tragedy in a Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.   My heart breaks for these precious babies and their families.

I listen to all the debates on gun control vs. the right to bear arms, and while I won’t tell you where I stand on this debate, I can tell you that the violence isn’t only due to guns.  Two years ago in China, several innocent children also lost their lives in five separate school incidents.  They weren’t killed by guns; they were killed by a knife.  You can read about it here.  And just like now, my heart was filled with great sadness for those children and their families.  It doesn’t matter to me that this took place in another country.  All that matters is that it took place, and it shouldn’t have.  So we can throw blame any way we want…blame the parents, blame the media, blame weapons, blame music, blame violent movies.  There really is no one answer.  Our world is out of control.

So Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11 pm, when the world is supposed to end, I can’t help but pray that it really does.  I know we will all move on to someplace better.  I firmly believe that.

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The Slacker Virus

Apparently there seems to be a virus that runs rampant in middle school kids.  I call it the slacker virus.  I am convinced my child has it, and the more parents I talk to, the more I find just how common it is.

What exactly are the symptoms? Well I will describe my own child’s symptoms to give you an idea, but I am sure there are some variations.

Initial Symptoms

  •  Your “A and B” elementary school student starts middle school.
  •  Suddenly the A’s and B’s start to disappear.  They are replaced with B’s and C’s respectively.
  •  At first you think this is just their adjustment to middle school.  After all, your child has never struggled before.  So, as a former “A and B” parent, you start to freak out.  You think, “How could my brilliant child be doing so poorly?”  So you struggle through the first year of middle school looking for tutors and other solutions to help your child.
  • Then you start to find that your child isn’t really struggling.  Nope, the reason for their drop in grades is more from failure to do/turn in homework assignments than from failure to understand the subject.
  • Pure laziness.  Punishments ensue.
  • If you are lucky enough to maintain your sanity, you may be lucky enough to make it to the end of the school year with perhaps a slight improvement in their grades.
  • If you just skip to the section below entitled “The Cure” you may just be lucky enough to kill the virus early on so that it doesn’t progress.

Then year two of middle school happens – or stage two.

Stage Two – Progression

  • If you are unfortunate to make it to stage two, you will find your child’s grades plummet a little faster towards the beginning of the school year.  You may think to yourself, oh here we go again, but little do you know that this virus has progressed.
  • Maybe it’s a shared virus between friends, maybe not.  But whatever the strain of virus, assignments are getting missed more frequently.
  • As if the dropping grades aren’t bad enough, the virus takes over your child’s tongue, and they start making up reasons:
    • “I turned it in, the teacher must have misplaced it/not have entered the grade yet.”
    • “I did it, but forgot to turn it in.”
    • “I didn’t know I had that assignment.”
    • “I forgot to bring that book home.”
    • And my personal favorite…”The computer I am using doesn’t have Microsoft Word on it, so I can’t do it.”  (Nevermind the fact that there is another computer in the house with Microsoft Word on it.)
  • So as the virus progresses, so do the punishments. More privileges are taken away.  Threats are made, and even a little bribery may begin to take place.

The Cure

There is hope, although it may not come fast enough.

  • First, you must create an alliance with your child’s teachers. When you do this, don’t be surprised when you find your sweet little child is playing both ends of the spectrum.
  • Let your child know that you and the teachers are communicating and comparing stories.  It’s important that the child knows that you are on to them.
  • Set a firm deadline for everything to be brought up to date, and set a consequence for failure to meet this deadline.
  • Explain to your precious child what it truly means to fail – repeating a grade, not being with their friends, etc. etc.  You may be surprised to learn that they didn’t really know this could happen.  (I guess you never really know how things work until you are taught.)
  • Finally – TOUGH LOVE.  Find that one heartbreaking punishment that matters.  No matter how much you love your little one, it is imperative that you find the most effect one and STICK TO IT!  No matter how much you hate to see your baby upset.  Some medicinal tactics may include:
    • Loss of cell phone/ipod/etc.
    • No game/computer privileges
    • No sleepovers/friend outings until grades come up
    • And the really harsh one that I must finally resort to…cancellation of any upcoming birthday fun. Yep, it may have to get that drastic.

So as much as I hate to break my dear baby’s heart.  We must conquer this virus.  I hope that my medicine works, or I am sure she will feel like it has taken her to the brink of death when that special day of hers arrives and nothing special happens.  Of course, a little bit of prayers for us are always welcome.  😉

Double My Dose Please

I have been taking Prozac for almost a year now. There have been times when life has seemed so grand, that I thought I could possibly quit. Then there are other times when a few little people in my life like to challenge me to no end to the point that it is probably a good idea I am still taking it.  When I followed up with my doctor recently, the timing worked to my benefit.  Honestly, I was feeling a little blue.  I can’t explain why, I just know I was.  Perhaps my system had gotten used to the Prozac.  But then again, I was contemplating quitting the drug anyway.  In the end, my doctor and I decided that since I was on a low dose, we would try doubling it to see if things would improve for the better yet again.  Yes they did.

Again, I cannot argue the medical benefit of being on an anti-depressant enough.  Aside from recently feeling down, I’ve never been a depressed person.  I’m actually a rather happy, easy going person – that stresses out fairly easily.  My initial low dose of Prozac did wonders for my stress.  No it didn’t solve the issues surrounding the stress, but it kept me level headed.  It kept me thinking clearly.  In situations where I would normally fly off the handle, I was able to think the situation through and use a more effective approach that would provide a desirable outcome for all parties involved.  Truth be told, it helped me calm down so much that I was able to clearly voice my needs, opinions, you name it, toward my husband and children in such a calm manner, that it actually calmed them down as well.  While my children are still struggling with the effects of puberty, the result with my husband has been the greatest.  We have a wonderfully loving, content and highly intimate relationship. If you just met us, you may think that we have a perfect relationship.  My friend even wrote about us in her blog: Friendship and Romance.  In actuality, we have had our ups and downs like any couple.  That’s human nature.  Honestly, I was a little neurotic and would get bent out of shape over so much.  My stress caused stress that was reflected back at me, which would build mine up even further and so on.  It’s really a vicious cycle.  Now that I am calmer, I elicit a calmer response in return.  In the end, a mature, meaningful, clear understanding is conveyed.  The result – an intimacy that is stronger than any bond we have had in the previous 24 years of being together.  We have created another cycle, my remaining calm keeps him calm, which makes me more responsive and loving towards him, which reflects back to me in an intimacy anyone would desire and yearn for.

Now my children are still another matter.  As all preteens, they are testing their boundaries.  When I am not calm with them, they turn into the devil’s spawn.  So yes, you could say I’ve learned alot about the human response.  Negative approaches breed negative reactions.  Positive approaches breed positive (or at least more desirable) reactions.  So I watched a scenario play out yesterday that in my head I could imagine turning out so much more negatively than it did.

Normally, Virginia gets out of school at 3 pm, goes to the bus depot, changes buses and arrives at my office at 3:50 pm.

Yesterday, the bus was held up for who knows what reason…I didn’t ask.  At 3:45 pm she was still at the bus depot.  At 4:15 pm, my friend’s daughter shows up at the office.  Virginia is not with her.  Virginia was not on the bus.  I tried calling her…she left her phone at home.  I had no way of knowing where she was.  Amazingly, as worried as I was, I felt calm.  At 4:30 I called my husband.  We agreed who was going to call which places to find her.  At 4:35, she walked into the office.  Apparently, in the chaos of the moment, she missed the bus.  The old me would have went crazy with anxiety-ridden worry, but that would have turned into anger when she walked in the door, and I would have been yelling at her as to her irresponsibility.  Instead, I watched her calmly walk in and I just watched.  She told me she was sorry several times.  I didn’t say anything.  She offered to punish herself and give me her ipod for a week.  I didn’t say anything, instead I called my husband to tell him she had made it in.  Then I got the full story from her.  I didn’t feel any punishment was needed.  Instead I could see this as one of those life lessons for Virginia – luckily one with a good ending.

This morning, on the way to school, she started to fret.  She couldn’t find her bus pass.  I instructed her to keep looking, and I called my friend to see if it was in her car.  No bus pass.  I didn’t have any cash for the bus, but my friend did.  She gave the money to her daughter to pass off to Virginia at the bus.  We arrived at the bus station a little too close to departing time for comfort.  I told Virginia to run and to call me once she was on the bus so I knew she made it.  I was half way around the block and received a text message from her saying, “I think I missed the bus.”  Old me – freak out time.  Current me – calmly calling her phone to see where she was.  She answered and amidst high levels of background noise, it sounded like she made the bus.  Not being able to hear her, or her hear me, I sent her a text message asking if she was on the bus.  No response.  So I drove to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee and wait to see if I was going to receive another phone call for me to pick her up.  Again, luckily for my friend’s daughter, my friend received a text stating that Virginia made the bus.

Now I know you are reading all this and saying so what, big deal.  But I’m telling you, the way I made it through each situation as compared to how I would have made it through before was like night and day.  Instead of high levels of stress, I was faced with a calmness that set a different tone for my day.  So my point is, if you have high stress or highly stressed reactions, there really is help.  Disregard that the medicines offered are called “anti-depressants”.  Sometimes being depressed has nothing to do with it.  You are only responsible for your actions, regardless of other people’s responses.  But your actions can have an effect on their responses.  So I am happy to say double my dose of happiness please.

The Insanity That is Parenthood

My children are slowly driving me insane.  Yet, I find it amusing that as I talk or write about the things they do that are pushing me over the edge, other parents provide me with feedback that indicates this is really the norm.  Why doesn’t anyone tell you these things before one signs on to be a parent? Sure kids are wonderful, sweet, loving, etc.  Then they grow older. Guess what – this unbelievable thing called hormones creeps in and will take your sweet little child over. At times it’s mild. Other times, they are unrecognizable. Have more than one child, and you add a whole new dimension to the insanity.

So if this is so normal, why doesn’t anyone tell you?  It’s an evil plot. I’m convinced parents that have been through it don’t share this info until it is too late, because they want everyone to suffer like they did.  So now as my innocent little babies turn into the devil’s spawn, I am slowly turning into the devil. I must be, after all, they are “my spawn”.

So why are people so eager to have kids? Well let me tell you why. Outside of the insane moments, I get the joy of watching two little girls grow and mature into responsible, adventurous, and yes, even caring young women. They make me prouder than anything I have ever accomplished on my own.  They entertain me more than any show I could watch on TV. But most importantly, they are teaching me about life and what life and love are really all about.

I hold onto the special moments so I can survive the chaotic ones, for I know they will pass.  I just hope I am left in one piece after their raging hormones chew me up and spit me out. I love you both dearly.    Oh, and Mom, I am sorry for anything and everything. I’m sure I wasn’t that different…even though I don’t think I was that bad.  I love you! 

Mama Drama

I have known for quite some time that parenting two girls has its challenges, so why does it surprise me that it gets more challenging as they get older?  It seems I just get over one hurdle, and another one is coming at me.  Most of it comes from the “drama factor”.  Everything is so dramatic and tragic to girls.  Was I this way when I was their age?  I remember my internal struggles, but I don’t really recall being outwardly vocal about them, so my mom was never involved in them…except once.  There was a time when I was ten that I got into a fight with my best friend Michelle.  Michelle told her mom, who called my mom, who then had to “have a talk” with me.  Seriously?  I just remember thinking that calling in parental reinforcements was so unfair. 

Now I have kids of my own, and I wonder when I’m supposed to sit back and observe and when I am supposed to intervene.  I have watched other parents contact each other to set their kids straight.  I have even been contacted by other parents when Virginia has done or said something that hurt their child, which I hate.  I would prefer to stay in observor mode forever, and most of the time I do.  Even the one time when Virginia cried “fix it” to me, I had to set her straight and tell her it is not for me to fix her issues.  Still, when I see something troubling her, I feel terrible and want to help.  That’s when stupid mom mode comes into play.  You see, my biggest issue is that I’m a thinker and a writer.  I need time to think things out and then put them down in writing so I can contemplate what I have, rearrange it if necessary, and work it out so it makes sense.  If I am called upon to act immediately, try as I may, I usually cannot think of the best thing to do or say.  I always look back later and think , “Oh I should have said….” or “I should have done….”.  Unfortunately, with kids, I don’t get assignments with deadlines.  Nope.  Instead I get emergencies that require an immediate response.  And I have learned kids’ drama + immediate responses = putting foot in mouth.

One such incident took place during my daughter’s bowling league.  She kept coming to me and complaining that the other girls were teasing her and being mean.  I tried several times to tell her to just ignore it.  The final straw was when she broke down crying.  [TRAUMA!  Enter irrational mom emotions.]  So I went over to the group of girls and attempted to play mediator.  I should have kept my mouth shut.  Looking back, I know to the other parents it sounded more like I was a crazed mom about to pounce on their “innocent” kids for falsly harassing my child.  I felt like an idiot.  Ironically, in the end, the girls all ended being friends with my daughter, and they went from being on opposing bowling teams to being on the same team.  It’s funny how things work like that.  So I try to always remember that incident when my daughter brings her drama to me to “fix”.  I should have remembered that today.

Luckily today I didn’t come off quite as much the idiot as I did back then, but I still should have just stayed out of my child’s drama.  She was upset about her city bus ride today.  It seems my friend’s daughter (“K”),  has older friends that she sits with on the bus.  According to Virginia, these friends are mean to her and curse at her, so she won’t sit with them.  It was her choice to stay away from them, but she was upset about not being included.  Being that my friend has such a super sweet daughter, who is popular and more mature than most adults I know, I thought I would help Virginia by telling “K” (yes her mom was present) that her friends were mean to Virginia.  As the words came out of my mouth I felt like a complete idiot.   Why didn’t I just let it all go?  Well, in my un-thought-out-perfect-vision of the situation, I had hoped “K” would help Virginia by inviting her to sit with them and simply telling her friends that Virginia was her friend, which may possibly turn the situation around for Virginia.  Yes, I do believe this child has this sort of pull at her school.  To make me feel even more stupid,  “K” asked Virginia a couple questions, and it turns out these friends were mean to Virginia LAST year.  How is it that this 13 year old appeared to be so much more reasonable and logical than me?  I think I totally lost cool points with my friend and her daughter.  “K” explained to Virginia that the kids she referred to from last year weren’t on the bus, and the one that was part of that group, is a nice girl.  So I explained to “K” that Virginia has the  once-bitten-twice-shy syndrome.  Now that I knew the situation, I suggested to Virginia that she give them a chance and try to sit with them and be friends.  These kids probably don’t even remember her.  Will that happen?  Well that’s up to Virginia. 

What appeared to be a major deal, was minor kid drama.  I learned once again that I cannot let my child’s emotions affect mine.  But it’s hard. It’s hard to watch this little person you love so dearly go through the most challenging parts of their lives and get hurt.  A mom can’t help but want to shield their “baby” from heartbreak, but I know that is just part of the lessons we must learn in this school of life.  Sadly, it’s probably true that the more they are exposed to, the more they will learn.  I just have to learn to sit back with a guiding hand, but to not interfere and keep my mouth shut.

Not Your Typical Girly Fascination

The other day, my daughter Virginia walked into the family room where my husband and I were and announced, “I’m bleeding.”  Of course I didn’t buy it for a second, because she said it with a smile on her face.  I didn’t even notice what she was talking about until my husband said, “What’s that on your face?”  Klara immediately chimed in, “Red marker!”.   Of course this was proceeded with some statements that were geared more to the ‘why would you put marker’ on your face variety.

Fast forward several days.

I went to tuck the girls in bed last night, and as Klara was shutting her closet door she cried out, “Oh no!” As I turned, I saw red splatter all over the carpet in her bedroom.  “WHAT is that?” I demanded.  Klara immediately jumped into defensive mode, “Virginia did it!”  Ironically it looked to me like Klara “did it”, because Virginia wasn’t in the room.  Within milliseconds Virginia was in the room and claiming that it was suppose to be in the bathroom.  “How does that make this better?” I asked in astonishment as if they were trying to justify this red “bloody” mess on the floor.  I noticed along side of the cup was a red marker.  So I listened as my girls explained to me how they had a brilliant plan to make fake blood.  Apparently this was the concoction that was on Virginia’s face a few days before.  Looked like marker on her face – didn’t look like marker on the floor.  And why blood?  Was I raising boys?  Girls aren’t suppose to want to do gross things like this!  But then again, Virginia did recently go to a sleepover where the girls gave themselves makeovers….the zombie kind.  Not what I would expect from a pre-teen girl.  She’s definitely unique.

So as my children kept passing the blame back and forth, they quickly got a lesson in cleaning carpets until 10:00 pm last night.  While they were scrubbing the carpet, my husband got home from work.  He came up to the bedroom and asked me what was going on.  As I explained it to him, I couldn’t help but add the fact that it really did look like blood.  Actually it looked like someone had slaughtered a small animal on the carpet.  (I should have taken a picture of the mess..but it looked something like the picture at the right.)  As I exclaimed how real it looked, I saw Virginia beam with pride at the fact that part of her chemisty project appeared to be a success.  I just pray that she doesn’t try to repeat it.  I don’t want to replace carpeting yet.

Mommy’s Special Spot Remover

Ah another Mother’s Day is approaching.   A day where we honor our mothers, and for those of us who are blessed to be mothers, receive our own honor.  I am thankful everyday for my beautiful, healthy, fun-loving children.  So I don’t need a day to receive any special honor.  There is that male side to me speaking again, you know, the one that thinks it’s another scheme to get people to spend money and buy greeting cards.  I definitely love to honor my own mom, but I still feel it’s strange to be honored myself.  Especially when it comes to being honored by one’s spouse.  Is that really necessary?  Sure I love that my husband celebrates that I am the mother of his children, but I am the mother of “his children”….not his mother.  So why should he feel the need to do something special for me? My friend says because she thinks if my children had their way, they would buy Littlest Pet Shop toys for me just so they could have them to play with.  Funny, and most likely true.

But two years ago my husband did the funniest thing for mother’s day.  The most fabulous, funny, sweetest thing.  A few days before Mother’s Day, he started telling me that all I was going to get was a mop.  I laughed and told him he could kiss my ass.  He could tease me all he wanted, in my mind, a little homemade card from the kids and a few extra kisses would be sufficient.  But on Mother’s Day, my girls woke me up and crawled in bed with me.  He followed them into the room with a surprise.  A bucket.  But not just a bucket, a bucket full of cleaning supplies – sponges, a toilet brush, spray cleaner, you name it.  I looked at him and lovingly called him an asshole.  Really, it was said nicely.  But he told me to look at it.  I replied, “I am looking at it!” as I pulled out each item, naming what it was and tossing it on the bed.  That’s when I got to the little package at the bottom labeled, “Mommy’s Special Spot Remover”.  The kids beamed with pride.  My husband sat there grinning.  I laughed and had to fight back a tear.  As I opened the package, inside I found a beautiful purple tanzanite and diamond ring.  Purple and Diamond being my children’s birthstones.  Granted Virginia’s is amethyst, but it’s purple and close enough.  Once again, my non-romantic man blew my mind.  I think that’s his M.O. – keep everything non-romantic and on the low down so that when there is a moment like this once every few years, it is extra special.  He has a good thing going there….it works and I love him dearly for it.