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Posts Tagged ‘children’

Okay, I couldn’t decide which child to ask so I asked the three who were closest. I asked them separately so they couldn’t see the prior answers or confer. The answers are from youngest to oldest D4-3; D3-8; D2-14 (My comments in parentheses.)

1. What does your mom always say to you?

Do my chores—clean your room—clean your room (do you see a theme here?)

2. What makes Mom happy?

Hugging her — doing your chores—clean house (yes, yes and yes)

3. What makes Mom sad?

 When you don’t do your stuff—when we do something bad—naughty children

4. What does your mom do that makes you laugh?

um..tickle me—a funny joke–jokes

5. What was your mom like as a child?

Grown up—she did lots of chores—an adult (another theme here. Do you wonder what I tell them? “When I was a kid…” 🙂 )

6. How old is your mom? 3—38—36 or 37 (close enough)

7. How tall is your mom?

stretches her hands up as high as they will go—I don’t know–5’ (If you’re interested. I’m 5’2”)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

color—clean the house–read

9. What does your mom do when you’re not around?

sleep—clean(pretty much)–I don’t want to know

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

I don’t know—writing—her books (Gotta love them)

11. What is your mom really good at?

pumping up a ball (I’d just done this for her) –writing—writing (my cheerleaders)

12. What is your mom NOT very good at?

reaching (she’s right, see ‘how tall?’ answers)—she not very good at nothing, I mean she’s good at everything (ahhh)—understanding (is she a teenager or what?)

13. What does your mom do for her job?

Get people their food(LOL)—write–write

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?

dinner–chocolate–many

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

I don’t know—she makes good snacks on Friday—that she takes care of five kids all by herself

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

I don’t know– Minnie Mouse—I don’t know (What? A little imagination, please?)

17. What do you and your mom like to do together?

color—go shopping—watch Heroes

18. How are you and your mom the same?

 because….—we both like to cook—we both like good books

19. How are you and your mom different?

*Blank stare*– She’s taller—our idea of fun is way different

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

Because you’re my best mommy (ahhh)–She makes us snacks and dinner–She cares too much. (another teen response.)

21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?

visit grandma—flower shop—out with friends, people her age (?)

22. Where is your mom’s LEAST favorite place to go?

sales calls—the bar(?)—downtown

Like, Becky,  who I stole this from, I tag anyone who thinks doing this meme would be fun (if in a potentially dangerous way!). If you go for it, put a link in the comments, so we can all check it out.

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Make- Believe

The other day, I was playing with D4–She has a little fisher price house that has long since lost all its accessories but for some reason has escaped several ‘discard toy’ sweeps. I don’t know where they came from  but we found these little figures (they might be McDonald’s) that almost fit in the house.  So I’m lying on my belly with my head on the ground so I can see into this little house. It has a little kitchen and gymnastics on the TV, a cake in the refrigerator… well I guess you know now how it escaped the sweeps.

She handed me a doll and said her name was Emily (Emily is also the name of her imaginary friend) and declared the other doll Claire. Poor Claire had seen better days. Somehow she’s lacking a nose because of an apparent unfortunate scraping accident and well, part of her shirt has been worn away too, revealing what would be her nipples if she was an x-rated doll. She’s not of course. We played for a little bit and D4 introduced two dogs. Barbie dogs. As tall at the shoulder as Claire and Emily. So my doll, Emily, decided to ride one. — Why is it that I started humming the tune of the lone ranger? That’s way before my time. — Only these dolls don’t bend so Emily became a trick rider.

Claire told Emily she was leaving to go to the post office to ‘take care of bills’ and for Emily to ‘eat more cake.’ When she came back, I asked her what the dogs names were. She said “Um… Sarah and Selia.” I stared at her for a full thirty seconds before I laughed. Those are my protag’s names. One from The Triune Stones and one from The Devil You Know. But how did she know that? I mean I never discuss my work with my three year old… aside from: ‘Mommy has to work now, please go play.”

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Just as she takes my real world—the post office bit—and interprets that into her play, my imaginary worlds have also filtered into her life. My first fan. It’s kind of nice.

"I'm a goofy goober, yah!"

"I'm a goofy goober, yah!"

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It’s the sound of the last nail in Awakening’s coffin. I know, dramatic, give me a break I’m dealing with something here. As you may of guessed I heard back from wonderful agent with a not-so-wonderful rejection of the manuscript. Don’t get me wrong, it was polite, respectful, even kind… and enough to make me want to scream. *Deep breath*

Yeah, I know I’ve moved on, but its hard to admit, even to yourself–maybe especially to yourself–that your baby is somehow flawed. I can almost hear SO take a deep breath to begin his ‘it’s a damn good book’ speech. And it is, and I know it, but even if it’s a flaw in timing, it’s still a flaw and it still isn’t a fraction closer to being published than it was a year or so ago when I decided to rescue it from the drawer. Quite frankly, chocolate is in order. To hell with the diet.

On another front (there’s always another front) Today was the first day back to school. We all woke up on time, all made it to school on time and when they were safely out the door, D4 and I cleaned the house… well the living room and kitchen with quick straighten of our respective bedrooms. But for hours today, the house, at least what visitors see, was clean. Yeah! And then I told D4 to watch tv for a half an hour(the length of a Diego episode) so mommy could work and then we’d play together. 34 minutes later, I walked out to see why she hadn’t held me to my bargain. Surprise surprise, she was sleeping! Yes, at 10 am, taking a nap. She doesn’t do that often anymore and I don’t encourage it. If it’s a matter of  her sleeping for a few hours during the day and staying up until midnight, or staying up all day and going to sleep early, I’ll pick the early. But at 10,  I mean that’s early enough that it shouldn’t affect her bedtime. Right? I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, I had two uninterrupted hours to write. That hasn’t happened, well, since she stopped taking her naps. It was nice, very nice and I got a lot of work done on some difficult chapters.

Well that’s the good and bad of it. And from the sound of things, it’s bath time.

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It sucks

Really it does having to listen to your kids tell you over and over again horrible ugly things your ex has said about you to them. D2 came home crying from her birthday dinner with her dad. D3 immediately whispered, “Dad was saying lots of mean things about you like,” here she lowered her voice even more. “like you have a mask.” I interrupted her here by smiling and miming taking off a mask, then whispering, “do I?” She laughed and all was good. BUT IT”S NOT!! I mean god damn him, what the hell is he thinking? It was D2’s birthday and he has to sit and tell her what a horrible mother she has? I am angry but it’s a hopeless kind of anger. There is not a god damn thing I can do. Yes, take him to court and watch the California courts give him mandatory parenting or anger management classes? He’s already had those.

I am not claiming to be perfect but you know, I’m a damn good mother and he’s run out of things to say except vague derogatory remarks like, your mom wears a mask.. oh yeah and he told his wife that it was my fault he cheated on her because ‘I made him the man he is today.’ that’s paraphrased, I don’t memorize that kind of shit.

This is a man who hasn’t paid court ordered child support in years. When he pays, he pays what he wants, when he wants to. Who when I asked him about health ins (which he is suppose to provide) said, well that’s your problem, isn’t it? And who has bad mouthed me every opportunity he’s had for 5 years to his CHILDREN. Who has cheated on his wife since the day they married, I know because he propositioned me! Who told his wife he was taking the kids out to dinner then called me to say he couldn’t pick them up so he could go out on a date. It takes every ounce of discipline I have not to tell them that their father is a fucking selfish prick but I do, and He is! Don’t worry, they don’t read this.  I don’t give a damn what he thinks about me, really I don’t, but he’s hurting the kids.

I’m sorry, this is neither inspirational or enlightening or even entertaining but really, I don’t know how to protect them and that hurts more than anything in the world. But you know, maybe he’s right, because I’m going to go out there now and smile and get them ready for school, watch Heroes with Eryn (our Monday night ritual) and they won’t know how impotent and sad I feel that I can’t make things better for them.

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Women’s rights

Recently I read an article regarding Michele Obama. It seems that several members of the women’s movement have criticized her for deciding to put her career on hold in order to spend more time with her children while her husband is president. I mean the outrage, wanting to spend more time with your children in a high stress situation!

I may be silly here, but I thought the idea of the women’s movement was to give women a choice.  The choice to work, the choice to stay home, the choice not to have children at all.

It makes me wonder. Recently I spoke with a woman who , with enthusiasm, told about having to go to LA to get her hair properly straightened. I smiled politely and nodded my commiseration. It’s way outside my area of experience but hey, live and let, right? Of course after the hostess mentioned that I am a writer, same woman politely quizzed me about how to get published. Then she asked if I worked too. (As if editing and writing was not work) I told her no, I quit my accounting job to work from home so I could take care of my toddler and be there after school for my children. She actually sniffed and turned her head to speak to the person on her other side. For the rest of the evening, I didn’t exist in her world. Was I offended? No, I actually almost laughed. Not a merry laugh, the ironic kind.

I am sometimes jealous when I hear women talking about jetting off here and there. Or even women who get to leave the house more than for the weekly trip to the grocery store. I can’t fathom a spur of the moment, let’s go…. fill in the blank. Or even having enough money to go the hairstylist let alone driving to LA to do it. I have a lot of respect for women who have chosen to spend so much time, money and energy on educating themselves and I am proud of them–my eldest daughter (D1) is among their ranks.

It’s a unique kind of life I’ve chosen: a single-stay-at-home mom. There is a lot of loneliness, isolation, stress and pulling out of the hair, but it’s one I feel grateful for and one I chose knowing how undervalued and under appreciated I would feel from time to time.

And that’s why the ironic laugh. At one time, I’d have been devastated. Not anymore. It is a life I chose and I’m proud of it.

Although I don’t know what it’s like to not have children, having had them my entire adult life, I have worked and raised children and I know how challenging that is. It seemed the only answer was cloning myself because I just couldn’t be everywhere I was needed when I was needed. When the opportunity came to stay home, do what I loved and concentrate more fully on my children, I jumped at it, but not without guilt. I wonder if that’s what Mrs. Obama is feeling. Guilt? I hope not.

There is no dishonor in focusing on your children. And if anyone says it’s not a difficult job, you can be assured they have not done it.  It does not set the women’s right move back. How could it? It does not say anything negative about women who chose to work (or those women who have no choice but to work.) It doesn’t even say anything negative about women who for whatever reason decide not to have children. It’s simply a choice and there are pro and cons to any decision but it is a valid choice we can now make and isn’t that the point? And can’t you respect that?

Off my soap box now.

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Last night

I finished off the Christmas decorating… well almost, if I don’t write tomorrow, it’s because clumsy and clumsier(D1 will argue who is who, but I am definitely one of them) are putting up the outside lights today. Last year we managed only a broken hose wheel and a few bruises (She fell on me–and the hose wheel. The hose wheel got the worst of it.) But we will have lights, last year was the first year we had any and we loved the saggy baggy things.

This weekend, I’d planned to do a lot of cleaning. I’d expected only to have D4 but ex called to say he wasn’t picking up the kids and the parent of OB’s friend called to ask if her son could spend the night here: chickenpox in the house. *Sigh* So I stretched the spaghetti and changed my mindset from decorating in a quiet house to a very loud and full one.

OB and his friend were playing Wii, D2 watching  from the couch. D3 alternatively helping and harassing her brother. D4 was quiet, I should have known. Periodically I’d ask D3 to go check on her and she’d return with, ‘coloring’, or ‘reading.’  Bliss. I’m sure you know I was wrong or I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Around 7:30, I paused at the entrance to the den to take a look at the decorations. Beautiful. Then I noticed something dark under my desk. I went to investigate and found quite a few dark soft ringlets. Voice shaking, I called D4. Sure enough, she’d cut her hair to the scalp on both sides of her head. She looks like she has a mullet. I didn’t know whether to cry, laugh or scream. I very calmly sent her to her room so I wouldn’t do any of the mentioned.

After disposing of the beautiful ringlets, I went into her room and in my sternest voice let her know she was never to do that again. I also swatted her bum but as this is the second time,she’s cut her hair, I didn’t think a lecture would do the job. After hugs and kisses. I asked her where her clothes were (she had been bathed and in her jammies but when I called her about the hair, she showed up in her underwear) She looked guilty but I couldn’t see why until I took her into the bathroom to wash her face. Imagine the contents of a watercolor kit–the adult kind, not the kid kind– over the entire surface of your bathroom counter. Brilliant, bold color. Sure you can laugh and yes, it was very um artistic but I stood there, speechless. I took a deep breath, went into the laundry room, grabbed windex and paper towels and we cleaned it up together. Big brown eyes darting nervous looks in my direction every few seconds. I, meanwhile, am wondering what the hell to do. No, mothers don’t have all the answers, at least this one doesn’t. Also wondering if the fall she took earlier, she was running outside, tripped and hit her head on the sidewalk, had anything to do with her behavior but no, D4 has always been the creative, self-sufficient type, who loves to be doing something all the time so this is within character. So I sent her to her room, spoke to her sternly, gave her a hug, left and she promptly fell asleep. Why not? She’d had a busy day.

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