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Archive for September, 2008
My sister K. has a Myspace blog and yesterday, her birthday (Happy Belated Birthday!), she wrote a post about driving across a bridge and imaging her car going over the edge.
Would she try to save herself? Would she drown? Would she suddenly, under pressure, learn to swim?
And she also pondered the basic “WTF is wrong with me that I am pondering this?”
“Dude! I think about that EVERY TIME I cross a bridge.”
And tonight, tonight I am going to a party, a blogger bash, to be precise. Not to be too personal, but earlier when I went to the restroom I struggled with the button of my pants, which prompted more worries. *What if I drink too much at the party? My motor skills would go down. AND I’d have to pee a lot.
I imagined my friend Katie calling my husband and to say, “Um, can you come get Jennifer, she’s too drunk to drive home AND please bring a pair of clean underpants.”
Is this normal? Do other people have such irrational fears?
Last night, trying to be ambitious and actually accomplish something in the evening (other than my normal “making dinner, pestering kids about homework, picking one child up, dropping another one off, throwing in a load of laundry, do a load of dishes” evening) I decided to repair a pair of pants that had ripped at the seam.
I am NOT a sew-er and couldn’t thread the needle. In my defense, the needle holes were super small! And the thread, well, it was sub-par.
I guess that’s what you get when your sewing kit is from Dollar Tree.
I called to Chris for help.
He responded, confident in his threading ability. Ten minutes later we both gave up. Yes, the needle holes were that damn deficient.
He said “Why don’t you just call Wesley and ask him to sew them for you?”
Um, I should call my son and daughter’s fourteen-year-old friend to mend my clothing?
Chris said, “Sure. I had him repair the lining in one of my jackets and a pair of pants.”
My kids always complain about their indentured servitude, 18 years (minus babyhood) of getting mom a glass of tea, fetching the remote and picking up dog doo from the yard, but, really, why else have kids?
Okay, I know, I know, it’s the greatest joy, the continuation of the species, propagation of the aryan race, yada, yada, yada… I just want to remain prone while I watch TV and have a crap free yard.
(Yes, that “propagation of the white race” bit was a joke! I’m not a advocate of Matt Hale’s twisted beliefs.)
But asking their friends to do chores, well, that’s a little bit much, I do think!
I was talking to my dad yesterday and happened to mention my BFF, SS, who, btw, works at a strip club. And my dad says “Oh, did SS mention that I ran into her?”
Me: “Um, no.” (She really didn’t.)
Him: “I told her not to mention that she saw me. I mean, that would be embarrassing.”
Taylor’s hardest class is Biology; his teacher has high expectations and it’s nice to see Taylor work hard to do well. (He just got his first grade report in high school-seven “A’s” and one “B,” in Biology, of course!)
His first Biology project of the year is about bugs. He has to catch ten different kinds of insects, afix them to cardboard and write a one to two page paper about EACH bug.
And Taylor HATES, HATES, HATES to write.
His teacher is having them turn in a rough draft of one bug paper, today, to make sure they are following the right format (font type/size, double spaced, correct margins, etc) and citing everything correctly.
Taylor sat at the computer looking up information in his Audobon guide and online. He spent several hours over the weekend working on the paper.
Finally, Sunday night he walks into the kitchen and says “I’m still not done! It’s hard to write a whole page about one bug!”
He hands the 3/4’s full paper to me.
And it’s single spaced.
Reagan lied to us. She asked to go to her friend Ashleley’s house and we said “Yes. Are you going anyplace else?”
“No,” she assured us, “just Asheley’s.”
She and Ash met up with two boys that are in their grade and they walked around town. Ash is dating one of the boys; Reagan is not.
I found out when Ash’s mom called to have me send her home.
Yes, the heart-stopping call in which you realize your child is not only not where she is supposed to be, but also, you have no clue where the child might be. Or what she might be doing.
47 minutes of non-stop worry.
The admissions came slowly, first “we went on a walk,” then “we went on a walk with A. and N.,” then, “Yes, we went in A.’s house, but his mom was home.”
Feeling suspicious and distrustful, I checked her myspace page. Her status for the day said “Going to A.’s.” Obviously the deception was planned in advance.
She was extremely upset about my checking her myspace account, which made me MORE suspicious and MORE distrustful.
Curious, I started with her inbox, nothing interesting, then decided to go to her “sent mail,” normal stuff, a little bad language, a crush on a boy.. nothing major.
Then Reagan came back in the room and said “I need to talk to you privately.”
Oh, shit. What does she want to confess before I read it?
We sat, she cried and said that she has been really stressed out. That she is “ALWAYS in trouble!” That her brother “NEVER gets in trouble!” and that she has too much homework.
And that the night before she had considered killing herself.
(BTW, this was the same day she attended a suicide prevention program at school.)
I calmed her down, talked to her about being stressed out, suggested dropping a couple of activities, then ran her a warm bath.
Once she was in the tub, I went back to the computer. Her myspace page was still up. Her friend Ash was online.
All of her “sent mail” had been deleted and her inbox was rapidly disappearing.
Yes, my daughter used the threat of suicide as a ruse to distract me so her friend could erase the messages.
Of course I am relieved that my daughter isn’t actually suicidal. However….
How exactly does one punish such a deed? It’s, it’s, it’s…
Currently she is grounded for a month. But it doesn’t seem like enough. I’m not sure if I’m overreacting… her initial wrong-doing was pretty common for her age. But her co-opting a tragic occurrence (suicide) to manipulate me, well, it’s horrifying.
I feel like I need to do something more, something bigger, to somehow make her realize how wrong, how horrendous her deceit was, but I just can’t figure out what.
This has been a busy week, especially for Reagan, who has had cheerleading, declamation, basketball practice, chorus and a meeting for her upcoming middle school D.C. trip.
Speaking of chorus, last night Reagan told me, “I’m a soprano but want to be an alto and Maggie is an alto and wants to be a soprano, so we went up to the teacher and asked if we could ‘switch.'”
Uh, yah, and while you were talking to her, did you also tell her how you’ve always wanted blue eyes, so maybe you could also trade eyeballs?
Additionally, Reagan is running for treasurer of student council.
“#1 Reason to vote for me? I’m the only one running!”
As for Taylor, he’s less busy, because he decided to quit football. My husband was really disappointed, but is coping. Taylor seems less stressed. He likes to have a lot of free time and, with the advent of the school year and lots of homework as a freshman, he was feeling pretty overwhelmed.
Earlier this week I asked him who he was going to ask to homecoming and he responded “First I am going to ask Alivia.”
I guess he has a back-up plan! (I think her name is Paige.)
Unfortunately, when he asked girl #1, she already had a date.
He is going to ask the girl #2 today. (And, possibly, girls #3, #4, #5…. next week)
Yesterday I took the day off work to have lunch with a friend and to run errands; in addition to buying the kids some school clothes and grocery shopping, I had to go to the health department to get copies of my kids’ birth certificates. Yes, I am the kind of mother that
loses temporarily misplaces her childrens’ important documents.
Anyway, I approached the receptionist at the health department and she said,
Following her directions I walked by the WIC and STD clinics. Which made me wonder, how did she know I was there for proof I gave birth to lovely babies years ago? No children with me, so not likely WIC, but, what, I don’t look STD-“worthy?”
(I guess taking a vacation day to run errands instead of doing something fun kind of answers that question!)
This morning I got up early to drive Reagan and her friend, V., to Declamation.
V. said “I had a Toaster Strudel this morning.”
I responded, “Oh, yes, I remember when those first came out, when I was a child.”
Reagan’s smart-ass response: “Back when there were dinosaurs?”
Yes, back when there were dinosaurs AND children that were seen but not heard!
I was lying on my bed in my underpants watching Project Runway with my daughter and she said “Can you stop tapping your feet?”
But I’m trying to develop a nervous habit! My thought is it will burn off some extra calories. I told her that maybe I just burnt off a crumb of the peanut butter blondie I ate earlier. Her response, poking me, “so it doesn’t go right there on your thigh?”
To which she replied, poking my thigh again, “I know you can’t help it, mom.”
My son is working on a “family health tree” project for health class. It’s similar to a regular family tree, but includes health information such as who smokes/smoked, who has/had high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, etc.
On Labor Day, while we had family gathered, Taylor and I went around and asked everyone questions such as “Have you ever had cancer?” “How about mental illness?”
It made us very popular.
Especially funny was when I asked my sister M.-in front of our mother- what age she started smoking. My mom has always insisted she was older, but I knew she started in middle school. Her answer? 14.
(Okay, so maybe she was a freshman, but I really think she smoked semi-regularly when she was in 7th and 8th, it only became an ingrained habit when she was 14!)
14? Shit, that’s the same age as Taylor! I can’t imagine him smoking and my not knowing.
The project includes a paper and a poster and is graded on a rubric based upon the amount of information you have gathered. We, unfortunately, have a pretty darn healthy family, so I’m beginning to think maybe we should make up some maladies!
Tanorexia (only funny if you could see my paleness!)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (My car alone is proof that I have no obsessive cleanliness rituals, I do, however, wash my hands quite a bit!)
For my husband:
West Nile Virus
Human Papilloma Virus
Of course, if the project went beyond three generations, we would have more data, because, as my dad said to me:
“If you take after your mom’s side of the family you probably have about another 20 good years ahead of you.”
Her parents and siblings have largely kicked the bucket in their mid-50’s or younger. Crazily young, now that I am in my upper 30’s!
My dad’s family has had better luck, largily living into their 70’s. I guess that means my dad has “Another ten good years ahead of him!”