Friday, June 29, 2007

We had a little invention known as the wheel, too.

I usually am not big on buying crazy kid cereal.  However, as I am still working this weekend, and we will have some kids staying over tomorrow night, I caved when I went to the store this evening.

Guilt + sale = Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles

Ben was getting a bowl down, "I love this stuff."   "So do I,"  I said, "I used to eat them to, when I was a little girl."

"They HAD Fruity Pebbles back then?"

Here I was, still basking in the glow that one of my coworkers pegged my age yesterday at 33 (right before she did my kid-math and figured out her error); poof! there goes my bubble.

"We had all kinds of nifty things when I was a kid.  Running water.  Indoor plumbing.  The wheel."

I think I'll be searching for some naked Ben baby pictures just for that. 

I'm sure his friends will love them.

The thing that turns me into a commando

It's been a slow week, but I'm not talking about going commando, but rather being a commando.

You see, there was a cockroach in my house tonight when I got home from work.  A cockroach.  In. my. HOUSE!

Ryan, ever-so-helpful, pointed it out.  "There's a bug by the tv in the wall unit."

"Bug" ---> a) lady bug; b)silverfish; c) cockroach large enough to see at twenty paces even though it is cleverly disguised in the same color as the wall unit.

I walk over, looking at the floor in front of the tv, as I have misunderstood him in my dread upon hearing the word "bug."

ACK!  There it was, hip high in the wall unit, right next to the tv, mocking me, in a spot I could not hit gracefully.  Considering the shovel-shaped dent in my garage from the Great Scorpion Smashing of 2004, I have to be careful with any display of strength near electronics, lest I break something.  I foolishly attempted to swat it with a flyswatter, and of course it fell back behind the wall unit.

My kingdom for an industrial size can of Raid.  Or a blowtorch.

I hate bugs.   I do.  I am a girl about it, too.  Some bugs, I can handle on my own, but really, I'd rather not.  Unfortunately, Mr W was already in bed, so I had to deal with this scourge, this threat, all by myself.

I'm always reminded of a story my Mom used to tell, in situations like this, of how she really hates spiders.  "But one day, mija, I saw one in your room, and I put my fear aside and killed it myself, because when it comes to my kids or being afraid of a little spider, well...pfffft!"  she'd gesture, in a sweeping spraying motion. "I wasn't about to let you get bit because I was afraid."

I have seen two cockroaches in three weeks.  Please spare me the tales of how "you see one, there are a jillion more" because I just can't handle that kind of stress.  I'll be calling the bug man, I can assure you.

At the moment, however, it was me vs. MegaRoach.  I'd just sat down with some popcorn when Ben points at the wall, in the corner.  "There it is!"  he says.

I go find a good shoe to dispatch of it.  And proceed to miss it.  It feints, and I miss it.  Repeatedly.  Scurrying to and  fro, it evades me as I rearrange dog crates, then sofa, then coffee table...."Mom, it's over here,"  Nolan says, pointing under the dining table. 

By now I am breathing fire, when I realize I need a new approach.  Mr W's workboot is just too awkward to swing.

I grab one of my chanclas, and as it makes it's way for the free open space of my kitchen (my kitchen!) I let loose a stream of curse words, following suit. 

"He is DEAD,"  I remember muttering, as I skirted past Nolan and Ben to get at it.

"Die, you motherfucker,"  I hiss as I smack, smack, smack in rapid succession until it is mush and most definately dead.  As I straighten up, I hear a huge outburst of laughter.

"Daaaang, Mom,"  Nolan said, "you KILLED it alright."  Ben takes a knee and pretends to load a bazooka, mock firing into the kitchen, "You really blew that up,"  he laughs. 

"Why did you do it like that?"  they asked, just cracking themselves up with war-like analogies of my neutralizing method.  "Look, if you don't kill it and get it good, it will keep scampering away; so you really need to go for it."

"Remember,"  Ryan said,  "remember that dent she made in the garage with the shovel?"  They laugh at me some more.  "If you had Dad's gun, would you shoot it?" they ask.

"I would mount the little bastard on a stake outside my door as a warning to his cockroach brothers to stay the hell away from my house,"  I added, "if it would do any good."

"You were like a commando,"  Nolan chortled.

"Hey, my chancla is a deadly weapon."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Surly burly

I have been working extra hours since the kids got out of school.  Partially to adjust to the extra hours I want to be working as my regular schedule once Audrey is in school; and really because who can't use some extra money, for all the usual reasons?

Anyway, the kids had been gone all week, and I'd struggled with Audrey every day, as she missed the boys terribly and every morning was a chorus of "my brothers" this and "my brothers" that, followed by tears about how much she missed them.  It was hard.

Mr W didn't get a big taste of unhappy girl until I left them alone to work on Friday night and Saturday.  I worked all day Saturday; I'd gotten in late and stayed later than usual.

Midway through the day, I got a text from Mr W about how Audrey wanted the boys.

Here we go, I thought.  I knew what was coming.

"awww" I texted back.  Then I got:

"I was thinking we could drive up tomorrow after you get home from work, spend the night and bring them home on Monday."

I was hesitant.  I mean, I missed them madly, and it was awful.   But I thought it would be better for all of us to miss each other a bit before doing anything rash, like running up there just because.

I called the kids.   I could hear in Nolan's voice that he was a little bored, and that he was probably a little homesick.  Of course, he admitted nothing.  The other kids sounded the same. 

I texted back to Mr W, "Are you serious?"  to which he replied "We'll talk."

I got home kinda late in the afternoon, about 4:30, 4:45 or so.  After I got home, Mr W gave me a little attitude, "Why'd you come home so late?"

I sighed.  Sometimes, I don't get him.  Yes, he is supportive, 'go to work, do what you need to do' etc.  However, while I'm gone, I know he's wondering when I'm coming back,and he is right in that the kids are always wondering when I'm coming home...but it annoys me.  I'm not at a party.  I'm not out getting into trouble.  I'm at work.  Let me be.

So rather than pick a fight, I bite my tongue and tell him I got there late, and that I decided to work later today because I didn't do as many hours during my extra days as I wanted as I was coming home so unhappy girl would chill; and I wanted to pad my hours a little in case we were making a drive up to get the boys on Sunday.  Deep breath.  I was reasonable.  He was...surly.  Mopey. 

I know what that's all about.  Fine.

I get the phone, and head to our bedroom, and as I sit next to Mr W on the bed, I hear Nolan answer.

"I miss you alot and I want you to come home."  I said, throwing myself under the bus.  I'll take this one for the team, I thought.

"Really?"  Nolan answered.

I shared Mr W's plan with him, and I could hear the relief in his voice.  (Not that he wasn't having fun, they were having a good time, but I knew the bloom was off the rose.)

I handed the phone to Mr W.  "Talk to them.  I talked to them earlier today."

Mr W shared his idea with all of them, and I could see the shift in his body language as he eased up.

The plan ultimately wound up being that my brother and sister-in-law were going to take the kids on one more hike Sunday afternoon, and they would meet us halfway, in Payson, Sunday evening.

Once we hung up, Mr W became himself again.  I teased him:  "How well do I know you?" as I joked about his surliness-to-good mood change.  We went out to dinner, and he was so much more relaxed, I couldn't help but smile inwardly that he missed the boys that much; that I figured it out before we had a blowout; and that my babies would be home in about 24 hours.

We drove up, my brother was a little bit late, but it worked out.  I looked back at Audrey as we were heading home, and even her little body was relaxed--not tense anymore, no more little outbursts--and she was so, so happy.

Life was good.  It was a beautiful evening, the sunset was nice coming out of the mountains, the air was warm....

Wait a minute.

The air is warm.

I snuck a look over at Mr W just as he started putting his hand over the air vents, frowning a bit as he adjusted the a/c.  A few miles later, we heard a noise that upped the sphincter factor for the evening into 'high alert' and I held my breath, looking at the spedometer and praying it didn't plummet down to nothing.  The van kept running, but I still started the "please, just get us home" prayer.

Our air conditioner conked out.  Which in Arizona, at this time of year, which Remo so aptly describes (you may want to skip this part) as "ass-gravy weather,"  lack of a/c is just not an option.

I'm waiting to hear from the repair shop, but I know it's gonna hurt.  It's always something.


The kids are home.  We were traveling at night and not noon, so the ride was hot, but not HOT.  They had a good time, and my kids missed us, too.  Ben even said he missed his Dad's "Law-and-order" approach to their well-being.

You should have seen Mr W's face, as he fought the grin, it was priceless.

Everything will be okay.  (crossing my fingers)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Persistence is hereditary

Children must come out of you innate with the knowledge that nagging a parent to death is a surefire way to eventually get your way.

My children have been nagging me all year to go stay with my brother in Winslow.  My nephew and niece were up there spending a couple of weeks with him, and so my kids were "mom please please please" -ing me to death about going.

Nevermind that they've never been away from us like that.

That my brother exhibits, um, questionable judgement from time to time.  (Not that he'd ever do anything wrong in regards to my kids, but you know, just enough of a wild card to make me worry--albeit needlessly.)

I caved last week, and said they could go.  My brother picked them up on Tuesday.  Audrey stayed behind, as she is still too little for that kind of thing.

So my boys, 13, 11, and 8, are spending time with my brother, his wife, my almost-3-yr-old niece, and their 11 yr old cousin that they always see.  My other niece opted to stay in town here with her Mom (my bro's ex). 

I figured it would be good for them, to see it might not be a huge party every day, that they could be just as bored in someone else's house as in their own. 

Audrey is upset that they are gone, I get "My brothers" this an "My brothers" that all day long.   She is counting on her fingers every day--"Today is the third day," she says, holding up a finger, "two more days."   They will come home Monday night with my brother (he's coming into town again, so it worked out fine.)

I've talked to them on the phone, expecting, at the very least Ryan to cry a little that he misses me.


"Yo,"  Nolan says when I get on the phone.

Ben acts like I am interrupting some serious business, and it sounds like Ryan is taking time out of his packed schedule to spare me a few words.

Yeah, my nose is a little out of joint. The house is way too quiet, and while I realize I was counting down the days till school starts last Sunday, I do miss them.  Alot.

I can't even make cookies.  I made some for Audrey, and there they sit, unscavenged.

I watch their shows or at least have them on as background noise, and when Mr W comes home, it's like the King is arriving, I'm so happy to see him.  I do fun stuff with Audrey, like taking her to the movies yesterday.  Where I instinctively looked for six seats together, in an empty theater, needing only two.  Sigh.

I'm going to have to get used to this.

But I'm not sure how.

The date on the package is just a suggestion

My persistence in getting one of my Russian friends at work to teach me a few words has paid off.

I can ask him "how's it going?" when I come in, and occasionally, can remember what his response is going to be.  I can say "Happy Birthday," and a couple of other words.  I am hardly fluent, but it's great fun, and he is delighted that at least I try.

One day, I repeated something he was teaching me back to him, and he complimented my pronunciation.  He said that because I speak another language already, I seem to pick up how things are supposed to sound.

"Thank you,"  I said, with a self-conscious giggle.  I threw on a dramatic air, lowered my voice, and in the accent I could muster, said, "Just call me Natasha."

I expected to crack up my other coworkers in the area, and I knew I'd have to explain myself to my friend, but imagine my surprise that only two people (out of about six) got my reference to 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' (as that was the Natasha I was referring to).

Why, pray tell, did these people not get it?

Because they were too young.  Too young to remember that cartoon!  I started explaining, then stopped myself.  It was too painful.


I whipped out a mirror to check the youth expiration date on my ass.  It took me a minute as things in that vicinity shift at will and are never where they are supposed to be.

It appears my shelf life is up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's just dust, don't we all return to it?

I know I have mentioned before that I am not the most vigilant of housekeepers.

I'm really not.  And on the big list of things that annoy my husband, I know it's in the top five.  But I don't care.  I prefer spending the time with the kids, or said hubby; not obsessing over whether or not I've changed the sheets, swept the floor, cleaned the house isn't a pit, it's...lived in.


Today, the a/c needed the semiannual checkup, and I was ready when the guy arrived:  "Dogs are in the house, the unit is on the side of the house in the backyard, the gate is open."

He hesitated, and I was thinking that perhaps I was looking more fetching than I thought as I'd changed out of my pajamas.  The awkward pause lengthened, however,  and I started wondering if maybe he just didn't hear me.

"I need to come inside," he said, breaking the silence, "and look at the thermostat and the air filter first."

Oh, great.  The air filter.  Which, in a perfect world, we change at least once a month.  Which, in a perfect world, lies strictly on the "man" side of the household chore equation.  Which, in a perfect world, I'd have a spare of, ready to be put into place.

The fact that I woke up the last couple of days with the grossest stuffy nose ever would lead me to believe that the filter was not gonna be clean, but I motioned for him to follow me anyway.

As we made our way down the hall to the register, I actually started defending myself that we do indeed change it monthly, and that "it might be a little bit dirty."

I bit my lip and turned away when the little cloud of dust floated down from the register onto the guy's head upon opening it up. 

There is just no defending that.  I took my mini-lecture like a good sport, and made a mental note to share the joy with Mr W the first chance I got.

The shame I bear is only second to that of when one of the little boys, the brothers who come to play with my boys, let it slip that his mother makes his brother take a shower after they leave our house as "he gets all full of cat (pet) hair."  Oh, come on, I thought.  They're boys, they get dirty, why does a little whatever hair make such a difference? 

I think I vacuumed every day for about three weeks after that.  I still vacuum before they come over each time now.

Home Depot, here I come.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The smallest gestures can be the biggest

Every Friday, my husband sends me an email.

It's one of those things that just started out as a little "fyi".  It has come to represent to me that he thinks about me and wants to make my life easier.  It shows me that he cares. 

It's not a missive outlining his undying love and devotion, but I look forward to it every week.

It's an email that he gets at work, detailing all the freeway closures for the weekend.

I work about half an hour/45 minutes from our house, something like 28 miles.  Getting caught in the middle of a freeway as it is being shut down while you are in a hurry to get to work just sucks.   It happened to me a couple of times, and then one Friday, this email appears.  Turns out I had to take a detour that weekend, and it was so helpful, I was so delighted not to be late, that he just started forwarding it on to me each Friday.

While this information is readily available, and I could look it up myself, I still wait to get it from him.

He does a myriad of things for me all the time, yet it is this one thing that makes my week.

It's silly, I know.

But ultimately, it's the little gestures you do for someone on a day to day basis that I think provide the glue that keeps you together.  You might make the coffee in the morning.  Or you might, when you are doing the laundry, remember not to put her bras in the dryer.  It might even be the way you remember to put the seat back in the car when you get out of it so he doesn't lose a kneecap on the dashboard when it's his turn to drive.

I am touched by an email about traffic conditions and road closures.

I'm either insane, or in love.

Probably both.

Monday, June 18, 2007

List of demands


"Why is it that everytime the laptop is open, and I am in front of it, all I hear is 'Mom, mom, mom'?  What? What do you want!?  It's nothing but demands the second you see a lit screen.  'I want this, I want that, I want to eat..' "

Oh. That.  Breakfast.

I stop my ranting as I consider how ridiculous I sound.

"Who's hungry?" I ask.

As if I don't already know the answer to that.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Because I was there once too

Over the course of the last few months, whenever we are in the car, Nolan will listen to his iPod.

I don't blame him, tuning out the rest of the din in the car, I'd listen to headphones too would it not incur the squinty-browed disapproval of my husband. (He is concerned about my safety, so I can hardly argue with that.)

I've not said much to Nolan about it, even when it gets on my nerves...I just yank out one of his ear buds and say what I have to say.

Lately, he's taken to his room.  He's reading, usually, and again, I can hardly fault him shutting out the din of the house for a moment alone.  At thirteen, I'm surprised it's taken him this long to get to that maneuver.  However, I vacillate between respecting his time to himself and wanting to force him out amongst us. 

I found myself remembering today how I used to do the same thing.  One of the reasons I am such a voracious reader is that there wasn't much else to do in my town, especially in the summer; my family was certainly not rich, and the only entertainment, the only escape I had came from the pages of my books.  

It's a dilemma.  For now, I just leave him be, and once in a while I ask him to come out and hang with his boring Mom. 

Tonight,  I talked to him about not being in such a hurry to grow up.  I told him that I remember reading, and wondering about the world, and being impatient to be out there in it.  I told him not to be in such a rush to leave us, because adulthood is not as glamorous as he might think it is--to enjoy this time he has where someone else looks out for him, someone else pays his bills, because once it's over, it's not as fun as he thinks.

And something else came to mind, and I shared it with him.

"I remember,"  I said, "once, I was SO pissed off at your Nana, I counted down exactly how many days I had until high school graduation, until I could get OUT.  Out of her house, and that one-horse town.  Out into MY life.  Irealize, son, that some day you might be that mad at me. And I'm not saying that it's a bad thing.  But you have to realize that this time we have now is really not all that bad, and I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to run from all of us, and start trying to enjoy it more."

I know he's gonna go, they are all gonna go at some point.  I realize that my tendency to hold them close is not always a good thing.  Luckily, I have a husband who is a little more loose on the reins, and friends who are both quick and gentle in pointing out my insanity. 

As I held Nolan's hand for a moment this evening, I noticed how much bigger it is--it's about the same size as mine.

He's perfectly capable of doing all the things I can do.  He can hold on to things all on his own.

I just have to let him.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The days procrastination is there to slow you down for your own safety

The best part of my day thus far has been the morning snuggle.

Sandwiched between Audrey and Ryan in my bed, as we giggled about who had the coldest feet, I had to wonder if it was worth getting up today at all.


I have to go to work today, which means a drive to drop off the kids at Nana's first; I'm trying to beat back the laundry to the last three loads or so; the big boys are still asleep; I'm cooking for Ryan and Audrey (which guarantees the big kids making a locust-like appearance in the kitchen the second the little kids sit down);  I need to shower and Audrey needs a bath; and then there's the hubby.

He came home last night, had dinner, and got called out for work.  When I went to bed at 1 am, he still wasn't back yet.  This morning, we blearily cracked eyes open at each other, and the next time I opened my eyes, he was gone.

I'm getting a little wistful, remembering vaguely what sex is like.  Should I be so lucky that the children actually fall asleep at a decent hour (meaning I am still awake enough to feel feisty) I know that the second I reach for a bra strap Aunt Flo, who has been threatening to visit, will appear on my doorstep with the intent of staying for a long time.

So I am procrastinating, with a capital P, and just letting the chips fall where they may, because if I start rushing around like a chicken with it's head cut off, I know I'll forget something important, like a child, and no one wants that.


On the bright side, I made my bed, to discourage anymore morning snuggling.

Because that would lead to a nap.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Touch of royalty

A couple of weeks ago, my little niece Sophie was in town; her sister Genna was over, and with Audrey in the mix, the three amigas were running around all over Nana's house.

While Genna does tend to lean towards 18 instead of 8, she usually is quite happy to tone it down and take on ringleader status when her half-sister and Audrey are around.

They worship her, and I can imagine that is a heady thing for a second grader. 

They have little picnics where I try not to notice they have taken half the fruit out of my Mom's fridge in the interest of making the basket look full.  They clomp around in each other's shoes.   They torment their brothers. 

This time, however, the game of the day was to wrap themselves up in sheets, pretending they were robes.  They would walk around Mom's kitchen, noses in the air, Sophie clomping in someone's big shoes, her tiara a bit askew.

She and Genna, were in front of me, presenting themselves in their finery.  Genna was explaining to me that they were princesses (thus the "robes").

"I see,"  I told her.   Sophie stepped forward and presented herself to me, then my Mom. 

"I Prince,"  she announced.

"Princess,"  Genna corrected.  "No, PRINCE."  Sophie insisted.

My Mom, ever the gentle negotiator, said, "Sophia, are you a Prin-CESS?"   "No, I Prince."

"Princess Sophie,"  my Mom tried again.  "Yeah,"  I added, "You're Princess Sophie."

She drew herself up to her entire 3-foot height, stuck her little head up at the perfect angle, grabbed a portion of her robe and slung it over her shoulder; and as she snapped her head in the same direction, as haughtily as a 2 1/2 year old can muster, said:

"I'm not a Princess.  I am A QUEEN."

I looked at my Mom, and we both had to giggle.  "We stand corrected,"  I said.

I was about to courtsey for the queen when I looked up and all I saw was the flip of a ponytail and a tiara askew turning the corner.

I knew then that the boys were gonna be in trouble.

Now that she's two, and when she's twenty-two.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just like watching TV instead of doing my homework

It's a good thing I didn't have Internet access during my homework formative years.

I dutifully logged on this morning, notebook and pen in hand, ready to slay the CEU dragon once again.

Instead I've been surfing j's, emailing a friend, and wasting time.

Oooh, and now, I'm hungry.  I'll get to the ceus as soon as I eat.  You know, you can't go to school on an empty stomach and all that.

And then there's this:

Saturday Six, Episode 165

1. What do you consider more important to your long-term happiness: your relationships, your location, your career or your dreams?

While they are all related, I think that if you are happy in your relationships, then the other stuff kind of falls into place, or at least doesn't matter AS much.  

2. Other than a significant other, how many people do you feel you can truly turn to for advice?

I have a few people I run things by, and their advice is usually very solid.  Whether or not I follow it is another story.

3. Of the people you think know you best, how surprised would you think they would be if they knew “everything” there is to know about you?

Not very.  Somewhat.  Okay, a few things might earn a raised eyebrow, but I'm not that big of a mystery, which is both a good and a bad thing.

4. Take the quiz:
Are you living the wrong life?

This quiz was a total downer.  But it said that:  Your life is 16% off track.  
No doubt about it, you are living the right life.
You've made some great decisions, and they've definitely paid off.
Keep it up. You're on the right track!

5. What is the longest you’ve stayed in a job you weren’t happy in? 

8 or 9 months.  The longest 8 or 9 months of my life, but I got a really good friend out of it. 

6. What single factor made you stay the most? 

My husband was in the police academy, we had a new baby (Nolan), and we weren't really in any position for me to be flighty about my job.  I had to find another before I quit that one, and when I did, I showed up to deliver a Dr John-I-quit letter and never went back.  No two-weeks notice.  So unlike me, yet so cathartic it was worth it.

Whew.  I'm off to my articles.

In a few more minutes.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

At some point the answer is always "c"


Three little letters that are causing me all kinds of trouble right now.  (Continuing education units to those of you blessed enough to not have to deal with such a thing.)

My work certification will be up in August.  Yeah, you have three years to get your 3.6 CEUs (36 hours) but...

I work part-time. On the weekends.  I'm not around for any opportunities, via lectures and such, that happen during the normal workweek.  I do show up for mandatory hazardous materials training and yearly required stuff, but otherwise, I'm on my own.

I, ahm, tend to wait until the last minute.  Usually it's not a big deal, I always manage to get it done.

This year, however, my supervisor has decided to spaz out and hound me.  She even went so far as to pull my technical file and point out how severely lacking I was in my CEU quest.  I think I even heard her say "c-e-uuuloser."

I was a little annoyed that in all the years I have worked there, it's never been such an issue.  That other labs don't always make such a big deal about it.  That it's not like I'm gonna get paid more because I am certifiable.  I mean, certified.

There is an online opportunity I know of, and I checked it out earlier this week.

I'll show them,  I thought, as I completed 5.5 hours in two days.   (which upped my ceu ante to 2.3 or so)

I commented to a colleague today that I felt like I hadn't left work, as I'd been doing so much CEU stuff at home that I felt as though I was going to give birth to an oncologist.

Seriously, after my last session yesterday, I couldn't even see straight.   All the answers looked right.  I remembered all the advice about "pick the one that your gut picks first" or "pick C". 

Hey, it got me through high school.

Unbeknownst to me, my boss was lurking in her office as I made that comment.

She came out of her office, intrigued, so I had to explain myself.  Me and my big mouth.

She was a little impressed. She was asking me about what articles I chose, etc.  Then she asked:  "What do your kids do while you are doing all this?"

The answer that came to my lips initially was: "They play with their flaming, razor-sharp swords, of course."

I mean, what kind of question is that?   Earlier I had to endure, from another supervisor, "Poor Anna.   She is probably feeling we're picking on her because she's gotta show up today for her hazmat training, and we're hounding her about CEUs...and she's probably thinking, "I've got four kids, I don't have time for this..."  (She also once teased me that I go to work to get a break.  Away from my children.  One of those 'I don't know how she does it...." lead ins with the she's-a-Mommy-that's-how-isn't-her-little-job-cute? chasers.)  It makes me feel like the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe when I hear things like that.

Come ON, people.

I really need a snappy comeback.  Something that would make my open-mouthed-did-she-really-just-say-that shock go away, and remind them once and for all that having a working uterus doesn't mean I am lacking a brain.


"I quit."

I'd say it, but....I have four children to pay for, and that's okay.

The Mommy-track eventually comes back to the station.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Because an older kid hates to be upstaged by a mere birthday

After I woke up Ben this morning, I moved on to Nolan.

"Morning, Mom,"  he said.

I looked at him, and started to touch his forehead.  "Are you feeling okay?  You sound sick."

"I'm fine," he insisted, in a voice that started somewhere around his knees before it made its way up.

Well.  I felt like I should have noticed this happening subtly, but it's like it happened overnight.  My boy, he a man.

This was confirmed when a friend of mine called and thought she got the wrong number.

"Who was that?"  she asked.  "Nolan."  "Not my little Nolan?"  "He's not so little anymore,"  I told her.

I was looking at him a couple of week ago at his band concert.  It dawned on me how much of this year, his seventh grade year, has been spent by me learning to let go.  Letting him grow and morph into the young man he's supposed to be.

It's really hard. 

Until he comes up and hugs me.  I realize (with some relief) he does still need his Mommy.  I have to say that it's very surreal to hug your baby when your baby is as tall as you are and sounds like he's in need of some hot tea with honey.

But I'm gonna do it as much as I can.

It's not a special occasion unless the entry gets eaten

Today was Ben's birthday.

I had a great heartwarming entry all fired up and ready to go, but AOL ate it.  Oh, yes.

That's what I get for trying to add a photo of the boy.

Here is the short version:

*He reminded me to tell him "Happy Birthday" when I hugged him awake this morning.  As if I could possibly forget a strapping 9 lb 7oz-22 inch anything being removed from my body, not to mention the ensuant two weeks of after-we're-home hell endured while trying to get him to nurse.  And the round the clock feeding frenzy that followed (for both of us) which was required to keep him full. 

*He was the happiest, most adorable, chubbiest-thighed baby you ever saw.  (Which made all of the above agony worth it.)

*He is still the happiest, sweetest kid you'd ever like to meet.  He will look you in the eye as he shakes hands and says "Pleased to meet you" without my throwing him a look or prompting him.  I melt every single time he does it. 

*He is a social butterfly.  A rock star sometimes.  He got hurt recently at school, and while Mr W sat with him at Urgent Care, I went to the school to collect Ryan...and was stopped about four times on my way to the office by classmates asking about him.  After the ladies in the office asked too, I started looking for signs that said "Save Ben."

*He was spoiled by the lovely Jane today at her house.  Swimming, pizza, cupcakes (with candles)--she made his day.  :)

*Tomorrow, he will have more celebrating to do at Nana's house, where he will not be spoiled at all.  Not one bit.

He is a happy-go-lucky kid who manages to make everyone feel special. 

Even me, and I'm the Mommy; isn't that my job?

Happy Birthday, my Ben-ben.  Your inside is as beautiful as your outside.  :)