Friday, June 20, 2008

How To Unload On The Nearest Available Punching Bag, Or

Why I'm An Unfit Mother

—early this morning—

EM: Mom? Can I play on your computer?

Me: NO! grrrrrrnashgrumblegrrrrrr IT’S LATE! grrrrrrrr BUS COMING! ahrrrrgggggg EAT BREAKFAST! NOW! FASTER! EATEATEAT! grumblegrumblegrrrrrrrrr

room fills with disgusting slurping, sucking, crunching noises as EM warily munches on her Cheerios, earning her several more grumblegrumblepissmoanstinkeye’d grrrrrrrrrs while my tea takes a FUCKING ETERNITY to steep

EM: Um. Mom?

Me: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

EM: Um. Can you, um. Can you make a different lunch for me today? I’m bored with bologna lately.

grrrrrrrrrrrr ALWAYS COMPLAINING nashgrumblegrrrrrrrrrrrr UNGRATEFUL mumblemumblegrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr SPIT IT OUT THEN. WHADDUHYA' WANT! nostrilsflairingunattractivelygrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

EM: Um. I always like peanut butter and honey.



EM: Mom?

Me: WHAT! NOW! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

EM: I’m sorry I made you in a bad mood.

room fills with foul smelling vapor as hot air seeps slowly pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff out of my fat head

Me: I woke up in a bad mood, EM. It’s not your fault.

EM: Why are you in a bad mood?

Me: mumblemumblegrrrrrr Dunno

EM: Was it your date with dad last night? Was it Daddy? thoughtful silence Did he embarrass you? I get mad like that when he embarrasses me.

Director's Note: In order to do this piece the dramatic justice it deserves, you will need to study any of the brilliantly rendered battle scenes from the Power Rangers television series. Pure theatrical genius, those.


Just after I finished writing that little drama about all the grrrr-ing and the argggg-ing over breakfast this morning, EM came home from school with a backpack full of this past year's notebooks, workbooks, and art projects. On the very last page of the very last notebook, I found this little drawing:Has she not captured my very essence? The very pith and marrow of my soul?

On the one hand, I feel terrible that she was so vexed by my rage this morning she felt the need to draw a picture about it. On the other hand, I'm utterly delighted that she felt the need to draw a picture because she was so vexed by my rage this morning.

I just found out a few days ago that I finally succeeded in getting her into art classes at the Kulturskole starting in the Fall. I was sort of dreading the hassle of having to get her into the city once every damn week for a 2 hour class that she may or may not give a shit about. But having seen this, I'm more convinced than ever that it's the right thing to do by her. Drawing/art is clearly her preferred mode of expression. It's the one thing her teachers are always sure to rave about: "EM's doing fine in school, a delight to have in class, and her drawings are aMAzing!"

I can't wait to see where she'll go with it once she's got someone who can offer her a little technical support. Hands, for example. Let us hope that they tackle the fine art of hands early on in the program.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Promise There Is A Perfectly Reasonable Explanation For What You Are About To See

Here's a summer challenge for all of ya'll while you're waiting for something more substantial to read.

A little game of Caption This Photo!

Writer of the most amusing, plausible, and/or enchanting caption gets to name my next cat. Extra credit given for entries submitted in limerick form (haiku is also acceptable, but not recommended).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Begging Your Pardon, But

You're all going to have to cut me a bit of slack for the next week, or six--or eight--or ten maybe...

Look, the first day of school is August 18. I should be able to resume regular posting then.

In the meantime, my dear ol' ma' is here visiting, and while I can assure you we're having a great time, and the kids are all over her like cute on kittens, I can't seem to get her to hush up long enough to finish a half-way decent post. I do have a few things in the works, but clearly it's going to take more time than usual for me to pull them into decent enough shape to publish.

Please be patient.

Cym--I'll be in touch with you about this illicit memory chip business. Shhhhh--makes me feel all dirty inside and stuff....

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Dread Retainer

Nine months.

That’s how long the orthodontist said he expected EM to have to wear The Dread Retainer.

Nine months.

Give or take a few weeks, of course.

But still—nine months.

I could make a whole other baby in nine months, the prospect of which—even given the long term consequences incumbent on said baby—is not nearly as distasteful to me as the thought of making The Dread Retainer feel welcome and comfortable in my home for nine full months.

I’ve spent some time online searching for a picture of The Dread Retainer. But I couldn’t find anything that looks even remotely like it. Sufficed to say, it’s all twisted, looping wires, and bulging, mesh cages; more crude instrument of Medieval torture than sophisticated device of modern dentistry. And it’s been permanently glued to EM’s back molars for the next—did I mention?—nine months.

Of course, on some remote level, I’m aware that it’s wrong of me to make The Dread Retainer sound like my cross to bear, rather than EM’s. After all, it was her gums that were scraped all to hell Friday afternoon while it was being fit into place. And she’s the one who hasn’t been able to eat much more than yogurt and runny oatmeal all weekend because her teeth are too tender to bite down on anything more substantial. But, gentle reader, please consider that I’m the one who has to listen to her suck and gurgle excess saliva until her mouth grows accustomed to the alien metal. I’m the one who has to endure the lisped and slurred speech as her tongue learns to speak around all that hardware. And I’m the one who has to hand pluck stringy bits of fruit and goo out from underneath the wires until she relearns how to chew and swallow.

The orthodontist tells me the excess saliva shouldn’t last more than 3 or 4 days. Same goes for the tender, aching gums and teeth. The more she talks, of course, the faster her tongue will learn to work around the metal. The swallowing, however, is likely to take some time, apparently. It is, after all, half the reason she has to have The Dread Retainer in the first place—to teach her tongue where it needs to be (roof of her mouth) when she swallows.

In case you missed the bit where I explained the story behind The Dread Retainer, here’s a quick synopsis: EM sucked her thumb a bit longer than she should have, ergo EM’s tongue has learned the bad habit of lazing sluggishly on her lower palette like a baby’s, rather than pressing firmly against her upper palette where it’s supposed to be. This, in turn, has led to a series of apparently untenable alignment issues that The Dread Retainer is meant to correct. Never mind that her teeth were neither crooked nor disfigured in anyway prior to treatment. Never mind that everything appeared to be in perfect working order—minus the trivial fact that she has been unable to use her front teeth to bite into a sandwich or apple or any other such food for that matter ever since her permanent teeth grew in. Is this an important ability? I seem to have lost my perspective somewhere between the drool and the lisp.


At least she didn’t embarrass me in front of the orthodontist again. Other than a bit of gratuitous whimpering before he’d even touched her, she behaved more or less decently. And I only had to threaten her Nintendo once to elicit such compliance! I consider this progress, no?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Two Things

Thing the First: I saw the season finale of Lost last night, and great glorious God on a hot dog was it ever good! But two ancillary things:

A) Why Jack’s dad? As far as I’m concerned the back story they built up around him doesn’t nearly justify his suddenly showing up everywhere to run the show. Speaking for Jacob? Showing up to tell Michael he can go now? I mean, didn’t Charlie and Jin deserve at least that much courtesy? Though, it has occurred to me that maybe Charlie and Jin aren’t all dead (only kinda/sorta island dead) which, I guess, would account for the difference, but still…Meh—the whole ‘Jack’s dad’ element confuses and annoys me.

B) Move the island by turning a great big icy cog? Seriously? That’s the best they can come up with? After turning us around to homicidal smoke clouds, time travel, and the freely roaming dead you’d think they would have put a bit more thought into it than that. I mean, come on! Here’s my disbelief willingly--wantonly--suspended for the next hour. At the very least light a fire with your eyes and chant some ancient Polynesian verse before you turn that cog!

Otherwise—brilliant! Desmond and Penny--swoon. How sweet was that?

Oh, and C) I hope Daniel Faraday isn’t dead, cuz’ I found myself kind of liking the dude. That new Asian guy, Whatshisname, too—he’s just pretty to look at.

Thing the Second: Boy had the open house at his new school today. He met his new teachers (all 4 of them) and his classmates (all 49 of them). He even got his first lesson book with 8 math problems he’s supposed to master by the first day of school in August (hint: the answer is always 10). God was he ever cute! And so excited! And so unbelievably ready! And I was so overcome by emotion, and pride, and excitement for him that I…

Shit! What did I just do? Did I really just agree to sit on the PTA committee?

Oh hell. I really just did. Sucker!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Gory Details

It's easiest to let the pictures tell the story of the girls' birthday parties.