Hello Me- Nice to See Ya

So I suppose the place to restart is a timeline. Here is the last two years in a handy dandy bulleted list:

  1. Have temp job at corporation that previously laid me off
  2. Unhappy at said job, start contracting out my services in addition to full time job which requires working late into the night
  3. Become seriously sleep deprived
  4. B.C. turns 5
  5. G.C. turns 3
  6. I turn slightly crazy and start wondering why the colors look so pretty
  7. Work
  8. Get gently prodded by Partner that perhaps something needs to change
  9. Eschew all things fun and become an automaton of work, kid things, work, play with kids, work
  10. Cry for no reason at all
  11. Get loudly “talked to” by Partner that a change needs to happen
  12. Repeat steps 7-10 for a couple of months
  13. B.C. turns 6
  14. G.C. turns 4
  15. Get yelled at by Partner to make a blessed change all ready or heads were going to roll
  16. Quit corporate job in a horrible economy and decide to become a full time consultant
  17. Rock in a fetal position while banging my head on a wall
  18. Land with a fantastic company that allows me to repeat step 9, skipping step 10 and 11
  19. Decide that I need to reclaim a little corner of my own world
  20. Sit down at desk
  21. Type this list

So that brings us to now, where I have carved out a good 10 minutes while the children are watching Tangled to jot some thoughts about my brood.

B.C. started at a great school that wasn’t great for him. So at the tail end of this year, about three weeks, we moved him to a local Montessori charter school. Hopefully we will no longer have to hear the whole “ADHD” words anymore. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that people and children struggle everyday with ADHD. However, the boy who is currently sitting on the couch, lazily semi watching his “sisters” movie is not one of them. He is wiggly when forced to do something he does not enjoy. He does not enjoy coloring for ten minutes a stretch. He therefore wiggles. That does not make him ADHD. That makes him a 6 year old boy. Who is now at a school that allows movement. See hopefully that drama is over.

He is getting to an interesting age. He is figuring stuff out faster then I can make stuff up. This is problematic, because I feel like I just convinced him of magic two years ago and already he is questioning it. I think it is my right as a parent to have more than two years of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy shenanigans and he is not at all cooperating.

Had to pause and put the Girl Child into her Beauty and the Beast dress. I tried to point out to her that perhaps her Tangled dress would be more fitting but she just sighed and said, “No Mama- this one is yellow.”

Which is a true statement but I don’t know why it is relevant.

Don’t judge me. I hate Disney princesses as much as the next semi feminist child of the 80’s womyn. I do. But my political talks to her don’t seem to sink in through the layers of fake make up, tiaras, hair tyes, and general, fabulous G.C. stubbornness. She dresses up. She walks in her fake plastic heels as well as any model and much better than her two mothers. She is my girly girl. God help us all.

So there you have it. A brief timeline of my life. My Boy is growing into a dude. A smart, logical, “pull up your pants” dude. He is still such a gentleman. Still such a wonderful, kind fellow. But I swear he rolled his eyes at me the other day. And he has announced that I can only tell him I love him once a day. Just Once.

My Girl is growing into a 16 year old teenager thing. She flirts, she giggles and tosses her hair. She has picked out a husband already. Her vocabulary is staggering weird. She will say, for example, “Mama- those birds aquatic.”

See the problem there? She knows the birds are aquatic- but doesn’t say the word “are”.

And I could not possibly love either of them more than I do.

So much do that I had, for awhile there, given up a lot of what makes me happy to usher, escort, cajole and force them along in their lives.

But it is time for me to take some of my life back and do something just for me.

Writing.

I find so much happiness in writing.

About them. And me. And maneuvering through life as their parent.

Because I need to document their little stories so I have something to read to their first boyfriend/girlfriend to scare them away.

It’s my job and I love it.

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For the Love of Oo Oo

Girl has this stuffed monkey she has named “Oo Oo”.

She loved this animal. She did little happy dances when she saw Oo Oo. She tucked him in to bed at night, lovingly patting his head. She carried him everywhere and would pretend to put him to sleep, feed him, and would wrap him in a little snuggly when he was cold.

It was so so sweet.

Until….

The kids went to spend a weekend with my mom. They LOVE my mom. She was born to be a grandma. Often, after picking them up, both children will sob until they fall asleep whimpering out an occasional, “Grandma…..”

So when we packed them up to visit Grandma, we of course packed the beloved Oo Oo.

She wouldn’t sleep without him.

She would ask for him everywhere we went. So we knew, KNEW mind you, that she needed this Oo Oo.

However, after an exhausting no rules, no bedtime, sugar high of a weekend that was spent at my mom’s, G.C. didn’t seem to notice that my mother forgot to pack Oo Oo. So he was left at my mom’s.

We were worried, no lie. She was so attached to this thing. But even after the requisite 20 hour “nap” that both kids take after a visit to my mom’s, G.C. never mentioned Oo Oo. My mom even called in a panic when she returned home and found Oo Oo lovingly tucked into G.C.’s bed.

But G.C. never mentioned it.

There were parental congratulations all around. Look at this well adjusted 2.5 year old. Look how she just lets life roll off her back. She is so secure. She is so mature. She is all kinds of ure’s.

Until the next weekend when my mom dropped Oo Oo off on her way through town.

Because G.C. was not all kinds of ure’s. G.C. was PISSED OFF at the Oo Oo and she let him have it both barrels when that poor hapless monkey walked through the door. Instead of a warm, loving embrace he was yelled at and thrown on the ground.

“NO Oo Oo” she stomped. “Oo Oo away!”

I was stunned. My mom was stunned. Partner was stunned. We finally pieced the story through her anger and 2.5 year old vocabulary. Oo Oo got to stay at Grandma’s house. Oo Oo was a treacherous traitor and heartless to boot. He had the nerve to stay in toddler nirvana whilst she was whisked away to the land of parents who make her, oh I don’t know, eat fruit and go to bed before 12:00 at night.

And the relationship, as far as she was concerned was over. He could beg (which he did on little bent monkey knees with a parent supplying his voice), he could plead (again on kneed this time with the beloved grandma pitching in) and he could cry (which I am ashamed to say he also did) and finally he could go to hell because there is right and there is wrong in the eyes of my girl and he was on the wrong side of things.

This was two months ago.

She has softened, ever so slightly her out and out full voiced attacks on the little guy.

I actually saw her, at about week one of Oo Oo forgiveness watch, hold a little bear and sweetly sing to it while looking at Oo Oo. Giving the bear kisses and hugs and saying, “Tou (you) good bear. Mama love good bear” while throwing little daggers of coldness at Oo Oo out of the corner of her eyes.

At about week 4 we saw my mom again. We brought Oo Oo. At that point we brought the monkey everywhere in hopes at some point she would see how committed he was and forgive him. Oo Oo went to stores – where he was ignored in shopping carts, went to school – riding with me, sat on the couch to watch TV- where he was occasional sat on or thrown to the floor, just to prove his love. This time we went to Grandma’s and my mom asked G.C. ever so nicely if she could forgive Oo Oo and let him sleep with her. At this point Oo Oo was not allowed in her room or anyplace she was sleeping. Some wounds don’t heal overnight you know. Torn between her love and adoration of my mother and her loathing of this foul fiend she did relent and with a deep sigh said, “Otay Grandma.”

With thoughts of victory in my mind I walked her to her room, where she proceeded to throw Oo Oo in a corner, dismissively say, “Night Night Oo Oo” and turn to me to put her in her pajamas.  Oo Oo slept in the corner, no blanket, no love, no pity from my girl.

At first it was funny. We tried EVERYTHING for her to forgive him. Then it became a wee bit of a science experiment. What would make her crack? Then it became a little sad for me. Because I do kind of think it is her very first heartbreak. You know what it is for me now?

A very exciting glimpse in to the future.

Something happened to me about a week ago, where I found myself once again pleading Oo Oo’s case and asking her to forgive him. I had one of those parental flashes where I envisioned her at 15. And it was no longer Oo Oo I held in my arms but some suitor who had done her wrong. Some boy or girl who broke her heart. Maybe by calling 15 minutes late. Maybe by saying no to something she wanted. But Oo Oo was transformed in my head to her first real love. She wouldn’t budge.

At this point I became her silent cheerleader.

That’s right Girly, I say to myself, don’t forgive the bastard. You are better than this monkey. He doesn’t deserve you. Let him have it. Keep him at bay. No more spouting nonsense like it wasn’t his fault. Ha! He could have packed himself you know. He could have made more of an effort to get in the suitcase. Get him girl. Don’t forgive him. You are better than him.

I was so scared of the time when the suitors came a knocking.
I am not so scared anymore.

Let them come. I dare them.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

Car Conversations Part 6

I was driving and asked the Boy Child to open a package for the Girl.

Innocently enough I said “Thanks baby.” A term of endearment I use for both children.

Girl Child became incensed. “Not BABY!! Bro Bro, “ hits B.C. for emphasis

B.C. “Ow”

 “Bro Bro not baby.” Hit again

 “Ow”

“Me Baby. ME” hits her own self. “ME BABY”

B.C. “Uh Mama? I don’t think she wants you to call me baby….”

G.C. interrupting “No Bro Bro Baby- me Baby, ME.”

B.C. “That’s OK you can call her baby. I can be your guy.”

G.C. muttering at this point, “Me baby, me no bro bro me.”

B.C. “It’s OK G.C. you’re the baby. Mama says it’s OK and you can be the baby.”

G.C. folds arms over her chest and nods emphatically, “ME baby.”

She told me.

Car Conversations Part 5

On the way to school today Boy Child says, “Mama, I am going to make a great daddy aren’t I?”

Mama, “You will be one amazing daddy sir.”

B.C., “’Cause Daddies are boys and Mamas are girls.”

Mama,  “Yep. And Mommies are girls too.”

B.C., “And I am a boy so I will be a daddy.”

Mama (never one to miss a lesson), “You bet. And some people have two daddies and some people have two mommies and some people have a mom and a dad.”

B.C., “And some people have a MILLION mamas and a MILLION daddies.”

Mama,  “Oh my! That would be a lot of mommies and daddies.”

B.C., “Yeah, but (pause for quiet introspective Boy Child thought) where would they all sleep?”

Mama, “Well…”

B.C. interrupting with his own solution, “The daddies could sleep with you and the mamas could sleep with Mommy.”

Couldn’t I have the mommies? Just saying…

B.C. continuing “And if there were some left over they could sleep on the floor. And they could change so sometimes some could sleep with you and then other times other daddies could sleep with you.”

Because that is what my heart desires- a rotating million daddies through my bed. And then I had this vision of a million guys lined up and me pointing and saying “No No No Yes No No NO Yes, Not you “ like I was some deranged casting couch director. Crazy with power I didn’t even want. Sometimes my mind goes on its own way, as I sit a helpless passenger to its whims.

Still gotta say though, it would be more fun with the mommies.  

I stumbled through a “Hmmmm” and just as I was wondering what I could possibly say to that, B.C. started to giggle.

B.C., “Hey Mama, you know what?”

Mama, “What?”

B.C., “Chicken butt!”

Peals of little boy laughter filled the car. Then the Girl Child joined in,

“Thickenbutt!”

“Chicken butt!”

“Thicken butt!”

Crazy little kid laughter filled the car. As I pulled into the school B.C. said, “Boy Mama that was funny!”

I thought to myself, more than you will ever know son.

More than you will ever know.

In Which Are Author Explains Her Absence- And A Quick Update

It has been ages since I wrote.

T-Ball accounts for most of the excuse.  Who knew that a little guy sport could encompass so much time?

That and I have taken on an extra job to try to make ends meet.

Between TBall, work, work part two and actually raising the children I don’t have time to write about the children.

But I keep their little stories in my head with the intent on writing them down.

Problem is, my head is quite full and a tad disorganized and I fear the stories are getting all jumbled up with 80’s songs and random Broadway lyrics. As well as an unhealthy Neil Patrick Harris obsession.

So in a very brief outline format, here are some little things that have been happening in our house.

Girl Child has embraced the English language, as she does all things, whole heartedly and in her own way. She now has less head banging tantrums (less not none) because she can explain herself to her dense parents a tad better. Though she continues to rely on non verbal a lot as well. If she becomes a mime, I would not be surprised. Disappointed, a little. Scared, most certainly, but not surprised.

Even  in the English language she and her brother’s differences still come through.

Boy Child’s first sentence was “More O’s please.”

Girl Child first three word sentence was “You hurt me.”

She cracks me up. In many ways she reminds me of Tracy, who used to become simply incredulous that someone would be mean to her in anyway. She would get this shocked look on her face that would say simply, “Did you not know that you were talking/looking/directing a comment toward ME?”

Gild Child has that same look.

Both children had to get their blood drawn. Lucky Partner took them.

Boy Child was brave and stoic as always. He explained later to me that he is “stronger than a needle.”
The nurse apparently said what a good guy he was.

Girl Child screamed and screamed, as if again, her soul was wounded. The nurse kept giving her stickers until she was covered with them. She kept howling. All the way from the doctors, to the car, and the drive to school she would alternate between wailing and saying, “Hurt me. Hurt me. HURT ME!”

I love that kid.  Freaking love that kid.

Boy Child is more like me, silent, and stoic with an expectation that things are going to hurt and you smile and get through it.

Girl Child is indignant that someone would have the gall to hurt her. HER, mind you.  The beauty, wonder and amazing creature that constitutes her nibs.

Additionally she has discovered the words, “No” and “Why” at the same time.

Typical conversation as follows:

Mama, “Girl Child come here and put on your shoes.”

G.C., “Why?”

Mama, “Because we have to go.”

G.C., “Why?”

Mama, “Because we are late for school.”

G.C., “Why?”

Mama side note: Because it’s a day that ends in y.

Mama, “We just are. Please come here and put on your shoes. We have to go.”

G.C., “NO!” runs screaming to the other room.

What else is going on with GC? She got her (oh dear lord above help me) first Barbie.

There are no words.

Boy Child turned 5. Whoop for the BC!

He is reverting a tad bit. Little more whine than before. We call him Pinot at times.

His new favorite catch phrase is, “It’s not fair Mama!”

“It’s not fair if Sara gets….”
“It’s not fair I have to go to bed…”

“It’s not fair I said the magic word….”

This one cracks me up.  “Mama can I play with this running chainsaw, please?”

Mama, “No.”

BC, “That’s not fair I said the magic word. YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND!”

To which I always reassure him that I am not his friend, I am his mama. My job is to keep him safe.

To which, much like a cartoon character he replies with , “Hurumph.”

He also started TBall. He is not good at TBall. Well, he is good at the sport, really good in fact. He just isn’t into taking turns and waiting and waiting and waiting for his turn to touch a ball.

Oh well we all have things we are good at.

I am good at many things, time management not being one of them.

For instance I did not have time to start this blog entry. I get to go on a date with Partner. Woo Hoo! But if I don’t leave I will be late- whoops later I mean.

Sigh- You know what I wish? I wish I had one of those gold watches from that movie that one time? What was that movie?

Quick gooogle search says the movie is “The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything”

Her gold watch stopped time for everyone else but her. How cool would that be? Stop the clock and blog. Or sleep. Or clean the house. The possibilities are endless.

 “Dear universe can I have a gold watch that stops time? Please?? BUT I SAID THE MAGIC WORD! THAT”S NOT FAIR!”

“Hurumph!”

Girl Gets Her Wish, Thanks My-eve

Two nights ago, Girl Child became convinced that sleep was overrated. She got her knickers in quite a twist when at 9:15 her parents decided enough was enough and she could cry, holler and scream all she wanted but there would be no more visits from either of us. She would have to sleep. We hardened our hearts, because believe me; she can cry like her very soul is wounded. As horrible as she sounded, we had to make her sleep. We had been trying for an hour and a half to lovingly convince her to just relax and go to sleep. Many pats were administered on her back and many soothing songs were sung to no avail.

So we sat in the living room listened to her pleads of “Mama, Mama, Mama”.

More embarrassing still, we sat in our living room while our child gave her best impression of a Guantanamo victim from her crib, with our really close family friend. For the purpose of this story he will be called Steve.

Now Steve is no stranger to our house. As a matter of fact, you can often find him at our house most nights than not. Steve is also one of Girl Childs favorite people. You can tell because she calls him My-eve. Everything or one Girl Child loves she adds a “My” to their name. Partner is “Mymama” Boy Child is “Mybrobro”. For some reason she doesn’t say the first part of Steves name, just the second “Myeve”.

So Steve and I are sitting on the couch, listening to her beg for “Mama” to come and rescue her from the horrors of her nicely painted room with beautiful bedding and more toys than any two children need. Finally for a remarkable whole minute, the “Mama’s” stop. Just as I was thinking, “Whew, I guess she finally gave up” from down the hall the sobbing resumed and in place of the “Mama’s” came:

“Myeve, Myeve “accompanied by sobs, wails, shaking crib bars.

Steve looks at me. I look at him. He says, “I have to go.” He then gets up quickly walks to her room.

Partner and I look at each other.

“Sucker”, I said. She nodded wisely.

I think this is the first witnessing we had of our Girl Child controlling the men in her life.

It worked, too. Thanks Myeve.

T-Ball, PTA, Feminism and The American Dream

I realize that I don’t talk about the fact that I work much. Mostly because I really dislike my job and as soon as I leave there, I cast off any thoughts about it the best I can and do what I love to do. Playing with my kids and listening to them learn to negotiate the world being at the top of that list.

But as much as I like to pretend I don’t have one, the reality is that I do. I work 8-5 like most folks and while I am extremely lucky to have any job at all in this economy, it still saddens me that am I spending time away from my kids. Not to mention I am spending it someplace I hate while doing work that is frankly mind numbing in many ways. But all that has taken a back seat because we need the measly amount of money I make to survive. The bonus is that I have a really great boss, hall of fame type boss. So there is a bright side there. A big bright side and I am so much luckier than most.  We  also have a great daycare. We have been so blessed with our daycare. I love the teachers and I feel as good as I can leaving my kids there. There will always be the Mama guilt, but we do the best we can.

Now here is the double edge sword. Daycare cost money. Surprising I know. There are times I feel like I am working to keep the kids in daycare. Not true, I do make more than we pay out, but the feeling is still there.

Or maybe it is just me looking for an excuse to quit, who knows.

And it gets downright overwhelming to be honest.

The other night at 8:30 right after the last kid had been tucked away to bed, I surveyed the dinner dishes left to clean, lunches left to pack, a living room that is in desperate need of a vacuum and wanted to cry. I actually would have, but I do my crying in the bathroom like a proper WASP should, and I could not bear to face one more room that was not clean. I jokingly said to Partner, “I take it all back. I renounce the feminist movement .” I would have gone on to add that want to travel back to time where families could survive on one income and I would be a proper housewife and not have to work.  I want to cook for my sweetheart, have healthy meals ready when the kids come home from school, and serve ice cold martinis and valium to the neighbors.

I want to live the American dream.

You know what is not the American dream? Staying up until 10:00 trying to get housework under control. Packing lunches from leftovers and realizing you have not had time to go to the grocery store so for tomorrows lunch ”fruit cups” will be taking the place of “fruit”. Trying to figure out if you have enough clothes to last the rest of the work week and if finding the answer to be no, making your partner change laundry at 11:00 at night before she goes to bed.

Yes I have those nights. Partner, as always brought me right back to reality with the observation that without the feminist movement, she would not be able to work either. Then we would be in quite the pickle. Not to mention the whole 50’s sitcom generally has a mom and a dad as the center of the family antics. Though that does bring up all kinds of horrid jokes that are now running through my mind about Leave It To Beaver.

So Ok, I get it. I am an adult. As an adult I sacrifice. I go on. My kids are fine and well taken care of, really should be thankful.

And I really was, until now.

Boy Child goes to kindergarten next fall. Whoopie!! Though we will still have to pay for aftercare, the bill becomes smaller. We found the perfect school. That deserves a whole other post, so for now I just have to say that I am really happy with the school and its philosophies. He also starts T-Ball this year. We are really looking forward to T-Ball. And I am very nervous about it. Again a broader topic that requires more time. So T-Ball and a new school are on the agenda to fit into our, well, agenda.

So I will start with least annoying first. T-Ball starts at 5:00. Ok I understand this. The kids have to practice before dinner. But talk about trying to move heaven and earth to work 8 hours and get a kid somewhere at exactly 5:00. Partner commutes to her job, about 40 minutes away. It takes me an hour from my house to work, dropping off both kids on the way.

So Partner is left to pick up and deposit Boy Child to T-Ball. Which means two things: First on T-Ball day she has to leave the house earlier than usual which means no help from her getting children ready for school and second there goes my dream of being the T-Ball mom type person. You know the one, bringing snacks and yelling at the sidelines “Good Job” to all the kids, especially the ones with the asshole parents who tell them they are no good. Poof there goes that dream. Another freaking American Dream meltdown.

Bu this is what really chaps my hide. The PTA meetings at the new school are at 3:15. OK, I get the reasoning, I do. Kids just finished school; parents pick up kids and stay for the meeting. But DAMN IT, I want to be a PTA mom. I had plans. I wanted to be so active in the PTA. I could run a killer bake sale. I could bake sale your ass off. I had dreams of running for president. I really did. I was going to be the most active gay mom in the club, and since I am in Northern Cali that says a lot. I was going to bake. I was going to do freaking raffles.  Decorate for dances and all the like.  Teaches were going to know my name. I would be nominated PTA President of the year. I had a dream, an American Dream and it is not working out. This is not going at all like I planned.

And why do I not get to do all that? For my sucky job that treats me as a second rate citizen. That dulls my mind and kills my spirit.

Fabulous.

I need an attitude adjustment PDQ. I need a better plan. I need to win the lottery. I realize I need to stop behaving like a child and focus on raising mine the best I can.

But I don’t wanna. (Stomps Foot) Don’t wanna. Don’t wanna.

And you can’t make me.