Friday, October 31, 2008

Slacker Mom Goes all Scary

I honestly thought my day yesterday was going just fine and I was all uber-mom when I remembered that it was the day before Halloween and I dressed my Olivia in an orange tee shirt as we headed off to preschool. All the way there I was mentally calculating how much work I could accomplish in my 5 heavenly child free hours today.

We pull into the parking lot and the kid next to us getting out of his minivan is wearing a full Dalmatian dog outfit. Oh, how cute I thought, the 4's class must be letting their kids wear costumes. Then we enter the building and round the corner only to hear the teacher say..."Oh, Phoenix (no, I didn't make that up, the kid's name is Phoenix...and don't think I won't get to the bottom of that story before May) what a wonderful Buzz Lightyear you make." Oh shit, Livi is the only one of 10 kids not in full on Halloween garb. I'm trading in the stainless steel refrigerator for my old semi working white one that allows you to stick life's important memos to it with magnets...obviously I missed the preschool calendar notes this month.

Wait it gets worse. The teachers inform me that I can simply come back 15 minutes early before the Halloween show to dress her in a costume. Ah, what show I ask. They laugh acting like they are playing along with my dimwit game, "acting" like I don't know that there is some show today at 10:30am. I then proceed to ask what the kids will do after the show as far as the costumes go, since several of the kids, including my Olivia stay for extended day to play in their fabulous gymnasium. As luck would have it they have decided that there is no extended day during holidays. Halloween, a full holiday warranting early dismissal? What's next? No preschool on Secretary's Day. But remember to pay the full amount on the way out please.

Ok, so I'm to show up 4 hours early for preschool pumpkin songs, a cookie and early dismissal. Hmmm...making those seven handbags probably isn't going to happen, I think sullenly to myself on the way out.

I left seriously unnerved and wearing the scarlet letter S...for slacker mom. Then I came back to preschool in 1 hour after scurrying on home for Olivia's 1/2 finished costume. I was off balance all day until my girlfriend across the street who works a real full time job while raising 2 sons told me that she completely forgot to take her 11 year old to the first 2 whole days of school television crew practice. She just completely forgot for 2 whole days. When she asked the volunteers in charge they simply said they thought he might be sick since he was a no show. See, I'm not the only one in the neighborhood with a stainless steel refrigerator.

Here is Liv, on stage, checking out the people setting up the treat bags and cookie stand out in the audience, stage right.

And here is she auditioning for the NY Philharmonic. I mean shaking little bells to the tune of 5 little pumpkins sitting on a fence.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Easy Come, Easy Go

Notice something different? Something missing? Something in the general dental auxillary area missing? Yes, at exactly 6 years 9 months this child finally lost a tooth. The new one just plain old evicted the little baby one. Came up right behind it in a few short weeks and're out.

I'm verclempt. Not really because she's old enough to sprout adult teeth, more because damn it if I didn't work as hard as she did for the little itty bitty lost tooth. I swear I thought we would both lose our minds getting baby teeth for that poor child. My whole life revolved around what kind of day we would have based on how much pain she was in birthing those damn beautiful pearly whites, for several months. She screamed bloody murder and I walked around in sweaty old tee shirts drooling out one side of my mouth one half in sympathy and the other due to sleep deprivation due to aforementioned screaming of bloody murder. And believe me if the new ones are not as straight and white and as downright lovely as the old ones...I writing a letter to China. And it won't be polite. No, I'm in no hurry to see those babies go. Thank goodness the one next to it isn't even loose yet. There is mercy in the universe.

So, the tooth fairy. I'm sure your all wondering what the heck happened with the tooth fairy on such a momentous occasion. She came, she saw, whe wrote a note and kindly left $2 whole dollars. The tooth fairy figured since you can't even get a pack of good sugarfree gum for under $1.25 she would play the big spender the first time and cough up the extra dollar. Call her what you may, but cheap she is not.

Notice the note she left actually came from toothfairy headquarters? Might have been a slow night since it is from headquarters, and not some crappy satellite office in Roanoke.
After school, Ava prolaimed that some first graders don't even believe that the tooth fairy is real. Travesty, I tell you. But don't you worry Ava knows she is real. Want to know how? She said she noticed she left her last name on the note and only real people have last names. I admitted I didn't get the last name bit when I read the note. "Headquarters, is her last name name right?", said Ava. The note says: From: Toothfairy Headquarters.

How do I love that kid, let me count the ways. Any kid that can make me virtually pee my pants while eating scalloped corn...well, I do love that kid. Tooth gapped and all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

School 8 Weeks In; Life 6 Years In

We are now just about 8 weeks into 1st grade. Ava absolutely loves school and is learning so much, very fast...and not all of it is academic either. Some good and some shall we say, inevitable. Some of this stuff in the inevitable department is why I am a huge supporter and believer in public school education. It takes all kinds to make the world go around, to make us tolerant human beings, and to learn to swear properly on the kickball field. Ava is learning all of these important life lessons. She is sifting through what is appropriate for school, what is appropriate for home and what it feels like when a simply adorable little boy named Matt completely dumps you for all the womanly mysteries that are a little girl named Hailey. I haven't had the heart to tell her; hey baby, hold on until 7th grade, it will be far worse.

Just like Kindergarten we are also experiencing after school full atomic green meltdowns complete with slimy goo spilling out both ears while her head spins and she shouts in primal pain. I know deep down in my heart this is karmic payback for the tantruming 4ft. jumping brat that I was at the same age, and dare I admit much older too. Each and every time she is so tired that she melts onto the floor cursing me for living and subsequently gets sent to her room, I think of my mother and how she had to deal with my drama all those years. I'm still the reigning queen of a good temper tantrum, ask anyone East of the Mississippi.

So why is she so tired? What is it in her day that exhausts her physically and emotionally? She attends 1st grade full time, obviously. She graces the Brownie troop with her presence once every two weeks and she goes to Chinese school on Sunday afternoons for two hours. No dancing classes, no soccer, no afterschool care, no cooking lessons, nada. Of course she begs for a gymnastics class now and then but I've said no since she seems to be just keeping her little emotional head above water as it is.

Perhaps it goes back to her one big whopper of an issue that I know I've mentioned before. That ever elusive thing called sleep. You know the one thing in life that is supposed to rejuvenate and refresh the human body and spirit? Yeah, she's not all about that. Never has been. I have that child in her bed lights out between 7:59 and 8:00pm each and every night. And yet, it is not uncommon for me to trip over her on my floor during a 2am bathroom run. Sometimes she plays her music and reads at 3am. Perhaps her people might have been part vampire. These sleep issues do have a pattern. At the start of the school year her sleep issues become exacerbated, that is a pattern no doubt.

In addition, she's choosing adoption books for us to read quite a bit recently. The other night we read An Mei's Strange and Wonderous Journey. She was so quiet and looked about to cry that I just wanted to toss the book across the room. "Why can't we just read Dr. Seuss again, I thought." But, I know better...if she is choosing the book she needs to hear the story and work through awareness of issues. She had so many questions about the physical appearance of her birthmother. All of which I could not answer. My inability to answer a question frustrates Ava to no end, it always has. As I tucked her into bed after reading the book she shouted in utter frustration, "I just cannot remember. I can't remember what she looked like. I was too young to remember and now I've forgotten everything. I think I lived in a straw mud house but I don't remember anyone." Ava is notorious for remembering everything. The kid has a steel trap for a brain and can remember the details of some average playdate three years ago. Perhaps that is why this one thing about not remembering is such a difficult pill to swallow. I suppose when you are 6 years old it does not register that the cognitive part of the human brain just does not often remember life at 2, 4, 6, and 8 months old.

And so we push on. The Muffin Man and I knew full well that parenting these kids would not be all patent leather mary janes and bows to match pink dresses. Or so the social worker warned.

I suspect the sleep issues will even out as Ava gets more and more used to the routine of school. Perhaps some of the frustration related to her beginnings will too as we try to normalize living with it and talking it through as well.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Cronies Come Home

This is old news, but I'm home. I've been home for a week and a half and I'm just now getting to the part where I document in writing that I'm home.

Girls weekend with my gal pals, my cronies, my sista's from other motha's was a hoot. As you can see we quickly found a northern Michigan winery. We bellied up to the bar slurped down a few pino grigio's and the rest is history.

Here is a "best twilight zone story" of the weekend and then I'll move on to my usual cul-de-sac mundane crap. My little pal Leanne's (sitting next to moi and front row on the left in the picture)mom wanted her to hook up with a long lost cousin on the trip. Isn't there always a long lost cousin? We all politely grinned..and said sure we'll drop your ass off downtown Traverse City so you can party on down with Aunt Becky and Cousin Matt. Pick you up at 10. Kidding, we were all much more disgustingly polite than that. Anyhoo, Leanne calls Matt and he wants to hook up for a drink and tells us all the hot spots in town. Aunt Becky is not in for the deal. And by the way check out my retail store while you are there. So, there we are, us 5 moms heading on into town killing time shopping for tee shirts when we detour into cousin Matt's store. I smell patchouli, Lisa picks up a very classy looking roach clip and asks what it is, Carrie pulls out a tee shirt that says "Jesus is coming, pass a napkin." (Yes, it took me over 5 minutes to even get it before quickly taking my-hands-off-that-tee-shirt.) Then someone under their breath says, this is cousin Matt's place! I start howling. You're kiddding...a head shop? Leanne turns a deep shade of purple and quickly says that she will go meet Matt and catch up with us in a few. "Oh no!", I say, You can't ditch me." Can't wait to meet cousin Matt. :)

Matt and his friends were great. Shocking normal...much to my dismay. He explained that the retail shops (he owns a few) are simply an extension of his 18 year old self. He also owns a plastics company. Go figure, probably an extension of his 40 year old self that loves an amazing house on the lake with a boat slip to match.

Then we came back to our cottage and I spent an embarassing amount of time trying to learn to crochet little Amigurami pigs. Whew, rock on...good thing girls wekeend only comes around once a year.