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Monday, October 26, 2009

No Motherly Instincts Tonight

I was not like the protective bear over her cubs tonight. I hate to tell it but here it goes. Please do not judge me until you have been in my shoes.
So I took our daughter to someone's house this evening so she could get her hair braided. Our babysitter tagged along with us.
When we got out of the car, I do what I always do when I go to a new neighborhood... I surveyed to see if a dog was going to come running from behind the house. And I don't discriminate- I look for cats too. They may be small but they are sneaky. Side note* I really hate it when pet owners smile and say, "She won't bite." I mean they have teeth and they won't bite THEM because they know them but I am fair game.
Anywho, I didn't see or hear a dog but when I rang the doorbell I did ask, "Do you have a dog?"
Coast was clear.
Well about an hour later when her hair was finished, we said our goodbyes and thank yous and headed for the car. By this time it was dark. I had my key out ready to get in the car which was parked right in front of the house.
We stepped off the porch and I heard barking. Now if you ask me it sounded like it was coming from a huge dog like a Cujo. It was dark- I couldn't see. Next thing I knew was I was running to the car and was trying to jump on the hood. It had been raining all day and was continuing to, so I could not get a good grip and kept sliding. I must have, for some reason, closed my eyes because I don't remember what I saw and my car is white. Who knows what was going on in my head.
Sounded like the dog was getting closer too. I started yelling for our daughter and the sitter who is seventeen, to get in the car.
"Git in the car! Git in the car!" While I am still sliding and trying to get on the hood so I can get to the top.
"We can't get in!" the sitter yelled back while pulling on the door.
My heart was racing and I realized I had the key in my hand but wasn't pushing the unlock button. I was being one of those women in the scary movies I usually yell at- "Get up stupid and run! Look at this- I tell you what-" Now there I was acting just as crazy.
I finally press the button. The doors are unlocked and I get off the hood and get in first. Then realized I'd left my own eight-year-old daughter and another minor outside for Cujo! They finally get in. I was the only one out of breath.
We finally realize that the dog was still barking but nowhere near the car. He'd been on a chain.
We laughed a little but then I realized that my motherly instincts did not kick in like the car did when I put it in drive. As I drove out of the neighborhood in route to take the sitter home, I processed what had happened. There I was with the front of my clothes soaked from trying to get on the hood of my car in the rain and the dog was not even loose. I would feel bad if I find out the dog was small too.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The "F" Word!

I've previously mentioned that this our kids' first time ever riding the bus to school since I no longer work at their school. I've posted a few stories about my worries about them being on the bus. I have to remember that all kids are not raised the same and people are products of their environment.
I have tried to shield them from as much as possible. Sure at their ages I knew a whole lot more than they did but those were different times (1970s) and my environment was much different. For example, I was all over the neighborhood playing from sun up 'till the street lights flickered on, and my mom did not have to be within eyesight. I learned how to skate and ride a bike simply by getting out there with myriad other kids in our apartment complex. We fell, dusted it off and kept trying until we got it. Don't remember wearing helmets either. Now, our kids better not leave our yard and we are either on the porch, or somewhere nearby.
Well in our house some words have been considered as bad but of course in other homes this may not be the case. Other kids may know the "real" bad words.
So as usual they spring something on me while I am driving. "Mama. This boy said the "F" word, this morning on the bus," our son said from the middle seat. So, being the sometimes paranoid mom that I am, I swerve a bit. Panicking, I first turned the radio up louder instead of down.
"A boy said what?" I yelled. Once the kids took their hands off their ears, his sister chimed in.
"Well actually he said two, bad "F" words!"
I am looking at the road in front of me and looking in the mirror at them- back-and-forth.
"Did the bus driver hear them? What did she do?" I asked them.
"I don't know if she heard him but the other teenagers heard him," our son said.
They are in elementary school so I didn't know what he was talking about when he said teenagers. "What grade were these teenagers in?" I asked. "Oh they were in the fourth or fifth grade," our daughter answered. "They are not teenagers," I told them. "They just probably look big." Our daughter thinks that kids are teens if they are taller than she is.
Finally we get to the meat of the story. I was afraid to ask but I did. "What did the boy say?"
"Mama. I don't want to say it. It's bad," our son said. "You promise I won't get in trouble for saying it?" he asked, closing his eyes. Then our loose-lipped daughter jumped in again. "I'll tell you what he said!" I was on edge. How could little elementary kids on the bus say the "F" word. Where had they learned this? Finally our son rushed in to tell me to beat his sister.
The "F" words were fool and fart. Well... they are bad words in our house.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What a Day!

Today was just one of those days. It started off crazy. Now I will admit I am just one of those people who does things that make you wanna take your finger and make circles around your ear. Well that was our "crazy" sign when I was younger.
So this morning when I started to put on my shirt I noticed something funny about it. The two strings that are inside of some shirts- one at each end- to help hang them, were tied together! It was a tight knot too. I hadn't made Dude mad recently so it had to be one of the two who don't help pay the mortgage!
So I'm on my way to work, listening to the radio, minding my own business. When I get on the highway I hear a noise. Not loud enough to pull over. I turn the radio down and figure I'll check it when I get to work. A little later, I noticed the car beside me staying with me. So I sped up. The car did too. I gave a quick look to the left and saw the blur of a man trying to get my attention. I didn't have time for this. I was on a mission: try to get in Bojangles's drive-thru quickly so I could get a small coffee- extra sugar and cream, bacon, egg and cheese biscuit before it got backed up.
Then I heard a horn. THE SAME GUY! Sweatin' me!
I slowly turn with my "What do you want?" look and he was pointing down at my door. So I'm trying to figure out what could be wrong. It was the belt from my coat. It had been flapping the whole drive.
The laughs don't stop there. Oh no! So I get to work. Walk down the hall to my classroom and unlock my door. Key don't work. I get all worked up, but smile as other staff walk by. In my mind I am fussing. Kept trying the key for about five minutes too. Then realize that my car key won't work for my classroom door.
Finally when I get home this evening, all I want to do is relax. With an eight and six-year-old? Well I plop on the bed- planning to get still for just ten minutes. I yell for the kids to come get THEIR mess out of our bedroom and take it to their rooms. "And get all of your stuff out of the living room too. It doesn't go their either!" I yelled.
As they walk off I hear our six-year-old son tell his sister, "She just gone do nothin' while we do all the work."
The nerve.!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Salvation and Baptism

Yesterday we had a few people get baptized during church. Three of them were youngsters in our daughter's youth class at church. So I brought it up on the way home from church.
"You know three of your friends at church were baptized today."
I saw her expression from my mirror. She was puzzled. "They were what?" she asked.
"Pastor Ken didn't talk to you and the rest of the class about being baptized and getting saved?" I asked her.
She was thinking. But I was quite sure they had gone over that myriad times on Sundays and Wednesday nights. There is no telling what she was doing during these times. Hopefully she wasn't like me when I was her age- sitting in the back of the church and changing the titles of the songs in the Hymnal books. And I wonder why she does some of the things she does.
So I went on to try to explain, on her level, what baptism and salvation meant. Now mind you she is quite intelligent and, as older folk say, "acts as if she's been here before".
"You now what being saved means right?" I asked her. With bodily expression she answers, "Yep! That's when you say 'HELP!' and someone comes to save you."
I rolled my eyes. "You ain't gotta do all of that!" I then adjusted my mirror so I could not see her so clearly anymore.
So I explained what it meant. I then went on to TRY to explain what being baptized meant. I added that, "Some people say it's like you are being cleansed; washing your sins away." I thought I could say that because she clearly understood what sins were. We go over that word a lot with our two.
"Yes Mama," she said as if I should have known she knew that. "I did that this morning when I washed my face. You were right there with me- watching me like you always do."
I give up!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fixing Attitudes

This weekend the men of the house went camping for the first time with the Boys Scouts! "Now you know we could all go as a family. Other women and daughters will be there," Daddy told me.
I smiled and told him, "Oh naw. This will be bonding time for you two and for us (pointing to our daughter)." I just imagined a bunch of walking, no real technology and sleeping outside. So I opted for the house. Besides I really felt like I needed some one-on-one with our daughter. In a few years she may not want to hang out with me.
So I helped the guys to pack and pushed- I mean saw them off!
Friday night we just hung out watching TV and I managed to get some laundry done in between. Of course all she wanted to do was watch Nickelodeon and Boomerang but I sat right there and laughed with her.
We started our day Saturday by going to Target. So I'm looking around in one section while she finds her way to the little music center near the stationery. You know that small, little CD preview spot where you can push the buttons to hear different selections on selected Cd's. So she is there- no harm in that and she loves music. Then I noticed her talking to someone. Another little girl, looked to be about five or six came over. Well out of my periphery I see something kinda flash. Like it was in the air and then gone. In the air then gone. I turned to see the little girl giving our daughter cart wheel lessons. Right there in Target!
"No ma'am! You can't do cart wheels in the store," I told her. The little girl who probably came to my waist was looking at me up-and-down, with her hand on her waist as if she could take me. I gave our daughter the eyebrow raise and walked back to what I was looking at.
"That's my mama. She gots her hair in a bun like mine but that's not her real hair- it's braided," she told the little girl. I noticed a lady shopping near us, smiling. She'd heard her. Nosey lady!
I didn't smile back.
When it was time to go she attempted to pout. Then the little eight-year-old attitude came. When we were at the register I asked her, "Where do you wanna go eat?" "I'm not hungry," she quickly responded.
See this is what she does when she gets mad. Says she doesn't want something-thinking it is hurting us.
"Last time. What do you want to eat?" Her response was the same as she stared out the window of the car.
So I went to Zaxby's and ordered my food in the drive-thru. Then drove home with my music up, singing like it was karaoke! The aroma of my wings-n-things filling the car (windows were up too). I drove by two McDonald's, a Burger King, Subway, and blew the horn at Taco Bell!
Went home put my feet up, flexed my toes, turned to HGTV and ate slowly.
About thirty minutes later she said she was hungry. "Let's see. You got cereal, stuff to make sandwiches, those cheap, tasteless noodles, or find something in the freezer you can mic up!"
Gotta nip that attitude in the bud early!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

No New Food for Michael and Shirley Now!

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, we have two pets. Their names have changed a few times but we have two red-eared slider turtles. When we first got them in May, at our son's request, he named them Myrtle and Skippity! When Michael Jackson passed away a month later, he and his sister named them Michael and Shirley. Don't ask about the name Shirley.
Dude and I have never been interested in turtles or any other reptile but he has actually grown to love those two reps. He talks to them every time he goes by their tank. I may sound a little envious but once I needed an important feminine product and he pouted like a child about going out to get it for me but last week Michael or Shirley (who can tell) ate some gravel and Dude had a fit. He was in the yellow pages calling all the animal hospitals (all two in our small area) trying to get help. I mean this Dude was running out AT NIGHT to get some mineral oil for the little reptile. He was like Bo and Luke Duke jumping in the car that night. He went so far as to try to give the turtle an enema with that darn mineral oil. But Michael wasn't having it! The turtle had head and tail in that shell. See that's why we need a dog. We coulda just led a dog to some grass and called it a day.
Our kids love Michael and Shirley too of course and I don't want anything to happen to them but I don't get all in the tank nor do I pick them up at anytime. But I do feed them sometimes.
They (turtles) have a lot of personality. When we come home they are at the top of the tank moving fast.
Well I went up to the tank and they quickly went back down to the bottom. I didn't really think much about it initially. Then our daughter walked by and casually said, "They don't like you Mama."
I laughed. "What you talkin' about girl. Those turtles don't know who is who."
Well I noticed a few minutes later that they were at the top of the tank and our daughter was looking over the tank talking talking to them. "Hey turtle wurtle wurtle!" she smiled. And Michael and Shirley stayed there.
So I started thinking about that thang. Then later on I noticed that when our son and Dude were at the tank they did the same thing: they didn't go to the bottom.
But I didn't want anyone to know this was giving me a complex. Wouldn't hear the end of it from my family. I walked by when I thought no one was looking.
The darn reptiles went back down to the rocks! I couldn't believe it.
"Told you they didn't like you Mama," our daughter said, sitting at the computer in our bedroom.
"Whatever! Cut some lights on when you in there!" I yelled. But that's okay. I was going to try to find some new turtle food at the pet store to give them some variety. Hope they love their old food.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wilbur Betta Go On!

I thought I hurt Wilbur enough in the car a few months ago, enough that he would not be heard from again. I was wrong.
So Dude (he's been trippin' lately) was helping our daughter with her homework and you really have to meet her and know her to understand our impatience. I mean she really thinks she knows more than us. Do you know how frustrating that can get? I'm just blinking my eyes-just blinking my eyes.
He's helping her and I'll have to admit, he is getting frustrated because he knows she should be getting the concept and his explanation, but she is just looking. No expression. Can't even tell what she is thinking. Then out of nowhere she whispers to Wilbur. "No Wilbur I can't do that. Now cut it out before I get in trouble."
I was on the couch reading just a few feet away from them. I just kept my eyes on my book- scared to look up. "Will Social Services be at our door later?" I thought. This chic had temporarily lost her mind.
Dude didn't respond immediately but then the roar came. "THAT'S IT WITH THIS WILBUR MESS! IF WILBUR CAN'T BE SEEN BY EVERYBODY THEN WILBUR GOTS TO GO!" Putting it in caps just can't put you there but gives you some idea.
"You are too big for Wilbur! I don't wanna hear no mo 'bout Wilbur! You understand me?" He added and had come down just a tad with the volume.
"Yes ma'am," she answered. He was so hot he didn't notice she called him ma'am. I felt my hand going up to inform him but the right side of my brain told my arm that it was not the time.
That just shut everything down. I think he forgot what he was doing. Oh but when she would bring Wilbur out on me, Dude thought it was hilarious.
She sat there quiet for a minute. Then I noticed her blinking and crossing her eyes at the same time, really fast.
"Stop that!" I yelled.
She tried to look innocent.
"Just go to bed girl!" I told her. She moved slowly with her head down, walking toward the stairs. When she hit the first step she perked up like nothing had just happened and asked, "Does anyone know what we are having for lunch tomorrow in the cafeteria?"
"Chicken Butt! That's what!" I yelled and crossed my eyes. "That's what Wilbur said!" I added.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I'm Stayin' Out of the Bathroom at Work

Okay. I was so worried about going back to work today. Friday something embarrassing happened. To me- not Dude this time.
Well there is a bathroom right around the corner from my classroom for staff. Well I don't think you should use bathrooms at work to do nothing pass number one. I know we all eat lunch and whatever but do those things at home. The staff bathroom is basically a closet and there are no windows. Anywho... near the beginning of school, sometime late August, I went to use the bathroom and was immediately hit by a smell. Someone had snuck a dunk! Well I needed to go bad and get back to my room, so I held my breath a few times, did what I needed to do (the basics), quickly washed my hands and got out of there.
Well when I went out, in a hurry and out of breath from holding my breath, there was another teacher. She gave me a quick smile and went right in. I had no time to tell her my side of the story or anything. I didn't know what to do. I needed her to know it was not me that left that smell. I just went on to my room. Never cleared it up and just hoped she let it go- no pun intended.
Well fast forward to October now. I had surgery about a month ago and had to get three incisions. One was right on my bikini line. Well with two huge babies (son was 9 lbs. 11 ounces), metabolism slowing down, and just getting older, I have to work with my tummy to see that particular cut. It had been feeling a little uncomfortable again so I wanted to check it. My hall was pretty much empty Friday- many of the classes were on a field trip, so I just figured I would just dart in and out of the bathroom to check. I didn't lock the door because as I said, I planned to be in and out.
Well... well... well, as soon as I "adjusted" my tummy to check the cut, someone turns the door and opens it. She could- dummy me didn't lock it. Can you just imagine what she thought walking in on me in that position? She said sorry and left. My chin was to my chest and she caught me off guard so I'm not even sure who it was. So all day today I was giving people the stingy caterpillar eyebrows when they spoke.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No! Not the Stingy Caterpillar Eyebrows!

After all of my many talks about not letting other kids take advantage of them and taking up for one another, our little eight-year-old, compassionate daughter took action!
We went to a birthday/cookout. There were kids there, mostly a little older than our two. They had one of those huge, inflatables that you can jump in set up in the backyard. All of the kids were enjoying that of course. Well apparently when the adults when inside the teens decided to make the younger ones- our two kids and maybe three others- stay out while they jumped.
According to our two, our son tried to get in and that's when one of the teens told him not to come in. He was upset and went to his other mama- his sister who is not quite even two years older- and pouted a bit. Surprisingly she did something.
"Mama. I made my stingy caterpillar eyebrows and looked at that girl and whispered, 'Don't nobody- I mean NObody mess with my baby brother!'"
Now she was telling us this while Daddy was driving us home last night and being the parents we are, we were up front looking at each other, trying not to burst out into laughter.
I turned around and asked her, "What is the stinky caterpillar eyebrows?"
"No Mama it's the STINGY caterpillar eyebrows. Like this (showing me how her eyebrows wrinkle when she makes a mean face)."
I could see Daddy's stomach going in-and-out while he watched the road ahead. I whispered to Daddy while she continued with her story, "She big and bad with the eyebrows but then she whispered."
"I know right," he commented. "She was about to mess somebody up with the stingy caterpillars!" I snickered.
"And Mama I think all of them teenagers were scared, cause they were just standing there looking at me, like they couldn't believe that this (pointing at herself) little girl was looking that mean!"
"Show me the stingy caterpillar eyebrows again baby girl," Daddy said. I slapped his leg.
And of course she showed him. It was a little more fierce this time and she sound like she was growling.
Daddy whispered, "No those looks they were giving her was probably more like somebody betta come get this lil crazy girl."
I gave Daddy the stingy caterpillar eyebrows.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Milking It!

"Mama. What does milk it mean?" our son asked.
My eyebrows wrinkled before answering him. How in the world did he know about that?
"Where did you hear that buddy?" I smiled.
"Remember when you were talkin' to your friend on the phone the last day?" he answered.
Little nosey thang! I had a conversation recently with a friend about how much Daddy had been helping out around the house since having my surgery. She suggested I take advantage of that and "milk it" as much as I could even when I started feeling better.
How could I explain this to our little nosey, six-year-old without encouraging him to do it later and more importantly without making Mommy Dearest look bad of course?
"Well milking it is what Daddy did back when you were born," I began. "Daddy had a surgery right after Mommy had pushed out all nine pounds and eleven ounces of you."
"Yes Mama I know where babies come from," he rolled his eyes. I stopped for a moment. "From our tummies right?" I asked him.
He smiled. "No. I saw the tape," he began to hide his face. I was starting to get nervous. "Where do they come from then?"
"From your hiney," he replied, then pointed down. "I saw on that tape when you were in the hospital when I was being boring."
I tried to remember the tape. I knew Daddy had not recorded too much but wasn't sure how he concluded that it was not my belly. I wasn't ready to go there yet so I ignored that and continued to make Daddy look bad- I mean I continued with my example of "milking it".
"So Daddy had his surgery and Mama was having a hard time getting around after having you," I tried to continue.
"What kind of surgery did Daddy have?" he asked.
"Ummm. It was a surgery to stop his little soldiers from marching," I said without thinking. Now I was going to have to explain that. He was puzzled. Before he could ask I said, "Well ask your Daddy about that."
"Anywho. Daddy had his little, simple surgery that didn't take nearly as long as it did for Mama to have you and he came home."
"Did Daddy cry when he had surgery? Did they use a big, big needle?" he asked.
"No Daddy didn't cry- he was a big boy!"
I tried to wrap up the story. It was six years ago but so vivid to me. After having his "quick" surgery he had come home and told me that he needed to ice "the area" and rest. Well I understood that but we started having problems. First I was not okay with him putting the ice packs he used on "the area" BACK in the freezer once he used it. Naw!
"Uh, did you use this?" I asked him when I saw the ice pack in the freezer.
"Yes but it's not that big a deal. How else am I gonna keep the pack frozen?" he asked.
Holding it by a small corner, I pulled it out and put it in the sink. I just didn't think an ice pack that had been "on the area" should be next to my frozen strawberries. It was just the thought I guess.
"Well Daddy told Mama that he was supposed to not do anything but rest for two weeks once he had the surgery," I continued.
"So Daddy couldn't do nothing?" he asked.
"Well... Mama just happened to find a paper that Daddy forgot about, while she was hobbling around the house trying to help Daddy and take care of you and your active sister (who was two), and the paper said that Daddy was supposed to rest for ONE to TWO days."
"Daddy told a story?"
"Yes! Daddy was going to lay in the recliner, watch ESPN and MILK IT!" I told him.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Lord Help Me!

The kids are going to cause my stress to go up. I'll be pullin' a Fred Sanford- holding my heart and looking up to the sky- but not sure who I will be saying, "I'm coming to join you honey" to cause Dude still here, shaking his head at me when I get all bent out of shape. Well... one of us has to keep it together.
I think I mentioned that this is the first school year the kids have had to ride the bus to school. Well they have been telling us about things that happen on that bus since the first week. They should know by now that their mama can't take it.
They came home Tuesday and told me that some kids were calling our son crazy.
"WHAT?" I asked.
And I guess after my reaction, our daughter thought she was going to make it a little better.
"Well actually they just called him (pointing to her brother) crazy. Not me."
"I don't care! I've told you umpteen times that you stick together. You gotta look out for your younger brother!"
I took a pause for the cause and brought it down a notch before asking, " Why were they calling you crazy?"
His sister answered before he could.
"Well he asked some boys if they eat Kool-Aid packs."
There was silence in the living room.
I mean who just comes out of the blue and ask that?
Now mind you he has sneaked and ate them. Instead of putting them in his water bottles he has just ate them, then had a colored mouth and attempted to say he didn't eat it.
I mean come on!!!
A few weeks ago there was something similar with our daughter.
"Mama. Such-and-such is always looking at me eat then telling other people at the table to look at me too," she told me.
"WHAT? Why is she watching you eat?"
I mean how ridiculous for someone to be watching our daughter eat? She ain't bothering nobody.
"What were you eating?"
She started with her usual word- "Well... that time I was fixing my taco."
Now she loves tacos!
"Okay," I said. "What did you put on it?"
"Well I put my meat, then my greens then my cheese and-"
"Wait. You said greens. Don't you mean lettuce?" I asked.
"Well actually we didn't have any lettuce so I put the greens on it," she answered.
Surely she meant the lettuce was green.
Nope. She meant collard greens.
"NO WONDER THE GIRL LOOKIN' AT YOU! I would too!" I yelled.
Lord help me!