Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Road Kill

On the way to drop off the kids before work on Sunday, I passed a dead deer near the center divider. I said, bless you. Daisy asked me why I always say that. I told her I had just seen a dead deer and that Grandma taught me to give blessings to the little animal soul, instead of sending it pity (I swear my family seems totally normal in person).

The girls went into full drama mode – loud gasps and exclamations . . . WHERE IS IT?! I WANT TO SEE! WAS THERE A LOT OF BLOOD?! WHAT HAPPENED? POOR DEER!!!! I told them to try blessing it instead. They both did hesitantly. I was feeling pretty good about squeezing in a little spirituality, even if it was inspired by road kill. Realizing I had 30 minutes left in the drive, I started thinking about the other kid talks on my list.

But Daisy was still thinking about that deer. She asked me how it died. I told her it got hit by a car. She didn’t understand why a car would hit a deer or why a deer would even be in the road. I explained the highway cuts through deer territory. Sometimes, deer make it safely across the road, and sometimes, they don’t. She was quiet – not her normal – for a few minutes.

Daisy suddenly proclaimed, “That deer was killed by a hunter." No, it was killed by a car. “No, Mom. A hunter was chasing it from the forest into the road and it fell down when it got to the center. That’s where the hunter shooted it.” No, it got hit by a car. “How do you know, Mom? Did you see it?” No, but I know. Trust me.

Daisy went back to being pensive. Several minutes later, she announced, "I know that deer was killed by a virus. That had to be it. It got sick and died in the middle of the road. That’s what happened. I know it, Mom. I KNOW IT.” No, it got hit by a car. “No, Mom. That deer was killed by a virus. That’s why it died there. I wish I could have seen it.”

It’s true that kids can be so cute and smart and all that. But they can also be so wrong . . . and weird.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Violet's First Day of Preschool Kind of Looked Like

Violet went back to preschool yesterday. I have no actual pictures, which is another way I totally blew it for Violet. She was already upset when I left her in the classroom in the morning. She was gravely concerned that school would take a “yong-yong” time. Then I missed the parent meeting in the last hour. Every kid had a mom or dad or grandma . . . except for Violet. I’m not sure if there is a bigger bummer for a preschooler. When I picked her up, we had to go straight to daycare, where she sobbed as I carried her to the door.

If I'm going to be with the kids less at night and on the weekends, then I can’t be dropping the ball during the day. I realized the reason I didn’t know about the preschool meeting is I never finished reading the welcome-back letter that came last week. It was a lengthy page of info in tiny print that I attempted to read when I got home after a full day. I had already hit my daily quota for absorbing new info. I put it on the fridge and forgot about it.

That’s not like me. I usually study the info that comes from school and disseminate it in a timely manner to all concerned parties with visual reminders. My excuse is that I am surrounded by my current assortment of jobs. I’m pursuing, tracking and organizing information that is coming at me from all directions. When I’m not working, I’m dealing with the house, mini-crises such as not having a working fridge last week included. I make an effort every day to get some quality time in with the kids but at the sacrifice of things like relationships with adults, reading, and exercise. I officially don’t watch TV anymore but it’s often blaring in the background. My husband laughed at me last night because I was sitting by myself in front of an old, shoot-em-up Clint Eastwood movie, something I really don’t like. I was so focused on the computer that I didn’t realize what I was subjecting myself to and not for a short amount of time. I haven’t even seen Bachelor Pad - haven’t even DVRed it. I’m sure Tabitha is missing my commentary.

Without meaning to, I've lost contact with a number of people. I don’t have a hands-free device for my cell at the moment; otherwise, I’d be using my commute time to try to schedule a weekend with my most kind and patient girlfriends after that last weekend fell through. Plans involving my friend Amy always fall through. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw her. I remember when I saw the rest of those bitches, but the silence has been eerie lately. I’m sure it’s my fault. And I should say Bindy right now, because she’ll get upset if she’s left out . . . Bindy!

It’s probably for the best that I can’t make calls from the car. I spend some serious time in there to accommodate my work appointments, and most of the time I’m careful, but there have been a few bad driver moments. I don’t want to tell you about my worst one. Remember when I was making fun of my mom for telling me to wait until cars weren’t coming to make a turn? Well, I really should have listened to her advice - as usual - except it was more like I was playing chicken with oncoming traffic. There was lots of loud honking and a person who was mentally challenged screaming NO! hysterically and repeatedly through my car window. The man was just trying to use the crosswalk, and it seemed like forever until I could get out of his way. Really, it was a few brief moments of hell.

My worst recent driving experience that I didn’t cause happened yesterday morning. I mean I don’t think I caused it. I came to a three-way stop in my neighborhood. I looked at the other driver and thought he was waiting for me to go so I rolled forward. Before making it through the intersection, I heard screeching tires and turned to see the other driver intentionally almost driving into the side of my car before careening around me and taking off. I wondered if that was the first time I had come across that person, because his reaction was a little extreme if you ask me.

The rest of yesterday was mainly spent searching for water bottles in between work appointments. It may seem like something you can find anywhere, but I needed small, cute water bottles that can fit in the kids' lunchbox holders – either bpa-free plastic or stainless steel - for under $10 each. I also needed to get a third one to leave at Daisy’s school today. I went to eight stores and still don’t have all three. Everything good was sold out because everyone else was shopping for their school supplies weeks ago like civilized people. I ended my discombobulated day with an unusual and challenging tutoring opportunity. It called for being creative and articulate on the spot. Not my best session, but another appointment has been set. You got to appreciate a second chance.

Yesterday was just an off day. Most days are going much better. I went for a run last night after getting home from work and seeing the kids into their beds around 9 as they were melting down. My brain started working again about 10 minutes into the run, and I remembered how much I love a night sky. When I finished, I wrote this random post. That’s my update.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dress Rehearsal

Lena, my parents' puppy, is our houseguest while they are in Germany visiting my brother and Mathilda. My parents were so worried about leaving their little angel with us. She came with contingency plans and a full set of luggage. I reminded my mom that her grandchildren are still alive . . . the puppy will survive. Despite rumors of my dad not liking puppies, he might have gotten a little verklempt when I picked up Lena last week.

I'm not going to lie. Lena is a handful. She is passionate about keeping our cats off the property. She loves underwear worn by females, things that make her vomit, and chewing on choice items that don't belong to her. She is curious in an animated fairy tale kind of way. She frolics and has no sense about cars. She had to be restrained from chasing a butterfly into the street. We had a scare on her second day with us - she escaped through the garage and was found across the street. In what had to be divine intervention, a passing dogwalker - and saver of off-leash dogs everywhere - pulled over and grabbed her. That close call inspired new security measures, including puppy roll calls in two-minute intervals.

Even with the extra work, Lena is a huge hit. The kids are obsessed. The very idea of Lena can keep them occupied for an hour-long road trip. Lena's presence in the house dominates their thoughts, hopes and dreams. They talk incessantly about puppy wuppy with kids at school, anyone standing by a register, and neighbors over the fence. I'm not trying to be cute - that's really what they call her. I wouldn't say Lena fully returns the love, but she's getting more tolerant. Lena does adore our dog, Sadie, and Sadie doesn't seem to be hating the attention.

This morning, we skyped with the family in Germany. My parents learned about Lena swimming with the kids. My dad joked that they forgot to pack her bathing suit. Oh my goodness. . . I was stunned I hadn't thought of it first. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! Daisy and I looked at some possibilities this evening. We are working out the details and designing the sets. Do not worry . . . Lena is ours until the 13th. This is just a preview of things to come. We will try to do our next shoot earlier, when Sadie isn't exhausted from a long day of puppysitting.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Second Grade

Here is Daisy, ready for her first day of school. The look is all hers. However, it represents perseverance in the face of adversity on the part of her grandma, sister and me.

We went on our last round of school shopping on Monday. Violet wasn't feeling it. Actually, it wasn't a very easy shopping trip for any of us.

Yesterday, Daisy told me she wanted to get her hair chopped. Violet echoed, "Me too!" At first, I tried to talk them out of it, but my daycare provider - and life coach - told me to let them cut their hair. New looks now mean they're less likely to buzz their hair off and get a scalp tattoo at 18 (not that there's anything wrong with that). I did realize I was being silly.

I happened to do the after school pickup for my daycare provider today. I only had my kids plus one, but I always wonder how she keeps track of so many more when she goes to Costco or the park or whatever. Now I know.