Mothahhood

life in my hood with 2 teenagers, a toddler and chronic pain

yes, we can June 19, 2009

O.K. ladies, anyone recognize this conversation?

My little one finished year 1 of preschool and brought home 2 absolutely beautiful finger paintings. My husband came home from work a little while ago and observed the loveliness of the artwork. So far so good, but here’s where it gets…shall we say fucking annoying?

J-“I really like these paintings that she made.”

me-“yeah, they are great.”

J-“Can we get some frames for them and hang them up?”

me-“Can we get some frames? Yes, we can. You can go about 4 minutes over yonder there in that there direction (as I motion with my hands in a general westward direction) to a place called Aaron Brothers Art and Frames and buy some frames and then come home and hang them up.”

Yes, we can. (I wonder if Michelle Obama originated this phrase.)

nufced

 

Can I get a witness?

Can anyone relate? C’mon I know you can. I love to cook. Or at least, I used to love to cook. I used to plan really good meals, whole dinner menus, even. And, I used to shop, go to the farmer’s market for the best, freshest, organic produce to have all the right ingredients in the house. We used to have dinner parties consisting of fabulous food, wonderful wine and witty repartee. And I did all this in a fairly small, cramped kitchen with crappy appliances. Then something happened. Or many things happened. 3 kids happened. 3 kids who don’t eat any of the same foods except pizza, burritos or macaroni and cheese.

And then something else happened. We remodeled our kitchen with beautiful countertops and stainless appliances and a prep sink and opened it up to our den, creating a “great room.”  And then pain happened. Pain that makes me tired and makes me lose my appetite. Do you know what it is like trying to plan dinner when you are tired and have no appetite or nothing just sounds good and the kids don’t like the same food and your husband could be late from work on any and every night of the week? Probably you do know. I end up throwing out more perishables than could feed a small island and we order in food enough times in a week to stimulate a small economy and I feel like a loser of a mother because I don’t have dinner, steaming in its serving bowls, on the table every (or any) evening and I hate it. And then I remember the starving children in Africa and I feel guilty for being such a spoiled, whiny bitch.

nufced

 

suck my….or a funny thing happened on the way back from recess June 17, 2009

With the school year wrapping up, I am reminded of an incident that took place when I was a third grade teacher about 10 years ago. I had a wonderful child in my class named Nicholas. Nicholas was a lovable 9 year old, extremely smart, identified gifted actually, but also, quite learning disabled. Fact was, he couldn’t read. He could put together very large puzzles, however, like nobody’s business. The unfortunate thing was that his mother was quite uneducated, and came from a very rural and poverty stricken part of Mexico. She never spoke to him during his first few years of life because she couldn’t imagine why one would talk to a baby since a baby couldn’t talk back. Naturally, she never read to him either. Nicholas was at a big disadvantage when it came to the written word. Nicholas attended special class for about an hour or so each day with our special needs teacher, Lisa, to address his learning disability.

One bright morning, as I walked across the playground on my way back to my classroom at the end of recess, Nicholas came running up to me, quite agitated.

N-“Mrs. M., Mrs. M.”

me-“What is it Nicholas?”

N-“Mrs. M., Andrew just told me to ‘suck his (and here he leaned in very close to me and whispered and spelled), d-u-c-k.'”

I paused, trying to compose myself and reply with the level of seriousness that the situation warranted, all the while wanting to burst out laughing.

me-“I am very sorry to hear that Nicholas. That was a very mean thing to say. I will talk with Andrew right away and I assure you this won’t happen again.”

Recess ended and we went into the classroom for a math lesson or some such thing.

At lunch, I went immediately to Lisa’s classroom and told her the story. Then I told her she really needed to work more with Nicholas on spelling.

nufced

 

monday morning blues June 15, 2009

Monday morning blues…So much to do, but I’ve got the flu.

nufced

 

divorce, doggy style June 2, 2009

Several years ago in May, our beloved dog, Gaby, died.  While we were all devastated by losing her (I had her before I had my husband), she lived a long and wonderful life. I always wanted to have 2 dogs, but Gaby was one royal bitch who had no interest in sharing us or her home with any other member of the canine species, bitch or otherwise. A few weeks after she left us, we decided it was time to find 2 dogs to add to the chaos that was already our lives. To cut to the chase here, we ended up with, not 2 new furry additions to our home, but 3- a very large male, goofball, descended from Bernese Mountain dogs and some type of terrier, possibly Airedale, and 2 females (yes, bitches). One was a medium/small part black lab, part who knows what, 3 legged sweetheart and a puppy (for more on her read my previous post called “bitches part 1”). In order, their names are Major (Tom), Ziggy (Stardust), and China(girl). See the connections? Hint-we took our 2 big kids to their first concert shortly before getting the dogs and the performer was (drumroll, please)….David Bowie. They are also known to us as Majee, Zigmund and China Berry Pie.

 

majee

majee

 

Other than the large expense of feeding these 3 mutts and cleaning up the inevitable outcome of those feedings, all went swimmingly in our house of 4 humans and 3 canines for about 1 1/2 years. During that time, we added one more human to our family and the delicate 3 male/4 female ratio shifted even more heavily in favor of the females.  (kind of like the liberal/conservative ratio on the Supreme Court) Anyway, we were one big happy pack, until one day. I can’t remember much about it except for one incident. China and Ziggy got into fight, not a little catfight, mind you but a teeth-baring, till-death-do-us-part kind of fight. It is all a blur to me now. All I know is that I had to separate them and somehow I did. But, not before Ziggy was bleeding heavily from several spots and I was terrified. I had absolutely no idea what got them started or why. All I knew was Ziggy needed to get to the vet. Several stitches and several hundred dollars later we returned home. With trepidation, after Ziggy recovered sufficiently, we allowed the 2 girls back together. Major, being the alpha male of the pack would get between them if he saw anything amiss and they would respond respectfully to him. Things seemed fine for a while until it happened again. Again we took Ziggy to the emergency vet and got her fixed up. Keep in mind that Ziggy is at a numeric disadvantage when it comes to legs and by this point in their lives China had outgrown Ziggy by a good 20 pounds. 

 

the girls before the trouble began

the girls before the trouble began

 

We assumed China was at the root of all this evil so after many consultations with our dog trainer and our vet, we shipped China off to doggy boot-camp to be rehabilitated.  She was away for a few weeks at which point, our very own dog whisperer returned China to us with specific instructions on how to manage the dogs. He told us we needed to establish ourselves as the leaders of the pack and that they should read our signals to stay away from each other if they couldn’t be bff’s.  We tried, we put up gates where there were no doors, we closed doors were there were some and we kept the girls separated unless we were with them in the room. Thing is, I had an infant in my arms during much of this time. The big kids were good about remembering to keep the girls apart and so were we up to a point. After all, we are only human and always remembering to keep the girls apart was not easy or convenient. Major would take turns hanging out with each of the girls so almost always, one of the girls was by herself. Truth be told, this was a very stressful way to live for human and canine alike.  We were in constant fear of the dogs getting hurt or killed or worse, even, one of the kids.

Nonetheless, the dogs are part of our family and we had trouble even conceiving of giving one of them away. We are not give -up-easily or dog-giving-away people. End of story. But, alas, that was not the end of the story. One day, one of us left a door open, Ziggy found her way to China and as my 10 year old son saw them approach each other, he jumped in to try to stop them. It was too late and they were lunging at each other. The worst happened. As China went for ZIggy, J’s leg got in the way and China sank her teeth into his leg. Interestingly, as soon as she realized what she had done, she immediately backed off. Ziggy went after her though and it was, then, in hindsight, that we realized that It was not China after all, but Ziggy, sweet little ZIggy, fiercely dominant and unrelenting Ziggy who had been the instigator all along. Jalen was fine, after an ER visit (it was not his first nor his last). But our pack, our family, was not fine. We realized with heartbreak that one of the girls had to go. We couldn’t decide which so we put out the word for both of them. My husband wrote beautiful biographies for each of them and we advertised around. Eventually a family came forward who fell in love with Ziggy. We knew this family would love Ziggy as we did and so one sad day my husband took ZIggy to her new home, where she, surrounded by 3 cats, lives as the 3 legged queen of the roost. Our hearts ached, not only for our loss, but as parents, for the loss that our children felt and our inability to provide them any comfort. They understood that we had no choice.

The only solution for peace in our household was divorce.

We visit her and she always is thrilled to see us, but when it is time for us to leave, she walks us out and looks at us as if to say, “that was a lovely visit, please do come again.”

We are told that Ziggy has a gentleman (dog) caller named Archie. 

nufced

P.S. Last week (in May), we received a holiday (2008) card from Ziggy’s humans. There was a detailed explanation for its late arrival and inside, a picture of Ziggy, wrapped in a red cape sitting on the lap of Santa Claus, looking almost like she belongs there.

 

this is crazy… May 27, 2009

…if you google “prop hate” and then scroll down to the bottom, you see the words “Blog posts about prop hate”. At this very moment, 9:55pm pst May 26, 2009, if you click on that link, the next page shows MY blog in the number 2 position out of 472,061-holy crap! This is so cool-thanks to everyone for reading my blog!!!!

nufced

Picture 1

 

on paula abdul because she’s a bitch too

NEW YORK – Paula Abdul has told a magazine that she overcame a 12-year addiction to painkillers last year. The “American Idol” judge tells Ladies Home Journal in its June issue that she checked into a resort and spa in Carlsbad, Calif., where she weaned herself off her medications last Thanksgiving.

Abdul says she didn’t like existing the way she had been.

The magazine says the 46-year-old singer-dancer had suffered for years from chronic pain caused by an unusual series of accidents.

Abdul’s spokesman, Jeff Ballard, says Abdul “has moved forward in her life.”

I don’t like existing the way I have been either, but changing it is easier said than done. I could quit my pills in a New York minute (ok in a week or 2) if I knew I could feel fine after quitting them.  I wonder if  she continues to live with her pain condition…the article says “she had suffered for years from chronic pain” but says nothing of whether she still has the pain and if not, how she overcame it.  

This bitch would like to know how that bitch did it.

nufced