Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Is Ipecac the only over-the-counter medication that sounds like its intended result? Perhaps not, but it is the most fun to say out loud.

I guess I should be glad this isn't necessarily a trend in the industry, where products like Senokot might be named... well, okay. I'm sure we're all creative enough to fill in our own blanks.

Monday, August 23, 2004

In my lunch today:

3 slices of prepackaged deli ham
1 slice processed American cheese
1 tomato, sliced
1 hamburger bun…

354 calories.

1 Cortland apple…

80 calories.

1 package Nabisco Dora the Explorer fruit snacks…


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Shazzaam, baby! I just put the final stitches on my very first sweater for Youngest. And it feels good. So good, in fact, that I'm not even going to let the buzz fade before starting on Sweater #2 for Oldest.

You see that little girl in the pink and grey sweater? That's what Oldest still looks like to me when I think about her. She's this chubby-wristed, wispy-blonde toddler with huge blue eyes and eyelashes that any mascara diva would envy. She pronounces "r" like "ahwa" and thinks toe fuzz is serious business.

That kid started fourth grade today. And man, is she cool about it. Except one little moment this morning when the cool broke at 6:15 am, a good chunk of time before she was supposed to wake up. I opened my eyes to her standing beside my bed grinning down at me, about to pop with excitement.

Unlike all the other kids at the bus stop, Oldest did not have a new backpack this morning. She decided to blow her school supply budget on nifty accessories, while "re-upping" her old backpack with glittery fabric paint and artistic flair.

It gave me a moment of guilt to see her beside all the kids with new bags. I would have bought her a new bag. Never mind that the old one was still in perfect shape, if she'd really wanted a new backpack I would have bought her one. I just hoped she really was pleased with the creative option, and wasn't secretly standing there wishing hers was new.

"That's your old backpack," said one of the little boys. "I have a new backpack, and you have your old one."

"Yeah," said Oldest, in her you-are-a-moron tone. "Only, it's not old. I painted it."

And then all the kids gathered around her work of art as Oldest proudly showed it off.

She is not me. I have to remember that.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Because I'm feeling bitter and angry today, and because some bee-otch newsletter editor in the UK is trying to UK-ize ("-ise") the article I wrote, I just feel like complaining.

I'm not going to say who, but someone is this room had a baby right out of high school. She went to college, worked two jobs, and so on. The male component went right on collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and working as a lifeguard for a hotel pool.

Now, I should be glad about one thing. Oldest's biological father has always faithfully paid child support. With the exception of, well, a period of 18 months where he was just sort of, you know, unemployed. But hey, as soon as he got back on his feet living in his mother's basement, he started writing checks again! And they have always been for the same amount. You know, the amount he could afford to pay. When he was a hotel pool lifeguard.

And he still plans to pay back the period of support he missed.

When he can afford it.

You know, after he gets married, goes on a honeymoon, takes a few supplemental trips to various parts of the country, buys a house and some new shoes.

Last time I asked him about the missing support checks, he told me, "I'm working on it. I've been putting it into a savings account for her."

That's great! I said. But I'd prefer you just to pay us back as you get the money.

He said, "Okay." And since then, nothing.

I try not to be angry about it. We all do the best we can with what we have. We're not all born with common sense.

Have I mentioned he filed for bankruptcy after opening a credit account in my name, and then stuck me with a $10,000 charge-off on my credit report? Hhh.

I asked him to buy Oldest's Girl Scout sash and troop number patches. She also needs khaki pants and a white shirt as part of her uniform, I mentioned. We probably have a white shirt. Perhaps he could pick up a pair of pants since she's outgrown her old khakis. He hesitated, but agreed.

Instead of buying a normal pair of khaki pants from K-Mart like a normal, cost-conscious adult, he bought the official Girl Scout khaki pants – you know, where they sew a logo on the pocket and charge twice as much. AND he got her a white GS logo shirt – which cost more than I would ever spend on a single article of clothing.

That was awfully nice of him. Or, it would have been if I didn't feel like it was such an unnecessary waste of money when he's acting like he can't afford to pay the support he owes. Every time he buys her shoes she doesn't need or a shirt she'll never wear, I can hear my own voice screaming in the back of my head: That's nice…Pay Your F-ing Child Support!

Plus, when I told him she wears a size 10 pants, I assume he heard a loud buzzing and some noise where my voice should have been.

"You'll have to hem them," he said. "But they should fit for a couple of years. Right?" he said, nudging Oldest.

She smiled and nodded in a way that spoke to how much she really didn't care to be part of the conversation.

At this point, neither do I.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I'm happy. Work, for once, is being good to me. Plus, there's chocolate in the studio.

And tonight, we knit!

I'm disappointed that by not keeping up with the blogging community I missed an opportunity to meet other area knitters. This is because I secretly think that many of the area bloggers are cool, and I want them to like me.

Knitting is cool. People who think knitting is cool… are also cool. The other day, I had my knitting with me at the doctor's office, and the receptionist said, "Hey, I knit too! I love knitting." See, and that made me think, "She's cool! I like her."

A funny thing happens to me when I knit. It's a strange, happy, peaceful thing. I stop freaking out about stuff. I quit thinking I need to lose twenty pounds. I'm not worrying that no one likes me or that I'm a terrible wife and mother. When I'm knitting, all the things I want to do or be are either reachable or irrelevant. Why else would we waste time wrapping yarn around needles in a time-consuming, often frustrating process of creating textiles? Why do runners run? Why do painters paint? There's got to be some chemical change going on in the brain of a knitter.

Whatever it is, knitting makes me want to befriend people.

That's a big deal. No, trust me. I think I've had like four friends in my entire life.

And now this has just turned pathetic so I'm going to stop. And knit! Mmmmm, serotonin...
"Hey ma, come here," Husband called from Youngest's bedroom. I looked in on the two of them sitting on Youngest's toddler bed, grinning.

"Tell her," said Husband to Youngest.

Tripping on a giggle, Youngest told me, "The sun is in your eyes on a string."

"Oh!" I said, and looked at Husband for a translation.

"Hold on a second," he said, and cupped his hands around her ear.

Youngest listened to his whispering, with the gleeful look of a co-conspirator. She said, "My mistresses eyes…"

More whispering. "…are nothing," she said, "…like the sun."

Later, he lined up both girls at attention, popped quackers into their mouths and quacked orders at the newly formed Duck Brigade to march – march! – into the living room and pick up any toys they found on the floor.

Not only did they pick up their toys, they brushed their teeth when they were done.

While his methods may be unorthodox, his genius is incontrovertible. And you can quote Shakespeare to me anytime, Cpl. Mallard.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Just so you know, inanimate objects make great pets at my house. The kids have turned just about everything into a piece of their imaginative world, and most of it is alive.

My skeins of yarn are all cats. Specifically, they are "yarn-spinning cats" and they are all named Sophia.

I find the girls in my closet pawing through my stray yarn skeins, each looking for just the right Sophia. They wrap their Sophias in baby blankets. They rock them to sleep. They push them in strollers. They make leashes and take them for walks. They feed them "treats" made of rocks from our back yard.

The skeins without labels are the orphans, which is all very sad, and those poor Sophias are rounded up to live in the orphanage on our living room couch.

The other night, I was sitting on the couch with my knitting, and Youngest crawled up beside me.

"Can I hold your Sophia?" she asked.

"I'm using it to knit," I told her.

"I will be really careful?"

"Well, all right." I lifted up my needles for access to the bundle of yarn on my lap. She held it out in front of her in both hands, gazing at it lovingly.

"Aww!" she said, after a moment. "My Sophia is falling asleep in my arms!"

My kids are sweet, but they're all completely whack.