Friday, June 30, 2006

Migraine and more rain.

Waking up with a migraine sucks. I knew before I even opened my eyes in the morning that I had one. My dreams were full of weird scenarios of pain and head injury. I rolled out of bed and headed to the bathroom to pour cold water over my face. It provided some relief, but only for a moment. For anyone who has never had a migraine, I'm not sure my words can do it justice. It's not mearly a headache, but a naseaous, painfilled trip. All the normal things make it hurt worse. The sound of the tv, the smell of, well, anything. That, of course, will start the vomiting, but nobody wants to hear about that. It's a pretty shitty way to start the day.

I had to get the girls to swim lessons , so I took a long, very hot shower and got them there only a few minutes late. We may have been on time, but did you ever notice how little girls can never just walk to the car and get in? They have to twirl and skip to the car. They have to stop for every dandelion and beetle (EEEW! A BUG! LOOK MAMA!). They can't possible open the car door and get in with out jumping and missing and falling and noticing more bugs and flowers while they're on the ground. And just when you're totally about to lose your mind, they hand you some ratty little buttercup with practically no stem and say "This is for you Mama. Isn't it pretty?" Oy. Normally it would all be very cute and lovely, but today- not so much.

It was steamy and miserable out. I was standing there watching Lila practice kicking. She's a little shy and the teacher kept asking her if she wanted to try kicking across the shallow end with a noodle. Lila would shake her head no and just hold the edge. "She's never going to do it if you don't make her!" I wanted to scream. But I didn't. I decided instead to drink my Diet Pepsi and eat a few crackers. It helped me some. Pretty soon Lila's class was done and it was Jasmine's turn to practice diving. Lila and I sat and ate crackers and alternated between watching Jasmine and the baby swim class. The babies were so darn cute. I used to take Lila to the same class.

The rest of the afternoon was kind of a waste. The migraine had abated some(after copius amounts of advil), but not enought to make me feel anything but worthless. The girls splashed in the kiddie pool for awhile, but then it started to thunder and rain. We are so sick of the rain, I can't even tell you. We've exhausted our paint and glue stick supply. My house now has more original works of art than MOMA.

It rained on and off for the rest of the day. When it was all done for the night there was such a cool breeze. It was refreshing and my head started to hurt less and less. We went outside and found a beautiful rainbow.

I'm hoping today to get to the playground. These kids need to run and play and get dirty. With any luck it won't rain tonite and we'll be able to have a T-Ball game. My husband is the luckiest damn T-Ball coach ever. We've only had a handfull of games in the month and a half season because of the rain. Mosquitos be damned, we could use an evening at the ball field. Cross your fingers for me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Tuesday was one of the first nice days we've had around these parts in quite awhile. It seems that lately all it does is rain. The girls and I headed over to the playground in hopes of catching up with some friends for a playdate. When we got there, the only people there were a little girl and her dad. The girl was playing in a sand pile and was trying to get her dad to help her with the digger toy. Dad was too busy yelling into his cell to hear her.

"I don't care!" He yelled, "I said keep him away from her!" It seemed like a pretty heated debate. I got some sand toys from the car and sat down to dig with Violet. The little girl came over and stood next to me, eyeing the buckets and shovels.

"You're welcome to dig with us." I told her. She sat down and grabbed a bucket and her father yelled to her.

"Elizabeth! Come talk on the phone. It's your mother." He made little to no effort to hide the contempt in his voice.

Elizabeth chatted for a few minutes and then handed the phone back to her dad who was standing behind me. She came back to the sand toys and reached for a purple bucket. "Oh, don't use that bucket hon, that one is Violet's." I told her. The girl's mother heard me talking and dad started yelling into the phone again.

"I don't know who she is! There are other people at the playground you know! I AM NOT!!"

I can just imagine what the mother was saying on her end. After that exchange , dad dragged Elizabeth off to the swings. By now I had the gist of the conversation- Dad didn't like mom's new boyfriend and come hell or high water he was going to make sure that his daughter didn't have anything to do with this guy. The really sad part was Elizabeth knew what the conversation was about too. It was painfully obvious. Instead of enjoying his visit with her, he blew the time on an immature arguement. He may be justified in his complaints. I don't know, because I don't know these people . Maybe mom's new beau is a scabby drug bum with no job and no good intentions. What I do know is that Elizabeth asked her dad to push her on the swing at least three times before she gave up, resigned to the fact that he was ignoring her and there wasn't much she could do about it.

And that's pretty sad.

Friday, June 09, 2006

It's the quiet ones you gotta watch

"Jenn, could I talk to you for a second?" Lila's teacher stopped me on the way out of the classroom today.

"Sure, what's up?" I said.

"One of my main concerns with Lila is that she doesn't always speak up when she knows something. She can be very chatty and silly at times, but at other times she doesn't speak up when she needs help."

"Yeah, I know that. She's pretty shy and you covered that on her kindergarten evaluation form." I told her.

"Well, yesterday we had an incident in the classroom." She looked at me very seriously.

"Ok, what happened?" Now I was a little worried.

"Well, it was time to pack up and go home and I saw Lila at the cubbies. I went over and asked what she was doing in the cubbies, but she didn't say anything, she just smiled at me. So I closed the cubby and told her it was time to get ready to go."


"A minute later, we noticed that Nancy was missing. We looked everywhere and couldn't find her. I was really starting to panic and then we discovered she was in the cubbies."

"Oh, you shut the door on her? She's pretty tiny, I could see how she'd be easy to miss." Nancy is a very small girl and this could have happened to anyone. I wanted to make her feel better.

"The thing is, I asked Lila if she knew that Nancy was hiding in the cubby and she said she did. I told her it would have been nice if she said something because I was very worried about Nancy."

"Ahh, yes, well, Lila doesn't like the attention on her. With all the commotion of looking for Nancy, she was probably too shy to speak up."

"I would expect her to speak up to us by now. She knows us well enough and feels comfortable in our class. Any conversation you could have with her about the importance of telling teachers what she knows would be very helpful. You may also want to let her Kindergarten teacher know that she is like this so she can be prepared."

"I'll talk to her." I said. I was kind of stunned. She's had my daughter in preschool for two years and this is the one and only time she has ever misbehaved, if you could even call it that. I definitely will talk to Lila about what happened. I want her to know how important it is to tell grown ups what she knows. Whether it's a missing kid or an alphabet question, her thoughts are important enough to share.

And yet.....

I can't help but feel that the main reason her teacher was so upset was that she lost a kid. In clear daylight, in the middle of the secure classroom, one of them got away from her. And we all know that if Nancy was truly missing, not just hiding in the cubby, her parents would have this teacher's head on a silver platter surrounded by curly endive and radish roses. This conversation seemed like it was a carefully worded defense in case she was ever called upon to explain why a kid went missing.

I guess she found her scapegoat, let's just hope this doesn't go down on Lila's permanent record.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

On the lighter side

It's not all pre-teen angsty drama. Sometimes we doll ourselves all up..

And chill out with our friends.

We act real dorky!

Or just plain evil.

On the hottest days, when it's so humid and sticky that no can stand it anymore, dad takes us to the gourmet chocolate store and gets us peanutbutter cups the size of an infants head!

We have fun, we laugh, we spend a half hour getting chocolate off of every surface in the bathroom (just imagine walking in after her and seeing brown smears everywhere, what would you instantly think?).

Here's to a happy summer! I'll leave you with a picture of Jasmine & Violet from last year. That girl really needs to stop hiding when the camera comes out. I had to sort through about 3000 pics of her sisters to find one of her.

Monday, June 05, 2006

And then there's my twelve year old...

I have three kids in three very different age groups. The youngest is two, and a firecracker. She climbs everything, gets into everything, repeats everything, but her biggest problems can be solved with a simple kiss and a hug.

My middle girl is five. She is very inquisitive. She asks lots of questions about how things work, and why things do what they do. She also listens to adult conversations when you think she's not and interjects her philosophical opinion. She has become an excellant (and exhausting) tattler and most of her problems can be solved with a kiss or a forced apology from an unsympathetic two year old.

And then there's my twelve year old. I think this one is trying to kill me.

"Have you seen the girls?" Innocent enough question that sent my heart racing with fear. Jasmine was supposed to be at her friend's house down the road. They asked to come here to get a movie, but never returned. "And I can assure you, they are no where in between my house and yours." The friend's mom said. They had been gone over ten minutes for a trip that should have taken five.

Could they have been kidnapped? Two preteens kidnapped at once seemed unlikely. The only logical choice was that they snuck off to somewhere they knew they weren't supposed to be. I headed off down the road to look when I saw Jasmine heading my way. Her friends mom had been driving around in her car and seen them. She conviscated her daughter and sent Jasmine on her way home.

"Where were you!" I screamed at her even though I was fairly sure of the answer.

"I was...we were just.." She faltered. She knew she was caught and was trying to decide if lying would get her in less trouble.

"Are you fucking stupid! You are twelve years old! You NEVER take off somewhere and not let an adult know where you are!" Jasmine looked shocked. It wasn't the swearing that threw her for a loop, but I was yelling at her in front of the neighbors. I usually try not do that to save her embarassment, but today I didn't care. I was so livid.

She and her friend had snuck off to Trevor's house. Trevor is the boy Jasmine has a major crush on. She is obsessed with him. I don't know him at all, but I know his family. To put it nicely: They ain't a pretty picture. And to make matters worse, Jasmine is not allowed to date and she and this kid are acting the part without all the boyfriend/girlfriend terminolgy. Not cool in our book.

Dating or "going out" is not what it used to be. When I was in Jr. High there was hand holding and maybe sitting together at lunch. Now, Jasmine's friends french kiss, feel up, and sit on their boyfriend's laps at the back of the movie theater. There was also a pregnant girl, but they shipped her off to another school so she wouldn't cause an epidemic. Pregnancy, it seems, can be very appealing for the lipgloss peers and spreads like lice at a preschool.

My daughter is a follower, not a leader. She wants to be liked, wants to be like everyone else. She goes with the crowd and is totally afraid of what her friends think. She's been in trouble a lot this year. More than she ever has before. Each time it involved sneaking and lying and not being where she was suposed to be. Until she can develop sense of autonomy, be comfortable enough with who she is to be able to protect her integrity, I don't want some raging testosterone fueled boy anywhere near her.

She knows our reasons for the no dating rule, even agrees with them, but she feels left out. All her friends are given many freedoms that I didn't even have in High School. More freedoms than kids this age can handle. Twelve year olds can't be expected to make wise choices about sexuality and drugs. They are simply not mature enough to say no. Hell, most adults aren't. Yet almost all of her friends are left to their own devices after school and on weekends. As long as they are home by a certain time, their parents don't care where they go.

That's not me. And that's not me, because I know my kid. She's not ready to say no. She's not in that space in her head that will allow her to make the right choice, even if it's unpopular. She's just not there yet.

So, she has rules. And she's unhappy about it. "Jasmine, you have all the rules you've earned." I told her. "If you don't like them, you need to step up and prove you're ready for more resposibilty." She nodded and wiped her teary eyes. I have no idea if that sank in this time or not. I often feel like I'm talking to the proverbial brick wall. I just keep reminding myself that I'm doing what I think is best. I'm not her friend, I'm her mother. My job is to raise her up and get her to adulthood with a good head on her shoulders.

But being the hated one sucks. Big time.