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Archive for October, 2007

I am mother of the year

I was asked by someone in an email not long ago “hey, how are things going today?”

And at that particular moment, my 4 year old was screaming in the bathtub, in her clothes.

“Why?” you ask.

Well, because in the amount of time that my 6 year old went to the bathroom, got in the bath, washed her hair, soaped, and played for about 20 minutes, I had asked Blue to get undressed and in the bath.

Over and over and over again.

But she didn’t.

So I gave her a warning. And another.

And then I stuck her in the bath in her clothes.

She was not happy. I was not happy. I am a shitty mother.

Yet, it reminds me of last year when she refused to get dressed at 8:30 am so we could walk Red to school. So, I dragged her out of the house, walked 3 blocks with her, in her socks and pajamas, to the school. We waited for the few minutes it took for Red to wait for the bell, line up, and walk into the school. And there is always a crowd there. Blue screamed the entire time at the top of her lungs. She was not happy.

BUT. BUUUUUUUUT…she never had a problem getting dressed in the morning after that.

Today there was a Halloween party at a friend’s house. Blue was invited and excited and kind of bragging to her sister (who was going to be in school) that she had a party to go to. So, we went. Things were great. Except that she refused to put pants and a shirt on underneath her Ariel costume (Little Mermaid). Now, I can understand not wanting to do that, due to the visual effect, but we have gone to three Halloween events already and it was never a problem to dress warmly under the costume.

So, the party today was outside ON the water. Which means “ocean breeze”.She had a ball.
Until she got cold.

I had brought her clothes in the car and made a move to go get them so we could layer her up.

And she started screaming “noooooooooooooooooooo!”.

And screaming.

And screaming.

So, after attempts to talk to her, soothe her, show her the warm clothes, I threw her over my shoulder (really) and said goodbye to the hostess and in front of all 15 of her preschool friends and their siblings and their mothers and the workmen across the street, I carried my four year old screaming mermaid to the car, upside down.
There, we fought about keeping her seatbelt on. Because she kept unhooking it, which made it impossible for me to drive home.

And then I threatened to call the local police to come and have a talk with her about the safety and importance and law of a seatbelt.

We made it home and the torture continued until she at last sat on my lap for approximately 90 minutes while I worked on the computer and answered emails and made some phone calls.

And here we are now, at the end of the day. My child still hasn’t eaten since breakfast, despite my making her lunch and healthy snacks. She is playing nicely with her sister.

And I wonder what is going to happen next.

And when.

You never know.

Oh wait. I hear something now….

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Dear Chef

I just wanted to say that I am sorry about how our conversation went on the phone a few weeks ago. I was stunned that your first call to me in over four months was to analyze, judge and criticize me. You had absolutely no right, considering we are no longer involved. In fact, you had absolutely no right, regardless of that.

I think I expected a bit of healing instead of resentment and anger from you…you don’t forgive me, for whatever it is you think I did, I did nothing wrong, any more than what I feel you did wrong…you don’t give me your blessing, perhaps it was your way of attempting to let me go, because I don’t need your blessing…I did nothing other than stand up for what I needed and wanted and I do believe you knew deep down it was coming at some point, no matter how much you didn’t want it. I didn’t want it to end either, but it really was time.

Anyway, it was very difficult to hear you in a place that wasn’t of any sort of understanding or peace about the situation, as if your desire was to say things to hurt me in that phone call. It didn’t, it just disappointed me.

The fact that I am seeing someone new, yes, so what, maybe it is my M.O., but really, how often were we together? Twice a month? In the evenings? After your two rounds of golf each day? And besides, didn’t all three of your marriages end because you had found someone new, while you were still IN the marriage?

My life is none of your business. I found it shocking that you would criticize me considering your history. I mean, you were married three times. Divorced. You abandoned your children. You nearly drank yourself to death.

We all want and need companionship. Changing our ways in each relationship and hopefully having it be the last one, a good one, is always a hope and it happened that you and I weren’t able to do that with each other. Whether the involvement is soon after a breakup or years later, is one’s own decision and not anyone else’s place to say that it is the wrong thing.

I hoped that you knew me well enough and watched me enough and understood me enough, that everything we went through, the growth I was going through in the last few years, growth I attribute a strong amount to being with you, was actually pulling me away from us. There came a time when being with you wasn’t okay for me anymore for a variety of reasons and I think you saw that more than you care to admit.

I loved you so much that I found I was compromising simple needs that I had and as a result, I was unhappy. What I wanted for me and my girls in a relationship, was not possible with you anymore, as what I needed evolved as I settled in to my life. They need to be included and in the end, that was one of the biggest things out of the big things standing in the way. Another critical thing that I never said that I feel I need to say, is the feeling of vagueness and dishonesty I felt with you…your non-forthrightness, in every day things that were becoming more apparent and difficult for me. I couldn’t understand it and I couldn’t handle it.

I will end with saying that when I think of you, I think of the man I loved and still love, the man who steadily was there for me when I went through the greatest part of healing in my life, dealing with the divorce, handling issues with the abuse I lived with, and gaining a strength deep inside that I never knew I had, as a mother and a woman…strength I never thought I could muster. You are a good friend and I love what you mean to me. I never expected to part ways and stop speaking. I do suspect that was better for us though, in the end.

If you ever want to connect in a different manner, when you are ready, please do call. I refuse to get into any sort of confrontation with you or analyze everything to death, because I don’t feel it would be productive for either of us in moving on.

I wish you well, I hope all is well with your mom and kids and the rest of your family.

(note: this is after I received two voice mails from Chef a few weeks ago, both sounding like totally different people, asking me to call him. I discovered he’d been reading my blog and he decided to call me not to say hello after all these months, but to analyze my blog and my life and Steam. He was very angry still, that I called things off after months and months of trying to make it work again. I told him I wouldn’t have a conversation with him about it. I recently sent him this email and left him a message letting him know I sent it. I got a message back from him saying he will be deleting my email without reading it and for me to not contact him again. So be it. He definitely has his own ideas of what happened and doesn’t think he had anything to do with them.

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I found myself sitting in front of the television the other day, flipping with the remote between “Man vs Wild” and a Faith Hill concert on CMT. When Tim McGraw came out on stage and they started singing to each other, I flipped back to Man vs Wild and realized I’d grown up. I no longer drooled over Tim McGraw. I now drool over a man crossing a river in Iceland with his clothes on his back and brushing his teeth with some strange looking root.

And suddenly, I was in major need of sugar.

With nothing terribly appealing in the house, I opened a new bag of large marshmallows and spread on some leftover frosting from last year’s Easter’s cookies and ate it.

And then four more.

I know. Disgusting. But I was desperate.

It reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom was a total health food nut. She still is. She made it worse when I was about 10 by becoming a vegetarian. All reasons for eating other than to be able to BREATHE, ceased to exist.

But then, one day, I was frantic. I must have been about 12 and I was scouring the cupboards. Mom was in the shower. Dad was still at work. Sister was probably in her room studying, as always.

I opened the baking cupboard.

And there, in a box, I saw something that made me ecstatic.

Powdered sugar.

I remember the first time I scooped out a spoonful and stuck it in my mouth. I wasn’t smart enough to NOT inhale…so, I inhaled, and in doing so, choked on powdered sugar.

But I got it under control.

I also learned, early on, only by fluke because I saw myself in the mirror after that bite, to wipe off my face and clothes before anyone saw me…to hide any telltale signs of white powder…better than drugs, this powdered sugar.

I told no one about that feeling I love of the powder slowly turning to sugary goo as it sticks to the roof of my mouth and slowly dissolves into sweet nothingness.

And I told no one. Not after that first time. Not after the millionth time. Not after that time a few weeks ago when I did it again. Ate a mouthful of powdered sugar.

Never told anyone.

Ever.

Until now.

Both the sugar and the frosted marshmallows.

Now you know.

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