Frabjous Mother's Day

Frabjous Mother's Day

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Warning: Teen Now in Residence. Enter at Your Own Risk.

Our daughter has officially entered the dreaded teen years today, happy happy, joy joy. It is her 13th birthday. I am busily crossing myself as I type this. My husband, Dee is all ready to set up shop at the front door with a shotgun in hand. Anyone who touches his princess will have his wrath to deal with. Dating should be fun in a few years or 10. We figure after college would be fine. Maybe she will go for her master’s and doctorate and really drag it out for us.

Is there any kind of potion I can spread around the front door frame to keep out the teen angst and teen attitude? I am taken back to a story in the Bible about protecting the first-born son from death by smearing lamb’s blood around the door. Do you think it would work to keep away teen mouthiness and attitude? I am sure I could talk the store butcher into saving me a little if there is any chance it would work.

Teen attitude is a form of death and slow torture when you have to live in the same house with it. Teen attitude makes your hair fall out and causes sleepless nights and unwanted parental bursts of anger. Some teens should come with warning signs. Caution: Beware of mouthy outbursts, know it all attitudes and emotional upheaval. Be prepared for confrontations, difficulty hearing, following directions and adhering to rules and outbreaks of red blotches and bumps.

So far she rarely exhibits any sign of it except when she is overly tired, but that was the same when she was very small so knock on wood, it will never appear completely. I wonder if a string of garlic would help at all. They are easy to find around here.

I was a mellow teen who toed the line. I was too afraid of my father to do much wrong but the angst was there in spades. You could not pay me enough to be a teenager again. (I am crossing myself here again.)

She is a wonderful happy young lady and a loving human being. I am proud of her in many ways. I hope the teen years don’t spoil that. That brings up another question. Are teens another morphed form of creature? Do they become wild when the moon is full? I wonder if Jekyll and Hyde was really a teenager gone totally berserk and his magic potion was nothing more than an overdose of teen hormones.

I think we should add bars to all the windows this week… I can see her now, “MOMMMMM”, pause for a dramatic reaction and then the mandatory role of the eyes at Mom’s or Daddy's audacity. Oh no, she already does that. We are doomed

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Texas Tornado

I wished for a rainstorm while I was here. I got my wish and then some. You can blame it all on me. Last night while we were over visiting a friend, the wind started to pick up. Then it took off. The sky turned the most peculiar shade of fuzzy gray green. The air got thick and swirly, almost as if some giant hand had stirred the cream in the coffee. It was very surreal and other world looking. My daughter and I were fascinated. "WOWWW, Mom!"

In the beginning of the storm we were all out in the back yard acting out various scenes from The Wizard of Oz and singing our version of “Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening…”
The television was on in the house and the rainbow coloured emergency warning screen interrupted the show that was on. I thought they were teasing us when they said that it was for real at first until I looked outside and then looked at the screen again. It was a Texas Tornado.

The storm passed through after a few hours, or so we thought. The tornado had passed with some damage in its wake, a semi thrown on its side, trees and fences down, flooding in the stadium, various storm destruction here and there throughout the DFW area.

We ordered pizza after the front had moved through but the winds were still going and the rain was coming down. They delivered it. S had wanted to order it in the middle of the tornado to see if they would deliver or not. I told her this is not the United States Postal service, “through rain and snow and sleet and hail”. Pizza doesn't qualify for important delivery, no matter how hungry all of us are.

Then the fun began. The torrential storms kicked in. The rain was coming down in fountains and driving against the windows. The lightning lit up the room repeatedly all night long. The thunder would build in increasing crescendos until it set the neighbor’s car alarm off and has been repeating all night and all day. I am seriously considering going over and ripping his car alarm out. The crashing booming from the storm I love, love, love. It is invigorating. It is alive. The car alarm is an invention I wish had never popped into somebody’s head with that light bulb flash of creative ingenuity. I hate the things with a passion. People get them installed,then everyone ignores them going off, including the person whose car they are installed in. I am almost convinced they were invented to drive me bonkers.

That was last night and the storm is still going strong. The road in front of L A’s parent’s house is flooded. Her mom figured she would go work in the garage since she couldn’t go outside today in all this lightning and downpour. She turned right around and rushed back in to the house again when the lightning hit the garage door with a loud boom.

My daughter huddled close to me all night, gripping on to me with a death grip. I wrapped my arms around her. Storms frighten her. But by this morning she was sitting at the computer having a grand time, an old storm pro. It was that or hang on to Mommy all day like she did all night. I haven’t been in a storm like this in years.

There is enough water out front to float my brother’s old toy oil liner. It was a model someone gave him about two feet long. I loved it when the gutters and roads got so full of water that we could run it and a collection of paper and plastic boats. My boat was a little multi-coloured, plastic molded beauty about 8” long, the really cheap toy dime store/toy store kind that in my child’s vision was beautiful, a sea worthy craft that could have taken on the North Sea in a winter storm. Remove the lightening and I would be out there now with our boats if I still had them. I am sorely tempted to walk out there in my bare feet and splash around. Maybe I could take an umbrella and pretend to be Gene Kelly hoofing around, "Just singing and dancing…in the (Texas), rain.”

Friday, June 5, 2009

Traveling by Plane in the Electronic Age(With a 12 Year Old)

I am going on a trip with my daughter to look around at a possible new place for my husband and I to move to with better possibilities. Packing is something I am good at. I am organized. I made our lists of what we were bringing and what to put in the carry ons. I have the papers all prepared. I do things ahead of time. I hate stressing at the last minute.

The food is packed for the flight since airlines are not a friendly service industry anymore. They are a cow herding industry now. Moo! “ Head ‘em up and move ‘em out! Keep rolling, rolling, rolling...”

I looked at our carry ons a moment ago and it suddenly hit me we really do travel differently than when I was a kid. I might have carried a doll, a book or maybe some drawing supplies. The airlines had games and things for the kids. Now you have to beg to get a pair of stick on plastic wings as a souvenir. We used to get beautiful metal pin on wings from all the airlines. I had quite a collection of them from all over the world. We had playing cards from all the airlines too. It was all free and given with a smile. Now I get attendants glaring if they get asked too many things or if you dare to push the call button for help. You are not supposed to expect service or a smile anymore. You are supposed to sit quietly smashed into your 2"x 2" seat with no leg or breathing room.

We have three carry ons. One is my purse. That has my papers, the tickets, ids for both of us and my cell phone, pens and ibuprofen and some black licorice Dutch katjes to chew on for the flight to help ears and help relieve air pressure.

The other two are packed full of electronics. We are flying fully wired. In my other case is my laptop and all my chargers for my cell and laptop, extension cords, microphone and earphone, a notebook for writing in and some changes of underwear. In case our bag disappears, I always carry changes of underwear on my carry on. I have been traveling since I was five weeks old. I have seen many things disappear in my travels. I like to travel prepared. Apparently underwear is on the approved list with airport security and Homeland Security too. Underwear isn’t dangerous like a nail file for instance or tweezers that you might hijack a plane with. ( Have you ever tried to picture that scenario in your head and not rolled your eyes?)

In her case she has her cell phone and charger, her PSP and games, her small DVD player with headphones, cords, remote and a few DVDs, her iPod with a headphone and her little movie camera my husband and I gave her for Christmas. The backpack weighs a ton. The food will be in there too. You should hear her complaining about how heavy it is.

"This is too heavy!

“Well don’t take all that stuff then.”

“ I have to, Mommy. I need it all.”

“Then quit complaining.”

Apparently we have to travel wired to the max now.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Diet Ads

I saw an ad on one of the sites I write for. The before and after pictures were of two extremely skinny peoplewith barely any clothes on. One was rail thin and one was rail thin with her back arched so it looked like she had a slight curve to her stomach. I suppose if I had to guess what size they were, one might have been a size 0 and one a size 2. The size 2 was apparently supposed to lose weight with one of these unhealthy diet plans. Luckily, with complaints, the site is removing the ad.

When my daughter was 8 (She is now 12.), she told me that she was fat. I was stunned that she even thought that. She is very slender and leggy and at 8 she was even more slender. After telling her she was fine however she was, I also emphatically told her that by no stretch of the imagination was she fat. But then I asked her why she thought that.

She said, “Mommy, when I bend in the middle, I have rolls.”

“You don’t have rolls. That is a bend line. If you didn’t have that bend line, you would be in trouble, because that would mean you couldn’t bend in the middle.Your skin has to stretch where you bend, just like at your elbows.See you have lines there too.” I said as I bent my arm. Then I showed her what it would be like to try to do things if she couldn’t bend.

She got the point. But it bothered me a lot. I asked her,”Where did you ever get the idea that you were fat? I’m fat. You aren’t, not by any standards.”

Her answer was,” From all those ads that say we need to lose weight. I thought that line on my tummy meant I was fat.”

I patted her very flat stomach and said. “Honey, I wish I had your metabolism but I am what I am and you are what you are. Be thankful for whatever you are because that is the way you were made.”

We had a long talk about weight, image, proper eating and so forth after that. I was appalled. I was angry at the advertising world. My skinny lanky little kid was worrying about being fat at 8 years old. At that moment she should have been worrying about whether to go dig holes in the back yard, ride her bike or play with her dolls, not the line on her stomach because of what some idiotic ads said.

She eats like a horse, and even more so right before another growth spurt. She is thin by genetics, exercise and a good metabolism, not by dangerous fad diets and pills or by starving herself. But would I care if she was fat? Except for health reasons, no. She has a lot of weight to gain before that ever would become an issue. It is a moot point right now.

Not only does this skinny obsessed industry promote unrealistic images, it enocurages generations of women and apparently young girls to have horrible self-images to sell products, when in actuality they have nothing to be ashamed of to begin with.

Personally, I would rather not be built like a 8 year old girl. I have hips and thighs. I have a bust and a butt, boy do I. I am not anywhere near rail thin. But I am a woman. Hallelujiah! Oh and I have more than one bend in my middle, but to those who mean something to me, I am beautiful and that’s what matters. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not in the fashion, advertising and diet industries. That should never be a gauge and shame on us for falling for that tripe.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Too Much or Not Enough

This is a case of too much or not enough. They either ignore the problems or gloss over them or blow something out of proportion.

The school counselor called today. He was concerned about a cartoon my daughter had drawn and wanted to make sure that I knew about it. He read the cartoon to me and I thanked him for his concern, told him she draws cartoons and pictures a lot and they are simply drawings. They have no deeper darker meanings. I told him that I would look at it when she brought it home today. Then I hung up the phone and shook my head. I know my daughter.

My daughter likes spooky movies. Her favourites are movies like “The Ring” series, anything creepy. That is what the cartoons were, a spoof on “The Ring” movies.

I loved spooky things too as a child. I still do. I didn’t have severe emotional problems because of it. They were simply fun movies to watch and books to read. I didn’t go on to decapitate dolls and mice, grow up into a serial killer or a mail carrier gone postal, or even a kid running around with a gun in school seeking revenge. I was just a kid who liked spooky movies and books along with a hundred other things. I was well rounded. So is she.

She came home and I asked to see the cartoon. Apparently, she and one of her friends had drawn it out of school one day recently. The other friend had it in her backpack to give back to my daughter when a third friend went through her backpack and found it. She decided it needed to go to the school counselor. (Part of me says, “nice caring kid”. The other part of me says, ”know it all nosey Parker”.)

The school counselor called both my daughter and the friend who created it to his office to discuss it. He did ask them if it was a joke to which they responded yes and it was. It was a stick figure cartoon. It said cartoon of “The Ring 1 ,2 and 3” very clearly at the top and bottom of the page. It was a spoof on the movies.

Before anyone gets on my case about her watching those movies, she is in junior high. I tend to be overprotective. I am not the one who allowed her to watch these movies to begin with, but we won’t go into that subject.

My daughter has had problems with school bullies, thefts, destroyed projects she spent days creating, broken things, kids trying to trip her, you name it. When she came home after school one day with a great big project she had worked hard on and turned in that morning, totally destroyed, Mom went ballistic and demanded a meeting with the counselor and the teachers.( She was told that her project may not get a good grade because they had not seen it finished. The kids were told to put them in the classroom before class and no one was supervising. Someone pulled hers apart. Luckily we had video proof of what her project looked like. She had done a news commentary video about the event her project portrayed as extra credit to go along with the project.)

Their reactions at the meeting made me even more angry. It was basically,”not in our school” and “we will look into it” Nothing ever came of their “in depth” looking into the problem. While talking to other parents I found out they have had the same problems.

She has had problems remembering to turn in assignments that she did and struggles in math class. Not once was I aware of those subject problems until her report card came home and I pay attention to her work and work with her. I question her often and check her work. Where were the calls for all of these types of things? They downplayed them and said that they always take care of problems and bullies, help them with class and subject problems. They do not. Plain and simple, they DO NOT. In fact the math teacher she has who we have problems with had another parent come right in to the class one day and demand to know why he wasn’t teaching her child and the other children correctly. He wasn’t happy about it. I was. (The man has a serious case of broomitis, you know a stick where the sun doesn't shine.)

I appreciate that they showed some concern today. They actually called me. But why don’t they make a fuss over the real problems we run into there instead of making a mountain out of a molehill? It is too much or not enough. Most of the time it is none at all. She came home shaking HER head and showed me the drawing.

We called her step daddy, my husband, and he reacted the same way we did, except that he got mad. "*#&*@*#@!"

It is time to go cook my dark and disturbed daughter some dinner. At the moment she is listening to a comedian’s routine on her IPod with her stuffed bunny she has had since infancy sitting next to her and helping me by folding laundry. (I had better watch her carefully. She might be stabbing the laundry with a pretend knife.)

She will be telling me all about her next project with a friend while I am cooking. It is her spoof version of “Kung Fu Fighting” on video with fake fighting. It is quite funny. I saw the first cut last night. We better not put it in her backpack to send to the other friend though or I may get a call from the school counselor saying he is concerned about my child’s violent video. I think next time my response will be,”She learned it from the school bullies, you know the ones you looked into…”