Thursday, October 16, 2008

And that, my friends is a fine example of our kick ass parenting

Last night in the tub, Mina told her father that she was going to vote for John McCain.

Jim: Why?
Mina: I like him.
Jim: You LIKE him?
Mina: Yes. I like him.
Jim: WHY do you like him? Is it because he looks like a Grandpa? (Note: McCain does sort of look like my Dad--who is a die hard Republican. Then again, so does Captain Picard.) Who's telling you to like John McCain? Is it someone at school?
Mina: No. I just like him.

We went to sleep on that, but this morning I brought it up again.

Me: Mina, who really told you to like John McCain?
Mina: NO ONE, Mama!
Jim: You know he's a bad man, don't you?
Mina: (looks worried)
Me: Yeah, and he wants to tell you what to do with your own body!
Mina: (looks confused)
Jim: And he hates dogs.
Mina: He hates dogs?!
Jim: Yeah, he kicks them when he sees them. He got a dog just to kick it.
Mina: That's mean!
Me: I know! And wants to tell people who they can marry.
Mina: I don't want to get married!
Me: Well, if you vote for John McCain, he'll MAKE you get married.
Jim: ...and kick dogs.

Then Audrey piped in."I like arockabama!"
Me: Good girl.

Jim: John McCain hates our dogs.
Mina: But they're so cute! Would he kick OUR dogs?
Jim and Me: Yup.

Mina: I don't like John McCain anymore.
Me: Good girl.

PawPaw needs a nap

Like many of you, I watched the debate last night. I actually stayed awake for the whole thing this time!

Those last two were real snoozers in my opinion. I kept getting pissed at long-winded answers that weren't really even answers at all.

But last night was different.

I'm no political analyst, but I think we can all agree that Obama put the smack down on Grampa, yes?

One thing is bothering me though.

Near the end, McCain started talking about how Sarah Palin would fight the good fight for children with special needs, especially Autism.

Several times I heard him refer to the fact that she especially knows what it's like to deal with a child with Autism.

Uh...unless I missed a press release, the only child she has with special needs is her son--with Downs Syndrome.

Sure, Bristol had a "special need" for an abortion about 6 months ago and Track has a "special need" to legally change his name when he turns 18, but I digress.

Did McCain get confused? Does he not understand the difference between Autism and DS?

Did anyone else catch that or am I just imagining things?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Wine: It's what's for dinner

I love three day weekends. Love them. It's so nice to have an extra day devoid of schedules, making lunches, fighting over what Mina is going to wear that day, etc. etc. etc.

The only problem is that I forgot that I did schedule something for today.

Maybe I was thrown off because we only had one usable car today. Jim needed brakes on his van.

Strike one, Columbus Day weekend.

I hate going to the gym on Mondays so I took Jim and the girls there and I was planning on running some errands then going to pick them up.

About halfway there I got a call from the person I was supposed to giving a haircut (along with her husband, her two kids, her friend and her two kids). Oops.

I had it on the calendar. I just didn't check it before leaving the house today.

I felt like a total asshole. Mostly because this is isn't the first time I've done this to her. I flaked out last haircut appointment too. I felt like an official fucktard.

Strike two.

The day started shaping up better after I made a little money doing the haircuts and got Jim's van to Sears and him to work. Mina got one of those free pizza things from school for doing her reading stuff.

I took the girls to lunch there and we had a lot of fun. They were perfect angels the whole time and even afterwards at the grocery store.

Yes, the day was turning out OK. The weather was gorgeous and the girls played outside together (no fighting!) and even came inside to play together in the basement (no screeching!).

I capitalized on their good behavior to take a little quiet time for myself upstairs.

Naturally, there is a Strike three.

Am I new? Did I forget the Golden Rule of parenting?

When all is quiet, all is still
Do not assume there's danger nil.
When not a nary sound they make
It's best to have a look to take.
If children play without a sound,
Do not walk, but quickly bound.
For minors left to their own accord....
Are most likely trashing the fucking basement.

I first realized something was "off" when Audrey appeared in the living room completely naked and soaking wet. There is a bathroom, but no shower or a tub to be found down there, so I just knew they were making a mess of apocalyptic proportions.

And I was correct in that assumption.

It seems they thought it was a good idea to "wash" about 15 stuffed animals in the sink. Not only that, but they thought the computer chair would be a great place to let them dry-the computer chair that sits on top of carpet.

The bathroom was a real treat too! A good inch of water on the floor and sloppy clumps of wet toilet paper strewn about. Nothing says "good time" like mounds of mushy slop all over the place.

Words escaped me for a moment. Then they didn't. I'm pretty sure the neighbors heard the tirade. Most of them have children that are or very recently were my children's' ages, so I know they have been in my position at one point or another and aren't going to hold the yell fest against me.

The girls both knew they were in deep shit too. I'm almost certain that actual steam came out of my ears. I told them to go to their rooms and get dry clothes on. Not only were they wet, but the clothes they were wearing earlier were also soaking wet in a pile on the carpet down there.

I got NO argument.

When I told them that neither of them get to watch TV for the rest of the week, they just nodded their heads.

We left the house shortly after the 'discovery of evidence' to go pick Jim up from work. When I told him what happened, he laughed.

When I went next door to the record shop to say hello and tell them what happened, they thought it was funny too.

And you know what? It IS funny. In fact, it's pretty god damned hilarious. But I can't let my kids know that. I'm afraid that the next time they might escalate the "hilarity".

Don't get me wrong. I am still pretty pissed off that they thought it was a good idea to wash stuffed animals in the sink and proceed to make a monumental mess, but now that I am looking at the bottom of a glass of wine, I can definitely see the humor in all of this.

And I'm going to watch CNN every day after school just to spite them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rock Star

Thanks to my friend, Phil Good, I get to feel famous.

My nickname for the last 16 years or so has been "Gidget". Just about anyone who met me after August of 1992 knows me by this name--so much so that many people thought that was my given name until told otherwise.

Today, Mr. Good made me this fabulous "portrait" after I agreed with him that I needed my own talk show.

Whatcha' think? Could you see this flying down the street on a city bus? Because I definitely could.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Me + Math = not good

Math is hard.

I'm back in school now. I can only take one class at a time because I am paying for it on my own. I suppose I could find some financial aid, but I'm already paying off a chunk to Sallie Mae and I just don't want to have to add more to the pile.

In order to finish my Associates I have to take a math class. The kicker is that I had to take an assessment test to find out which math class I could sign up for next semester.

They don't just let you take the 100 level class and be done with it. No. They want to make sure they humiliate you as much as possible before letting you in.

So, I took the test this morning, and I felt like someone hit me in the head with a hammer and asked me to walk a tightrope.

I haven't been in a math class in many many years and even then I was pretty lost most of the time.

From question ONE I was scratching my head.

Needless to say I tested into the "dummy math".

There are three (not for credit!) classes below the 106 I need for my degree and I tested into the second to the lowest--Math 087.

You don't even need a calculator for this class. Just all your fingers and toes.

So now I have to take 087, 096 and THEN I can take 106. And by the way, if I want to get back into ISU as a Psychology major I also need a finite math class.

I'm going to be drowning in numbers for the next 4 semesters.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

By the way, I hit someone on a bike a couple weeks ago

Yup. Just as the title states.

I'm thankful for two things:

1) The girl I hit is OK.
2) It totally wasn't my fault.

I was driving Mina to school and was at the four way stop a few blocks from my house. I waited for my turn and, just as I let off the brake to go, I had a college coed on my hood. Not in a teenage boy fantasy Whitesnake video kind of way either.

It happened so fast. I seriously did not see her until she was right there splayed across the front end of my car.

She got right back up and started apologizing to me. I felt like an attempted murderess.

A witness across the street called 911 and they were there in like 3 minutes.

The cop was super nice and kept asking Mina if she was alright (she was).

Basically, the girl wasn't watching and didn't stop at the crosswalk before riding through. There was no way I could have stopped in time. The witness, the cop and even the girl all said it wasn't my fault.

I held it together until I had to call Jim at home and tell him he needed to give Audrey a ride to preschool. Then I started a lovely hysterical sob in front of Mina. And still, she held it together.

It took me a whole weekend to process the whole ordeal.

Monday I took my car in for an estimate on the damage. My car came away with some hefty scratches and a dent. I wasn't really going to do anything about it, but my insurance agent said I really should as this would seriously lower my trade in value.


We're turning it into her parents' insurance. There's no way I would be able to get it fixed otherwise. Since the cop said it was her fault, her Mommy and Daddy get to pay for the fixin'.

Except that her Mom isn't being real forthcoming with the info. My agent said she's, and I quote, "being real North Shore cunty about it".

Apparently Mommy doesn't understand why we would "go to all this trouble on a 6 year old car".


Sorry I can't trade in my lease for the newest Jag every other year. Some of us have to drive older cars that they worked very hard to get paid off.

So Friday will be two weeks since the accident and I still haven't heard a word from their insurance. I can't really do anything about it until their person comes and does their own assessment of the damage.

Part of me thinks they might try and fight it. Can they do that?

More importantly, is there a possibility I can come away from this with a new car?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Why I have never been nor will I ever be a teacher

Mina's in first grade now.

For the most part, she loves it. Occasionally she comes home with "mean girl" tales (it's starts in kindergarten people, and it sucks ASS), but she's chugging along nonetheless.

Almost every night she has homework. We have a nice little routine going where she'll have a snack at the table and work on whatever her teacher sent home that day.

After seeing what she's supposed to do I tell her to work on it and I'll check it when she's done.

And herein lies the problem.

When I was pregnant with her, my first child, people would ask me what I was having. When I told them the baby was a girl some people would get all giddy and squishy about it.

"Oh, maybe she'll have red hair like you!"
"I bet you can't wait to do her hair all pretty!"
"I LOVE buying girl clothes--all that pink!"

And OK, maybe those things did cross my mind, but the thing I wanted most for my baby girl was for her to be smart.

I remember a conversation with a friend of mine during my pregnancy. When the words "Dougie Howser, MD" passed my lips, you would have thought I wished for my baby to be born with a tail (P.S. That thought also crossed my mind).

"But why would you want her to be a freak?!"

So maybe being a doctor at ten wasn't ever going to be in the cards (damn you Neil Patrick Harris or setting the bar so high), but was it too much to hope she would have a head up in the academic world?

I'm not saying Mina isn't bright. She's an amazing artist and comes up with fantastic stories which she illustrates herself. Socially, she's a firecracker and can make friends in an instant. She's the kid at the playground who'll have eight other kids playing underwater mermaid ninja adventure ten minutes after we get there.

The schoolwork however is another story.

I try to help her correct her homework, but the whole ordeal leaves me wanting to poke my eyes out with a No. 2 pencil. I get so frustrated. Didn't she JUST learn this at school? Didn't her teacher come up with some cute fancy way to help them remember how to make 17 cents a few different ways? Didn't we just read that same word a page ago?

It's like she's guessing most of the time or waiting to guess what I want her to say. She doesn't take her time and think it through. The "17 cents" homework sent me into fits. It's COUNTING for chrissake. I know very well she can count and add and what the different coins are worth.

I try to keep my utter lack of patience on the down low. I'm sure I'm not doing a very good job.

Thankfully Jim has much more patience than I and can come up with those cute fancy ways teachers have of helping students remember things.

I know I probably set an unreasonable set of expectations Mina's shoulders. Not all kids are going to "get" everything the first few times they are taught something. It doesn't help that she gets mad at herself (and wants to either give up or not try something at all) if she isn't good at it. My poor little Type A child.

I did that to her. It's OK. I can admit that. I didn't mean to, but it happened and now all I can do is try to fix it...

By letting her father help her with her homework for awhile.

For Your Scrapbook

My photo
I like stuff and things. I've been married for close to 14 years and have two miniature versions of myself running around (and it frightens me most of the time). I have never been nor will I ever be a vegetarian.