Monday, June 23, 2008

Who Let the Worms Out?

Dear Husband got Firecracker some worms this weekend. I had some reservations about this venture, mainly that worms give me the heebie jeebies. I’m all for supporting my kids in their interests, but I know my limits. I think the people at the pet store thought he was nuts. We have them in a little “critter box” that I covered with dark paper and a ventilated paper plate. Obviously that was not all that secure because this morning I found one by the sink and one on the living room floor, being stared at intently by one of our cats. Dear Husband was angry with me for waking him to take care of the matter. He kept yelling from bed that I should use the dustpan to scoop them up. Well, I figure he bought them, so he can deal with them, because I would never under any circumstances have bought a box of worms. I would have found a nice little plush inchworm or something like that, something cuddly to keep Gary the snail company. But the very idea of letting the worms go upsets Firecracker. Why not a fish? I asked. At this point I would be willing to undertake education in keeping an aquarium. Nice fishies. Firecracker’s response? “How about a spider?” Shudder.

Friday, June 20, 2008

RevGals Friday Five - Word Association

Think summer......are you there? Below you will find five words or phrases. Tell us the first thing you think of on reading each one. Your response might be simply another word, or it might be a sentence, a poem, a memory, a recipe, or a story. You get the idea:

1. rooftop: New York City. A house has a roof. Rooftops are for big cities, where you can actually climb out on them and set up a lawn chair.

2. gritty: New York City. In every sense of the word.

3. hot town (yeah, I know, it's two words): Phoenix. The hottest summers I have ever experienced. Not only can you fry and egg on the sidewalk (and I’ve seen it done), you can cook an entire dinner. Well, maybe not, but you can get burns from the metal parts of seatbelts and stores have warnings not to take your wine home in the trunk of your car, lest it explode. And boy, don’t ever leave crayons in your car. They don’t just melt; they liquefy and seep into your carpet and upholstery.

4. night: owl. That’s what I would prefer to be, but I am forced out of my natural rhythms by the demands of the work place and momdom.

5. dance: palace. I don’t know why I thought of that. It sounds like something from a Kinks song.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Art of Losing Things

"Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn't hard to master."

Dear Husband is disgusted with me, because I constantly forget things--forget plans, forget to plan, mix things up, lose things, procrastinate, hesitate. Generally, I make things difficult to the point that he is always saving us from a muddle.

Right now I am sitting with my calendar open. It doesn't actually help me that much. I often forget to open it. Or I open it and the days are not real to me. How much time is actually between now and the next "thing"? I often write things on my hand, which drives him nuts. I know I won't forget it that way. It won't be closed up in an appointment book, or written on a piece of paper that will find its way under the car seat. I put alarms on my phone, feed stuff into my Outlook. But the problem is that something is always left out. I also don't have good recall. My boss claims to have given me a piece of software. I can't find it anywhere and don't remember the exchange at all. But I know from experience that she doesn't forget, and if she said she gave it to me then she did. But where is it? Will I ever find it?

I'm taking Adderall. It helps a little bit. I guess. But I am still a flake. Not the worst, but bad enough.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Boys and Girls

This weekend Firecracker had a playdate with a little boy from her class. They had a grand time, and Hunter was not too pleased when it was time to go. After he made peace with it, he tried to give Firecracker a kiss. She held him off, saying, "It's against the law!" This pleased Dear Husband very much.

It is odd how parents speak of boyfriends and girlfriends at this age. Would kids even think about it if grownups weren't asking "Is so and so your boyfriend?" I remember chasing a boy around the playground when I was in first grade and giving him a kiss when I caught him. He looked terrified. Where I got the idea to do that I don't know. It would never occur to DramaQueen, now entering third grade, to do anything like that. She has been completely impervious to the girlfriend/boyfriend nonsense that was already percolating in second grade. The little blond haired cheerleader (boy they start training young) already had quite a few adoring boys--isn't it odd how you can already predict the trajectory of certain children? It seems like not fussing about boys ought to be the norm for this age.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I fear a worm farm is in my future

The mourning for Wormy continues. I noticed a plump dead worm on the doorstep a few days back. I have to keep telling myself that no, Wormy did not find himself abandoned, get drowned out by rain, and try to crawl his way bag to his pining mistress. Dear Husband tells me that we are getting her another worm. I've been looking up how to make a worm habitat, and it all gives me the heebie jeebies. I mean, ewwww. But it's either that or go out each night to visit the little patch of ground where he was last seen. Today Firecracker dissolved in tears because her playmate had laughed at her for calling Wormy her friend. "He was mmmyy bbbest friend," and she looked up at me with such a heartbroken expression that I almost went teary myself.

On a lighter note, one of my favorite books, Twilight, has been made into a movie and is set to be released in December. After watching the trailer, though, I have my doubts. You can check it out here:

I was delighted to find that Cirque du Freak is being filmed, and it has a stellar cast, including Willem Dafoe and John C. Reilly. The series is great fun to read--like old fashioned cliff-hangers.

Oh, it's late and I need sleep.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

All creatures great and small, but in this case very small

As we were leaving day camp today, Firecracker stopped to pick up a Styrofoam cup filled with dirt. "Is that a plant?" I asked. She examined the cup, looking for her name. "No, a worm!"

Hmm. I imagined running across a cup of dried up dirt with a dessicated worm several weeks from now. "I think we should let him go--so he can dig into the dirt and enjoy the rain." That's what we did when we got home. We tipped him and the dirt out into the grass behind our apartment, close to a little wooded area.

Later she asked to go back out to look for him. We took our flashlights and gently prodded the little mound of dirt with a twig, but worm had no doubt burrowed into safety (if a bird didn't find him, a possibility I did not mention). Well, not long after that Firecracker began sobbing, "I miss Wormy." I had to take her aside and say a little prayer for Wormy's safety. And again when I tucked her in she said that she missed him so much. I promised we would look again in the morning.

Did I mention that her sister will soon be off to Los Angeles for three weeks?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In which I whine quite a bit

Last night I dreamed I had a beard. That was a very unpleasant dream.

My life is filled with anxieties large and small. I’m so used to it that I think I’ve always told psychologists that I don’t feel particularly anxious, except at times of crisis. But really I am anxious about everything, from getting to work on time to calling the dentist to choosing the new daycare, to worrying about the next health issue the family could face. I’ve also admitted to myself that all the meds I’m taking aren’t making a big enough dent in the depression that drags at me. There are so many things that seem to have eaten up a little bit of me, starting with Firecracker’s premature birth six years ago all the way to my last biopsy last month (benign, thankfully). Instead of feeling that I’ve been through a lot and so I can handle a lot, I feel that one more thing will sap the last of my reserves. Perhaps I’ve never properly processed any of these horrible events. Maybe I just want to wallow in self-pity a while. I found myself crying one night because of losing a breast, something that didn’t particularly bother me at the time (which is probably abnormal, but I was so relieve not to have a raging cancer that a mastectomy sounded positively positive). Now I have this new breast that impresses the doctors but feels utterly alien to me.

Sometimes I tear up thinking of Firecracker’s surgery, feeling guilty that she went through all that and then there was nothing to be done, and it even seemed as if there was no reason to be there in the first place. No seizures and none since. A blessing, yes, but I would rather have felt the blessing firmly in place before they cut into her skull.

We have bought a house. Our apartment is filling up with boxes, and we’ve been dropping off lots of stuff at Goodwill. I don’t do change all that gracefully, more from sluggishness than anything else. So much effort required. Looking for a house was full of disappointments, and I haven’t become particularly excited about this one. It’s smaller than I had hoped for, but it’s in a good school district (or so say the statistics) and it was what we could afford. It has a yard for the girls to play in and it’s still close to my job. And really, you can make something out of almost any house, although that has never been one of my talents.

DramaQueen is flying by herself to Los Angeles to spend three weeks with her grandparents. I’m fretting over this to a ridiculous amount. I will probably have dreams of traffic jams and getting lost on the way to the airport. Firecracker had issues when DramaQueen went to a slumber party, so I’m preparing myself for a steady stream of “When is she coming back?” DramaQueen will miss the move, so she has made me promise that I won’t unpack anything that goes in her room, because she thinks it will be great fun to unpack it herself. I’ve been assigned to purchase a disco ball to hang from her ceiling.