human, being

Random Tuesday Thoughts: Seven things
June 16, 2009, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting, Random Tuesday Thoughts

randomtuesdayOne. I am on vacation — from work and from most of my online activities and from most TV and from most music. The past couple of days have been empty of forced sound, and I’ve loved hearing the things that are usually drowned out. Such as my windchimes, the voices of kids playing Marco Polo in the pool, birds singing, an airplane flying overhead, my daughter singing to herself in her room. I’m falling in love with quiet again.

Two. I’m beginning to think that Steve is cursed. Every time he builds up some cash, something big happens to wipe it out. Right now, his car warranty company is the culprit. We are having the car towed from the dealer to an indie shop, who will remove the engine and take it apart for a mere $750 (vs $1300 at Mike Shaw Saab, the vultures). Then the warranty company will send an inspector out to determine if his engine blew due to neglect on our part. Because the car is worth about $8,000, and rebuilding the engine is about $7,500, it’s likely that they will total the car and cut a check for what it would fetch at auction IF they find the engine blew due to no fault on our part. We may wind up out about $1,000, and still have to pay the fucking warranty’s monthly cost and still have to buy him a new car and still have to pay off the $7,000 he owes on the Saab. This situation is beyond fucked up, and we’re both scared about what will happen next.

Three. I don’t miss my job. I’m feeling a bit worried about my job, not being there, but I don’t miss it. I do, however, love the paycheck so I will be going back on Monday. But if I didn’t HAVE to, I wouldn’t.

Four. Today Lauren and I played three games of Clue. She won 2. She loves to be Miss Scarlet, as did I when I was a kid. She’s definitely the prettiest character–actually very sexy, with her cigarette holder and smoldering gaze–and she always gets to go first. We also rented two Wii games from Blockbuster: a putt-putt golf game and Dancing with the Stars. We played 2 rounds of mini-golf before her dad picked her up for dinner. It’s been so much fun hanging out with her. She’s very well-behaved and chill.

Five. On Friday, I threw myself a birthday party. Yes, maybe that was kind of sad, but screw it. Everyone who said they would come did come, except my sister-in-law and her family. I knew they were iffy, because her husband has been very sick lately–could have MS. I spent way too much money, but I had a lot of fun. For once, I didn’t worry about whether people were having a good time. I let go of control once the party started. And I think everyone did have a good time. So did I.

Six. Lauren and I are having a Girls Day on Thursday to celebrate her 8th birthday. First off, I can’t believe she’s 8. Secondly, she is getting more and more fun to be around. Third, I’m letting her pick the activities: right now, we’re getting a manicure/pedicure, having sushi for lunch (her favorite) and either going to see a movie or playing real mini-golf, depending on the weather. I think I’ll take her to Whole Foods for a short chair massage too–she loves those. Thursday night, we’re going to my parents’ for my dad’s famous Bill Burgers and cake. We’re both really excited about the day. She said that we need to have at least 2 girls days each year. I wholeheartedly agree.

Seven. Things I haven’t done on my vacation that I thought I would: checked my work email, taken lots of photos, written, watched a lot of movies, worked out every day, ridden my bike, taken care of some financial loose ends. Things I have done on my vacation that I didn’t think I would: slept in, took naps, worked on my garden (almost finished!), hung out with Lauren, had multiple massages (2 so far, with 2 more scheduled), read 2 books, gone to the ballet. Things I thought I’d do and did: went to Santa Fe, went salsa dancing, played with the ferrets, went to the gym during the middle of the day, stayed up late, kept up with my personal email and Facebook (but just barely) … and will go to the Denver/Boulder Blogher meetup this Saturday, even though I’m not going to Blogher.


Protected: The drama continues: MBA
May 4, 2009, 3:42 pm
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Protected: I can’t compete with that New Mommy Smell
April 30, 2009, 11:42 am
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Protected: To meddle or not to meddle in my ex’s love life
April 29, 2009, 12:15 pm
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That’s it. I’ve HAD it.
April 20, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , , ,

This morning as I was trying to get us out of the house and to school on time, Little Miss Stubborn stood in the entryway in her flip flops with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. Once again, we were fighting the battle of I Refuse to Wear Socks with My Sneakers.

“No, no, no, no NO!” she said.

“Fine, then no gym for you today, because you are wearing your flip flops or your sneaks with socks. Your choice. And flip flops means sitting on the sideline in gym, and probably getting in trouble at school.”

“Fine. I’d rather get in trouble.”

I counted to 10. I counted to 20. I felt the steam coming out of my ears. I briefly thought of murder, not because of the socks, but because of the fucking defiance.

I told her to get in the car, and then I proceeded to ignore her the whole way to school. I dropped her off without saying goodbye. I drove away without watching to make sure she got into school OK. It felt good and sucked to give her the cold shoulder. But I am pissed! She needs to understand her place in the world. She needs to be a person who minds her mother.

When I picked her up tonight I told her that all privileges were suspended. She would not have any choices in anything for a while. I will pick out what she wears, what she eats, whether she watches TV, what she reads. She is to go upstairs and do her homework when we get home, come down for dinner, take care of her dishes then go to bed. It doesn’t matter if it’s only 730. She couldn’t go outside and play with her friends tonight. Tomorrow is Pajama Day at school, and she will be the only kid in class wearing normal clothes. If she is going to act like a toddler I will treat her like one.

If I would have mouthed off my mother when I was her age the way she mouths off to me, I would have gotten my face slapped and been grounded from everything in the world. I can’t intimidate her with “the look” because she laughs at me. I can’t spank her because she laughs at me.

I know, I know, it’s only socks. But I’ll be damned if I’ll pamper blistered heels and then go drop another $25 on a pair of shoes because these ones (which are very cute, pink plaid Converse low tops) stink to high heaven. Have you ever smelled the feet of a 7-year-old after they’ve marinated in shoes without socks on a hot day … on a GYM DAY?

I’ve treated Lauren as if she were a lot older than she is, giving her lots of freedom of choice. Now I think I’ve made a mistake, because if she is this defiant over something little when she’s 7, what will our life be like when she’s 15?

I mean, seriously, shouldn’t every parent be able to scare the shit out of their kids? Isn’t that part of our job? Right now, I’m not scary.

Sex Talk
April 18, 2009, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , ,

Lauren: What I really wonder about, Momma, is how ferrets mate.

Me:  Really. You wonder about that?

Lauren: YES! I wonder how they mate. You don’t know do you?

Me: Well, of course honey. They mate like all mammals mate, like whales and dogs and cats and even people. I can tell you about that, but then, I’d be telling you about sex. Is that what you want to know about?

Lauren: blush. look at the ceiling. look anywhere but at me. Ummm…

Me: Well, if you have any questions, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Just ask me.

Lauren: So, what’s for breakfast?

She’s almost 8, and I figure that when she’s in 4th grade I’ll start talking to her about the ins and outs of sex (ha!). My main goal: remove any shame she might feel about her own body and her own pleasure. I’ve always said I’d be that weird mom who buys her teenage daughter a vibrator and some smutty romance novels. I’d rather Lauren be able to get herself off than make that a boy’s job.Pleasure is something that is your own responsibility. Pleasure is not shameful, it’s part of what makes life worth living. I didn’t learn that until after I was divorced.

When I do talk to her about sex, when she’s a little older, I will tell her that sex feels good. That’s one of the reasons why boys want it so badly. And why, once she does it, she will also want it badly. That’s normal, not shameful. But following those desires will have consequences, all of the things we know to talk to kids about — STDs, pregnancy — as well as those we don’t.

Such as emotional consequences, which girls feel much more than boys do. Boys think of a long-term relationship as a year. Girls think of it as forever. Going back through my high school diary, there must have been a half-dozen boys I dated who I was sure I would marry, only to have the relationship fizzle after two months. I spent most of my teens and 20s confusing sex with love. I thought that if I gave boys my body (even if I got nothing out of it, because I was too ashamed to feel pleasure) they’d love me, which is what I really craved.¬† I don’t plan to give her details, because the details of my sex life aren’t her business. But I do plan to give her enough information to understand that if you have sex with a boy and regret it, you wind up hating yourself. And sometimes you think you can make it better by sleeping with another boy, but eventually you just get numb. And you hate yourself even more.

I don’t believe that sex is a sacred thing, in that you should only have sex with someone you’re ritually tied to. I believe that sex is a natural thing, and that teenagers¬† — unfortunately younger and younger now — are going to do it. I won’t be encouraging her to have sex when she’s a teenager. But I will be giving her the information she needs to make good decisions, including how sex will feel physically and emotionally. To me, that’s the most important part of the sex talk.

I can’t resist her
April 5, 2009, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Parenting & Co-Parenting | Tags: , , ,

My daughter is a clothes horse. I am her enabler. Today, we went to Target to buy a pair of jeans. One.

$118 later, and she is now the proud owner of one pair of jeans, two pair of leggings, two pair of plaid bermuda shorts (pink/brown and blue/green), two flouncy hippie tank tops and one kelly green dress. Yes, miracle of miracles, my daughter found a dress that she loves and will wear. Oh, and a pair of goldish-pink flats she’s been coveting and which were on sale at $7.49 today.

It all started with cleaning her room. She’s good about picking it up–which to her means shoving anything that seems out of place into her closet, her drawers and under her bed. She definitely got my cleaning genes. So, after filling two garbage bags with trash, one with stuff to give away, one with dress up clothes for my neice, we tackled her drawers. I learned that while she has 13 tops, she has only 4 pair of pants, and two of those are shorts. I’m really not a bad mommy. When a kid goes back and forth between two houses all the time, you’re lucky if she has two matching shoes at your place when she comes back.

While she loves clothes, Lauren is also incredibly picky. Did I say incredibly? Make that absurdly picky. Meaning, if I pick it out, she won’t wear it. If it’s beige, she won’t wear it. If it’s snug in the arms or the waist, has frills, has hearts, has buttons, has … something incredibly silly that other 7-year-olds probably wouldn’t even notice, or might even like, she won’t wear it. So, today, when we walked through the girls’ section at Target, and she kept pointing out things she liked, we loaded up the cart. Then, in the dressing room, she liked 80 percent of what she put on. She didn’t whine. She didn’t fight me on anything, even the few items I picked out for her. And when she looked at me with those big beautiful blue eyes and said please Momma, I put it all in the cart. OK, I did make her choose two of three pair of shorts. But everything else that fit, I bought. Even the two tops that she didn’t need.

We even went next door to Kohl’s to find a sweater or a shrug to put over all of the tank tops (seriously–what is with all the summer clothes and only summer clothes being out in the beginning of April? Don’t those buyers know that kids grow out of things in about 6.7 weeks, and we still need some short sleeves at least here in Denver until mid-May?). We were shut out, and I’ll have to look for something online this week.

I shouldn’t spoil her, especially now in this economy. I blew my entire clothing budget for me and for her today. But I can’t resist her. Could you?