Tag Archives: parenting


I got a call from the bad man. This guy calls and tells you that he is receiving error messages from my Windows Computer. He asks me how I am. I tell him that I don’t want him to call here anymore and he shouldn’t try to hurt people, that it was bad. Then I hung up, to the chimes of my husband and daughter, “Who was that?” “What was that about?” I already talked to one of his compadres months ago. I searched the phone number (1-999-910-0122, if you feel lonely). They tricked others out of money and time and that is just not good. I suppose I could do like my brother does and string people along – if he gets a message from England asking for $1,000 my brother offers him $3,000 and says they’ll set up a benefit concert for him. I would die laughing if I tried that sort of thing, but he is a pro. I’ve seen him call HSN and ask questions until they hung up on him. Then he’ll call back and say, “The last person I talked to was so rude.” They will engage him until he is tired of them and hangs up the phone. I am not sure I endorse the wacky calls to HSN – those people have jobs, but getting the swindler’s hair on their necks to stand up – well, in my opinion, that is too lovely.

Does anyone read this?

Things are better these days with my husband right now. I suppose that is why I haven’t spent as much time blogging. I decided to be “nice” to him. I don’t like the word “nice”. I think it implies boredom and perfection – perfection is something I can tolerate only in God. (Which is good, as it is also the only place anyone can find it.)

So he is happy, I am happier and I am in bed listening to Small take a bath. She hates baths, but if she wants to dig in the mud like a puppy, she has to take a bath afterwards.


the day I deserve

I am off kilter. Last night my husband and I watched Sherlock over the internet. If you have any sense you will find it and watch it yourself. I thought about it all last night and woke up this morning with him in my brain. I feel frightened. I’m attributing it to the scary British tv show, not to anything real…

But I’m anxious, no matter what caused it, I still am anxious and I need to do whatever it takes to get out of it so it doesn’t become depression, and depression doesn’t lead to death. The last time I was depressed my seven year old asked me, “Do you feel like you don’t deserve anything?”

I thought about it for a minute. “Yes, yes I do.” That really is a part of all the moods I travel through. You can call it self-pity. I don’t care what you call it, actually. For me, those feelings come and bad things happen. No chemically balanced person can say that.

“You deserve ME!” She told me with out stretched arms. A perfectly acceptable time for a hug. I deserve her.

I asked her if she ever felt that way. Her answer was a simple “no”. This child has so much self esteem it is, as her North Dakotan aunt would say, “disgusting.” She is confident. She is happy about 80% of the time. She will pretend to be sad, some of the time, but I have never seen her pretend to be happy. Maybe it comes naturally to her and maybe we’ve built it in to her. Either way, the feeling I don’t deserve anything is mostly gone for me today. It’s just the fear without discernible cause that is getting to me today.

Working is hard work

I’ve been working sporadically, but determinedly. Today I did an all day in a kindergarten class room with a sweet, intelligent teacher. The school is an inner city school and I’d put Small in her room in a snap. Remember Small’s kindergarten teacher? If you don’t, I won’t refresh you. It was that bad.

It’s dress rehearsal tonight. Seven year old Small is the lead. She sang a teaser to the congregation last Sunday and we got comments like “She should sing in the ensemble” (the church’s worship band). Everyone said she did a good job and in the second service she didn’t miss a note. The director of the play said, “Without Small, there would be no play”. So we’re proud and it may be that Small will have the acting career I dreamed of. I have never pushed her towards this. I think there is too much heartache, but she hasn’t had any of that so far. And she doesn’t know Carolyn Robertson.

But still, when I see her up there, the only actor who speaks with any sort of expression, the only one signing solos, the sweetest singer, the glowingish skin, my face beams. She’s all those things, and more than that, she is the one who is mine.

Kittens seem to play into it a lot (PG)

My friend “youknowwhoiam” once described her head as being full of kittens. I didn’t know she was bipolar before that, but I recognized it right away. A quick chat confirmed it and I found comfort in my brethren. 4% of adults have bipolar, I wonder how many of them can be open about it. I can’t, yet. But if I spot one, I will reveal myself.

Now I feel like a kitten myself. I’ve got my mama kitty picking me up from the scruff of my neck with her teeth and noodling me. Problem is, while the kitten is being nestled in to mommy’s lair and given a sweet nipple, I’m just tossed aside. My expectations are useless. I’m just cold. I want to find a place of comfort, There aren’t any here. I took an ativan. I often drink some caffeine, too. The Ativan or Xanax relax me and the caffeine peps me up, in a good way. There is no caffeine here. I texted a friend asking what she was doing today, but she hasn’t gotten back to me, and I know she’s busy. The greenegem.wordpress.com has been helpful and I am happy to have her. I just need to get out. I might feel better if I eat something, but I am not about to cook. I might feel better if I did yoga, but it’s best on an empty stomach. I might feel better if I made myself get up and do something, but all of those things make me feel so overwhelmed. Remember, overwhelmed is a kind of fear. What am I afraid of? What do I have to lose by confronting bipolar? I know It’s best for now to write, to try to sing. To dream a little. These episodes are a part of my life and always will be. It’s that where the overwhelmed comes from? It is me? Or is it the illness? Or I am the illness? Is it like pusy pimple? They aren’t me, but they sure look like it. I’m all broken out now, too. They sure look like my neck is covered in them. (Thanks, Vyvanse).

I forgot to get Small from school yesterday. It was minimum day and I forgot. This is the third time I have forgotten. She called me and I was across town. I called Li and she rushed out to get her like she was her own. This woman has a newborn baby and a six (almost seven) year old. Also – a seventeen year old. All that, but she still cares for my baby.

More joy than you can handle? No.

I hate to admit my fantasies. In my up and down mind I think everyone dreams of tropical beaches, drinking mai tais and being rubbed down with coconut oil. That sounds great, but it’s not the way I roll.

I fantasize taking this out and out abusive father, holding him back and letting someone much bigger than him get beaten up. Then, once he falls to the ground I would hit his head over and over again with a 2×4.

I think of how I could run away with Small, or how I could leave permanently without making things horrid for my family or whoever else is involved in our lives.

Aren’t I emotionally healthy? Don’t I forgive people easily? Aren’t I the kind of person who deals with her feelings productively?

I drove the forty-five minutes to the psychiatrist’s office to be reminded she rescheduled and I wouldn’t get to see her today. I burst out in tears. Here I tried to tell myself my beating a fellow brother to death was 1/2 chemical and 1/2 vengeful, really trying to get that under control and I had no one to help me.

And no appointments until October. (It’s 9/19).

Of course, at that point my nose started to gush blood. It’s not uncommon, but that doesn’t make it less of a pain in the arse.

I drove home, decided to let Small eat in the cafeteria, sometime I refused to do my whole life. She loves it because she loves people and wants to spend time with them.

That makes one of us.

Where am I finding joy in this?

Yesterday I went to pick up Small from school. Her little friend, (the only “brown” girl in her class) ran up to see and hugged me first. Small was visibly upset and we talked about why when we got home. She is not really a crier, but she cried when she told me that I hurt her because I didn’t hug her first. “Of course,” I thought, “how else could it be?” On the way to school this morning we tried to figure out the best way to make sure she got the first hug. We decided arms folded across the chest was it. So, later today, I will be hugged by her friend, but not hug her back until I hugged Small first.

I told you before, she is the only second grader that still runs to her mommy after school. From the sadness that she didn’t get the first hug, to the running towards me, all of this gives me joy. I wouldn’t choose sadness, but it is an indicator of how much things are important to her. I am glad that what’s important to her is me.

An Old Fashioned Home Birth

Home births were not a big deal back in the day.  My grandfather was born at home.  Legend was that his (44! year old) mother wasn’t feeling well, went and lay down and had the baby.  It’s the type of birth us Natural Mothering folks dream about.  Unmedicated, unrushed, independent.  No doctor was going to tie down her arms during labor (that happened to a friend) and force pitocin on her.  No way, things went 100% naturally and the baby was perfect.  We still have that bed.

My dad’s mom had at least one unassisted home birth that I knew of, and probably had three out of four at home.  My dad’s cousin walked through during her labor and asked if he could name the baby. She said yes, and “Tex Alan” it was.  Her labor was not as easy as my great grandma’s, but my dad slipped out – no Hep B shot, no vitamin K.

Home births are not for everyone.  My dear friend, C, had two transverse babies and would not have been able to even have the babies without medical intervention.Two friends had emergency c-sections.  If these had been necessary eighty years ago, it’s possibly no one would have  lived.    I didn’t have one, although I would probably go for it, assisted by a midwife if I ever had the chance again.  I wonder if I could have relaxed enough to even delivered a child at home.  (I’ve been told with a home birth I would have been able to stay comfortable and deliver unmedicated – this is something I will never know and will carry no guilt upon.)

It’s kind of funny that there was a prestige in going to the hospital, just like there is often awe and respect given to the home birthing mothers.  What was “normal” then is a spectacle now.  If I had my choice I would do it all differently, and that makes me a little bit sad.  Ultimately, though, I had a safe birth and have a lovely little daughter.  If I had another baby, I’d ask for some other kind of experience, but the truth is I could not ask for more.

They don’t grow up too fast (PG)

Small’s birthday party is tomorrow.  My dad arrives today.  I spent yesterday cleaning, mostly because I wanted a good, clean house two days in a row.  The clutter has already taken over, so I have very little to show for the two days of hard, unpleasant work.  At least the banister is clean.  The bathrooms need cleaning again.  I will work on putting things together, for the sake of my dad.

I have ten RSVPs for the birthday party, not including the parents that are coming to supervise.  (Good thing it’s only ten, I only have 14 gift bags.)  Parents that stay have a point.   It’s a pool party, and even though we have a lifeguard I’ve never bought they were a part of a safety plan.  Maybe if  I ever saw one do anything more than kick teenagers out of the kiddie pool I would feel differently.  We’re also driving to the pizzeria after our allotted swim time.  Some people don’t want their kids driving in other people’s cars.

She is going to be seven.  It seems so old.  She’s already not a baby anymore, she’s a kid.  It hasn’t gone so fast as people warned me.  I think it’s for two reasons.  #1, I practiced a lot of attachment parenting.  She slept with me most of the time and I carried her in a moby wrap while she was a baby and an ergo carrier when she got to be a toddler.  (I used that until she was too heavy for me.  It works up to 90 pounds, though.  The ergo helped a lot on cranky days.  I’d pop her in the back and she was mostly quiet and content after that.)  #2 I was right there with her most of the time.  I have the luxury and privilege of being a mostly stay  at home mom.  What ever jobs I had were only an hour/few hours a stretch.  I did take much needed breaks, she was an active, spirited child, and I ‘m not a perfect mom.  Often I was an inattentive mom.  There were days she woke up looking stretched out – as if she was two inches taller.  However, time didn’t slip by.  Some days were long, a few were short, but I mostly got to be right there, watching her grow up.

Knowing she is probably my first and last has made me parent and observe more intently.  I am sure that my friends with four, five + kids are still attentive to them, but it must be different.  I don’t choose who gets to pick the story.  I make whatever she wants for breakfast.  You can’t carry twins in an ergo.  Of course these memories are nostalgia.

Is Small spoiled?  I always saw a spoiled kid as one that didn’t accept the final word of their parents.  We were in a yogurt shop with a lot of gumball machines.  This little girl came in begging her mom for a toy from the machine.  She was yelling, asking over and over again and mom said, “no” several times.  Mom ordered the yogurt and got her change.  Then she gave the money to her daughter to let her get whatever she liked from the machine.  “No” did not mean “no”, it meant keep whining and I’ll let you do whatever you want.  I don’t want to judge her, but I am a judgmental person, and I saw that as spoiling the child.  We make every effort not to do things like this and we don’t listen to whining.

I’m not done raising Small, and I guess in some ways I never will be.  This blog is not intended to be a parenting manual, even though it may seem like it, lately.  I have a friend, T, who requested parenting information, so here you go!  If there is anything else any of you want me to write about, drop me a note or leave a comment and I will do so.