Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Color of Money

This morning, I got swindled
By Lucy
Yes, the same Lucy I gave birth to
She swindled me
At Linscott, there is a little school store open on Tuesdays and Thursdays for all of 10 minutes in the morning
It's called Cal's Cart
At Cal's Cart, the kids can buy pens, pencils, erasers...little school supply like things
Erasers shaped like animals, hamburgers, ice cream cones, computers, robots and zombies
Pens and pencils decorated with various characters, animals, emojis and colors
Little kitschy things kids love and hoard
Little kitschy things we parents secretly hate and throw away when they are not looking
Cal’s Cart is sponsored by/run in conjunction with the PTO
The same PTO I am a part of
The same PTO I attend meetings for once a month
The same PTO at which we check in with Cal's Cart; what we spend on and what we bring in from Cal's Cart
So last Thursday, I told Lucy I wanted to give her some money for Cal's Cart at school
She has been fantastic in her behavior of late at both school and home
I wanted to do something to acknowledge that
(ok fine, except for one quick trip to the Principal earlier this week but in my defense, this “reward” happened before she was sent to him)
So I thought a trip to Cal’s Cart was in order
On the way to school that Thursday, Lucy realized she forgot to put on her Fit Bit
She really wanted to have it as she had gym and Super Sports after school which meant her activity points would be off the chart
And she loves when she hits her goals on her Fit Bit
She asked if we could turn around and go get it
I pointed out to her that if we went back, we would not make it to school in time for Cal's Cart so she had to make the decision
Lucy decided her Fit Bit and tracking her goals was more important
So I spontaneously blurt out
Honey! I am so proud of your choice!
I'm going to give you enough money for at least two things at Cal's Cart!
She was thrilled and I went to work feeling like a rock star mom
This past Tuesday school was delayed two hours so no Cal’s Cart
But today, today was Thursday
She woke me up with a sweet kiss and yelling in my right ear
Happy Cal’s Cart Day indeed! I thought as I burrowed under the covers
When I dropped Lucy off at school, I proudly handed her a dollar bill
Is this enough pal?
She cocked her head to the side…
Umm….well, you said I could get 2 things Mumma…….
No problem I say as I whip out a second dollar bill still feeling like a rock star mom
A peck and a hug around the neck and I send her on her way
But as I’m pulling away, I realize……..wait, $2 for Cal’s Cart…I could have sworn that stuff was….hang on a minute……
I dialed Sean’s number
Honey, when you give Lucy money for Cal’s Cart, how much did you give her?
$.50 he replied
Yeah, $.075 at most
Umm, how many things can she get with .50? I ask
Probably two he says
That stuff is pretty cheap Maria
Our kid just swindled me! I say
He started laughing
Seriously! I just gave her $2 for Cal’s Cart!
He laughed harder
When I handed her $1, she looked at me funny and when I asked if that was enough for two things, she sort of looked at me funny so I gave her a second dollar…I think Lucy just hustled me!
Yep he said chuckling
My own daughter I say….
This morning, I got swindled, by a seven-year-old….

The most important meal of the day?

This morning, Lucy was good as gold
She hopped out of bed without being asked
As a matter of fact, she had to drag me out of bed
She was dressed and brushing her teeth before I even got out of the shower
She took her karate bag downstairs without being asked/reminded
She was at the table reading a book while I was still brushing my hair
She ate breakfast and read a book while I shuffled around putting her snack and lunch in her backpack, looked for my phone and poured myself coffee
She reminded me we had to leave a bit early so I could deliver some papers to Mrs R for the event at school tonight
I think we're on schedule Mumma! We're totally on top of this!
I agreed and ruffled her hair as I walked by still looking for my phone
At one point, I went down to the basement to flip the laundry and grab a couple things
I heard the front door bang open and close a few times
When I came upstairs, no Lucy
Lucy! I yelled
Hi Mumma! she said as she walked through the front door
What are you doing kiddo?
I put all our stuff in the car: your purse, my backpack, your tote bag and computer......that's really heavy by the way Mumma! I was just coming in to get your coffee!
Oh honey, thanks so are the best
She had even cleared her breakfast dishes, washed her face and picked up Ziggy's toys he had flung around the living room
She retrieved my phone from the side board (here Mumma! I bet you already forgot where this was...I had), made sure all the lights were turned off and grabbed a paper towel in anticipation of me spilling coffee (I did)
She ushered me out the door holding it open for me as I balanced my phone, coffee and some loose papers
Then locked it behind us
Lucy even opened the damn car door for me
And how do I repay her?
This little being who so lovingly made the morning go as smoothly as possible?
How do I repay my only child, the person I love and adore and would sacrifice my own life for?
How do I repay her?
I forgot to pack her fucking lunch
I realized this as I was driving to work
I had just rounded the bend and was less than two minutes away from school
I called Sean the second I slid behind the wheel to start bragging about great Lucy had been
As I was recounting our morning, it dawned on me I did not finish her lunch......I had packed her fruit, her goldfish crackers and her brownie but I forgot her sandwich
I hung up on Sean, banged a U-ey and headed back to school
I cut two people off and drove over a sidewalk hoping to make it to school while the kids were still outside
I jumped out of the car, ran to the wall and hollered for Lucy
She came running down the hill with a look of worry on her face
Mumma! What's wrong
Oh honey! I forgot to pack your lunch!
No you didn't, I saw you put it in my bag!
I know sweetie but I forgot your sandwich! I only put in your snacks for lunch .... I am so sorry baby! Can you buy a bagel or something???
You could hear the desperation and guilt in my voice
Lucy crouched down and put her hands on my face
Oh Mumma! We were having such a great morning...
I know honey! I'm so sorry, I feel awful
She sighed
It's ok Mumma, don't worry, I can just buy lunch
We said good bye again and I watched her walk up the hill to get back in line
I heard someone ask her if everything was okay
Oh yeah, she said in her ever expressive and loud voice
But, she declared with her arms raised up in disbelief,
My Mum forgot to pack my lunch! Can you believe it! She forgot to pack her own child's lunch!
I swear I could feel the disappointment and judgement of her classmates...I think I even saw a couple of them shake their heads in disgust....

Our Father....

Lucy prayed fro everyone Sunday morning....


Ziggy threw up this morning
I did not step in it but while cleaning it up I set my hand down in it
On the way to work, I kept smelling something weird in the car 
Could not quite figure out what the smell was or pinpoint its origin
I walked into the office and could still smell it
I checked my shoes and clothes just to make sure It was not something on me
Even checked to make sure I remembered to put on deodorant
I did
So I figured the smell was stuck in my nose
I reached into my purse around 11 to get my wallet
Stuck my hand in something mushy
And stinky
Not cat throw up
Instead the two peeled soft boiled eggs, which I may or may not have a vague recollection of throwing in my purse Monday, or could have been last Friday, were no longer in the Ziploc bag I do distinctly remembering placing them in but instead, were rolling around in the bottom of my purse
Well, not so much rolling anymore as just making a mess
So instead, I ate the banana which I totally remember tossing in my purse just this morning
Halfway through chomping on the last bit of my banana, I sneezed
And as instructed, I caught my sneeze in the crook of my arm
And in so doing, I may have pushed my face a little too deeply and hard into the crook of my arm
And my sneeze may have been a bit bigger than I realized because some mushed up banana, and possibly some phlegm, escaped and splattered all over my arm and my chest
I am not sure which is the grossest thing that happened to me today:
Hand in cat puke
Hand in mushed up soft boiled eggs
Or chunks of mushed up banana and possibly some phlegm in the crook of my arm and my chest
I do know that I am a class act though...a top notch class act....

Joe and George

New President, sworn in
I watch because I vote
Because I respect the Office
I respect the mission 
I respect the responsibility
Does not matter if I like him, hate him
Agree with him, disagree with him
If I am scared or confident in what the next four years will bring
I watch because it's what I do
And you know what I was thinking through the whole thing?
I bet Joe Biden and George W Bush, both who have always made me laugh, would be great fun to hang out know with a few drinks, a deck of cards, and Mad Libs.....
Mad Libs with the two of them would be a fucking riot....
And now I have the giggles.....

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ziggy got in trouble

Lucy worked really hard on her thank you notes this year
She wrote each of them on her own with little or no help
They were sent out in waves, spelling and grammatical errors in tact because she was hell bent on doing them her way and on her own
Last night, she finished up the last of the notes
She left them on the table, as instructed, so I could mail them today
This morning, as Lucy sat at the table eating breakfast and I was in the kitchen making lunches, Ziggy, our 18 lb Wonder Cat, Lucy's best friend and sometimes arch enemy, hopped up on the table and knocked over an open bottle of water soaking said pile of thank you notes and my planner book
I heard Lucy yell Ziggy NOOOOO!! and the water bottle hitting the floor
Then she yelled I can't believe you just did that young man!
Lucy grabbed a ShamWow and I snatched up the thank you notes
By the way, it is worth noting I made fun of Sean when he bought these as seen on TV ShamWows but turns out, best investment ever especially if you have kids
I now give this as a standard baby shower gift
Not as shitty of a gift as you think because someday, when you are ankle deep in spilled milk/water/bodily fluid, you'll thank me
As Lucy mopped up the mess on the table and floor, I franticallyripped the thank you notes out of the envelopes in hopes of saving them
The envelopes were a loss but the note cards were safe
But, my Planner/Datebook totally took one for the Team
I am distraught and at a loss
I also feel like I should be somewhere but I don't know where because my 2 Year Appointment calendar is soaked
But I digress and this is not about me
As Lucy mopped up the mess, I shooed the cat out of the kitchen towards the the front door
Lucy followed me and scolded Ziggy as she waggled her finger at him:
Go get some fresh air and think about what you did Mister!
She opened the door and Zigs scooted out
Lucy turned to me with her arms bent at the elbows, palms facing upward and shoulders shrugging as she says Mumma! I do not know what has gotten in to this cat!
First, he's been tearing up the floors
(he has, for a few weeks now just been tearing at the rugs and carpet like nobody's business...we have the snags and rips to prove it)
Then he started this meowing at us all the time
(also true),
He's been knocking stuff off the table
(this kid is really on a roll/rant)
And let's not even talk about the other day when he took that swipe at me for no reason
(true story, he did do this, so upsetting for her)
And now this!
He's is gonna go back to the kitty farm if he does not knock it off!
(the kitty farm being the shelter we adopted him from)
Maybe he does have cabin fever but this is getting ridiculous!
I'm gonna have a talk with him!
She turned on her heel and headed back to the door
Ziggy was sitting on the front stoop following her every move with his head
As Lucy approached the door, he meowed, big and loud
Lucy shushed him as she propped open the door and knelt down in front of him
Ziggy! Lucy said in a stern tone
I do not know what has gotten into you!
But you have to stop being such a little brat!
Ziggy meowed
Lucy sighed, started petting his head and softened her tone
Is it because you have to eat skinny boy food now (Ziggy's on new diet food from the vet)?
You know that's because we love you and we want you to live for a long time...
She dropped her voice to a murmur and cupped his little face with her hand
I know its hard Ziggy Boy, but you have to stop
You can't just go around being a jerk
And I worked really hard on those notes!
Ziggy meowed
Ok Ziggy Boy, I forgive you
She put her head down and as they do, gently head butted each other
Lucy stood up and walked back to the table where I was now staring at my planner in disbelief and annoyance
Well, I think his behavior will improve, I had a talk with him
Great Luce, thanks for talking to him
Yeah, I just made it clear he needs to stop being a little brat or he's going back to the kitty farm I mean if I can't be a jerk, neither can he
Oh ok well, thanks again pal
Sure ....sorry about your book Mumma
Ahh, that's okay pal, at least we saved your thank you cards...
Yep, lucky for Ziggy we saved my thank you cards.....but he better watch his step....
And this is why I sleep with one eye open people.............

Dear Mary

Lucy just finished the last of her Christmas thank you notes
Then she asked if she should write one for Mary
Mary who I asked
Mary! Mumma! Mary!
I looked at her blankly while scanning the mental list I had made of gifts she received (as I lost the paper list last week)
Honey, what did Mary give you?
As I asked her that question, I was still not 100% sure who Mary was
Seriously Mumma? Mary gave us Christmas
I stared at her still unsure of who the hell Mary was and what she gave us or how she gave us Christmas
My old land lord? Her name is Mary...but we did not make it down there this year
Does she mean Aunt Marie who sent us a centerpiece? Because when the centerpiece arrived, I declared it was officially Christmas as I set it on the table between the two ceramic snowmen Aunt Marie made at least 20 years ago......because its officially Christmas in my house when the ceramic tree, wreath and snowmen Aunt Marie made get set out
What did Mary give you Luce? I can't remember
Seriously Mumma! she says in that tone that tells me I am about to be set straight and most likely deserve it
Yes honey, I can't remember
Mary! MARY! she declares with her hands in the air
Mary who had Baby Jesus!
We should tell her thank you because if she did not have Baby Jesus, there would be no birthday to even celebrate!
And if there is no birthday to celebrate, there is no reason for Santa to bring us gifts!
So Mary gave us Christmas....and I for one am pretty thankful Mumma.....and not just because of the gifts, I mean I actually really love Jesus.....I bet we could have been and Jesus...if we were, I would totally take him to Buddy Week at Karate....
I grew her you guys.....we totally made her....

Monday, January 9, 2017

The New Rules

Lucy was in day care as an infant/toddler/pre schooler
When Lucy got to DayCare, she, and we learned The Rules
They included, but were not limited to, some variation of the following:
Be kind!
Hands to yourself!
Walking Feet!
Inside voice!
Listening ears!
Have fun!
Be a good friend!
And everything was always about friends...
Be kind to your friends
Share with your friends
Have fun with your friends!
Or some variation thereof
We thought The Rules were brilliant!
We figured Lucy would have no problem following them and were convinced The Rules made the world a better place
And just to make sure, we adopted The Rules in our own home
I even wrote them out on big sheets of paper and decorated them with stickers and glitter and flowers and hung them up at Lucy level so she could see them
We even added a few rules of our own
I was so proud of our progressive and organic parenting
I wish I could say it worked
By the time Lucy was three, she sort of adopted this fuck The Rules attitude
That attitude reached its peak shortly after her 4th birthday and raged for about 2 solid years
Try as we might, we could never quite get her to come around to following The Rules
Don't get me wrong, she's a great kid
I love her with all my heart and soul
But she is not a rule following kind of kid
She will not bend to anyone's will but her own
And even then, I've seen her fight with herself
I consoled myself by saying when she is in her 20s and 30s, this behavior could serve her well
But as a 4, 5 and 6 year old, this behavior, it really friggin sucked
It was the worst
And we clearly had failed miserably at progressive and organic parenting
Reports from day care would usually go like this:
Lucy had a pretty good day, until she hit/punched one of her friends
Lucy was really loud today; does she maybe have an ear ache?
Lucy was very upset with her friends today; did she maybe have a tough night sleeping?
Bless their hearts
See how they would ever so gently try to cushion the blow
And when Lucy had a good day, they would make such a HUGE deal out of it
It was always a bright spot when she had one of those days
And just when we'd think she was coming around....when she'd have two good days in a row that turned into three that turned into four
Lucy would decide she was tired of following The Rules
Lucy thought the rules were silly
And that there were too many of them
She told me that the same day she informed me everybody (at school/day care) was not her friend and why did every keep telling her they were
And we'd be back to trying to figure out how to balance this strong willed spirited little girl with The Rules, her classmates and her parents
The staff at day care was amazing though
And they were with us and Lucy every step of the way
I do not know where we would be without the love and guidance of so many of them
By the time Lucy got to first grade, she was at her worst
I do believe her first grade teacher caught the brunt of it
That was a terrible year
We cried
We fought
We laughed
We yelled
We loved
We swore
We thought it would never get better
We begged and bribed
We tried incentives
We tried taking things away
We cried some more
Fought again
Loved as hard and as much as we could
We swore some more
We read books
We prayed
We laughed again while swearing and crying and fighting all at the same time
It was exhausting
And we wondered if we'd make it - as a couple, as a family, as parents
But we were surrounded by these teachers and staff, first at day care and then at her grade school, who were so supportive and loving
And we had friends and family who though at times were probably scared shitless of the outbursts they witnessed, stuck by us and by Lucy
Lucy's first grade teacher never gave up her
Even when Lucy was at her worst, her teacher would find no less than three wonderful things to say to our daughter on a daily basis
And every day, no matter what Lucy's attitude or behavior was, her teacher never gave up on her
And now her second grade teacher is just as supportive of her (and of us)
And so is the social adjustment counselor and her therapist
Lucy has so many people rooting for her
And its working
She's come so far since last year that it is almost overwhelming
We're so terribly proud of her....and I'm not gonna lie, relieved
Last year, I started putting notes in Lucy's lunchbox every day
She's saved all of them in a shoe box
I end every note the same way:
Have a good day
Don't be a jerk
Do your best
And have fun
Those are The New Rules
4 simple rules.....though number 2 is a pretty weighty one and means so much more than what one would think
And our little strong willed spirited lady is doing her best to not be a jerk
And we're all having way more fun and better days because of it
She's our best girl we love her the most and could not be more proud of her