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  • Put The Cheese Down And Snap Out Of It!

    May 31, 2007

    It has been kind of nutty this week. I am having my kitchen cabinets repainted and if this post doesn’t make any sense it’s because I’m still high on White Whisper and Oreos.

    Being shut out of my kitchen for two days has meant that I had to make lunch at my coffee table in the den yesterday. Because for some reason that’s where the bread ended up when I had to clear out the kitchen. It seemed logical at the time. Sean thought having a picnic in the den was a great idea and that we should eat every meal at the coffee table. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we used to do that before he came along.

    At any rate, when I’ve been in my house for two straight rainy days with my spouse, my child, three painters, paint fumes and no access to my Cheetos, I’m even crankier than when I’ve been on a marathon phone call with the phone company. If you can imagine that.

    As I’m sitting on the sofa busily slapping together a sandwich which I know my child will not even eat, he flings himself onto me and hugs me tight around the neck and says, “Put that cheese down woman and snuggle me!”

    And so I did.

    And that gave me some much needed perspective and vastly improved my attitude.

    I’m Giving The World A Spanking And Then I’m Going To Put It In Time Out

    May 30, 2007

    Recently, I got a message on the answering machine from the phone company saying they were going to cut off my phone service for non-payment.  Since I pay my phone bill automatically every month on my credit card, and I have ever since I signed up with this company a few years ago, I did not see how this could be. 

    So I put in a call to see what the problem was. After obediently listening to all my options because they might have changed since the last time I called in, I pushed every button exactly in the prescribed manner.  Finally, 25 short minutes later, I finally had a human on the end of the line – Bobbie Jo from Bangladesh!

    I very carefully told her my story about how I have always paid my bill with my credit card and that no other charges to this card had been denied.  And then she transferred me and I told two of her friends my story and they both transferred me and I told two of their friends, and so on and so on.  I was just like Heather Locklear in that shampoo commercial from the 80s!  I told everyone in Asia my story in painstaking detail, including my name, account number, zip code, zodiac sign, and that I once had dinner with Ralph Nader.  Until finally I was transferred to Darryl in building maintenance where this fun fun game ended when he disconnected me.  At this point, my boiling blood was racing through my arteries at the speed of light which caused my eyeballs to pop clear out of my head, bounce off my computer and roll under my desk.

    Later, much much later, I learned that the phone company had requested funds from my credit card company three times but failed to collect.  And instead they decided that they should threaten to cut my phone service off for non-payment.  And it only took me six or seven hours of my free time to track down and solve their problem. Doesn’t everyone want to spend their free time on the phone doing pro bono work for the phone company?  Really, can you think of anything more fun?

    Later that same week I bought a camera from a national retailer that was going out of business in our area.  Unfortunately I discovered after I got home and tried to upload my pictures that it had come with the wrong USB cord. So I drove ten miles back to the store and was given another USB cord.  I even tested it there in the store.  But when I got it home, it did not work.  It didn’t plug in “enough” which apparently is sort of important.

    I immediately drove another ten miles back to the store to find Bubba, the fellow who had “helped” me, but he had gone to lunch and no one knew if/when he was going to come back or where the original cord was.  So now I didn’t even have the original cord to mail back in with my brand new camera to the manufacturer.

    I inquired of the store manager what my options might be and he pretty much said, “You’re screwed.”  And so then I said, something like, well if this is your idea of customer service, no wonder you are going out of business and then he said something snotty and you can’t really out-snotty me, so I one upped him and then he walked away and then I may have yelled at his back.  It’s always a good day when you are shouting in public at a bald guy wearing a red vest.

    Not wanting to scrounge around behind their customer service desk for my eyeballs, I took a deep breath and just stood there silently counting.  One of the clerks took pity on me and offered me a card reader doodaddy thing, which as it turns out, works just fine, but I had to go home and explain to Antique Daddy that I had just spend several hundred dollars on a new camera with no USB cord.  But hey! Look! I still have my eyeballs!

    Later that same week, I drove ten miles to visit my branch bank, my bank with whom I’ve had an account for 26 years, only to find that they had moved.  I called to find out where they had moved to and then drove another ten miles to the new location only to find that they were not there either.  So I put in another phone call to the customer service person who was neither apologetic nor helpful before she disconnected me as she was transferring me, probably to Bobbie Jo in Bangladesh. And then my cell phone died a sudden death, so I couldn’t even call her back and yell at her.

    Knowing that I would need my eyeballs to drive home, I merely rolled them instead and went home to lie down.

    And that’s when I decided that the world needs a spanking and I needed a time out.


    May 29, 2007

    Seven Random Things About Me Meme

    May 28, 2007

    This meme has been around the blogosphere for some time now and since I am too tired to write anything else several readers have tagged me, I thought I’d play along. Consider yourself tagged.

    I once had dinner with Ralph Nader. He is exactly in person as he is in public. You have to admire that.

    The only previous boyfriend I am still friendly with is my boyfriend from kindergarten. Probably because he is still the same person he was in kindergarten – smart, funny, cute and genuine.

    I once had a paranormal experience.

    I love the history of First Ladies and The White House. First Ladies are kind of accidental politicians and I find their role in history to be fascinating.

    I’ve never not had bangs.

    I am a distant relative of Harry Truman who once said, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.”

    I have always wanted a sister.

    Day Is Done – Remembering Uncle Mike

    Cpl. Mike  ~ 187th Airborne, Regiment 13
    February 24, 1930 – September 26, 1952

    Mike was my mother’s big brother. She describes him as a shy red-headed farm boy who loved tinkering with motors and engines and gadgets. He joined the army and became a paratrooper and later a member of the elite Rangers.

    In 1952, eight years before I was born, he was shot by a Korean sniper. He died on foreign soil, in service to our country, far far away from the gently rolling midwestern cornfields of his home and his family who loved him. He was 22.

    Oh The Places You’ll Go!

    May 26, 2007

    I’m The Poodiest

    May 24, 2007

    School is out for the summer and the days are getting longer. Boy oh boy are the days getting longer. Being the sole teacher/disciplinarian/guardian/playmate/muse of a three-year-old boy from sun up to sun down has given me a greater appreciation for Sean’s teachers — even though they slighted him missed the opportunity to feature him in the school slideshow as prominently as my precious beautiful special boy-genius deserves (wink wink).

    By dinnertime, I was exhausted. I set down a bowl of hastily made gourmet macaroni and cheese in front of Sean and then I collapsed into my own chair, too tired to eat. Instead I just sat there and watched him clumsily spooning the little orange spirals out of the bowl and into his mouth. I noticed how the afternoon light from the windows outlined his profile with a tiny white line, illuminating the imperceptible baby fine hairs on his face. I thought to myself if I ever get around to doing a painting of him, this is the scene I would paint, his hair the color of an old penny, his impossibly long dark eyelashes, his face outlined with the iridescent glow of sunset.

    He stopped eating and looked at me. He gave me a sweet smile that belied the number of times he’d visited the time out corner today.

    “I love you Sean,” I said to him.

    “I wudz you Mommy,” he replied as he screwed up his face and shyly pressed his ear into his hunched up shoulder.

    “You’re a good boy.”

    “You’re a good mama,” he enthused pointing his cheese-encrusted spoon at me for emphasis.

    Sigh. I thought about that for a moment. I thought about how I had yelled at him earlier in the day. I’m not that good of a mama. But that boy knows I love him with all of my heart. And hopefully that will cover the myriad of mistakes I make in parenting him on any given day.

    “Oh Sean,” I confessed more to myself than to him. “You are a better boy than I am a mama.”

    “That’s okay,” he consoled, “You are the poodiest wady in the whole woold.”

    Man. I’m really going to hate it when his world gets bigger.

    Setting The Record Straight About Hell’s Fury

    May 23, 2007

    First of all, thank you all for your kind words and comments and support about my previous post. Blogging is the only thief that takes so much (time) and returns so much more (love, support, community, conversation). So I sincerely thank each and every one of you.

    Second – I really and truly don’t think it was a personal slight. In fact, I am sure it was unintentional. Suzanne’s comment struck a chord with both Antique Daddy and I as we read through your comments. The “unintentional slight” played on our biggest fear that because he is quiet and reserved and polite and generally cooperative and not one to be “in the teacher’s face” that he will go unnoticed and overlooked and shuffled to the bottom of the deck.

    Third – This is not really a situation that warranted open confrontation, especially given the fact that I am so bad at that kind of thing. Yes it was hurtful (to me, Sean was oblivious) but operating on the theory that it was not intentional, I did take the opportunity to seek more information from the teacher. The information I received did not make me feel better, but I did voice my feelings and that’s that. I also have a voice here and you all have made me feel better and now it’s time to forget it and move on.

    Fourth – It was a school-wide video, so I know that Sean’s teachers did not put the video together, they only contributed the pictures. When I spoke to her about it, she said there were two pictures of Sean. I only saw one, but there could have been two. However I know for certain that I did see two pictures of other children before I ever saw one of Sean. The first picture I saw of Sean was three songs into the video.

    Fifth – My observation about Sean’s teachers is that they have been kind and loving towards him.

    Sixth – We are constantly considering home schooling vs. public vs. private education. It is a huge decision to determine who will influence and teach our child and we are in prayer about it.

    Hell Hath No Fury Like A Mother Who Perceives Her Child Has Been Slighted

    May 22, 2007

    Sean’s second school year has come to a close.

    Antique Daddy and I attended the closing ceremonies that included a video montage of snapshots of all the kids taken during the school year and set to music. I was surprised at how the video affected me. It evoked in me a stinging, sloppy, messy welling up of tears — tears that seem to have been jerked up out of their sleep from the deep dark underside of my soul. Unfortunately the tears were not for the same reasons as last year or for the sweet and sentimental reason’s that you might imagine.

    The one and only reason a parent attends an event like this is to see a picture of their kid up on the big screen. And I am no different. Even though I have sixty spajillion pictures and as many miles of video of my child, I wanted to see Sean on this video. It meant something more to me than what I understood.

    As the video started, I straightened my posture, sat on the edge of my seat, trained my eyes on the screen like a Golden Retreiver waiting for a treat and anxiously waited for the image of my precious boy to appear. After three songs and the faces of every other child in the school had flashed before my eyes, I began to feel a bit uncomfortable. I remained hopeful and did not avert my eyes from the screen. Two and three pictures of other children were shown – not that I was counting — okay I was counting – but no Sean. Had he been forgotten? How could that be?

    Tears began to sting my eyes. I was fighting the good fight in holding them back. And the more I struggled to hold the tears back, the more I felt a new word must be invented here to describe this feeling. Finally towards the end there was one blurry distant photo of Sean with a look of terror on his face as he stood in the vicinity of Santa. And then the lights came up and everyone applauded. And I bit my lip until it bled.

    I felt new word and then I felt silly for feeling that way. Silly. Small. And stupid. And this is only pre-school.

    Curling Irons and Matchbox Cars

    May 21, 2007

    When I was in Wal-Mart recently, I found myself in the row with the curling irons and hair dryers and bows and clips and conditioners and whatever. In spite of a life time of disappointments, I remain hopefully (or delusionally) convinced that there is a product out there that will tame my hair. My hair was a Tasmanian Devil in a previous life – perpetually snarly and in a bad mood. And it remains so.

    Nonetheless, there I was reaching for yet another curling iron. “Mommy! Put that back,” Sean scolds me from the cart seat. “You don’t need that!” Wonder where he has heard that? I turned my head away from the curling iron and gave him the Are you talkin’ to ME? look.

    “Oh really?” I asked. “Well then, I guess we don’t need any toys today either.”

    He stopped for a nano-second to consider that and then quickly advised, “You should get that.”

    And then he snatched the curling iron from my hand and threw it in the cart.

    And thats how we increased our collection of curling irons and Matchbox cars.