Showing posts from June, 2009

Please say you didn't

Oh, but I did. I sang. You know that old joke about not being able to "carry a tune if it had a handle on it?" I'm fairly certain that joke was written specifically about me. No one in my family can sing. It's sad, because we're all big music lovers. Yesterday, the kid and her dad and I attended a rousing summer party/cook-out given by some friends from our church. Their daughter is friends with our daughter, which worked out well because A had someone to play with the whole time. I started out slowly, sipping some punch that was lightly spiked with rum. Eventually I started mixing random liquids that were set up on a table outside the party tent. I realized I made one of my drinks way too strong, so I squeezed an orange wedge into the cup because, you know, that always helps. After the sun went down, the hosts fired up " Rock Band 2 ." There was a drum kit, two guitars, and a couple of microphones. And a huge screen. The kids at the party were the firs

And this bird you cannot change

Greg is a good student but he runs around a lot and makes fun of the other kids. This is an excerpt from a report my stad received when he was in elementary school. His mom saved it and at some point passed it along to my parents. I think it's sitting in a box somewhere at their house. I have not received that exact report on my child, but I think we're getting close. It's something to strive for. Earlier this week, I did receive this little gem from her teacher: A had a hard time listening and following directions. She did like playing with playdoe [sic] and shapes. Disruptive to others at nap. Please have A wear shorts under her dresses, she has troubles not showing her underwear. Great, she's a troublemaker and an exhibitionist. I've learned, though, that there is a fine line between teaching a child to follow the rules and squelching a free spirit. My daughter is a bright, loving, night owl of a child who has no time or patience for social norms and rules. She

We Ain't Hitched?

P and I have been married over 12 years now. A few weeks ago, the HR person at his place of employment advised him that he had to provide proof that A is his kid and that I am his wife. Failing to show such documentation would result in us getting booted from the medical insurance. We fork over something like $6,000 a year out of pocket for the insurance, so I find it amusing that they think we'd pay that kind of money illegitimately. I handed my husband a copy of our daughter's birth certificate (when you adopt a child, the birth certificate is re-issued after the adoption is finalized to reflect the names of the adoptive parents as well as the child's legal last name - ours). We also have a separate court document that proves she's ours. If she's not ours, that kid owes us a lot of money. Ha! I also gave him a copy of our marriage certificate. I felt a little bit iffy about the marriage certificate because I noticed it had no seal on it. However, it had never caus

There she sits buddy just a-gleaming in the sun*

*Bonus points if you know the song without Googling it. Your entry doesn't count if you are related to me. Did I tell you I bought a bicycle on Craigslist? Yessirree! I wanted a bike, but I didn't want to go to Dick's and spend $300+ on one. If I did that and then didn't ride it, I'd feel like dung. $50 didn't seem like quite such a commitment, however. A guy on the other side of town spends the winters fixing up bikes as a hobby and then sells them when the warm weather rolls around. I called him a few weeks ago and he said he had several women's bikes in his basement, ready to ride. I was interested, but decided I'd better take P along with me in case the innocuous bike tinkerer turned out to be a psychopath. Since the bicycles were all in his basement, I had a disturbing vision of this Boo Radley type saying, "Come right down heeeeere . . . " and then the last thing I see is the business end of a hatchet. So, we made it a family excursion an

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

As my daughter grows and matures, it is fun to watch her language skills continue to develop. She has an excellent vocabulary and often startles me with how much she knows. Many times, though, she'll pick up a word or a phrase and then use it frequently, but not always completely . . . correctly. The other day she walked up to me as I was working online in the office/guest room. She moved in very close until we were almost forehead to forehead. Affecting a serious tone of voice, she looked at me through her lashes and said, "Mama. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Me: I don't know, sweetie. What are you thinking? Her: (brightening a bit) What? Me: No, I mean, what are you thinking so that I can tell you if it's what I'm thinking? Her: Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Me: Ummm . . . Then later in the evening we repeated almost the same conversation but with a different ending. Her: Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Me: I don't kno

Weekend Highlights

This weekend we blew through two festivals. The kid and I headed out of town Saturday morning and stayed overnight in a hotel. Here are the highlights: On Friday night, Gideon's penis got stuck in the "out" position. Not all the way out, but about 2 to 2 1/2 inches. It would not go back in and he didn't seem alarmed about it. However, I have heard horror stories during my rescue tenure about stuck penises. I fretted over it for about a half hour until P suggested I haul the dog into the bathtub and try using the shower head (which is connected to a hose). I figured he knows more about wieners than I do, so I decided to give it a shot. I grabbed Giddy and placed him in the tub. I then aimed the shower head at his junk. I felt terrible because at first the water was far too hot. I switched to cooler water and before long his penis was back where it belongs. Crisis averted. Speak of it never. On Saturday, the kid and I stopped at a mall to look for a Father's Day gif

But do they accept the baby?

New dress made by her personal stylist After my daughter was born, we had to wait six months until her adoption could be finalized in court. During that six-month period, we were required to complete several follow-up visits with the social worker from the adoption agency. At one of those visits, the social worker came to our home and perched on the couch. I sat on the floor with the baby as she rolled around and played on a blanket. The social worker flipped through a file folder and asked me some random questions. The one that sticks in my mind the most was: "Does your family accept the baby?" I almost laughed out loud but bit my lip instead. It seems a ridiculous thing to ask but yet, I know there are people out there who cannot accept someone who does not share their DNA. Fast forward four years to June 2009. A and I noticed a box on our front porch as we pulled into the driveway on Thursday. A few minutes later, she hopped out of the van and ran full speed towards the f

La Question du Jour

With summer upon us, we'll be faithfully attending every fair and festival we can find. Funnel cake or bust, man. Mediocre bands and deep-fried-something-or-other, here we come! (Please don't tell Holly, my Weight Watchers leader, about this little outburst, 'kay? Let's just keep it between me and you.) So, here is the question. How can we convince this person: That peeing in one of these: Will not, in fact, kill her? Sure, most of us find it at least mildly disturbing when we have to use one. It may cause some slight damage to her psyche if my little buttercup does the same. She may develop a roaring case of OCD as a result of expelling her fruit punch into a big hole filled with the unspeakable, but in the end, she'll probably live through it. So far, she is not sold. She'd rather have her bladder explode. When my sister was in town for the marathon last month, there was a party of sorts at the finish line, complete with beer, brats, and a band. There was a lo


Ideas, they come to me in the wee hours. Sometimes they are unmistakably bad ones, such as "Hey, I should rip up the carpeting to see what's under it." Occasionally I get an answer to a problem that's been plaguing me. When my friend Kevin died, I couldn't find a way to write about him until the words finally came to me in the darkness. A few nights ago, I woke up at 3:38 a.m. with the thought that I should sign up to be a speaker at church. Talk about "coming out of left field." At our UU fellowship, the pastor is in the pulpit every other week. We share her with another congregation. On the in-between weeks, the program committee typically arranges for a speaker from outside the fellowship. I can't tell you how much I learn by having different speakers each week. At one service we learned about yoga and meditation. Another week we learned about oral histories from a Native American speaker. Sometimes the presenter is someone from our own fellowship

Saturday Morning Drama

(Attempted) Murderess I rolled out of bed at 6 a.m. yesterday so that I could make it to my Weight Watchers meeting at 8 (yes, it takes me two hours to get my act together - you got something to say about it?). I let the dogs out into the back yard and then headed to the bathroom. As I wandered back down the hallway, I heard Fritz barking outside. I am not one of those dog owners who allows her dogs to bark at 6 a.m., so I rushed to the sliding glass door and started to call them in. I saw all three dogs freaking out over something on the ground, pawing at the grass and barking. My heart sank. Oh no. I threw on my flip-flops and ran off the deck, waving my arms frantically and screaming, "Leave it alone!" I didn't yet know what "it" was, but I did feel confident that whatever it was, it surely was not enjoying the scene as much as the dogs were. I spotted the young bird on the ground, frantically trying to flee from the momentarily distracted dogs. I ran around

When a black and white world turns grey

As it is for most kids, the world was very much black and white to me when I was growing up. This is wrong, this is right, and never the twain shall meet. I grew up in a liberal household and for the most part, was free to develop my own philosophies. My mother is a pro-choice Democrat, progressive in her religious views, and I'm sure her political and philosophical leanings had an impact on my own intellectual development. Nothing was shoved down my throat, though. I felt confident on my own that I knew what was what. The murder of Dr. George Tiller earlier this week brought the abortion debate back into the spotlight once again. I gathered from reading various news reports that even many of the most ardent pro-lifers were quick to distance themselves from the alleged killer. Killing a man in his place of worship, I think most of us would agree, is particularly low. So, where do I stand in the abortion debate? I am not on the proverbial fence, but rather, just to the left of it.

The Yeller Thing

As I mentioned in a previous blog post , I spent my entire adult life trying to become a mom so that I could be the proud recipient of some macaroni art. I soon learned that the old adage "be careful what you wish for" is true. I've got art aplenty. The Louvre has nothing on me. Well, if the Louvre were filled to the rafters with construction paper, glue, and glitter, that is. My daughter brought this home from school last week. Just in case your eyes are not transmitting the proper information to your brain: it's a piece of paper that has been crumpled up and then glued to a popsicle stick. I turned it over in my hands a few times. "What is it, sweetie?" I asked. "It's a yeller thing," she replied, with a look that told me that she was losing patience with my woeful lack of intelligence and/or observation skills. She held the crumpled paper to her mouth and yelled, "Hey, Gretchen!" into it. Lucky Gretchen. The day that A claimed Gret