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Don’t be a Thelma

Given the news that’s coming out of the Supreme Court today, this feels kind of selfish and unimportant, in comparison, but… well, I’m thinking no one wants to see my victory dance or hear my scintillating commentary (mostly consisting of, “Hey, today I don’t hate everyone!”), so instead you get this.

This one was hard to write. I made Chickadee proof it for me and confirm that it was okay for me to share. I think it’s important, but I never want my child to feel like she has an obligation to be an object lesson for anyone. The upshot is that friends should be kind to each other, and that goes double for when you have a friend facing difficult and often misunderstood issues. Also, everything I ever needed to learn about how to be a reasonable human came from children’s books.

So please come on over to Alpha Mom today, because chances are your kids are eventually going to have friends struggling with mental health stuff, and I hope you’ll help them to be good friends rather than encouraging them to be judgmental jerks.

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Comments { 13 }

Desperate times, etc.

I was having trouble coming up with a good way of expressing it that didn’t sound trite, I guess. Ebb and flow! Sunrise, sunset! One step forward, two steps back! The course of true love and/or parenting never did run smooth!

But, you know. There’s only so many ways to say “hey, no biggie, but this week is kind of feeling like a slog and I am tired.” Otto did a lot of traveling this month and I miss him when he’s gone; whether she’ll ever admit it or not, I think Chickadee does, too. So by this past weekend, we two ladies (using that term ever-so-loosely) (though not implying we are loose, mind you) were well and truly sick of each other and working one another’s very last nerve.

Thankfully, Otto came back last night, and I told him to STOP LEAVING US, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD. He agreed, mostly because he was done traveling, anyway. Yay!

Truly, his return wasn’t a moment too soon, because things here had become dire. (more…)

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Comments { 12 }

Math and other things

I keep thinking I’ll post something coherent when a full-fledged story presents itself, and then I look over the past 9+ years of writing and realize that this whole notion of actually having a cohesive narrative has never stopped me BEFORE. Why now? Possibly because I am lazy, or possibly because there’s some gelato in the freezer and it’s not going to eat itself. I don’t know. But because I’m a trooper, I shall soldier forward as best I can with disjointed bits and pieces of things.

I’m a giver.

Summer mathin’. I may have mentioned the whole math thing…? Hey, kids, let’s do an entire year of accelerated math in a 6-week summer course, online, in the snow, uphill both ways! Okay, the last two may not technically be true, but still. The 6-week course started on a Monday and then concludes with a final 5 weeks later on a Tuesday, so the MATH people are bad at COUNTING. (Irony: it’s what’s on the syllabus!) It’s a 5-week long course and I’m fairly certain it’s designed to kill the students who are taking it. Chickie doesn’t seem to mind, most of the time, but it is killing ME, and I DO mind. (more…)

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Comments { 16 }

So very warm and fuzzy

Here’s a part of a terrible picture I snuck around a corner of Kira‘s house and snapped while my girly was chilling out with her new posse:

(From left to right: Tre watching Max play a video game, Max playing said video game, Chickadee texting and making Max into her personal cushion, and Raphael desperately wishing he was the one playing the video game.)

There’s something unspeakably awesome about your friend’s kids welcoming your kid into the fold, so of course I wrote about our trip for Alpha Mom because I still feel like there are cartoon bluebirds circling my head. (Sure, they’re teenage bluebirds with stinky feet and they periodically squabble with each other, but still.)

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Comments { 2 }

Teenagers and travel and moths (oh my)

There was a time in my life—a long time, actually—when I thought I would have a houseful of children. Then I realized I was neither independently wealthy nor particularly patient, so I figured 3 or 4 kids would be plenty. And then, y’know, life happened, and I ended up with two kids and the realization that I am perfectly content with the size of my family. (Well, okay, some days I’m perfectly content and some days I am willing to sell the children for puppies or parts or even just to make the noise stop.)

So this is to say that I have no regrets about the state of my life or the size of my family. On the other hand, I packed up Chickadee and we flew out here to Kira‘s house, and I am positively marinating in pack-o-teens and lots of kill-me-dead-with-the-adorableness of watching said teens cater to Sophia (who is FOUR and a BIG GIRL), and there is a not tiny part of me which thinks that having an entire houseful of rowdy children would be really, really awesome.

Kira and I have been friends for coming up on a decade, now, and this is the first time our children have met, which is just weird because my kids know Kira and Kira’s kids know me. (I’m bummed that Monkey isn’t here, but he is still off being manly with Otto.) I think it took about half a day for Kira’s boys and Chickie to fall into an easy pattern of competing to see who could be the most obnoxious to each other (it turns out that my 15-year-old and Kira’s nearly-15-year-old may actually be sharing a brain, which is both frightening and FANTASTIC), and suddenly I can picture what life would be like if we formed a commune. It would be loud, mind you, but very entertaining. (more…)

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Comments { 19 }

Still here, just boring

I didn’t mean to wander off and forget to post for so long. This is the part where I should apologize and tell you how completely fantastical and over-full my life is, I guess, except that:
1) I believe that YOUR life is probably interesting enough that me not posting matters to you pretty much not at all, or at least it shouldn’t, and
2) I have absolutely no idea what I’ve been doing, and I’m sure it wasn’t that exciting or I would remember.

The second one is kind of a lie, actually. SOME of what I’ve been doing is having flashbacks to high school math, because OH GOD ALL THE MATHS. Did I mention that my darling daughter is taking this insane math class? Two or three or fifteen times? Listen, if you told me to pick between the math class my daughter is taking OR receiving a Brazilian wax administered by drunken toddlers, I would be hard-pressed to tell you which one I would prefer. By the time she finished the first week, she was all “I think I’ll work ahead this weekend! This is going great!” and I was just silently weeping in the corner.

I’m not sure I could pass this class again if I had the whole academic year to do it—I mean, I’m pretty sure I took this class back in 1987 or so, but my brain was younger and more elastic back then—and here she is, whipping through it in 6 weeks. One day it was all “MOM, I NEED HELP WITH THESE 3-DIMENSIONAL GRAPHS” and the next day it was “Okay, that unit’s over, what do you know about standard deviation?” (more…)

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Comments { 43 }

What communication issues?

I think the most solid foundation for a healthy, mutually-fulfilling relationship is good communication. Fortunately, being a writer-type-person who likes to make many word-like squawkings with both my hands and my face-hole, PLUS given the importance I place on really listening to similar transmissions from the ones I love, I’ve got this one down pat. My family never has to feel like we don’t all understand each other.

I mean… uhhhh… unless one of us has been doing math for 10+ hours straight and another of us has been trying offer support for said unholy amount of time devoted to said math while wondering WHY IN THE WORLD we thought a summer class was a good idea.

Her: What are you making?
Me: Lentils.
Her: For?
Me: Eating…?
Her: No, I mean eating for…?
Me: … dinner??
Her: … FOR????
*we glare at each other, tension building, each sure the other is being deliberately obtuse*
Me: Oh! For TACOS!
Her: Oh! I love tacos.

I am trying to find a way to blame this on math. I may need a little more time, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

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Comments { 21 }

The beeping; good lord, the beeping

Something kind of exciting happened here this week, and I wrote about it over at Alpha Mom.

I’ll give you a hint: My teenagers are no longer speaking to each other in person using their mouthparts. Our electronic overlords have taken over! And in a weird way, I guess I’m okay with that. Mostly.

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Comments { 7 }

This is how we do summer

Phil departed the premises last night. It was time. (It was long PAST time, but I’m working pretty hard on this whole “saying yes” thing.) No tears were shed. Any residual sadness has been smoothed over with frozen dairy confection, and our house is once again a blessedly bug-free zone.

By way of partial explanation as to why I ever allowed that in the first place, I offer you a summer manifesto for the big kids, over at Alpha Mom. ‘Tis the season to say yes, to build skills, and to chill out. All at once! I THINK THAT WOULD BE EASIER WITH A FUNCTIONAL POOL, but regardless, we’re working on it. (Hope springs eternal. The pool guy supposedly found the leak, so CROSS YOUR FINGERS.)

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Comments { 10 }

So the inmates are running the asylum

Summer vacation, man. Things are crazy already, and it’s only the second day.

I think tomorrow I’ll be able to direct you to a post about my summer philosophy (spoiler: Now with fewer Give A Craps!), but for today all I can tell you is that we ate all the strawberries we picked last week and we had to go pick some more. Also there are more teenagers lurking around here than I remember giving birth to, but I am a little afraid to do a headcount. Everyone seems happy, so it’s okay. Also we have a lot of strawberries.

ALSO my darling daughter has completely lost her mind discovered her nurturing side. You see, yesterday the Bug Guy came to spray, and while he was out spraying on the deck, a GIANT cockroach palmetto bug ran in through the deck door, and Chickadee decided to rescue it. AS YOU KNOW, I was already planning to burn the house down, but the new resident is making that decision even easier.

“He has EPILEPSY!” she declared. It seems he may have gotten sprayed on the way in. It scrambled his brains just a little. [WARNING: Pic after the jump.] (more…)

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Comments { 66 }
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