By Mir
November 11, 2006

My voice has gone through the many stages of aggravated cold status, arriving today at Just Sort Of Husky And If You Didn’t Know It Was Due to Phlegm Maybe Sort Of Sexy. (Previous states include: Raspy, Squeaky, Gone, and Coughing Too Much To Really Talk Anyway.) This stage is my favorite so far. Now when I answer the phone, people seem mildly taken aback and/or confused, as opposed to other stages when my attempt at “Hello?” was greeted with “Oh my GOD you sound AWFUL!”

I was just thinking how much better I felt, this morning, when Chickadee said, “My throat hurts a little.” Hmph.

No matter. I had important things to do today. Like play beauty consultant.

Some friends of mine were having a family photo done today. About a week ago, the daughter—who has gorgeous, wavy hair, and lots of it—got a new haircut with long bangs and the stylist flat ironed her hair and she looked AMAZING. Unfortunately, she’s about 13 and the stylist didn’t show her how to do it herself. And she doesn’t have a flat iron. And her hair dryer is a hand-me-down from the Carter era. And and and and.

Last night I got a panicked call from the mom. Could they please come over this morning and would I do E’s hair for her? Of course I would.

So they showed up this morning with coffee and donuts (mmmm… donuts) and I was ready with all my products and tools and set about both straightening her hair and teaching her how she can do it herself.

[Digression: I decided the best way to make sure that Monkey doesn’t have celiac would be to buy a few cases of Gluten-Free Pantry stuff from Amazon. Guess what! It worked. We didn’t see an appreciable change in him after a month of being gluten-free, so he is now back to eating whatever he wants. Which will be relevant in a minute, here.]

So I’m in the downstairs bathroom with E, fixing her hair, chatting away, having a somewhat surreal time as I realize that I met this young woman when she was the same age Monkey is now, and yet here we are talking hair and bras and I’m complimenting her on her highlights. (Obligatory “Lord I am OLD” comment goes here.) I tell the kids they can have some donuts (see, the celiac thing needed to be mentioned), and the next thing I know, my children are playing ball inside the house.

I’m sure it comes as a complete shock that I do not allow the hurling of objects, spherical or not, inside my home.

After a protracted debate, I managed to lay down the law. I returned to E’s hair while the kids chased each other around in their donut-addled euphoria. I marvelled at the difference between the teenager under my hands and the wild little sugarhounds destroying my kitchen.

We finished up and E’s hair was judged satisfactory. Her mom had been ironing outfits and now came to ask if I could fix her hair, too. I did, while E got dressed and put on some make-up.

“Not too much!” her mother cautioned.

“I don’t,” E said.

“I mean it, just a little!”

I chuckled and poked my friend with the brush I was using. “She’s fine, she never wears a lot. Leave her be.” (Easy for me to say, because MY daughter thinks she’s decked out when I let her wear chapstick.)

Everyone was dressed and coiffed and I fetched my make-up bag to get some blush for my friend. I applied it for her in the kitchen (we were down to the wire, now, and they were getting ready to leave) and then sent her to go look in the mirror to see if she was happy with it. While she was gone I winked at E. “Close your eyes a sec, honey.” She grinned and obeyed and I put a little bit of eyeshadow on her.

Maybe it won’t be so bad when my babies are bigger. Maybe.

Speaking of, today was a landmark day for MY little girl. I keep saying what a great year she’s having, how well she’s doing, and what a change it’s all been. Well, she’s been going to therapy intermittently for a while now. Today was her last session.

Oh, we’ll take her back if things change, of course. But for right now? She’s a perfectly normal, happy kid.

I just want to say that again: She’s a perfectly normal, happy kid.

Today is a day that I didn’t know if I’d ever see. Things have been good for a while, now, and I’ve spent a lot of it waiting for the other shoe to drop. It hasn’t. Heck, I’m not even sure there’s a shoe. (And that’s saying a lot, during NoBloShoeMo!) Chickadee is good. She mouths off sometimes, she baits her brother sometimes, and sometimes she eats donuts and starts bowling in the living room. Just like every other kid.

Which is pretty cool.

(Let’s not talk about Monkey right now. Let’s just bask in the glow. Ahhhhhh.)


  1. shannon

    i’m totally at that raspy sexy sounding voice too!! i always joke that i’m channeling barry white. :)

  2. Fold My Laundry Please

    My voice always ends up sticking at the Marge Simpson stage for a week or so. By the time it’s gone I am so over quoting lines from the show that if one more person had asked me to screech, “Bart!” I might have to beat them severely about the face and neck!

  3. Muirnait

    A few weeks ago, I got to church in the morning and had a cold. I asked our worship leader if we could change parts, since he can pretty much handle alto (albeit falsetto) and I was definitely tenor or lower! Thankfully I didn’t have to sing lead!
    Also, am very glad that Chickie’s feeling better, and that Monkey’s not celiac! As to all the rest…you’ll handle it, because I know you can – you’ve already proven yourself a hundred times. :-)

  4. Lady M

    And you’re a hair goddess too – wow, extra skills!

    Glad to hear that Chickadee is doing great and that Monkey doesn’t have celiac.

  5. Terri

    That is so awesome! Monkey gets donuts and Chickadee gets to lose the sessions! Sounds like happy days are here for you all. (Well, other than the cold thing.)

  6. tori

    I’m so glad Monkey doesn’t have celiac! That is wonderful news about Chickadee (except that she’s probably getting the cold of course). I wish you could come over and do my hair! I am great at doing other people’s hair, but doing my own hair makes me all thumbs.

  7. Juliness

    Yipee! “Cel-a-brate Good Times…Come On!”

    PS I know it’s not spelled right, but when I spelled it correctly, it didn’t read as fun as it sounds in the song!

  8. Daisy

    I never thought I’d admit this, but I enjoy my teenagers and their friends. I like having my house be a “hangout” for the “group”. It even makes me consider teaching middle school.

  9. meghann

    I wish I was husky, I just sound like I am hearing impaired. Like what I said this morning: “You wand somb breakfast? Hode on.”

    I am terrified of having a girly preteen/teenager. I am femininly challenged. My almost 4 year old has better fashion sense than I do. Sigh.

  10. Christina

    Awesome for Chickadee! Sorry about the colds, but we are passing those around too. And happy for Monkey that he gets to have the donuts again, woohoo!

  11. Steff

    If its not one is the other, at least for me rarely is it both at the SAME time! Well done on supporting Lil Miss Chickadee through this time of growth!

  12. Susan

    I wish you would come to my house and put makeup on me. I would even get donuts.

    Plus we’re already sick! Bonus!

  13. Jenn2

    I know I’ve joked about Drama Queen before and I love my little ones, but the older DQ gets, the more fun we have together. You’re going to have a blast!!!

  14. alice

    That is so awesome, Mir! (Although there’s a bit of the ‘bury the lead’ thing going on – pretty hair is undeniably great, but Chickadee’s milestone is a bit more, well, milestone-y.) We had a great family therapist for a number of years, and I’m so glad Gerry was able to be a part of our lives the way that he was. But when my little brother was able to stop his weekly sessions, it was like finally getting to the beach after a long, cloudy, bumpy car ride – open skies, fresh air, and a great big mess of possibilities just waiting for us.

  15. JGS

    That is really awesome! All of you have so much to be proud of – especially Chickadee. And it also goes to show things will work out for Monkey (I know we weren’t supposed to mention him, but…).

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