Gaslight

I don’t know how, we as parents can manage to lose my son’s antibiotics. Again. He is meant to take 10 consecutive days of this orange creamsicle crap that I have to chase him around and threaten to not let him ride his Might Cycle that day as little boys who won’t join in the fight against Tiny Ugly Germs can’t possibly ride around the neighborhood on their might cycle. (is anyone else obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba?! I freakin’ love that show. Seriously. Even though DJ Lance looks like a 90’s club kid who wandered out of the warehouse while on Special K They had the Shins last week as their “Super Music Friend Show” guests and Hector Jimenez and Elijah Wood as Dancey Dance friends.) The Tiny Ugly Germs song was the first time my son has actually understood that germs can make you sick and THAT’s why you shouldn’t eat crap off the floor or-in his case lick the soles of shoes. Oh yes. The. Soles.

After tearing apart the kitchen and fridge my husband and I were not only baffled but really kind of freaked out- the second bottle of antibiotics to go missing in less than 10 days? He’s hiding them. I know it- he’s hiding them somewhere and if my house weren’t wall to wall kids toys and crap I might find them. He’s trying to Gaslight me. It’s not enough to ensure that our daily conversations are consistently him rejecting any suggestion I make with an immediate retraction. Would you like some milk? NO! Yes I want milk!

It makes my head hurt, and it makes me want to institute the morning margarita. But that wouldn’t help my case when I go to the Pediatrican AGAIN and ask for another prescription.

The Choices

My grandfather was born in 1902, in San Francisco, the youngest of five children to immigrants from Ireland. By 1904, he, his older brother, and my great grandmother were all that remained from the original family of seven. Three of his siblings had died from diphtheria, and his father had succumbed to tuberculosis. My Great Grandmother was left a widow with two toddlers in a San Francisco that was also in the midst of one of the worst outbreaks of the Black Plague in US History (and fortunately, one of the last.) Faced with not only becoming a widow, AND losing three children to a horribly painful disease, she had to figure out how to raise two toddlers in a disease infested city, alone. Her family as well as her late husband’s was back in Ireland. How would she work, and raise a two and four year old? There were no day cares, no nannies or preschools she could rely upon. No welfare to help her out. She did the only thing she could given the circumstances.

She boarded a train, with her two young sons, and brought them to a Jesuit Brothers Home for Boys in the Midwest. An Orphanage, but it was away from the disease infested city where so many of her beloved family had perished. And she had the faith that her boys would be looked after, she had prayed for a solution, after all.

She left them there, my tiny grandfather and great uncle with the promise that she would return for them, soon. I can not imagine the pain she endured on the train ride back to San Francisco. The grief that must have been palpable, resonating throughout her entire being. Alone. When just a few months earlier she had her hands, and heart full of children, and the support- both financially and emotionally of a husband.

And yet she endured. More than endured, survived, lived. Seven years after leaving her boys in the care of someone else, with only the determination to have them back, she returned. That must have been quite a journey. The mixture of excitement and joy at the upcoming reunion, and yet most probably, the fear that her boys would no longer remember her.

She brought them home to San Francisco, a changed city since the earthquake that had occurred five years before, to a changed home. A step father and half sister awaited their return.

A step father my grandfather utterly adored. Mom says the only time she saw her father cry was the night he received the call that he had committed suicide. A man who loved two boys as his own, and who was rewarded with their love in return. Their half sister who adored her older brothers and would continue to adore them long past their deaths. My grandfather died the year before I was born. When I was ten my great aunt put my brother and I in her car and drove us to Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma and pointed out the graves of my ancestors. My grandmother’s no good rotten sonofabitch dad as she called him, my grandmother’s sainted mother who endured as much hell as her own mother, and whom she loved as well. Her mother’s first husband, and the children of her mother she never knew, her father, her brothers one of whom was my grandfather, and her mother. She steadied herself against a nearby tree and told me about her mother. Her temper, her strength, her sorrow, her love.

Even at 10, I knew to be grateful for her strength, which, in some part, allowed my very existence. And now, as a parent, I recoil in horror at the thought of having to live through what she did. How to pick up the pieces when your life completely and tragically crumbles around you? I’ve often prayed that God spare me from the pain she endured, the unbearable pain of losing not one (which would be utterly unthinkable) but three children. I don’t think I could live through that, truthfully.

Her life has me thinking that perhaps I am a bit to flippant with decisions some times- I don’t weigh the consequences enough- just glibbly glide through this life trying to go from one day to the next. I admonish myself and think as a mother I need to take all things more seriously- but then there is the unanswerable question. Will we ever truly know what our choices determine?

PERFECT LAST MINUTE MOTHERS DAY TRIBUTE

If you’re like me, you may not see eye to eye on things most of the times, but you are glad your Mom is your Mom. I don’t go in for the mushy gushy cards my Dad is so fond of giving. I think they ring false, and I don’t want to do that.

I think that the song below is the perfect tribute to Mom’s everywhere. Whether you and your mother have a close or arm’s length relationship this can serve as a thank you to the woman who gave birth to you…..

And if that’s not enough, here is a digital card you can send your mother.

You’re welcome.

Ramblings

It is 2:30 am. Convinced myself I have Kiki’s bug and that I couldn’t possibly be feeling crappy because I stayed up way to late last night and caffeinated myself to the moon today only to find surprise! I can’t freakin’ sleep. My head hurts too- and my ass/lower back.

I’ve watched back to back episodes of Holmes on Homes that I have on Tivo. I know more about Canadian men in overalls and thick accents not to mention vapor barriers, weeping tiles and drywall than I knew this morning. I also have to say that I am kinda in love with Mike Holmes- not in a baby do me way, but in a daddy save me way. It could be something to do with the fact that the previous owner of our home was a contractor and has done some interesting things to the interior (flesh colored tiles, a stupid wall, a bathroom with more square footage than my kids room and it’s all wasted, etc) . I watch Holmes on Homes with a mixture of fear and awe.

I’ve moved onto Martha Stewart Crafts as I am determined to cast my the shed antlers my kooky neighbor found in the nearby reservation. He let me borrow them (they were surrounding his little garden gnome as a kinda fence). Is it just me or does it seem to you that Martha Stewart has a pole the length of Miami up her butt? She’s so stiff and uncomfortable in her own skin it makes me a little uncomfortable. But man can she craft like a mo-fo! Respect. I’ve also decided to recoat some paper with the cyanotype solution I mixed up a while ago. I also bought some toxic crap to make gum prints from. If anyone knows an easy peasy way to make a mold around antlers with Silcone RTV, I am all ears. Also any hints on cyanotype printing would be welcome. Also offers to clean for me or give me a bazillion dollars.

Another thing to add to the list of things I thought I’d never have to say to another human being list-

“You can’t walk the dog with your pants around your ankles. No, you can’t ride your might-cycle (motorcycle) with them around your ankles either. Really- it’s basically impossible not to mention really gross.” Did I mention this exchange happened while I was on the phone with our car insurance company? I TOTALLY forgot about them until I heard uncontrollable laughter coming through the receiver.

I witnessed two car accidents within 5 minutes on the same corner today a jaguar whipped around a corner and plowed into a mercedes and a bmw and then took off. A BMW then rear ended a mini van at the same traffic light. The poor ladies were exchanging information and this a-hole is behind them honking for them to move. Even my three year old who thinks riding a motorcycle with your pants around your ankles is a viable option as far as transportation goes, knew this guy was a douche. He shouted- “STOP IT! INSTANT! YOU’RE LOUDING ME! “Loud enough that the cop who pulled up behind douchy mcdouche and douchy himself turned to look and all I could do was say “Yeah! What the kid said.” The cop laughed, the douche looked well, douchy. I went home and called our insurance co to make sure we were all set with insurance to protect me from crazy luxury car drivers.

Kite Runner the movie didn’t hold a candle to the book. I had a really weird dream about Robert Plant the other night.

My sciatica is flaring up again so badly I am having trouble walking. My husband ground his knuckle into my lower back like a love but still no relief. Getting old sucks.

Aw Hell- I’m going to try and go to bed now as I can’t maintain a train of thought any longer. G’night.

Three, three, three posts in one!

Seven Eleven Windows of My Soul: As begun by Jen…

1. Meeting both of my children for the first time ever, and saying goodbye to the one I didn’t get to meet.

2.The window into the ER room I couldn’t be in while my 10 day old son endured a spinal tap, catheter, and IV insertion without me. Realizing, in a devastating fashion that I can not keep my children safe by love alone. Sometimes I am helpless.

3. The beautiful eyes of the bedouin children I shared my candy with in the Negev desert.

4. The clear, startling blue water in the caves of Malta.

5. Walking home at dawn through Paris Streets.

6. Walking the stations of the cross, in Jerusalem.

7. Walking through East Berlin, before the wall came down.

8. My grandmother’s backyard, the smell, the chill of the San Francisco fog.

9. The big window at Manor Coffee Shop on West Portal, SF, CA. The one that is the same now, when I take my kids for a grilled cheese and fries as it was when my grandmother used to take me.

10. The roof terrace garden of our home in London during the summer.

11. The view from my window now watching a naked toddler run screaming with delight through a sprinkler with his big sister…

Also for Jen-

Yes, potato chips DO count as a meal, see Exhibit 1. Naked toddler passed out from the filling richness and nutritional soundness of said chips with his arm still in the bag.

Bob it’s funny that you should mention becoming an orthopedist. My neighbor just completed her last exam of med school and will begin her internship late summer. She has been working on me to apply to medical school, she thinks I’d be a great doctor. I think she just wants to keep me busy so I will leave her alone. Personally I am just thrilled that I now have someone I am friendly enough with to ask random nagging medical questions of. Holding small child up to the window: “Is it slapped cheek or just windburn? ”

God she is going to hate me. She’s going into pediatrics which she thinks will keep her safe from my own personal health obsessions- “Is this MRSA on my chin, or just a really horrific pimple?” She’s soooo wrong. As I warned her- I have just enough medical knowledge to be a danger to myself.

Oh, and I know who has diabeetus

Spite

I realize I do a lot of stuff out of spite. I planned the bat mitzvah because I was appalled at what the party planners were planning on charging my friend for centerpieces($489 a table- 16 tables) , sign in books ($350) , flowers ($500 for the only arrangement which was on the table with the placecards at the entrance),video montage ($5000), placecards ($300) plus 12% of the total cost as a service fee. (WTF?) I got angry when she told me so I said we can do it at a fraction of the cost (and we did- $12k less than they would have charged). I started my previous company the same way- I love clothes but didn’t want to spend a ton for really great stuff- so I started making it for me and my kid- it grew into a fully fledged business that sold to some of the best, fanciest stores in the world. It was also a big F. You to my mother in law who thinks I am useless.

I recently started gardening for the same reason. Why should I pay $4.00 for fennel or $5.00 for strawberries when I can grow them for a fraction of the cost?! I’ve done a ton of crap. I’ve reseeded the lawn, pruned all the shrubs and small trees, weeded out the beds and removed the balance of the leaves I left to mulch and protect the roots of established plants over the winter. I’ve planted bulbs , and was preparing to plant my second strawberry plant in the back when I uncovered what looked like a colony of white ants. I ran inside and grabbed an empty vitamin bottle to scoop up a couple as I had an ominous feeling about them. My husband said I was being dramatic until I googled white ants in the garden and showed him I was right- they’re termites.

FUCKING TERMITES! It’s cool though- I called a pest control company that specializes in termidor which apparently is the shit when dealing with these house gnawing bastards. They came out inspected in and around the house and garage (dude. they went into the crawl spaces under the front porch and back deck. Those places scare me as I don’t like spiders. At all. ) We don’t have termites in our structures. Yet. Because I had disturbed the nest, the termites had moved so I showed the guy my little prisoners in the vitamin bottle and he confirmed they were termites. I went to all our neighbors to let them know that they should have their properties checked too.

They’re coming out next week to treat around our house and garage and I think I am going to buy some beneficial nematodes to spread in my vegtable garden as I don’t want to use chemicals on anything I am eating. I know WAAAYYY more about termites than I ever wanted to. But it’s good that I was spiteful gardening or I wouldn’t have found them (the nest was less than 10 feet from our garage).
I was totally vindicated when my husband said- you were right to freak out- sorry. HA! Yay for spite!!!

Note: Thank you everyone for your support both via comments and email. You guys rock. I actually got an apology and a request to tell him what I needed help with so I wouldn’t feel as desperate. As it was his birthday yesterday I decided to wait on the couples thing until later. I will write more about that I’m sure, at a later date.

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