Monday, October 29, 2012

yay storm day!

We're having a hurricane! Hoping for the best of course, and we are many miles inland so everything should have settled down by the time it gets here, including hopefully the hysteria I witnessed yesterday in Pittsford Wegmans where people were knocking each other over to get to the three cases of bottled water left in the shelf.  

We didn't have to buy water at Wegmans but did have to put up with the insane crowd. We, in fact, already have water stored, cuz that's the way we roll. We also have flashlights and candles ready, as well as a lengthy (written) plan for no-school-storm-day today (the official name is Yay Storm Day) that includes - among many other things - a game time, dance time, a puppet play, and hot cocoa. Unless we have no power, and then there'll be cool cocoa. But the chances of that look slim since it's not even raining right now. Good thing they called off school. (Mitch says, after closely observing the weather channel on his Ipad, that this is the calm before the storm. Will see.)

Let me, in fact, detail the schedule for today. It is ordered numerically thus: 

1. Breakfast (which we just finished and which was yummy gluten free chocolate chip pancakes)
2. Free play time
3. Take dog for walk and look at the storm. 
4. Hot cocoa. 
5. Game time. Princess Yatzee, UNO, Candy Land, whatever  they choose. 
6. Story time
7. Baking time (of course dependant on the power situation. They're really talking a lot of big talk about folks losing power.)
8. Lunch while zucchini banana bread bakes. 
9. Song and instrument playing time. 
10. Tea party with our warm baked goods and hot tea.  
11. Dance time. 
12. Take photos of the storm
13. Craft time: either collages or draw-the-storm. 

We will see where that gets us. I assume it will be dinner time by then. A very packed schedule. Do you think we can stick to it? Frances is pretty excited about checking things off, the organizer she is. Here we goooooo!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Clark for President

Yesterday Clark had a nap. He was falling apart completely over - actually, I can't remember: something minor like the inability of his spiderman figure to bend at the waist, and he wanted his blankie, which was momentarily missing. I went to find the blankie and when I came back he was in his bed under the covers. "I'm just resting, Mama," he said.

The nap was lovely. I slept with him, a warm and cozy afternoon rest, and in the background through the cloud of sleep I heard Frances from her room singing Coming Round the Mountain, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Simon and Garfunkel. She apparently was performing; the crowd cheered after every song.

Because of the nap, Clark was not at all tired at bedtime. So very not at all tired that after the presidential debate was fully under way, around 9:30, he appeared in our family room. Mitch and I were too engrossed in the debate to take him back upstairs, so we let him sit with us while we watched. Among other things, Clark decided he's going to be a president for Halloween. He wants a suit and shirt and tie, and a little american flag pin on the lapel.

The rule in our house is that after 8pm is grown up time, which means if you happen to still be up, it's not playtime. You have to sit on your bottom rather than fling yourself over the back of the couch, and no toys. Clark was left with studying Obama and Romney, which he found pretty interesting. Here's some of his running commentary:

Does everyone get to be president when they grow up? I want to be a president.

I'm already a kind of president because I almost know everything. Do presidents know everything?

I might not do what they're doing. Because they're fighting. 
I might want it to stay the same president. Til I die.

Mommy? I might be on Barak Obama's side. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

drama trauma

I'm having a nervous breakdown over here. Sudden sobbing, unexpected hollering, weeping in the cereal aisle at the grocery, general disinterest in showering or dessert. And dessert is important.

Karen's leaving has been pretty traumatic for me. She was so lovely and easy to be around, an actual adult in the house for company, and she became a real part of our family. But also, I don't think I can overestimate the help she was to me as a parent. WE ARE NOT MEANT TO PARENT IN A VACUUM, THE WAY WE DO. I think it's as simple as having support - when she was here I had regular daily support in parenting, and that's gone. Gone gone gone.

Still, I was doing pretty well, enjoying having the kids one on one and getting into our rhythm. Then. This:

Frances and I are leaving at 6 am tomorrow for a funeral in Tennessee. My great uncle just died - fungal meningitis, can you believe? He had a steroid injection in Tennessee, clearly from the contaminated batch of steroids; have you been listening to this mess in the news? He was perfectly well 2 weeks ago. Even though I hadn't seen him in years, the sorrow I feel is tremendous. It all seems so pointless, so useless - to die from medicine you take to help, medicine that is supposed to be relatively innocuous, medicine that is contaminated by some stupid fucking error. I can't stand it.

It's all just so stupid and unnecessary and tragic.

He was the youngest brother of my granddaddy, and my grandaddy was the oldest of ten kids, which is to say my uncle was about 20 years younger and not too much older than my mother. (following?) His kids are my age and they were the cousins I played with when I visited my Grandparents in the summer. His dying is the end of a generation, and that makes me profoundly sad. So Frances and I are leaving on a flight so early tomorrow tomorrow that it might kill me. That's all the bereavement fare would offer. Leaving before dawn, coming back at 11pm Sunday night.

I hope tomorrow morning I'm not so off balance. I kept having to apologize to the kids today for my hysteria and ensure them that it was okay, it was okay for me to be crying like this, I was okay. What will it do to them to see me like this, so completely out of control? Don't anybody answer this.

Interestingly, the thing that pushed me over the very tippy edge was the arrival of new furniture. I bought a dining room table! And 6 chairs although I probably eventually want 8! And a bed frame for the master bedroom! It looks like adults live here now. And somehow this was just too much for me. Plus of course the guys were supposed to be here between 9 and noon and didn't actually arrive until 12:20 when I was supposed to pick up Clark at 12:30.

All right. I have to go to sleep. I'm setting my alarm for 4 tomorrow. Ugh. I hope the weather in Tennessee is lovely.

Blessings to you all. Kiss your loved ones.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

material joy

For Frances's 6th birthday I fear we climbed a pennicle that will never again be crested. All other birthdays may pale forever in comparison.

There were two sets of grandparents here, much doting, you can imagine. Plus a big gathering for dinner plus a lit and glowing cake that she helped decorate plus a trip to the pet store for fish and a little fish tank with a light. It was a big day. 

The biggest thing, though, was the American Girl doll. It goes against so much that I believe in - predatory marketing, consumerism as status symbols, questionable manufacturing practices. Yet yet yet.  Yet practically the only thing she has talked about daily since her last birthday is an American Girl doll. Maybe literally. 

I made her a lovely and sentimentally valuable Waldorf doll who wears the same size dresses as the AG doll. Over the past year we talked about the RIDICULOUS price of the commercial one, and then compared that price to all sorts of other things that same money could buy. It was a good math exercise. Did we learn anything from it? I have no idea. 

But oh the joy when she opened the package. Many parents need it like a fix. They go to crazy lengths christmas after birthday after christmas to see that response on their child's face. It captures something we've mostly lost as adults, some kind of faith that we can be fixed, that joy is pure, that our wishes can indeed be filled, that we can - in the end - be happy. 

And since, of course, the doll was all she wanted, everyone else got clothes and accessories to go with it. We filled her every single wish, mostly because her wishes were so few. And because I am a sucker. 

It sure was fun.