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February 2014
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April 2014

Ugh. This one's a downer.

This morning I tugged socks onto Sophia's unwilling feet. I pulled a shirt down over her head, a bit of a struggle as she refused to push back. I combed her hair and she raised tear-filled eyes to me. "PLEASE, Mom. I don't WANT to go today."

Preschool. She didn't want to go to preschool.

I made her go. I've let her stay home so often lately that I'm feeling cringe-y about it, and today I put my foot down and urged her, weeping, into the car. Her big issue is the worksheets. They start the day with these ridiculous, asinine worksheets (that aren't even developmentally appropriate for...well, for humans, but certainly not for FOUR YEAR OLDS), and Sophia hates them. If she doesn't finish them fast enough, there's no time for coloring, and coloring is her favorite part.

She started off the school year so enthusiastic about preschool. She even went to bed more willingly the night before a school day. When I picked her up, she chattered and chattered and chattered about the wonder of all things school.

But then, ever so slowly, that light started to dim. The work started to increase. There wasn't anything new to report, just the same things they'd done last week. She had friend issues. It got harder and harder to get up on school mornings until she began to get weepy many mornings before she even got out of bed. I tried talking to the teachers, but never felt like I got anywhere with them. Sample conversation:

"Sophia has been having some problems with MonsterChild."

"OH, NO! Sophia does FINE with the other kids! She's always playing with someone!"

"Yeeeessss. Okay. But apparently some of the girls she's playing with are saying mean things to her."

"No! She's GREAT! MonsterChild has older siblings, so she can come across a little harsh sometimes, but they like each other just fine!"

"Um. I...don't know how to respond to that. Sophia has older siblings, but she's not a jerk."

"NO! She's GREAT!"

"Huh. Am I supposed to say thank you now?"

Okay, I didn't say that last part in the outside the head voice. Nonetheless. The point is that things have been going downhill, and I haven't been able to work any of it out with the teachers. Last week I told them that Sophia was in tears nearly ever school morning over the worksheets, and they reassured me, loudly and repeatedly, that she was doing FINE on the worksheets, JUST FINE.

I know she's doing fine on the worksheets. I know what Sophia can do, and those worksheets are an inane waste of her time. The fact that she's capable of doing them is not the point. The point is that they're so boring that they make her itch with desperation to get away from them.

I have to figure out what to do. We're so close to the end of the school year, and the end of the year is usually so much fun. Parties, graduation, nonsense. I've been holding on, thinking she'd enjoy all that, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth it. I don't want her to feel like she failed at preschool. Then again, I don't want to go along with the teachers, as though they haven't failed her. The whole thing is complicated by the fact that I'm picking an entirely different school experience for Sophia, and so far I've really screwed it up. The fact is, I failed at choosing her preschool, and while the fault isn't entirely mine, that just sucks. I'm looking forward at all the other decisions to come, and I am awash in panicky dread. 


Dishonor Band Mom

On Tuesdays Raphael goes to band practice. He plays in the Colorado Honor Band (beginner trumpet), and every Tuesday he goes to the local middle school for rehearsal from 4 to 5 PM.

Last week I forgot to pick him up.

Yeah, really. It's not like it slipped my mind and I was ten minutes late, either. FORTY FIVE MINUTES after practice ended, I got a call from an unfamiliar phone number. It was Raphi, sounding very small. " anyone coming to pick me up?"

Gargle. Gasp. That's a moment that will live on in my 2 AM stare-at-the-ceiling-in-rigid-panic sessions. 

So I dashed out the door and over to the school, where Raphi was waiting. He was fine, and kept telling me it was NO BIG DEAL and actually it was kind of fun, and please stop crying now, Mom?

OH, but I felt so TERRIBLE! What a horrifying thing to do to your child! What a heartless and cruel and horrible mother! The only thing I can figure out that caused this is that I was taking a nap when Clay left to take Raphael to band. Clay usually takes him, then he goes to the gym. I pick Raphi up. But THIS time, I vaguely heard them leave, and the puddle of my brain vaguely registered Oh, band practice. Clay is taking care of that.

So even though I got up something like twenty minutes later, I never gave the issue another single thought. Until the small-voiced call. When I died.

That evening I got an email from the director of the band program. It was...snippy. "I just wanted to be certain that you were aware that band rehearsal is from 4 until 5," she snipped. "For the safety of all involved, please remember to pick Raphael up on time." There was more. It was snippy.

And if I see this dear director any time soon, I am going to give her a hug. I mean that sincerely. Because when I read her email, I swung around from "guilt-stricken pile of mush" to "good Lord, get a grip. It was a mistake" almost instantly. Seriously. 

Then I did the best thing ever, and I asked people on Facebook to share with me their happy child abandonment stories. They were my favorite things I read all week. So all in all, it was okay. I also believe that Raphael will survive, so a win all around.

And if you would like to share with me YOUR happy child abandonment story, PLEASE DO! I can't wait. 

I know

I sat by the fire, leaning toward the warmth and staring as snowflakes sifted past the dark window. Max sat on the floor next to me, watching the flames and his own thoughts. The blue hair is gone, shorn free when it got too burdensome to maintain. His hair is now so short that it gives him a military look, or possibly thug. It's not Max, whatever it is, and he cannot wait for it to grow out.

"I love you," I said.

"I don't love you," he replied. Joking/not joking.

Max has a capacity for truth telling that can startle. He notices random things and does not have the impulse control to leave them unsaid. He was the one who let me know my hair color wasn't good. Sometimes it's a hard gift to appreciate. 

I looked at him, sprawled on the floor, one giant foot reaching out to poke the cat. He is mostly a man now, and not just physically either. I represent to him his greatest frustration - the tug of war between freedom and safety. He wants to be more unfettered than he's ready for. He doesn't want the prices for his choices to be even as high as they already are. He does not know where to put his foot sometimes, and so he stomps and bellows. 

He sighed, slid down to his back to stare at the ceiling. 

"I do love you," he muttered.

I felt the heat off the fire and looked out at the snow.

"I know."


So, I've been miserable. Sick as a dog. No, not norovirus - I never did get that one, thanks be to God, but I got the cold from the vile depths of hell. The worst cold anyone has ever had in the history of colds. Now, if you've had a cold recently, or even not so recently, you're probably thinking, "oh, poor little bunny." But if you have a cold RIGHT NOW - and it seems fairly likely that you do, and that it's THIS COLD - then you're thinking "shut it, whiner. *I* have the worst cold in the history of colds."

And yes, you do. Poor little bunny. There, there.

I've been sick for about three weeks now, and this week I started to feel like there was a malevolent little animal crawling around inside my head, behind my face. That was not pleasant, and when my ear started to hurt so badly that I couldn't sleep, I gave up and went to the doctor. Actually, I capitulated to Clay's pleas for me to go to the doctor. I have been such a mess around here that I would have to level up several times in "doing things" and "mental stability" to be considered useless. Charming, I am. I forgot to pick up Raphael at band practice yesterday. For an hour. And I only remembered because he called.

So anyway, I went to the doctor today, and she told me I have a double ear infection and a sinus infection and a high pain tolerance. Validation, sistah. Then she tried to kill me by prescribing an antibiotic that I am most likely deathly allergic to, but the pharmacist caught it, so it's all good. I started the second try antibiotic this afternoon, and I already feel so much better that I feel kind of dumb for not seeing the doctor sooner. Well, I've learned THAT lesson now! Ha! Won't make that mistake again! I'll be careful to attend to my needs promptly! I am CRACKING myself up here! 

I'm sorry for being such a sloth, and I'm especially sorry to Kary, who's birthday was February 26, and who sent me the sweetest emails checking in on me. Happy belated birthday, Kary! I'm a jerk! Hope it was good!

I don't really know how to make it up to y'all, when I'd promised I was going to blog regularly and all. Try, try again, eh? In the meantime, there's this:

Southwest Arapahoe-20140305-00595

Do you want to build a snowman? (THAT'S not getting old.)

You can tell we're edging closer to Spring (PLEASE, DEAR GOD, I'LL BE EVER SO GOOD), because the snow is all sloppy and gross. It snowed some ridiculous number of inches last night, and then it was 55 degrees today. Sophia's not even cold, and only wearing a coat to placate Clay. But it's all good, as far as she's concerned. She named her snowman Olaf (super original there)...


...and she loves him.