Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hope I Don't Get a Swelled Head...

Upon returning from a walk with me just now, my son paid me a "compliment": "Mommy, sometimes I don't think you're a very good mother, but no matter how dumb I think you are, I always like ya."

Uh, gee, thanks. I'm all choked up. ;-)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving Thanks

Last night I was waiting on the deck with my son for his dad to arrive, as it is an odd-numbered year and thus his dad gets to have him for Thanksgiving. As we waited, admiring the sunset, which my son declared looked "all bright, like lava," we talked a bit about Thanksgiving, about the need to give thanks every day, and to be reminded to give thanks on Thanksgiving in case we've forgotten a bit during the year. As we stood there, the kiddo put his arms around my legs and looked up at me. "What are you going to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, Mommy?" he asked. Smiling, I looked down at his expectant little face, cupped his chin in my hand, and said, "The same thing I'm always thankful for -- you." He grinned and went back to running around the deck, enjoying the sound of his feet thumping on the wooden beams, and I could only watch and be thankful.

Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving... :-)

Monday, November 21, 2005

Getting Ready to Deck the Halls

Yesterday I picked up a used scooter two towns over. It's in good condition, so I plan to shine it up and give it to the kiddo for Christmas. Of course, when he rides it I'll have to trot alongside him and make him wear his helmet, and then the thing will sit in the garage for another year before he really wants to use it (like the used bike I got him last year), but at least he'll be happy on Christmas. I'm glad he's still at the age where he doesn't notice that Santa sometimes brings used things. Hmm...maybe he'll even grow up to haunt Craigslist and the like, just as I do.

As for Thanksgiving, this year the kiddo will be with his dad. ("Child will spend Thanksgiving with the Father in odd-numbered years, and with the Mother in even-numbered years, from 9:00 a.m. Thursday to 9:00 a.m. Friday.") Because of the surrounding visitation schedule, this means he'll be with his dad from Wednesday night to Saturday night (coming home at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday). It's just three nights, which happens often, but it feels like a longer absence than usual because it takes place on days that I normally have him. I'll be driving up to my folks' house, so that'll be nice, but I will miss my little cherub. And yes, I hate this, but it's the way things are. Ah, I'll have to plan something fun for the two of us to do upon his return. Hey, maybe we should put up a few Christmas lights or something. I'm normally opposed to putting up the tree before the first weekend in December, but a few lights couldn't hurt, right? ;^)

House of Mouse

Well, I bought some live-catch mousetraps yesterday, along with a plug-in ultrasonic thing that's supposed to keep mice away. Everyone tells me the ultrasonic thingies don't work, but in case they do, I won't be trying out mine while I'm using the traps. No sense in warding mice away from the traps. The traps, though, are a little bigger than an office stapler (you should've seen me in Home Depot, trying to decide if my mouse is bigger than a stapler), which means they're not very big, which means that in order to release the mouse from the trap, I will have to place my fingers rather close to the mouse itself. The thought of doing this doesn't thrill me, so I will try to devise a way of opening the trap with a stick or something in case the mouse gets scared and wants to bite me before fleeing. (Ack!) Hey, it was either this or spring traps, and I just couldn't bear the thought of snapping mice in half. I admit, though, that I might feel differently about this if the mouse (mice?) were in my house instead of my garage. I plan to relocate the mouse in the brush near the lake where he belongs, and I hope he has a happy life there.

All this in an effort to prevent my high school yearbooks being chewed into bedding. ;^)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wee Small Beastie (But Not That Small)

So tonight I was driving into my garage and there was a mouse on the workbench. Kinda grossed me out, but I do live right next to a big field. Still, the mouse was between a radio and a jug of water and wasn't watching me; it seemed busy nibbling something (food? paper?). I guess I thought mice were afraid of humans, so the fact that the mouse didn't hide when I turned on the light and drove my noisy car into the garage and tapped the workbench with my bumper and shined my headlights on it seemed sort of...odd.

One of my neighbors had a mouse in her garage some time ago, but she found out because she'd left her car windows open and the mouse had gotten into her car and gnawed on her lipstick. Maybe it just wanted to be pretty.

Anyway, now I'm wondering if I have anything I value that could get chewed on in the garage. Hmm...a few boxes of papers. Better check on that this weekend. Man, I hope I don't find a nest full of baby mice or something. Ick.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Coffee Will Do That to You

Today as I drove my son to his kiddie class at the community center, I told him I'd had too much coffee this morning. (I've been up since 4:15 a.m.)

"Oh no!" he said.

"Why 'oh no'?" I asked.

"Because the last time you had too much coffee, you were embarrassed all day," he said.

"I think you mean 'jittery'," I said, "but that can be embarrassing, too."

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


I'm sort of hating myself for that last post. Makes me sound like a total whiner instead of adequately conveying my feelings about the situation. I'm leaving it up, though. Whatever.

It's Hard to Breathe Sometimes

Quite often I invite my son's dad to join us in activities that take place on "my" time. This is because I know the kiddo likes it when Daddy comes along, and sometimes because I feel a tiny bit sorry for my son's dad. An example of this is my inviting him to join us in trick-or-treating this past Halloween, and my inviting him to come to certain community center activities that the kiddo and I do on "my" time. My son's dad does not invite me to activities that take place on "his" time.

Occasionally I bring the kiddo to the mall so he can have lunch with his dad. This usually occurs during weeks in which the kiddo is with me for six days straight (about once a month -- usually the kiddo sees his dad every weekend and has one midweek overnight). I eat lunch with them, but I buy my own food and the conversation usually centers around my son as he holds forth on video games, and we let the kiddo go nuts in the pet store afterward. My point is that I don't spend a lot of time talking with my son's dad himself; he's more of a presence that I don't have to deal with directly.

I like to think I'm a nice person, but I wonder if I'm just a schmuck.

Yesterday we met my son's dad for lunch and the subject of the kiddo's golf lessons came up. My son's dad asked if I'd like to come along sometime and see the kiddo learn to golf. I said sure.

So today he emailed me and invited me to come this weekend. Oh, and he mentioned that his girlfriend will be there.

I am not ready for this, and I told him so. He said he knew that. (I knew that he knew...) I said since he knew that, his invitation was empty and unkind...and a disappointment...but not a surprise. And I declined his worthless invitation because he disrespects my feelings...and I told him so.

Not that it matters to him. I'm trying to get into a pattern of saying what I need to say and letting go of the expectation that he'll take any of it to heart. It's less crazy-making that way. Wannabe zen.

Honestly, I'm not exactly surprised. Yet...I'm angry. Why am I angry, if I'm not surprised? I don't exactly know.

Maybe it has to do with my wishing the girlfriend weren't real. Or with my wish that my son's dad wouldn't try to thrust her in my face. Or with his historical tendency to decide what I need to be working on.

Maybe I wish I were married, or at least dating someone. I have a feeling it would be a whole lot easier to face the girlfriend if I had someone on my arm, too. I wonder if I could rent a guy for this purpose.

Only half-kidding there. How sad.

Maybe I want to stop inviting my son's dad on outings with us. I was trying hard to be a big person about all this, but how many inches does a person give before too many yards have been taken? Before she's no longer smart or kind or generous or compassionate...and just a doormat? I kept telling myself that when my son is grown up he'll realize the sacrifices I made for him...or that if he didn't realize, at least I'd know I'd done the right thing by inviting his dad along on outings regardless of his lack of reciprocation.

My son loves having both of us with him. He doesn't understand why we can't do that all the time.

I don't know what I'm trying to say here, but I do know I don't like the way I'm feeling today.

I have a hunch the only way to get over it is to go through it.

But I don't have to like it.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Questions from the Bathtub

"Can monkeys swim, Mommy? Can monkeys swim? Could you look it up on the computer? And do you have a Web site that tells if dragons can swim? Did you do it yet? And what about kangaroos? And could you look up turtles? Did you find out yet about if monkeys can swim? Mom? And also, what about hippopotamuses? Can they swim, too? Mommy, did you hear me? And why don't you let me take a bath whenever I want to and you don't want me to?"

Answer to that last one: "Honey, I always want you to take a bath. You're the one who always says you don't want to take a bath."

"Oh." *slosh*

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stretching the Silver Cord

So the kiddo had a brilliant time at class today. He LOVEDLOVEDLOVED it. When we first walked in, he was very pleased to see his own red basket with his name on it. He asked what it was for; I told him it was for his stuff, and we put his sweatshirt in it. I know he got to wear his sweatshirt because it was inside out when we retrieved it after class. ;^)

When I went to pick him up, he was so happy and wanted to play at the nearby playground, and he was full of stories about stuff he'd done in class. I asked the teacher how he was after I'd left and she said, "He did great, just like he'd been doing this all along!" Good stuff. The kiddo also made an art project with construction paper -- the "Tree of Thanks." The teacher supplied a cutout of a tree and some leaf cutouts, and helped the kids write things on the leaves before gluing them to the tree. The four leaves on the kiddo's tree --the four things he's thankful for: "glue, trees, planets, and Mom & Dad." Heaven forbid we should ever take glue or the planets for granted!

I asked him if he'd made any friends that day, or learned any kids' names, and he said there was a girl named K. in his class. I don't know if he actually played with her a lot, but it was nice that he'd learned one name. Yay!

He can't wait to go back next time. Me, too!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Into the Baby Box: Instead of a Photo,
Perhaps an Eyeliner-Stained Tissue...

I realize just about every mom in the country starts her kid in preschool long before he's my son's age, so I'm feeling a little bit in catch-up mode today: This morning I dropped off the kiddo at a once-a-week preschool-type class. I guess it functions as preschool, but it's not exactly called that; it's held at the local community center. That said, the class goes for 2.5 hours once a week, and has about 15 (maybe 12?) kids in it, and the teacher has one aide. When I arrived with the kiddo, he seemed shy and wanted to cling first to me, then to the teacher, but I think he'll fit in quickly, as it's not his first time hanging out with groups of kids, and he was verrrry interested in all the toys there. I think maybe the large room was a little bit much for him, as it made the class seem bigger than it really is, with all the kids spread out, playing with various toys.

Also, it seemed that most of the kids already know each other or feel comfortable in this setting, which is probably a plus. The teacher instructed the kids to introduce themselves to the kiddo today, and before I sneaked off, at least four kids came over and introduced themselves. My son was still feeling shy at that time, so he didn't acknowledge them, but he knows how to introduce himself and I'm hoping it will work out well. I was sort of expecting to be able to observe more of the class, but the teacher said, "When we get started, I'm kickin' you out, Mom." That bitch. ;^) She was half-joking, but I guess it's a good thing for the kiddo to get involved instead of running over to me all the time. Still, I would have loved to see more of what they do in the class. I mean, how cute is it when all the kids go sit on the mat together? Very cute, I can tell you.

So my boy is taking another step toward independence today and I'm feeling a bit teary over it. Then again, I can do some work this morning in peace.

I may go back over there, though, and read a book in the car for a while. I did tell the kiddo I would hang around outside and drink coffee (which I forgot at home), so I wonder if he's looking to see if I really did that.

All this unnecessary fretting... :-)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

All Penis, All the Time

So the other day I was downstairs having lunch and my son was upstairs playing video games (anything so I can get a quiet lunch!), and suddenly I heard all the upstairs doors closing. I called to my son to ask what he was doing -- no answer. I tried again -- still no answer, so I walked upstairs to see for myself. The kiddo was in the process of closing the last door, so I asked what he was up to. His predictable answer: "Nothing." I persisted and he said, "I just wanted to do something and I wanted some privacy." Um, okay. I asked again what he was doing, and finally he told me, with much exasperation, "I was going to play with myself!!" Oh. Without batting an eyelash, I told him that was fine, but he could leave the doors open and I would just go downstairs and he could tell me when he was done. He thought that was a fine solution, so downstairs I went, stifling giggles and clutching my cell phone so I could call my sister and tell her. I actually felt very proud of my parenting, aside from snitching on the kiddo, seeing as I hadn't given him a reason to feel like he was doing something naughty. I do want him to have a healthy attitude toward his body, and he seems to have the privacy thing under control. Of course, my sister playfully pointed out that I'd taught him it was okay to play with himself as long as the door is open. Hmm. We may have to work on that. ;^) After a few minutes, he called downstairs to inform me he was done, and I said that was great and told him to wash his hands.

Oh, the joy of parenting a boy. :-)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Just sitting here, thinking about the kiddo a little bit and hoping he's feeling better. I may or may not call him at his dad's house. Remembering a few days ago, when I was in the shower and I hollered for the kiddo to put on the clothes I'd laid out for him. "And your SHOES!" I yelled. We were in a hurry, after all. I've long enjoyed his ability to dress himself so I don't have to get two people ready in the morning. He came up to show me he'd gotten dressed, and told me to peek out from the side of the shower curtain to see his accomplishment. I did, and there he stood, dressed in shirt, shorts, socks and shoes -- on the wrong feet -- feet together, standing at attention, holding the Mother's Day balloon-on-a-stick we keep around here, straight up in the air, waiting for me to notice how funny he was. *melt* Made me wish I could reach my camera from the shower. I hope my boy always has this kind of sense of humor. :-)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Little Songs

Well, the kiddo developed a cold yesterday and although I brought out all the special anti-cold tactics in my bag of mommy tricks, he continued to sniffle and blow his nose, to the point that I figured it was just as well that I wasn't free to meet up with PK, a fellow blogger who was in town on business. Luckily we got to chat at length on the phone Wednesday night, which was thoroughly enjoyable. :-)

Afterward, the phone rang again and I thought it was PK calling back for some reason. However, I heard no response when I answered the phone, so I hung up. The caller tried a few more times and each time I thought it was a prank, so I hung up. I was starting to feel a little bit freaked out, thinking someone was harrassing me. Turned out it was a friend in Norway, calling via her computer, so there was a slight lag, which accounted for the lack of response I encountered in each phone call. Oof. (We got everything straightened out the next day.)

Anyway, the kiddo took a nap yesterday and went to bed early last night. I, however, fell asleep on the couch, in somewhat of a poopy mood due to my being unable to meet PK, my concern over my son's cold, and a disppointing email I received earlier in the day. At about 4:15 a.m. I awoke (a habit I'd like to break, I think!) and decided against going to bed, as my son's dad was coming that morning to pick up the kiddo and I didn't want to oversleep. I've found that if I go back to bed after being awake in the wee hours, I tend to seriously goof up my sleep cycle and sleep way past the time I'd normally awaken if I'd slept through the night uninterrupted. Someone once explained this phenomenon to me, but I forget the exact way it works.

So there I was, messing around with the computer (of course), and at about 6:45 I heard a lovely sound -- my son was talking to himself as he awoke. I peeked in on him and he didn't notice me. Then I heard him singing softly to himself, so I peeked in again and that time he saw me. I smiled, and it was as if someone pressed his smile button, the way his face just lit up. It's hard to explain the way my heart felt at that moment -- like I was privy to something delicate and fleeting and wonderful. Thank goodness for these little blessings.