Diapers and Dragons

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My soul is empty
My heart is aching
Food is ashes in my mouth; wine as bitter as tears
My eyes are swollen with much weeping
My limbs are weak and cannot support me

How long will my sin burn inside me?
How long will my world shatter in endless pain?

I have forsaken those I love
And wounded what I cherish most
I am less than the dirt beneath my feet
I am lower than the worms crawling within

Let the pain be placed upon me only
Let my shame wash over me alone
Grant me strength to continue when I wish to lie down
Grant me patience to perservere when I desire only to cease breathing
Grant me courage to look my sons in their faces
Grant me mercy and forgiveness beyond all that I deserve

For I deserve nothing
And yet need everything
And know not where to turn.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bungee Jumping

Life has been like this for me lately. And I don't like bungee jumping--I have a terrible fear of heights and free fall--so this is not excitement and adventure for me. I have been at some of the highest highs and lowest lows of my entire life this last week. I don't know if there's ever been a point when I've been taken to such extremes in such a brief space of time before.

I can't talk about the details. They're too intimate, too personal, and would betray some of the people I love the most in the world, including myself. Emotionally, I've reached a point of near numbness, not sure where to turn or what to say or do that would fix all the things that have gone so very wrong and get back what was so very right. I've been crying out to God, greats bursts of wordless need because I don't even know how to put my emotions into words, don't know how to do more than offer it up because it's more than I can handle and utterly out of my control.

If I'm silent here for a while, it's because I can't speak. But if you have words to offer me, please do. I just can't promise a reply.

Friday, December 5, 2008

My Son, the Punk Rocker

So last night as I sat in the living room wiping The Widget's nose and waiting for DramaBoy to finish pooping so I could go wipe a different part of anatomy, I heard an unusual noise coming from the bathroom. DramaBoy had insisted the door be closed so that "[The Widget] can't come in, Mommy!" and he had apparently decided to make the most out of the echoing acoustics. To my mild shock and wild amusement, DramaBoy produced a remarkably Screamo-like* rendition of "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep"--rhythm, pauses, and dramatic emphasis included. It's hard to put into writing, but essentially he was screaming the lyrics at the top of his lungs, with a markedly "musical" aspect:

BAA! BAA! -----------------BLACK SHEEP!
BAA! BAA!------------------BLACK SHEEP!
HAVE----YOU--------------ANY WOOL!

All that was needed was a driving cacophany of electric guitars and drums as accompaniment!

I'm so proud.

*It should be noted that while I am aware of Screamo through my students, it's not a genre I particularly like. The lyrics can be quite powerful and well-written, but for some reason I prefer some actual melody and, oh, SINGING in my music. You know, rather than having ballad-like lyrics screamed at me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


My mind started automatically making this meme last night as I was driving home with a cheerful and chatty DramaBoy in the back seat (The Widget was at home with Grandma, since he had a cold). I had reached into my pocket to get my keys and discovered...well, I'll get to that.

You Know You Are a Mommy When...

...you reach into your pocket for your keys and discover a small toy car, snotty Kleenex, and week-old grocery list.
...you can carry on a ten-minute conversation with a three-year-old child.
...you can discuss the relative merits of Imagination Movers vs. Yo Gabba Gabba or The Little Einsteins, especially in terms of their educational and musical qualities.
...you can sing the theme songs to the aforementioned children's shows.
...you refer to the aforementioned children's shows to remind your children of the lessons learned ("Remember what Yo Gabba Gabba says? 'Inside voice! Qui-et!'").
...you sort of hope your child doesn't finish the rest of his turkey sandwich because you could really go for some of that right now but you don't feel like making another one for yourself.
...you've decided that Chicken McNuggets are a food group. And hey, they can come with juice or milk and apples these days instead of pop and fries!
...you find yourself discussing the frequency, color, texture, and other explicit qualities of poop with your spouse.
...you just sigh and reach for a wipe if you discover some unidentified shmear of bodily goop on your hand/face/shoulder/arm/leg/someone stop me...
...you enjoy the taste of chocolate you get when you kiss your child goodbye as he's diving into his bowl of Cocoa Puffs in the morning.
...you laugh at the idea of separating colors and just throw that big load of kids' clothes in the washing machine together. Hey, you set it on gentle wash! That counts for something!
...you can interpret complex comments and requests based on a combination of simple hand gestures and grunts, with perhaps a facial expression thrown in for variety.
...you can translate the word "guck" into the correct meaning out of a dozen possible meanings.
...you clap with genuine delight when your child pees or poops in the potty.
...you have to try really, really hard not to immediately say "Well, MY child...." when someone else talks about how cute/smart/funny his or her child is. Sometimes you even succeed.

There are countless more, but that's a good start. And just for fun, because I want to, I'm tagging Katy at Treasured Chapters, Riley at All Rileyed Up, Sue at navel gazing at its finest, Julia at {Here Be Hippogriffs}, and Heidi at Hortus Deliciarum. So there.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

'Tis the Season

My friend Katy suckered me into this--I read her latest post, as I loyally (and with great delight) do every time one pops up on my blogroll, and there at the end, she tagged me by default, since I read it. I'm it. Turn about is fair play, since I've tagged her several times. So here we go:

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Either, depending on the gift, who it is for, and how wrappable it is.
2. Real tree or artificial? I was raised with artificial trees, since I grew up in the tropics where real ones weren't, but we faithfully choose a real one every year now. After ComputerDaddy's parents divorced, he started going down to the nearby tree lot and buying a small tree and dragging it home behind him as a gift to his mother. Christmas isn't Christmas to him without one. There's something very special about the sight and smell of a real tree.
3. When do you put up the tree? When we get the time, sometime in the weeks after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. We have to do that soon, but not sure when...
4. When do you take the tree down? Before it bursts into flames. Preferrably.
5. Do you like eggnog? ComputerDaddy LOVES the stuff. I keep trying it in the hope that it will grow on me. So far, not so much. Despite the rum. I'd rather just drink rum cream and forget the egg and/or nog. Mmmmm, rum cream...
6. Favorite gift received as a child? The beautiful two-story seven-room-plus-a-full-balcony wooden dollhouse that my grandfather built and my grandmother decorated when my sister and I were younglings. We played with it for years...
7. Hardest person to buy for? ComputerDaddy, his father, and my sister.
8. Easiest person to buy for? DramaBoy. It's more about NOT buying everything we find. The Widget is easy too, but gets a lot of hand-me-downs.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep. Haven't put it out lately because it's pottery from Africa and far too breakable.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Conceive, plan, and never actually carry out Christmas cards--that's what you meant, right?
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A too-small, ugly, BOY'S belt from family friends who somehow forgot both my age and gender (I was in sixth grade). Bizarre.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Oh geez...I love many. Um, Elf. I laugh every time.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around Thanksgiving.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Probably. I don't recall a specific one. I know there are a few presents that have been donated or returned. That's recycling...
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Christmas Eggs: wrap slices of bacon around the sides of muffin tins, crack eggs into the middle, and pour a bit of tomato juice on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake and enjoy!
16. Lights on the tree? What? You mean there are barbarians who DON'T use them?
17. Favorite Christmas song? Again, a toss-up. I love What Child is This and Silent Night and Breath of Heaven (a la Amy Grant) and Jewel's renditions of Ave Maria and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer.
18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? We generally travel to my father-in-law's for Christmas morning. We spend the rest of the day either other family's or our house.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? There's Sneezy and Happy and Grumpy and Doc and...Oh, wait...
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? A point of contention for me and ComputerDaddy. I always had an angel; he always had a knot of garland and perhaps a star. Garlands were new to me. We compromise: there is a knot of garland with a wee delicate white angel nestled within, lit by lights.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Oh, definitely morning. The only time we do such a thing on Christmas Eve is if my sister and brother-in-law are in town and will only be here that day before heading up to his family for Christmas. So, yes, this year.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The radio stations that not only start playing Christmas music TWO MONTHS before Christmas, but apparently can only play the same forty songs over and over--and not all of them are the good ones, and the only newer ones they play are the HORRIBLE ones, like boy band versions and such. Ick. Oh, and the fad gifts that people will literally trample over other people to get. Did you hear that a doorman got killed that way at a WalMart in New York this year on Black Friday? And people just kept shopping...
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Eclectic, all the way. Ornaments should have memories, not just be beautiful.
24. Favorite Christmas story (besides THE Christmas story)? I'll have to go with The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on this one.
25. Favorite Christmas tradition? Gathering with extended family, whoever it may be, on Christmas Day. I love my little family of four, but the spirit of Christmas needs to extend outside our little quartet.

And now YOU are tagged! Go on, you can do it...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Conversation with a Junior Philosopher

DramaBoy: What are we going?
TeacherMommy: We're going home.
DB: I like home!
TM: I like home too. I'm glad you like it at home.
DB: Sometimes I like to be home; sometimes I don't.
TM: Do you like being at school sometimes?
DB: Yes, sometimes I do like being at school. Sometimes I don't.
TM: That makes sense.
DB: Next time, I will do it yesterday.
TM: Um...OK. That would take some doing.
DB: There is another Ian yesterday.
TM: You mean a Past Ian? I guess if you're talking about the Ian you used to be instead of the one you are now, you're right about that.
DB: What kind of Ian am I?
TM: You're a Now Ian.
DB: But there is another Ian.
TM: There's a Past Ian in the past, and you're the Now Ian in the present.
DB: But I would like to be the Past Ian!
TM: But that would make me sad, because I wouldn't get to see you.
DB: Is there a Mama Past for the another Ian?
TM: Yes, there's a Past Mama who's always with the Past Ian. And I am the Now Mama who is with you, the Now Ian.
DB: Yep. That's the way it goes.
The Widget: Guck.

Thanksgiving Redux

The first time I ever attempted a turkey, I nearly destroyed my downstairs neighbors' apartment.

Eight years ago, ComputerDaddy and I had just moved into a nice apartment not far from where I began teaching, and I decided to host Thanksgiving for the first time. This meant I was In Charge of the turkey.

So I bought a turkey, guessing madly at how large of one I would need for five people (TM and CD + CD's mother and sister and sister's boyfriend). I also guessed madly at how long it would take to defrost said turkey. I mean, how long could it take? I gave it a day in the fridge.

When I woke that morning and pulled the massive turkey out of the fridge, it was rock hard. Not all was lost, however, as I still had hours and hours before people arrived. So I placed the turkey in the sink, still in its wrapper, and ran warmish water over it. Since this was no doubt going to take a while, and I had no concept of water conservation at that time, I left the turkey, water, and sink in this state and went off to do Other Important Things.

Some unknown time later, as I puttered about my bathroom, turkey completely forgotten, I heard a great hammering on the door and my neighbor's voice shouting unintelligibly through it. I rushed to the door, and a panicked Angelique cried, "Turn it off! Turn the water off!"

The turkey had, as large objects will do, settled in the sink and plugged the drain quite nicely. The water had continued to run. My kitchen floor was a pool, the carpet into the dining area was noticeably darker and squishier, and the water had started seeping through Angelique's walls in her kitchen directly below mine.

It's a good thing she already liked me.

Thanksgivings have been much less dramatic since then and have, generally speaking, run much more smoothly. Until this last one.

ComputerDaddy and I woke with the kidlets and began a leisurely morning preparing for guests. My sainted parents had come over the day before while we were at work and done most of the deep cleaning that was desperately needed, so we just had the floors, some decluttering, and decorating to do. I had a nagging feeling as I made a late-morning run to pick up a few things along with the required Starbucks peppermint mochas that perhaps I had forgotten something. But what could it be? People weren't arriving until 12:30 or so, we weren't eating until around 3, and I wasn't responsible for nearly as much food as usual this year. And I'd already picked up a new tablecloth and napkins, so I didn't have to iron an old one.

After we finished sweeping and mopping and vacuuming and such, we attempted to add two additional leaves to the table. This is when things began to Go Wrong. I did not have the strength to help ComputerDaddy convince the stubborn leaves to fit properly, so we would have to wait for my father to arrive. So no pre-arrival table decorations. I couldn't find the candles I thought I had in storage for the candelabra in the living room. My parents arrived, and as I led them into the house, I looked at the clock. Nearly 1 pm. And it hit me.

I hadn't touched the turkey. It was still sitting in the refrigerator, and I had meant to get it out early as I had also forgotten to transfer it from the freezer early enough and it had only had about 28 hours to defrost. And it was NOT roasting in the roaster as it should have been for a good hour or so already.

Let me shorten this tale for you. Picture, if you will, the following:

1. TeacherMommy wailing and gnashing her teeth as she runs warm water over a turkey with only the slightest trace of defrosted flesh on the outer surface.
2. TM, again with w. and g. of t., trying desperately to tug those $%*#@ bags of giblets that the sadistic poultry companies think should be stored in the turkey's body cavities out of a mostly-frozen carcass.
3. TM snarling at ComputerDaddy and her father as they hover and try to Fix It for her.
4. TM finally dominating the giblets, which are thrust aside disdainfully. The (thankfully medium-sized) turkey is placed in a baking dish and shoved within the (thankfully large) microwave to defrost for a FULL HOUR.
5. CD whisking TM out of the house on a fruitless quest for possible alternatives at Meijer should the turkey go All Wrong; also to pick up the cranberry sauce that TM had forgotten and to get more Starbucks drinks in an effort to Calm Down.
6. TM becoming even more despondent upon her return to the house when she realizes that (a) now ComputerDaddy's sister and (different) boyfriend will not be able to stay for dinner, since it will be around 6 instead of 3; and (b) her new tablecloth looks like a napkin on the newly enlarged table, and the sadly wrinkled tablecloth from bygone years must be used instead.
7. TM becoming resigned to disaster when the sweet potatoes are left on too long and splatter into mush when poured into the strainer. Her famous candied sweet potato casserole must now add the adjective "pureed."
8. TM throwing her arms into the air when she realizes that she has completely forgotten to take the forlorn giblets and make her lovely, smooth, gourmet giblet gravy that was the third item on her short list of (three) food items to prepare.

And here is why I am thankful, so thankful, despite it all. The turkey roasted swiftly, once defrosted, in the wonderful time-saving, oven-freeing electric roaster that my beloved mother-in-law gave me several years ago. It emerged juicy and perfect. Everyone agreed that that the sweet potatoes were even better pureed--my brother, who was a lone hold-out in the sweet potato worship in bygone years, actually ate two helpings. My wonderful father whipped up a lovely gravy with only the drippings and some flour in a fraction of the time I would have spent.

ComputerDaddy's pumpkin pie was a lovely, perfect ending to a lovely, perfect meal. My mother and sister and brother and I sang Christmas carols as we cleaned up afterwards; the kidlets went to bed late but happy with the assistance of their beloved grandpa; I chatted with my mothers over pie and coffee as the (grown-up) children raced each other in Wii MarioKart. I am blessed beyond measure, and for this I am thankful.

And next year I will conquer the turkey once again.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wait! Where Are You Going?

Wait! Where Are You Going?
Clicky Web Analytics