Monday, October 22, 2012

I just threw up a little in my mouth

I'm an only child AND I was a girl, so I don't understand ANY aspect of what occurred in my house today.

Cubby left his toothbrush on the edge of the sink after using it this morning (He used it!  Yeah!), whereupon Brownie promptly elbowed it while she was brushing her teeth (She was brushing! Yeah!) into the toilet.  Our bathroom is the size of a stingy changing room, so ick, yes, but I simply told her to fish it out and put it in the garbage.  Cuz, hey, if anyone was sticking their hand in toilet water, it wasn't going to be me.  I've had my life's quota.  Done and done, and I promptly forgot about it, moving on to the bigger fish I have to fry.

This is what I don't understand, never having had a sibling. . . 

Apparently, Cubby went to brush his teeth again because, well, whatever.  I don't argue with extra brushing.  Remember, I've completely forgotten the toothbrush emergency earlier.  Brownie watched him brush his teeth, THEN proceeded to inform him she THOUGHT she'd knocked that toothbrush into the toilet, but it couldn't be that one, because she'd put that one in the garbage.  Yes, she WAITED until he was done.  Ew!

Next part I don't understand, never having been a boy. . .

Cubby said he SAW the toothbrush in. the. garbage. thought it had simply fallen, but it was facing up, so he simply retrieved it and USED it!

I'll wait while you do that whole body shiver while repeating gross, gross, gross about 100 times.  That's what I did.

He then proceeded to dip BROWNIE'S toothbrush in the toilet for "a little dip" as he said.  Brownie then lost her damn mind because she "liked that toothbrush."  Meanwhile, I'm ripping the packaging off new toothbrushes for everyone.

Is this normal???  It seriously can't be.

Update to Hershey-gate

The kids finished their lunches in total, I think mainly because they were so scared at my reaction as they walked out the door to the full Hershey bars that they feared it would never happen again.  After the hot light and questioning, however, they both admitted they ate the chocolate bars first or near first.

Uh-huh.  I still vote for more training.

Friday, October 19, 2012

He needs more training

I've handled the morning routine for our kids for the last few years, because the hubbster has been working nights.  Allowing the nearly unconscious to perform morning duties--which he has a few times when I've been out of town or incapacitated--equals bad things happening, like critical items left behind and strange items ending up in lunches. 

The problem with this system?  I am a HORRIFIC morning person.  I seriously don't perk up until nighttime, and if I stay up past midnight, I'm UP until 3am.  I'm convinced this is a genetic condition, as I've been this way since childhood.  There may or may not STILL be a nickname of "Sunshine" floating around and used by certain people when referring to me due to witnessing my epic bad mood in the mornings, AS A SIX YEAR OLD.  As a result, I have the morning routine scheduled down. to. the. second. internoodles.  My children are awakened with precisely enough time to get their crap together, throw food in their mouths, and get the heck out the door.  This provides maximum sleepage. For ME.

Since he was changing his sleeping habits, I laid off a bit, but I was secretly thrilled to share the morning routine and maybe sleep in a day here and there.  Today was supposed to be his first day totally ON.  It was not the strongest of showings.
  • Lights were blazing in multiple rooms, because no one was reminded to turn them off (Seriously, what is UP with that?  Does anyone else not know how the light switches work?)
  • He drove both of them (I rarely do, as we're only three blocks away, and exercise is good for them.  Yeah, I invoke my whole "I had to walk a mile. . . both ways" clause from childhood.)
  • I heard suspicious cheers, then more suspicious shushing coming from the kitchen.  The Informant--Brownie--told me with little questioning that Dad had put Hershey bars in their lunches!  That's right, full sized Hershey bars, not Halloween sized, big giant ones.  Anyone else know how this will turn out?  I'll give you a hint, the kids will come home jacked up on sugar, not having eaten the rest of their lunch (God knows what was in them), because they have precious little time to eat.  That's another post, though.
Hear that soft banging sound?  It's my head against the table.  Please, please, pray he gets a job soon, internoodles. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I've learned about my household

Now that my husband is out of work, he's in charge on the night I teach some late classes.  I arrive home about 9:30, when things should be calmed down, kids sequestered in rooms.  These are the things I've noticed:
  • I am the only person in my household who can turn OFF an electric appliance and/or light switch when exiting a room.  I came home last night, and the kitchen and living room were ablaze, even though no one was anywhere near them.
  • Paper towels can only be replenished by Mom.  Who knew?  They all know where the paper towels are kept, yet I keep walking in to an empty spindle.
  • My daughter actually does homework better with her dad than she does with me.  With me there is much lamenting, keening, and rending of cloth.  With Dad, she just does it.  SO not fair.
  • When it comes to meals, my kids can talk my husband into going out with little to no effort.  It does not help that left to his own devices, he would eat fast food every day of his life.  They ate at Cici's last night (Blech!), even though I'd said he needed to MAKE dinner. At least a coupon was used.
  • The dog was the only one happy to see me.
Please, God, let him go back to work SOON!  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Books, Crack, Whatever

I'm addicted, yes, I surely am.  I'm addicted to books. 

As a teacher of writing, and big old reader from way back, this isn't a shock or surprise to most.  Yet it consistently surprises ME how my addiction affects me.

RARELY will I not finish a book, even if it's total schlock.  I keep on keepin' on, hoping and praying that someone out there WROTE this, and I know what that's like.  It's blood, it's sweat, it's tears, and tears again, and repeat the whole process because it has to be revised so you're not an open wound on a page.  And it's how DARE that editor want me to take out that oh so poignant moment I struggled with for a week of sunshiny days when I could have been among the living.  And it's I have to look at it one. last. time. that turns into a major overhaul of ten pages.  I respect the process AND I respect the writer for having the stones to step up the plate, take a swing at that ball that's humming past (Yeah, I'm mixing my metaphors.  Just go with it, I'm on a role.) even if it's an ugly swing.

I may talk about how godawful bad the thing was, but I've only NOT finished one book in the last few years.  My husband watched me try to get through it, too.  He was wandering around the house doing whatever, and I was on the couch in the living room.  He passed me a few times, and he said I kept saying "Hmph!" under my breath, closing the book, looking at the cover, looking at the back of it and repeating.  He said then I'd wiggle around on the couch, like I couldn't get comfortable.

Books create a PHYSICAL response in me.  I'm not just talking about an exciting chapter raising my heart rate or anything.  I'm talking about the LACK of reading creates a feeling akin to withdrawl for me.  Right now, I haven't checked anything out of the library in a while, knowing I have a ton of work with grading and scouts and kids' activities to do.  So I didn't get any books.  I haven't even let myself go into the second hand store that has a fabulous collection of cheap, dirty reads.  But oh MAN do I feel it.  I get twitchy and grumpy and I don't sleep right.  I feel like everything is alternately too slow or too fast.  It's like everything is just off kilter, and I'm trying to maintain like everything is normal.  If the reason I denied a book is too get work done, it doesn't work.  I find I'm too harsh with students, and I can't get tuned in to what their reasoning is. 

At first, I was a skeptic about electronic books.  I LOVE the feel of a book in my hand. The weight it has, the scraping sound a page turning makes.  Reaching out your hand to find anything to mark your spot because dang, it's late and time to GO.  The leaning over to a total stranger just to see what they're reading and getting into a discussion about it.  Books make friends, people.  Now?  It's a glorious thing that e-readers were invented.  I'm in the middle of a really bad time, man.  I need a book bad.  Something new.  Nothing on my shelves is right.  But MY kinda crack? I just popped online, borrowed a book from my library down to my Nook. For addictions, this is a pretty good one.

It'll be alright, just a few more minutes, and I'll be in a different place. 

See ya there.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Day for Missing

Today is the day.  My grandma, Frances, was born on this day in 1916.  She was one of the most influential people in my life.  She taught me to respect the arts and took me to every symphony, opera, museum event she could, even when I wasn't the most receptive audience.  I learned how to read music at about the same time I learned to read because of her.  She thought the most important card in anyone's wallet was a library card, and she knew with great conviction reading made people richer.

She knew how important laughing was to life.  Oh my goodness, she would laugh with complete abandon, until tears ran down her beet red face, waving her hands at you to stop! stop! stop! before she burst.  She knew it was equally important to life to be passionate and fired up about something.  Passion feeds the soul, gets the blood pumping, the adrenaline surging, and it makes you feel you're alive.  Everyone should be passionate about something.  To reflect to the world disinterest is to breed disinterest within, and the world needs passion.

I can't count the number of times she asked my grandfather to go for a drive and ask to "just get lost" in a dreamy voice.  She asked this of someone who knew the city like it was his bathroom, and he would respond that he couldn't.  To her, life was an adventure waiting to happen.  I get my travel itch from her.

I learned how to cook in her kitchen, a skill my family and friends are glad I honed.  People have changed plans and driven long distances when they knew I was making a dish I learned in her kitchen.  She taught herself how to cook, since when she was a newlywed, she literally could not even crack an egg.    I learned to experiment in her kitchen, even if the outcome was horrible.  The only failure lies in not trying.  There wasn't a butcher in her neighborhood who hadn't been asked the question, "yes, this is lovely, but what do you have in BACK?" because it never hurt to ask.

She's been gone almost 20 years, and there isn't a day I don't miss her.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Shame on us!

Ohhhhh, internoodles!  I'm getting up on my soapbox, and I am about to go ballistic, so watch out!

I have a very quiet student who has been keeping pretty much to herself.  About a week ago, she sent me a desperate-sounding email saying she didn't think she was smart enough to get through this class, even though she'd had it years before at another school.  She waxed on that perhaps she hadn't given herself enough time after leaving the Army and active deployment to adjust to civilian life before coming back to school.  Or maybe it was the pressure of having a four year old this time as she went through school that was making everything more difficult.  As a complete aside, near the end of this really stream-of-consciousness, frayed-sounding email, she said she was also under stress.  Because she's homeless.  With a four year old.

Stop and think about that.  Homeless with a four year old. 

She's a veteran of the United States military, served her country on active deployment to a foreign country, and she's homeless with a four year old.  How. does. this. happen?!  It happens because we have reached a point in our country where we don't value people, we value machines, including the big giant machine of politics.  And if your fingers are itching to tell me everything that has been done wrong by our sitting president, save it.  Scratch that itch someplace else, because this is a non-partisan issue.  This is a day-to-day society issue.  The fact that billions are spent on defense, but soldiers and veterans go on welfare or are homeless is disgusting and shameful.  We should all be ashamed of ourselves.  We're letting go of the human factor that is what made this country great.  It's the different types of humans who came here and joined together with ideas and blood, sweat, and tears to create something that had never been done before.  It's imperfect, but it was about humans breaking their backs and brains to make it the best it could be.  That we've forgotten that it all boils down to people helping each other be better people makes me sad.

What made me hopeful again, though, was putting this student's dilemma out onto my social network.  My network is made up of people from all walks of my 44 years of life.  Some are people I see daily, some are people who have stood by me through countless life changes, some I knew well in my youth, but I don't see on a regular basis.  Yet so many took the time to find information, pass along some hint, or even just say a prayer for her.  I cannot believe the outpouring of goodwill I felt simply from those posts.  It saved my hope for humanity.

I'll go to class tomorrow with a list of places this student can go to hopefully get some relief from her situation.  I've still got some righteous anger going on, but now at least there's less of that than there is of hope.