Sunday, January 29, 2012

Some Day, Remind Me Please.

Some day, when my child is sleeping on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I want him to wake up and I complain about it, please punch me in the face.  I will totally deserve it.

Remind me of today, January 29, 2012.  This morning I went to sleep at somewhere after 1:30 am.  I can only approximate the time based on my Facebook post wherein I mentioned drunk nachos.  This was shortly after 1 am and I assume it took me several minutes to inhale these nachos.  I am happy to report that I didn't eat the burnt ones which were still on the plate which was still on the end table when I woke up.

Remind me that when I woke up, still sort of sitting up on the couch, still kind of tipsy, still kind of tasting the wine I was drinking not that much earlier, that my child was calling for me and that when I ran up the stairs to his bedroom, I could feel all sorts of pulsating in my eyeballs.  Remind me that when I told him to go back to sleep (request denied, by the way), I couldn't figure out which room to go to.  Back to the couch?  To bed? To find something to alleviate the pulsating? I chose bed, in case you're wondering.

Remind me, please, that after that initial waking, I started to fall back to sleep and was again called for by my child and only 15 minutes had gone by and that it had become apparent that he was not going back to sleep so it was time to get up, even if it was just to get him a show to watch whilst I tried to will myself awake.

Some day, remind me please, that all of this morning's goings-ons began going on at 5:37 am.  Five thirty-seven.  

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Friday, January 27, 2012

How Did This Happen?

I have a general tendency to over-think things and to get ahead of myself, so how this thought eluded me until now is beyond all comprehension:

I had a baby.  That baby will grow up into a boy, turn 5 and end up in kindergarten.

I shouldn’t say I was completely oblivious to this little tidbit.  Somewhere in his very early days I did the math and figured out that he would start kindergarten in September of 2012.  But that sounded so far away back then.  

Suddenly, this morning, it occurred to me.  It’s 2012.  Like, right now.

I need to register him.  I’m going to have to walk him to school.  And then, at the end of the day, I’ll have to pick him up from school, too!  He’s going to have homework.  He’s going to have a permanent record!

Honestly, how did this happen?  I ordered a baby.  I figured I could deal with a baby.  I could be responsible enough for a baby.  But a Big Boy?  A five-year-old?  A kid in SCHOOL?
Who authorized this?  How did this happen?  I don't know if seven months is enough time to get ready for this.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why People Bother Me.

As I approached the stop sign, there was already a car stopping at the sign.  He had his right turn signal on and, therefore, I stupidly assumed he was going to turn right.  As he turned, I inched up to the sign.  He stopped mid-turn, therefore I stopped.  Then he started to pull up again, but this time he was parallel to the road we were on and, in fact, NOT turning right on to the cross street.
So I very dramatically stopped my car (again), threw my hands up and said, "What are you doing?!"  It then became apparent that he was going to make a u-turn in the middle of this intersection.  So I, again, very dramatically, motioned for him to go while saying, "Oh no, please.  After you.  By all means."  
He pulled around and now he was next to me on the street facing the opposite direction.  I'm giving him dagger-eyes and I see that he has the audacity to be yelling at me.  I roll down my window and say, "Pardon me?"  It then goes something like this:
Him:  I had my directional on!  I was turning! (he gives me a what's-your-problem look)
Me:  And then you turned the opposite way in front of my car... (I give him a you-are-stupid look)
Him:  I was TURNING!!  I assumed you were turning too.  You didn't even have your directional on. 
Me:  Yeah, 'cause I *wasn't* turning. 
Him:  That's not my fault.
Me:  Huh? You were making an illegal turn and you're mad I was going straight?
Him:  (as he's pulling away)  Next time, pay attention!  Bitch.
Me:  (I cannot repeat here what I said next.)

I am still, hours later, in awe of the fact that this man actually yelled at me for not turning at an intersection when he had no reason to believe that I would and for getting annoyed when he was driving poorly and unsafely.  I should note here that I'm not morally opposed to illegal u-turns in intersections.  But, for the love of olive, understand that if you make one in the presence of someone else, they might get annoyed.
As I then drive the half block to my house (yes, that's right, he probably saw me pull into my driveway), I can't help but thinking that this fine gent looks familiar.  I grabbed my lunch, walked my dog and headed back out to work.  I drove back down the street from whence I came.  And then I see it.  His stupid car, parked at least a foot away from the curb, is over by the elementary school.  I realize where I know him from.  He's one of the guys who hangs out by the school playground talking with the teachers and watching the kids play on lunch*. 
As I drove by, I gave him the stink-eye again.  I'm sure he knew it was me.  I hope he's out there tomorrow, too, because I can hold a grudge like nobody's business.  You can't call me a bitch and get away with it**.

*I like to think these adults are unofficial chaperons and that this isn't really a big deal, especially since the teachers are there and the crossing guard is nearby and it all seems on the up and up.  However, I will be investigating before my kid goes there in the fall.

**I'm fully aware of how petty this is.  I will probably forget to look for him tomorrow.  But don't I sound tough?

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Convincing Myself.

I need to stop writing about writing.  But I do hope you'll indulge me in one more.

Ahem.  {Clears throat}

I am a writer.  I am resisting all urges to delete that sentence.  I am going to leave it there and I am going to back it up.

I write, therefore, I am a writer.  I write all the time.  I journal and note-take, often in my own head and on whatever scrap of paper I can find.  I write story ideas.  I write emails which, depending on the rant I'm on, are really just a blog post intended for a much smaller audience.  I chronicle my day, one way or another, all day every day.  I narrate my own life in my head as I'm living it.  I wonder how I would describe each moment to someone if I were to retell the day's story.

I edit those stories far more often than I edit what's on the page.

Later, I am taking the thing that happened or that someone said or did and I'm putting it on paper.  I'm trying to make it cute or witty or otherwise.  I'm trying to emphasize the details.  

And at the end of the day, I'm a writer.  

I need work, of course, because I'm not perfect.  I need to practice, keep up with it, refine my process.  I need to focus and hone skills and be clear about goals.  I need to move in the right direction and accept (and learn from) set backs.

But that doesn't make me "not a writer."  Because I do, after all, still write.

Saying I want to be a writer doesn't make it so.  It lets me off the hook if I don't write.  It makes it easy to back out.  It's a crutch.  If I simply want to be a writer and the words don't come, rather, if I don't seek the words and guide them to the page, then I have my excuse already lined up.  "I tried to write, but it didn't work out."

Saying I am one means I have work to do.  It means I have some soul-searching to do.  It means I have decisions to make about what is next and where I want to take me and how I will get there.  Saying I am one means taking that leap of faith and putting myself out there for failure and for success and all that is between.  It's being open to something new and different and, yes, scary.  Saying I am a writer is the first step towards fulfilling a dream.

I am a writer.  I am a writer.  I AM a writer.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

School Friends.

I think I'm way too anti-social and critical to deal with my child going to school for the next 13 years with the general public.  He's only in preschool and I'm already so tired of creepy kids and their creepy parents.  It is unlikely that many of the kids he's around right now will be in his kindergarten class in September, but unfortunately the parents and kids that I do like definitely will not be.

If you are my friend on Facebook, you've heard me tell of some of the priceless children he is hanging around.  There's one girl, we'll call her E.  I don't like the looks of her and I don't like her mother.  Quite frankly I suspect this child is learning her best work at home, but I can't be sure.  The first run in I had with this woman was last year when the kids were also in the same class.  I was dropping Nathan off and I see E being dropped off by her mother.  The kids were in the 3-4 year old class at the time and so of course they need a lot of guidance hanging up their coats and putting their backpacks away.  This woman is yelling at her kid that she's slow and taking too long and what not.  Then she was yelling at her because the kid couldn't decide if she wanted to go to the breakfast room to finish eating her Burger King or if she was just going to "waste more money" and not finish eating.

Now, we all have bad days and we all need our kids to hurry up so we can get to work.  But yelling?  In public?  Goodness.  So I assumed she was having a bad day and tried to forget it.  Poor kid though.  A few minutes later, I was in my car and and as I'm looking in my mirrors to check behind me, I see her getting in her car.

What I didn't mention, because it wasn't relevant until this moment for me, is that I saw this woman speeding through the parking lot as I was bringing Nathan in.  I couldn't help thinking that the driver was unsafe given this is a parking lot full of preschoolers.  Anyway, I was backing out and this woman was getting in her car and all of a sudden she nearly backs into me!!  She apparently got in and just went, couldn't have looked because she'd have seen me.  I slammed on my brakes, she looked me dead in the face and kept backing up.  I pulled back into the spot so she wouldn't hit me and she sped off like a crazy person nearly hitting someone on the way out.  That must have been one hell of a bad morning...

A few weeks later the girl was apparently not moving briskly enough for her mother once again after school and the mother left her to get her own backpack and coat because she started leaving without her child!  As the child raced to keep up, she tripped and fell, spilling the contents of her backpack all over the floor.  The mother yells from down the hall, "Oh come ON, E.  Pick up your stuff and LET'S GO."  And continues around the corner where now she can't even see the poor kid.  Who is crying now, mind you.  So I help her get her stuff, ask if she's ok (I knew she was, but still, someone had to ask.) and the mother sees me doing this because I realize she's come back into the hall.  She just looks at me again, no thank you, no checking on her kid.  Not even a sigh and a huff and a "These kids" sort of exasperation.  Nothing.  Just annoyance and a dirty look for me.  Classy.

Just last week, and forgive me if you heard this one before, I was informed that E's mother must really love her a lot because she packs a candy bar for E "all the time."  Nathan has previously asked for juices and cereals loaded with sugar and when I say no, they aren't for kids because they are junk, he says, "But E gets them all the time."  I let him know that when E's mother packs his lunch maybe he'll get to be so lucky.  Until then, it's 100% juice and not sweet snacks.

And today I'm treated to this gem of a story.  Apparently, E said a bad word.  Nathan told her it was bad and he said she didn't know that it was.  The word was boob.  I explained to Nathan it's not the worst thing someone could say, but they're called breasts and if he needs to talk about one, that's what I'd like him to say.  Then I asked why she was saying it and he said he didn't know, she was talking about them.  I reminded him that there really are very few reasons for kids to talk about certain body parts with other kids or out in public.  Thankfully he ran away before the conversation got more awkward. It was around the time I confirmed girls don't have them, but grown up women do and there's a reason for it.  Lucky for me he's not interested in the reason.

If this had been any other kid, I'd assume it was innocent, but not E.  I've met her mother.  Ick.  Like I said, poor kid.

If you'll indulge me in one more, there's A.  I really didn't know much about this kid and only became aware of who he was at Halloween when he was acting like a lunatic at a birthday party.  Kris and I were talking to another mom and we were commenting that we didn't know who he belonged to because no one was telling him how to act.  Apparently he had been dropped off.  These kids are 4!  I would never drop my kid off at a birthday party at the home of someone I didn't know!  The host said she was so surprised by the whole thing and didn't want to see the kid have to leave since the woman dropping him off had to go.

At the holiday show, I ran into the woman he belonged to.  We were talking generally about the kids when I said, "I think your son is in my son's class."  She abruptly informed me she is NOT his mother, just a friend.  She just drops him off and picks him up.  And apparently comes to his holiday show, but whatever.  I apologized, said I just assumed, stammered a bit because she made me feel like an ass.

I invited Nathan's entire class to his birthday party.  One of the first responses I got was from this woman who emailed me and referred to herself as his aunt.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  She says in the email A will be coming and asks if she can drop him off.  I tell her no, I would like someone to stay with the child for safety reasons.  I didn't mention that she doesn't know me from a can of paint and therefore shouldn't trust me with her kid her friend's kid  her nephew.  I also didn't mention that I don't want to be responsible for her whatever this kid is to her when he acts like an animal in public.  I didn't get a reply to my email.  At pick up I saw her and said I had gotten her email.  She said, and I'm not sure I will convey the tone appropriately here, "You don't expect me to, like, stay with him or anything, do you?"  I said I did, "just in case something happened."  She heaved a huge sigh and said, clearly annoyed, "OH.  I guess I could just try to get his mother to stay with him or something."  I said, "OK, take care!" and went to get my kid.

What I wanted to say was this:  You know what?  Don't come.  Just stay home.  Or send him out to play in traffic while you stay home since it's so much of a bother for you to sit with him at a birthday party for TWO HOURS!  Honestly, I didn't plan this party just so that I could provide you with a few hours to go do whatever it is you do when you're not with whoever this child is to you.

The next week I got an email from her saying she was oh so sorry but little A wouldn't be able to make it to the party.  He would "be with his other grandmother."  Other?  Is she his grandmother now?  I can't keep up.

I don't know where either of these children live, but with my luck, they live around the corner from me and I'll be seeing them both in September.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, Same Old Michelle.

I need to begin by immediately pointing out that when you're starving, attempting to have a new diet (and by diet I mean eating habit, not calorie restriction) take hold and you have no food in your house, following a ton of food bloggers is just a bad idea.  I so want a panini and it isn't even 11am.

I need to follow up with the fact that the itinerary for today was clean, go to acupuncture, exercise, then write.  I did the dishes, started a load of laundry and went to acupuncture.  House is still a complete mess, I have eaten nothing but a Special K bar (so exercising is out unless I feel like passing out) and I sat down with the laptop.  Another bad idea.

So, since I'm sitting here...

The first week of the new year started out like many other first weeks of new years and even new weeks in general.  I set a goal, things got hairy and goals have been abandoned with a new start date.  I was supposed to eat better, not eat out, exercise, etc. this week and of course I came down with my January cold.  Then the work week (which was only 3 days instead of my usual 4) reduced me to a binge-eating mess by midday yesterday.  I could try to still eat better the rest of today and just eat in moderation as I recover from the cold and stress, but my self-diagnosed food addiction isn't really ready to let go I think.  Having stepped on the scale and worn clothes all week, I should have hit rock bottom, but apparently not.   Sigh.  When will I learn?

But enough self-loathing, on to the good stuff.  My other resolution-type-goal-thingy was to focus on the writing.  In a weird twist of fate, or random coincidence, a friend messaged me a link to a Writer's Boot Camp that starts Monday.  Thank you, Universe (and Rachel), for the ass-kick I needed!  Looks like a cool thing, so I promptly signed up.  I'm a little intimidated because I haven't actually taken a class of any sort, outside of insurance related stuff, since I graduated college 14 years ago.  Yikes.  There's going to be assignments and learning and what not!

I'm really, really excited about it.  I'm excited about challenging myself and making writing the priority I so desperately want it to be.  I'm excited about working towards a goal I set for myself and for doing what I probably should have been doing all along.

I'm also really scared.  I'm scared I'll fail.  What if I find out I'm not a good writer?  What if I find out that a few blog posts are really all I have.  What if I've talked this up and it goes nowhere?  But wait, what if I AM a good writer?  What if I have a ton of blog posts (like 365 x number of years of future blogging)?  What if there really is a book I could write?  What if I do become A Writer, not just someone who says she wants to be a writer? What if I write and people want to read more and then they expect me to keep writing.  I'm afraid I'll succeed.  So typical me.

Somewhere between the weird butterflies of doing something exciting and the disturbing nausea of doing something exciting, is this little part of me that wants to jump up and down and squee and maybe cry a little bit.  I feel like a little kid, in both the good and bad ways that feeling like a little kid feels to me.  I'm not sure that's a relatable thing, I'm sure it's another round of therapy to try to put that feeling into words that people who don't live in this body can understand, but maybe you get it.  In short, I am excited and scared and nervous and anxious and hopeful and... wait... I might puke.

In another act of I'm Going To Be A Writer, I looked into some blogging conferences.  Blissdom is coming up next month.  It's too late for me to try to go, especially since it's in Nashville.  I wish I could though.  I've been to the hotel it's being held at for an insurance conference years ago and it was super nice.  I'd love to go back.  I suspect it's warm in Nashville, too.  I could look that up, but I won't.  Then I looked up BlogHer.  So here's the thing - it's not expensive.  And it's in New York.  No airfare!!  I would try to spring for a hotel room and I have tried to recruit someone (c'mon Dana, girls weekend in The Big Apple!) to come with me and split the cost of said room (maybe I can be a frugal blogger!) but with or without a wing-woman, I think I'm going to go.

Let me explain what I think I'm going to go means.  I want to go.  I SO want to go.  I keep going to the site and looking at the registration page.  But then I get scared.  Shoot up two paragraphs and you'll see what happens.  But I want to go.  If I go though, doesn't that make me A Blogger instead of just someone who wants to be a blogger?  At the very least, it makes me someone who thinks she is A Blogger, and really, who do I think I am?  My husband told me to go.  If anyone would have a reason to tell me not to go, it would be him.  I haven't talked it over with anyone else, because, honestly, I don't need someone to tell me I should go.  I know I should.  But if I go (hell, even if I register!) it all feels real.

Real is scary.  Real holds me back.  Maybe being OK with Real should be one of my resolution-type-goal-thingies.  I'm going to go clean my house now.  And make lunch.  And squee and cry and feel nauseous.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Notes to Self.

I lieu of resolutions this year, I'm making some notes to myself.

1.  Last week you read two blog posts by others called Note to Self.  You may want to rethink using that phrase here.

2.  If an idea is so great that it's keeping you up in the middle of the night, get up and write it down so you're not sitting at the computer staring at it blankly trying to remember what was so earth-shattering only 3 hours ago.

3.  You know those wacky days where you think you can do absolutely nothing right?  They pass.  Stop letting them get to you.

4.  On that note, you can do this writing thing.  You need to focus and DO the work.  It's not all going to be fun and games.  You need to stop finding distractions and get over your fears.

5.  Stop referring to yourself as a fat girl.  Your friends already know you're fat and they don't care.  And if they do care (aside of the obvious health concerns) then they aren't your friends.  It just makes people uncomfortable because they can't agree with you (because that would be mean) and they can't say you aren't (because that would be lying).  Now go do some squat-thrusts, Fat Ass.

6.  And on THAT note, get your act together and go to the gym.  You love it there.  Get your groove back, as they say.  You have no excuses.

7.  You know what your priorities are, so treat them as such.  Do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and you'll have far less to complain about.

8.  Your kid is a good kid.  When he's misbehaving, there is probably a really good reason for it and you can probably change the course of the day by changing your focus.  Sometimes you need to stop what you're doing to do this.  Get over it; it's called parenting.

9.  You are not a child.  You do not have to get whatever you want the moment you want it.  You know better.

10.  Make a schedule and stick to it.  You and I both know that this is what YOU need to get everything done that you want to do.

Please try to enjoy 2012.  Make it productive because that will help you enjoy it.  Make the most of what you have because you have a lot of good stuff.

Note to those who are not myself:  Happy New Year.  I hope this year is your best yet.  Thank you for reading and (I know I've said this before) for encouraging me!
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