Where did my mind go now?

If you happen to see my mind wandering around would you be so kind as to direct it back to me? While it's nice to be oblivious to the chaos around me, it might also be nice to figure out how to deal with it other than to stare in confusion and drool.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Kids Make Me Sick

I rarely used to get sick. I had a great immune system and I knew how to use it! Maybe once a year or so I would get a cold, but nothing major. Considering I'm around multiple people, all week long, who work closely with children it was quite a remarkable feat.

I drink a lot of water which I'm told is probably one of the reasons I was so healthy. There was always a large bottle of water close at hand and I refilled it constantly.  My system was flushed continuously.  Ain't no bugs gonna get me down!

Then, one glorious day, a friend gave me a gift. It was a blue, 52 ounce travel mug called Bubba Keg.  This was my new best friend. Bubba went everywhere with me. To the office, to work on horses, rescues, disasters.  Bubba stood vigil on the night stand in case I awoke thirsty in the night.   Bubba would wait for me on a shelf or a bumper. Sometimes Bubba could be found sitting in a tree or behind a cage. Wherever I put Bubba, Bubba stayed.  I could always count on Bubba to have a big cold drink of water for me when I needed it. I was in love.

My son began sneaking drinks from Bubba when I wasn't looking. Sharing his little boy germs with me. I began getting sniffles more often and they coincided with my son having suspiciously similar sniffles. When he got sick, I did too.

Years later my daughter and her toddler germs came along and Bubba became a giant sippy cup for her.  She is adorable and sick fairly often because, well, she's a toddler and who knows why they try to eat the things they do.

Now I have my son and daughter both drinking from Bubba, sharing their germs back and forth and slipping them to me. When one gets sick, the other is sick within a day or two and I, an innocent bystander, will inevitably be next in line for sniffling, sneezing and hacking.

I cannot break them of drinking from my Bubba. I have tried. I bought a miniature Bubba Keg for my daughter so she could be just like Mommy. I bought the biggest Bubba Keg I could find for my son so he could have his very own best friend ready to quench his insatiable thirst.

Guess what? Both of their Bubbas are in the kitchen cabinet ... somewhere. Shuffled to the back because they never get used. My children drink from mine. I am doomed to a life of Bubba sharing.

As I write this, I am sniffling and hacking, coming ever closer to being over the latest illness wrought upon me by my beloved offspring.  I have gone through more boxes of tissue in the last week than I will admit too.  I'm like a tissue junkie. Hiding them from the sight of others. Stuffing my pockets every chance I get.  Shoving them to the bottom of my purse "just in case I need one." Blowing my nose in private so I don't disgust anyone with my grotesque habit.

My children have made me into this weakened shadow of my former self. This is my life now and because I love my children I will accept it.

However ... when my children are grown and living their lives in their own lovely homes, I will visit them when I am sick.  I will drink from their cups.  I will smile when they ask why and answer, very simply, "Because yours is better." **sniffle**

Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Blind!!

When I was a kid, all of the old people in my life kept telling me that I needed to take good care of my eyes.

"Don't sit so close to the tv."

"Wear eye protection."

"Don't go outside without sunglasses on."

"Don't read in dim lighting."

blah, blah, blah...

I didn't need to hear all of this. I can see in total darkness and the sun is best viewed with the naked eye. I had excellent eyesight. I could see a flea on a mouse a mile away.  I could see up close and I could see details miles away. My eyes were perfect. I didn't need to worry.

See those trees on top of that mountain over there? No? Let me describe them to you.

You can't read that tiny writing? Here, let me read it to you.

Poor little old blind people. Good thing for them I'm here to save the day with my awesome eyesight.

Even in my 30's I could boast of my eyesight while my family and friends were squinting and tilting their heads to see what I was trying to point out to them. Outwardly, I was understanding and helpful. Inside I was snickering and their optical short comings.

I'm not sure when the clock on the microwave went fuzzy but everyone I've spoken to about fixing it says there is nothing wrong with the digital display. Those people need to get their eyes checked because it's an obvious electircal malfunction and they can't even see it.

My children, both of whom have the same eagle eyes I once had, stick things in my face, inches from my nose. It's like being assualted without being touched physically.

"Mom, look at this." says my son and throws something large and white at my face and all I can see is a big blurry thing. It stops just shy of hitting me. I quickly jump back away from the attack. Now I can see that it is only paper in his hand. He is holding it not throwing it and there are black lines drawn on it.

"Ok, it's paper." I say.

"Yeah, but read what it says."

Read what it says? Those are words? What is that? Font number negative two?

I take the paper and squint at it. I hold it at arms length and tilt my head until I can make out that, yes indeed, those are words on that there piece of paper.

I'm now in my early-ish 40's. I am coming to the realization, I'm almost as blind as a some nocturnal creature with poor eyesight.  I find myself squinting to read the labels. I tip my head back, tilt to the left and right, like any of it is going to make the words suddenly jump out at me.  I find the farther away from my face something is the easier I can focus on it. I even bought a cell phone that let's me magnify the words on the screen.

I refuse to get glasses. I'm not at a glasses wearing age. Glasses are for old people. I don't look anywhere near old.  Don't you have to have grey hair to qualify for glasses? I don't have grey hair on my head yet. See?

What do you mean you can't see?  Put your glasses on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Curse And The Kitten

My son has a new kitten. Wait, let me rephrase that.... I have a new kitten that my son brought home a couple of weeks ago. I won't totally complain about the kitten, partly because he and a litter mate were abandoned by momma when they were about 3 weeks old so this makes him an orphan which tugs at my mothering heart strings, and partly because you just can't play mother to a baby anything and not get attached. It's just one curse of being a mother.

The kitten has become another one of my kids. He is a baby with needs he can't possibly meet for himself and I, being cursed to be a mom for the rest of my life, must heed his tiny, squeaky little cries ... no matter what hour of the day he squeaks.

The kitten needs a name. He came to us the night before Halloween. He's orange, a very Halloween-y color. How about "Goblin?" Great! After about a few days I started tossing the name "Gremlin" around. It seemed more fitting as this little guy's forte seems to lie more in the direction of causing trouble than in being scary. Next came "Monkey" because he climbs absolutely everything amazingly quickly and completely without fear. None of these names stuck. They just didn't fit him quite right.

If you live in the mid west or have ever been to the mid west you know what chiggers are. For anyone not familiar with these little nasties, let me tell you, you are soooo lucky!  Chiggers are teensy little bugs that you can't see. They strike without warning and leave extremely itchy bites (think mosquito bites seriously amplified) all over your body that welt up and drive you insane for what seems like forever. Well, it's not a bite exactly, but it's gross so I won't go into the details of what it actually does. Nobody ever get's just one chigger bite. I went to kansas for a week with my then fiance' to visit his wonderful family. By the time we left for home we had 117 bites between the two of us.

We named the kitten "Chigger." He is a tiny little thing. You don't see him coming and you suddenly find you've been bitten many, many times. It's a very fitting name.

Chigger rules the house. He's the newest addition to the 5 dogs and 4 cats already vying for the position of Alpha Animal. I've rarely seen any of the cats since Chigger arrived. I know where Chigger is by looking at the dogs. They seem to take turns kitten sitting.

My dogs, a very large German Shepard, a German Shepard/Coyote cross and the only female in the group, Labrador/Pitbull cross, Irish Setter and a Cocker Spaniel are insanely fascinated by the orange ball of fluff rolling erratically across the floor of the entire house. It's a real hoot to watch the dogs try to figure out how to play with this tiny new sibling with all the sharp edges. They have all curled up at, at one time or another, and taken a nap with the kitten. They adore him even when he bites them. Apparently the Mother's Curse is contagious to animals of either gender. Except for cats. The cats seem to be totally immune to the cuteness that is a baby thing. Sometimes, I wish I were a cat.

Thanks to Chigger I'm jealous of the rest of the world who follows DST. Everyone else got an extra hour to sleep in. Facebook was teeming with people praising the God's of the extra hour. To Chigger, feeding time is still feeding time regardless of the time. The 7 a.m. feeding now comes at 6 a.m. which means, compared to the rest of the DST world, I'm getting up an hour ealier than I did before. Animals don't believe in sleeping in. There is a schedule and we must stick to it strictly or face the wrath of something furry with sharp edges and an attitude.

For the time being, Chigger spends his nights in a small kennel on my nightstand with a space heater blowing in his general direction. It's set up with all the comforts a kitten could need over night. I am proud, and also disappointed, to say that Chigger is smart. He has taught himself how to "grab" the kennel gate and rattle the crap out of it when he wants something.

Just imagine I'm sleeping, quite peacefully. Having a really great dream that I still would like to know the outcome of. All of the sudden my dream and my sleep are both shattered to miniscule pieces by something that sounds like:


There is no sleeping through this sound. Ever. It is the sound of a baby who needs something ... and it's also annoying as hell. I am compelled to take care of the baby. I am suffering from the Mother's Curse.  No gypsy could cast a curse this strong. I have bite marks from razor sharp little teeth and scratches from playful claws that could shred leather and still, when the kitten calls, I answer as only a mother would do. I am cursed.

Does anyone know of a good place to take Cat lessons?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

If I was a drinking mom...

98.2% Of the time I have nothing but fun being a mom. It's what I live for. I've been doing it for a long time, just over 21 years to be exact, and I happen to think I'm pretty good at it.

When my son was 14 he sent me a text message that simply stated "yur a kewl mom" and my heart soared to new heights.

As an older teenager, and even now beyond teen years, he still hugs me and tells me he loves me. It doesn't matter to him who hears.  He's proud. I'm proud. I've obviously done a good job.

Now ...  about that 1.8% of the time that motherhood is not fun. The small bit of time when you're just sure you're about to have a heart attack. The moments when you watch your child do something and time seems to freeze as all possible outcomes run through your mind and none of them have a happy ending.
I remember finding pictures of my son and his neighborhood friend ... on my roof ... on skateboards. My mind boggled at the fact that they #1 Got up there, #2 Were on wheeled things and #3 I didn't find out for 5 years. How did they not break any appendages? What were they thinking?

If I was a drinking mom ...

All the dirt bicycle ramps, shakey club houses, home made archery equipment, ditches of various sizes around the property.  The large holes on the backside of the bicycle ramps bothered me the most. I guess the dirt had to come from somewhere but I would have preferred they not have a gaping hole waiting to swallow them whole if the jump went wrong.

Actually, I would have preferred it if had they kept all wheels of any kind on the ground, but knowing those two evil geniuses they would have found a loop hole to jump the bikes through while they followed my rules to a "T."

If I was a drinking mom ...

The amazing array of transport modes those two boys built using anything they could find that would roll.  Working so hard to make the next one go faster than the last. Tim Taylor would have been green with envy watching these two at work. Each pulling the other on foot and behind bicycles (or whatever rolling thing they had most recently invented) down my sloping, curved, and thankfully not heavily traversed street so they could both experience the thrills that would later drive me to wonder, where the hell was I when this all happened?

I was at work of course, so there was nothing I could do to stop them from performing stunts that, when combined with my son's body, scare me to death.  I had no idea what dangers my son was persuing while I was doing my best to keep him safe and warm.

I wonder if Evel Knievel's mom felt like this? Did she hold her breath every time he went out the door?  When little Evel's best friend came knocking did she shudder with fear and hold her breath until her son was safely back home? How many times did they have to resuscitate Mrs. Knievel?

I remember thinking how I couldn't wait until my son was an adult so I wouldn't have to worry about him anymore.  He'll be responsible for himself and I won't have to wonder what he's up to now.

Finally, the day came when my son turned 18.  He became a legal adult. The neighbor went off to college in another state. Surely this meant my son would make wiser decisions when it came to entertainment! Nope. His new group of friends, while a nice group of guys, only brought with them a new kind of mother-heart stopping fun.

If I was a drinking mom ...

Ok, it's not long till he turns 21. That just has to be the age when he turns a corner into adulthood and responsibility. Things will be fine. Ha! I could not have been more ignorant. Now my son is a 21 year old adult with more inventive friends who worry me in bigger and grander ways. I have seen the evidence. It is on youtube.

My son came home the other day and said, "I have another video, but I don't know if I should show it to you."

Really???  If I was a drinking mom ...

My mind went straight into mom mode. I wanted to see the video and ground him for whatever it contained once the medics were able to resuscitate me. Then I realized my mothering days, as I knew them, are done. I can only do what my son asks of me now. Gone are the days of curfews and with them went my parental right to call and find out where he is and what he's doing.

So, I sighed a heavy sigh, looked my son in the eye, and although I was curious as hell, I said, "If you have to wonder whether or not you should show your mom a video of something you did, you probably better not show me."

With a shrug of his shoulder he says, "Yeah, that's what I was thinkin' too." and made himself a very ordinary sandwich for lunch.  Look at him! Just standing there, ever so nonchalantly consuming food like everything is right with the world.

I still don't know what the video shows.

I'm not sure I want to know.

There is one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt.

If I was a drinking mom.....

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Great Godess Mom

I love my family with all my heart and soul.  My children are the driving force in my life. Thanks to them I push myself to do more than I saw myself doing in previous years. 

As a child I never once said, "When I grow up I want to be overwhelmed with work and kids and animals and never have enough time to sleep or do something fun for myself!" I was going to do something exotic that required traveling to other countries and being worshipped for the godess I know I was meant to be. I did not see myself surrounded by dishes, laundry, pull ups, dust, bossy cats and pushy dogs, car parts (my son's "temporary" contribution to the home decor) and having to balance a checkbook that has no equilibrium.

Sometimes, however, I dream of running away to some tropical island where I will be served drinks of various colors and flavors sporting little umbrellas by a well muscled male wearing a small loin cloth.  He is there at my beck and call. He does the laundry.

This is my fantasy. I know it'll never happen, but I can dream.

While the toys spread themselves across the floor. While the dogs are trying to sneak food one of the kids left sitting unattended and knock the plate to the carpet. While dinner waits patiently for someone to come and cook it. While the laundry sits waiting for it's turn in the washer. While I wait for the pain to subside from stubbing my toe on a manifold. My mind is in another place wishing fervently for my body to arrive.

Alas, I am a mom.... and I love it!

Pride and Preju-dust

I have to clean my house. I hate to clean my house. It's not that I don't like having a clean house. I really do. It just seems so pointless to go to all that work only to have it all undone at the same time I'm working so hard.

I live in the desert and I have a 4 year old. If you have neither of these factors working against you, you can't relate to what I'm complaining about.

The wind blows in the desert. All the time. I'm not talking about a nice breeze. I'm talking about wind that blows trees over. The kind of wind that makes non-desert dwellers seek shelter. This same wind creates an endless supply of dust. I dust the living room then the dining room, the living room again, move on to the bedroom, the bathroom, the dining room again, back to the living room... it's an endless cycle. I give up after a while and move on to picking up.

My daughter is a 4 year old hurricane.  You know she is coming, it's imminent. She is one of nature's most destructive forces and there is no stopping or controlling her. Try as you might to minimize the damage, it is coming.

Everything is a toy to her. She also likes to make piles. Her stuffed animals get piled as high as she can reach. While I'm corraling these she's in the living room removing all pillows and cushions from the couch and loveseat and making those into a pile she can leap into like a pile of fall leaves. Picking up the pillows, I get after her to quit pulling the stuffed animals back out. She disappears. I have won this battle. Yay me! Pillows and cushions neatly arranged and stuffed animals no longer covering the floor. I am pleased.

I make my way to my bedroom where I discover she has pulled every article of clothing she can reach from the closet and dresser and made a pile. Are those my good clothes on the bottom? Where did she find yogurt? Argh! Now I have laundry. *oh goody* Put the clean clothes away which doesn't take long since many have yogurt on them now. Gather up the yogurt covered clothing and head off to put these in the washing machine.

On my way to the laundry room I slip in a puddle of water on the bathroom floor. My precious little water sprite has been practicing her water magic. She's not very good at controlling the water... much of it is splattered on the mirrors and counters. The floor has an inch of water covering it. Get the mop and towels. Windex, where's my windex? In the kitchen.

Passing by the living room I see a pile of pillows on the floor.  "Pick those up!" I yell as I continue to the kitchen. Crunch Crunch Crunch Crunch  Now what? There is a torn bag of potatoe chips scattered across the kitchen floor. I grab the broom and sweep it up. Get the windex and head back to the bathroom.

My daughter is leaping from the empty couch to the pillow pile. Squealing with delight and grinning from ear to ear. "Pick those up and put them back on the couch! Now!!" I stop to help her put them back up in the right order, largest in back, smallest in front. "Don't do this again, please."

Back to the bathroom. I finally get it cleaned up. The floor is dry. The counters are cleaned. The mirrors sparkle. I'm ready for a break. As I turn to leave the bathroom I trip over a pile of yogurty clothes. Oh yeah.... laundry.

There are few things in life I detest more than laundry. I can't think of any right now, but I know there's something. Ah ha! Dental appointments. There's one. Although the waiting room has no piles for me to clean so right about now I'm thinking a dental appointment might not be so bad.

Laundry.... Ok, to the washing machine I go. I forgot to take a wet load out and put it in the dryer. How long has that been there?  Yogurt clothes on the floor, I reset the washer and rewash the clean clothes that have been hiding in it.

Walking back through the bathroom I glance in the mirror. What's that? I've got yogurt on my shirt. Strip it off, toss it in the laundry pile on the floor and head to the bedroom for a clean shirt. In the bedroom I find that my daughter has stripped my bed and made a pile with the pillows, blankets and sheets at the foot of my bed. Pulling on a clean shirt I reach for the pile, grumbling to myself.

Hurricane Cutie runs from the room, laughing with euphoric glee, off to strike another sector.

It is one against one and I am out numbered.

Oh forget it...