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February 2009
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April 2009

But those clothes are still Perfectly Good!

I have an all day work meeting on Wednesday and yet I have so few work-appropriate clothes left in my closet that 1) fit, 2) aren’t all dusty/stretched out/bleached on the shoulders from hanging too long, and 3) aren’t WAY out of style, so, you know, finding a nice outfit can be a challenge.  (Plus, you remember that I hate work clothes, right?  Did them too many years.  However, fashionista shit is OK.  (Also, I get easily bored so even if I came up with nice outfits for weeks on end for my one-day-in-the-office-per-week stint I’m not going to *psshhh* repeat!  Because then I would be me boring myself.  (Yes, I know no one else would notice.)))  Anyway, I grabbed a shirt for a test-wear that I’d forgotten I bought well before pregnancy (so that would be like, what? placing it in the realm of early 2000s?  When all the GAP models were still showing their navels everywhere?) threw it on, reminiscing about how cute this top used to look, like that one time I wore it to go see Dave Chappelle pre-Comedy Channel era (OK, granted, it was more a “club” top… being black and mod/lace and a little clingy and somewhat see-through but trust me, with a nice tank underneath and a good jacket I could totally make it work-appropriate.  Kind of.) and…

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Like I stole clothes from a 12-year old.

Like the Hulk busting out in the after-hours disco.

Like I’m a camel toe away from cougars-ville.

Not quite the office look I’m going for.

(Though, I did briefly feel quite busty (for a gal without cleavage).)
            - the weirdgirl


Happenstance (for shits and giggles)

Holy crapmonkeys, is it Wednesday already?!  Well, in the basic breakdown of my days it seems like I work and drive Chance around to places he "needs to be".  That seems like it should be highly ironic, somehow.  hmmm  However, here are a few other moments in my action-packed, compelling life.

            
I'm on the Waiting List (da da DUM!) for BlogHer... which pretty much means I'm not going.  (Damn tickets go faster every year.)  Keen suggested we book a nice spa day instead.  (Ya gotta love that guy.)

Apparently, for my 20th high school reunion there's only, like, 100 tickets available or some such crap.  Out of a class of 600.  Does that make sense to you?  So I'm kind of figuring on not going to that either.  SPA!

A moment to bitch... color will not stay in my hair.  I mean, it's ridiculous.  This has actually always been an issue for me but I swear it's getting worse.  As you all know (and the above cartoon version of me will attest), I like a lot of the bright punk reds but my real hair is actually a lot lighter.  It's a light brown, with a lot of blonde/red highlights, so what happens is a lot of the true reds quickly fade to an orange-y brown.  So... I recently had my hairdresser (which costs $$$ but I didn't want to screw it up (and, you gotta figure, amortized over several months, right?)) put on a permanent color in a rich, dark auburn with the plan to use that as my base and then just throw whatever punk color I felt like on top of it - red, purple, true orange, etc.  The damn permanent lasted a month!   These things are supposed to grow out!  I mean, I gave up on the semi-permanents last year because they were fading so damn fast, and, of course, I don't expect the deposit-only colors to last very long, but crap on a stick!  I'm basically re-doing my hair color every two weeks

But don't worry it's all vegan and non-chemical and stuff.  At least it's cheap.

Oh, I also tried dyeing my hair jet black a few days ago just to see what it looked like.  Did it stick?  No, no it did not.

A little confusion

Chance: "OK..." (blocking me with a pillow) "you're in prison now." (Pronounced "prism".)
Me: "I am?  Oh no!  What did I do?"
Chance:  "You broke the law."
Me: "How?  I don't remember that!  How did I break the law?"
Chance: "You slammed the law... like this..." (swinging his leg) "and it broke."
Me: "Oh."
Chance: "Yeah, you're in jail now. Here's your ticket to get in."


So begins the "phase"

You know, for a brief shining moment there I thought a modicum of cleanliness had entered my life.  I was no longer washing soiled undergarments (yay potty training!), Chance really seemed to enjoy using napkins, he had learned not to fingerpaint with pudding and could distinguish that mud would make a mess, he even liked baths.  Life was looking up... at least from a cleaning perspective.

I should have known better.  I did grow up with three brothers after all but whatever, a girl's gotta dream.

I picked up Chance from preschool the other day and he looked like he had rolled full body in pasta... to find out that he DID roll in pasta.  (What?  It's the new Olympic sport, Mom!)  I've recently picked him up to find he has also rolled in sand/mud/paint.  He has - to his delight - discovered that his shirt is so much easier and more convenient than hunting down a tissue... from the tissue boxes that are in every room in the house.  And you know, sometimes it's just more important to run from the bathroom back to that video game as quickly as possibly, rather than making sure one is completely free of any potty debris.  Or even having pulled up the pants completely.

(Yes that is my bare-bottomed, dirty little boy running through the house, thank you very much, and no, I don't want to buy any magazines.)

((There is occasionally that door-to-door salesperson who is unfazed by the rampant nakedness.  Or as one said to me before he continued his pitch, "I have younger brothers."))

And recently, Chance's most common question whenever the subject of a bath comes up is,

"What will happen if I go to school stanky?"

(P.S. "Stanky" is his word, not mine.)

So anyway, from the awareness of being dirty to the convenience of being dirty in just a few short weeks.  I know this will pretty much last until college.  Case in point.


           - the weirdgirl


Blown Away... four years running

Chance turned FOUR this week!

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(He's still working on that tricky thumb thing.)

I know this sounds like goofy mom-gushing but I can't believe it's been four years!  (Life just keeps smacking me upside the head.)  He started out like this... 

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I mean, the cat was bigger than he was.  And she's the smaller of the cats.

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(That cat thinks Chance is a holy terror now.)

I seriously cannot imagine what life would be like if Chance wasn't in our lives.  I won't wax on about how life is all moving too fast and I wish I could hold on to these precious times... because honestly, I don't regret the passing moments.  I love seeing him grow bigger, and smarter, and stronger every day, becoming his own person.  I simply feel blessed to have these passing moments with him in our lives at all. 

But I do occasionally regret not being independently wealthy so there can be more adventures with him and less day to day drudgery.

(Oh, like you haven't thought it, too.)

We had a party yesterday.  Fortunately, we learned not to repeat last year's scenario.  I also took a move from my friend's playbook and specified the beginning and the end time of the party... so that everyone knew when to move to the door.  Not to be mean - I love our family and friends - but you just can't let these things drag on when there are children and sugar involved.  (BTW, you should see my friend in action, I've never seen anyone wrangle a party like she can.  If she has one someplace like Chuck E. Cheese it's... boom! tokens to all the kids... boom! pizza... boom! cake... and boom! presents and she's out the door.  She can seriously wrap everything up in two hours.  I am in awe.)

We had a fabulous cake (once again!) courtesy of my bakery friends extraordinaire.  Those two are more  friends who blow me away.  Do you know their first specialty cake was Chance's second birthday?  And now I think they need to be on Food Network.

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(I'm also really grateful they don't charge me.)

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We also got a bouncy house and let the kids go to town playing arcade games and banging on my drum set.  (Kids really are easy to please.)  I kind of forget, because I have to clean it all the time, but I guess our house is pretty fun.  (Or close enough, without being independently wealthy.)  I guess that's one of the benefits of refusing to grow up (see related: denial of passing moments).  Chance, in any case, was very happy with the whole deal.  And there was only a little crying when everyone went home.

But even though it was much less painful than last year's marathon party streak, we still took today to be lazy and recover. 

With or without a party, I think I needed that time anyway... just to wrap my head around this parenting thing. 

(And maybe sniffle a little when no one was looking.)

Happy Birthday, kiddo!

Love, Mom


Going on the list of things to do when I'm rich

So I've been thinking a lot about this one lately... the way our school system is set up.  Chance is getting closer to kindergarten - he's a year away - and I know I need to look at our options.  I've been looking, here and there, talking with other parents at OT, scanning the ads for schools in our local parenting magazine for particular keywords.  I haven't done an in depth search yet but I know I need to start.

The plan originally was for Chance to go our local elementary, which is well-rated and, the part I love, would be full of kids from the neighborhood.  I like the idea of being neighborhood-centric.  It's one of the reasons we picked this neighborhood in the first place.  Literally growing up with the children near you, rather than having sets of friends at distant schools, and distant hobbies, and distant sports - which is the way world seems to have moved.

However, I am the first person to acknowledge that a public school might not be the best environment for Chance with his sensory issues.  He has come a LONG way since last summer (I mean, huge) but he still has a way to go - some of the sensory issues will continue to get better as he gets older, but other aspects will still be hard (especially, I suspect, his sensory-seeking behaviors).  His preschool class right now has 30 kids and that's probably way too many past ideal.  I just haven't wanted to pull him away from his friends (I'm so much less concerned with the "academics" of preschool in favor of socialization). 

Honestly, seeing how much of a difference the OT and speech therapy has made with Chance, what I'd LOVE, would be to pick up his entire therapy office and drop it into a school environment.  His therapy office is comprised of both Speech and Occupational Therapists.  And there are schools like that, who have therapists on site... but they are usually for autistic or more physically disabled kids.  There aren't any (or none I've found so far) for the children who have an issue or two that is getting in the way of development and learning.  And it's a shame because many of the methods used in play (occupational) therapy really increase focus and, utimately, help learning.  Not just for kids with special needs, but everyone.  If you make a roomful of children do ten jumps in a row before sitting down to learn a hard math problem, they generally will have more focus for learning.

Public schools in California have gotten increasingly larger as school funding has been cut.  I was talking with the spouse of a teacher recently (whose son is also in OT) and I asked what the perspective was on kids with ADHD, SPD, or other similar issues and he said that with the large class sizes and the pressure to score highly on tests the teachers just "don't want to deal with" the difficult children. They don't have the time.

One out of 20 kids has sensory issues; that's 5% of the general population.  Another 5%+ have ADHD/ADD.  There are also children with depression, bi-polar disorder, Aspergers, and behavioral issues.  There are kids with medical conditions, like cystic fibrosis and more.  There are kids who are more active or less active than those around them.  There are children who "just don't fit in".  These are regular kids... but they all have issues, sometimes really small issues, that get in the way of learning, interacting, and self-esteem.  These are kids who might not learn best by the "sitting still and shuting up" standard.  Looked at by itself not one of these seems to be a signficant percentage in the general population, but taken all together you start talking about quite a lot of children. 

So... if every classroom has 2-3 kids (and probably more) that are "difficult", that the teachers just "don't want to deal with", where are those children supposed to go?

Because I can tell you right now I haven't found a school for those kids yet; the kids who are mainstream but towards the edge.  The kids who have a special need, but aren't special needs. 

Chance is impulsive and physical and often inattentive and smart, and I don't want him to lose out on reaching his potential because he's one of the "difficult" children.  I don't want him to struggle unnecessarily or lose self-esteem.  I don't want to see any other child lose out on their potential either, because I have to wonder... are we, is our education system, failing these children? 

So that's basically what I would do... if I was rich I would found a school.  A school with smaller class sizes and rooms outfitted with OT gym equipment.  A school with OTs and speech therapists and regular therapists on site with the teachers.  A school where an emotional outburst is not a major breach of "how things are done".  A school that could accomodate a special diet, the need for a quiet room, or the need for a child to run a couple of laps before sitting down to learn.  A school where a kid who might feel a little different, can just relax, instead of feeling like they're getting in trouble all the time.  

If you know of a school like that, let me know.                 - the weirdgirl


More for the book

Madgirl Lovesong #5

To my dearest

Oh! The moon rolls round again…
and crushes…
it crushes me.
My belly twists with the weight of leaden love.
The moonboot footprints of desire.
Oh mountainous dead rock,
Ever without atmosphere,
I tremble at your influence.
I am a flower.

Now go get me some chocolate.


Another Author Interview (for the fabulously popular Book of Facetious Dribble)

INTERVIEWER: Your book’s meteoric rise to fame is unprecedented and, frankly, a little absurd.

ME (bouncing a little): I know! Isn’t it cool?!

INTERVIEWER: One can only wonder if the decline in education is faster than previously thought. Now, you yourself claim to have done post-graduate work…

ME: Technically, I’m a grad school dropout!

INTERVIEWER: But you say you’ve done some post-graduate studies…

ME: Yep. Working on a Literature MA when I left. I was not kicked out.

INTERVIEWER: Mmm-hmmm. About your title… you know that drivel is spelled “i-V-E-L”, right?

ME: Excuse me?

INTERVIEWER: Drivel, you misspelled “drivel”.

ME: No, no. It’s “dribble”.

INTERVIEWER: Dribble?

ME: Yes!  As in “topping dribbled over ice cream”?  Or drool.

INTERVIEWER: So… in essence you’re comparing your smartassery with the sweet, holy goodness that is hot fudge.

ME: YES!!  Or drool.

INTERVIEWER: Pause, glaring daggers.

ME: Smile, slowly fading.

INTERVIEWER: It’s a good thing you self-published.

ME (in mocking, squeaky voice): It’s a good thing you self-published.