Crazy-ass family

You just can't make this stuff up

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shopping With Three Children Hurts My Brain

The grocery store is packed and we've already had a long day. We're wet from the rain and chilled to the bone. Caleb and Aidan run and yell, battling their way through the aisles, calming briefly when we threaten them. The atmosphere is oppressive; people around us sigh heavily.
Liam is quickly bored and tells us about it.
He wants to get out and walk.
Aidan's nose is runny. He needs a new tissue.
Caleb is full of questions and comments, talking away consistently.
The man behind us tries to steer his cart past mine and can't; we're both blocked. Still, he inches forward and I feel the pressure of his impatience heavy on my back. Finally, the backs of my legs are met with the cold metal of his cart, and he mumbles a quiet, "je m'excuse."
My heart races.
We decide we should buy dinner at the store. It's just easier.
We look at the cooked chickens. Caleb asserts that he would like french fries. We end up getting two small pizzas for the kids and I promise to make fries at home.
Jim and I settle on salmon as the kids wonder excitedly about the lobsters in the tank. Aidan is more than mildly disturbed when I tell him why they're there, but cheers up when I tell him how yummy they are.
Liam, by now, is reaching his boiling point. I hoist him out of the cart and murmur comforting words in his ear. He's not hearing it; he wants to walk. By the time we reach the cash, I'm busy contemplating how very, very tired I am. I decide to let Liam walk a bit while Jim and the boys pay for the food.
I put Liam down, straighten up, and follow. His immense and immediate joy is evident. His arms punch the air triumphantly with each step. He explores the wine section, glancing back now and again to be sure I'm still there. Then he beelines to the frozen foods section and slaps his hands, spread out like starfish, on the doors of the ice cream section. A woman nearby laughs and comments, in French, that the kid knows what he wants.
My heart begins to feel a little lighter.
Liam looks at me mischievously and toddles away behind a stack of boxes.
"Where's Liiiiaaaaam?" I inquire.
He peeks out and I say, "BOO!" and he has a good belly laugh.
People around us are smiling.
He fights me all the way back to the cash to meet Jim and the boys, but I pretend he's an airplane and zoom him through the air.
Those few minutes changed everything. Cool.
And hardly anyone tried to run over us with their cart.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Maybe Nobody Will Recognize Me

Pretend you have a really persistent co-worker who goads you into singing with a group for a charitable campaign at work. Then pretend that you, in turn, goad your friends and co-workers into singing with you, effectively cementing your commitment to said group. Pretend you'll be performing in front of people you'll have to see every day.
Pretend that the group decides that "YMCA" by the Village People is an ideal selection.
Complete with costumes and choreography.
Pretend you're doing this tomorrow and you already feel like you're going to hurl.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Broken Doe

Just three seconds
And then she was behind me
Heart pounding so hard and so fast it felt like it may burst from her broken chest
Trying desperately to escape the nightmare
To get up and run
Like always
Run into the trees
To rise and bound
But pinned to the cold pavement by pain and fear
Pinned by her broken body


She will not see her children again
She will not run into the woods on this misty grey morning
Only vaguely aware of the machines that hurry past her
She is not ready to let go
Struggling against the inevitability,
She fights
She wants only to run

Just three seconds
And I feel her there
My energy and hers
Hers desperate

Help me

Mine desperate

I want to, so badly…

And then she is behind me

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Who Knew...

...that a fixed tooth* could give one a whole new perspective on life?
Sadly, my molar, which broke in half a couple of weeks ago, is terminally ill and it seems that nothing can be done to save it. I asked meekly if I would have to be awake when it gets pulled, and the dentist laughed a little and then assured me that no, I wouldn't. They have some options for me.
I wonder if crack is one of them?
Let me tell you about my dental appointment! Please, let me tell you, because I fear I will burst if I have to keep it all inside of me any longer.
As I mentioned, this tooth (back lower left molar, for those of you interested. incidentally, why are you interested? that's just odd. but thank you for caring just the same) split in half and has been causing trouble for me since. Besides not being able to chew on that side (OR on my right side - it needs a bridge!), my mouth tasted funny. That's all I'll say about that because I want you to still like me after you read this.
So, I went to the dentist for an emergency appointment, I did, and my wonderful dentist (who I love) said that I could come back in a few days (read: tonight) and have a crown put on.
I was nervous going in. I had that sinking feeling - you know the one? In the pit of your belly? That one whispering "you have no right to even hope this may turn out okay and you KNOW it! Stop fooling yourself, freak!"? Yeah. So I'm reclined uncomfortably in the chair and dude is poking around in my mouth, mumbling about crown walls and bones and whether the tooth is broken beneath the bone blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda. Then! Then he started yanking on my tooth.
Seriously. FREAKING OW! I mean, WTF?
"Does that hurt your gums?" he crooned.
"UH, EEEAAAHHH!" I mumbled around his fingers.
He placated me by shooting anaesthetic into my gums.
And started yanking again.
So yeah, the anaesthetic didn't work and I was starting to tremble a little.
A few well-placed sharp inhalations and an exaggerated wince clued him in.
"Is your tongue numb?" he asked gently.
"Oh!" Let's give you some more anaesthetic!" said he, a look of concern in his eyes, so kind and floaty above his mask.
Two more jabs and my tongue was nicely numb, but I continued to tremble. After he wrenched the tooth from my gums and the nurse suctioned some disturbingly red fluid from my mouth, they took an x-ray and left the room to study it.
I looked at myself in the mirror and was astonished at my pallor. Hmmm. I opened my mouth and was once again astonished - this time at the amount of blood floating around in there.
I comforted myself by spitting several times in the sink. I jumped up and down a bit to try and get rid of the shakes and was sufficiently amused at my strangeness to quell the worst of the trembles.
My wonderful dentist came back in looking rather grave, and proceeded to explain to me the many reasons that my tooth has to go. Then he filled it temporarily and replaced a filling on another tooth and we were off to the receptionist's desk to schedule a consultation with the surgeon.
Because the tooth is large and rather in bad shape so it will be very unpleasant to extract.
Oh look! I'm trembling again!
My dentist spoke quietly with the receptionist, offered me a bright smile, and disappeared while the receptionist typed and scheduled my next appointment.
Are you wondering why I love my dentist?
After she handed me a card with my appointment written on it, she said, "That's it!"
I stared at her dumbly.
"No payment?" I asked, giggling a bit at the silliness of that notion.
"Nope!" she said.
"I like it here!" I exclaimed excitedly, and the receptionist laughed.
I still thought she was kidding, but she wasn't.
I walked out of there feeling like maybe I should run.
I was happy. Buoyant! My tooth is scheduled to die on November 7th but I DIDN'T PAY FOR ANYTHING TONIGHT!
Then, half-way home, I realized that my dentist probably felt bad for me. He probably looks in my mouth and feels sad. And then he thinks of the copious amounts of money I will be giving him in the future: extraction, another extraction, BRIDGE. And he feels joy. He wants me to come back. I, my friends, will keep this man in business with this miserable mouth of mine.
I'm going to bed.
My mouth hurts.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Tedium of Me

When I was little, I worshipped my father. I waited for him to be home, and when he was, I'd hang on his every word, I'd sit beside him and watch him read forever (no wonder I could read when I was three), I'd draw him pictures...
When he was manic, I'd sit on the back step and watch him run around the block...circling and circling...and I could see, even from a distance, the look of joy on his face. Of hope. Of being on the precipice of something great and knowing all he had to do was...keep going.
When he was depressed, I would tiptoe around him. I'd quietly ask him questions about planets and books and music and cherish each thing he taught me. I'd sit beside him and sit and sit and sit and wait for that look of joy.
I thought that if I was very good, he'd be okay. I so wanted him to be okay.
My father gave me gifts.
He gave me brains. And curiosity and the desire to learn. He gave me, I'm convinced, some of the gifts I used to talk about on here a lot. He taught me, in silence, to wait. He taught me, in his absence, to imagine and to anticipate. He taught me the power of will and decision. He taught me right and wrong.
Sometimes, I am depressed. Sometimes I am anxious. Mere shadows of the bipolar extremes that my father experiences, I'm sure, but shadows indeed.
I think that, in an effort to make sense of all of this as I grew up, I built a safe little wall around myself...with rules, and clear goals, and morals, and right and wrong. I made decisions very carefully...I watched, learned, and decided appropriately. Now, when things in my life are so very mixed up, I feel that wall crumble and wonder what will be left at the end of it.
Will I rebuild?
Will I tear down and start over?
All those rules I set out for myself - the clear lines of right and wrong and black and white - are blurred now with shades of grey and I wander through, confused and enlightened.
In the meantime, I go to work and I take care of my kids. I play my flute and I sing. I cry some, too. And I think way too much.
And my Father is writing again. Once again, I sit and listen and learn.
And I'm thankful.

Friday, October 06, 2006


The best part is when his eyes light up...

Any Mother Would Be Proud OR Rapid Deterioration of Young Boy After Consumption of Chocolate Ice Cream Cone

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Do Not Read This Unless You Were In My French Class This Morning

I think I'm in love with a woman in my French class.
Today was my first, four-hour French class - a course I'm taking at work.
Four hours of bland, boring, mind-numbing blandy boringness.
But there's one Indian woman there who makes me giggle uncontrollably, and she made surviving the morning easier.

It was her turn to read some dialogue, and she had some trouble with the pronunciation of "heureuse". Remember, this is a small room with eight quiet, bored students who don't want to talk or even be noticed.

Mia*: What IS that word, anyway?
Reluctant Teacher: It means, "happy".
Mia: It doesn't make me happy (bursts out laughing).
Reluctant Teacher: You seem happy.

Oh my GOD I laughed so hard.

Other gems:

When we were practicing conversation:

Reluctant Teacher: Does anyone have any questions for Mia?
Mia: No, no questions, s'il vous plait.

When we were demonstrating ways of confirming someone's identification:

Mia: Vous etes blah blah blah?

Okay maybe you had to be there.

*Not her real name. Not to protect her identity, but because I forget her real name. So maybe it's not love, per se. Maybe it's just admiration.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


Holy crap.
Well, an update has been demanded, so Laura, this is for you.
Laura suggests that, since I feel unable to write about my life at home at the moment, I should write about work.
Work. Well, I have a job. And it's okay. I'm really lucky to have it. It provides considerable security and benefits. And if I didn't show up, nobody woud notice because things I do are ultimately unimportant...
BUT!!! Yes! There is a but. But I have friends at work, and THAT is wonderful. Because of that, I enjoy going to work. I look forward to it. Strange, huh? I go to work, and I talk to my friends, and I become involved in everyone else's lives and don't have to worry about my own. I offer advice (probably way too much of it) and I chat and I expound on the mysteries of the universe and debate whether poker is really gambling (incidentally, Mark, there are two syllables in that word, not three! And 5 - 6 - 5 does not a haiku make!) or not.
I say it is.
Oh! And while I'm at work, my children learn and speak French and eat sand and are happy little monkeys.
Except for one thing. Every day, I go to work and I have this feeling of expectation. Like something big or wonderful or meaningful is going to happen. I sit at my desk and do my work and wait. I pause often, staring at the window, and think about that nagging feeling of expectation, and wonder why it's there. Then, at the end of the day, a feeling of disappointment comes over me and I think, "that's it?"
I can't explain it. Maybe it's always there, but I don't have time to notice it at home. It's busy around here, what with all the noisy children and all.
In closing, I would like to say that I'm thankful for work.
And apologize for my lack of interesting things to say.