Sunday, January 22, 2006

Meanwhile...back at the ranch

What is this? I'm sitting in a comfortable chair, and my wrist isn't falling asleep from sitting on a knife like corner. It is completely silent. Glancing around, I see no Sophie toys, no Jimmy toys, and nothing has been chewed on, spilled on, or otherwise destroyed.

That's right--I'm at Mom's house. The PU's (parental units) and Katy have sojourned up north to take care of the geriatric needs of the extended family, and this morning, after a long and harrowing day yesterday, I loaded the laundry in the car (ok--Erik loaded--but I told him to) and headed for this veritable oasis of clean and quiet. I have about 3 hours ahead of me and I plan to spend about 1 of them fucking around on the computer, 1 in the bathtub, and 1 reading the paper and looking through the 1 gazillion catalogues my mom receives daily. (Oh--and shuffle the laundry in and out as needed.)

I love being at my mom's house when no one is here. It's like crashing a super nice hotel for free for a few hours. I never actually lived in this particular model. It's officially the 6th or is it 7th place my parents have lived in since we all moved to Utah, and I only lived in 2 of them--ok 3 if you count that couple of months I moved back during a rocky patch with E. Building houses is my parent's hobby. Anyhootenany Mom's pantry is always stocked, the place is always clean, and mom always has good stuff. The hot tub. The walk in shower. The comfy computer chair. Ahhh.

Now then--a little catching up. The first week of teaching everyday actually went quite well. We have a new group of students thanks to a little prescription pill swapping at the "real" high school. It's so funny when we get a batch like this. They always are a little scared--think they're going to be knifed or something. They always think they're just a little to good for us, and that they will be returning to their home schools asap. After a few weeks though, they start to love it, to see how great it is to be in a class with fewer than 15 students. To be at a school with no social aristocracy. To have a teacher that writes prespositional phrases as though they were sentences. By the end of the quarter, they and their parents generally want them to stay forever, and we have to be pretty firm about who we'll keep (those who really need us) and those who don't.

The main problem has been, as is the norm in teaching, other adults, not kids. My principal failed to notify the district office correctly that I was returning full time. As a result--my health benefits have been held up (I've been wearing this pair of disposable 1 month contacts for like, 6 months and they fucking HURT) and my pay check did not reflect my extra hours last week. So, I called the district office, and explained (very politely) to the insurance/payroll secretary that I was now full time, and asked who I had to blow to get my freaking money and benefits. (Ok. I just asked her what the best way to fix the problem would be.) She said, and this is a direct quote, "Well, I'll call and talk to your principal, and if you really are full time I will call you back." Huh? Is it just me, or was that in incredibly rude/bitchy/untrusting thing to say. Do they have a problem with people randomly calling and lying about working full time? After a bit of phone and email tag, however, I think I fixed the problem.

In other riveting news--I've started taking a yoga class (it's actually a women's empowerment yoga class--no scoffing please) and have been twice now. Truth? It's THE BOMB!! I love the class, love the teacher (a 50 year old pixi-ish knock-out with the most beautiful autumn coloring you've ever seen), love how I feel while I'm there, love how I feel for approx. 3 minutes after the class until I forget everything an fall back to shit again--but hopefully that 3 minutes will turn into 5 and maybe 10 and who knows, some day, I may be a walking force for calming and wholeness and awareness in the universe. But not today.

Actually--I'd love to be enlightened--who wouldn't, but I'm kind of afraid it will make me kind of, I don't know, dull. I'm not TOO neurotic, but I must admit, I'm a bit attached to my neurosis. (What an incredibly shallow way to feel.)

Now--Sophie news. My child is an incredibly gifted mess maker. Everyday she comes up with new and varied ways to drive me mad. When not decorating the walls with crayon, marker, nail polish, pudding, or toothpaste, she loves to make soup. Making soup entails sneaking some kind of liquid--water from the toilet, a juice box, dad's old half empty can of Pepsi, pouring it into a bowl--could be the dog's, or her lunch box, or even a shoe will work in a pinch--and adding any kind solid to it.

Yesterday she was grounded for the first time. She took a carrot out of the refrigerator, OPENED the door and walked ACROSS THE STREET to feed the real bunny that belongs to her friend Bianca. I was doing laundry at the time, so my negligence is partly to blame, but dude, I was so scared, so worried. I searched the house, then ran across the street to find her sitting in the snow, happily poking a carrot throughout he bars of the rabbit cage. She just grinned and told me she was feeding the bunny. I grabbed her, and proceeded to spank her bare butt right then and there, and wouldn't let her play with her friends for the rest of the day. She was PISSED but Christ almighty--that girl has got to learn that she is a CHILD!!! We talked a lot about the incident, and I think she understands, kind of, why I was so angry--but really, she just seemed to be placating me.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Ice cream cone cupcakes. Remember those? Delish.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Trying to figure out what to do with a child who is fiercely independent


Jen said...

Oh my God, you must've had heart failure when she was missing! I hope you got through to her why she must not wander off like that. Kids!

lonna said...

And she's only three, right. How fucking scary. I really feel like we're on the road to Sophie-ville. Dermot is very determined and has definite ideas about what he should be doing. I wish that I had some advice for you. It's amazing just how quickly these toddlers can get themselves into trouble.

amandak said...

I'm BAAAACK!! Woo Hoo! Can't wait to get caught up on everyone's blogs, but yours particularly. Glad to hear the work thing is going (mostly) ok. I had a scare like that once with Zach, and he also got a severe paddling right then and there when I found him wandering down the sidewalk. Since then, I always keep the front door bolted, and that seems to work. With your little Hodini though, I don't know if that would slow her down.

Love you sweetness!

Jacques Roux said...

Chains and shackles. That's what every child under the age of 18 should wear. And while it may stifle their "indepenence" and "creativity" a bit, at least you'll be able to keep proper tabs on those dear little children.

But then, I think the state and local governments might have something to say to you about that. I guess you'll just have to bar the doors, until Miss Soph gets wise.

And regarding the wage and insurance problems? You just give me a call if you continue to have problems. I get paid to kick the shit out of insipid little asshats like that HR snot. For you, I'd do it for free.

NME said...

I can totally empathize with the Mom's place stuff. My mom's place is always clean and the cupboard is always stocked with snack foods that I don't buy. When I go there I feel like I just got home from 7th grade and I want to take three bags of junk food to the couch and watch General Hospital.

YOGA! I remember that feeling after class ended, and hope to have it again some day. Congrats on going. And I don't think enlightenment can completely wash away neurosis - and certainly not the most fun ones.

Soup and escape plans. Nice. You best get your butt back to yoga. You are gonna need an extra heaping of calm.

Heather said...

Soup in a shoe, now that's one I've never heard before. Maybe you could invest in a cage? (Just kidding, please don't everyone e-mail me...)

As for the wandering away, I suppose if she doesn't get it you could always try the supernanny trick of putting a deadbolt at the top of the door.

patrice said...

deadbolt on the door for sure. and I guess on the door that leads to the outside, too.

soup! I used to do that too, but in the kitchen only. maybe you can tell her that she can make soup if she does it over the kitchen sink. if she doesn't think it's off limits, maybe she won't want to do it in the shoe surruptitiously.

~A~ said...

If you ever have to talk to that hag at the school district again, just hex her with an unfathomable amount of dirty laundry. Not just the regular kind either, but socks that have been worn outside with out shoes and underwear with skidmarks.

My heart sank for you when I read about Sophie's great escape. That's a feeling no mother should have to go through. I lost a kid for the first time last June, considering that I've been a mother for 8 years and it's the first time I lost a kid I can look back and think not bad. I was loading the van after a GS meeting, put the kids in first then went to the back to load the gear. Elf being a newly potty trained 3 year old, got out of the van walked around where I couldn't see him and went back in to the school to find a bathroom. If it was any normal night it wouldn't have been so scary but this night there was a sports game of some sort at the other end of the school and people were leaving. I came with in a second of calling 911 when I opened the door to the school and found Elf in the doorway crying because he couldn't find the bathroom and had an accident. The whole thing maybe lasted 30 seconds but it felt forever.

Anyway, keep up the yoga. I see a lot of my kids in the stuff Sophie does and oh Lord, you're gonna need it. And yes, ice-cream cone cupcakes are the bomb. 2nd to mock sushi.

Stine said...

Yay on the yoga.

As far as Sophie is concerned, I just get these visions of her being 17 and calling you from France. But I guess that would be a little different than right across the street. Not knowing where my child was at would be my worst fear as a parent.

I was just going through some pictures yesterday, and found a pic of Sophie at about 10 months to a year old, in a little red-checkered sun dress, and matching doo rag - thought I was going to die it was so cute.

Katy said...

Oh that Soph, this morning when we were getting ready for school she followed me around like a little lost puppy and when I was in the shower (after my failed attempts at distracting her with the Backyardigans) she just sat on the toilet and talked to me. Occasionally she'd poke her head in the shower to make sure I was ok. Such a doll. It's a good thing we're a fairly open family :)

So sorry about the Soph's disappearing act. I remember a couple times babysitting when one of them would go missing and I'd think "Oh Shit, if I lost Madeline her mothers gonna kill me." Then finding her in the bedroom buried under pillows.

When I changed jobs my old boss called HR and gave them a termination date for me but no start date for my other job when really she should have just changed my job desrciption. That was a little terrifying for a second. Hope everything gets squared away soon.

Love ya.

ERL said...

ahh isnt that nice to be alone in the parents house? it's like having a free vacation home.