Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Give Peace a Chance

Soph reported to me that she had a "problem" today and that she sat on the "peace" rug.

Here's how the story goes.

Soph: Mom. I had a problem today and went to the peace rug.
Me (hesitantly): Oh yeah? Tell me about it.
Soph: Well, Isabel wouldn't tell me it was ok.
Me: Hmm. Wouldn't tell you WHAT was ok.
Soph: She wouldn't say, "I accept your apology."
Me (worried): What did you apologize for?
Soph: I called her fat.
Long pause so I could collect my thoughts and address the issue as a calm, skillful parent.
Soph (in tears): But mom, you told me that you're fat. Grandpa Ray says his belly is fat.
Me (contemplating my eternal suckitute at parenting): Ok. You're right. But it really hurts people's feelings when OTHER people say they're fat.
Soph: But she is fat.
Me: Sometimes we don't say things even when they're true. We need to protect other people's feelings. Why did you tell Isabel that she's fat.
Soph: She got stuck in a chair.
Me (biting a hole in my cheek, trying to prevent myself from laughing): Well. Bodies are all different sizes. Some are big and some are little. Everyone is different. That's ok. I want you to be really really nice to Isabel, ok?
Soph: Mom. There are too many rules. I don't want to go to school anymore.

So, after Soph went to bed, I called her teacher. Mrs. E explained to me that actually, the "fat calling" incident happened a week ago. She didn't even know about it. Then today, Soph started kind of crying quietly. After digging a bit, Mrs. E found that Soph was feeling really really hurt that she kept apologizing to Isabel, and that Isabel wouldn't accept her apology. So the three of them sat down on the peace rug and talked it out. Big sigh.

I'm feeling equal parts responsible, sad, angry, and really, slightly amused. The thing is, "fat" is a description. Its connotation, obviously, is negative, but none-the-less, it is just a little ol' adjective. Of course, in our place/time, fat, when used to describe a person, = bad. Very, very bad. Kids read, "The fat cat sat," and it's fine, but call someone fat (particularly ME) and the shit will hit the fan. No more to say really. I'm going to sleep on this one.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Well, I never become overly cocky.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Having a walking, talking conscience.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Haiku Hodge-Podge

Draw a circle first

Dots for eyes and lines for legs

Add a smile--Voila!

Six-thirty a.m.

Thirty six degrees and dark

We're waiting for what?

Auntie Shannon's COLD!

Grandma keeps wrapping me up,

And mom says "Say Cheese"?!

Photo op again?

Grandma says Mom deserves her

picture taken too.

I found my friend mom!

We'll catch you guys later. What?!

We can't go alone?!

2 hours of waiting

Shivering, nose wiping, hell

Was worth it for this.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Neighborhood of Make-Believe

You see, I don’t WANT to blog about getting fatter and sleepier and less interested in, well, pretty much everything. I don’t want to talk about going to bed pretty much immediately after getting Soph tucked in (at 7:30). I don’t want to talk about the 2 pairs of pants that fit me, and money being tight-ish, and so not having the desire or the means to go buy more. I don’t want to talk about getting to school, late (again) and sitting here, forcing myself to do the minimum—the bare minimum--to keep my classes afloat, fighting off sleep every second, every second, and then giving into the urge to close my eyes and feeling sleep creep through my brain, settling for a 2 second sitting-up nap, though it would so prefer to climb under the covers and sleep, ahh, sleep all all all day.

I don’t want to. But on the other-hand, I don’t want to let the blog go completely. It’s been part of my life for more than a year now, quite considerably more, actually. That’s an investment. I still want SOMETHING to be there when I wake up some day. Maybe I’ll just blog about what I wish I was doing and feeling instead of what I’m actually doing and feeling.

Woke up at 5:00 this morning and went to the gym. Did an hour of step aerobics and a half hour of yoga. Man, that new size 6 sweat suit I bought from “Not made in a sweat shop by 10 year old South American children, and not made with materials or dyes from any endangered plants and animals or that compromise the habitat of any endangered plants and animals, and not involved in anyway with global corporations who are responsible for mass murders and wars in the Congo or Somalia or any other African country over some random mineral necessary to make electronics, and not shipped using any fossil fuels which are ruining the planet for all humankind, especially your daughter” is certainly comfortable. After my workout, I came home and fixed a lovely organic breakfast and Soph, E, and I all sat down together over our whole grains and lean proteins. After breakfast, Sophie dressed herself, brushed her own teeth, and thanked me for getting rid of the TV because she much prefers interactive activities that are good for her cognitive and motor development to 90 minutes of Playhouse Disney each morning. When I arrived at work, looking very smart, slender, and professional, I might add, I arranged the differentiated learning activities, and prepared to be a facilitator who inspires and guides her students toward learning.

Why not? Soph seems to be able to live in her own little fantasy world with no particular trouble. Lately, she talks not only about her imaginary friend, but her imaginary friend’s immediate and extended family. We went to see the hot air balloons of the Sky Festival early one morning over the weekend, and she informed all assembled, in much seriousness, that her imaginary friend’s grandfather has a hot air balloon and that he takes her for rides in it all the time. I’m charged with strapping the imaginary baby sister into her imaginary car seat each time we go anywhere in the car, and also am expected to carry the imaginary baby seat into the store, and secure the imaginary baby sister in the shopping cart. Every now and then, Soph shrieks that her baby has fallen out of the cart, and I then rescue IBS (Imaginary Baby Sister, not Irritable Bowel Syndrome) from the floor, and strap her back in.

Her imaginary world extends to school as well. Apparently, the teacher had to sit Soph and 2 of her cronies down and ask them to stop playing their imaginary games (based, I think, on The Nightmare Before Christmas, Soph’s current fave) in the classroom, because they were getting way too rowdy and interrupting the work of the other students. As reported to me by the teacher, Soph sat, nodding, listening, seeming to get the idea. At the close of the little chat, the teacher asked, “Do you understand girls? Do you have any questions?” Soph’s little arm popped into the air, and when called on, she asked, “Um. Mrs. Esplin? Could you be the witch?”

Today’s best thing about being a mom:
It forces you to get out of bed in the morning.

Today’s worst thing about being a mom:
It forces you to get out of bed in the morning.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Been a long night

The good: Sophie and I watched The Sound of Music—kind of.
The bad: She LOVES, with a burning, burning passion the puppet/yodeling scene, and refused to watch the movie past that point. Yodel, rewind, yodel, rewind, yodel, rewind, “Lay-ee-yodle-lee-ee-yodle-ay—Whew!”
The ugly: I’ve had terrible insomnia the last 3 nights. As I lay in bed, unsleeping, for hours, that fucking song runs through my head over, and over, and over again. If I ever chance to meet that one little girl in a pale pink coat or that son-of-a-bitching goatherd, I will strike down upon them with furious vengeance. With a baseball bat. With nails in it.

Now then. The Soph update:

She’s back in school and loving it. The morning of her first day back, she was slightly nervous. She kept telling me all the things we do and don’t do at school—kind of reminding herself of the rules. When I kissed her good morning: “Mommy, we don’t kiss at school. Only hug.” When she lay down on the couch to watch her morning show: “Mommy, we don’t lay down under the table at school.” When she was helping pack her lunch, and I put in some (bad Mommy) chocolate frosting for her to dip her graham cracker sticks: “Mommy, we don’t bring candy to school. But frosting is ok. Is it Mommy? Is frosting ok?” When I called her a silly-pants for sneaking the frosting out of the fridge and eating it with her fingers while I had a shower: “Mommy, we don’t call names at school. Rennin called me a pee-pee noney. Will Rennin call me a pee-pee noney today Mommy?” When I asked her to put her toys away: “Mommy, we don’t play at school. There are no toys. We do WORK Mommy. But the work is fun Mommy. It’s LEARNING fun Mommy. But we can play OUTSIDE Mommy.”

This weekend it seemed to be her goal to have as much of the surface area of her body on my body as possible. She didn’t want to just be BY me, she wanted to be ON me.

Her vocabulary continues to be hilariously astounding. Last week she jumped in my mom’s hot tub and announced, “Wow! I’m pretty buoyant!” Later the same day, she came to me with a toothache (Damn. Still need to make that appointment with the pediadontist) and reported, “I have such an affliction.”

Me update:

Well, I don’t want to talk about that, do I? Thus, the not blogging for several days. I’m fine. Fine. Fine. Fine.

Today’s best thing about being a mom:
This morning at 5:30 (She woke up at 5:15! I don’t want to talk about that either.) we waltzed together to her “Kid Songs” DVD.

Today’s worst thing about being a mom:
This morning at 5:30 (She woke up at 5:15! I still don’t want to talk about it.) we waltzed together to her “Kid Songs” DVD.