Sunday, July 26, 2009

ten seconds

I usually see my teenage daughter for about five seconds when she gets up before she leaves to go somewhere and then for about another five seconds before she goes to bed. I might be exaggerating a little bit. And actually sometimes I get lucky and see her for a couple hours in between there while she and her friends choose to hang out at our house, but for the most part she's a busy little girl who flits through my eyelids occasionally. So you would think that it wouldn't be a big deal if she went away for the weekend. Well, that's what she has done. My little girl is away for the weekend to a concert and then a mad shopping spree with her sister. And here I am in boring central all by myself. Don't get me wrong, I actually really like solo time. I get lots done, but I really miss her.

And just exactly what am I supposed to do with those ten seconds that I would have spent with her?

Friday, July 24, 2009

bad, bad shrimpie mom

Two years ago for Christmas, one of my daughters and I each got an ecosphere. If you've never seen one of these, they're really cool. It's a miniature self-sustaining world in a clear, closed globe. You don't open it. You don't feed them. It's a complete ecosystem with gravel, plant life, algae, and little teensy tinsy shrimp. All you have to do is provide a light source, natural or artificial. The shrimp thrive in their little world without any assistance. They can live for a couple years or maybe even longer, and if you're super lucky, they might even make more little shrimpies in their little world.

When we got these cool ecospheres, my daughter's had three shrimp in it and mine had five. Now she will argue this point until the day she dies. She says I only had three. I think she was just plain so jealous that she forgot how to count for a second. We've had this argument many times. But there really were five in mine. I had a hard time counting the little critters cuz they'd move around, but occasionally they would all be still and visible long enough to count them. Who knows? Maybe there were even more!

At one point, I think I put my little shrimps in a bad spot, and suddenly there were only three. And then one day, there were none. Sounds something like a bad scene from an Agatha Christie mystery, but it's not. I felt really bad about it. I stared at it and willed a shrimp to come back to life. I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. Then one day, I was walking by it and low and behold, there was a little baby shrimp flitting merrily around in there. What!? My dying shrimp apparently had left me a gift! Yay! But my joy was to be short lived. It didn't live very long, and I have not had the courage to tell my daughter that it died. I am taking the chicken way out and letting her read it through my blog. My shame is endless.

I'm a bad, bad shrimpie mom, but there really were five shrimpies in the beginning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

this is not your closet

I don't know how laundry duties break down at your house, but this is the general arrangment we have.

Me: Sort laundry, wash laundry, hang or dry laundry, fold laundry, sort laundry back into personal stacks.

Daughter: Put own laundry away.

This seems like a pretty equitable division. I hang her clothes on the bathroom curtain rod, and then I expect her to put them away. However, it seems like my daughter thinks that the bathroom has become her own personal closet. This is our recent interchange as she stood looking at her clothes in the bathroom.

Me: This is not your closet.

Her: (sweet, innocent face) Hmmm?

Me: This is not your closet.

Her: (still so sweet) It's not?

Me: (exhibiting my most stern face) No. It's not.

Her: (still the sweet smile you can't get mad at) Which should I wear today? This one? (shake of a hangered piece of clothing) Or this one? (shake of another hangered piece of clothing)

Me: (supressing amused grin) How about you take them all upstairs and put them away and then decide?

Her: (putting the two pieces back on the rod and continuing to peruse) I think I like this one. (smile as she passes me with ONE piece of clothing)

I shrugged, shut the door after her, locked it, and began to use the bathroom for the purpose it was designed.

Suddenly there was a frantic banging at the door.

Her: (in such a desperate, horrified tone it was completely credible) Mother . . . Mother! What are you doing? You're not going to the bathroom in my closet are you?


Saturday, July 18, 2009

separation anxiety

I'm pretty sure separation anxiety is not exclusively a human issue. Miley sometimes exhibits separation anxiety rather acutely. My daughter told me that while I was gone, she would pounce on her whenever she figured out that she was about to dessert her. This pup is really a people person. (Another way to put it might be that she's just plain needy.)

The day after I came home from the miracle of the birth of my first granddaughter, I snapped this photo. I had just taken a shower. When I came out, I could hear Miley whining on the other side of the door. She hadn't done that since the days when she was brand new in our house. A few weeks after we brought her home, she figured out that I did actually reappear if she was just patient enough. Now usually after a shower, I find her on the other side of the door, curled up waiting patiently. So I thought we had this separation anxiety thing under control. But I guess since I desserted her for such a long time, it reared its ugly head again. I wonder if I should take her to a shrink or get her some medication. Anyway, I could see her little shadowy feet pacing and I could hear her whining. Finally she plopped down and started pawing under the door, reaching first with one paw, then the other. I talked to her; I touched her little paws, but apparently she just plain felt so vulnerable that I was going to disappear forever, that she was desperate for me to reappear. When I still didn't reappear, she released a final sound that resembled a human groan/whine and assumed this anxious position.

I feel compelled to explain why I had my camera in the bathroom. See, I had been walking around, scrolling through the pictures of my little grandbaby. (Maybe I was teary eyed. Wanna make something of it?) It was time to shower, so I kept right on walking and right on scrolling. Wait. I kept right on strolling and right on scrolling. Strolling and scrolling. (That's cool.) Then I stood in the bathroom and stared at my cute little baby, and finally released the camera so I could shower. Then when I came out . . . well, you've already read that paragraph.

I remember when my kids were little. Going to the bathroom and disappearing from their view was completelly unacceptable and triggered this same kind of anxiety response. I would often see little fingers under the door, trying in vain to reach me. "Mommy! Mommy!" Most of the time it was cute, but at times it was annoying. Can't a mom have two minutes to go to the bathroom? Now I confess that I miss those days, and I miss those little fingers under the bathroom door.

I guess paws and a puppy nose will have to do.

Friday, July 17, 2009

and this is how my day began

Sonnet to a Migraine
by Lichelle Christensen
The day will dawn on time like other days,
And I begin to hustle to and fro.
But then the zigzag lightning strikes in haze,
And if those spots and dots and squiggles show,
Like many tiny black balloons at play
Among the lightning oscillating slick,
The window shades pull down without delay.
I grab the bottle, swallow Lortab quick.
Upon my eyes a dark substantial mask,
And lie so still, a zombie dead, distressed,
Until the pain decides enough and cracks.
But all the plans for going out are messed.
Then life resumes and carries forward march
Until the next demonic zigzag starts.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

you're welcome

A week or so ago while traveling the freeway, I saw some interesting things on the road.

1. 80 mph test sections: Did you know that there are "test sections" on the freeway? I found this really quite interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, these nice 80 mph test sections just made it so that I was no longer breaking the speed limit. (Did I just admit that I break the law?) But then, of course, a very strange thing happened. I was no longer going 80 mph. Maybe just a few miles faster than that. (Or maybe more than a few miles, but I'm not telling.) Then when the "test section" ended, it was really hard to want to slow back down to that other over-the-speed-limit speed that I was originally going. Was this a test in obedience? Then I wondered, well, if this was a test, where can I pick up my test scores. Will they be posted on my professor's door according to my social security number like good old college days? Hmmm. Maybe they'd have to use my license plate number instead. And finally, a test is usually testing something. What were we testing? Were we testing to see if people would still go faster than the speed limit. Well that's a no-brainer. Were we testing to find out if it would save gas? It's not a very effective test then cuz you didn't monitor my gas consumption. Were we possibly testing to see if a higher speed would result in more accidents and fatalities? So basically, what you're saying, is at the end of the day, we're going to count dead bodies and see if it's a hazard to drive at higher speeds. That's disturbing.

2. Rubber neckers: So I was on the freeway in my 80 mph test section, happily sailing at this new top speed, thinking I would arrive at my destination at least two hours early because of this increased speed, and there was a sudden slow down. I thought to myself, "There must be a bad accident to be slowing traffic like this." I finally arrived at the bottleneck. Nope. No accident. Someone was getting a ticket, and every rubber neck driver that drove by had to crane his/her neck around to see the action. (Thus the name rubber neckers.) I mean I wouldn't want to miss that little slip of paper passing from cop to driver. That would be plain sad.

3. Lane shifters: No, these were not shape-shifters, although I think they'd like to be. In said slow traffic while all the rubber neckers were stretching their rubber necks around, people were also shifting lanes like crazy. Do you really think you'll arrive there that much faster? You might beat me by 20 seconds. But that might be just the right timing to see that little ticket slip from paw to paw. Oh, suddenly I see your point in shifting lanes erratically.

4. The carpool lane: This is an interesting little doodad. It is meant to encourage people to drive with more than one person in the car. You can take this one lane if you're not alone in your car. This is supposed to be a privilege, and I think it's meant to help you get where you're going faster. I tried this lane a long time ago. I don't much prefer it. Why? Because, here's what happens. Someone who has more than one person in their car takes this privilege very seriously, and they sail into the lane. Then happily they drive along--at a snail's pace! Oh, I suppose you know, but in case you don't, once you are in this lane, you can't go out again until the dotted line on the ground reappears. You're stuck there, following someone who thinks they just arrived at naptime. Then you drive along behind this snoozer and watch with great chagrine as all the rest the world drives on by. If you're there long enough, you'll see yourself drive by on your next trip up. That's how bad this lane is. Yeah, carpool schmarpool. I avoid it.

5. End of work zone: Now this is my favorite. Along the way there were a couple of work zones. There was a sign posted at the beginning of the zone, advising that you are entering a work zone and warning you that you'll be double fined for speeding. I finally got through the work zone, and posted at the end of the zone was another sign: "End of work zone. Thank you. 1-800-xxx-xxxx" It's nice that they advise you that the work zone has ended. You might not see that there are no longer gigantic orange cones on the road. You could miss that I suppose. And the "thank you" is a nice, polite touch. But what is the phone number for? Should I call and order take-out pizza? Maybe call and rant about the slow down? Hey, maybe if I call, they'll give me my test score! Or should I just ring them up and say, "You're welcome!"?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

grandkids are the greatest

I've always been told that grandkids are the greatest. You get to love them, spoil them, and then send them home with Mommy and Daddy. Let's discuss these two statements.

I agree with the first statement. Grandkids are the greatest. I have to admit, however, that I thought kids were pretty great too. My children are the light of my life. It was so great to spend time with my sweet little grandbaby. It almost felt like I'd had another baby. It was that same magical world to me. She is so small and helpless, so warm and cuddly. There's nothing quite like the feeling of holding an infant in your arms. I guess some mothers never get over the baby hungry thing. I'm one of those mothers. I spent time up with her during the night, shooing away that tired mommy so that she could rest. (And secretly just wishing to hog the baby.) A couple of nights were pretty much sleepless, as she was mixed up on her days and nights. As I held her during the night, I just gazed into that perfect little face, and once again in my magical world, I couldn't believe what a beautiful little miracle she was. I couldn't even be angry at her for stealing away my rest. In fact when she was peacefully sleeping, I still sat and held her, staring at her, unwilling to put her down in her bed, even though time was ticking away and sleep was being lost. Yup, I wholeheartedly agree that grandkids are the greatest.

Now on to the second statement. You get to love them, spoil them, and then send them home. Of course, I agree with the loving and spoiling, and I'll be ever so good at that. But sending them home? Why would I want to do that? When I left to return to my real life, that was just plain anguish. It's always been hard to leave my grown up children after a visit. It makes me sad they're not still in my house. If I could, I'd probably gather them all home, and freeze them at that wonderful stage where everyone was here, busy, fun, coming and going, and my friends, all my best friends. But I can't do that. They grew up, moved on, and now I have this beautiful little granddaughter. Leaving my daughter and my granddaughter was heartbreaking. So I have to say that I don't agree that it's so great to be able to send them home. I mean look at this beautiful baby. Why would I ever want to send her home?

But since I must go, one last hug and one last kiss. I'll see you soon, sweet girl.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

so sleepy

Now I lay me down to sleep . . .

. . . and sleep . . .

. . . and sleep . . .

. . . and sleep . . .

. . . and sleep . . .

. . .because it's daytime, and that's what I do during the day. It doesn't matter how light it is, how noisy it is, or what you do to me. I just sleep. Grandma gets obnoxious. She pokes me. I sleep. She prods me. I sleep. She undresses me. Can you believe her? I sleep. She tickles my rib cage, up and down, up and down. I really hate that. I wriggle around, but still . . . I sleep. Then she does this really obnoxious thing. She gets all up in my grill and says, "Gobble, gobble, gobble. I love you, little one. Wake up. Wake up. Gobble, gobble. You're so sweet I could just eat you up." What is this? Is my grandma a cannibal? Anyway, I just sleep.

Yes, I just sleep. I'm a very talented sleeper. . .until nighttime. Then I'm all about finding out about the world. I open my eyes wide and look all around. I call out for company cuz I don't like to be alone. Oh look! There's Grandma. She must be on night duty tonight. Why does she look so sleepy?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

just plain beautiful

pretty in pink

just dreaming of the day when i can wear a ring bigger than my mommy's

never go home, grandma

Saturday, July 4, 2009

pink or blue?

The baby finally arrived.

Girl or Boy?

Here's a clue:

Me with my new granddaughter:

Born: July 2, 2009

6:27 p.m.
7 lbs 9 ou
19 1/2 inches
perfect in every way

And in case you were wondering, I'm pretty excited about it.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

new baby

I just got the call. My grandbaby is soon to be born. I'm outta here.

P.S. Miley's excited too.