Caloden


S is for Snake
September 30, 2005, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This afternoon when I picked up my twelve year old son, Loren, I asked him how his day was. He said fine, etc, and then proceeded to ask me.” Mom, how do you make out?”

Ouch. Right here, I was wishing to be anywhere else but in the our car at this moment. Because I realized immediately that he didn’t mean you as in his dad and me, he didn’t mean you as in the second person plural general sense, he meant you as in me, as in first person singular. AS IN HIM.

And right then and there all those times when I said, “Loren, I want us to have an open and honest relationship. I want you to be able to confide in me. I want you to feel comfortable with me.”, came flooding back to me. Crapper, time to pay up and face the music.

So being the open, honest and comfortable mom that I am, I said, “You mean make out, as in kiss?.”

Yes, that is exactly what he meant and what he had been up to on his half day out of school. Hanging out with his current young lady, his two buddies and their lovlies. All of them daring each other to “make out”, although none of them really knew the meaning of the dare.

And being the open and honest mom that I pretend to be, this is what limited wisdom I gave to him:

1. First off, a girl loooooves a good kisser. It’s all in the kiss. If you have a fabulous kiss, the rest can wait for quite a few years.

2. Soft lips, but not fluffy lips.

3. Go slow. Much more anticipation that way. (And yes, self-serving on my part).

4. No snake toungue.

5. No thick dog toungue, which goes hand in hand with salivating -a big no.

6. Nipping and biting is NOT for beginners. Plus, it leads to unsavory gossip in the 7th grade.

7. Hands are good for holding right now. Groping and fondling is for the advanced class.

8. A vertical approach is sufficient. Anything horizontal is too much.

9. While kissing is fabulous, a girl also loves a fellow who can converse.

10. Finally, whatever he does the girl will immediately turn around and tell ALL of her girlfriends. For concrete evidence of this I told him about a snake-toungue-kisser from highschool that my friends and I still mock. So he should think before he acts.

I knew that if I blew this small test, some part of the remaining adolescence was in jeapordy. As of tonight we are still on an open page. I am creeping and crawling with the willies, but we are open and honest and that is all that really matters to me.



The Sun’ll Come out Tomorrow
September 29, 2005, 7:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This job thing is killing me. Four days in a row this week and tomorrow will make it a round five. Last week I put in five days and next week they are expecting yet another five out of me. It’s not that I lack a work ethic, I just have more important things on my agenda. If I had some sort of an official position, say a nuclear physicist or a U.N. Leader, I might be more apt to show some committment to a job. But when I am work I find my mind wandering to the truly crucial parts of my life. For instance, Halloween is practically looming in my face right now, and that means a pumpkin design. This year I am envisioning something involving a series of large pumpkins sprayed painted black with glass beads embedded in the shells. However, and this is where the true stress comes in, do the beads come in only various shades of blue (my fear), or a variety of colors -which would result in a sort harlequined effect.

Another issue is laundry. Working every day has created a Laundry Situation in my house. The children have given up all hopes for clean socks and are beginning to settle on anything without clumps of mud. Loren has cleverly taken to tossing in an extra pack of boxers whenever we are at Wal Mart, so he is at least clean in that department. Cass is not a big fan of panties so she isn’t too deeply impacted here.

Yet another area is school lunches. Both of my older kids attend schools with no lunch programs. Both schools are filled with crunchy, natural fiber wearing, unemployed moms who pack lunches filled with things like whole grain sandwiches, kelp snack packs and organic juice boxes. This pressure forces me to take my Lunchable disguising efforts to new heights.

If I hadn’t already given my notice at work, I would call in sick tomorrow rather than face a fifth day. I would take Devon to the park where I would avoid the laundry issues and explain to him the wonders of pumpkin design.



Mother of the Year
September 27, 2005, 3:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Recently, in an effort to create a more diverse and wholesome dinner menu, I bought a pork tenderloin. Having been mostly a vegetarian up until Devon’s pregnancy, I am not well acquainted with the pork family, but I did have the vague notion that a tenderloin is a good thing. It came in a tube-like package and appeared to be quite tender indeed. Now, I am not much of a dinner chef. I can bake cookies with the best of them, make a cake look pretty and I can set a table something fierce, but preparing dinner has always mystified me. Matt was the one who actually put the loin in a pan and cooked it up. Whilst it cooked I played up this new meat to the kids, told them what a treat was in store for them. They were practically giddy by the time I told them to go into the kitchen to view and try this wondrous creation. Big mistake.

“Ugh, Mom. There’s a cock in the kitchen!”, shrieked Cassidy.

Hoping against hope that she saw some sort of farmyard animal on the counter, I followed her voice.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“A cock. There in the pan.”, she pointed.

“I’m sorry, what? What did you say?”, I asked, afraid of what she might belt out next.

“Yes, like a weenie. I’m not eating that thing, you cooked a cock.”

“She’s right, Mom. That’s a cock there.”, helped out Loren.

“Where did you even hear that word?”, now I was really afraid of the answer.

“Carrie says it all the time. Carrie Bradshaw.”, she quipped.

And now it all became clear. The summer before a freind had given me several old seasons of Sex in The City. I had a fierce case of insomnia near the end of my third trimester and she gave them to me to help me sit through the wee hours of the mornings. One night I had fallen asleep during an episode only to awaken and find Cassidy perched beside me, wide eyed and completely enthralled. After that, and I’ll admit throughout the year, she would sneak the tapes into the upstairs VCR and watch to her heart’s content.

After some coaxing and reassurance that the meat came from the pig’s loin and not his groin, I convinced the children to each try a bit. They were both pleasantly surprised at the succulence of the pork. I asked them if they would care for more with dinner, to which Cassidy replied, “All right, but not the tip. I’m not like Samantha, you know.”



Expansion of the Universes
September 25, 2005, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

In an effort to avoid dealing with the night time routine, I have been poking about on various blogs this evening. Now that I have begun to blog I should probably be more supportive of these fellow blog peoples. However, I am not so sure I can. It was rather odd looking in at all those lives, like maybe I was reading their mail or peeking in their living room windows while they were privately scratching their butts or picking their noses. I read about one fellow who had oodles of posts about his new Mac software, and I mean oodles -as in months of different software topics. Another woman devotes each week to a different type of cupcake baking, I liked the thought of her. Yet another woman was all about crafting and crafty type fairs. Now I am not at all judging them, poking a wee bit of fun, yes, but nothing seriously cruel. I gotta hand it to them for their diligence about things like the best software companies, the smoothest frosting etc. This blogging thing is odd, really. I can’t fathom anybody actually reading mine, I just bitch about how hard it all is while I know that I am the one who creates a majority of the difficulties. Those other bloggers might motivate me to take up a hobby, expand my horizons, better the world around me.

Or not.

I will likely continue on, peeking at the other blogs for entertainment value and getting a cheap giggle out of it.

Is that bad?



Futball, Anyone?
September 24, 2005, 7:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today was yet another soccer Saturday. In many years past this would have been an opportune occasion for a panic attack, but today I managed to maneuver my way through two games, an almost spouse/mother encounter, team pictures, interaction with the Other Moms, player drama -all without nary a hyperventilated breath. But, wait, I guess the day wasn’t really all about me….

Today Cassidy played first. Many comments like’ “Huh, Cassisy sure ends up on the ground alot.” “Oh, look, there’s that redhead, bet she’ll score.” And from her father (and with what I interpreted as awe), “Damn, she’s an aggressive little thing.” Soccer suits Cass. She gets to go out on the field, push other kids around, occasionally kick one or two, whoop and holler, and generally stomp about and kick some ass. She uses it completely for her own purposes and to her advantage. She loves the attention and applause. It doesn’t hurt that she is athletic, devious and ruthless. I worry about the other teams as she gets older and has more meat on her bones.

Loern’s game was second today. And I know all the parents always say this, but honest-freaking-abe, the other team was HUGE. As in sizable huge. This is a U14 league, meaning the kids are ages 12 and 13. But the opposing kids were in no way 12 and 13, they probably have to shave. I wanted to lift up their jersies to see if they were sporting chest hair. And my poor little Loren facing off against them. I wanted to grab him up and take him home. But I have to give him credit, he gave it all he had. He was fast, agile, aggressive (not always a strong trait for him) and couragous. I got teary as I had one of those amazing, emotional mom moments. As I held the baby on my hip and watched my little man on the field all was well: Cassidy had scored her goal, Loren was boldly facing the enemy, the baby was still and I could actually breathe.



Duck l’Orange
September 22, 2005, 7:38 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning my eight year old daughter, Cassidy, caught me crying in the shower. When she asked me why, I told her I had stubbed my toe. Suspicious by nature, she asked again and I confirmed the toe injury. When I realized she wasn’t leaving the bathroom, I ducked my face in the water, poked my head out of the curtain and reassured I that I was indeed fine. And although she didn’t verbalize it, I could almost hear the words,” Uh-oh, Mom’s having a Dead Duck day.” Oh dear, I thought.

Now I should insert here that I am a huge Hugh Grant fan and that my children are often spontaneously subjected to a Hugh Grant Film Festival(HGFF). Among my favorites is About a Boy in which Hugh plays Awful-Caddy-Hugh, as opposed to Floppy-Bumbling-Hugh, and he befriends an adolescent nerd-boy named Marcus. At the onset of the movie, Marcus’s mother downs a bottle of pills after an early cry fest and ends up in the hospital. During this time Marcus happens to be in a park where he accidentally kills a duck with a loaf of heavy hippy bread. Out of desperation Marcus seeks out Bad Hugh’s company and guidance etc, etc. After many a viewing, my children have come to belive that early morning crying is a bad thing, as in Bad Thing.

Now I truly was not having a Dead Duck day. A bad day, yes. Stressful, you bet. However, lately my schedule is so crowded that I simply don’t have the time or convenience for a good, cathartic cry. Can’t cry while I serve up breakfast. On the way to school drop off is no good. The work environment is not conducive. Then there is afterschool pick up, soccer practice, homework time, dinner, the bedtime routine etc. It was either in the shower or wait until the end of the day, and by then I would be too tired to cry.



The Best Part of Waking Up….
September 21, 2005, 7:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Every morning the baby wakes me at 5:49 with his wailing requests for milk. Fair enough, after all he had the good grace to go peacefully to bed at 7 the night before. So after we nurse, I stumble downstairs in search of my bestest morning friend, the coffee maker. Praying that I set it on auto the night before, I sniff around for the aroma of life. If no auto pot awaits me, I hoist the baby up on my hip, claw through the freezer for a filter and the coffee and brew up a pot. I wait for it to fill up enough so I can snatch the carafe and pour a cup. No picturesque Folger’s moment here: the baby is crying, the dog is barking for breakfast, the cat is trying to climb on the counter for a treat and I am desperate for the damn java. But ah, a creamy cup later all is starting to look bearable. I tell the baby I love him, let the rotten dog outside, push the cat off the counter and decide to face the day after all.