Saturday, April 30, 2011

shopping for shame

it was late one night. the husband was on his way home from work & he called. "i'm at cvs, i've got chocolate chips, cadbury eggs & peanut butter cups. oh, and pepto. do we need anything else?"

i started giggling. this is the same cvs where one day just before christmas i was in there with my own armload of colorful goods. i plopped a bottle of pepto, a box of gas-x, some alka-seltzer and a box of tampons on the counter. the guy looked at it, and looked up at me with big eyes & a not-so-vague look of disgust on his face. i felt a little bit embarrassed. i guess it's good i didn't have any preparation-h in my pile or my shame would have been complete.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

storm-tastic in tennessee

yesterday some massive storms rolled & twisted through my area. the 3rd of 5 rounds knocked out our power, which was nice because we wouldn't have wanted to be the only ones in our city to have electricity. it just wouldn't have seemed right. so as i was sitting in the dark last night, i was bored. chris was at work, brooke was snoozing on the couch, so what's a girl to do? that's right, blog. it occurred to me that even though i didn't have a functioning computer, i could do it the old fashioned way & then copy it over here today. and with that, here we go...

it's been about 5 hrs so far without so much as flicker of electricity. i'm actually writing on paper. with my right hand. my left hand feels somewhat left out, but glad he has a job to do - holding the flashlight. it feels so archaic to write words with only one hand.

chris is at work, so brooke & i have been entertaining ourselves. we sewed paper stuffed animals because nothing says "fun" like threading needles in the dark with a child while sitting on the floor, bathed in the flicker of multiple yankee candles. it's smelling like a regular fruit basket up in here. probably a good thing. it'll mask the odor of the food rotting in my fridge.

we went for a walk before it got all the way dark. the 3rd storm was gone & it was dusky, but didn't seem so bad. we were halfway around the block when the rain kicked up & we found ourselves running down a hill with our coats flapping, being pelted by hail as the tornado-esque winds whipped the trees sideways. that's when i yelled to brooke that maybe this wasn't one of our brightest ideas ever. but as we jogged the rest of the way home, we saw more of our neighbors sitting on their porches than we've ever seen in the 4 years we've lived here. i'm guessing we've been pegged as the crazy neighbors now.

we got out a little makeup set & did each other's faces, in the dark. it's the first time brooke has ever let me put eyeshadow on her, which was fun, but i couldn't see it to enjoy it. she used some blacks & browns (i think) to paint willy nilly all over my face & based on the pics we took, i'm pretty sure she gave me a goatee. i bet it's a good look.

the highlight of my evening was at 9 when i sighed and mumbled how i wished i was watching america's next top model. that's when brooke got out a box of old polly pockets, dressed them fashionably & used them to act out an episode of top model, complete with commercial breaks featuring cover girl, scrubbing bubbles and the dog whisperer. she even made them walk a runway with photographers at the end & some disco flashlights.

now the girl is asleep, the house is dark & silent. i just finished the book i've been reading & i'm having a little snack: some cadbury eggs and warm milk. not to help me sleep, mind you, but because it's been spoiling in the warming fridge and it seems a shame to waste it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


i suspect at times that maybe i'm a little bit odd. i know, you guys all want to reassure me that i'm perfectly normal. and i love you for that, even though we both know it's not true.

tonight i poured myself some milk in a cup that i won at a new york state fair when i was in 8th grade. it's a plastic mug with a picture of the california raisins on it, though, to be honest, there's really no picture left. just a couple scraps of paint that resemble nothing anymore.

what it kind of looked like originally

what mine looks like today

and in thinking about my grubby old mug, it led me to thoughts of brooke's veggie tales mug. i wonder if she'll have it when she's married & in her 30's. and i wonder if she'll pour her kids a veggie tales mug of coffee some days, like i do for her now.

 i clean the litter pan almost every day. except it's almost never day when i do it. it's almost always about 2am when i clean it. and i ask myself why the hell i'm cleaning the stink box in the middle of the night & tell myself that tomorrow i'll do it differently, but i never do.

most nights i make multiple trips to the windows in the back of the house to check for raccoons. because i feed them on my deck (shut up, i know i shouldn't feed wildlife) & they're my furry little buddies even though i'm not stupid enough to actually go near them. i just play patty cake with them through the glass on the back door. i'm pretty sure they love me.

i let brooke take her stuffed animals into the bath with her. some days she gives them just the standard grooming treatment, other days they get the special treatment that includes every liquid soap, shampoo, acne wash or conditioner within reach of the tub.

i like to sit in my backyard on the deck steps & use the ped-egg on my feet. i was doing that the other day when my landlord on the other side of our duplex came out & looked at me really funny & asked me what i was doing. and at the time, it didn't even seem strange to me that i had one foot hiked up & was grinding it down with a series of blades while a steady snow shower fell all around me. he should thank me for doing it outside where the snow & blood don't end up in the carpet.

to me, reading a fun book during daylight hours feels positively decadent. i feel like the ultimate lady of leisure when i drape myself across my bed or the couch & read without even needing a light turned on because clearly i am shirking all my responsibilities in the light of day when others could see me.

a friend of mine came over with her 3 little girls a couple weeks ago. her 2 yr old is about the most edible delight of a child that i've ever known, so i was holding her on my lap & squeezing her little chubby self. that's when i noticed that her fingernails were pretty long. so i just snatched up my handy dandy pair of nail clippers that are rarely out of reach of my body and proceeded to clip that baby's nails. it wasn't until it was done & they went home that i wondered if maybe her mama thought i was weird to be giving her toddler a quick pedicure before dinner.

i would love it if you guys would share your own weirdness with me. i know you all have some. i bet you're thinking of it right now. go ahead, type it in the box. i've got to go, i think i hear a raccoon chewing.

the morning routine

i'm pretty sure i come from a different planet than brooke does. she comes from the land where feelings have colors and numbers have food.

on planet brooke, red is mad, blue is sad & yellow is happy. those are pretty normal, but there are also combinations of them, and she doesn't feel like explaining what she means because in her mind, no one understands her anyway, so why bother. like sometimes she'll just yell "PURPLE!" there's nothing else, just that loud purple and a ticked off face. i've learned that means she's combining the mad red & sad blue and getting purple. sometimes she'll say, "dark purple," which is even worse than a standard purple because there's some black mixed in & no white in sight.

she also associates numbers with food sometimes. i can't remember them all, but the one she keeps saying lately is "mustard" whenever the answer to a math question is 14. we don't even eat mustard, i'm not sure she's ever tasted it, but for some reason, mustard & 14 are synonymous.

and she's got these little routines that must be followed in order for her day to go right. like when she first wakes up, she goes into the bathroom, whips back the shower curtain & yells "RAAR!" she's always alone in there, but just in case there was a monster, she wants to get a jump on it before it has a chance to get her. she does the same thing when she walks into the kitchen when it's still dark. flips light, bellows out an angry raar.

one day we forgot to fill her little zip bags of cereal before going to bed the night before, so when she came down first thing & went to the fridge to find them, they were no where to be found. the cereal boxes were within her reach & she knows how to pour it into her own little bag, which she did, but then she couldn't just eat it. as she told us later, she filled the bag, put it into the fridge, turned the lights off, went back upstairs & "restarted her day." apparently it's more important for the cereal to be in the fridge when she first comes down than it is to just get the food into her hungry belly. i'm just glad we've gotten to the point where she took care of it herself rather than screaming & howling until we woke up & filled it for her.

she's been mentioning her "morning routine" to us for a while lately & since she generally gets up before us, we didn't really know what the details of the routine were. she was irritated at our ignorance, so she wrote it out for us and included her night routine too. you know, to help us come out of the darkness & into her light. here is the picture of the list.

she might drive me bonkers some days & leave me feeling purple, but most of the time, brooke makes me very yellow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

vanny, vanny, vanny

sometimes i feel like the little annoyances of life stack & pile up all around me until i'm so tired of my own crap that i could just run away. and that's usually when i stop talking to most of the people who i like because i don't want them to be as bored of me as i am of myself. i don't want to be a whiner, but i have nothing of value that's not complainy to say, so i just shut the heck up & keep me to myself. that's where i've been lately. in that irritating, nothing-really-seems-bad-enough-for-a-legitimate-complaint-because-there-are-so-many-people-in-the-world-with-bigger-real-problems, place.

however,  i can tell you guys that one of my biggest irritations has finally been resolved. see, in tennessee, in order to get your license plates current & legal, your car has to pass inspection every year. that's fine, but if you drive an ancient car, like our vanny, it's hard to get it to pass inspection. april is the month when we have to deal with this every year, which thankfully falls around the time of tax returns. so a couple weeks ago, we dropped vanny off at the shop to get her back up to speed, waited 8 hours, while wandering aimlessly through parking lots and various retail shops in the rain (since we have no other running vehicle & didn't have a ride to anywhere else because we are low class & have very few local friends), then went back & gave them all our money. it was nearly $1300 to get everything done that needed to be done so vanny could pass her upcoming test. for us, that is a vast amount of money to spend on any one thing, but it had to be done & at least we had it to spend.

so we took her in for her inspection a couple days later & she failed her test. they couldn't tell us why, only that she wouldn't communicate with their machines, so they couldn't pass her. back to the mechanic. they say she tests out fine for them. back to an inspection station, but a different one this time in hopes that maybe she'll talk to their machines. nope. she failed her freakin test on 4 machines. we cried a little on the inside, not knowing what to do & hoping we wouldn't be forced to drive on expired tags for the rest of vanny's not-so-natural life whilst dodging any cops who drive behind us by zipping through neighborhoods or hiding inside car-washes (we did this for a year and a half once before getting busted).

we prayed & prayed & then chris took vanny to a third inspection station. first machine, fail. over to the second machine & finally, FINALLY, she decided to speak to that machine. she told it she was fine & dandy and didn't need any further servicing.

we can only conclude that vanny is a diva bee-otch and didn't want to communicate with the first 5 machines, but decided that she liked the last one enough to whisper out her secret - that though she may look old and crotchety, she really has no needs that must be attended to. i think she just wanted the attention.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

name nuisance

i was reading someone's post today and in it, she said that her name gets messed up all the time. and i can totally relate because my name has been butchered all through my life.

my dad's name is sheridan. my mom's name is linda. they decided to get fancy and make a combo platter out of their names just for me. okay, i can say now that i think it's lovely, but as a kid, i did not appreciate it at all. almost everyone who saw it written, pronounced it wrong. and for those who knew how to say it, they couldn't spell it.

just so you all know, whether or not you ever wondered, it is pronounced just like marilyn, but with a SH. and i don't mean like you're telling marilyn to shut it.

it's rare that it's spelled by a first timer without a Y and i am frequently given bonus L's and N's. and i hardly ever get an S at the beginning, most often a C. and while we're talking about there being a C on the front, i've had a couple times where i was called char-leen. and i don't mean like charlene. there was definitely a CHar, as in charbroiled. i've been called cheryl, sharon, shirley, sherry, and many other raggedy combinations of wrongness. the only one i answer to is sheri because i used that to avoid some of the name drama for many years.

my husband's favorite butchery of my name came in the shape of shirley-lynn, and he likes to call me that sometimes, preferably with a very heavy southern accent.

sigh. . .  that brings me to part of the reason i picked the name brooke when i was pregnant. no adults pronounce it wrong and even though sometimes people leave off the mysterious E at the end, it's spelled right more often than not. and even when kids get it wrong, it's not usually worse than book, broke or sometimes brick. it's okay though, when other kids say her name wrong, she just makes up a new name for them. like her friend joey, she calls him bob the builder.

Friday, April 15, 2011

thanks for thinking of me, rosie.

i've been given several blogging awards over the past few months, but i've been horribly neglectful of attending to them in the proper fashion. i have this thing about being given an assignment & told that there are rules that i'll need to follow. there are very few responsibilities that i feel i can neglect at this stage of life, but passing on blogging awards is one that i can pass by without too much guilt.

however, sweet, big footed rosie gave me an award tonight that she created herself & she says that i'm the inspiration for it, so i can't pass it up. actually, i've been feeling rather stale here in the blog world lately & lacking inspiration, so this is just what i needed to work up a post tonight.

it's the all new SBD award. i'm sure you all know that sbd stands for "silent but deadly" in the world of flatulence, so in honor of this award, i need to tell you a fart story (sorry mom, here comes another one. you should tune out now). at first i was thinking that i've told you all of my good ones already, but there's one i've held back & today looks to be just the day to set it free.

when i was a nanny, my boss worked at a hospital & she set me up on a blind date with a man with whom she worked. he was a nurse of the variety that any straight woman would love to have attending to her needs if she found herself in the hospital for a few days. his name was mike & he was 30 years old. at the time, i was only 20, so the age difference seemed pretty significant, but i was willing to give it a try. we went out for several months and things were going along splendidly, even though he never failed to remind me how much younger i was than his wise, old self.

my 21st birthday rolled around while we were dating. i was looking forward to that big first night of legal drinking & debauchery and he was going to be my chaperon & coach for the event since he'd been drinking for ten years already and knew his way around a bar. his best friend wanted to go along for the festivities because he never missed a chance to go drinking, but the friend had an early flight to catch the next morning. so we decided to kick things off early & headed for the first place around 5pm. the two of them placed me on a bar stool between them & took turns ordering me fancy drinks. we went to a few different establishments that may or may not have been classy, it's hard to say because it's all blurry now, and i got drinks everywhere we went. by 8:30 mike drove us back to his place because i was clearly in no shape to be driving & i would need to be supervised throughout the night since it was my first big drunk.

i was tucked into bed by 9pm on my 21st birthday & dead to the world before i even made it to a horizontal position. mike went downstairs & left me snoring & drooling in bed. a couple hours later i woke up with the sudden need to puke. i made a dash for the bathroom and proceeded to do some bonding with that toilet, glad that i'd cleaned the bathroom a few days earlier.

mike came upstairs when he heard me stomping about. i'd locked the door & was thankful i had because i didn't care to have this lovely man witness me with mascara dripping down my cheeks & barf on my lips. he was knocking on the door and asking if he could help in any way. between retches, i was trying to convince him that he should leave. he didn't. he stood there on the other side of the door, wanting to be the nurse that he was. then i suddenly knew that i was about to fart. and not just a little one, but a big one and i wasn't going to be able to contain it while i was leaned over and heaving. i was starting to panic, but then i had the bright idea to use my finger to block my butt hole, to prevent the fart from being able to escape.

it was only a couple moments before the next puke came up, but my finger was there, ready to save me from embarrassing myself. or so i thought. rather than a standard fart, what came out was a long, high pitched whistle, like air being let out of a pinched balloon. i froze, eyes wide in disbelief at what i'd just heard. i thought maybe it had just sounded like that to me because i was vomiting, like some kind of inner ear disconnect, but no such luck.

i heard a tentative knock after that and mike spoke softly through the door, "um, did you just... whistle?"

and that is the biggest memory i have from my 21st birthday.

now i am supposed to pass this on to 5 others who might be willing to share a fart story of their own or perhaps a story from someone close to them if they can't bear to bring the shame on them self.

so i'd like to give this to:
tracy over at it's an average life. i don't know if she still tells such stories anymore, but once upon a time, she was really good at them.
jdracecar at it's always funny in colum-bubble. i'm not sure i've seen her write such a story yet, but i think she's capable of it.
i'd love for karen over at ow, my angst to consider taking on the SBD challenge because she's really funny.
i think laughing mom at where's the funny here could probably work up a fart post, if not about herself, then perhaps about one of her kids.
and george at symdaddy journal can probably write something amusing on the topic of flatulence.

for those of you who are getting this, please feel free to not do it. there will be no feelings hurt if you don't want to or aren't in the mood for such foolishness. and on the opposite side, if you've got a really great toot story you've been itching to tell, i'll be glad to add your name & your link to the award list.

i'd say this also qualifies as a friday confession, so there's all kinds of excitement going on here today.


and with that, i bid you, adieu.

Monday, April 11, 2011

turmoil in tune town

brooke's been doing this thing lately where she's suddenly growing up. she's interested in clothes & not just wanting to wear all natural animal colors anymore & she likes cute shoes. she's been wearing animal ears less frequently and wanting to talk on the phone & skype. these are all good things & nice for me to see because it has been very hard for me to imagine what kind of teenager and woman she would become when i didn't see any signs of interest in "normal" stuff before.

she's also become interested in music lately. chris is a musician and has very eclectic taste, so we've got lots of different stuff playing around the house & in the car when chris is around. i usually hear music & just think it sounds like noise when i'm home, so i turn it off, but when we're driving, i generally tune in to one popular radio station or another.

we've discovered that we can put music onto brooke's DSi & she can listen to it & mess with the songs using lots of special effects, which is a lot of fun for her. in the course of finding some songs to load onto it, she's made some suggestions of songs she'd like that are popular, but once i really listen to them, or look up the lyrics, they're really bad!

when i was a kid, my parents didn't let us listen to "secular" music. it was classical or christian in our house & i always felt like i was missing out on part of growing up that all my friends enjoyed. as a mom, i've decided not to make that rule for brooke, particularly since i don't follow it myself. i appreciate some christian music, but it's certainly not all i listen to. but with that being said, sometimes it's hard for us to find music that's acceptable & appropriate for an 8 yr old girl to be listening to & singing as she plays.

there's the katy perry song "california gurls" with the line, "Daisy Dukes, Bikinis on top. Sun-kissed skin So hot Will melt your popsicle, Oooooh Oh Oooooh." of course, brooke's favorite bit is the one about the popsicle, because what kid doesn't love a popsicle, but i'm not loving hearing her sing about daisy dukes and bikinis so hot they'll melt anyone's popsicle.

she was singing along with lady gaga on the radio when i heard the line, "i wanna take a ride on your disco stick." ick! not something kids should be singing, time to change the station.

then there's the kesha song she wanted called "blah, blah, blah." i googled those lyrics & found this little batch of verbal gems. "I dont really care where you live at. Just turn around boy and let me hit that. Don't be a little bitch with your chit chat. Just show me where your dick's at."

she was getting frustrated that i shot down that song too & she didn't understand what my problem was, so i finally told her that the song was about sex. her face shut up in mid-complaint. we recently had the birds & bees talk, so she knew what i meant. she started backing away from me, but i figured since i had started, i might as well throw in another hunk of disturbing info for her - "it talks about penises." at that point she started waving her arms & telling me that she'd never ask for another kesha song again & to please stop talking about it.

this parenting business is tricky, but i'm thankful for google because it puts all the information i could possibly want or need right at my fingertips. but then again, it puts all that same info at the tips of my brookie's fingers too & that might not be such a good thing as she get curious about more things. damn...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the taco bell drive-thru

today brooke & i made an unplanned stop at a playground on the way home from church, which was fine & lovely & great, except for 3 little things. one, she was wearing flip flops & warmish clothes. two, we had no sunblock. three, i didn't have any drinks because we'd already chugged them during church. those last 2 didn't seem like such a big deal initially, but since it's 85 and full sun today, it got a bit hot & possibly burny out there.

after an hour of full-on play mode (her, not me, i was texting & listening to an audio book in the shade) she was red faced and panting from exhaustion & dehydration. we stopped by a sonic on the way home for a slushie that i thought would be a fun treat since she's had all of about 2 previously in her 8 years, but we sat in the drive-thru waiting, for nearly 20 minutes! and while i was sitting there, i remembered another day, many years when i got stuck in a drive-thru. . .

faces edited for privacy. LOL!

picture this, if you will, i was at an amusement park with several of my very best friends. it was christian music fest and we'd had a full day of loud music & too many rides in the hot sun, but it was ok, cuz we were about 18 and just having fun. it was dark by the time we left & as we were leaving, there was a sudden down-pour. it was one of those kinds of rains where you can't possibly stay dryish without an umbrella, no matter how fast you run to your car or put your purse over your head. we got soaked, like we'd just jumped in a pool, so we figured we'd just have some fun with it & be glad that we weren't hot anymore. we splashed in puddles and kicked water at each other for a while, but eventually decided it was time to head out. we'd arrived in several different cars; i was driving my parents' big conversion van with my 3 closest girlfriends. the 4 of us were so close, we even went to sears & had portraits done together once & that's who you see here. i'm the one with the bowl-cut in the front.

we hopped our sopping wet selves into the big daddy van and promptly decided that we didn't want to ride the 45 minutes home in our water-logged jeans. so all four of us stripped off our pants & chucked them into a heap on the floor of the van & giggled ourselves silly that we'd just left christian music day & were now cruising down the highway in wet t-shirts and panties with no pants. it seemed positively scandalous and hilarious and i probably failed to keep it between the lines because of all the laughing and spewing of jokes.

we decided that we were hungry needed to make a stop at taco bell. we didn't care to try to cram ourselves back into our soaked jeans, so we opted for the drive-thru and figured that was safe since my van sat up so high that the window worker wouldn't be able to see in too much. we placed our huge order and were waiting behind a couple of other cars. it was a rather long wait, but we were having a grand old time, being young & stupid.

that's when we heard it. a knock on the passenger side window of the van. we all turned, wide-eyed, to see a guy's face pressed up against the glass, leering in at us. he was grinning and asking us if we wanted to go to a party with him and his friends. he may also have suggested that we just let him into the van & we could have a party right there. we squealed in fright and made sure all the locks were smashed down tight and yelled at him through the closed window to go away & no we did not care to party with him in the van or anywhere else. it was scary because we were totally stuck in that drive-thru lane with a building to one side, a huge hedge of bushes on the other, and cars in front & back of us.

after some shrieking from us, the dude reluctantly wandered off and we finally got our food & got out of there. i'm sure we made quite a sight with our matted down hair, soaking wet shirts & mountain of pants on the floor. that's one of those stories that makes me smile every time i remember it and one that went down in the history books in that group of conservative friends as the craziest thing to ever happen at taco bell.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

espresso please, and make it a double

you know what i wish? i wish i liked coffee. the people who love it seem to be so dedicated and loyal to their coffee. it's as if they slurp joy from a cup in a way that i just can't comprehend. when i was growing up, my mom drank tea & my dad drank coffee, so i grew up thinking that coffee was for the manly men and women should be dainty and delicate with their honey-laced tea. it wasn't until i was in junior high that i realized that women could drink coffee too and it didn't mark them as masculine.

shortly after i gave up on college, i started thinking that maybe i'd try the coffee bit. the people who loved it seemed more mature somehow, since coffee is forbidden to children due to it's supposed growth-stunting powers. i tried sips from the cups of others once in a while, but it tasted bad, so i didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

it wasn't until i was on a first date with a man who was the gymnastics coach to the kids that i nannied that i ever entered a coffee shop. he'd apparently been checking me out for a while (he admitted later that he & the other coaches all called me "busty nanny") and when we ran into each other in public one day, he asked me out. our first date was to include a trip to starbucks & then a walk around a park. sounded okay to me and i was pretty sure i could figure out something to order.

we walked into starbucks and i looked up at the board with all the menu options. i was overwhelmed by choices for things that i didn't understand. i wanted to appear cool and sophisticated and didn't want to admit that i'd never had a cup of coffee in my life and didn't even know how to order something since the choices didn't appear to be in english. someone in front of me got a cute little cup of something and i thought, since i don't think i like coffee, i'll just get myself a tiny little cup like that, so i won't have to suffer through very much of it. i ordered what i thought the other customer had, "i'll take an expresso, please." i didn't realize there was no x in it at the time. the barista asked if i'd like to make it a double. i hemmed & hawed for a moment, not sure what the right answer was, so my date stepped in & answered that yes, i'd like a double. what the heck, i figured, make it a double, whatever that means. if i'm going to do this, i might as well go all out.

we took our drinks & headed out the door for the adjacent park. my date asked if i drink espresso often & i admitted that, no, this was my first time. he raised his eyebrows and said, "oh, wow and you got a double! brave girl!" umm... i didn't understand because i'd thought i was making a very timid choice, what with it being such a tiny little drink and all.

i took a few sips and of course, hated it. i walked past several trash cans, wishing i could toss that dixie cup of toxic waste in and be done with it, but i didn't want to be rude. my date had, after all, paid about $5 bucks for the dumb thing. so i decided to do what i did in bars when i wanted to get my drink on, but hated the taste of alcohol. i turned that bad boy bottom up & slammed it. i turned my face turned away from the coach as i cringed & tried not to gag. okay, mission complete. i'd had my first cup of coffee. not something i wanted to do again any time soon, but it hadn't killed me, so i was rather pleased with myself. i sure was glad i'd chosen such a little one so i didn't have to choke down one of those big drinks.

we strolled around the park for a bit, making polite conversation. that's when the gurgles started. i tried to ignore them for as long as possible, but they only got louder & more insistent. i finally had to ask for directions to the nearest bathroom. at that point, there was no time for a leisurely meander back toward the facilities, so i left my dude in the dust & took off on espresso powered legs. my stomach was angry. very angry. it did not want to release me from its wicked grasp, so i was a prisoner for much longer than i would have liked.

i eventually got back out to my date, who by then was wondering if i'd snuck out a back way & taken a cab home. i didn't care to discuss the situation, so we resumed our walk, but it wasn't long before i was sprinting back again for another round. after i emerged for the second time i couldn't even look the coach in the eye, but i asked him to take me home. i told him i wasn't feeling well and maybe we could try again another day.

it wasn't until i met my husband, who is a coffee junkie, just a few months after that that i heard him say that coffee is a natural diuretic. i don't even remember the context of why he said that, but when he did, it all fell into place in my head & i realized what had happened that day in the park. i asked him about espresso and learned that it packs an extra punch, which is why it's served in such small quantities.

chris & i spent a lot of time in coffee shops while we were dating, playing checkers and listening to bands, but i made it a habit to never order coffee. i didn't care for a repeat performance, so it was steamers all the way for me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

star school

homeschooling a strong-willed child is a challenge for any parent. homeschooling a strong-willed kid with aspergers is an extra blob of stress and required creativity.

we have many days where brooke is mad about school. she'd much rather spend her days playing with toys, reading her fun books and inventing games in her mind than sitting around working on crap that doesn't mean anything to her. she tells me that school is torture and no amount of explaining or cajoling can convince her that it's worth it to just do the work without complaining.

however, i've found that if i let her keep one of her toys with her & somehow figure out a way to make her assignments pertain to whatever her current obsession is, it's much less painful for both of us. her obsession of the moment is the warriors series about tough cats who live in clans and fight a lot while taking care of their own. our house is filled with words like "tigerstar", "star clan," "ravenpaw," "kitty pet" and "two-leg". she's wearing cat ears & dressed all in gray today & can barely speak a word that isn't about these cats, but we need to get a school day in since i worked a lot and spent a day away from the house, giving all our money to the car repair shop this week.

so, in order to get brooke to engage & participate in math today, we determined that she's in "alpha school" and she hopes to become a clan leader one day, so she has to know how to add numbers so she could supply her omegas with food. now she's got an assignment to write about a sporting event, but since she's never been to a sporting event & we don't watch sports on tv, i changed it to a warrior cat event. this makes the work a million times easier because she has very little trouble coming up with a story about the cats in her head.

for lunch, she ate red squirrel (apple) and a pigeon sandwich (grilled cheese). for culinary class, we're going to make dinner. the menu includes vole intestines with muscle bits and blood sauce (spaghetti squash with chunky tomatoes and a little red sauce) and a desert of fish egg souffle (cadbury eggs).

later we'll work on maps because an alpha can't patrole her territory if she doesn't understand the borders and landmarks. and at some point we'll study squirrels. because it's good for a predator to have a strong understanding about the health and habits of the prey being stalked. tomorrow we're going to an exotic bird fair where she'll learn about foods from around the world. and we're working on a banner for art class that we'll hang up, declaring our kitchen to be "star school". because star = alpha in her world. she also blogged about warrior cats to practice typing. she even did the embedding of the video and put the picture in herself.

i wonder what next week will bring. and what kind of adjustments i'll have to make in order to get the school work done. it's always an adventure for this teacher.