Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Mouse at his house (and now on my chest)

We just returned from a long week with the Mouse. You know the one that lives in Florida and has a lots of nutty friends. Yes, Mickey...and we liked it. The best part is people watching. Since this was our second trip in two years and we knew it would be our last for quite some time...we really took our time.

No rushing, no arguing, no stress (OK...when people stop dead in their tracks in the middle of the walkway to pull out their map thereby backing up the 100s of people behind them as they stand 7 across and block all access to getting by with their 3 double strollers and lots of crazy ear hats...well, that tends to stress me out)

For a place called the Happiest Place on Earth, there sure are a lot of unhappy faces. It can be so overwhelming for both parents and kids. Parents get an idea that it will be the greatest thing to ever happen to their kids and lots of these kids - really little ones - don't buy into that. Which, in turn, makes parents stressed...and well, I'm the one sitting nearby watching.

I gotta tell you that if you are a 'thinker' about Disney - and you haven't done it before or a lot of times or haven't done it with my esteemed (ha) opinion you would not catch me dead with a kid that still needs a stroller. Never. I know folks do it and love it and all that jazz - but it's a lot of money for your kiddo to not remember it.

Anyway...we had a lovely time. DS1 and DD got along pretty darn good and even hung out together at times without mom and dad. It was weird to vacation with only four of us. I thought of DS2 a few times, but realized I didn't want to spend the whole vacation thinking of what I wish were...just have to be in the moment with what actually is. For this trip - it was the four of us. We ate very well - haven't stepped on the scale today - TOO SCARED.

We saw and took pictures with all the characters...really - I would guess almost all of them. We rode all the scary rides and all the kiddie rides. We laughed and screamed (not at each other) and slowed our pace to really enjoy being immersed in all things Disney. We enjoyed looking for hidden mickey's (if you don't know what that it) and found a lot of great ones. We sampled foods from every land in the world showcase and thoroughly scoured a million gift shops. I now own a shirt with Mickey and Minnie on it. Said I never would...but I did. I've fallen from grace.

At home today - going through piles of mail and learned that DS2 has been suspended again - this time for ten days. That's a long one. I'm just so dog-gone sad for him. I don't get it...I don't understand which way to go from here as his parent. How can there be a situation with no good answers?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The "STRANGE"r in my home

The human race has created a strange bunch of people. They are called children. There doesn't need to be a possessive term with that. It doesn't matter if they are my children, your children, biological children, adopted children...they can all be gathered under "strange".

Don't get any panties in a bunch here. Strange is a lot of things. At my house, this is what strange looks like lately.

A child who remembers a tidbit of conversation, said in passing from four days ago and actually does what was asked of her (four days later...but being honest - I had forgotten about it by then). Yet, she still doesn't remember to EVER turn off a light when she walks out of a room.

A kid who wakes me up at 6:20 because the sun isn't out and he doesn't want to walk to school in the dark (which I totally agree with), then tells me that he doesn't need to be at school until 7. We sit and watch the sun come up together. So, maybe he could have waited for the sun before waking me up???

The sweetie who sits and talks through the whole show of Amazing Race and then is frustrated at the end because they 'didn't hear' what the host said.

The kiddo who cleans the bathroom mirror and can't understand why it's so disgusting, until I point out that they used Pledge instead of windex. Very confusing...a yellow can versus a clear bottle full of blue fluid. I can see where they can easily happen.

But strangest still is all the great stuff.

A teenager who comes and asks me to dance with him like we used to. Him on my feet and us shuffling (carrying 120 me I shuffled) around the family room. Then, him adding in hushed tones - "would you sing that song you made up for me when I was little?" I knew that may not happen again very often.

The little girl who can be so lost sometimes - so confused - so sad...but still walks up from time to time and offers her greatest compliment. I love you mom. She says sweet things about me...and it's only for the joy of saying something nice. The sweetheart who shares her secrets with me when her guard is down.

Strange is as strange does. I'm strange and maybe they both got it from me. I think that is more of a contagious trait than genetic. When they ask someday why they do XXX - and it's something strange...I'll be happy to report - "You take after me".

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Hurry up already

DS2 goes back to school tomorrow. I can say that the last 3 days have been very quiet - in the good way of quiet. Apparently it takes five days for him to wash off the school attitude and realize he's back home. It's not as though he's totally hanging out with us...but he's calm and more relaxed and most importantly...

He's just being here.

We (he and I) get to get up at 4am and drive to the airport. I know he's happy to be returning, but I don't believe that equates that he's happy to be leaving us. I just think that maybe he's happy in both places. I asked him if he could maybe try to take only four days next time - at Christmas - that he comes home. He's home for a couple of weeks that time and it would be lovely to have most of those days be calm and wonderful ones.

I'll miss him. When he's gone we don't have a lot of contact - not by our choice. He settles in there and we don't get emails or phone calls...he doesn't always answer when we call. So, I will miss him. I worry about him.

DD didn't get kicked off the team. They are counting it as strike one and more thing - even a little one - and she's off the team. We decided to leave her be and perhaps pay a price we can't charge her. Everyone at the gym knows she did it. Rumors start and circulate - but this one is true. I doubt that the other girls will find it cute. She's been on suspension this week. She has sat at practice, but not taken part. Tomorrow is her first day back in the trenches. It will be socially difficult. I know it will. DH doesn't think she'll notice. She's not exactly socially adept.

I hope she notices. And, sadly, I hope it hurts her.

Maybe peer pressure can do more than we can on this front. I have to get past my embarrassment. Yep, it's terrible to be the parent of the kid committing crimes. I know that I'll have social reprecussions at the gym as well. I don't want to walk in waving the 'she's adopted and her birth family taught her to steal...she had to steal to eat and live...please, give me a break...I didn't do this to her' flag. But, I'm tempted. tempted. And, I might be weak because I can't think of what the right response would be.

Something very thoughtful like "My daughter made a terrible mistake and has paid the consequences asked of her. She will be working hard to change this behavior in the future."

That's scary. What if she doesn't change the behavior? What if she steals there again?

Then I look at DS1. Liar, liar, pants on fire...yes, he lies too. And, I raised him from birth. Apparently, all kids I've been told. I really didn't. I stink at lying. I stunk at it when I was young and I stink more now. Plus, the guilt. Oh how I hate knowing I lied.

Why can't my kids learn from my good points and ignore my bad points (which are so numerous, but at the top would be impatience). Come on...(quickly please!)