Sunday, September 30, 2007
Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children, as they are already stretched and pulled to such a length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other. ~Robert Benchleyy
Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. ~Max Eastman, Enjoyment of Laughter
If you want to laugh about the most disgusting things in life and smile during your most upsetting times, try getting a dog. Better yet, get a puppy, and you can enjoy watching them as YOU grow (as a person that is, since dogs teach us everything.)
Miss Virginia has a new puppy named Luke. He is a Jack Russell terrier-beagle mix; very cute, very full of life and curiosity, finding his way through life by tasting everything at eyelevel. Miss Virginia already had a beautiful senior citizen dog named Freeway (think Heart-Heart TV series) and didn’t need another dog when Luke wandered in the yard. She found 3 different homes for him, but he kept coming back to her. It’s like Luke chose her, and that is it.
Can dogs really choose you? I think they pick us most definitely. I think they are wiser about us then we sometimes are about finding a mate.
Doc came to me on my 8th birthday. He was a pure breed miniature dachshund, black with tan markings. He was the size of my little hand at the time, and used to fit easily in my sweatshirt pocket or on the back of my neck. He weighed about 2 pounds at the time, and only grew to be 8 pounds. 2 days before my birthday, our tan doxie Charlie Brown was hit by a car. We all cried buckets for that little guy, and Dad went right out and bought us Doc. He stayed with us until I was almost 25. He died of a broken heart the week I moved into my own apartment.
His full name was Doc Hoctor, after the race car driver we liked out at Holland Speedway racetrack. We used to go in our jammies on Saturday nights to watch him race. Doc used to go to work everyday with my Dad, who picked him up and carried him in his arm, swinging his black metal lunch pail on his one hand underneath Doc, while carrying his briefcase in the other hand. Out they would go to Dad’s pickup truck to go work in the city. My father had his own small business (Buffalo Sweeping Compound Company) where he manufactured a sweeping compound used in heavy industrial sites.
When he went out on deliveries in the pickup or the big truck, Doc rode along. Dad said he used to protect the truck so no one could steal it while he went into the plants to get paid for his product. At lunchtime, Doc would share lunch with my father, eating half a sandwich and 3 Oreo cookies. Doc would pull them apart and lick out the frosting first. He loved cookies.
One night, about 18 months after Doc found us, Mom & I came home from my dance class ( 7 years with Jack Greenan for tap and jazz, thank you very much) to find a gate up in the kitchen. We used to put this up when Doc was sick, but I saw him laying in the living room Then I heard the “Oh, Rick, No” from my Mom and saw Dad’s laughter. There in the kitchen was a dog that looked a lot like Doc, but he was kinda fat and broad-chested. Dad told us his was Doc’s half-brother and was the runt of the litter. No one wanted him and he was 4 months old. And incredibly stupid.
While Doc came to us with poise and grace, the new dog seemed to have no intelligence whatsoever. When you held him in your lap, he would jump off and land right on his chest. He didn’t know how to put his feet out to hold himself up. And when he drank water, he would get his ears all wet, not knowing how to hold them up. And he kept walking right through his pee! “What should we call him,?” Dad asked. Maxwell Smart we decided, for the bumbling idiot secret agent on the TV show at them time, “Get Smart.”
Max soon learned from boss dog Doc. Doc ate and drank first, then Max. When we sat in great-grandpa’s horse hair chair, Doc would get in, and lay along side us. Max would go in next, getting behind Doc, and sitting up like a human so he fit in the chair with us. When they went to work with Dad, Doc got to eat, and get picked up, Max chowed down a little, ran to Dad, and got picked up second. My Mom folded up an old blanket for the dogs, and sewed the edges together for their own comforter. Doc always got in the bed first, then Max, both of them scooching under the covers together. Wherever they slept or lay, they did it together, always Doc first, then Max. They were never apart.
We had the boys for almost 18 years. In the later years, they started to lose all their teeth and their tongues hung out of their mouths. They had bad cataracts and couldn’t see well. But they stayed in the downstairs in the living room or in their bed, still giving us love and comfort. They weren’t allowed upstairs in my bedroom, parents’ rules. But whenever my parents traveled and were out of town, they would sneak up and sleep in my bed. It was the funniest thing. I didn’t bring them up, I would tuck them in as always, but 30 minutes later up they would come for a cuddle.
After college, I moved to Florida for a year. And for the whole year, Doc and Max laid everyday at the foot of the stairs, waiting for me to come down from my room. They missed me that much. I eventually moved back for another year, and then moved out permanently when I earned a teaching fellowship for my Masters’ degree. Max died a few months before that, but Doc still hung on, until the day my brother Joe came with the delivery truck and picked up my stuff. I kissed Doc goodbye, and left him in his bed for my parents, who would be home from a trip later that day. And Doc had a stroke the next day. I still think he died of a broken heart.
And part of me died too. My childhood was over, it was time to be on my own. And Doc knew, just as he found me on my 8th birthday, that it was time to let me go. And so he did.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
There’s nothing like warm fuzzy socks on a cool fall morning. Today I have on my soft red fuzzies with my pink polka dot jammies. It’s like being cocooned while you walk around trying to get warm.
Did you ever notice how socks seem to have a life of their own? How else can you explain the fact that you put them in the wash, two by two and they manage to come out 5 by 3. Where do they end up? Are the single ones jumping ship to have a mad affair with a pair of leggings? Do the tube socks come out of the closet to become a pair of knee his? Where do all the lone socks go? Is there a sock commune I don’t know about?
I just did the fall clean-up of my sock drawers. I like to have the white athletic socks separate from the boring business trouser socks. You can’t mix them or anarchy will occur, the oceans will rise and the heavens will part. I ended up with a whole bin of ripped, old unmatched socks, lots of quitters, socks that won’t stay up no matter how much you tried. I have to go attack the kids’ sock drawers. For that, I may need the fortification of an adult beverage.
It’s amazing what you find when you go looking for missing socks in their rooms. Cupcake likes to “clean” her room by shoving all the dirty clothes 1) in her dresser with the clean clothes 2) in her toy boxes in her closet 3) kicking & screaming under her bed during the 5 minute tidy up. It’s amazing how little time it takes to clean when you hide the clothes. The boys just like to leave the clothes in a large heap, covering the rug from one end of the room to other. When they finally clean (think eclipse of the moon timeframe), Babe Ruth likes to say, “Hey Mom, look, someone put a rug in here when we weren’t looking.” Nice.
For years, ever since about age 11, I have had the biggest foot in the house (size 12 women’s). Well, last year Wild Child finally surpassed me and achieved an 11 men’s. I thought this would be so great. I can slip on someone else’s shoes when I run out to get the dog. But it turns out, when a size 11 puts on other people’s socks’, they stretch out and stay a size 11. Who Knew? The good thing, Wild Child has 98 pairs of socks. The bad news, the rest of only have quitters that fall off with the first step.
So it’s time to go sock shopping again. I dread this on two fronts 1) They cost as much as a pound of good steak 2) I never seem to buy the kind anyone likes.
The Queen mentions the problem of buying the RICHT socks just the other day. Her DH wanted socks, and she had a $10 JCP coupon. He wanted crew socks, all cotton, this style only. She uses the coupon and buys $30 worth of crews. Takes them home, and they are the wrong socks. He pulls out what he wants again and she takes one to head back to the store. Returns the original socks, but they won’t give her the $10 credit or the coupon to use again. Screwed out of $10, she spends $40 worth now getting lots of socks and takes them home, making sure to get the all cotton like he wanted. DH opens the socks, puts one on, and gets frustrated. Still the wrong sock. She gets mad, and tells him to go to the store and get what he wants. He does, coming home with an acrylic cotton blend!!! “Well, of course they are,” he says “they have to stretch to stay up.”
“Can you believe it,” the queen says, “he needed a blend and didn’t even tell me. But that’s not the weirdest thing about socks and my hubby,” she tells me. What now? He sometimes gets wild and goes sockless to work? He walks around with mis-matched socks on weekends? What on earth could it be?
“When you wash his socks, they always come out together. Always. He is never missing one. I’ve never seen anything like it, must be the accountant in him or something. It’s like the socks wouldn’t dare leave him unbalanced.”
Monday, September 24, 2007
Are you sunshine or are you darkness in the morning?
I woke up this morning to a soft, cool air. The light breeze came in the window and stirred me awake to pull the covers over my toes. I love cuddling in the fluffiness of the comforter and rolling up in its softness. There’s nothing better than having a few minutes to roll over and enjoy the cool, fresh pillows.
When the twins were little we always had cuddle time in the morning. They would join me in cuddling in my big bed and we would just take a few minutes to wake up. We would read little stories, do word search puzzles, or look for items in the “I Spy” books. As they got older, we added our warm morning drinks to the picture, coffee and hot chocolate. It was great just to feel their laughter and joy so early in the morning. One of my most prized possessions is the drawing of cuddle time cupcake made for me in the 3rd grade. I have it on my keychain.
I always wake up instantly, ready to go. My little muffin boy twin is the same way, just instantly aware and in tune with the day. My cupcake girl twin would be better off if she didn’t need to see the light of day before noon. Discussing things with her is a waste since she would not remember them. She’s best left to her own wake up methods. Coffee is a must for her and has been for awhile. It’s really a latte, half milk, one quarter sugar, one quarter coffee, but it does the trick. Silence and being left alone are the best things for her in the morning. She definitely needs her space.
My experience is that people are one way or the other with the waking up. Either you are a bundle of sunshine or you’re not. There’s no way around it. And everyone better clear out and understand this, or your mornings will be a bear to get thru. As for me, cuddling and enjoying my morning coffee are the way to go.
Which one are you?
Saturday, September 22, 2007
“Bargain of the year, a $179.99 suit was $99. Then I had a $15 coupon. Then they gave me 20% off on top of it. I got it for $58. I added a beautiful icy blue satin shirt. I bought new pumps. I looked amazing.”
The Queen, telling us the rest of the story
The fashion world has us by the in a tizzy most of the time. Short pants, long pants, high waist, low waist, wide leg, tight leg, button enclosure, hook and eye or side zipper. Whatever the latest trend is, every designer gets on Oprah and says “This makes everyone look thin.” And we run out and have to buy it. We just about get beyond this and find our own style, when our kids get to be that age…
“You’re not going to wear that to pick me up later, right? No one wears THAT anymore.”
So we start re-evaluate our clothes. We rethink the colors that we love. We buy things a little snug, because we are in a happy place and will soon fit in this just fine. Then, to really make our insides hot, we get a bargain to boot.
The Queen started to tell us this story at lunch the other day. I laughed so hard; I almost fell off the bench and rolled on the lawn. We were talking about pants and needing to get new ones for our business casual office. A lot of the stores show Capri’s for the winter, with little boots or neat stockings. Don’t like this look on me in winter in Buffalo. Need the full leg to cover up the globs of ice sticking to our legs from the 1 mile walk in from the car (not really, but you all expect Buffalo to be like that. It’s not. My teacher friend in Richmond has more snow days then my kids. No lie). And a lot of the pants are also really wide legged. What am I, 400 pounds, that I need to cover up the legs I ride the elliptical machine 4 miles everyday to get? And then we were on the subject of the enclosures. Button or hook and eye ? (button, because Hook and Eye make your belly bulge).
And then the side zipper stories and clothing mishaps come out! If you have one, send it to me! (email@example.com). We all seem to have horror stories of the side zippers from hell. They don’t stay closed. They won’t go up half the time. They seem to break easy. I was just in safety pins a few weeks ago, shirt pulled over the zipper, because at the end of the work day, one hour more to go, the zipper conks out. There I am, with a zipper flopping in the air and nothing to do but cover it up. What is up with that? Can you really tell the boss at that point you need to go home and change? Can we ever admit fashion problems to our male bosses? No, of course not. We live in pins, bemoaning ever trying to wear a side zipper. I figure I have the best story. But no.
Then the Queen tells the rest of the story. Beautiful new suit. A little snug. Looking smashing. Busy day, running around like crazy. Holding the pee awhile. Finally go in the stall, can’t get the zipper down. Nothing works. Grreatt. Decides to hold it. Keeps working like mad. Hours later, runs home, straight to it, goes in, pulling like her life depends on the zipper, really needing to pee, it’s been hours. Bladder is huge.
Nothing. Zipper won’t go. Hubby not home, she's dying, can't figure what to do, bouncing up and down, pulling on the pants, needing to pee so bad. Calls in princess daughter to help. She’s pulling on bottom, Queen is tugging on top, Still won’t budge. Pull harder. Crap, the zipper pull comes off. OMG, really need to go now. Runs to couch, lays down. Has princess get the pliers out and yank on the zipper. Still nothing. Expensive couch about to be ruined. Immense pain of a really large bladder needing relief. Can’t believe it. Nothing left to do.
“Screw it. Give me the scissors.”
Cuts the pants off herself. Cuts right down the zipper so she doesn’t ruin her beautiful new suit. Gets relief. Finally. Takes the pants to the seamstress.
“Do you have any idea how much they get to put in a new zipper? $19. The whole suit only cost $60 and they wanted $19." But she got it fixed anyway.
And she never wore the suit again. And that’s the rest of the story.
Friday, September 21, 2007
“What’s your dream?”
---homeless man pushing shopping cart on Hollywood Boulevard in movie ‘Pretty Woman’
From the time they are conceived, we are filled with dreams, hopes and desires for our children. We picture the nursery and then the toddler room, all perfect in matching Sesame Street characters (only to find the brand new Wall border ripped off the entire wall, 10 minutes after you put it on.) We see ourselves teaching them to walk and ride their bike and throw out the first pitch. We see them graduating and having a wonderful life, thanking their parents in every speech they ever make.
One of my favorite jokes on the internet surfaced again the other day. 3 woman are at a crowded bar after work. The door opens and in walks the most gorgeous male you have even seen, thick full hair, strong muscular physique, GQ attire, sexy smile and a charismatic charm oozing out of him (ok, so the joke didn’t get that detailed, but we can believe it, right?) He locks eyes with the one woman across the crowded room and walks directly toward her. She is filled with delight and anticipation. He whispers in her ear, “I’ll do ANYTHING you want for $20, but you must tell me in 3 words only.” She reaches in her purse, grabs her keys….
We immediately fill our brains with scenarios as to the next line. Is she flirtatious? “Dance with Me.” Is she sensual? “Kisses lasting hours.” Is she naughty? “Tie me up.” Oh, we delight in the dream, like picturing our winning Mega millions tickets. She opens her purse, grabs her keys and address, hands him a $20 dollar bill and says…..
“Clean my house.”
Oh, the laughter!! I love it. But then I get thinking, what great dreams can we sum up in only 3 words for ourselves and our kids? What sage advice to live by?
Go graduate college. Pursue your passions. Never stop learning. Reach for the stars. Call your mother. Wear clean underwear (do we need to explain this again?). Keep finances organized. Love yourself first. Follow God’s laws. Laugh everyday. Clean your room (ok, going overboard again.)
Here’s my favorite of the month—
“Expect Amazing Things”
Monday, September 17, 2007
“And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, Love the one you're with. Turn your heartache right into joy”---Love the one you’re with, band of your choice
Sometimes as Moms we go 90 million miles an hour taking care of our families, neighbors, co-workers, spouses and even our pets. We love everyone and we do everything for them. We get pushed to the back of the list. We forget to love the one we’re with---ourselves.
I’ll spend hours carefully pre-treating, soaking, scrubbing, folding and ironing laundry for the family. I separate the 3 kids carefully in their baskets and put DH’s away in his dresser. I’ll do this while talking on the phone with girlfriends, making doctors appointments, checking in with parents and paying bills. I’m cooking something on the stove, emptying the dishwasher, doing more laundry and taking care of the dog at the same time. I’ll even pick up windex and wipe off the TV.
Everyone gets carefully done laundry, except Mom. I woke up today, looking at the large pile again on my dresser. It never starts out that way, but in the middle of the night, a laundry monster comes and reproduces there. Mom just comes last or not at all. I can deal with the mess, but don’t ask others to. I tell myself it doesn’t matter.
In discussing housework with my friends, and our inability to keep to the standards our mothers seem to have had, a little know fact came to light. We all seldom clean our own room. Dusting in there becomes a feat only known to occur before the big Christmas party or summer barbecue or not at all. When I do get to it, I feel so charged. It’s invigorating for some reason. We seldom take care of ourselves the way we do our families.
Why is that?
When I have a bad day, and I need to recharge myself, my twins often give me a “twin hug.” They both get on one side of me and hug in. It feels so good. It’s love in the biggest form.
We all just need to give ourselves a twin hug now and again. Love yourself and then share the love. It feels good.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
“Spackle? Who gives someone spackle at a baby shower?”—young friend receiving our “survival” kit at their baby shower.
Most families need to have a little spackle on hand for the little mishaps that appear on walls when you have children. The dent from Wild Child playing tackle with Twin 2’s head, the cracks from the inside football game, the dents from the moving the entertainment center for the 15th time (a little to the left honey). We never even bothered with the 16 ounce economy size. No, we had to buy the 5 gallon bucket. And buy it again. And buy it again. We keep it on hand. We look for sales; we don’t feel complete unless we have it on the shelf.
There hasn’t been a project in our “starter home” (16 years later) that hasn’t involved lots of spackle. I could have owned the company by now. First, during the OJ trial, we decided to redo the living room; it had glued on ceiling tiles, painted over woodwork, linoleum glued on the window seat in the bay window, dark paneling and brown carpeting. Yuck. Next, during my 36th week of pregnancy with twins (think 3 foot extension sticking of my ribs, and you might get the width ratio); I decided to fix the ripped wall paper in the bathroom. We found the light switch dangling in the air, and the floor (5 layers of it) was covering a 3 foot hold in the sub floor. Nice. At 9 months pregnant, I am laying on the new piece of the floor, so my husband can nail it while he’s laying on top of the air-conditioning unit in the crawlspace. I was running up to the 2nd floor bathroom while on bed rest with twins. Fun Wow.
Next, we redid the master bedroom, with the lime green carpet and more glued on ceiling tiles. We put in white carpeting that never saw the light of day again. We ripped that out last year and redid the original hardwood floor. We did the hardwood floor and walls in the living room the year before. On this living room remodel, we finally finished painting the ceiling by the front door and putting up the wood work. Nothing like remodel number 2 to get the job done.
Last month, I decided to paint the dark wood kitchen cabinets again. I did it during the twin’s pre-school year the first time. You can really get a lot of painting done in 2 hours of free time. So I bought paint, and took the doors off. I basically have the 1970’s brown striped linoleum, the country style counter in a U, the cedar ceiling with beams, and to top it all off, Z-Brick, the 1970’s answer to bad drywall. So I was looking at the counter, when I decided I want a new one. I want to get rid of the U, and have a center aisle.
I tell the DH (dear hubby). “But if you take off the U on the counter, I have to take off the cabinets above it.” Yup. “And if I take off those cabinets, I need to rip off that piece of sofet hanging there. “ Yup. “And If I take off the sofet, I have a hole in the cedar ceiling. I don’t think I could fix it. I’d have to take down the whole thing.” Yeah…next thing we know, we’re at the Super Home Improvement Center looking floors and counters. We figure we’d repaint the cabinets, put in a laminate floor, and a new counter.
We call the brother-in-law #1 (BIL#1) to help rip out the stuff…with only 1 days notice. Nice family, aren’t we? He comes, and gleefully destroys and conquers. He even puts holes in the wall while ripping out z-brick, just because he can. And then he says the one thing that will then become everyone’s mantra who visits in the next month. “If I were doing the kitchen, I would….”
BIL#1 mentioned new cabinets (Done!). BIL#2 added more light switches, a larger sink and the microwave above the stove (Done!). Work friend mentions a new window above the sink (Done!). Mom-in-law says to add power to the center island (Done!). Another friend talked me into the larger work space by the oven (Done!).
Now, got any more ideas? You have to anty up to the payment book if you do.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
WE STRIVE TO HAVE WHAT WE WANT, WHEN WE SHOULD JUST WANT WHAT WE HAVE---UNKNOWN SONG LYRIC
“I am not a Mom, so much as wheels with an ATM Card”---Nature Mom
Happiness often comes from a feeling of contentment. We finish a big project, buy the furniture we oglooed for years, take the big trip, get a promotion; all things we pictured in our minds and finally received. All seems right in the universe. We dreamed and we succeeded what more could we want?
Lots of things. It’s human nature to want more things, a better cave, more sun, a third drumstick from the brontosaurus, it’s never ending. Still, we can’t make the sun shine for us, so we make do and find happiness in other ways. Turn the lights on, buy a new sweater, and create a drumstick from tofu. We get by. We go on. We make do.
Unless of course you are the species know as teenagers.
Life is continually out of balance when you are a teenager. It’s not the hormones that do us Moms in, it’s the constant “I want, I need, I must have, Can I buy, Will you pick up, Did you get me, Where’s My ____, That’s mine, I never get anything, I always look stupid and you always buy it for____ (fill in name of other sibling).” They genetically don’t know how to make do, get by, or love what they have. They search for newer, bigger, faster, more expensive and more obnoxious in every nook and cranny we call homes. You get in heated arguments and end up taking everything away and sending them to their room, the ultimate punishment. Just last week they demanded bottled water, now that’s so over, they need VITAMIN WATER. Granola bars became ENERGY Bars. Yogurt graduated to GOGURT in tubes. American cheese slimmed down to CHEESE STIX. Gatorade became RED BULL. Peanut butter and Jelly sandwiches morphed to LUNCHABLES. Bubble gum turned to STRIVE. Deodorant is now AXE Body Spray. Bath Soap is BODY WASH from the Mall. My sons ask for Hair streaks and my daughter wants boxers.
My eldest Wild Child turned 14 the other day and my Dad called. “14,” he said. “Good Luck. You wanted EVERYTHING at that age. You were so rotten.”
Who Me?? I just want to be sent to my room for 3 hours without a phone, TV or outside communication with the world. Now that’s contentment.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
“I seldom find anything to be happy about “—real life Maxine in a candid moment
What really makes us happy? Do we just wake up and happiness finds us? Are we happy because it’s a sunny day? Because we had peace while we got ready in the morning? Are we happy because the traffic lights were all green on the way to work or because we got a free cup of coffee at the Tim Horton’s drive thru? Are we only truly when the world seems all right for today?
Or is happiness a choice?
We all seem to know people who never seem to smile, who can’t seem to laugh at the absurdities of life or who just have one bad thing after another happen to them. Just how many happy days do we have while fighting with our spouses or feeling ignored by them? Would you really smile with so much tragedy going on around you? Or would you say to yourself, how can you NOT be happy, because there is nothing else to grab for?
I believe happiness is a choice you make. It’s a thought process you have about the way life really works. It’s a glass of half fun or half boring kind of outlook. I know that all of us make this choice on how to look at the world day in and day out.
But we also are profoundly impacted by the reality of life that surrounds us. Again, it’s how we react. I am a sponge. Many people are. Other people are the faucets, spilling out the water for the sponges. The water can be cool, uplifting and enjoyable, or it can be a hotbed of smoldering coals waiting to burn you wherever they land.
Sponges are living, breathing things. Sometimes they just need to remember to move and find the delicious crisp water again, to look for it and find it, day in and day out. Today, I was surprised by some unexpected compliments. I was leaning into the flames of the darkness and was pulled out into the cascading joy of the ocean. First up were just a series of nice compliments all day long about how nice I looked, from people at the health club cheering me on for finally losing 35 pounds and running 4 miles on the elliptical machine, to a co-worker teasing me that my dear hubby (DH) must really like the outfit I was wearing. I thought I was going to have to pour water on him he was so complimentary. Or maybe he was just drunk.
Another series of compliments has come from my dear friends who have all read my blog, supporting me and cheering me on. Mr. Clancy told me tonight my writing was really good, and that if I could channel my energy, would really become the seductive writing millions of people would run and out and buy. Wow, now that’s a fantasy I can dig into Mr. Clancy.
Would you care to watch as I do my channeling?
I think it’s my turn to be a faucet and pour out the water like a rainstorm of joy for others. That’s really the point of this blog. To tell everyone, go after your dreams, keep on fantasizing and find your joy. Do It Everyday. Thanks for reminding me Mr. Clancy.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Say what you mean
Mean what you say
Think about the words
That you're using
Speak for yourself
Say what's on your mind
Think about the life
That you're choosing
Whenever you need somebody
Whenever you're looking
For somebody who knows
When trouble won't leave you alone---Lyrics from Moody Blues, Key of the Kingdom Album
Say what you mean, mean what you say, be honest, have integrity, talk to me, explain to me, inform me, communicate with me, discuss. Anyone in the human race spends some time each week being frustrated with the communication does not work out right. If you want to really want to get your panties in a bunch, try talking with a teenager who is hell bent on getting what they want by purposely misunderstanding you. Or better yet, is when they want to claim innocence by omitting certain facts.
This communication problem will be a life long battle with Wild Child I am sure. I don’t know if he’s simply destined for a stellar career in politics or as a school administrator, but most days I lose part of sanity just trying to know where he is going , with whom and for what purpose. I really only get details when he needs me as a chauffeur in the cop car. And even then, the sin of omission most often comes into play when I pick him up to bring him home. Maybe he didn’t call and tell me when to get him, or maybe I arrive and find out I am driving 3 other boys home. Or better yet, I am picking him up. 2 friends are with him, and oh by the way, they are sleeping over. Or maybe the fun I had the other day, when I come from a day at the beach expecting to relax and take a shower, only to find a note “Dad, have Mom pick me up at 520 or 6. She knows all about it.” What she knows is that she told you, no, she would not drive you to and from Lockport for a skating event. Find a ride. Well, he found one all right. Me.
Part of me constantly wants to scream while the other part simply wants to run away to a chateau in France and come back when the kids are 25. “I just want the Brady family” I screamed to my friend, Miss Virginia last night, as I was letting Wild Child receive an attitude adjustment while I calmly walked up and down and up and down the driveway. “Grow up,” Miss Virgina screamed into the phone as I called her again, ranting. “Stop being Catholic girl, no one has the f*$!in’ Brady family! Even Carol was pulling her hair out because Marcia and Greg were doing each other! Everyone has problems, everyone has fights, and everyone gets over them. Just call the police if you can’t take it anymore and I guarantee Wild Child will calm down.”
No, I didn’t call the police. I didn’t even call Miss Manners to complain that my son makes plans with people and doesn’t call to cancel when he can’t go, leaving the family to have to deal with the phone calls as his friends wonder what happened….again. No, I just chock it up to the experience of raising a male. I figure these top notch skills sure to come in handy at work. When the cow excrement gets too deep there, and I can’t send my boss to his room for exiling me to Siberia, I can just picture the Brady family, and try to imagine which child is going to beat the other one up over the toy in the backyard.
See the thing with teenage communication is how you use your coping skills. It’s the same at work. Just imagine a really big crane coming over their head and taking them away. The smile on your lips says it all.