Thursday, July 26, 2007

By the Way

It's on my mind, although I haven't mentioned it: #1 Son is on his trip to China, or at least I presume so. (Miss Thing doesn't bother sending an email saying, "OK, we're leaving tomorrow" or anything. The only information we've got is what he told me after talking to her on the phone a couple weeks back. How any parent can be expected to live this way is beyond me.)

Now tell me, you parents out there (and even you non-parents with a bit of imagination): With the information that's been in the news lately, combined with the widespread pet sickness, would you feel comfortable about your kid traveling (and specifically eating) in China these days? Me neither.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Times Are a-Changin'

This weekend, my little Punkin Boy gave a talk in church for the first time. Yes, he is 4 years old, and yes, that's probably weird in any culture other than the one I belong to. It's just what we do. With most people, I think it helps them become better public speakers over the years, so generally, it's a good thing.

TM and I went to watch him. For those who are unaware, during the second hour of our Sunday meetings, the kids ages 3 to 7 gather for "Sharing Time" and for another hour in individual classes. (The older kids do classes first.) Talks happen during "Sharing Time."

I was really nervous for him. I still remember my first talk when I was 4. I had prepared a really good talk (I thought) on the story of Jonah. I wrote it all out and was ready (though a little scared) to give it when the time came. But I guess I was a little too timid. My voice apparently didn't carry to the back of the room, and some kids commented on it. The nice lady who was in charge thought my talk was so good (so the story goes) that she felt everyone should hear it. But since my voice was too quiet, she took my notes out of my hand and read them again.

I was so humiliated I wanted to die-- not just then, but every time anyone has ever asked me to give a talk in church since then. I have had to rudely run away or hang up on people once or twice without explaining because I felt that I must throw up right now. How embarrassing. You'd think I'd get over it, especially after all these years and all those speech classes. But no.

I sat there at the back of the room, clutching my husband's hand and trying to smile instead of panic on behalf of my baby. I realized that nowadays there are microphones at the podium so that nobody has to go through what I did. (Of course it was all about me.) And Punkin Boy stepped right up to the microphone and started to read out his talk (on Ephesians Ch. 6) just as bold as you please.

But then it hit me: someone had turned off the microphone earlier and hadn't turned it back on! I panicked. I trembled in my seat. I wanted to cry or yell at someone, "Don't do this to my baby!" I was terrified and could just about see the whole scenario repeating itself. Then one of the "nice ladies in charge" got up-- my life flashed before my eyes-- and turned the microphone back on.

Whew! Punkin Boy had another couple sentences to go and hadn't noticed a thing. He finished reading, nodded to the audience, and went back to his seat smiling proudly. I could hardly keep back the tears. "Good job, baby," I whispered, and he ran to me and climbed on my lap for a hug. Crisis averted. Happy times.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Psycho Babble

Just had to share: I got an email from a long-lost high-school friend who says she's been reading my blog (but not commenting, you'll notice-- the punk!). She adds that she ran into another, even longer-lost friend, who was my best buddy in grade school, and gave me a little news about her, too. I'm so psyched! Maybe is worth something, after all.

I want this job at my favorite chocolate factory, but I can't have it because of my back. Do you think I can persuade TM to take a crack at it? (Did someone say "crack addict"? Yep, I'm hooked on chocolate.)

Meanwhile, I'm avoiding doing my work. I'm getting editor (I almost typed "idiot" rather Freudianly) burnout already. Need to be independently wealthy so that I can focus on my writing instead. Overdrawn and behind on the bills just isn't cutting it.

Still, my children have a roof over their heads despite nearly 2 years without me bringing home the bacon. And they're showing signs of becoming such overachieving super-geniuses as the world hasn't seen since the passing of Isaac Asimov (oops, sorry, Brother Card). So it's not all bad.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fed Up

I've had just about enough of everything tonight, especially work. But I haven't killed anyone yet. Good on me.

By the bye, did you know that cocoa-oatmeal Raisinette cookies, when frozen and then warmed in the microwave, smell just like toasted marshmallows? I wonder why...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Get It Now

There surely was something suspicious about the sudden decision on The Evil One's part to whisk #1 Son away from us early even though she was supposed to work, and now I know what the motivation was. Harry Potter. Or rather, the persistent desire to have #1 Son think she's just the best, most fun person in the world. Still. I've been slammed for calling her a Disneyland mom, but what do you call it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

I've been down with migraine all day long. Well, actually, since 3 p.m. last Thursday. But today, I couldn't even get up out of bed until it was time to make dinner, and even then I had to really concentrate to boil some spaghetti.

#1 Son was out most of the day with a church group, waterskiing and having a good time. I was really glad of it, though his little brothers were lonely. I struggled through the bedtime routine, having told #1 Son I'd be glad to hear more about his day once the other kids were taken care of.

But while I was in the other room singing lullabyes, who should call up but the Evil One. "Well, it looks like we'll be going to China on the 25th; I think I'll come pick you up tomorrow," she tells him. My first thought was, "You're not going to see your dad again until September..." Actually, I had a moment of "She's not supposed to come until Sunday-- Saturday at earliest!" But that was part of the whole train of thought: The Man's working till 11 tonight, he'll be leaving again early in the morning, and he's working late again tomorrow. He'll be devastated not to see his boy even to say goodbye...

I was good, though. I didn't yell or scream or even make a sarcastic remark. I did mention TM's work thing, as an "Isn't it a shame?" aside. I didn't mention how his brothers will cry when he up and leaves with hardly any warning. That's for me to deal with.

Some days I feel like quoting from Hook:

"I hate... I hate... I hate Peter Pan!" Only it's not Peter Pan, it's that nasty, nasty, selfish woman who gave birth to #1 Son. And I really hate feeling this way.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Nose to the Grindstone, Sorta

Lucky me, deadline falls right smack in the middle of Migraine Week. I did edited 40 articles one deadline day last month, though, so I'm sure I can do it again. Yeah, I'm sure I can. I don't even have to bake a cake this time.

What I'm working on recently: "How to Deal with Premenstrual Irritability" (also "How to Breed Peafowl" and "How to Grow a Beard"-- all from one author!); I learn so much with this job.

The little guys have been very very good today, which I totally need. #1 Son has been weird and mopey. (Teen years approaching, did I say?) A little more initiative and independence would serve him well.

The Man IM's me to say he's thinking of coming home early because of the heat, again. Can someone please tell me why anybody would stick their IT department in a building with no air conditioning? TM works on the second floor, and it's hovering around 100 degrees, again. Yack. Well, that'll be some help with the kids, maybe.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Me, at Midnight, Again

I named my blog ages ago when I was working more than full-time trying to support my family, and the only time I had to myself when I could write was after I lost lucidity, sometime in the wee hours of the night. I felt kind of silly after I lost my job and could blog just about anytime I wanted to. I could just hear people wondering "What's up with the 'midnight' thing? She only posts at lunchtime..."

Well, I'm back to the witching hour, when I have any time at all, that is. And it is because I'm working again, though for only a fraction of the pay and no benefits at all. Mostly, I don't mind. At least I'm working again and can feel like I'm contributing something to our family's upkeep. (Yes, it was bothering me.) But I'm tired and cranky and I occasionally wonder whether it'll kill me, and whether anyone would miss me if I did.

And then I have these moments of rapturous appreciation from my kids, especially Pirate Boy, who (by virtue of having finally cleaned his room) now has his own email and blog! He thinks he is the coolest thing in the world, and that I'm the coolest mama for having made it possible. Those snuggly hugs are totally worth staying alive for.

P.S. Let me know if you want to visit or write to the little guy, and I'll email you the details. He loves getting mail!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


No word yet on when The Man will get paid. (What? I didn't tell you the story about how the state is stealing our interest-- I mean, keeping its employees' money for an extra few weeks?) I unfortunately know how far off my payday is (at least another month). Sigh. I guess we won't get to buy this.