Monthly Archives: September 2006

Fat Lip

Last night before bed P tripped in the upstairs hallway and landed on her face. She got a bit of a bloody nose and a fat lip. She was being silly and slipped on the painted wood floor. We have a runner up there but that is where she landed. I always feel bad when she gets hurt but especially when she’s being silly. It’s awful to see them all carefree and happy one second and then hurt and bleeding the next. It’s like there not going to want to let go again. She usually milks all boo-boos for all their worth but she handled this one like a champ. I got some of her blood on my face and she was very concerned that I was ok. She told me that I had bleed on me. She held her little ice pack to her face like a dainty hankie until it went warm. I’m really glad that it didn’t happen moments earlier – we were getting very close to bedtime and I told her that we’d have to stop playing and take her allergy medicine (which she HATES – why oh why don’t they have Claritin redi-tabs for children her age? It would seem the perfect target audience!), brush teeth, go potty and then read books. She got very upset and asked to have more time to play. I was putting something away in her room and I heard her on my bed yelling – HURRY HURRY MOMMY WE HAVE TO PLAAAAY!!!!! Sometimees it feels like I’m constantly rushing and pushing her from one thing to another – pushing to get dressed in the morning, rushing out the door to school/work, pushing her into the car to go home, rushing to do everything before bedtime. I really try to keep her to a regular bedtime (8pm) so we don’t have that much time at the end of the day especially if we do something after school. Then you have to factor in the extra time spent on 3.75 year old nonsense. Anyway, I REALLY would have felt bad if she had hurt herself while rushing me to PLAAAAY. I would have wanted to give myself a fat lip, it would serve me right.

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Veterinarian Days

It sounds cliche but when I was young I really wanted to be a Veterinarian. I had this book called What to Do Until the Veterinarian Comes and I read it over and over again. My dad saw my interest and talked to our dog’s Veterinarian Dr. N and asked him if I could “help out” around the office during the summer. Dr. N agreed so in the summer before 8th grade I started going to the Vet a couple of days a week.

The senior Veterinary Technician was a small wiry guy who didn’t say a whole lot to me. The other two Veterinary Technicians were young kids that were doing their BOCES internships and didn’t seem to take it very seriously. They were always processing the stool samples for worm tests. The testing solution was kept in a large Sunny Delight jug. Senior Vet Tech was in charge of the grooming services at the office. This was long before the days of Pet Spas, etc. His method of bathing a cat was to hook the cat’s collar up to the hook on the grooming table and spray water on the cat while it bounced around in all directions. The grooming area was in the basement which SVT had taken over as his own. He had covered the walls with dozens of centerfolds from raunchy magazines. Whenever I had to go down there I instantly averted my eyes from the walls but I know that I couldn’t help catching a couple of beaver shots. Oiy, did I forget to mention that I was 13 years old?

I did get to see more than a couple of operations and the Vet always let me be there for the patient examinations. There was one cat that had been brought in to be spayed and when the doctor got in there he found that she was already pregnant. Her litter in the placenta looked like a series of 8 golf balls evenly stacked inside a stocking. I think after that I had to go and sit down in the doctor’s office for a while.

Dr. N was very nice to me most of the time. He used to bring his dog with him to work once or twice a week. He saw how I mooned and carefully petted each and every patient that came in so soon after I first started he told me to go down to the end of the hall and say hello to his dog, Teddy. I did and as soon as I stepped into the room I was met with a snarling bark from a gigantic caramel colored Akita mix. Teddy was in a crate thankfully but he still scared the crap out of me. I am convinced that the Dr. knew that Teddy would do that and I do remember his smirky expression when he was setting me up.

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“Mom”

P started calling me “Mom”. I have to say that I’m a little uncomfortable with it still. She’s my baby and I’m not ready for her to sound so grown up. I guess that it is also because I still call my parents “Mommy” and “Daddy”. I know that I’m not the only adult child in the world who does this but I always knew that it wasn’t the norm. I guess that it is just another part of the weirdness that is my family. I’m proud of her. She’s really trying to keep to her new name for me. It’s not like a Mommy doesn’t slip out every once and a while but I can hear her making the concious effort to call me Mom.

Recently, she’s also been obsessed with her Little Einstein’s DVD and with wearing her halloween costume. She is going to be June from the show. June is pretty cute and it is very convenient because we already have a ballet outfit (that we had to fight her into every Saturday last year when she was actually taking a ballet class). June wears earrings though and P’s ears are not pierced. I don’t believe in piercing a baby’s ears. I think that you should leave that choice up to the child. So I made her a pair of clip on earrings out of pipe cleaners and felt. They came out quite cute and she loves to wear them. As soon as we get home from School she wants to immediately change into her “ballet clothes” and puts on her earrings and her June headband and is calling me Mom and sometimes I feel like I’m sitting there with a 12 year old. Then of course she starts freaking out when it is time to change into jammies and go to bed and I’ve got my baby back once again.

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Fly the Flag

Flag

Last week I received an email that told me that:

“On Monday, September 11th, 2006, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this fifth anniversary of our country’s worst tragedy. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.”

I have to confess that I deleted it. I’m not one for these email chain letter things. My first instinct whenever I read one is to Google it and see if it is a hoax. I know that the email above is not a hoax. It is trying to find a way to honor those who died on September 11. But I don’t think that we do that by taping a flag to our office window. Just as I don’t see how we support our troops by sticking “ribbons” to the backs of our cars. I’ve always wondered where those things come from. Wouldn’t it be ironic if they were made by some Al-Qaeda manufacturing arm? Those guys would be laughing themselves silly as they cranked out another 100 million pieces.

I love America . . . I used to be able to finish that statement with “and all that it stands for” but considering our reputation around the world right now I can’t really go that far. I feel ambivalent about America and the flag. I feel that if I display a flag I’m saying that I’m proud of my country and all that is doing and that is not true.

How are you going to observe this September 11th? I’m far enough away from it this year that the anniversary isn’t freaking me out as much as it has in the past.(Click here to read about where I was on that day.) Maybe I’ll try to do something for one of these groups this year?

The first year anniversary was very rough. I was 5 months pregnant and stayed home from work in the city. G and I drove around trying to find a church service we could attend. We wanted to be around other people on that day. We ended up sitting in an empty Reformed Church nearby. The Minister came out and talked to us a little bit. It was another gorgeous day – sparkling and clear, just like that day. The beautiful day felt sinister to me. Much like the sunny weather we had in the weeks following that day. On the first Thursday we had a rainstorm in the middle of the night. G and I were awoken by booming thunder that sounded like bombs. When I heard the rain pouring down all I could think of was the firefighters we still thought were trapped underneath the rubble. I worried that they would drown in the water. Of course, it would turn out that there wasn’t anyone there. I think I still think about it every day. There are reminders everywhere. Yesterday P and I went to the local pizzaria – the owner has pictures and statues of little pizza chefs displayed right next to his “Never Forget”/burning WTC towers posters.

Right after September 11th I would find myself obsessively reading the Portraits in Grief that the NY Times would publish each day. They were 1 or 2 paragraph portraits that attempted to highlight each WTC victim’s life through small details about them. I felt that if I missed reading one I was letting that person’s life pass by without my notice and I wanted to take notice of them. I didn’t want to let them down.

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Mahalo

Yesterday the three of us were driving to P’s gymnastics class and listening to Laurie Berkner’s Under the Shady Tree. The song Mahalo came on. The song explains that “Mahalo means thank you”. G and I were saying Mahalo for a bunch of silly things trying to get P to laugh. She had just been crying because she didn’t want to get in the car. Whenever we need to leave to go somewhere on the weekend she starts stalling like it’s bedtime. She’ll want to wear her slippers out on a rainy day, she needs to run around outside before getting in the car, etc. Once in the car she has to be allowed to get into the seat her way, herself. She also insists on trying to buckle herself in – damn you Little Einsteins! It’s a little better during the week but not much. Yesterday we were late, as usual, so I had to scoop her up just as she was about to begin a leisurely petting session with Nigel (one of our cats). Big honking tears ensued. It’s not just going places with her either. Lately she’s been giving me a hard time leaving school. She starts crying that she misses her teacher even before we’ve exited the building. The other day she skipped her nap so she was extremely tired and wired at going home time. She cried for Miss Lisa until she fell asleep halfway through the ride home. When we arrived G started unbuckling her to take her out of the car and the first thing out of her mouth was “Miss Lisa”. I like Miss Lisa too. She is very sweet with the kids and seems to genuinely like P. She also has excellent hair. I always feel so mean-mommy when I have to strong arm her into her seat because she doesn’t want to leave school. What mother wouldn’t want their child to love school? It’s just that she’s starting to sound like one of those patriotic conservatives who say “America, love it or leave it”.

So, considering this recent history imagine my absolute heart melting delight when I asked her what she said Mahalo for and she said,

“I say Mahalo for Mommy”.

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