Monday, January 24, 2011

i think i made him a hippie. or something like that.

the boy came home from school and wanted a snack. he devoured an orange. dinner was spaghetti squash baked lasagna-style with my homemade sauce, full of garlic, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and anything else that was lying around, with some nutritional yeast for good measure. water to drink, vitamins taken, a homemade brownie, scrubbing the teeth, and off to bed.

he drinks organic, hormone-free milk, takes homemade lunches to school every day, thinks curried lentils are awesome. sometimes it occurs to me that he eats a primarily vegetarian diet. and likes it. weird. he gets excited about those curried lentils.

it also sometimes occurs to me that he has thrown up one time in the last two years in this house. he has had three colds. he is healthy as an ox and his school pants, purchased in august, are now getting short. he has minimal allergies, an abundance of energy, and is losing his taste for junk food.

i suppose he could argue about what's for dinner. he's tried before. it did him precious little good. (i'm not a short order cook. i pointed this out.) it does appear, though, that he likes to eat this way. that makes me happy. i like knowing that, in our home at least, he's getting nutrition that keeps him healthy and strong. i can't control what he devours as soon as he's out of our sight, but when he's here, it's good stuff all the way.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

too much charm can be a dangerous thing...

the boy is charming. very charming. this is a kid who can walk into a store, find a lady giving samples, and get a triple serving. a boy who can walk up to my ex-husband in that same store and get a hug and interest on his new loose tooth. he knows no shyness. he walks up to police officers working security at festivals and gives them high fives. he is known in our local grocery store. shopkeepers trade him their wares for the rocks he offers them. it is truly something to behold.

i even think he had something to do with me being given a free tire at a local store. that's right, a tire. with complimentary installation. for free. yeah.

he gets it from his father. my husband has beautiful blue-gray eyes with long, dark lashes. he is also devastatingly handsome. ( i have often told him that being so good looking, he really could get away with being quite stupid if he ever wanted. he's really that gorgeous. ) when the husband was a boy, he would ask people if he had beautiful eyes. without fail, they said he did. and presumably offered to buy him ponies and toy train sets. he is still offered things due to his beautiful eyes, but i'm fairly certain ponies have been replaced by shots of various liquors. good man he is, he declines.

me? all i've got are enormous teal colored eyes that make it hard for people to yell at me or get truly angry. that can be a bonus. as a teenager, i was pulled over for speeding seven times before i got my first ticket. blond hair and huge, teary eyes work wonders.

i'm going to see i can get another tire. if the big eyes don't work, perhaps a low-cut shirt will help matters.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

today went smoothly...

the boy just read my blog. not bad for a 1st grader. he got interested when i told him i talk about him and about his dad and what our lives are like. i also told him i don't mention him by name so that if he gets older and is embarrassed by what i write he can deny it was him. also that i don't want him to have a "web presence" at his age. we'll save that for later when he can make his own mistakes.

for now i've sent him off to play so that i can write another blog so that he can read it. maybe, when he's older, he can read these and see that for every meltdown or tantrum he has at this age, i have three. i hope he sees that i have no idea how to do this right and i have nothing to go on. i hope he sees that i try every day to keep the emotional scars of childhood to a bare minimum and do everything i can to keep him healthy, happy, and well-adjusted.

those days when it's just me and him, when his dad is out of town or working late, we're always proud at the end of the day when we can look at one another and say "we didn't kill each other once." for us, that's a successful day. today is one of those days. we didn't kill each other once.

today went smoothly.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

an early morning breakdown is a great way to start the day.

the youngster needed $1.00 to take to school so that he could wear his regular clothes instead of a uniform. he told me last night while his dad was at the store. we are a debit card-reliant family. we don't have cash. ever. the school routinely gives 1 day notice that things like this are happening. it's fun. we adore the adventure of it all. really.

i told phoenix that we didn't have any cash and that if i'd known before his dad went to the store i would have asked him to take out a little extra and that if he couldn't find it he would have to suffer the uniform again and no, i didn't know where his wallet was and it is not my responsibility to keep track of these things. his face fell down to his knees, he started scrounging for change, searching here and there and everywhere, he scraped enough together to be able to wear his cool skinny jeans and a thermal, and there was peace in the land.

cut to this morning: rushing out the door, running late, getting in the drop off line at school, and hearing "i forgot my dollar!"

turning around, going back to the house, getting the coins, handing them over with instructions to place them immediately in a pocket for safekeeping, hearing the coins continue to jingle, admonishing again to put them in a pocket, hearing two fall, trying not to curse, there is now crying, a quarter has been lost, and now two dimes, and why wasn't i the one holding on to them?, because it is not my job to keep track of it and if it had been in a pocket this wouldn't have happened, and now we are a dime short and that's just too bad because i'm going to be late to work and the bell is about to ring, so a kiss on the forehead, an apologetic look for the mutual meltdown, and away we go.

because when there's crying before 8:15 a.m., you know it's gonna be a swell day. really swell.

Friday, January 7, 2011

well, at least THAT'S over...

the holidays, i mean. they are no fun if you're an adult. an adult with depression symptoms so bad that you don't want to/can't get out of bed during the cheeriest time of year. so bad that you turn away from everyone and mentally hibernate. have nightmares. ignore mirrors. hate yourself. give up.

(re-reading "the bell jar" is also not recommended during these periods of gloom and doom, fyi.)

which is where i was, trying to festive-up for my 7 year old stepson while feeling positively crippled by a relentless apathy so severe i couldn't move. (when you're sitting by yourself and find tears streaming down your face with no apparent outward cause, it's time to hide the medicines and firearms.) and i have no idea what brought it on. that's the real bitch of it. just came out of nowhere and slapped my face with sadness.

i know this is supposed to be a happy blog, inspiring for other stepmothers and full of adorable anecdotes about life with a 7 year old boy and making it in a hardscrabble world and all that, but you know, not every day is an amazing adventure in child rearing. some days are oppressively heavy. this happened to be one of them. or a series of them.

see, my husband and i would like to have our own child together. we actually thought we'd had a pretty good chance around the holidays. we made the mistake of allowing ourselves to get a little hopeful that we might have the kind of news we'd for which we had been dying: a positive pregnancy test. i'd been more hormonal and emotional than i'd been before, my body was acting all weird, circumstances were looking good, it would all add up beautifully.

man, hope is cruel.

christmas morning rolled around and the soul crushing began. the roller coaster that had been going on for a month hit bottom. we were supposed to see a movie but i just couldn't do it. i made half-hearted attempts at being a decent daughter. i wished for the day to end so i could drift off into sleep again. i think i showered. i'm not entirely sure. i do recall brushing my teeth once, at least. so that's something. there was a decent amount of stress eating involved.

the boy came back two days later. i wasn't doing much better. i managed to slap on the sunny face for a little while so he could open his presents and have fun but heart was elsewhere. where, i couldn't tell you, but the backdrop of a tim burton movie would be a reasonable facsimile.

anyway, the boy is back, he got kind of spoiled (which is another blog in progress), things are back to their semblance of normalcy, and life is going on. i don't know if i have it in me to keep trying for a baby of my own. that monthly heartbreak is getting to be a little too much to bear. i don't think i want to just give up on it. i somewhere between wanting IVF and having my tubes tied.

now, that's an uplifting blog. sorry. to make up for that, here is a picture of a goat being carried by a donkey.



better? good.