Wednesday, April 30, 2008

PETA Man of the Year

This story might cause you to stand on your chair and peel your skin off with your bare hands. You've been warned.

Our ant battles have been well-documented. Our recent mouse battles have also been documented. This morning, they converged in a bizarre case of Guantanamo Bay-style torture coexisting with the ethical treatment of rodents.

We have been big proponents of using Terro, the ant bait. It's sticky, gooey stuff, but it works and it's supposed to wipe out the colony and it's non-toxic to animals (except ants) and people.

So the latest ant invasion has been lapping up the Terro for a couple of days, with noticeable reduction in their armies. Great. A little bit of the Terro solution spilled on the floor near the trash can, and I left it there because the ants started gobbling it up. All the better. Eat it and die, you little shits. We don't have pets and the kids don't eat off the floor anymore. Once the ants are gone, it cleans up easily with hot water and soap. (This is obviously not the first time I've spilled it).

This morning, I went to dump my coffee grounds in the garbage can, and noticed a furry brown oblong thing in the spilled Terro. Hmmmm. I looked more closely. It was a mouse. And it was twitching.

"AAaaaaaahhhhh!" I said, backed up quickly, threw the coffee filter on the counter and got the hell out of there. G., who had already been up an hour and failed to notice the twitching, furry brown thing in the corner, said, "OK, take the boys in the family room and I'll deal with it."

That was the end of my involvement in the situation. The rest is told to me by G. because I sure as hell had nothing to do with it. I may never go near that corner again, we'll see.

So G. assessed the situation and sees that Mousey is alive, but stuck on his side in the spilled Terro. He got a piece of cardboard and a cup. He put the cup over the mouse and slid the cardboard underneath it. That's how he got the mouse unstuck.

He took the mouse outside, but Mousey's side was all gooey and sticky. It occured to me while I was waiting in the family room, "He's not going to try to wash it and set it free, is he? Nawww."

I, once again, underestimated him.

G. got a shoe box to put Mousey in, but Mousey was so sticky and gooey that he actually stuck to the cup even after the cardboard was removed, sort of hanging out the bottom, so G. couldn't get him in the shoe box. He wasn't going to use his hands (thank god). So G. got a pail of water and dunked the cup in several times to try to wash him off. ( BTW, G. does a really good imitation of the mouse getting dunked over and over, shaking himself off with this expression like, "Woah. This day's going from bad to worse." Ask him to do it for you sometime).

G. got him washed off enough to get him in the cardboard box, and then announced he was embarking on a relocation program in the neighbor's yard down by the railroad tracks.

So he gets in the car, taking Mousey in the shoe box, and takes him down to the railroad tracks and sets him free. (Note to self: Find out what he did with the shoe box).

Then he came home and said, "Poor little guy. I don't know if he's gonna make it. He was still pretty gooey."

And that's why my husband deserves the PETA Man of the Year award. I'm not sure what I would have done if I'd been alone (and I hope I never have to find out), but I believe it would have involved a shovel, mouse murder (mouseicide?), and lots of screaming.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You Should See the Cities He Builds

This is a really great kid named Robbie. His mom's awesome, too. Visit his Walk for Autism page. He already walked last Saturday, but I think you can still donate.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A.'s Clown Academy

It's always a good time for underwear hats.

A. also shared his latest bit of genius:

Every day at recess, me and J. ask "Who wants to learn to be funny?" and every day one child wants to learn, so me and J. teach them to be silly. Today it was G. and we taught him to do silly things like cannonball into the sandbox.

So now he's holding playground seminars. I think they're free for now, but I wouldn't be surprised to find him charging for the privilege of private tutoring soon. He also claims he taught J. everything he knows and then hired him as his assistant.

Me: So who have you taught?
A: Lists off about 6 kids.
Me: Are you and J. the funniest kids in the class?
A: Yep. But I taught J. how to be funny. He didn't know before.

I asked if the teacher ever told him not to be silly, and he quickly changed the subject to his conviction that he was cheated out of a chicken nugget hot lunch this month. I tried showing him the hot lunch calendar, and showed him how I paid for all the planned chicken nugget lunches, but he really believes with all his heart that there is a conspiracy to deny him chicken nuggets to which he is rightfully entitled.

He's only 5 now, and I'm a little worried for our future, or should I say, my ability to win arguments in the future.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fly Away Home

I haven't written at all since I found out my client died because I knew whatever I wrote would be tinged with bitterness, or, worse, blahness.

I've gone through shock and sadness and then landed firmly in anger. I'm sure the death of any 35-year-old would be unfair, but without going into details, trust me when I say this is one of the more unfair ones. I felt angry at life, at God, and at him, even. You went off and died? Who does that?

This morning I loaded Ben into the stroller and we headed out to the shoreline path for a walk/jog. About a mile and a half out, we came to a long wooden bridge. Perched on the railing was the biggest bird I've seen up close. It flew away as we approached, spreading its red tail feathers wide. Wow, I thought, could that be a red-tailed hawk?

As we crossed the long, narrow bridge, the hawk returned and perched on the railing at the end. We slowed down and approached very slowly. It let us get about 10 feet from it, and we stopped and just watched it. I whispered to Ben that we didn't want to scare it away. A nice older gentleman behind us stopped, leaned on the railing and watched his iPod until we were done.

I stared at the hawk and it stared at me. "What are you telling me?" I asked it.

We eventually passed it, and it swooped up and around the bridge. I went a bit farther, then turned around to go back the way we came.

About half a mile ahead, we saw the hawk perched on the fence. "Is that the same bird?" I asked Ben. "I think it's the same bird," he said. Again, we approached slowly, whispering, "We won't hurt you," and this time it let us pass without flying away.

Another half a mile down, and, I'm not kidding, the same hawk was perched on one of the big gates leading to a closed-off path. Again, we slowed down, and he just watched us go by. As I thought that maybe it understood we meant it no harm, my eyes teared up in gratitude.

About 50 feet ahead, a naturalist was leading a field trip of school kids. I stopped and asked her what that bird was, pointing back to where the bird was still perched, watching us.

"I'm not sure without my binoculars, but I think that's a red-tailed hawk." That's what I'd thought, too, but I know nothing about birds, so I would have believed her if she'd told me it was some weird red-tailed duck.

I came home and looked up the symbology of red-tailed hawks. Of course, they mean many different things to many different people, but one of the common threads was that they accompany the visionary and are a spiritual messenger. They are a symbol of guardianship, and also of seeing the bigger picture.

One site said, "Be ever alert for a red tail flying near, for the Red Tailed Hawk will soar beside the Two-Legged whose own gift of vision is exceptionally acute."

I've never gotten that close to a hawk before, and I had the distinct feeling that it was watching over us. At my client's memorial service later in the afternoon, several people described him as a "quiet guardian."

All I know is that I felt a lot less angry afterwards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's Not Been the Best Day

When a client dies during the course of treatment, the therapist is left with a residue of grief, with no formalized connection to the mourning process, and with many questions about the consequence of therapy itself. The therapist must deal with an intense loss within the strict confines of professional confidentiality. Death-and its finality-brings to the fore the central paradox of the clinical relationship, the therapist's knowing a patient so intimately and yet being totally outside the social structure of that person's life. Three psychotherapy cases will illustrate the complexity of feeling generated in the therapist when a patient/client dies.

From Rubel, Rena. When a Client Dies. Psychoanalytic Social Work, 11, 1-14.

I just found out on a news feed that one of my regular clients, a 35-year-old father of two, was killed when his truck went off a coastal highway and burst into flames.

I probably know more intimate details of his emotional life than anyone else, but because of confidentiality, I can't call and express my sympathies to his family. It's OK - confidentiality is a good thing and it's a good thing for it to extend beyond death. But....what a weird place to be.

If I hadn't seen the news feed, I'd probably wonder why he didn't show up to his appointment tomorrow. I'd call his cell phone and may have found it disconnected.

I might be able to attend the service, but I'll have to sit in the back and not tell anyone who I am. I'm fortunate that G is also a therapist and understands the amount of grief I feel, and the questions that remain - did I do enough? Was I a help in his last years, with neither of us knowing that's what we were working with? Would I have done anything differently?

You Won't Want To Miss This!

In 2 weeks I get to have a sigmoidoscopy! And since I have a blog, you all (might) get to hear about it, too! I wonder if they'll think I'm weird if I bring my camera.

I'm kinda bummed because there's no sedation involved, as there is in a colonoscopy. It only takes about 15 minutes and apparently the worst part is getting "cleaned out" beforehand. It's impossible to schedule it for a time when I don't have to work the previous day, so my clients are going to bear the brunt of me only having clear liquids all day. Sorry, everyone, if I seem a little less empathic than usual.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shock and Awe

Here's me in my Mouse Busters Outfit.

Guess what we did all weekend? Yep! Stuff insulation in the open space between the kitchen sink and the washing machine!

The ants got tired of my full frontal assault on them and enlisted a mouse to distract me and completely gross me out. They're such stupid ants that they must have hired one of the Three Blind Mice, because it ran headfirst into G's foot the other night. Ick.

We bought 2 humane mouse traps and stuck them in the outside closet that holds the hot water heater, which, not coincidentally, has a few open spaces between it and the open space between the kitchen sink and the washing machine. The traps were closed yesterday morning, but the mouse is mocking us and closing them without climbing inside. I'm ready for non-humane measures. These colors don't run!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

This Could Be You! (And Me!)

Who wants to do this with me?

One of the most fun evenings I've had in the theater was Mamma Mia! It's not "Les Miserables" but it's fun to see how the playwright worked ABBA's songs into the story. It's a fluffy, fun time. One of the things I like most about it is that besides one of the leads, 20-year-old Sophie, most of the central characters are about 40, and they're portrayed as sexy, smart, fun individuals. The young chorus is pretty much there for filler.

Now that the movie version is coming out, there's a contest over at Pond's to get women over 40 to do their own version of the finale, where the three (ahem, older) lead women get into 60's spacesuit-like jumpsuits and sing "Dancing Queen," just like the singers above. It's called the "Search for the Dynamos."

You can do "Mamma Mia" or "Dancing Queen" and they even give you the karaoke version of the songs to download. If you win, you get a trip to London to "live the life of the 3 Dynamos at the world premiere of MAMMA MIA!" whatever that means. I don't know if you have to wear those costumes. I kind of hope not, but for a trip to London, I could be persuaded.

I can't wait to see the movie. It's kind of hard to imagine Meryl Streep, but I love Amanda Seyfried on "Big Love" and of course Pierce Brosnan is Sam. And Colin Firth! And Christine Baranski, who the role of what's-her-face was written for, was it not?

In the interest of full disclosure, I believe Pond's might send me some samples. Hey, Pond's, I use these, and as far as I know, my age stays defied, so if you wanna send me some more, that'd be cool.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Half-caf? HALF-CAF?

I did half-caf mochas when I was pregnant with Benjamin and I am NOT pregnant now. Give me double caf. Give me two of 'em.

I like the easy-going part, though. Do I seem easy-going?

And of course I'm always willing to compromise. DO I HAVE A CHOICE???

Bribing the Coach

Yay! Today is our favorite day, Soccer day! [/sarcasm] Ben does half an hour of "Mommy and Me" soccer in the morning, and A. does 40 minutes of Soccer I in the afternoon.

In the morning, Mommy cajoles Ben into staying on the field after he states halfway through, "I'm finished now. Let's go home," or even carries him while dribbling a soccer ball (and scoring! Gooooooaaaaaallll!).

In the afternoon, A. refuses to play soccer while we try everything we can think of to get him out there. He tells us he's afraid of, at varying times, the coach, the field, and the other kids. There are two other terribly frightening kids in the class, one of which is a friend of his in kindergarten. The other is a little boy who looks at A. adoringly and laughs at all his jokes. He's played with both kids in the adjacent playground. Very scary. The coach has been nothing but kind and friendly with him. And the grass....well, it's a different field, but it's grass and it's green.

G. tried a paradoxical intervention with him and told him that we were going to help him get over his fears and have the soccer coach and teammates over for dinner. G. told me privately that he'd be willing to pay the guy $75 to come to dinner if it worked, but his hope was that the idea of having to entertain the coach would be so frightening (to whom? Me or A.?) that A. would play in order to avoid it.

Unfortunately, his plan backfired and A. was very excited to plan his own dinner party, complete with the coach, his teammates, and, because why not?...his best friends from school. He told me that if he didn't play soccer, he got to have friends over for dinner!

I said "No. You don't get rewarded for not playing soccer. You play tomorrow and we'll talk about the dinner party afterward."

He agreed that he was going to play today.

When we got to the field, he developed a sudden lame leg. We didn't care. He hopped. We told him to hop on over to the soccer field. I told him I was excited to see him play soccer on one leg. He whined, he clung, he cried, he tore away from the coach who tried to take his hand.

I told him to stay behind me and I would walk onto the field with him. He agreed, hanging onto my sweatshirt. We joined the coach and other kids, and the coach told A. that he'd heard he was a pro and hoped A. would help him teach the class. A. jumped out from behind me and declared, "Yes, I'm pretty good." And he was off, showing how he kicked the ball backwards and how fast he ran.

I couldn't believe how easily he warmed up once he was out on that damn field. I don't know if he just gave up the power struggle or if he remembered, "Oh yeah, I do like soccer."

But he still wants his dinner party.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

If You Read This Backwards It Says "Paul is Dead"

A's to-do list for this weekend was written completely backwards. Perfect mirror-writing. From left to right, all the letters backwards, too. If you turned it upside down, it looked like the letters were facing the right way, but I knew it was upside down because "waic up" was on the bottom and that's always first on his list.

"Sweetie, I really want you to practice your letters so we can all read what you write." (A friend suggested telling him, "Not everyone has a mirror.")

"But then it wouldn't be my writing."

"Yes, it would - you'd still be writing it, wouldn't you?"

"No, my writing is all crazy and it wouldn't be all crazy then."

Yay. Now backwards writing has become part of his identity. His teacher's gonna love this.

I'm getting a little worried, because it's not like he just mixes up his b's and d's. Any letter than can be backwards is usually backwards, and sometimes, I'll ask him to write an "e" and really try to make sure it's facing the right way and he'll very carefully write it backwards. It doesn't seem to affect his reading, though, so I don't think it's dyslexia. And I read that even if kids do it through 3rd grade, it always corrects itself when they learn cursive. No one writes cursive backwards. But that's 3 long years of reading-his-backwards-writing away.


The other night, G and I were having some private time behind our closed bedroom door after the boys went to bed. A. was still awake, though, and knocked on the door. G. stuck his head out and said, "What can we do for you, A?"
A. answered, "I'm going to shut the door to my room so I can have some peace and quiet!" For the record, we are NOT loud.

He's already a crotchety old man at 5 years old.


We also had a date last night and went to the hot tubs. Mmmm. Except G. kept trying to make it quality time and talk to me. It reminded me of when A. was three months old and we took our first overnight trip to Yosemite. We stayed in this awesome motel with super-deep jetted bathtubs. G. kept trying to coax A. to sleep so he could join me in the tub, but when he tried to climb in with me, I was all, "I have a deep, hot tub all to myself with no one touching me. Get out of here and wait your turn."

Anyway, the tubs were nice and relaxing and I finally opened my eyes and deigned to speak with my husband. We had sushi afterwards and were home before 8pm. Wild nights, y'all.


This has been a trying parenting week. Between A. going all backwards on us, in writing and in sports (did I mention he's refusing to play soccer now, too?) and Ben's lack of pooping action, I'm glad no one offered to buy them from me because I think I would have considered most offers.

Ben gets this particularly annoying thing going on where he gets our attention by saying, "I want my sock off!" When we take his sock off, he cries, "I want my sock on!" Fine, I think at first, sometimes I change my mind, too. But as soon as I put it back on, it's "I want it off!"

"OK, I'm not playing this game."

"But I want my sock off!"

"Then take it off."

"But I caaaaaaan't!" By now he's wailing.

And so on. I usually ignore him and mumble through gritted teeth, "I'm not playing this game." Then he gets hysterical. He does it with his bed quilt too - on, off, on, off. Or with Rocket's lid - on, off, on, off. Or with food - "I want grapes, I don't want grapes, NO! I want grapes! I don't want any grapes. NO DON'T EAT MY GRAPES THOSE ARE MY GRAPES! I don't want those grapes."

And it's all done with a whine....oh, god, the whining. Something about this game really gets under my skin and sometimes I have to leave the room. As a therapist, I recognize it as a externalization of his ambivalence and the difficulty he's having working through the anal stage of development, ala Freud. As a mother, I want him to shut the f*ck up. Especially when he pulls it between 4-6pm, which is prime Mommy Dearest time for me.

Most of the time, the answer is to distract him with something totally different. I'm lucky that he's pretty easily detoured. Not like Stubborn Boy over there wanting some peace and quiet. Pssssshhh.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Perfect Sunday

I came across A.'s to-do list for last Sunday:

Waic up
eet brecfis
brush teef
woch hanumaleu (Animalia)
red bucs
eet is creem
eet lunch
do crafs
woch tv
eet dinr
go too sleep

Eating ice cream, snuggling and doing crafts? Sounds like a perfect Sunday plan.

What's kind of amazing about the way he wrote his list is that every single letter than can be written backwards (except "n," for some reason) is written backwards. He also informed me that he has decided to write all his words without any silent letters. Terrific. My little anarchist.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Last Time I Write About T-Ball, I Promise

For Sale: One pair of little boys' Nike baseball cleats, size 11, worn once.

Yeah, t-ball's not going to happen. We're returning the pepperoni sticks tomorrow. Apologies to those of you who were getting your orders in.

We had a moment of hope when we discovered his friend D. was on the team. A. was excited to see D, but continued to refuse, though, saying, "I can see D. at school."

Now, the big dilemma is that A. is refusing to play soccer, too. This is the non-competitive soccer he's done for about 2 years, the one he has loved unconditionally, until this week. He sits on the grass and refuses all entreaties from the coach, his parents, his little brother, even the other parents, to join the rest of the kids on the field.

We tried stern, we tried taking his arm and dragging him out there (I don't recommend this one - we know it doesn't work, but we were sort of at a loss). We tried going out there and playing ourselves (and, may I say, I kicked the asses of the other 5-year-olds in the grab-the-tail game).
We tried threats. We sat there and discussed, between G and I, how sad we were that he was missing out on something he really liked to do. How sad it was that he wouldn't even try. How disappointed his friends on the team were. How confusing it all was since we knew he enjoyed soccer and was pretty good at it. How sad it was that he was just quitting without even trying.

He had an answer for everything. Fortunately, so do I.

A: "I already know how to do everything in soccer."
Me: "You are good, but you will lose all your skills if you don't keep playing. And to get to the next level, the 6-year-old level, you need to finish this level."

A: "Lots of kids at school don't even try. "
Me: "And I don't think that's a good way to be."

A: "I can learn all about soccer at home."
Me: "No, you need a coach. And people to play against who don't share your DNA."

He's telling us that he's scared of the coach, which I don't buy because he's had a different coach for all three previous sessions and it hasn't been a problem before. I introduced him to the coach, who was very nice and they high-fived each other. Benjamin even told him that the coach was nice (Ben has the same coach for the morning session). He did have a particularly good coach last time, who unfortunately disappeared into the Kidz Soccer ether.

We're frustrated because we really don't want this to become a habit.

In News on Ben's Bowels: Had a visit with the pediatric gastroenterologist today. We basically have to induce diarrhea in our once-a-week boy, so that he can't withhold anymore. This will hopefully break the habit of withholding. Then we back off until the stool is a little more formed. I just thank God she's not a fan of enemas.

So the oldest son is being obstinate and younger son is clinging and whining and saying he can't get the poops out and demanding to be carried everywhere. Such is the glory of parenthood.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

T-Ball Induced Panic Disorder, part II

OK, so how do you know when to say, "Hey, buddy, give it another try...c'mon, you can do it!" and when to say, "OK, we're pulling out. Let's see if they want their jersey and hat back,"?

When I asked A. what sport he'd most like to play, he said firmly, "Baseball." So I signed him up for t-ball (months late - how do parents know to sign their kids up in September for spring t-ball? Are there any other secrets anyone would like to let me in on?). G. bought him a little glove and started practicing catch. We would have gotten him a little fishing pole and practiced casting if he'd said, "Fishing."

An space came open on a team (we found out they had to kick a kid out because he was so disruptive). Unfortunately, this team had been together for about 3 weeks already and had had a few games and had the rhythm down. A.'s coming into this fresh and new, and he doesn't like it.

On the way to the game Saturday, in the cutest little Giants uniform you ever saw, he decided he'd sit in the stands and just watch. He wouldn't join the warm-ups. He wouldn't sit with his team. We watched the game and pointed out every kid who dropped the ball and swung and missed. See? They're just learning, too. Just like you.

The coach managed (I'm not sure how, he's pretty good at it though) to talk him into batting during the second round. He got him up there first, let him start with the tee (usually they get pitched to 4 times, and if they don't hit it, they can try the tee). A. hit it, lots of cheers went up, and he ran to first base. When he got there, he immediately walked off the field and towards us.

"No, no! Stay there!" we all yelled. He burst into tears and pulled away from the coaches. They let him walk back, where he melted into my arms and cried that batting had hurt a tiny scratch he'd already had on his hand.

They couldn't talk him into batting again, or joining the team for the ending cheer. G. picked him up and tried to carry him down there, but he got that look on his face I know so well - he gets all red, his eyes bulge, his cheeks puff out and it looks like his head is about to explode. That didn't go well - he started yelling, crying and twisting out of G's grip.

Frankly, it really made us, as parents, look bad. We're never the parents of the screaming, tantruming one in public. A. is usually very reasonable and rule-oriented. If you tell him he has to do something, he does it. He's pretty adaptable and flexible, but if that line is crossed and he gets overwhelmed, ain't nothin' going to work except time and leaving him alone.

So it was a bit humbling to see all the other parents watch him fuss and make their assumptions. I know I would have. He probably looked coddled and maybe spoiled. Or maybe we looked like we were forcing him to do something he didn't want to do (since that's pretty much what we were doing).

Meanwhile, Team Mother (who looks all of 22 years old) had me signed up for snacks for two weeks, manning the "snack bar" on a day we don't even have to be there, and selling 48 Pepperoni Sticks in 2 weeks.

BTW, anyone want a pepperoni stick? Only $1! I'm sure they'll last until Christmas! They make great stocking stuffers!

I looked at her and said, "I'm not sure we'll be back, you know?" casting a side-long glance at my non-participating son. "Oh, all the kids were shy at first but now they're all doing really well," she scoffed.

Really? They all cried and refused to play? Must have been a hell of a first game.

I keep going back and forth - I'm totally ready to give up. I'm not going to force the kid. He doesn't want to do t-ball, no problem. Especially after I saw all the stuff I have to do, no problem, really. I'm quite happy to give them back their pepperoni sticks. (Naw, we'd probably end up buying them).

But the coach kept saying gently to A., "Hey, next time, right? Next time you're gonna hit for me, right?" And A. wouldn't exactly agree, but he would say, "Maybe."

He finally told me that it wasn't that he didn't know how to play that bothered him - it was that he felt shy with all the other kids. They all knew each other, and he didn't know any of them. I gave my best "you might not know them now, but you will get to know them," speech and he just kept saying, "I'm nervous. I'm too nervous." He's never had trouble making friends and he's not particularly shy, but yeah, I can see where that would be intimidating. When I look back on my childhood, I totally would have balked, and my mom would have been glad to get out of another chauffeuring requirement. But would it have been better for me if I'd been pushed a little more?

It sure seemed to take a long time for me to realize I could actually join groups and people might want to be my friends.

So it's hard for me to gauge how much he really wants to play and just needs encouragement, or if he needs us to say, "That's cool. Maybe next year, or maybe something else entirely." I don't want to teach him to give up because something's hard, but I also don't want to force him.

Bet no other parents have ever been in this dilemma, huh?

In other news: A. and Ben were actually playing cooperatively this morning, decorating their cardboard "Toboggen" together.

A: Ben, I wish we were twins.

Me: ::::melt::::::

A: Because then we'd both color nicely.

Ba dum dum.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

T-Ball Induced Panic Disorder

A. started t-ball last night. That's actually a misnomer - the kids can use the t-thing if they're wimps, or they can have it pitched to them if they're studly. A. was invited to try hitting the coach's slow pitch and he replied, "That's OK. I already know how to hit. I'm just going to watch." He was cajoled into joining in a few times, and actually got to stand out in the outfield, although he didn't know why he was out there.

I didn't get to see the practice because I worked, but I will get to see the first game on Saturday, and I'm scared. G says that I'll be surprised at how good some of these 5-year-olds are. I sort of figured they'd be like A., not knowing which base to go to after he hits the ball.

I'm scared because I so, so badly want him not to suck. I remember the horror of being called to put on the catcher's gear once at a softball game and realizing I had no idea what the score was or where to throw the ball. I remember standing out in right field thinking, "Please, please, please don't hit it out here." I really, really wanted my own catchers mitt when I was a kid, thinking that if I had one, I'd somehow become athletic. This was the 70's, when Girl Power yada yada was all the rage and I was filled with shame for not being a tomboy.

If it was tough for me, it's even harder to be a boy and not be good at sports. His kindergarten teacher told us that sometimes he tells her he can't do some of the P.E. because he's too small. He sees babies doing stuff on the playground equipment that he won't even try. He makes up stories about how he beat everyone else in running races that I know are fantasies .

I don't want him to be a star, I mean, that'd be fine, but it's unlikely. Average is good. Average is GREAT. I want him to have fun. I want him to be confident enough to join the baseball game at his office picnic when he's 27.

But we can't push it. Suggestions of playing catch outside are rebuffed. He doesn't want to know the rules of the game. But last night he said, "I think I can do it," when I asked him if he wanted to continue. (Knowing our son as we do, we asked if we could not pay for the season until after he'd tried it at least once).

So we're off to buy $100 worth of uniform for the boy who doesn't know how many bases there are. Is it any wonder I just reloaded my purse with Zantac?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Well, since none of you commented on my lower posts (no guilt tripping, though. Not even for my family members who don't comment and you know who you are), I thought for sure I wouldn't get on Alltop. But I did! Maybe 'cause I admitted to a long-ago crush on Guy Kawasaki. Anyway, yay. That's done.

In other news:

I really, really didn't think I'd become one of those mothers - you know, the ones derided by mommy-blogger critics. Yep, the ones obsessed with their child's bowel movements.

Ben is now going on a full week with no action down under. He's got the leakage, etc., we've been doing the Miralax and it's getting really, really old. The worst part is that for half a week before a poop, he's clingy and whiney. It's "carry me up!" all the goddamn time.

Years back, when I was a novice child therapist, I had a mom whose 9-year-old had impacted bowels. She'd get so frustrated with him for not pooping that she put her hand through the glass on the bathroom window in front of him. She also wrapped her hands around his neck and choked him while he was on the toilet. Gosh, and he was afraid to go? What a surprise.

The pediatrician kept telling her to perform enemas on him, and he felt so invaded. I was frustrated and tried talking to the doctor but he was having none of it. He was an old, well-respected pediatrician in the area and didn't really care about the kid's psychological trauma from the enemas.

Anyway, I reported the incidents to CPS and they, predictably, dropped out of treatment.

I still think it was abuse, but I'm beginning to understand the mother's frustration in a different way. Tonight, I did everything in my power to get Ben to poop. Hot drinks, tummy massages, hot bath, fruit, exercise. And...nothing, except whining and clinginess. I got so frustrated I refused to pick him up and I snapped at A. and told him he lost his crafty after-bed privileges and had to stay in his bed,without getting out, forever.

I feel so badly for Ben. He must be so uncomfortable. But dude, if Mama tells you to try something to help you poop, TRY IT. Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't, but you won't be any worse off. Please, please please. Push it out before it becomes a rock.

Oh, he's gonna love reading this when he's older. Buddy, payback is a bitch, huh?

In even more unrelated news:

The Dancing With the Stars April Fools thing is pretty freakin funny.

Kylie Minogue is hot. And she's older than I am.

I couldn't think of any April Fools jokes. A fellow blogger took mine. I'm not going to tell you which one because I may try it again next year.

template by