Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Longing for Pacifiers in Haiku Form

1.
Pacifier's gone
Zeca will not sleep alone
I am now displaced

2.
Why did we do this?
We threw away salvation
Will we sleep again?

3.
She comes to our room
and cuddles like an old cat
She sleeps on my head

4.
Cuteness saves her else
the nuks would have company
sitting by the curb

5.
She pats my bowed head
And asks if I need a nap
Will she allow? No

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tough Love

The signs had been there for quite some time. She was increasingly agitated when she couldn’t get her fix. She needed to score to take the edge off of difficult emotions. She denied she had a problem and, when using, she would smile the smile of the drugged. It was becoming a problem and, finally, we had to admit it to ourselves before we could help her. That’s always the way it goes for families…they deny and they bargain but, eventually, they have to face the facts. We did this last week and decided that Friday we would stage an intervention. On Friday, we took away Zeca’s pacifiers.

She is not yet 2 so we decided not to tell her and hoped she wouldn’t notice. Why would she notice the absence of that which has comforted her every night for the past 630 or so nights that make up the entirety of her existence? We read her books and sang her songs and then put her into her bed. It was all going well and then, she held up her tiny index finger and said, “Just a minute…I am looking for my pacifier”. We looked at each other, the ceiling, and the floor before we cleared our throats and said, “The pacifiers are gone”. She ignored us and continued her frantic search for her pacifier. We watched helplessly as she became increasingly upset and muttered to herself, “I can’t see it…I can’t see it…I can’t see my pacifier”. It was time for tough love. We repeated with a conviction we didn’t feel, “Honey, the pacifiers are gone. They went bye bye.” She began to sob, not the sob of despair. No, our little girl sobbed the sob of anger, the sob of injustice, the sob that says “You better give me back my pacifiers before I smother you both in your sleep with my Whoozit!” Young children can be so unreasonable. There we were…acting in her best interests, being all calm and loving, and she would have traded both of us for one more hit of the baby crack. I could imagine her skulking outside of day care centers offering our jewelry to children with Avent plugs. We had no choice. Luisa tucked her into her bed and we went downstairs to call Pacifiers Anonymous. She cried for an hour and each time we went to comfort her, she begged for the pacifier. As we contemplated a long, sleepless night, we considered giving it back. We hadn’t thrown them away because I still remember my father describing the night he and my mother took away my pacifier when I was cough 5. My father spent the wee hours of that night shopping for pacifiers at convenience stores. So, we had them but, somehow, we stayed strong. It was probably the liquor. Anyway, she finally fell asleep and we smiled at each other and said na├»ve things like, “Oh, the worst is over” and “That wasn’t so bad” and “This really is for the best”. We went to bed feeling that we had won Round 1. We had no way of knowing that Round 2 would begin at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning with the cheerful words, “I can’t find my pacifier. Where’d it go?” She did not go back to sleep that morning. This morning was no better - she woke us at 12:45 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m. and 5:15 a.m. And what did she say every single time? That’s right. She said, “Pacifiers all gone. Pacifiers went bye bye. I can’t see it. Where’d my pacifier go?” I’m sure it’s for the best that, flush from our success on Friday night, we threw all of the pacifiers in the trash yesterday and took the trash out. It’s for the best. Really, it’s for the best. Really.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Crunchy Comets

I am going to leave Blogger very soon. I've been working on a new blog and hope to have it up and running by February 1, 2007 - my blogging anniversary. Unfortunately, that means I haven't spent much time thinking about posts. This post is no different and will offer nothing to think about whatsoever.

A couple of weeks ago, Miguel got a book about the solar system (his current passion). There is a recipe in the book for Crunchy Comets and he begged us to make them. He has been waiting patiently and tonight, at long last, is Crunchy Comet night at our house. Try them out yourself!

  1. Crush sugar cookies (we'll be using graham crackers)
  2. Add one handful of multi-colored sprinkles
  3. Add two handfuls of chocolate sprinkles
  4. Using an ice scream scoop, make a round ball of chocolate ice cream
  5. Roll the ice cream ball in the "comet dust" you have made
  6. If the ice cream has softened significantly, put it in the freezer for awhile
  7. Place the ball on a sugar cone (or other pointed cone)
  8. Enjoy your Crunchy Comet!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Cats and Dogs

There is a small group of girls in Miguel's class that do almost everything together. Miguel refers to them as "The Girls". Last night, he told us that his favorite part of the day was playing with The Girls and his friend, Jack, during recess.

Me: What did you play?
Miguel: We played house.
Me: Oh, what role did you play?
Miguel: I was the dog.
Me: Really? The dog?
Miguel: Yes, I'm always the dog.
Me: What role did Jack play?
Miguel: He was the cat.
Me: So you were the dog and Jack was the cat? What were The Girls?
Miguel: Well, they were the people of course.

Girl Power, indeed.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Look Alikes

On Saturday, Luisa and I took the kids to Noodles and Company for dinner. Miguel chose a table towards the back and, shortly after we sat down, two children and their mother sat at the table nearest us. At one point, I heard the boy ask his mother, "Why does the mom and the dad look alike?" She said something to him but she must have been unconvincing because he persisted loudly, "Those kids' mom and dad look the same! Why do they look alike!" Miguel looked up from his pesto and answered clearly and loudly, "That's because the kids don't have a mom and a dad. They have two moms." His tone implied lots of eye-rolling and maybe, just maybe, the word "stupid".

Friday, January 19, 2007

AARP

Throughout my youth, I had bad hair. Straight, flat, flyaway hair? Yes, I had that. Permed mullet with a tsunami of bangs? Yes, I had that too. It wasn't until I turned 20 and the lesbians took me for a haircut that things began to improve.

Look at my hair - not bad, eh?

At least once a week, a stranger will come up and tell me that they just love my hair. They wish they could wear their hair just like mine. These compliments used to make me walk a little differently, maybe swagger just the tiniest bit. I stood a little straighter, head slyly cocked to one side with a look on my face that said, "I know. You just love my hair. Who wouldn't?!" Then one day I realized with horror that the only people that ever compliment my hair are elderly women. Apparently, I've got great hair for a 70 year old. Old ladies are going to start begging me to go with them to their weekly appointment with their hair dressers so that they can have their hair done just - like - mine.

Yesterday, I bought some ice skates for an ice skating birthday party on Sunday. They are described as a recreational skate, a cross between a hockey skate and a figure skate.

I bought the gray and burgundy ones. The only color they had.

Yes, I bought the orthopedic shoe of skates. When I am out on Powderhorn Lake this weekend, old women are going to hobble over to me and demand to know where I got my beautiful skates. I'll tell them: "You can get them at any major retailer but make sure to tell the salesperson that Vikki sent you so that you'll get the Senior Citizen Discount".

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

How To

Since I began working at Hennepin County, the county's web site has been my home page. No one told me that it had to be - I just set it up that way and left it. For 8 years. Last week, I made the radical change to a customized Google home page. I don't know how I lived without the "How to of the day" feature. It provides the best advice:



Without these instructions, I would have never known that I should not make a Starship Enterprise out of a floppy disk (which involves sacrificing your own flesh) and then immediately swim with piranhas because those weird little fish are, in fact, a little bloodthirsty in the lean season.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Limericks

I've written a haiku or two on this blog in the past but I have never indulged in my secret passion for limericks. Looky, Daddy! is having a parenting limerick contest which has sparked my creativity. I thought I would share my work here before getting back to the work for which I am paid by Hennepin County.

Breakfast of Champions

Before my babies were born
Sweets I often did scorn
Now I’m so tired
I need to be wired
So chocolate it is in the morn’

To Dream

I used to sleep through the night
Alone in my room without light
And then came the spawn
And all that is gone
Still, I’m happy. I am. Right?

Mama Needs a New Pair of Shoes*
*inspired by the post of the same name

I used to have time to peruse
Fashions that gave me no blues
Then children were born
And now I am torn
‘Cause I’ve got no money for shoes

That Damn Montessori School

To the two moms of Miguel
We love your kid – he is swell
But tonight he’ll need scrubbed
From the polish he’s rubbed
On his hair and where else we can’t tell

Ouch!

I buckled my son in his seat
He poked me - it was no treat
The Portuguese flag
Up my nose made me gag
My lobotomy’s nearly complete!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Revelations

I've been back in Minneapolis for almost a week now. While in KC, I had a lot of time for introspection and deep thought and I used my time and intellect to answer the age-old question: what is the purpose of the paper in the Altoids tin? Foolishly, I always thought that the paper was used to keep the mints from touching the bare metal and to keep the mint dust contained. As I sat at my mother's bedside, I removed the paper from my Altoid tin (the paper had become unruly) and then placed the tin in my backpack. As I wandered around the ICU, it made the most horrible racket. People on respirators actually sat up with puzzled looks on their faces. My sister asked, "What is that noise?!" It was the paperless Altoid tin. The paper keeps the mints from rattling around in the tin...in case you ever need to wake the dead, you'll know.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Why I Should Wear Ear Plugs at Work

Talkative Female Co-Worker to Male Passer-By: I have a new belly button!

Male Passer-By (his facial expression reading, "Who me?"): Really?

Talkative Female Co-Worker: Yeah, it's kind of discolored but it's a belly button!

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Day

I managed to have a good New Year's Eve day despite the circumstances. I went to a movie for the first time in ages. We visited with mom for awhile but then she asked us to leave. She set us free which meant we could leave without guilt. My sister, my nephew and I went out for dinner and had a fabulous time talking. Later, my sister and I watched a movie at home. My sister left and I fully intended to go to bed and sleep right through the New Year. The problem was that I couldn't go to sleep.

I watched a sappy movie and did laundry. I talked to Luisa on the phone a few times and wished so much that I was with her, the children, our close friends. They were all together and I was here, folding bras alone. Not that I usually need company to fold bras but, you know, company for bra folding on New Year's wouldn't be so bad. I believe this is the first time in my entire life that I have been completely alone when the clock struck twelve. I lived to tell the tale.

The New Year begins today. If 2007 sucks, I'm gonna be spittin' mad.