a glimpse of my dark underbelly

O, save me from myself. I am VERRRRY tempted to let my inner passive aggressive beeyotch out to play.

Here’s the background: Daddy J and I go to a fundraiser/dinner/music performance on Monday night. We have a great time. We bring wine. There is a silent auction and I bid on four of the items and win three of them. Not a whole lot of bids; I was pretty much the first or second bidder on all the items. One of the items is a necklace that is resting on a scarf. We pay for the stuff at the end of the evening and the hall is pretty much cleared out. There are only a couple of things left on the tables. I ask a fancy looking older lady, whom I assume is one of the fundraiser people, The scarf doesn’t go with the necklace, does it? She is emphatic: Oh, YES, it does! Take both of them! Isn’t it pretty? You won BOTH!

So, Bonus, I think. Not so much that I need another scarf or this one is all that and a bag of chips, but the colors match the colors of the Habitat ball this coming spring and it will be nice to put in a basket or use in some decorative capacity.

I put it away and think no more of it.

I get a message on the machine from a fairly irate sounding woman on Wednesday telling me that she believes I bought a necklace at the auction and that I have her scarf. I return the call and I am the nice cop to her huffy cop. Her: Apparently the catering staff was telling people that the scarves went with the necklaces and that was NOT the case. That is my PERSONAL scarf and I would like it back. Me: Well, I would be happy to return it to you. How should we make that happen? Her: You can just take it to the downtown cafe with a note and I will be in to pick it up sometime next week. No hurry.

So, fine.

Except: I do the fundraising auction thing, people, and it chafes me that she didn’t even thank me for attending her event or for bidding on her stuff and giving financial support. Or act apologetic for the confusion or explain that she knew it wasn’t my fault that I took it. She did say, I hope you enjoy the necklace, but she should have said, We really appreciate your paying to come to our fundraising event and for buying stuff at the auction, and hope you will come again to an event in the future, and I am so sorry for this misunderstanding.

And: Her repitition of the words “my personal scarf” made me think it was a favorite scarf that went with her favorite dress or something. But no! When I was packing it up for her, I saw that the price tag was still on it. From Cato. It started out at $11.99 and after numerous markdowns was marked at $1.99.

Now, I get the buying stuff on cheapo clearance thing and LOVING the fire out of it, but am I wrong that it would have been nice for her to have been a bit more humble and sweet about the whole thing, considering it was a brand new $2 scarf she’s giving me attitude about? And I was supporting the fundraiser she is involved in with my purchases?

Here’s my ethical dilemma, and you have the power to SAVE ME FROM MYSELF. I currently have the scarf all packed up in a clear gallon ziploc with a note with her name on it (as instructed) and the super-markdown price tag on display through the plastic, next to her name. This makes my inner bitch snicker with glee; although she would quite likely be completely indifferent, she might be totally embarrassed. Plus, I want her to know that I know she was giving me grief over a cheap scarf that wasn’t really part of her wardrobe yet.

But AM I EVIL???

(dang!!! once again, can’t get the poll to save. What’s UP with that? Bummer. I LOVE polls.)

BUT: FINE. Here are the options I was going to put in the poll. Vote and stay my hand of evildoing, or else add your strength to my wicked twitch.

A. Yes, that’s evil. Hide the price tag. Why would you want to make her feel bad, even if she wasn’t all delicate with you, Miss Treatmewithkidgloves, on the phone? She clearly loves the scarf, so just give it back in a gift bag and be sweet about it.

B. I like the display of the price tag in the clear ziploc idea. She was not-so-sweet about the whole thing anyway, plus it doesn’t actually hurt anything and she’s got her scarf back in the end.

C. Well, I’d make it harder for her to get the stupid scarf back. Make her call a couple more times, just for fun. Mwah, ha, haaaa….

D. No, I’d never be THAT awful, but hmmm… How about giving it back with the price tag shown, but reversed, so she knows you saw it and know she’s never worn it with anything and that it was super-cheap, but she’s not embarrassed at the cafe?

edited to add: A VISUAL AID
visual aid

And, the deed is done. I did, in fact, opt for B. Probably, she will not even notice or care that the price tag is showing (although maybe she will, and maybe she will think, huh, I did present some attitude over this scarf that perhaps was disproportionate, especially considering that the scarf-taker didn’t knowingly swipe it…) but for certain the scarf will be protected from any food or cooking odors at the cafe and not jumbled in a drawer, so that’s good. So, it’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.

check out mah cute bebeh

So, here’s Rainbow with one of his newer tricks – sticking his tongue out and licking his lips. My computer skills do not extend to editing, so move it to 54 seconds or so and watch how cute he is.

And here he is, rolling about on the floor with some quality squeaking.

In the last two days he has learned to lift up arms for “How Big Is The Baby?” and lo, it is adorable. It takes a LOT of concentration for him and some excitable shaking before he manages it. And this morning, he surprised himself with an accidental tongue click and totally cracked himself up, and then did it a few more times.

soggy old Thursday

Thank you so much, friends, for commenting and for reading and for just being here.  We’ve made it through another birthday, and it was just lovely.  The weather was perfect, again, and kids had fun and ate cookies and people admired Ward’s sculpture.  I think Daddy J must have downloaded the pics onto his laptop and taken it to work, so I will have to post those later, but I wanted to share a few others with you anyway.

Here’s Daddy J performing a set with the guys in his former band.  They were hired for the local market’s one year anniversary (under the new ownership) and it was a great outdoor performance.  Daddy J went on a hiatus when Rainbow came home, but he may start singing and playing with them more often in the near future.

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And here’s Daddy J’s father dancing with Rainbow, who was really digging his Daddy’s singing.
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Ward’s birthday slipped on by this year in a pretty gentle fashion.  I was kind of wound-up and anxious beforehand, but that’s really nothing new when it comes to any parties or events we host (right, Daddy J?) and I chilled out as soon as we saw that the weather was nice and that people had come. 

My subconscious, not wanting to disappoint, has percolated along, too, but more with slightly bizarro dreams instead of moving, emotional visit dreams.  I had a dream on the night of the 26th that is just TMI any way you slice it (it involved, um, a placenta…) and it really had me baffled.  I think, though, it had to do with adoption  – that I am feeling that Rainbow is mine, as much as if I’d given birth to him, and O look, here’s a placenta!

And last night I dreamed that we lived in a tall, old brick apartment building with a rooftop pool covered with a glass greenhouse roof.  It was filled with fish (what IS it with swimming areas filled with fish in my dream world?) except these weren’t threatening to humans.  I was trying to save some minnows from being eaten by the big fish, but I didn’t feel endangered personally.  There was a whale in the deep end (a friend of mine) that could talk.  His name was Louie, and he told me he was going to “break out of this place.”  He said something like, “Okay, here I go!” and he lifted up out of the water and broke through the roof, flying off into the night.  One of the big boys came up just as he flew off, and I was yelling for Daddy J to get the camera.  My son and I yelled happily: Woo!  Go, Louie!  Yeah!!  Louie looked back at me, smiling, and was wearing the orange Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fabric mask that Ward liked to wear and that I found in the lonely sock bin the other day.

So, just business as usual in my noggin.  Too bad I can’t sell tickets.

tender

The last day or so, I keep going back to sort of painful memories.  Sort of sad, not-really-sure-why-they-are-popping up memories.  I keep thinking about going to the YMCA with Ward when he was an older toddler, close to the time of his accident.  I remember taking him to the nursery and walking him in.  The nursery people didn’t really like that ~ they preferred for parents to bring kids to the door and sign them in and go ~ but whatever.   If  he was feeling any sort of reluctance, I’d walk him in and play with him for a couple of minutes. 

He liked a ride-on firetruck in the playroom and, on sunny days, a bouncy red jeep on a spring in the playground.  I remember showing them to him and getting him settled and then going in for my workouts, which lasted 45 minutes or so.  When I came back, the nursery keepers would tell me that he would be fine as long as they let him stay on the toy I’d left him with.  He wanted to keep playing on the fire truck or the jeep, not particularly happy or interacting with other kids, but feeling that it was the thing to do since that’s where I’d taken him, and that was where he wanted to wait for me.

Which… is fine, I know, and not a bad thing.  Our YMCA adventures were special days, and we’d go out for a treat or to lunch with Daddy after, and we’d listen to Dragontales music in the car.  And it was good for me to get those workouts in.  But it’s hurting to think of him sitting, missing me, on a ride-on toy, and getting upset if a well-meaning nursery attendant tried to lure him off to go play with other kids. 

And I remember having to sign a form noting that there had been an “incident” when a little girl (the daughter of a friend of my brother’s) pushed him down in some power play over a toy and he got a scrape.  It was very minor, but apparently whenever blood is drawn certain forms must be signed.  When I got him that day, he was very indignant and vehement (I doan LIKE that girl, she was MEAN, doan like her AT ALL) and just a little bit teary, my tough guy.  I told him it was okay, he just didn’t have to worry about it, he just didn’t have to play with her again next time.  He complained about her some more, and I assured him, It’s okay, honey, just don’t play with her EVER AGAIN.

And, yeah.  You see where this is going.

He didn’t.

And why are these saddish little bits stuck in my craw?  I don’t want to be stuck with these sad little shreds.  I want the golden memories, of walks and chasing butterflies and tickling his feet with flowers, not this stuff.  I want to feel his touch and hear him whispering in my ear.  Yes, the grieving pain is much less sharp now, but I almost think I prefer the sharp, awful grief if it means I also get the messages and visits and dreams.  I don’t like this bruisy, distant longing.  Has he backed off because my grief is milder now, or am I just less sensitive to his presence because I am more or less knitted back together? 

Is he near me now, with arms around me, telling me it will all be okay, and that he loves me?

(I love you, too.)

Bruised is how I’m feeling, tender and achy.  And my word-chewing mind lifts its head at “tender”: is the grief now a spot that must be tended?  A spot that has to be shielded from crudeness or inane comments, only exposed around people that can be careful with it?  A spot that must, above all, be remembered, so that I don’t blithely walk into the sharp corner of a table and tear it wide open again?  A spot that isn’t festering or debilitating, but that requires more intent and reverence than the rest of me?

Am I the tender?  Did he create more tenderness in me because of how he transitioned?  Can I convince my mind to think about it in postive terms?

I’m not so sure.

But I do know I can’t allow anything negative or ugly near him, so it must all be good: every single thing about him.

And now my word-loving mind is raising its hand and going ooo-ooo-ooo and jumping up and down in its chair: What about “tender” like “TINDER”  like a FIRE STARTER??!!  Like, a means of producing some new form of heat and light, transforming dry, dead stuff into flame?  Huh huh HUH??? 

And I shout ENOUGH!, as stern as a faith healer.  ENOUGH WITH THE WORD-GAMES AND THE LITERARY MUMBO-JUMBO. 

I miss holding him with little monkey legs wrapped around me, running my fingers through his silky curls, smelling his neck, and hearing him laugh.  I am very sad that I am not tucking him into his bed tonight and that he is not dreaming of what presents he’ll get for his seventh birthday party.  I ache.

Must (pre-/por-/con-/at-) tend.

photo journaling

So, yes, everything’s actually going wonderfully. Just blindingly fast and busy-like, but all is well.

Rainbow had what is probably the mildest cold ever (thank you, thank you, thank you) and just never got really sick at all. After one morning of a half-hour of icky rivulets from his nostrils, there was just a wee bit of clear watery stuff and an occasional sneeze, but his eating and sleeping were not affected at all.

The big boys are doing terrifically at their very hard schools, and I am such a proud mama. Were I the braggy sort, I’d talk about their grades, but clearly, I’m not, because that’s just not appro…pri… gah!! both got all A’s and one B which is pretty stinkin’ impressive especially considering the sports they are doing!! mmmph…

I’m actually missing Rockinrolla a lot during the week, because with basketball practice and study hours at night, I really only see him at dinner, bedtime, and breakfast, and I just don’t like that. We kind of played hooky today: one of his braces brackets came off, and I figured we could just waltz in and get it fixed, so we had planned a lunch and shopping, but it turned out the ortho was gone on vacation this week. But we went ANYWAY. And it was GREAT. Rainbow was a happy little doll throughout Target, TJ Maxx, Macaroni Grill, and two baby clothes stores, and Rockinrolla and I just enjoyed each other. He has a 7:15 away game tonight and won’t get home til after 9:00, so I am glad we sneaked in some time.

The Fishmaster came in second (SECOND!!!) by ten seconds at his cross country meet a few days ago. This would be AFTER a younger kid had tripped over him as the runners started out and the Fishmaster came to a full stop to make sure the boy was okay. So, yeah. My chest is puffed out pretty big for that one.

Craft fair was great. Ward’s birthday celebration is coming up on Sunday at 1:00. Halloween is next, then Thanksgiving, then the Christmas madness is upon us. I’ve got someone coming in once a week now to take care of Rainbow while I work on my online job, which I think is going to be great. This past Wednesday was pretty good, but it will get better once she learns his patterns and habits.

So! Enough with the blah-blah!! PICTURES!!

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Daddy J and I at the Heart concert in the big city.

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Rainbow with very lovely cousins and a friend, doing his signature “O look a camera, I will now drop all facial expression” trick.

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Why, hullo, Rainbow! You are indeed handsome and charming and smiley!

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Rainbow with Rockinrolla and one of his new friends from school. This kid loves to hold Rainbow and make him laugh, so he gets a BIG thumbs up from me. I told the boys this pic was important because it was the first of the three of them, and we’d take another when they were seniors, and they will all have changed so much. (…*sniff*…)

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Daddy J and I before a friend’s “Spooky French” themed dinner party.

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And THIS guy, let’s not forget him.

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Goodness, but he’s a beauty, no?

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Also, possibly slightly orange-nosed.

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um.

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Well, ANYWAY, it’s totally not that vibrant in real life. More like a subtle, pinkish-peach tinge. And he doesn’t seem to be suffering from it.

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Rockinrolla with a cousin and friends at the craft fair on our sidewalk, playing music for handouts. YES this was my idea, and it was SWEET. The Fishmaster joined in as soon as he realized they were actually making money.

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AND, a surprise birthday party for Grandma L. Ask me how much I love S’s Talk To The Hand. Ask me!! I love it THIIIIISSSS MUCH!!!

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Surprise: SUCCESS

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aww…

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Then there was this.

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Then a lil’ whoopsie-squish.

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Daddy J’s family from Washington State didn’t really seem to mind the loss of the cake.

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In fact, they seemed somewhat amused.

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So, yeah, it was good.

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And who needs cake when you’re fabulous?

baby’s first cold

Yeah, not so much a happy milestone, but inevitable, I suppose. He’s been kind of crabby the last few days, which I attributed to teething, and coughing just a bit, which I also attributed to teething. But this morning he woke up with light yellow goop escaping from his nostrils, which I don’t think I can blame on sore gums. It was kind of alarming, but after 30 minutes or so the secretions thinned to just plain watery, runny nose stuff. He just had his second dose of Tylenol for the day and really has been feeling pretty good. He slept for 12 hours last night, and had a good morning nap, and just went down for an afternoon nap, which is also a good sign: the doctor said that if it were an ear infection, he’d be uncomfortable lying down due to pressure or somesuch. So we’ll just keep an eye out for sleeplessness, fever, or general misery.

We went on a nice long walk and visited the park. A grandma was there with her little two year old granddaughter, and we swung beside her in the baby swings. They were both very friendly and I invited them to Ward’s birthday at the park this Sunday (at 1:00! Come if you can!) and we chatted about the Fishmaster’s school. It was a beautiful day to be outside at the park, and a nice chance to talk some about the playground. A big monarch butterfly came and fluttered around the grandma’s head as we were talking, a sweet little colorful visit.

Rainbow is whooping and babbling in his bed and HOPEFULLY winding down for a nap. As soon as he’s conked out, I’m joining him on a snooze cruise. I’m pooped after an action-packed weekend and night out last night: photos to come.

In the meantime, how about some footage of a little boy who knows how to shake his head?

sweetness

Feeling very blessed (and blissed) this morning. The big boys are doing amazingly well at their challenging schools, making friends, getting good reports from teachers, and just having a terrific year so far. Rainbow is an adorable, healthy little love. I get to be married to Daddy J and have this life we share.

And I get to be Ward’s mama, too.

This song was going through my head this morning. A tiny bit bittersweet, but mostly wonderful. I can’t wait to watch this movie with Rainbow, even though especially because it makes me cry.

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