Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Would you like a cane with your cap and gown?

I am under-educated.  Even as I typed that, I was questioning, "Is undereducated all one word or should it be hyphenated?"

See?  It's a wonder I can even function from one day to the next being this ignorant.

Oh sure, I finished high school--graduated with honors even--though I still wonder how that happened.  I remember skipping class a lot.  One time in particular, my friend who was a year ahead of me (though maybe not much smarter than me at the time) decided to take me out in her little Chevette during math class and "teach" me to drive.  Hey, at least I was learning SOMETHING, right?

Our classroom of choice for that afternoon was a residential neighborhood.  Yeah, I know.  Smart.  So I sat behind the wheel--nervously--and had my very first driving lesson, administered by a person who had a good three months of driving wisdom and experience under her belt...and an un-airconditioned Arizona.   I'm sure you can see where this is going.   We started off driving in a straight line.  What could go wrong, I ask you?  Nothing.  I was doing just fine until we came to a side street and my friend abruptly yelled, "TURN HERE!"   Turn?  You mean the car?  How do I turn?  Can't we just keep doing this straight thing?  I'm good with straight.

Ok, so all of that conversation was really just going on in my head and not out loud.  I really should have put my thoughts to better use.  More like, "This pedal on the left is the brake, right?  And this thing with the handle and the window on my left is the door?  So I should just put my foot on that pedal thing and open that other thing with the window and the handle and get out right now, before something bad happens--something I'll be blogging about in 20 years.  And what the heck is a blog?"

As you can probably guess, the rational thoughts did not prevail in this instance.  I did as I was told and I turned.  Sort of.  I can't quite describe what happened in great detail.  I can only say that in my attempt to turn left, I under shot.  Or is it under-shot?  Or undershot?  Regardless, where I/we ended up was at a dead stop on the front lawn of somebody's brand new home, with the Chevette's bumper gently kissing the stucco on the walls of said home (Michelle, do you remember this, or have you chosen to block it out?).

It was not until THIS moment that I used that brilliant pedal and door exit strategy and swapped spots with my partner in crime.  She threw that baby into reverse and we high tailed it outta there quicker than we could say mandatorysummerschool.

I have no idea why I just shared that story.  I guess it popped into my head when I started pondering ways I could prove to my devoted readers that I don't always make the smartest decisions.  Are you convinced yet? If not, here's the point I had planned to make when I started this post:

I am under-educated.  I should have done the college thing years ago.  As a result of not doing that, I find myself a divorced mother of four who needs to do it NOW.  Not only do I NEED to do it, I really WANT to do it.  But the position I am in is one of having to work in order to support those little angels, then come home to my OTHER, more challenging job of raising those little angels,  *AND* take a class here and there as I can, hoping to finish in time for my great-grandchildren to be present at my graduation, assuming I still have my sanity (and my continence) by then.


 If I had my way, my full-time job WOULD BE studenting.  Not a word, you say?  I know!  This is what years of not going to college has done to me.  Were it not for the fact that I love my job and am grateful beyond measure to have it (my boss reads my blog sometimes), I would quit my job and mooch off the government for a few years in order to get that book learnin' stuff out of the way.  In a heartbeat.

Oh crap.  I think that last part makes me a liberal.

Sorry I'm not sorry. This time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arrested Development

I recently took my four year old in for his well child checkup.  Since we moved to our new home two years ago, I've almost come to dread my kids' doctor's appointments.  This new doctor of ours is really, really, REALLY thorough.  A few of you caring moms may be wondering to yourselves, "Now why is that a problem?"

I'll tell you why.

Overly zealous doctor=more work for overly tired single mommy of five.  No, wait, four.  I just have the four kids.

The first thing he does is hand me a stack of papers containing a slew of questions about my child's development.  At first I assumed they had misunderstood and perhaps they thought I had brought him in to apply to medical school.  The volume of paperwork was about the same.

Can he draw people?  Yes.  People who look like sperms with stick legs.
Can he count to twenty?  Yes.  Oh, you mean all at once?  No.
Can he hop on one foot?  Yes. Right before he falls on his face.
Can he do that taco thing with his tongue?  No, but I can. While hopping on one foot. Wanna see?
Has he read War and Peace?  Does the Cliff's Notes version count?

Next, as he was examining my little guy, he started paying close attention to the way he was breathing.  He informed me that he was concerned about his mouth breathing.  Really?  Don't ALL kids breathe through their mouths, or is that just all of MY kids?  I guess this would explain why the windows in my house are constantly fogged up pretty much November through February.

So the doctor tells me that I need to start watching him while he sleeps to see if he's choking or gasping in his sleep.  He THEN informs me that the best time to catch this behavior is between 2 and 3 a.m.   Cluelessguyinthewhitecoat say WHAT????  It's about this time that *I* start choking and gasping:

Sure, doc, I'll get right on that.  I mean, I almost feel guilty about the 4-5 hours of sleep I'm ALREADY getting on a regular basis.  But I was just wondering, will you be writing me a prescription for methamphetamines NOW, or AFTER I drive my kids over a bridge due to exhaustion-induced psychosis?   Yes doctor, now will be fine.  Thank you.

He tells me that a small number of kids who mouth breathe end up having a severe under bite.  Hmm.  Between 2 and 3 a.m., you say?   I can live with the under bite thing.  It seems to be working for Jay Leno.

I should probably take his opinions about my child's development a little more seriously than I do.  He even suggested I should contact the state about their programs for developmentally delayed kids.  Really?  I fell for that with my now ten-year-old when she was a baby and wasn't crawling at 12 months.  She was my first and I went into breathe-into-a-paper-bag panic mode when they suggested she may be "delayed."  NOT MY CHILD!  Turns out she wasn't.  She was fine.  Still is.  Spelling bee champ and fully toilet trained.

I don't need an annual doctor's appointment to make me feel inadequate as a mother.  That's what church is for.

Now that I'm on child number four, I'm a little more relaxed about these things.  My child can run in the house screaming with an arrow going diagonally through his head and I'll calmly tell him to go get a cold cloth to put on it while I casually walk to the medicine cabinet to find some arrow wound ointment.  (Have you SEEN what they charge for five minutes in the ER these days?  I'll take my chances, thank you very much).  So you'll have to forgive me if I'm not terribly concerned about the development of a kid who doesn't know the difference between a sad and a worried face on a flip chart in a doctor's office, BUT who can also take apart my hard drive and put it back together...while making a taco tongue.  Of course, he's the same kid who runs around in a shimmery Supergirl costume while singing the Star Wars theme off-key.  No, I was NOT stupid enough to include that last part anywhere on his assessment paperwork.  We'll just keep that little tidbit to ourselves.

Guess how many times I've set my alarm for 2am and camped out near my four year old's bed since that highly encouraging doctor's appointment.  I'll give you a hint:  about as many times as I've read War and Peace.

Sorry I'm not sorry.

Monday, September 6, 2010

My apologies...NOT.

I've decided on the "theme" for my next string of blog entries.  Did you like the Pollyanna experiment?  Good.  This will be nothing like that.

I've made a new virtual friend.  Her name is...ok...I don't actually know her name.  But she's really cool.  Trust me.   All I know is she calls herself MrsFatAss.  I really fell in love with her when I read THIS post.  It's her sorry-I'm-not-sorry post.  It's pretty self explanatory.  Or, if you're not so much of a wordsmith and it's not so self-explanatory, you can read what I'm about to post and you'll pick up on the concept. Hopefully.  

My virgin sorry-I'm-not-sorry post has to do with the way I write and talk.  If you're going to be a regular reader of my ramblings--and oh, you ARE going to be a regular reader of my ramblings--you'll need to take heed of this disclaimer.  I'm no Mary Poppins.  I tried to be Pollyanna, and it was fun for a while, but also a little painfully unnatural.  

My happy place exists mostly in the sarcasm zone.  

I don't really fit into the Molly Mormon mold.  I bake cookies for my kids but I don't enjoy it.  I don't scrapbook.  Period.  I don't put vinyl lettering on my walls or hang wreaths on my front door any time other than Christmas. Not that there's anything wrong with that.  And yes, I sometimes use what some of my mormon counterparts might consider colorful language.  If I don't like something, I might say it sucks  (GASP!).  If I DO like something, I might say it's the shiz-nit  (EEK!)  From time to time I use those dreaded 'D' and 'H' words (CHOKE!).  And as you now know (see above), I sometimes even have the nads to type that ghastly A word...right out loud!    (Does it count when I'm only writing it as part of someone's internet handle?)   Oh yeah, I guess we can add 'nads' to my growing stash of in-your-face potty mouth palaver.   Somebody stop me!

So this blog, especially the posts to follow in the coming days/weeks, is going to be very "me."  If you're not comfortable with the real me, this would be a good place to stop, close this blog window, and immerse yourself in that latest issue of Readers' Digest that's sitting on your nightstand. 

Oh yeah, sometimes I'm kinda honest/mean, too.  In a loving sorta way, of course.  Forgot to throw that in there.  

I said 'virgin' up there, didn't I?   Oopsie.   The rebel in me just takes over sometimes.  If you need me, I'll be running around with scissors in my hand and tearing do-not-remove labels off of mattresses.  

Sorry I'm not sorry.