“Caroline, help Lisa with her seatbelt.” I handed my daughter her classmate’s buckle.
Lisa said, “I got it,” in her nasal, robotic voice.
Caroline tilted her head and moved her mouth, but nothing came out. Her words had gone away again.
I climbed in up front and scanned the permission slip. “Crap, Scott which thing are we going to?”
Scott finished clicking in Sam. “Which what? Yogurt shop?”
“I thought you knew.”
“Well, I don’t, and the paperwork doesn’t say.”
“I’ll go in and ask.”
“The teachers are right there. Ask them.”
A minute later, with the right destination in hand, we started out of the lot.… Read the rest
We play a lot of Lego Star Wars in our house. I recently restarted the whole game in a new save slot in a vain attempt to have my OWN game. It was quickly taken over by the children, who are having fun getting back all of the extras that come with each level. The most important extras to have, for those of you who live under rocks, are the score multipliers. There’s a 2x, 4x, 6x, all the way up to 10x. I spent about a week getting the two million five hundred thousand studs (Lego coinage) needed to buy the doubler.… Read the rest
Jungle Jim’s marketing plan clearly involved overwhelming people into buying more. Cars from carnival rides held up displays, and florescent lights assaulted our vision. My nine year old niece, Kaylee, bellowed, “Look, Nanny! They have pummelos!” She put two oversized grapefruit into the cart that Scott was pushing.
Mom, who was walking a little ahead with my two kids, said, “Sure, honey,” after the fact. Even though she and Kay had been to the store several times since its opening back in September, she looked like a first time visitor. Every bright flash distracted her.
I asked, “What’s a pummelo?”
“It’s like a grapefruit, only sweeter.” Kaylee added one more.… Read the rest
My kids’ Christmas party was yesterday. It’s the first time I’ve been to their school since the Sandy Hook tragedy. In the lobby, one mother asked if the front desk could have a panic button installed, just in case. The secretary, whose son also attends the school, agreed it would be a good idea. I’m not typically given to worry about the grand scheme. You want small scale frets? I have them in plenty. Conspiracy theories? I’m your woman. But the big stuff doesn’t usually bother me.
My kids were with me on Friday, December 14. It was my birthday, and the opening night of the Nutcracker, in which they both performed.… Read the rest
When Caroline was three, she hated swings and couldn’t dangle from monkey bars. She knew her colors, but she couldn’t recite them reliably. She loved the slide at the local park, but if she didn’t walk to the top by exactly the same route every time, she sat down and cried. She adored other children, but if a group of them came too close, she put her hands over her ears and cowered. And ‘too close’ was typically about a car’s length away.
In the bathroom, she never washed her hands without a fight. The preschool director used to accompany her and talk her gently through the process multiple times a day.… Read the rest
Fall may be the season of cooler temperatures and leaf-raking, but for me, fall truly begins with my daughter’s birthday. Every Year since 2003, The Autumnal Equinox has been my sweet Caroline’s time. Happy birthday, Ducks.
Before you begin, here’s the Sam series, in order, with an important note about ballet in there:
Sam Part I,
Sam Part II,
Beauty and the Beast
Sam Part III
Sam Part IV (this one)
So, the last time we saw Sam, he had just jumped out of my car, and the family was headed for Wit’s End Lane really fast. As an emergency measure, the psychiatrist prescribed a mood stabilizer, Risperdal, and we hoped for the best.
The results were sudden and stunning.
For the first time in a year, we saw our son. The funny little guy under all that anger, the creative thinker hidden under all the frustration.… Read the rest
The ballet down here really tries to use kids in its productions. It actively seeks ways to incorporate young people into its works. This summer, Caroline got to be in the cast of Giselle. There is a summer program for older kids (older than Caroline) and at the end of their run, they put on a show. But the ballet draws from its younger set, and Caroline was chosen to participate. She has been in the Nutcracker. She knows how to handle herself onstage, and she has an idea of what’s expected of her during ballet.
She came home from the dress rehearsal wailing, “I can’t be in the show if I don’t have eyeliner.”
So we stopped and bought eyeliner on the way home.… Read the rest
“Turn it down.” Scott’s face loomed as my door swung open.
“I had that closed.”
“We can hear you in the kitchen.”
“Yeah, Mom, it’s too loud.” Caroline poked her head under her father’s elbow.
“You’re only complaining because it’s heavy metal. If I had the Beatles up, you’d be in here dancing.”
“You’ve got Beatles? I want the Beatles!” Sam joined the fray with enthusiasm unreasonable for someone who should have been zoned out in front of the TV.
I clicked around until my desk stopped shaking with the gunshots of “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You.”
Scott rubbed the back of his head.… Read the rest