Thursday, March 31, 2011

Embarrasing Moments

This is the first post, in what I hope to be many as part of a blog project I am doing with three other ladies. At the end of my post I will give you the links so that you can check out what they have to say on our topic. Who knows, maybe you will find something else you like.

Ok, on with the show. The topic is to write about your most embarrassing moment. Here is the problem with that, I am always doing something stupid. Or, one of my kids is doing something anti-social... by one I mean generally the oldest one. Because everyday is fraught with embarrasing moments, it becomes the state of normal. When being embarrased is normal, well, it isn't embarassing anymore, right?

While this is declined in recent years, Mac is always having a tantrum about one thing or another. I will say that I have managed to get them to stay in the house more than outside lately, but still, he is prone to lose it in a store. I have strangers approach me and tell me how to manage my kids. I have been doing this for 10 years, I get pretty indignant when they tell me I need to ignore the tantrums and they will go away. My responses vary from "Wow, after spending thousands of dollars with specialists with PhD's no one ever suggested just ignoring it. You are a genius." to "Until you walk a mile in my shoes I would appreciate it if you refrained from judging me." Both extremes are sort of sassy, and I am not embarrased about that, because this is my life, and this is normal, and unless you are going to ACTUALLY help me, then please shut up and move on, there is nothing to see here.

I was talking with a friend about this topic, and she said, well you were sort of embarrased about carring Sam out of the school. It was the second day of school here in sunny, warm (if I believe it it will be true) Chicago, and Sam had it in his head he was going to ride that school bus home. My calm, sweet little boy decided that unless he was riding home on the bus, he wasn't going and the mother of all tantrums ensued. IN. FRONT. OF. THE. CAR. LINE. Yeah, in front of all the teachers, the other parents. It was a proud moment. I ended up having to pick him up and carry him to car. He was yelling, "You are not my Mom and you are hurting me." It was GREAT. There I am surrounded by all these mandated reporters and my kid is accusing me of stealing him and hurting him. At the time I was more pissed off than embarrased. It was a situation most people would be embarrased by, but I am so insulted from that emotion I was more angry.

I am not sure if this is a good thing or not, because embarrasment keeps you from doing something really stupid.  I try very hard not to do stupid things, but embarrasment is really no longer part of my filter.  I spent a good part of Mac's early life being embarrased by his behavior, but I always had to take a deep breathe and deal with what ever was happening.  If I allowed embarrasment to be part of governing my behavior, well, we would never leave the house.

That is all I have to say on the topic, I am getting ready to leave the house.  Pretty sure some thing potentially embarrasing will happen, and guess what, I won't care.

If you want to see what the other ladies have to say about this, then check them out,  Momarock,  Froggie  and  Mel.   See you back here next week for our next topic.  I understand it is going to be legendary.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Healthy Steps

I have been blogging about the Cooking Light 12 steps to a healthier you.  Well, this month's resolution if you will was to eat out less.  GREAT I think, we never ever, ever eat out.  Guess what happened this month.  Yeah, I ate out 2 times a week.  This is up from the normal 2 times a month!

Of course, the month exercise more was the goal, I was too busy to go to the gym.  The month that cutting back on eating out is the deal, I ramp up the meals out.  I am curious about what next month will bring.

January's step, eat more veggies, which I have taken to eat more produce, is still a problem for me.  I just don't like veggies.  I try and remember to make them, but we are busy and I don't like them, so they end up not making it on the dinner plate.

I exercising isn't really an issue for me.  I go to the gym fairly regularly.  I would like to go more, but not until Hannah is in school full-time will that be a reality.  Still the 4 times a week are pretty good!  This month has been co-operative and I have been able to keep up with my classes.  The up-shot to that is when I went to the Dr. for my strep test this weekend, I got the surprised look and two blood pressure tests.  No one can believe it is as low as it is when they look at my weight.

So, clearly the weight problem for me is around food.  I try to embrace more veggies and eating out less (not that that will be an issue soon when I get our visa bill).  For dinner last night we had roasted cauliflower.  YUM.  Today, well, I am still figuring out the veggies for today.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Now there are three.

The question is, when will their be four.  Should have bought bulk anti-biotics!

Saturday, March 5, 2011


I love Parenthood, a network show on Tuesdays.  I love that one of the kids has aspergers and they are showing the world the difficulties that go along with that diagnosis.

Last week, Max and his dad, Adam played hooky and go to an amusement park.  When the ride that Adam promised Max he could ride a  million times is closed for safety reasons, Max melts down.  Max is screaming at his dad, "you promised me I could ride this as many times as I wanted, you lied."

Watching Adam get yelled at for "lying" about how many times Max could go on the ride, when it was an event outside of Adam's control really hit home for me.  You see, I lie about things like that all the time.  I say we are going to do something and then something else happens and the plans change.  I never know when it will happen, I try and protect against it as much as I can, but you never know what life will bring you.

The number of times I have been out in public with my 10 year old child and had him melt down because I promised something and it didn't work out, is staggering.  It is lovely to be out with a child that looks like he is 15 and have him have a temper tantrum like he is 5.  People judge you.  They look at you like you have done something wrong.  That you are a bad parent.

I have been doing this for 10 years now.  I am pretty insulated from the stares and comments from strangers.  When I am offered advice, I tell them, until you walk a mile in my shoes, I would appreciate it if you would please refrain from judging me.  It usually shuts them up.

The strangers I will never forget are the ones that have come to my aide.  Like the lady in the grocery store that gave my kids candy because she thought the were cute.  The were melting down, but her grace calmed them down and helped me make it through.  The other mom who watched Sam and Hannah while I chased after Mac as he ran into traffic because he was mad about something.  The untold others who have just said to me that they know parenting is hard and I am going to make it.

Sadly, the people who judge me are in a higher proportion than the ones that help me.  The number of judgy-mc-judgy pants is definately more abundant than the ones with grace.  Now that we have a kid with aspergers on television, perhaps people will realize that sometimes kids are dealing with some pretty tough things.  Perhaps they will recognize that I am not a bad parent, but a parent in a bad situation.

Kids don't come with manuals.  I would love to have some one tell me the magic words to say that would stop the bad behavior.  Every day I learn new tricks, I get better at managing Mac, but at some point Mac is going to have learn to manage himself. 

I wish my first kid had not been my hardest one.  I continue to walk into the dark alley that is parenting a child that is different.  I don't know what life will give me, or how I will deal with it.  But, as I teach Mac to be flexible and embrace change, I am also learning that you can't always get what you want.  I just hope the people with grace keep on crossing my path.  I hope as a family we all learn to treat each other with grace.

So, if you see me out and about and my kid is freaking out, offer a kind smile and word of encourgement.  Don't judge me, I am doing the best I can that day at that time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Apple, stays near the tree

Ok, so right after I post about someone's mom being stalked by her son.. I have my own stalker incident.  I am leaving preschool, and let's just say Hannah's preschool is across the street from the projects.  At least a projecty as it gets out here in suburbia.

There is a total slow poke in front of me.  When you turn left after leaving the projects, you have to hit it and hit it hard if you want to make the light.  So, I pull my left turn, get in the lane looser butt is not in and hit it.  I made the light.  Yeah me.

I pull in the parking lot at the gym.  Grab my stuff, and look over...  The car I passed leaving the projects is parking next to me.  Well if he is pissed I passed him, he can deal with it.  I scurry into the gym, after assuring myself that there are plenty of people in the lot that can call for help.

The car is still there when I leave.  I walk out with a couple of old Marines (I know this because they are wearing Marine letter-man style jackets with their units and service dates on them.)  I figure a couple of up standing military men would not let the crazy in the red truck get me.

There is no crazy in a red truck.  The truck is there, the driver must be working out... hmm, guess dudes who live/drive through the projects work out too.  Guess the apple of craziness don't fall too far from the tree.


Someone's mother's son would like everyone to know that he was not stalking his mother, but rather, trying to flag her down to see if she wanted to go to lunch with him.  He called her cell phone, flashed the lights at her, even honked a few times.  He contacted the customer relations staff over here at Parenting: a special kind of crazy, to make sure that we had to story straight.  He felt like he was being accused of elder abuse.  Please, we all knew that wasn't the case.

"I don't worry about her driving.  That old lady lost me once she decided there was trouble."  He is noted as saying in a follow up interview.  "Guess her memory ain't what it used to be though, I was in the car she gave me when she got her truck.  You know the one she drove for 10 years."

All is well, and no one was injured.  Well, except for some pride.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not MY Mom

Someone's mother went out for a drive.  Said mother went to a slightly less desireable neighborhood, but really, it wasn't like it was the Southside of Chicago, or South Central LA or anything. 

As she is departing, she notices in her rearview mirror a vehicle that seems to be following her.  But, she doesn't make much of it, people go down the main roads, and sometimes they do it at the same time. 

Upon arriving at her place of worship, she notices the same car again.  Odd, she thinks to herself, as my place of worship is not really on the beaten path.  Perhaps I will not get out of the car but drive around a bit and see what happens.

She drives by her house.

She drives by the school her grandson goes to.

She drives by the house her younger son lives in.

She drives by the grocery store.

Still, this car is following her.

Finally, she decides she is being stalked.  Bear in mind that this is someone's 80 year old mother.  Not MY mother, but someone's.

Once that feeling of being stalked sets in, she decides to loose this turkey.  She guns the engine, and puts a few cars between here and the would be assassin.  She hightails it to the highway patrol office.  She figures her stalker will leave her alone if she has a few of California's finest by her side.

She breathlessly tells the officers her tale of being followed.  They assure her that she did the right thing by coming to them.  As she looks out the window, the car enters the parking lot.  The driver gets out of his car.

She waves furiously at the police officer, that is the man that was following me.  The cops are ready, guns at their sides. 

Then, it hits her.  That man, he doesn't look so stalker-ish.  He looks well vaguely familiar.  He continues into the police headquarters.

As he draws nearer to the office, she gets a better look at his face.  She KNOWS her stalker.  They say that the ones to worry about are the ones you know, but she never expected it to be her oldest son.

But, this didn't happen to MY mother, just someone's.