Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tangled Apron Strings

My belly button has been tender and sore all day.

On an another note (a coincidental one), this is Fiona's first day of Kindergarten. She has been a nervous wreck for weeks, but this morning, in her new uniform, she seemed OK. She was ready to jump that hurdle and get on with it. There was no angst in sight. Was she holding it all in, like she usually does? Yes, most likely.

Laura was in charge of getting her on the school bus. Fiona insisted on riding the bus on her first day. Mainly because her friend, our neighbor, was going to sit with her and hold her hand. Which she did.

I went to work, nervous for her, but confident that she would be safe. Man, was I ever wrong.

Look at her, getting on the bus. The safest place for a child, even though they are not equipped with seat belts or over protective mothers.

The bus was hit by a FREAKIN' CAR! On her first day. Police was called. The kids had to board a different bus, even though we told her to NEVER get on a bus if it wasn't bus #58. Her bus. Well, her bus is no longer safe.

Laura was going to meet her at the school. So she waited. And waited. And talked to the principal, because she's friendly. And waited.

The bus finally arrived, at 9:15 a.m. School starts at 8:55 a.m. Fiona seemed OK, but in a daze. The school greeters were offering doughnuts (because that's a healthful way to start your first day of school).

She made it through this day, despite the unforseen mishap and nerves and excessive sugar. She made three friends. Her only complaint was that her clothes are too slippery. She kept sliding off the bus seat.

And so, with this momentous milestone, I feel a shift. As though a part of me is slowly detaching. And along with this feeling of separation comes a mysterious pain in my belly button.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Six Years Old and Stressed

Fiona has a week off before she starts school. Real school. Kindergarten. In a public school, that is real and that is certified. Did you know that not all schools are certified to teach kindergarten? Don't get me started.

So Laura took her to visit her classroom and meet her teacher. It went well, from what I could tell, from the phone call right after. Which I picked up after one ring because I was dying to hear how it went.

We got the best teacher, whom we had requested. Only the best for our sweet Fiona. She has been very nervous about this upcoming transition. She has regressed. i.e. has peed on the floor and has thrown tantrums and has transformed into a child I barely recognize. Plus, she's become very itchy. Mosquitos? We don't know.

But now, she's on vacation for 5 days at her grandparents' farm. She LOVES it there. She loves her grandmother, who plays with her and focuses on her and is, frankly, the most perfect grandmother you could hope to get.

Plus, Fiona gets yogurt and M&Ms and pretty much whatever her stomach desires. She loves her grandfather also. Although she's afraid of him. Because he's large and has a large voice and growls sometimes, but he's sweet. She's just not used to the growling.

If they didn't live 3 freakin long hours away, we would ship both Fiona and Cyd over there on a regular basis, not because we don't want to hang out with our children, but because they have a better house and wide open spaces and dark skies and a creek and deer and beautiful sunsets. And they don't have neighbors that like to blow up things just to hear a loud noise. In fact, they don't have neighbors. Period.

A few hours after the drop-off, Laura's mom called saying that Fiona's itchiness had gotten worse. She had large, red welts all over her body. Betty (we call her Grandma Betty, a retired nurse and long-time family friend), came right over. This was an emergency. Fiona had hives. Stress-induced hives.

When I called the doctor on call, he was so very bored with my very boring and non-life-threatening medical emergency. This is very common with children, he said, in such a monotone voice I wanted to slap him through the phone. My heart was racing with worry and separation anxiety.  Well, it's not common with our perfect, happy, carefree, precious child. (Speaking of which, I was watching the movie "Precious" at the time, which heightened my maternal pangs.)

She was fine the next day.

And tomorrow is the first day of school. I wonder if I should just inject her with Benadryl now, to keep the hives at bay.

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Overflow

It feels like honey
Dreams together
The stickiness
In its confluence

I am full

Barren of the heaviness
Of ashes
That stiffle

As light swishes
And floods
Deep, precious spaces

No longer ticks

But is spent
On living.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Here's how it went:

1. Laura had yoga, so I was  a single mom for 2.15 hours.
2. Fiona didn't feel well and just wanted to sit on my lap and watch cartoons.
3. We turned on Bugs Bunny.
4. Cyd was grouchy and whinny and wanted lap time too.
5. Sammie, the kitten, put both children on edge with her razor sharp claws and unpredictable kitten craziness.
6. Cyd was unbelievably cranky and hit me when I told her not to eat Fiona's bracelet.
7. I firmly told her "no hitting" and she burst into tears.
8. I didn't even yell!
9. I took Cyd outside, in her element, and decided to move our tent, which we set up just for fun, and to air it out. I'm afraid it will kill the grass, so I moved it.
10. Came back inside because Cyd, unlike herself, was bored with outside
11. I found Fiona in very serious tears (screaming), "Why did you leave me?!!! I was so scared!!! Why?!! I thought you were LOST!!!!!! WHY??!!!!!!!!"
12. I am not exaggerating. Fiona was freaked out, crying REAL tears! "I thought you were LOST!"
13. I apologized 107 times and carried her around, as Cyd cried, for no apparent reason.
14. We decided to have a picnic.
15. Everyone chilled.
16. Fiona had a freak accident where she accidently stuck the end of her very sharp headband into her ear.
17. Screaming ensued.
18. I worried she may have damaged her ear drum.
19. Ice cream made it better.
20. Took Cyd to bed 15 minutes early. She fell asleep right away, after our little lulaby routine, which, I admit, I cut short.
21. Fiona sat on my lap, wrapped in a blanket even though it's 90 degrees, and watched a Tom and Jerry cartoon.
22. Her forehead felt hot.
23. I kissed her compulsively.
24. Laura came home.

There's more, but I'm exhausted. Sammie is sitting on the arm of our chair, purring. Laura is reading Fiona a story, and Cyd is sleeping.

I'm worried about Fiona. Because this is what I do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Finally, the First Tooth!

My baby lost her first tooth today. Finally, the loose tooth saga is over!

That thing has been loose for a century and a half. Her mature tooth is almost fully grown behind it. We were so excited! She saw the blood and smiled instead of screamed. We've had at least a couple of firsts tonight. Welcome to our house, Ms. Tooth Fairy. Fiona wanted to warn you that we have wood floors, so be careful about splinters.


Doesn't this fire look like a giraffe? Coincidence? I don't think so.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The End of Summer

We've tried to pack in a lot of summer fun this weekend, since it's our last weekend before school starts. We went to the zoo yesterday, which is fun in theory. We brought the stroller, mainly to keep Cyd contained. God knows she would prefer to walk than ride, unlike her sister Fiona, who (in her non-sensible shoes), wanted to ride instead of walk. She we're trying to corale a 1-year-old in a very crowded zoo, and push a heavy almost-6-year-old in a stroller. There was some whining (me) and some screaming and kicking (Cyd, refusing to sit in above mentioned stroller). But there was also some oohing and aahing and some river boat riding and some giraffe feeding. All in all, we had us some summer fun.

Today, we went to Fox Island, a local park with a nice lake for swimming. Cyd still clings furiously when around water, but enjoyed playing in the sand.  Look at this happy little family:

We were out of swimmer diapers, so within 2 minutes in the water Cyd's freak of a diaper grew to such an unnatural size that she looked deformed. So, because I cannot have my sweet, sweet little Cyd looking deformed, I took her diaper off and noticed it has some crazy gel inside the material of the diaper. Pampers, what the hell are you doing to your diapers?  I wish we were hip enough to have our babies in cloth diapers.

Cyd walked around, sans diaper, with her cover up, happy as a clam to be 10 pounds lighter when lo and behold, she squats and poops. Did we bring another diaper? No.

After an emergency trip to the bathroom (I will spare you the disgusting details), we went back into the lake to watch Fiona's synchronized swimming. She's very talented.

Tonight, we're having a bonfire to close the weekend. Hot dogs (Kosher, at least) and maybe smores. And a little wine for the adults who have had to put up with all this summer fun.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bye-Bye Cable

We cancelled cable. It's been a long time coming. We don't watch it. Well, except for the Food network and Jon Stewart. I miss Jon Stewart. I love that man. He is the personification of hilarious brilliance. Now, I have to get my news solely from NPR. And they're not as funny. Though they have better accents.

It's amazing how little we miss it. Laura defintely doesn't miss it, mainly because she is more evolved and is whole without needing needless broadcast television blather to mend or fill or satiate. This is one of the reasons I love and respect her.

I, on the other hand, got attached to a few programs, but with two kids to run after, frankly, who has the time? Can my mind find its drug elsewhere? Does it still need this numbing? Not really.

Plus, I think I'm saving about 48 minutes a day not having channels to flip through. 48 very precious minutes to play Elefun with Fiona and her friend. We had so much fun tonight, I forgot to take pictures. Damn that living in the moment thing!

What we have, though, is Netflix and its companion, Roku. We get our movies, our hip TV shows, our kids programming, delivered to our TV whenever we want. It's freakin' fantastic. And freeing.

But mostly, we have quiet, and Go-Fish, and laughing, and reading Beverly Cleary to Fiona, and singing "Do Do, L'enfant Do" to Cyd, with an extra verse, because we have extra time. And we get extra smiles and twice the giggles. This is what time gives.

It's a lot better than anything on cable.

Sorry, Jon. But please know I still love you.