Friday, July 31, 2009

Hey, honey, this is the one I told you not to read, OK?

So we have this agreement in our house. When I get hooked on disturbing things that really upset me, but I can't let them go, and I don't tell my partner because it would upset her too much. The not telling is for both of us, because while I just get really obsessed and upset, she has nightmares. Bad ones. And she wakes me up to talk about it. It behooves all of us for me not to tell her things I read or see concerning children dying, being kidnapped, graphic violence, etc. But it also leaves me no outlet to talk about it, since when I talk to my friends my kids are around and I am generally smart enough not to inflict my traumas on my kids.

When I was pregnant with Beebz, it was polar bears and thank the gods I could talk to my partner about that one. I couldn't stop thinking about the ice caps melting and how polar bears are drowning because they don't know that the iceberg they have been to 1000 times has melted because humans are irresponsible gits. I would tear up, and my partner would look at me and say, "polar bears?" and I would nod and wail. It just broke my heart.

I really try to stay away from all the stuff that will obsess me. I really, really do. This one was innocent, I thought. A show about kids with progeria. I love science and biology and all that good stuff. And I knew that this population has a much lower life expectancy. And the kids are so happy and sweet, even in the face of all kinds of medical issues.

But then a dad started talking about how each birthday is really sad for them because they know that most kids don't make it past 14, so when the child has a birthday, he can't help but count down instead of up. Gulp. And then they talked about their fears of having another child, but when doctors promised these parents there was a 1 in 8 million chance that lightning would strike again, they had another baby. With progeria. And all he can think as he watches and worries with the first child, this will be what it is like with the second, too. Without a doubt, these parents will watch their children die. Way before their time.

Is it any wonder I can't get this out of my head?! If you have kids, give them an extra hug today. And send out a prayer to families touched by this disease.

And don't tell my partner I told you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ernie the Babysitter

For more than 18 months, my sweet baby has HATED for me to be away from her. When I had to go back to my (microscopic) part time job, Beebz cried, screamed, and was pretty much inconsolable even though she loves her Ima dearly when I am around. It was horrible. They had a few good nights, where she cried less than 30 minutes out of the 2 hours I was gone. Poor Pablo was usually beside himself, since emotional conflict is one of the things that can drive him over then edge.

We kept thinking things would get better. They didn't. I kept trying to explain it away as normal separation anxiety, which worked for a while... but at 16 months, I didn't have much conviction left in my voice. Around 17 months, she would cry when I left, but would generally be happy after a minute or two, and for the rest of the time.

But then, we discovered the magic of the Sesame Street DVD. Once we let her watch it when I was gone, suddenly Mama leaving was AWESOME! For 3 weeks now, when I say I need to leave, she shouts, "NERNIE!!! DD!!!" and runs to the couch, waiting for someone to turn the TV on. I can barely get a hug and a byebye out of her, she is so intent on getting to watch her beloved Ernie (and Bert) sing and dance. I am so relieved that she is happy, I don't even mind that her transition object is a DVD!* I can't even say how nice it is to not worry about being away from my girl. My partner and I are going crazy this weekend and having the kids' godparents (and ERNIE, of course) babysit while we go see Harry Potter. Wish us luck!!!

(*Of course, the one downside of all this is that in addition to Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Grover, and all the awesome cast of Sesame Street, she also knows the being that is the antithesis of all that Sesame Street used to stand for, Melmo. I can't stand that fuzzy little red moron. How could they have forgotten that you don't teach kids by talking BELOW their level, but at or above it?! And that the only kids Elmo talks up to are infants who have no business watching TV?! This would be why my kids don't watch modern Sesame Street. sigh. Rant over.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dangers of Having a Blackberry and Reeducating my BRAIN

My off again on again work at home job decided they needed me to be in constant contact (for the rare times they actually need me... it is getting very off again... again.) so they got me a Blackberry. What does this mean? It means I never turn on my computer. I check and write email, I read blogs, I surf the net (much less often because it is in miniature). Pretty much the only thing I can't do easily on it is blog. Which is probably why I got a sweetly worded note from Blogher mentioning that I haven't blogged in over 2 weeks. oops. Has it really been that long?! Where was I?

So here I am, once more committed to giving myself a little time to explore the contents of my brain for the public purview.

In my quest for homeschooling, I am still at the apparently normal evolution where my tendency is to recreate school at home. I am fighting it, and little by little I am remembering how BORING school was, how unhappy I was so much of the time, and how hard I worked just to get along in a social environment what wasn't for me. Since we are playing at this for kindergarten and don't have any "rules" at all, we will spend this year learning how Pablo can best motivate himself. I have decided to have Pablo set some weekly goals (yes, I know that isn't SELF motivated. I just said I am WORKING ON LETTING TRADITIONAL SCHOOLING GO, ok?) We got a little white board and talked about doing workbook pages, reading books, doing art, etc and figured out how much of each he wanted to set a goal to do in a week. FYI, in case you are having rigors that the word "workbook," Pablo begs to do them. He LOVES his workbooks and sometimes goes to sleep with them. To him, getting to do workbooks is living the high life.

For now, I have gotten some Brain Quest workbooks and some other general workbooks while we figure out his grade level(s). I am way too overwhelmed to actually pick a cohesive curriculum. So for now, we play at doing school.

I hope it always feels this much like play! When it starts being WORK, I will know we aren't doing something right.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lenses, undies, and second thoughts....

Big News!!

Pablo now has glasses! It turns out he is farsighted. He may actually have more significant issues, but the doctor wants him in glasses for a few months to see if his eyes can adjust and improve some tracking issues. We are really excited this may be the beginning of huge changes for him.

In other BIG news, Beebz has decided to potty train. She demands the potty when she needs to go, and stayed dry all day (when we were at home... diapers when we were out. I am not THAT crazy!) and at one point, I walked into the bathroom and she had used her little potty all by herself! We celebrated by going and getting underpants for her. My baby is growing up SO fast!

Finally, we are really second guessing sending Pablo to the second session of his camp. The first session, he loved, and he got rave reviews from his teachers. This time, he is not participating, not interested, and just generally not into it. We actually didn't take him today because his eyes were still really dilated from his eye appointment the day before, and he was SO excited that he didn't have to go... poor guy. We wanted this to be fun, and at this point it is clearly not. At least this makes me feel really confident in our decision to homeschool....