Friday, December 28, 2007

Part Two.

Part One is here.

Age Six: I spend the night with Kasie. Her parents have a gun cabinet in the playroom where we sleep. We are up late giggling and being girls, when Kasie gets out a pistol and points it at my head and says she's going to shoot me, and it scares me. She says later that she was sleepwalking. My mother has what can only be described as a shit-fit when I tell her, and she calls Kasie's mom and yells and Kasie's mom says that I must have talked her into playing with the gun.

Age Seven: I stay with my grandma a lot when my mom needs to run errands. She plays Scrabble, watches soap operas, and smokes cigarettes. There's always a ham in the refridgerator. She won't play Scrabble with me because I'll "just lose", but we play Sorry and Uno and Parcheesi for hours and hours and hours.

Age Eight: My mom's close friend Phil dies of a heart attack. When she comes home from the hospital crying, I know he's dead. It's the first time I've ever dealt with the death of a human being, and all I can do is sit in my room and try not to throw up. I am relieved when my mom leaves me at my grandma's during Phil's funeral.

Age Nine: My dad doesn't ever take me to play golf with him, but then when his daughter Jennifer comes into town they go together to the golf course and leave me at home. I'm inconsolably upset, and my mom calls my dad and makes him come back to get me. I feel stupid and bratty and defeated.

Age Ten: I read a lot, and fast. My mom takes me to Books-A-Million every week or so to get a new book, usually a Nancy Drew mystery. I will be done reading it by the end of the day. I also read Gone with the Wind, and I love it. Every time I'm sick and stay home from school, I watch the movie.

The idea to write this came from this post in this blog.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Book lights and facial forking- Merry Christmas, fuckers.

Well, we have almost made it through the holiday season. We managed the Christmas cards, the parties (including one of our own), the food, and the presents. Well, some of them. Jason and I didn't get each other presents on account of that whole not-having-money thing. Kane and Jude have been at their mom's house, so we haven't actually done the Christmas thing with them yet. We have them each their very own book light. WOW, right? I'm sure they won't even be able to contain their joy when they open those up. Luckily our families are loving and generous, so they'll get some other presents besides those. But seriously, a book light? They don't need anything else.

Jason and I are gearing up for a quiet evening at home with some $4 champagne and paper cups on New Year's Eve. Perhaps we'll think about going out to see the fireworks in Birmingham, but that sounds like too much trouble.

All in all, I'm totally exhausted. Working in retail during the holidays never fails to make me doubt my faith in the human race, what little I have.

Reed also makes me doubt my faith in humanity, but on a more personal level, as he makes me doubt my ability to go on existing. I honestly think he nearly screeched and screamed and writhed the face right off my head over the past couple of weeks. The terrible two's really ought to be renamed "your terrible life, you stupid parent, it will never end", I think. Last night over some Szechuan chicken he very nearly skewered Kristi in the face with a fork, and I think he would have had I not shrieked in horror when I saw what he meant to do. He wasn't being malicious; you could see that he thought that he was about to do something funny. FACIAL FORKING- NOT FUNNY, REED. We're really going to have to work on your technique.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff
I'm currently full of eggs, oatmeal, and coffee, and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm supposed to be getting showered so we can go eat turkey and dressing at my mom's. It's a good day.

I hope all of you are with your loved ones, toasty and warm, relaxing and feeling good. May the coming year bring you peace, happiness, and fulfillment. And nachos.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Part One.

Age One: I'm laying in bed next to my sister watching her tiny black and white television in the dark, and I'm holding one of my baby bottles by the nipple so that the bottle is upside down. The nipple gives and bends and the bottle hits India in the head. She is really mad about it, and my mom spanks me. India still to this day, at the age of 37, will bring this up and say that my mom never did anything about it, suggesting that I'm the favorite child.

Age Two: I occasionally go to a daycare where there is a little boy named Kenneth who is blonde and cute and a couple of years older than me and I have a fluttery, intense crush on him. When I think of him now, he looks like Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons.

Age Three: We move from Centerville to Leeds. When I look at the little white house as we're driving away from it, I see cats. Cats, everywhere. We're leaving them behind because they didn't really belong to us, just sort of adopted our house as a place to get food.

Age Four: I live across the street from a boy named Beau. We play together a lot. He smushes lightning bugs on his shirt and it horrifies me. I experience my first kiss with him, and subsequently we both get mono.

Age Five: I despise going to school, because my mother is my best friend and I hate being away from her. On more than one occasion she has to drag me into the school and pry me from her body and walk away as I cry and reach for her and the teacher has to hold me back. That same teacher will send me to get my first paddling from the principal when I get into a fight with another girl over the only bathroom stall with a lock on the door.*

*The idea to write this came from this entry in this blog.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy birthday to ME.

"They're having her birthday party at that antique store they own. You know, there'll be food, and alcohol, and Josh's band'll be playing, and-"

"You had me at alcohol."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A holiday extravaganza!!!

Candied bacon? I'll be making some of this for our Christmas party this weekend.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This blog is my barf bag.

Yes, so the barbarians are knocking at the gates, so to speak, once again. It seems that we can get caught up financially and then things go to shit all over again, like a never-ending roller coaster. Right now we are more behind on our mortgage payment than we've ever been before, and we're moderately behind on everything else.

At this point I'm at a loss, because Jason and I are both just worn totally out all the time from working and attempting to keep up with the three kids. I've applied for lots and lots of other jobs in hopes of finding something that pays better, or is closer to home, or is just BETTER in some way, but to no avail. The phone rings constantly with 800-numbers and "private name, private number" on the caller i.d., and we just don't answer. We are those people now, screeners. And since Mary has decided quite suddenly that she doesn't have to give us any money any more (to help out with Kane and Jude), we are having trouble paying for their lunch money, field trips, school supplies.

I think that's somewhere in the top three most irritating things, that a woman who is driving a new Miata and whose new husband is driving a new Jeep and who just moved into a new townhouse in Vestavia and who doesn't have to work since the government pays her to stay home and smoke cigarettes and not answer when her kids call says to us, "I will not help you pay for their school supplies." It makes me feel like I'm going to throw up to think about it.

Jude randomly had $25 when he came home from his great aunt's house that his grandmother gave him, and we had to talk him into using it to pay for two of his field trips because the deadline was here and our bank account is in the negative for the second week in a row.

My mom has gotten into the habit of just handing me her check card and letting me keep it for days at a time.

My father won't look me in the eye, and tries to stay off the subject of money or finances or bills when he's around me.

My boss has implied that when my kid is sick, it shouldn't keep me from coming to work because don't I have a HOUSEKEEPER or "some other option" than staying home with him?

NO. FUCK NO. FUCK NO TO EVERYBODY. I love when I'm talking to a collector and they say "Are you aware that your [whatever] account is past due?" I say yes. "Why is it past due?" "Because I don't have any money."

I can hear the blinking and the crickets and the question marks above heads on the other end of the line.

SOME PEOPLE DON'T HAVE MONEY, FUCKERS. I'm a little tense today. I'm on the verge of my lady time of the month, but it's two weeks late so I think the PMS has just built up and built up until I'm marinating in it.

My mother had to buy her 28-year-old daughter a pregnancy test. It was negative. Which doesn't surprise me, because everything is negative these days.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Making a wish.

Making a wish.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
Reed's birthday party was yesterday. He was very subdued for the first half of it; he had a shorter nap than usual, and there were a lot of people there talking to him and watching him. He had fun though, and got a lot of nice things. He got a vacuum cleaner, since "making the noise" is one of his favorite things. He also got a sweet tricycle and some Spanish-speaking maracas, just to name a couple of things. It was a good day, with good pizza and good cake.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two years.

Originally uploaded by buffpuff

Today you turn two years old. That's 24 months, 104 weeks, 728 days that I've known you, and I still can't understand most of what you do.

This has been a year of huge, careening leaps in odd directions. Your mother got fired and consequently off the deep end went, and you went along for the ride as pleasant as could be. The months when I was unemployed are marked forever in my mind as some of the loveliest, most cherished months of my life because I spent them with you. Waking up in the morning with no agenda, no plan but to eat breakfast with you and play with you and snuggle up with you for a nap later was refreshing, and only confirmed my life-long wishes that I could stay home with my child instead of sending him to daycare.

Things being as they are, we sent you to daycare in March when I found another job. The first few weeks nearly crushed my bones with their intensity- besides what it felt like to leave my child with a bunch of people who weren't ME, it was AWFUL to walk away from you when you were reaching out to me, sobbing and begging for me to take you back. There is no way to be in that situation and feel justified, no way to feel like you are doing the right thing. I cried a lot then, and you did too.

Since then you've taken to daycare like a duck to water. The activities and the structure and the friendships all suit you. Let's face it- by Friday you're sick of it and ready for Ma's house, but aren't we all?

Shortly after starting daycare you suddenly were very very interested in potty training. We sort of shrugged and said, why not? Because Reed, as you've grown, your poops have grown, and I am starting to feel like I'm in charge of cleaning out the elephants' quarters at the zoo. And just as quickly as you jumped right in to the potty training, you sort of drifted back out into pull-up land. I've been telling your father that he'll have to start having the "pee races" that he used to have with Kane and Jude.

This year, after being introduced to the smorgasboard of germs that daycare has to offer, you got really terribly sick a few times in a row. One of those times, thanks to the wonders of inconsistent and impersonal medical care, I nearly overdosed you on Tylenol. That couple of weeks I'm nearly positive that we had the flu, and we were bumbling around together every day snotting and coughing and fevering and wasting away all over the place. Your fever was constant and steady, and when we took you to the emergency room the people there sort of chuckled and said no wonder you had a fever, your mother wasn't giving you enough medicine. And then I nearly killed you with all the Tylenol. And then I nearly killed every doctor and nurse I had ever laid eyes on, because the idea that I could have been without you, that I almost had to look at the world through the eyes of a person who was no longer your mother, it nearly put me completely over the edge. Luckily I only made it to the sofa, or else those doctors and nurses would have been FOR IT.

These past couple of months you've been in a STAGE, or a PHASE, or some other word that implies that this is only a period of time, that it will end, that the rest of our lives won't be this way. Because Reedy, you buck and writhe and scream and more than a few times a week I say "Dear God, strike me deaf!" because it gets very hard to feel like a failure as a mother for that large a percentage of the day.

But then, something will break away and something else will shift and suddenly you'll be sitting in my lap, telling me what a dog says or singing Jingle Bells or asking me if we can watch the bunnies. And it's in those moments that every Hallmark commercial, silly sitcom, and uplifting chick flick come true, because when you look at me that way I know that I am alive, that I have a purpose, and that I'm doing something good.

This year you learned to converse, and to use the word "yes" quite a bit. It's really lovely to say "Do you want some beans?" and have you reply, simply, "Yes." "Do you want to go outside?" "Yes." "I love you, punkin." "Love you."

I love you,


Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Jesus.

The Jesus.
Originally uploaded by buffpuff
We've got most of our pictures up from Rolling on Shabbos, although I think a few more might make their way to the cuttingroom floor, but most of our favorites are posted. It was a great way to celebrate our anniversary, and we had a great time.

Next year, it's Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Start planning your costumes now.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

"Now that's a Thanksgiving, motherfucker."

So I was browsing through the links on, and I stumbled upon Sweet Juniper. I found it to be funny and touching and very nice, and then I got to this Thanksgiving post.

I laughed out loud. So now I'm passing it on to you people.

Monday, December 03, 2007

He's been singing an awful lot of "gingle bell".

So Reed has started asking the question, "Why?" It has totally taken our relationship, the ship of our relations, to the next level. "It's time to put on your pants." "Why?" "Because we have to go." "Why?" "Because I have to go to work and you have to go to school." "Why?" "Because I have to make money so we can live in this house." "Why?" "Because that's the way the world works." "Oh."

And seriously, it goes on and on and on until I feel like I've accidentally wandered into a crappy, cliche movie, and just when I think I might have to start ignoring him, Reed will suddenly just say, "Oh." It's very odd, because he seems so little and young, so it's odd to me to think that he is really understanding me, that he really might be trying to understand what all I'm saying about our lives.

Reed's second birthday is this Thursday, and his party is this Sunday. I haven't done much to prepare besides buying him a couple of presents. I presume it won't take much- some paper plates and napkins and cups and sodas and pizzas and a few phone calls to let people know. And, seriously, half of you know now that you read that first sentence in this paragraph. Consider yourself invited. I'm not doing anything fancy like sending out invitations.

Our bowling party last Saturday night was THE BEST, but not that I'm a great bowler because I'm not. I'm not the WORST bowler either; I'll give that honor to Kristi. I'm either a pretty bad, good bowler, or a pretty good, bad bowler, whichever. I get equal numbers of strikes and gutter balls. I'll have pictures and video of us bowling in our costumes very soon. Why? Because we looked funny in our costumes. Why? Because it's funny to see a bunch of people in costume in a place where no one else is dressed up. Why? BECAUSE I SAID SO. Gah.