Friday, September 25, 2009

Send Help!

Have you ever been in one of those awkward situations that you didn't know how to get out of? The kind that make your hands shake, and make you think "Is this really happening?" The kind where you know you have to handle it delicately or else you might loose your best friend over it? Or at least add in a whole lotta drama that you don't really need?

The kind of moment where you should have punched someone right in the nose, but you didn't cause you kept thinking "This can't really be happening to me!?!"? The one where your tummy hurts and the kids can tell your upset and start acting out cause they don't know what else to do.

The moment where your fight or flight instinct is triggered and all you can think of  is to take the dog out to pee or clean the house like a mad woman trying to keep your hands busy so you don't have to think about it.

Or when you have to lay down on the floor with your feet on the couch to try  and get your blood pressure go down? Or when you get a hiney twinge just looking back at the last few moments. The kind where you know you have gone past the point of no return?

Had one of those moments today.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Brer Rabbit

One of the BEST parts of parenting is teaching you children to love reading. My punks love to read, well, be read to anyways. We have discovered funny books, sad stories, grand adventures, heroic battles and everything in between.

My newest project involves having my older punk reading to my youngest. It’s a great way for them to spend some time doing an activity together that doesn’t involve running around the house screeching at the top of their lungs. Or sword fighting with fake flowers. Or jumping on the dog.

Sometimes I will sit there and listen, or take over as I have control issues and someone isn’t reading the way I would. It’s a process; I am learning to let go. Baby steps.

Yesterday we came across a story that my oldest couldn’t read with a straight face. I couldn’t figure out why he was reading all crazy. The story came from the “American Tales” section of A Treasury of Children’s Literature. Not something I thought I would have to jump in on to keep things calm.

But there they were just a giggling and laughing and I think I saw a tear fall from the elder’s eye.  What could have caused such a reaction? I will tell you. Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby caused it.  They disrupted our nice quiet reading time.

“They talk weird” was all my oldest could say while trying to catch his breath.  Have you ever read this story? No? Well let me give you the story line.

Brer Fox makes a Tar-Baby and puts it in the middle of the road. Brer Rabbit sees Tar-Baby and tries to have a conversation. Tar-Baby, being made of tar and turpentine does not respond to Brer Rabbit. Brer Rabbit gets angry and hits Tar-Baby; thusly getting stuck in the tar.
Brer Fox decides to teach Brer Rabbit a lesson for stickin his nose where it doesn’t belong. Brer Rabbit tricks Brer Fox into throwing him into the brier patch which he then uses to scrape himself free of tar. Brer Fox gets no dinner and Brer Rabbit is free to pester the Fox another day.

Now, you’re prolly thinking what is it about this story that could make a 9 year old punk laugh so hard? Well, here’s an example:

Scene: Brer Rabbit speaking to the Tar-Baby

“ Is you deaf?” says Brer Rabbit. “Cuz if you is, I can holler louder,” says he, and den he starts hollerin’ fit to raise the dead. “GOOD MAWNIN’! FINE, FINE WEDDER WE HAVIN’ THIS MAWNIN’ AINT’T IT?” says he. De Tar-Baby she don’t say nothin’. And Brer Fox, he lay low.

Then the punk hit below the belt. He said, “ Momma! You sound like that when you get angry sometimes!” Now I have tried to be honest with ya’ll. I have tried to explain that I am a Southern girl to the core. And I have a bit of a drawl, but not that bad. Unless I am around Beccum and T for too long. Apparently. I think he was specifically referring to this selection:

“You is stuck-up, dat’s what you is” says Brer Rabbit. “If you don’t take off dat hat and tell me good mawnin’, I’m goin’ to bust you wide open,” says he.

The Tar-Baby don’t say nothin’, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

Brer Rabbit, he keep on askin’ de Tar-Baby to say howdy, and de Tar-Baby, she jest keep on sayin’ nothin’. Then presently, Brer Rabbit draws back wid his fist, and blip! He knock her in de side of de head. Right there’s where he broke the molasses jug, cuz his fist, it gets stuck, and he can’t pull lose. De tar held him there. But de Tar-Baby, she jest stay still, and Brer Fox, he lay low.

I do believe he was saying I am the Tar-Baby; able to keep my cool under any situation. He couldn’t possibly mean I resembled the impatient Rabbit. That would be rude.

Personally, I think I resemble Brer Fox the most. In fact, I believe I have had a similar conversation with my kid when he went stickin his nose where it didn’t belong. Just listen (well, read) this victory speech:

“I reckon I got you dis time,” says Brer Fox. “Maybe I ain’t, but I reckon I do,: says he. “You been runnin’ ‘round here sassin’ me for a mightly long time, but I reckon you done come to de end of de road. You been cuttin’ up your capers and bouncin’ ‘round dis neighborhood ‘til you come to believe yourself de boss of de whole gang. And you is always somewhere where you ain’t got no bizness,” says Brer Fox, says he. “Who ax you for to come and strike up an acquaintance wid dis here Tar-Baby? And who stuck you up there where you is? Nobody in de roun’ world. You jest up and jammed yourself in on dat Tar-Baby widout waitin’ for any invite,” says Brer Fox. “And there you is and there you’ll stay.”

As a parent I think I have some work to do in order to be more like Tar-Baby; like I said – It’s a process.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


“Hi there, nice to meet you I’m B-Dub.”

“Hello B-Dub, how are you doing today?”

“Well, actually it’s raining pretty hard outside and my kids are running around the house screaming and hollerin. I think they are trying to wake up the baby.”

“Oh, you have kids! How many and how old are they?”

“Well, Punk #1 is 9, Punk #2 is 3, and I am watching my friend’s baby- he is 5 months old.”

“Wow! You sure do have you hands full!”

“Tell me about it!”

“Wait, shouldn’t you oldest be in school? Doesn’t that give you a break?”

“Actually we are homeschooling for the first time this year.”

“Homeschooling? Like you are teaching him at home?“

“That’s the idea.”

“But why? Don’t you worry about socialization? Like, that he won’t develop any social skills? Or that you won’t be able to teach him everything he needs to know?”

“Well, ummm, not really. See he attended public school from kindergarten to 3rd and it didn’t go so well. We kept trying, but it really wasn’t a good fit for him so we are going to give this a try. Not to mention that the social skills he learned at school were mostly related to the “Bully” department, so now I’m thinking that he doesn’t need those influences in his life. Maybe when he is a bit older he can handle the pressures of public school better without falling into that role-“

“But what about teaching him! How will he even learn anything from you? My kids wouldn’t take instruction from me.”

“True, it is sometimes difficult. We just focus on content rather than how long it takes to finish a project. We don’t have a time table to stick to- no deadlines at all. He can take as long as he needs to master a concept and he doesn’t have to worry about 25 other kids in the class. Not as many distractions. Sometimes it IS really hard for us to get through a lesson but we just keep trekking. It’s a learning process”

“Yeah, but what about YOU. Don’t you think that you are taking on a bit much? “

“Yeah, mostly I feel like I am just barely keeping my head above water. It’s all new; we are just trying to figure everything out together…”

“But is it worth all that stress? You could just let someone else deal with it.”

“True. But I don’t want to anymore- our lives were more stressful when he went to public school. Now we have to figure out how to be a real family. I have to improve my patience and learn to keep my cool. So it’s been good for me too. We are both learning tons!”

“Well, I wouldn’t ever choose it for my family, but good luck. Hope it works out well for your kids and that they don’t turn into serial killers or anything cause they were never socialized.”

“Yeah, thanks, me too.      I think. “

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Road Trippin; Big Stop #3

I started to chronicle our trip from Montana to Georgia; but I have a confession. I skipped around a bit on ya. The order in which we traveled is true: Bozeman: Chicago: Ohio: Delaware. We left Delaware and migrated south; to North Carolina. But I jumped the gun in posting about the Slide Fiasco cause it should go here under Big Stop #3.

So instead of telling more about our trip I have something I need to get off my back. It’s vitally important for you to remember that I am a Southern girl deep down to the core. I have tried to change my ways- I have lived in California and Connecticut and Montana.

I just can’t help myself- I yearn for the drawl, greens, tobacco and cotton fields, and BBQs. And most especially some of Beccum’s Pickled Eggs and hot links.

Even though the eggs are pink, and smelly, and rubbery. There is something about them that gets stuck inside the head and taste buds. Can’t get away.

The runner up in the pickled category is Pigs Feet. Not an everyday grocery item to be sure but you just haven’t lived without tryin ‘em.

But back to my problem:

My punk can't talk right. In addition to constant third person references; she tries to make one syllable words into two syllable words. Totally normal in the South. Trust me. Here's some of my favs:

Bicycle:   Bi-skittle
Train:      Tra-yan
Rain:        Ra-yan 
Beans:     Be-yans
Pants:      Pay-yants
Chucky Cheese:  Chucky Chan ( No explanation for this one, she did it all on her own)

Et Cetera. 

So my problem is that my hubby is gonna flip because you see, he is not a Southerner. In fact he is one of those people who might even look down upon the Southern Drawl (but he will still eat the pickled eggs). He is a living contradiction. But the reality is that he will feel I have corrupted his offspring. Changed her into something unrecognizable, foreign even. He won’t understand that it’s all for the best and has only served to strengthen the bond between Mother and Child.

This poor guy never suspected what was to come from loving a Southern Girl

He is going to ask me to translate every word she says cause he doesn't speak Souther-on. He will go through a premature mid-life crisis due to feelings of abandonment and loneliness.

Secretly though, my girl makes me proud, and she kills me. She is so very much like me, and yet totally her Dadda. I still haven’t figured that one out myself.

But rest assured if I could figure out a way to make audio files I would post samples of her speaking for ya'll to enjoy. But I can't cause I am not that  computer savvy. 

Monday, September 21, 2009

Road Trippin; part deux

After busting out my Atlas and determining a new route we were on our way. Pft, whats a few hours detour anyways right? No biggie. Delaware here we come! Only we couldn't, cause I wasn't gonna make it. I was getting tired and we were only a few days into our trip. Uh oh.

Enter the TrueFather. He gave me a call and said, "Come visit- I am in Ohio." He was there for work. Ya know, the business...  Or not, if you didn't read that post. Its cool.

So we stopped in Ohio and while we were there we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings. I love wings. I think it comes from living in the south. Probably, I was born into the wrong family because I like fried chicken and watermelon and fruity flavored sodas. I also hate the cold. Pretty much everything that comes from being a southerner and being brought up to appreciate the finer things in life; like brisket, baked beans, and chocolate sheet cake that has almost 4 whole sticks of butter in it. Ummmm, butter..... I digress.

So after a quick stop in Ohio it was on like Donkey Kong. We made it to my big bro's house in Delaware. He then followed Chubaca around the house for a good 20 minutes. I followed along too, but just because I am nosy and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out, he thought Chubaca was going to try and mark his territory in the house cause 

a) he has dogs  
b) Chuey is a boy 
c) and he apparently doesn't think I raised my dog right or something. 

Or really, it was that he didn't raise his dog right and then thought that dogs whizing on the carpet was normal. Either way I stopped the parade cause Chuey isn't like that; I raised him right, he has manners and can eat off a fork and everything.

I love my bro's kids. The little guy kills me what with learning to talk and all.  He and my littlest punk are the same age so basically you can't really understand what either one of them are saying. The following is a sample of one conversation where they both were saying they wanted to go to Wally World:

Bro's punk: I go Omart
My punk: No I go Walmar

Bro's: NO OmaRRRRRRt
Mine: NO Wwwaaallllmar

Bro's: NO OMAR!!!


Then Bro's punk knew that he'd been beat; so he laid that shiny fiddle on the ground by my punks feet. 

My punk said: "Boy just come on back if you ever want to try again"

I told you once, you son of a gun, I'm the best screecher that's ever been."

(And she played fire on the mount, run boys, run.
The devil's in the house of the risin' sun.
Chicken in the bread pin pickin' out dough.
"Granny, does your dog bite?"
"No, child, no." )    


Right, so my bro and I and his wife took the 4 kids to the museum on the Air Force Base. It pretty much was a great time. I love those punks. It was here that I found the pin up girl of my dreams. If I ever get brave (or stupid) enough to get a tattoo I will get her. REAL BIG- um- somewhere. Like maybe on my back. Maybe covering my WHOLE back or something. That way there would be no question about us being soul mates; everyone would just know.  Here she is- isn't she lovely!