what's NOT for breakfast

There are times when I think advertising/product development might be fun. Then I get a chance to actually look around and I'm back to wanting to live in a cave. But I would like to be a fly on the wall for certain development meetings....

Picture it:

Bunch of self-perceived hipster development dudes sitting around with a pile of VC, trying to find 'the next big thing.'

h1: reading People magazine ... How about ankle devices with swarovski crystals?

h2: Nah, I think Paris already has that and she's the only one stupid enough to buy one.

h1: Yah, prob.

h2: Hey, says here that organic foods is a billion dollar industry. We gotta get some of that.

h3: I got something here somewhere (shuffles stacks of reports) here it is! The government rearranged the food pyramid. Wait ... yeah, it's still unintelligible. Great! I've got the best idea!

h1,2: Eyes wide. Behind sunglasses. Inside.

h3: Waffle-whiz. Organic waffle-whiz.

h1: Seriously?

h3: (madly sketching) Comes in a can. Americans are lazy. Or in a rush. Yeah, in a rush. Let's not point out lazy. Um, I think breakfast is no longer the celery in your bloody mary. And it's organic. Organic! People will buy it just for that reason! WAFFLE.WHIZ. Right? Riiiiiight?

'Organic' batter from what is so obviously left-over CheezWhiz cans makes me sad for some reason. I think organic manipulation coupled with extraordinary sloth is the new black.

zoom, zoom, zoom, etc.

My darling grandmother was here for a week. She left today. I don't know how she feels, but I'm completely exhausted!

I dropped her at the airport and went to the Fine Furnishings Show and had the best time. Bear and Rio went to my SIL's World Famous Halloween Party in CT and so I went alone. I really needed a break from all noise and I applaud my husband for getting that and not being insulted. I are lucky :)

I are also incredibly exhausted for a number of reasons. My gram and I ran ragged all week. Too many activities. Next time - same amount of trips/dinners/lunches/exhibits/shopping trips but two weeks. That should be only mildly exhausting.

My other problem is more complicated and self-inflicted....

me: Bear, this TIVO is totally jacked and it's driving me crazy to watch, or try to watch shows on it. Please, let's get rid of it all. Cancel cable and cancel TIVO and we'll buy seasons of shows we want to watch and gorge like good tv-ers. So, please, I beg you, get rid of it all.

cut to 4 days later.

me: Bear, there is a TIVO box outside the garage. Just got delivered. Why?

bear: It's for a project that is top secret so please don't look at it and don't talk about it.

cut to next day.

me: Bear, there is a cable guy here to INSTALL DIGITAL CABLE! His work order says you want to be called first, but he's here and can't work the new super-duper hi-tech TIVO.

bear: Yay! I'll be right home.

So, he did not cancel anything. Rather, he upgraded everything. And he's dead certain it was exactly the right move. The self-inflicted part of this is as follows:

Get home from Providence, sparkly with art infusion. Lie on the couch at 3pm to see if House had recorded. Watch House. Realize we have a zillion new stations. Watch Law&Order for 2 straight hours. Realize I can watch 2 channels and have backing up capabilities on both, and proceed to watch
Law&Order AND Law&Order:SVU for another hour or so. Bear comes home, we get Rio to bed and I just barely, at 11pm, dragged myself away from watching hours of LA Ink. I don't even like the show and now I have to watch the season finale to find out why Pixie's boyfriend is such a douchebag.

I am joining a monastery and not for any of the reasons I might have previously done so.

blessed are the deaf

I had the best lunch with 2 sets of my great-aunts and uncles, and my gram, and the lovely Rio. Who didn't get a nap.

Luckily the chocolate revived her.

Unluckily it awakened her inner maniac.

Luckily most of the table is hard of hearing so the fact that, halfway through a giant piece of 'Death By Chocolate' cake, Rio raised chocolaty finger horns and started hollering, "Rock and Rollllllll!" was missed by all. But me. Who laughed and thereby set the stage for future inappropriate behavior. The force is strong in this one. Very strong....

on a lighter note...

Rio is laying on my grandmother's bed. She's face down, long legs swinging in the air and taptapping the bed in lazy alternating arcs. She just said to Gram:

Hey Betty Boop - are you old?

That kid.

i am some kind of idiot

Why am I surprised when things go so horribly wrong with my mother? I must be stupid. Really stupid. Bad-probably-shouldn't-have-bred stupid.

I'll skip the thousand instances of passive aggressive, borderline personality bullshit, testing of my patience .... that my mother engaged in on Sunday. I'll just hit the high points.

*My darling grandmother wanted to go to Vermont to see her. Her, my mother. Her who has never had a nice word to say about my grandmother, or recently deceased grandfather. Her who didn't attend the funeral, but called daily to boss the rest of us around. Evidently, her had been calling and being sweet in anticipation of death benefits. Her is even more evil than I imagined.

*My mother absolutely ignores Gram when she gets out of the car. Goes right for Rio and doesn't speak to or look at my grandmother. Already, my blood pressure is heading north.

*She has chosen a restaurant that is closed. She won't call ahead, it's around the corner from her house, arguably she passes it 100 times a week. And yet, she makes me park and get everyone out of the car before 'remembering' it's closed on Sunday night.

*She is an embarrassment at the restaurant where we land. If you knew her, you'd know I have 17,000 words worth of material. But enough said.

This is where it gets bad. After dinner she said she had a gift for Rio and would we please come in to her place. I say, and I quote, "We will come in but only if you put the dog up." She puts him in his fenced in back area and we all enter the filthy smoking lounge that is her house.

Her dog is throwing himself against the slider again and again, screech barking. She's taught him this behavior and constantly reinforces it. She has every dog psych book ever written and she has advice for everyone on the planet about their dogs, and it is with incredible forethought that she has ruined this very expensive, very well pedigreed champion. It's awful but the dog is totally out of control and is a biter.

Rio has to poop. Fabulous. I take her through the deathtrap house into a filthy bathroom. I clean up as best I can and place my child on a toiletpaper-lined seat. The place is brand new but looks just like a 40 year old bus station bathroom. I'm gagging.

We return to the sitting room where my mother has her hell-hound leashed and up on the chair next to her. Dog behavior 101 says: leashed dogs are more aggressive due to the urge to overcome the restraint and sitting on a chair is an elevated status, further exacerbating the intense aggression problems of this dog.

"We are leaving," I say and herd my grandmother and child to the door. Mother immediately stands and her dog jumps down and starts pulling for all he's worth to reach any of us, all the while snarling and snapping; leaping and twisting; screaming and digging into the floor. Frightening site.

I reach the door to the entryway and tell me grandmother to get in the car quickly. I hold onto the doorknob so they can clear the second door and cross the yard to the safety of the car. My mother is twisting and twisting the doorknob trying to break my hold, and her dog is throwing himself waist height against the door. Once Rio and Gram are safely in the car, I let the door go and run out. She's right behind me saying, 'He's on a leash!' and I get into the car and leave.

She called last night to tell me she's taking a stop smoking medication. I let her have it both barrels because Rio was with Bear and my brother was out to dinner with my gram. My mother relies on the fact that I wouldn't want to make my grandmother uncomfortable and timed her call in the middle of what should have been grown-up dinner time.

I blasted her. I told her that she has no respect for me as a person and she lies. She put my child and grandmother in harm's way by bringing the dog in, and she was damned sneaky about doing it while I was in another room. She doesn't have any respect for the boundaries I so clearly set and she created a dangerous situation simply to get a reaction from me. "My reaction," I stated, "is this - you always ask 'Can I have Rio by myself?' and it occurs to me that you don't want her, you want me to say 'no'. Well, here it is. No. You've gone too far this time. I have another call and I'm hanging up now. Goodbye."

I honestly don't know if I'll ever talk to her again. This is the straw that buried the pyramid that dropped out of the sky that crushed the palace that had a stable where the camel made its home.


Our exercise for writing class this week is the run-on sentence. Here's mine. Whaddaya think?!


The clock clicks to 11:29 as she bursts through the door and I am struck by her beauty and the new smell of ‘young woman’ that floats in just behind her and all at once I’m transported to when she simply smelled of child and when asked, at 2 years old, what she wanted for Christmas, had so clearly and forcefully stated, “A pygmy marmoset monkey,” and shooting her mother a withering look continued, “and we do, too, have room because they are small!” and another vision of her floats into my consciousness – this time covered in fake tattoos, wearing only a jacket, ivory cabled tights and cowboy boots and comfortable in that outfit as only the young can ever be – and I find I am shocked by the woman that is pushing out the girl in a thousand new ways every day, every month, every year, and when she’s questioned about the dance and the boy I find an odd relief when I see the last vestiges of thumb-sucking manifest in a charmingly crooked smile as she simply says, “We had fun – goodnight!” and, whoosh, she’s come and gone, ever changing, still, again.

what a difference a day makes ...

I grew up in a way that makes me a master of crisis. I was a little, tiny fireman; on-call 24/7. That has left me with the propensity to, um, overreact. On occasion. Like around this whole eval thing.

Once I stopped spinning and spraying and exploring which special foams don't impact the environment ... I had the chance to listen. Really listen. From my 'I'm a smart person and nothing is on fire' place. And I realized I had shut down, gone to defc*n 8, and I had on my battle-scarred shield which has always helped me deal with all the noise. All the hysteria, real and manufactured. All the danger. That shield that filters out everything but the HUGE CRISIS
and makes me able to wade into the thick of things without concern for myself.

I went to the Developmental Medicine Department and read all about the possibilities. Then I lifted the shield, took a deeeep breath, and realized that none of those particular things on the drop-down menu apply. Sure, she has this piece and that piece ... she likes to line things up ... she doesn't particularly care for loud noises ... she just started pre-school that she attends alone (where she's doing great) ... she is used to me and I'm big fun and, for now, she is more at ease with adults. Big deal!

Her pieces of those sets of 'indicators' on the DMD site don't make for a full set of anything - except an awesome kid.

:: For all of you who gave your support loud enough to drown out the imagined sirens, I extend sincere thanks. You made a difference.


Um, yah.

Preschool is going well. As long as she's away from me, she stops crying. Growth is happening all around.

Now, the dance class is another story. She won't get out of my lap. Ever. Once in a while for a quick second, but that's it. Her comfort level is non-existent. After almost a full year there.

Today we had the full meltdown. I told her she couldn't sit in my lap during class; she had to pay attention. So she proceeded to drape over my legs and try to crawl up on my shoulders and pulled at my shirt ... crying all the while. The teachers keep trying to talk to her.....she's having none of it.

I wish I had a mom to talk to. I don't. I talked to a few trusted friends and got all different, all very sensible recommendations. So, I called her pediatrician.

After listening he recommended another eval at Children's Hospital. Gave me the number. I'm at my wit's end and just so sad and frustrated. I know it's really bad for some people. I know other kids have it way worse. But I still feel like this is going to break my heart.