Tuesday, July 28, 2015

  I was waiting recently in a radiologists office to get a mammogram.  Frequently I bring puzzles from the paper to work on while I'm waiting.  There are three, a sudoku, a cryptogram, and a word game.  The word game asks you to make x number of words out of a bigger word.  This was a follow up from an "unusual" screen I had six months ago.  I'm waiting and my imagination is running away with me.  What if they find something? What if it's bad?  To those who know me, this is typical.  The third puzzle asked me how many words can I make from the word "alarmist"?  Again with the irony.  I can't make this stuff up.  After I stopped laughing at myself, I found out my results are normal - physically anyway.
  A friend suggested I post this and I guess it's as good a rant as any.  It's a Tuesday evening and I am on my couch.  Sometime in 1998 I started training at a martial arts studio.  I began this for warped reasons and if anyone had told me back then that someday I was going to get my black belt I would have said they were crazy. When I was younger I worked out 4 times a week, after work.  I also had a regular gym membership back then.  I was going to 2 classes and 2 workouts each week.  I hadn't even cracked 30 then and I ate like a farm animal.  Them was the good old days.
   I broke up with a boyfriend and had to end the gym membership when a relationship ended.  I couldn't handle seeing my ex there.  I did find another gym and also another boyfriend.  Nine months later I got engaged.  My new love was not much for working out but went along to be polite.  We moved in together shortly before the wedding and with both of us working it became really tough to get both of us to the gym a half an hour from his house.  Eventually, the membership had to go as we weren't using it.  I decided to train an additional night at the dojang.
   Seventeen years later, I still train.  Our little girl is six and full of energy.  Mommy and Daddy are idiot tired.  The only one at our house who eats like a farm animal and can get away with it is four feet tall.
   What bothers me is that I find myself looking for almost any cheap excuse to avoid working out. It seems I can only come up with two justifiable reasons for skipping, not that I ever feel that way.  I am giving myself a "slug pass" on the first day of my period.  Who in their right mind would be in a hurry to put on white pants much less work out?? Shouldn't that be an automatic 'no thanks'? The other excuse is bad weather.  I will not drive during hellfire and brimstone coming down in the summer or an ice rink in the winter.  I like my car in the shape it's in, unwrinkled.
   I can only wonder what the hell happened to me. 'But you were a gym rat when you were younger, don't you enjoy working out?', my friend asked.  No, not really.  I don't think I ever did.  I began working out as a compulsion to keep my weight under control.  This later morphed into meeting a boyfriend at the gym.  This later morphed into following the suggestion of a martial arts instructor saying I really needed to train an additional night (aka take his class).  This has now degenerated into my contract is paid for I need to get my ass over there. The enthusiasm is underwhelming.  For reasons I have yet to grasp, I feel guilty as hell when I don't go.
   I worked out this evening and even though I didn't feel like going I'm glad I did. I lived.  It wasn't a cage match where the loser gets eaten.  Yes, once in a purple moon it's a tough workout.  For someone who's constantly in fear of getting too fluffy, isn't that a good thing? At least after a class,  I don't feel so bad about all the chocolate and alcohol. There are also esoteric benefits to going.  When I pull into the parking lot I usually check out the cars to see who's there.  Misery loves company.  I keep wanting to do better than that.
   The biggest problem I'm having is that after all these years I'm looking for something I can enjoy doing.  That's probably nuts.  Workouts are only enjoyable in ad campaigns aren't they?

Monday, July 20, 2015

   I wanted to take an informal survey.  Recently, my daughter and I attended a birthday party at a neighbor's house.  They threw a great party.  There were video games, a swimming pool, and plenty of treats.  Things were going fine behavior wise, too.  The problem began when my daughter wouldn't eat her pizza. I should have smelled something wrong then.  Usually, she doesn't eat much at parties I admit, but pizza is one of her favorites.  We had visited mom mom earlier that day and went swimming.  My daughter came out of the pool shivering but we figured it was just the cold water.  A couple of hours later, she was reluctant to go swimming at her friend's party.  She loves to swim, another hint mommy missed.  My girl finally mentions to her friend's mom that she doesn't feel well. At this point, I start to panic.  I felt her forehead and she was warm, not boiling but elevated.  Now I have no idea what to do.  I'm panicing a bit because I'm worried she may be contagious.  What if it's a nasty virus? I tried to sit her down and explain that if she wasn't feeling well, we should leave.  I had absolutely no luck and texted my husband for an assist.  Then I remembered that she's been taking bubble baths and she was in a public pool recently.  I calmed down a bit when I suspected a UTI (urinary tract infection).  She stayed for the rest of the party and seemed ok but I couldn't wait to get her out of there.  This was a Friday night.
 Saturday morning I decided to call our pediatrician and talk to a nurse.  I got the impression that we were most likely ok to keep her temperature down and just watch her.  Later, we went to a local farmer's market.  We love going there when they offer coupons and our girl absolutely loves their smoothies.  A few minutes after she finished her drink she was shivering and wanted to leave!  Finally, mommy woke up.  That's it, we need to call the doctor and get an appointment.  This was a Saturday afternoon.  Our doctor's office is great.  They have weekend hours.  We were too late for Saturday but got the earliest Sunday appointment we could.   By this time, our daughter had a full on fever and wasn't eating anything.  We get to the doctor's office and discover that a UTI was not the problem at all.  It's a virus.  They've been seeing a lot of it lately.  There was no vomiting and no diarrhea.  Yes, she was probably contagious at her friend's birthday party.  'It's everywhere' the doctor said.  So my question is 'Should I have caused a scene at a pary before I really knew for sure what was wrong?' Was I an a-hole for not pulling my six year old out of a birthday party and dealing with the ensuing oscar winning hissy fit? Has anyone else ran into this?  How do you handle it?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

 Tempus Fugit sucks.  
   There is an old saying that goes it is now how old you are, it is how you are old.  It’s not being in my forties that’s the problem.  After all, my father once said, ‘It could be worse, you could have a kid your age.’.  It’s this desparate need I have to savor every moment, since, as I learned the hard way, you may not have as much time on this earth as you think you do.  The hardest thing I wrestle with is the now.  Perhaps I’m fighting ingrained, grown up habits.  Odd, since I live with the perfect teacher.
   My three year old wakes up every day happy and looking for fun.  Mommy wakes up most mornings praying for coffee and wondering how am I going to keep her occupied all day.  What the hell’s wrong with me?  Bored? How dare you?  Since when was life something to get through?  If that’s the case, I’m doing something wrong.  
   While there are places to go and things to clean, there are also horsies out the car window.  There are dragon shaped clouds, sand in your toes, and - dare I say it - occasional ice cream before dinner!  Look mommy, look!
   She is friendly and outgoing like her father.  While I have lived like a hamster in my home for seven years, not knowing many of our neighbors, my daughter will say hi to just about any grownup with two ears.  She will immediately tell them a terribly important story in which they have no idea what the hell she’s talking about.  You will never see grownups doing this.  My husband is one, but his english is fine and logical. 
   Exhausting and beautiful, she is an education and a gift.  She wants to feel and taste and see and smell and question everything.  She will also be teaching me patience for the rest of my life.   Sometimes, I am jealous at her simplicity.  If she gets hot, she just gets naked, problem solved.  Mommy will never again feel that free but I’m ok with that one - really ok.  

   Still, I don’t want her to be like me.  She is my second shot at learning how to enjoy, even the boring parts.  I’m pretty sure that when I grow up, I want to be three.  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

After a bad storm in our area, we lost our satellite dish.  Horrors!  We were forced to talk to each other! The dish was out for about three weeks.  We got it restored yesterday and Maury was on.  Immediately I began to wonder why I missed it.

Friday, July 3, 2015

   There is a car commercial that depicts a young woman getting ready to leave on a trip.  Her voice is that of a toddler, which is how her father sees her.  As one who is knee deep in the parental time warp, I totally get it.  I wouldn’t buy the car, but I definitely understand distorted parental vision.  I could have sworn the three foot tall pteredactyl stomping around my house just got home from the hospital last week.  For that matter, didn’t I just celebrate my 30th birthday?  I sure did, about ten years ago.  
   I don’t feel that much older from day to day.  Occasionally, I get an obnoxious reminder of the contrary when I’m at my gym or bending over to pick up my daughter.  I’m not sure I even look much different than I did ten years ago except now the grey hair is getting easier to find. 
   Where I can see the changes are when I look at my daughter and my mom.  At two and a half, the changes in Claire are rapid and frequently surprising.  Every parent thinks their child is a genius but again, it’s a distorted view.  It’s not so much that she is brilliant but that I’m exhausted and unwittingly under constant surveillance.
   For a period of about twenty years, my mother was around forty.  Her hair was always the same color and she was constantly working.  Now that my father is gone and she is in a new, smaller home, she has reached her sixties.  I can see the age spots and the grey hair and how she gets tired now.  It saddens me in patches to understand that these are the days I need to hang onto with tooth and nail, leaving claw marks behind me.
   To our children, we start out brilliant, then we get stupid, and then as they get older, we slowly regain our intelligence.  At least, that’s how I hope it goes for me.  My mother thinks Claire is the smartest creature on the planet.  This must be in defiance of her mother’s DNA as I am increasingly convinced my mom thinks I’m a complete idiot. 
‘You have too much stuff.’ ( I hadn’t noticed , my eyes were closed.)
‘You need to get the pool cleaned.’ ( You mean the water isn’t supposed to match the grass?)
‘It’s dusty in here.’ (But I was saving those cobwebs for Halloween.)
There are a plethora of observations like these she’s convinced I need to be told because they aren’t done yet.  See previous paragraph about hanging onto these days blah blah blah.
   My mother and I have different priorities.  I choose not to put the housework ahead of other activities like playing with Claire, napping, baking and working out.  Cleaing is lower on my totem pole.  I’m sure she thinks my pole is upside down.  

   There are parts of her advice that I do cherish.  I know virtually nothing about plants and flowers and she is remarkably handy at small repairs.  I also do not know how to make pierogi from scratch, something I definitely plan to learn.  I do not know if I’ll gain any IQ points between now and the time I lose her.  Every April I get a little smarter when I do her tax return.  I can certainly hang onto that.  In the meantime, for now at least, my baby girl thinks I’m smart - but what does she know?