Monday, June 26, 2006

"Quack, Quack, Quack"

"Quack, Quack, Quack"

"Quack, Quack, Quack," mumbled Elyas in a sleepy haze as he climbed into my bed in the middle of the night.

I smiled, "Quack, Quack, Quack, to you too Little Bear."

"No Mama," he said as he snuggled in against my shoulder. "It's a duck, not a bear."

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Who am I?

I walked down around the corner of the building, taking the long way around so I could pick up my mail, and I caught the sight of my shadow marching along in front of me, slightly to the right. I was surprised at how square my shoulders were, that the tilt of my head indicated confidence rather than the wilting feeling I've been fighting off for several days. I wondered for a moment at how much the shape of my shadow has changed in the last few months...there's the obvious, stomach slightly flatter...but there was this command about me that I didn't recognize in myself.

I've been on a roller coaster, up and down, up and down, all around. I started lagging about a week ago, even as things started to ever so slightly improve in all sorts of places. I wondered if I'd been kidding myself about all the changes I want to make, about how changed I feel. I wondered how much of it was bravado to carry me through this mess. I wondered how it would be in six months or a year when all the novelty has worn off and I'm just alone again. I pushed myself harder and asked more of myself and committed more, with half the heart. And that's when I told myself, somewhere deep inside to just stop for a minute. I locked myself in my apartment all weekend and barely went out except as was mandatory by life's expectations. I didn't really do much...laundry, cleaning...and of course hair color. I argued with Darius in my head, but even in fantasizing about telling him off, it ended in a draw. I watched a crazy movie called "Dark Water" and I felt like I'd get hit too close to home and it made my life feel like it would drive me crazy.

So once more I'm on my own tonight, and I came home for more of the same. I sat down and ate some grapes instead of supper. I took a bath. I wondered why it had been so long since I've cried and yet so long since I've been able to sleep all night long. The two didn't seem to match for me. But then I remembered I had to return some keys to Dan, my property manager. He had let me use a fridge in an empty apartment when mine was on the fritz. I walked them down and handed them to him and passed back through the parking lot, taking the long way so I could get my mail. And I caught a glimpse of my shadow on the brick wall. I realized in spite of myself, I truly have changed. I'm not a woman who walks with her eyes cast downward and her shoulders slumped. I reflected back on my exchange with Dan and how I met his quizzical look when I rang his bell, and how I unapologetically apologized for taking so long to return the keys. I had honestly felt no shame. And that's a novelty for me. And it's a bigger novelty that it wasn't forced or coerced, and I didn't really even think about it until well after the moment had passed.

I sit again in the quiet of my apartment, in a way reveling in the quiet of my apartment. I really am a new woman. I'm not entirely sure of what this new woman really is or looks like, but I'm proud of what she's shown me so far.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Adventures in Hair Color

Ok, so if you haven't read my headline lately, it's from a Fiona Apple song...I'm sure that's a surprise. "Gonna make a mistake...gonna do it on purpose."


Well, I'm about nothing if not full disclosure. Oh My Gawd. What a night I put myself through.

I left work feeling spunky and decided to just do it...get the red and go for the gold so to speak. So I agonized in the aisle at Walgreens for about thirty minutes. I should have made it 45...actually I should have gone out for a beer, but I didn't so it doesn't really matter. I was going to show you the product I used, but it doesn't really matter. I made a choice that I thought would be light enough to cover up if it was bad, and a real change color wise. I knew in my gut that something was not right in the middle of the process...

(Sure, you can use it for blackmail...however I own nothing of value)

Now I don't want to exaggerate...but you've met Ronald McDonald at one of your trips to a playplace, right? You know the big plastic statues you climb on? Uh-huh. I looked like his older and weirder don't believe me, do you? Oh yeah?

(Really...absolutely NOTHING of value)

So I put on my Green Bay Packers hat and ran back to walgreens and got a an ashy brown color. I didn't take pictures of that....because it looked pretty much exactly the same...ok, maybe I looked more like a leprechaun's sister with that...just a smidge darker. Darker could be better. Could be, but wasn't at all.

I searched the internet for about two hours and finally determined that my hair was not damaged enough yet to require the assistance of a professional...I know I'm an idiot. Check my headline again. But I think it worked out "OK" this time.

This time I picked up this product and some more color...darker still in the auburn hue though. When I got done with the Color Oops this is what I have this morning.

No, it's not what I planned or what I had thought about, but dammit...I started to look at that new package of coloring and almost had to throw up. And I have to buy groceries today so no more screw ups are in the budget.

Thankfully I have a sense of humor...can you imagine if I actually took any of this too seriously?

Friday, June 16, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting

I have this funny idea that sometimes a theme of sorts enters your life and you have to follow it through to its natural conclusion. Sometimes it is easy to figure out sometimes, not so terribly (ahem...squirrels come to mind). Anyway, the last week or two have been my adventures in babysitting weeks. My Devereaux, as you know was having an extreme amount of trouble in his summer Y-camp situation his first week. So much so that after I had to pick him up on Friday, I was determined that I wouldn't take him back. He complained loudly to me that one of his "friends" was calling him vulgar names, and that all of the kids were calling him "Devereaux Looney Pants" in reference to the troubles he's had controlling his anger lately. When I walked in there was about 50 kids all jammed into the same room and the noise level was astounding. It made me want to crawl under a desk and throw things and I was only there for five minutes and I'm not the extremely sensitive to sound person that my son is. It was more than troubling. So I had already started the process rolling for getting him into Daycare for Exceptional Children and I was under the impression that by Monday we would have a green flag. Monday came and I had to take the afternoon off, because I found out that the day I applied, the county who funds the program had mandated a wait list for such programs. The woman with whom I spoke at the daycare was certain it was a small matter and they'd be able to get him in. But then she called me and said she'd found he was already set up with the county and she could use a "back door" to set him up for daycare. AWESOME, I said, and we agreed he'd start Wednesday. I called Dev's other parent and told him and we all did a little happy dance. Then Tina called me back and said "Uh, gee sorry, the back door thing isn't working, I'm sorry." And so it went for the rest of the week. I won't go into details about how insane it's all been, but it finally was apparent to me that I can't seem to count on Dev getting into this program quickly if ever. In a fit of desperation I called a teenager who has sat with him and asked if she would like to make some summer money. She said yes. What I didn't know is Dev's other parent was making even better arrangements at the same time...a temporary spot in his former preschool classroom right next door to his brother's class. Short term this is awesome. Long term, we'll have to find another solution, but we're working the angles. So I happily dropped him off after his Summer School classes today in the capable hands of his most loved teacher of all times. He was in heaven.

But the funny thing is this theme. Adventures in Babysitting has been going through my head for awhile. I'm on a different side of the coin, but I've certainly had the Babysitting Blues. So last night I left my boys for a moment absorbed in Xio Lin Showdown and I ran my garbage out to the dumpster. As I came back in a pretty gray tabby yowled at me from a ground floor apartment.

"What's the matter mama? Wanting out?" I cooed at her.

"Nah, she just likes to bitch." said a voice from behind me.

I turned around and gazed into the prettiest blue eyes I've seen in a very long time. The package around them had an eerie resemblance to George Newbern, the lovely who played "Cute Frat Boy to the Rescue" in Adventures in Babysitting. I smiled and said "Hi."

"Hi...who are you?" said Cute Frat Boy Look-alike.

Sticking out my hand I said, "Eileen, apartment 12."


He smiled warmly and opened the door for me. And I went back to my life, and he went back to his bitchy cat. And I smiled all the way down to my toes for the first time all week.

Don't get me wrong, he's much too young for me, and I wouldn't dream of letting him be anything other than a lively fantasy, but it was a fun exchange. And hey, didn't the Cute Frat Boy come into the picture at the end of the movie? Yeah, I think things are going to start getting better soon.

Either that or I over think things...ya' think?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I came home tonight so tired. I worked less than 8 hours but had been going constantly for help in sight. I need to do laundry and go to the store. I want to crawl into bed and cry.

I did crawl into my bed for a few minutes. And I thought, "I want my mommy!" Actually, I don't want my mommy. I want A mommy. Somebody who makes it all better, who takes care of it behind the scenes and is there to stroke your hair and let you cry when you need to. But in this life, I'm the mommy...I have been for a long time now. And not only do I have to do that for my kids, I have to do it for myself. It's ok, I can do it, but it's kind of like eating a gourmet meal that you slaved over all day just doesn't taste quite the same as it would in a fancy restaurant.
Maybe not the deep meaningful post intended by the dare to do this journal, but I'm tapped today. I'll be more than a mommy it's all I got.

Yes, I did.

QuitMeter Counter courtesy of