Friday, August 29, 2008

Just Stuff

I didn't tell ya'll about a decision I made. I blogged about it a while ago. See here to refresh your memory. It's about this whole child support thing. At this point, I am faced with needing a second job to get a handle on my finances. The more I think about it, the more ridiculous I think it is that I should have to work a second job taking more time away from my children. I filled the application papers a few weeks ago. The nice lady I spoke with on the phone told me it would be six weeks before I get an appointment.

It has been three weeks already. Yesterday I got some information in the mail from the child support agency. It was contact information and such. I was relieved to know that at least I am in the system now. Progress is being made,albeit a little slowly. That's the nature of the child support beast. It is a VERY slow process. When I filed child support papers when we lived in NC, it took me almost a year to get the first payment. That's how slow it is.

I think I may be in the doghouse with the ex husband. He was doing very well at calling Keri on a regular basis. Then the phone calls completely stopped. He hasn't called her in one week and one day. (Yes, I am counting) This my friends is an ongoing dilemma. He will call regularly for a while, then drop off the face of the Earth. Maybe he is ticked off because the child support agency contacted him. I don't know. What I am supposed to do? Should I cut him off completely? Should I continue to allow his pathetic attempts at maintaining a relationship with my daughter? I really don't know what the right decision is. I want to do what is best for HER. If it's in her best interest to maintain the little contact she has, then so be it. But what if that's not the right thing to do? What if his popping in and out of her life is worse for her? This something that I have frankly been struggling with for a while.

I suspect he is angry because I am filing for child support, and YES he would stop calling her just to tick me off. He knows that is the ONLY way he can get me riled up. Only I don't feel riled up. I really could care less if he never calls again. The problem is that my daughter cares. This time she hasn't said anything to me about his disappearing act. Usually she will get upset and cry when he doesn't call for a while. Then I get mad. No, then I get furious. I don't understand how a person can treat their own child this way. I could not imagine going more than a week without talking to either one of my kids.

What I would really like to do is rip his heart out, dry out in the sun for a few days, and then hang it around my neck. Unfortunately, I lack the physical strength to pull off such a feat. Too bad I can't just do it with imagination, I have plenty of that. mmmmm ....What else could I do to him? Peel off his toenails one by one? I know, I know, I could knock him out and then dress him like a girl in a really sexy dress. Then I could put makeup and jewelry on him. Then I could leave him somewhere where ALL his friends would find him. He is such a macho guy that would land him in therapy for years.


Did I mention that Keri and I almost got creamed on the way to drop her off at school? You know your day is going to crap when the first thing you do is spill hot coffee on your hand. I shook that off and continued getting ready. I was driving through my neighborhood, I wasn't even on a main road. This car comes straight at me out of nowhere. I lay on the horn and ran off the side of the road. He saw me in time to get stopped, but it scared Keri and I both to death. Then he freakin' WAVED at me. Are you kidding me? A wave does not erase the fact that he almost creamed right into my car. With my kid in it. The car that I spent weeks months researching and investigating. The car that I had transferred from Miss-i-freakin-sippi. The rest of my day progressed in pretty much the same manner. Traffic was horrible, and I was late getting to work.

By the time I got to work I had decided that someone must die. It didn't really matter who. Probably the first person that looked at me wrong. Unfortunately, no one wanted to die that day. Everyone I came in contact with was very nice. Not one cross look did I get all day long. Darn, foiled again! There was to be no outlet for my aggression that day.

Incidentally, my mission to make slaves out of my children have my children help out more around the house is going very well. My life is much smoother with everyone pitching in. Melissa actually cooked dinner two nights. Keri still needs a little work, but she is getting there. I can tell that child has not ONE of her mother's cleaning gene. It's just not in her. She WILL get that gene. Eventually, even if I have to cram it down her little throat. Anyway, it's nice to actually be able to sit and watch TV without feeling guilty about it. To know that my house is not festering in putrid germs while I am sitting on my butt. Oh the joy.

I have no children tonight, so I am off to have some "single woman" fun.............

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Reclaiming My Pants

We found more critter evidence. He chewed through something in the attic. I am so grossed out. I think I may lock the cat up there for a couple of days and see what happens. What’s the point in having a cat if it wont protect you from unknown vermin? I don’t know about ya’ll, but I tend to think it may be a mouse. Please God don’t let it be a rat or something equally hideous and distasteful. Please, I beg you.

Today is the official day that Susie begins to truly wear the pants at home. The day didn’t get off to a great start. I had an accident that I would rather not discuss, and then I spilled hot coffee all over my own hand. Keri didn’t have her clothes or snacks picked out so we were late leaving the house this morning. Which means I was late dropping her off and got stuck in traffic.

I don’t understand two things. The first thing I don’t understand is this: Why must everyone drive 20 miles under the speed limit if there is even ONE DROP of moisture on the road? Why I ask? Is there a such thing as aqua-amoxaphobia?(The fear of water and fear of driving combined) The second thing I don’t understand is why people are so fascinated with minor traffic accidents. Big deal. You mean to say that’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever laid eyes on? Come on people! Let the rest of us who could care less get to work. The rest of us have kids who made us late leaving the house, which is why we are in such a hurry to get to work anyway.

See how easily sidetracked I am? Anyway back to day 1 of mission “Give Susie Back Her Pants”. Today at approximately 1600 hours, I will be placing a call to the residence of one Keri and one Melissa. I will then sweetly inquire as to what the little precious children would like for dinner. Then at approximately 1600 hour and 1 minute, I will say something like, “Oh you would like spaghetti for dinner? Then I suggest you get out the noodles, spaghetti sauce, and big pot. Be sure to make a plate for me, as I will be very hungry upon arriving home”.

I am sure there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth. This will not weaken my stone cold resolve to make them pull their weight around the house. Nothing will stop me. No amount of huffing, puffing, pouting, crying, eye rolling that I can’t see over the phone, or any other acts of treason will sway me. I will….reclaim my pants.

1500 hours, 30 minutes August 25, 2008

I am gleefully anticipating calling my children in 27 minutes to inquire about what we are having for dinner. Picture me sitting at my desk rubbing my hands together in joyful anticipation.

1500 hours 54 minutes August 25, 2008

So I called the children to ask what they wanted for dinner:

Melissa: I dunno

Me: Well, you guys need to decide what you want for dinner

Melissa: Keri, what do you want for dinner?

Keri: Hawaiian chicken

Me: Then get out the dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees…..

I proceeded to give the two subjects instructions on how to start dinner. The younger subject claims to have had a headache since after lunch. The older subject seems to not show much interest in any of this dinner conversation. I will be contacting the subjects again when I leave the office.

0800 hours, August 26, 2008

Subject M (Melissa) reported that subject K (Keri) cried after TE (The Enforcer-that would be me) alerted the subjects of their mission. Subject M offered to step in and handle the mission. Subject K ceased her emotional outburst and did perform the task she was given. Today’s mission will include vacuuming and dusting. TTAAAWWAAANNDDAA!!!

HW wanted to know if I haven't been wearing pants, what have I been wearing. I think a kilt. Still have no idea what the critter in the attic is. I just do not want to deal with that but I know I must.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Weekend At Susie's

We had a hectic weekend at our house. Friday night Keri and I went shopping for decorations for her birthday party. She wanted a Hawaiian theme for her party. We found lei’s and cups that look like coconuts. The grass skirts were ten dollars each. Needless to say, I skipped out on those. Saturday morning we got up and went out again to see if we could find any cheaper grass skirts. We checked at the dollar store but they didn’t have any either. They did however, have double A batteries. I don’t know if Panasonic is a good brand or not. I figured for a buck it couldn’t hurt to try. The batteries in my toothbrush were low the Spinbrush was barely spinning.

We had an experience at the bank. Keri got a money order in her name from one of the grandparents. We went to my bank to cash it and I just went through the drive thru. I put the signed money order and my driver’s license in the tube and send it. A couple of minutes later she asks me if I have an account. UUMMMMM yeah. Otherwise, why would I drive ALL the way across town to cash the money order? I fish out my account number and give her that. Then she says, “This isn’t made out to you”. To which I responded, “It’s made out to my ten-year old” pointing to Keri sitting in the backseat. “Oh, I see” she says and sends back the tube with the money. I realize she didn’t know what the situation was, but come on! I won’t go off on one of my tirades today. That’s all I have to say about that.

The birthday was fine, blah, blah, blah. Usually when we have my family all together it’s chaos. When it was time for cake and ice cream, I formulated a brilliant plan. We asked the kids what kind of ice cream they wanted. One.Kid.At.A time. We then served the cake and ice cream.One.Kid.At.A time. I was scooping ice cream and my sister was cutting cake. This assembly line worked out great. It was a serene experience. Kids were not running all over the house screaming out what kind of ice cream they wanted. We brought the kids into the kitchen as their plates were ready.

Sunday was full of more thrills. Keri wanted to go the inflatable funhouse. They have open play from 4-6 on Sunday afternoons. Let me tell you, if you are not a kid, and you are not jumping around in there. It’s freakin’ cold! The only thing that made the two hours bearable was that I ran into my SIL there. I was still cold but at least I had someone to talk to. After an agonizing two hours, we could finally leave. It was off to the grocery store. By the time we got home and unloaded groceries it was 8pm. Make coffee, make lunches, do laundry, work myself into an early grave.

While I was running errands this weekend, I made a decision. It’s one that I hope I can stick with. You guys have read my gripes about how hard it is to keep up a house and work full time. I swear I feel like I am running myself ragged most of the time. What I have decided is that I have two able bodied children living in that house. Why should I do all the work? What law says that I have to be the breadwinner and the maid? I am so sick of hearing “What’s for dinner” and “Where’s my (fill in the blank)”. Why not have the little hoodlums start dinner? It’s not that complicated. Besides cooking is a life skill that they will both need to have. Melissa is 16 years old and barely knows how to make spaghetti.

Beginning this very night, I will have THEM decide what we are having for dinner. It will be up to THEM to get dinner started. As a matter of fact, I may not stop with just dinner. I may force them to sweep or mop or God forbid, run the vacuum. Maybe I could even hire them out on weekends. Then I wont have to get a second job. Oh, wait a minute, did I say that out loud? My bad. Forget you heard that….or read it.

This whole thing about chores for money….HA! In their young little dreams. No one pays me for cooking or cleaning the house. Everyone will pitch in with everything. Melissa asked me last night if I would make her sandwich for lunch today. I told her that I would, but tonight it’s HER job to make the sandwiches for EVERYONE!!!! MMMMWWWAAAAA. I don’t want my kids to be lazy slobs who are not able to take care of themselves in the most basic of ways. I will say that Melissa has been doing her own laundry for a few years now. She is pretty good about helping out with dishes, but that’s about it.

No more I say! Their reign of terror is over. My years of indentured servitude are over. There is just too much to be done for me to do it all, if I want to keep my sanity that is. As I mentioned recently, I don’t want to throw my money and therapy down the drain. So I decree and declare from this day forward, on the 25th of August, in the year of our Lord 2008 that I, Susie Wears The Pants will actually wear the pants.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Critters And My Sanity

Have I mentioned how much I heart my Ipod? Well, I do. All that music available at the touch of a button. Yesterday I was driving home from work, listening to my music. I was in my happy place. I was listening to New Kids On The Block ponder the age old question, "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?" The abrupt ringing of my cell phone broke me out of my reverie. (I had to look that one up in the dictionary) It was Melissa. She felt the need to call and inform me that she thinks we have a critter in the attic.

Did I mention that I don't do critters? Period. First of all, I am driving home from work. What exactly does she expect me to do about the vermin while I am driving 75 mph down the freeway? I know, maybe I should pull over and make a frantic call to animal control. I can tell them that I have a critter of unknown origin lurking in my attic. I could ask them to please come over to my house at once and remove it. Maybe I could use mental telepathy to ask the vermin to please vacate my residence at once. I could send poor Keri up there to check it out. No? Maybe that's not such a good idea.

She tells me she can hear it scratching around up there. Great. There I was driving along, enjoying my special "me" time. Listening to the band of my youth, not thinking about much of anything. Why can't my children let me drive home from work in peace? It's not too much to ask. It's thirty minutes out of my whole day that doesn't revolve around work or them. It never fails. If there is some sort of problem, it will not wait until I get home. In their eyes, it must be dealt with posthaste and forthwith. Is that a word? Did I spell it correctly? NOTHING should ever wait until I get home. That's almost as bad as the phone calls I get at work demanding to know "what's for dinner".

It's bad enough that they suck every single dime that comes into this house. Now they have to steal my sanity, along with my hard earned money. Little do they realize how much I value my sanity. It took hard earned money, dedication, and therapy to get it. I have no intention of letting THEM steal it away from me. After all, it's all I left in this cold, cruel world.
Did I mention I got the paperwork for my student loans this week? I thought I was going to pass out. I am still reeling over it. I think I owe about $25,000 in student loans. I didn't realize it would cost so much money to be able to say I'm a college graduate. Want to know how much my monthly payments will be? Good, I'll tell you. $300 A FREAKIN' MONTH!!!! I don't need a second job, I need a new identity. That is going to break the bank. I was expecting payments of about half that. I guess we will be cutting some corners around here. You know, food, clothing, shelter all the extras we don't need anyway.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Out Of The Mouth Of Keri

In celebration of Keri’s tenth birthday yesterday, I have decided to compile some stories about her that I don’t THINK I have previously blogged about. I didn’t have a blog when she was little, so this will have to do.

When Keri was about four, she won a goldfish from the fair. We brought the goldfish home and went to the pet store. We bought a goldfish bowl and the whole nine yards. Keri named her goldfish Princess. As adults I’m sure we all know what happened to poor Princess. She died within several days. That kid cried her eyes out. You would have thought that fish had been around for years. She cried and cried and cried some more. I think she wailed something like, "Ppprrinnncceesssss, my princess is dead. My poor little princess".

 I used to work a couple of weekends a month. The company I work for pays salary employees for working weekends. The money is pretty good. Keri and I were in the car on the way to the office on a Saturday morning. I was explaining the reasons that I had to work that day. “I really need to get caught up on some things, and besides Mommy makes extra money for working on Saturdays”. We get to my office and Keri is talking to me about work and she says within earshot of my boss and in a loud voice, “YOU JUST WORK ON SATURDAYS FOR THE MONEY. RIGHT MOMMY? YOU JUST LIKE TO MAKE EXTRA MONEY ON THE WEEKENDS”. I wanted disappear. I was so mortified. Of course, I liked the extra money, but I really was behind on paperwork. I’m still not recovered from that.

Just a few days ago while riding around our neighborhood she says to me, “If we win the lottery, can we buy Michael so-and-so’s house and kick him out? I’m not trying to be mean, but he’s a big giant turd”. I see a couple of problems here. Have I raised my daughter to call people big giant turds? Have I raised my daughter to think it’s OK to kick people out of their homes and leave them homeless? Very disturbing. I mean, I know that spite is like my oxygen, but I was hoping it wouldn’t rub off on her.

A few years ago, the three of us were sitting on the deck:
 Keri: Sissy truth or dare?
 Melissa: Truth 
Keri: Is true that you fell asleep during sixth period today?”……….

Keri has always had a love of animals. I got her a cat named Punkin when she was three. Punkin has been a part of our family ever since. One afternoon, we getting ready to leave the house and there was a bee in the car. I am deathly afraid of bees. Keri is too so we both jumped out. The next thing I know, Keri is screaming at the top of her lungs, “MY BABY, MY PRECIOUS ANGEL!!!!” I said, “What baby? What precious angel? Where?” She screams, “PUNKIN, PUNKIN IS IN THE CAR, THE BEE IS GOING TO GET HER!” I comforted her and told her that a mere bee would not take down her cat, and in fact, Punkin would probably eat the bee and save the day. It was almost as if the cat knew that Keri was terrified of bees. When the cat jumped out of the car and I went and looked, the bee was gone. I’m not REALLY sure if the cat got the bee, but I like to think she did.

This last one I did put on my blog a very long time ago. Keri says to me, “Mommy, you are the prettiest mommy in whole world”. Pause, then, “Except for when you’re nekkid, but nobody looks good nekkid”.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Keri

Dear Keri,

Ten years ago today you were born. I remember it so clearly. I remember the start of labor pains on the night of August 19, 1998. I remember not wanting to be in the hospital any longer than necessary. I decided to tough it out as long as I could at home. It hurt. A lot. Your father and I began timing the contractions. Once they were five minutes apart, we called the doctor. He told us to head on over to the hospital. We dropped your sister off at the babysitter’s house. We didn’t want her to be there because we were afraid it would scare her. On the way to the hospital your father jokingly asked me if I wanted to stop and have a beer. The icy cold stare I gave him was answer enough. I was really hurting by this time and his feeble attempt at humor did not amuse me. We pulled up in front of the hospital. Your dad dropped me off at the front door and parked the car.

As soon as I walked through the doors of the hospital, my water broke. It was nothing like what I have always seen on TV. They always show this big puddle of fluid pooling at your feet. In reality, it was more like a trickle. As a matter of fact, I almost wondered if I had peed my pants. Off we went to the maternity floor to check in. A test confirmed that my water had indeed broken, albeit with very little drama.

The pain was escalating now and I was pretty miserable. My best friend arrived to witness your grand entrance. While I struggled with the most horrible pain I have ever had the misfortune to bear, your dad seemed blissfully unaware. That was OK. His time would come. Finally, the time had come to administer the epidural. I was so relieved. I have a very low threshold for pain, and I was more than ready. The doctor came in and gave your dad instructions to hold my hands to keep them steady. He said that I needed to be very still and I was shaking and cold.

Your dad took my hands and stared into my eyes. It was a beautiful few seconds before his faced turned green, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he passed out. I thought he was having a seizure and began crying and demanding to know what was wrong with him. The nurses assured me that he had only passed out and would be fine. Upon being revived, he informed everyone that he was, “only taking a nap”. Thankfully my BFF stepped in and took his place while I got the epidural. Oh the joy! Even though my entire pregnancy had been wrought with one pain after another, the rest of the birth was surprisingly easy, once I got the good drugs of course. At 6:10 a.m. on the morning of August 20, 1998 you very easily made your grand entrance to the world. A few pushes and some mild pain and you were here. Weighing in at 8 lbs 14oz, you were the biggest newborn I had ever seen. You immediately put your whole hand in your mouth and began sucking. That was to be a sign that you would forevermore be a bottomless pit, able to eat more quantities of food than I could have ever imagined. From the time we got to the hospital until your birth it was six hours. Thank you for not taking hours, and hours, I will always be grateful.

You had your father’s hands and chubby little cheeks. How I marveled over your dimples and fat rolls. I loved them and thought they were the cutest things I had ever seen. I was so happy to have another little girl to love. Thank you Keri for joining our family and being my little girl.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A New Writer Among Us

Last night two things happened. The first is that I went on a crazed, manic tirade and cleaned out drawers and cabinets. I filled up two garbage bags full of crap that, “just couldn’t be thrown away”. You know the junk I’m talking about, the mysterious cords that seemingly do not operate anything in your house. What about that phone book from three years ago that never made it to the recycle bin? Batteries, pens, old mail, notebooks, instruction manuals, the junk was never ending.

What caused this temporary insanity? Melissa needs a very expensive calculator, of which I have two of them. IF I can find either one of them. I took a math class in college that required this ridiculous calculator, now Melissa’s Algebra class is using them. THAT’S what I was looking for. A friggin’ calculator. A friggin calculator that caused me to spend my entire evening emptying out cupboards and drawers. A calculator that forced me to acknowledge that every available space in my home, has become a JSU (Junk Storage Unit).

As I whirled around my house like a soccer mom on crack Tasmanian Devil, doing laundry, folding laundry, cleaning out the drawers, putting away groceries (grocery shopped last night too) something else happened. When I eventually wound up in Keri’s room and dumped out her nightstand drawers, I found something interesting, and hee-larious. If Keri knew I was doing this, she would never speak to me again, and make sure that I wind up in a nursing home the first time I fall and break my hip.

I found this paper that had the beginning of a story on it. I will now reprint this excerpt in its entirety:

Chapter 1

My Life Changes Forever

My life started out normal. I had friends, a mom, a dad, and a brother and sister. I had dreams. Of course a huge crush on a boy (What girl doesn’t) Back to the dream thing. My dream was to become a star. I had already had wrote some songs. I sing them in my room. I’ve never sang in public only at school. If I really do become a singer I’m still going to go out with my friends and have a good time. And my friends are going to be in my band. I’m going to live in Hollywood. Or maybe New York. Who really cares were I live. The only thing standing in my way of living my dream is my mom. She wants me to be a teacher. That’s never going to happen. I don’t know why my mom doesn’t want me to live my dream. I guess moms are just like that. My sister thinks that to. She wants to be a vet but mom wants her to be a doctor. But sometimes mom can be cool.

Written by Keri Rogers

Retyped by Susan Rogers

The problem is that this is all I found. I have no idea what happened to the girl, or her dreams. Oh well, hope you guys find this as funny and entertaining as I did.

Edited to add: I did not find the calculator but all my drawers got cleaned out. Also, I like how in Keri's story, you can tell she feels bad about the mom being the villian. Note at the end how she says that, "sometimes mom can be cool".

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Weekend Arrives

There are many joys in having a large family. In a crisis there are more people to help out. There is always someone available to have lunch or go shopping with. There are more people to call and complain to when life sucks. Depending on the sport, you already have enough people for a whole team. If you need a favor, even if one person turns you down, you still have plenty of other people to ask. In my family, that applies, as long it’s not money you need. Your kids have more family members to get presents from. Which means you have better odds of getting what you really want. Just kidding…well, sort of.

There are some disadvantages also. Like trying to find a house big enough to accommodate family get togethers. The noise. The noise, noise, noise. Do you know how loud it is when that many people are all trying to talk at once? Well, it’s pretty loud I can tell you that. There is not a vehicle made that is large enough for all of us to be able to ride in one vehicle. Literally, it would have to be a school bus.

Friday night was my family birthday dinner. We all arrived at the restaurant, and we were escorted to a private dining room in back. The staff had not pushed any tables together. It was up to us to decide how we wanted to arrange the tables. This resulted in a couple of differences of opinions. One thought we should make an L shaped table. Dad thought we should do something different. I am not sure what his plan was, as I was never able to figure it out. At any rate this resulted in a ten-minute argument over how best to arrange the tables. Did I mention I was in a foul mood Friday? I was ready to cancel the whole friggin’ birthday dinner anyway.

After a few minutes of this nonsense, my sister and I sort took over and made a decision. It is so silly that something as simple as trying to line up tables for us to eat turns into a fiasco. Why? Because we ALL have opinions and ideas. We ALL think our way is the best way. We are ALL stubborn. Every.Single.Last.One of us. I don’t anyone of the seven children who is not stubborn. It amazes me that one person could produce seven stubborn offspring. I mean, what are the odds right? I fruitfully multiplied twice and I don’t think either one of my kids are particularly stubborn. What would we do in a real crisis situation? If it were life or death, we would all be dead before any kind of decision was made.

It all worked out fine. I think it was because my dad beseeched The Lord before we began eating to, “Let us enjoy a peaceful dinner”. The Lord heard his prayer and everyone was in harmonious agreement after that. I even got to eat crab legs.

Saturday was actually my birthday. My sister and I very wisely went out ALONE for a night of debauchery. We peacefully agreed and decreed to partake of a margarita or two….or a whole pitcher. As a general rule, I don’t drink. However, I find that as each birthday passes that I need something to dull my senses, if only for a short while. I am impressed to say that we partied for a mere $22.62. That total includes food. A 22-dollar tab is definitely a benefit of being alcohol intolerant. Sadly, we were unable to finish the whole pitcher due to our AI (Alcohol Intolerance).

There was no drinking and driving. I am a firm believer in getting a ride home after a night of debauchery. No need to tempt fate anymore than I already did with my wild partying. (A slight hint of sarcasm should be noted here) I did what anyone else would in this situation. I had my teenage daughter drive me home……..I know I know, hell in a hand basket, there’s where I’m headed.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Drama Queen Strikes Again

My daughter The DQ. That was her blog name before I came out of the closet with my kids’ names. The Drama Queen. Whoever invented that phrase was either a bloody genius, or had a child like mine. A true drama queen. I have blogged about her drama in the past. See here. To briefly recap, everything hurts really bad. For example: “Mommy I was playing ball and I twisted my wrist and it hurts really bad”.

Yesterday she and one of her neighborhood friends went for a walk. They returned a short while later. The DQ a.k.a. Kering Grace tells me a horrific story of ankle trauma. Apparently she was walking along minding her own business, when her ankle mysteriously turned, and of course it “hurt really bad”. It never appeared swollen, so I gave her the usual routine about how I was sorry she got hurt, but there is nothing to be done for a sprained ankle.

This morning she took one of those stretchy bandages and wrapped it from her NOT swollen ankle to her knee. From her ankle to her knee. Yes, I said it twice. I didn’t say a word. Next, she busted out the crutches. I still didn’t say a word, though I was mentally rolling my eyes. I didn’t say anything for two reasons. The first reason is that I woke up in a very bad mood this morning. I knew if I said anything at all, it wouldn’t be nice. The second reason is because I figured she would get to school, and the novelty of the crutches would wear off in an hour or two. Then the crutches would start rubbing her pits and become uncomfortable.

I am sure my dad down in NC remembers when I came to his house with a sprained ankle. I mean a really, truly, sprained ankle. I remember it. I actually have a real story behind mine. Not a pansy story like Keri’s about going for a walk and spraining an ankle. Who sprains their ankle while going for a walk anyway?

I have blogged about being in a foster home a long time ago. My siblings and I were removed from my mother’s home. The foster home my sister and I ended up in was really nice. We ended up with a really nice, well-to-do couple. They had a three story house (which I thought was SO cool). The phone and rang and I took off running down the stairs to answer the phone. I decided at some point that it would just be faster if I jumped the rest of the way down the stairs. I jumped and landed on my ankle. Now THIS sprained ankle was the mother of all sprained ankles. It was purple, it was swollen. My dad picked me up the next day and I went to live with him. I limped around on it for a couple of weeks. When it didn’t improve my dad took me to the doctor.

Now THAT my friends, is a sprained ankle. THAT is a real injury that I received while attempting the truly heroic act of jumping down the stairs. That was an injury to be proud of. A two week sprained ankle that required a trip to the doctor. I am telling you, that kid has NO IDEA what real pain is all about.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Only A Shell Of My Former Self

I have lost my ability to resist the effects of stress. Several years ago, my life was nothing but stress. I had a boss that hated me, I didn’t really like myself very much either, I was barely making ends meet, and I was alone.

Every day involved some sort of stress, whether it was work related, or how I was trying to repair the shambles my personal life was in. I was tough. I had nerves of steel. I never cried or became emotional over my problems. I just tried to deal with them the best way I could. I was hard core. No, really I was.

After I moved from NC to TN everything changed for us. I got a better job, even though initially I took a pay cut. I had my family around for moral support. I got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Truly I did. For the most part, stress became a thing of the past. I had some school stress, but that was OK. It was OK because there was going to be a reward at the end of it, a college degree.

I have to say for the record, that I have no use for meaningless stress. You know money, bills, kids that need school clothes, principals that need to have their eyes popped out like little grapes. That kind of stress. I have had THAT kind of stress for weeks now. It’s been one irritating thing after another. It’s not really life threatening or anything, but it’s piling up.

The problem is that this Steel Magnolia has turned into a sniveling, whining, wimp. I can’t take it. I just can’t handle stress the way that I used to. I am not wired for it anymore. My nerves have softened over the last several years of a pretty much stress free existence. I find myself ready to throw a hissy fit or burst into tears over seemingly minor issues.

Let’s take this morning for example. Today is my birthday. MY birthday, as in Susan’s birthday. The anniversary of my birth date. My family was planning to take me out to dinner on Friday night. I was speaking with a family member whose identity I will protect. I was saying that I would really like to eat somewhere that I can get some crab legs. I heart crab legs a lot. Plus you know, it’s my birthday. The anonymous family member points out that if we eat somewhere that serves crab legs, they will be unable to attend. They would be unable to attend because their kid(s) will want crab legs. Family member does not want to pay for crab legs for their child(ren).

I have a suggestion for you. Tell your kid(s) NO. Tell your kid(s) that we are eating out for Aunt Susie’s birthday and they will not be able to eat crab legs. Tell them we are eating where AUNT SUSIE wants to eat, because after all, it is HER FRIGGIN BIRTHDAY!!!!!! Or don’t bring your kid(s) then you don’t have to worry about what they will or won’t eat!

I had to get off the phone with this person. I just couldn’t take it. I was so freakin’ pissed off. (Are you guys seeing a pattern here? I was really ticked off at the principal a couple of days ago, now I am ready to bash my own relatives). I was so upset that I was ready to UNinvite this person to my birthday dinner. Then I considered canceling the birthday dinner altogether. Then I was almost in tears.

What’s happened to me? I used to be so tough. When my dad was in the hospital several years ago I didn’t cry. When I had to call 911 for a family member a couple of years ago, I didn’t cry. When both my new nephews were born I didn’t cry. Actually I didn’t cry when either one of my own children were born. Or when I got married either. When I realized how much it was going to cost me to go to college I didn’t cry or even get angry.

Is this all it takes to reduce me to a walking black ball of fury and/or tears? COME ON!!! My ex husband doesn’t even get me worked up like this. It shames me I tell you. I do think it’s self- centered of someone to try to dictate to me where they want to eat for my birthday based on what is comfortable for them. Let’s face it, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s certainly not worth getting myself all in a snit over it. I am telling you, I can’t go on like this. I wont be able to stand myself. I will be getting on my own nerves. I will be trying to figure out how I can get away from that moody, irrational woman that lives with me. Oh! Wait a minute……that IS me.

Friday, August 15, 2008


It almost passed by without me thinking about it. Almost. Keri is in fifth grade this year. This is her last year in elementary school. This is the last year she will be a “little” kid. I can already see the transition beginning to take place. This year she is asking for money for her birthday. No toys, or even clothes. Cold hard cash. She wants a Hawaiian theme for her birthday party. Definitely no characters.

She is my baby. My last child. There will be no more fruit being birthed from these loins. Next year she will begin to think I am the dorkiest, most lame person she has ever had the misfortune to come in contact with. I will become ancient, old, and uncool. Stupid also. She will think that my best years are behind me, and I should be retiring (or dead) anytime now. The respect she has for me now will go away for a while. I know it will come back later on down the road. She will wonder why she can’t have a cool mom like so-and-so’s mom.

She will think it’s ridiculous that I won’t let her wear makeup when ALL her friends are wearing it. She will think it’s ridiculous that I won’t let her wear that shirt that a street walker wouldn’t be caught dead in. The fragile bond that is between us will be broken for a while. She has always been a “Mama’s Girl”. She has always been my shadow. She loved to play but always wanted to make sure that I was nearby. Even now she will come in the front door calling my name. Looking all over the house until she finds me.

When I was going to college at night, she would always ask me how much longer it would be until I didn’t have to be gone at night anymore. Even recently she said that she is glad I am finished with school. She is glad I am home more now. By this time next year, she will be wishing I had a class to take every night of the week. She will be plotting ways to get me out of the house.

My heart will be aching for the little girl she used to be. I will be wishing that I could make time stand still and she could be with me forever. As we all know, I am doomed to be a crazy cat lady anyway I will long for the days that we would snuggle on the couch together. I will long for the times when I crack a joke and that look of understanding crosses her face, and I know that she GETS my jokes. Until I walk into her bedroom and see that it still looks like a pack of wild pigs live in there. Then I will be counting down the number of years left until she goes to college.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Thrilling Conclusion

Yesterday my day really got off to a bad start. The rude principal at Keri’s school really got me worked up. The long and short of it is that I used to have a roommate. When the roommate moved out, we left all the utilities in her name. It just seemed easier that way. You know, deposits and all that jazz. The school system has put a new policy in place. The new policy states that you must provide a utility bill IN YOUR NAME as proof of residence.

I understand the reasoning behind this. I am sure some people would manipulate the system and falsify proof of residence to get their kid into a different school. I however, have been living in the same house for FOUR years. In the past I have sent in a credit card or bank statement as proof of residence. This year, that is no longer acceptable. Therefore I am in a bind. NONE of the utilities are in my name. This is what I was trying to explain to the principal yesterday when she very rudely told me she was busy and I would just have to figure it out on my own.

Figure it on my own is indeed what I did. I called one of the utility companies and asked what I needed to do to have the bill switched over to my name. It was surprisingly easy. I took some time off work and went up there yesterday afternoon. The ONLY thing I had to provide was my driver’s license. Which by the way has my ADDRESS on it. I didn’t even need to provide a copy of the bill or the account number. The lady made the effective date for July 18th. I took the paper to Keri’s school and the assistant principal signed off on it.

I admit to being extremely worked up over it yesterday. I don’t think I would have been as worked up if the principal had been more helpful and/or friendly. I don’t think I would have been worked up if the last couple of weeks had not been so stressful. Sometimes you don’t know what the straw that breaks the camels back will be. Did I mention I called the school board after I got off the phone with the principal? Well, I did. They were much more helpful and friendly. At any rate, I THINK this stupid “proof of residence” thing is over and done with.

The ridiculous part is that it was SO easy to have the bill switched over to my name. If I were REALLY one of these nefarious parents trying to scam the system, I would have pulled it off without a hitch. The school will not accept my driver’s license as proof of residence, yet that is all the utility company required. The whole thing was so bogus. I took the paper from the utility company to school, the assistant principal signed off on it and I was done. That's it. No big deal.

Why is that I always manage to get myself all worked up for nothing? I swear that the NEXT time I will remain calm. Then the next time rolls around and I get all worked up again. Thinking things like:

“What if they make me pick Keri up from school? What if they wont let her stay in school and she is emotionally traumatized? She likes school. She thinks her teacher is great this year. What if I can’t provide the proof of residence the school requires? Then Keri will fall behind. I will have to quit my job and stay home with her. She can’t stay home all day by herself. She is only ten years old. If I quit my job, we will have no money. We will be forced to live in a cardboard box and visit soup kitchens. Then social services will take the girls away from me. Then what would I do? Maybe I would really become the crazy cat lady. Lord help, anything but that.”

I know it’s not healthy to get all worked up like that and think things like that. My mind always wants to gravitate towards the worst-case scenario. Is this because of the way I grew up? I mean, the worst-case scenario was usually what happened when I was growing up. There was constant chaos and drama in my life. Maybe that’s why my mind goes there. Maybe it’s just a genetic part of my makeup. That could be it, I am just one of those people plagued by irrational fears. More than likely, I am just the crazy Misfit Mom.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The School Drama Begins

Don’t you just hate it when you get so mad your blood starts to boil? Then you think REALLY vengeful thoughts. I hate it when I get angry enough to contemplate physically harming another person. That’s a sign that my temper could get out of control.

In order to avoid boring you with details, I will keep it simple. Due various reasons that I would rather not get into, I am having trouble providing ACCEPTABLE proof of residence to Keri’s school. They will only accept certain documents, and I have none of those. I called the school and talked to the principal about what I can do to remedy this situation. (One of the notes that was sent home with Keri stated that if ACCEPTABLE proof of residence is not provided, Keri won’t be allowed to attend school. This is a horrifying thought to me.) The principal basically told me that she was busy and I would have to figure it out on my own.

I saw red. Then I saw blue and green. Hello! I would have to figure it out on my own? Forgive me if I’m wrong, but the last time I checked, my occupation was Staff Accountant, not principal, or school board member. Is it not her job to help parents with issues such as this? Is it not her job to ensure that children are able to be in school every day? Where the h-e-double hockey sticks does she get off!!!? I swear if I could pop her eyeballs out like little grapes I would. Pop, pop. Thank goodness this is Keri’s last year at that school.

This is not the first time I have had issues with this principal. Please understand, I am not one of those parents that is forevermore making trouble, or being rude, or telling her how to run the school. I am a VERY peaceable person. I hate being angry, I hate making scenes because I usually end up regretting it later. I called the school last year to inform the principal that I was told that Keri’s teacher had turned over a little boy’s desk and completely emptied it out on the floor. Apparently she thought he was too messy. When I voiced my concern over this behavior to the principal, she said I should make an appointment with the teacher and take it up with her personally. Is she crazy? Since when is it a parent’s job to keep a teacher in line? How did she know I am a Misfit Mom anyway?

I think I have discovered my true purposes in life.

1. To be driven stark raving mad by Wally World employees.

2. For my children to suck me financially dry until I am a pile of old decaying bones.

3. To be stomped on and abused by anyone who cares to try. (As a matter of fact, just take your best shot, I think I’m up for it)

I have a big sign on my forehead that says, “I am asking for it, please speak rudely to me at any available opportunity. Never be willing to help me under any circumstances, I enjoy being treated like crap. Not only do I enjoy being treated like crap, I like to have red hot rage coursing through my veins. Nothing is more invigorating.”

I called the school board and asked them a couple of questions about alternative methods of providing proof of residence. They were very nice, and helpful. I will find out tomorrow if this issue is resolved. I am going up to the school in the morning. Hopefully it won’t end up in a showdown between myself and Her Royal *itchiness. I have definitely put on my angry eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Misfit Mom Diaries

I really like the title of my last blog. It just popped into my head. “The Misfit Mom”. I think I really must be. What is a misfit mom anyway? I am the mom who never turns the field trip permission slip on time. I am usually completely clueless about the school events. I often don’t realize anything is going on until I ride by the school and see all the cars in the parking lot. When Keri was younger, the parents used to take turns sending in snacks for the children. I was the parent that had to run out on my lunch hour and pick up snacks and take them to the school. I would forget that it was my day to provide the snacks. Let me tell you how fun that is when you work 30 minutes away from the school.

I am never able to get time off from work to attend field trips either. The school conveniently holds all field trips during the busiest week of the month for me. I am sure my boss would laugh me right out of his office if I dared to ask for time off during closing week. Aside from that, I am not really sure if I want to hang out with a bunch of noisy kids anyway. I think I would rather be at work.

The field trip permission slip is one of my perpetual mishaps. One of two things will happen. The first scenario is that the school sends the permission slip home a month before the field trip. I will procrastinate filling it out, and then it ends up lost. The second one is that some child, we’ll call her Not Keri; loses the permission slip. In either case I end up having to send a handwritten note, which says:

Please allow my child, Kering to attend the school field trip tomorrow. I am sorry I am such a lame mom who cannot send or keep up with the permission slips you send home. I am also enclosing a check for the two dollars required to attend the field trip. I apologize for having to send a check for two dollars, but I never keep cash on me, and I just found out about this field trip.

Thank You,


I am forever more getting notes telling me that Keri’s lunch account is in the negative and I need to send money right away. This usually happens at the time of the month when I am flat broke too. There was a small example of this misfit parenting on Friday. My kids had an abbreviated day. The school day was only two hours. They call it a registration day. Keri was going to ride home with her BFF and spend the night with her. We had already planned for her to catch a ride home from school with the BFF. Melissa suggested I send a note with Keri giving her permission to ride home with BFF. I shrugged it off and told Melissa she wouldn’t need a note for the first day of school. It was only a two-hour day after all. They wouldn’t know which bus to put her on anyway.

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Her BFF’s mom had to put Keri’s teacher on the phone for me to give her permission to ride him with the girl. I had to apologize to the teacher for not sending a note with Keri. Great, the first day of school and I am already screwing things up. Part of reason for my most recent “Misfit Mom” episodes are because I was in school and could barely keep up with anything. The other problem lies with Keri. She is the worst about not giving me notes that come home from school.

One of my favorites is when they want me to make some sort of costume. Are you kidding me? Me? Make a costume???? I think not. I am lucky to be able to get my pants on right, now you want me to MAKE something? I usually end up throwing together some of her regular clothes and then explaining to her why it really could be a costume.

This year I am determined to leave my Misfit Mom status behind me. I feel that I am doomed for failure, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I am going to clear a spot on the computer desk and get myself a plastic “Inbox”. Keri will be required to remove ANYTHING from her backpack that I need to see and/or sign and leave it in the Inbox. She is in 5th grade now. It’s time for the kid to take on some responsibilities anyway. I would prefer that she get a job, but almost ten year old kids aren’t allowed to work in this state. I will settle for her being responsible for getting important papers to my attention. After all, I can’t read the notes if they are in her backpack. The biggest hurdle is going to be for her to REMEMBER to put the papers in the inbox.

I think if it doesn’t work out maybe I should consider the possibility that I have Misfit Children. I am sure something like that must be in the genes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Misfit Mom

My nephew came home with me from the pool on Saturday. Melissa also had one of her friends stay over. It was the end of the week and the food was getting mighty scarce in my house. There were extra kids and not a lot of food. I had milk, but no cereal; I had eggs but not enough for everyone. I decided that I would slice up a fresh pineapple and then make some muffins for everyone. Did I ever mention that I am the Queen of homemade muffins? I will share my wonderfully delicious recipe:

Go to store.
Buy Martha White muffin mix.
Go home and pour muffin mix and milk in large bowl.
Mix well.
Pour muffin mixture in muffin pan and bake at 425 degrees for 14 minutes
Voila! Homemade muffins.

Anyway, I poured my muffin mix into my large bowl, and then added 1 cup of milk. Which would have been fine if I was making TWO PACKAGES of muffins. I only had one package, which calls for a ½ cup of milk not 1 cup. I was still in my pajamas; I hadn’t even brushed my teeth yet. I didn’t want to waste the muffin mix, so I formulated a diabolical plan. I would drive to the store in my pj’s but send one of the children inside to fetch another package of muffin mix. I mean after all, I couldn’t be expected to go in the store with stank breath and in my pajamas. That would just be wrong. One of the children would have to be sacrificed. Luckily for me, Keri is an agreeable child and it was very easy to convince her to go in the store for me. Little did I know that this would set the pace for me to screw things up all day. I’m not one to have a negative attitude, but when you start the day off screwing up breakfast, that’s usually a sign that your day will not go as planned.

Public embarrassment is now my hobby. Apparently I am unable to go out in public without doing something to humiliate myself. Keri and I went to Target yesterday to shop for a backpack. She got a gift card from The SM(see previous post for clarification). They didn’t have the polka dotted one that she saw online. She settled for a hot pink one instead. We go through the line and I hand the clerk the gift card. He slides the card and then gets a peculiar look on his face.

He says to me, “It’s says this card is for Starbucks only”. I have been feeling a little snappy lately, and this immediately set me on edge, as I couldn’t afford the backpack without the gift card. I made sure to put the receipt for the gift card in my purse. I told him as I dug through my purse, “I have the receipt right here. It’s not a Starbucks card it’s a TARGET gift card”. I hand him the receipt, he looks at it and says again, “It’s says it’s for Starbucks only”. I say to him feeling kind of ticked off now, “It’s a TARGET gift card, it’s not a Starbucks gift card”. He looks down at the card at the same I do, and then he says, “This is a Wal-Green’s gift card”. Go smart girl. I handed him the wrong gift card. I had an old Wal-Green’s gift card in my purse that I hadn’t thrown away yet. It really sucks when you just KNOW you are right about something and then you get the smack down put on you like that.

Of course, once I dug the TARGET gift card out of my purse, the purchase went off without a hitch. I don’t even know why I bother to leave my house. I should resign myself to shopping online and just have everything delivered to my house, thus sparing me from putting my big foot in my mouth every time I walk out the door.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Pool

We are off to the public pool today. I feel it is my American duty to scare all the patrons with the sight of my skinny white legs. Everyone should try to make their contribution to society. I guess my hoity toity children feel that the luxurious pool I put in the backyard is not good enough for them.......... I wonder if I should shave first. mmmmwwwwwwaaaaaaaaa

Friday, August 8, 2008

Forgive Me Bloggers For I Have Sinned(Again)

Yesterday was a really fun day. After work the girls and I went to the mall to do some school shopping. Both girls needed shoes and some other stuff. A lady at work had given me a coupon for JCPenney’s. I love coupons. I love coupons almost as much as I love shopping. The fun thing about a coupon that gives you actual dollars off, is that it doesn’t matter what you buy. I was able to take the sale prices PLUS get the 15 bucks off on the coupon. Isn’t that exciting and thrilling? Aren’t you just breathless with excitement? I aim to hold up my end of the bargain, and blog about the really serious issues.

Next we hit Finish Line to buy shoes for Melissa. She had already spotted a pair that she wanted and we were hoping they still had them. They did. Keri saw a pair that she wanted, but I am NOT spending 110 bucks on a pair of tennis shoes for an almost ten year old. That’s just crazy, and we all know that I am completely sane…..perfectly normal. Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Next we headed to Aeropostale. (Am I spelling that correctly? That really sticks in my craw not to know) Normally, I hate shopping at the mall. As a general rule, I find the merchandise to be overpriced and I can’t afford overpriced merchandise. Melissa however, knew the Aero was having a sale and wanted to check it out. They had tops on sale 50% off. Once I figured out what the sale prices would be, I realized that I would spend about that amount for shirts at Kohl’s or some other store. We racked up. Even Keri got in on the action. I saved 87 dollars in Aeropostale. There is a big but(t) here. I completely embarrassed myself. I kept seeing this young girl arranging and sorting clothes. We needed a couple of dressing rooms, and this girl seemed completely oblivious to the customers around her. I KNOW she saw us standing by the dressing rooms, yet she didn’t ask if we needed any help. Finally I said, “Excuse me, could we get a couple of dressing rooms please?” She looked at me and said, “I don’t work here” Ooopss! My bad!

I mean, how was I supposed to know? She was a young girl, and usually young girls work in those stores. She appeared to be straightening and sorting the clothes. How was I supposed to know she didn’t work there? Being embarrassed has many levels ranging from a complete body blush to just mildly chagrined. I am putting this one at a level of “mildly chagrined”.

We ended up with 2 pairs of tennis shoes, 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of underwear, and 9 shirts. Plus Keri bought a really big chunky necklace and bracelet from Claire’s. Melissa was telling me how this stuff is stylish now. I only smirked. I am sure I am not the only one who remembers this stuff being cool in the 80’s. Do you guys remember that? There some things I will be sad to see come back around.

We stopped off for an extremely healthy meal from Mickey D’s. When we got home, the girls decided to try on their clothes AGAIN. It was really sweet. The way our house is designed, there are bedrooms on either side of the living room, so the living room is centralized in the house. Keri would come out of her room and ask me what I thought, and then Melissa would come out and ask me what I thought. I can’t believe they actually take my opinion into consideration.

You how sometimes you hesitate to blog about something. You worry what your friends in blog land may think of you, or you may feel it to be something too personal to blog about. For me it’s an issue of what you fine people may think. I have decided in the interest of keeping it real, I will share.

Part of my unbelievable stress last week was money. This year has been a great deal harder on me than the last few years. One of my main struggles as a single parent is money. Emotionally, raising the girls by myself has become easy and fun mostly. As the beginning of the school year approached, I knew I wasn’t going to have the funds available to take them school shopping. That is the reason the other relatives have pitched in to help. Yet even with their help, I knew the girls were still going to need some things.

I did something I am not necessarily proud of, yet I feel as though I am probably not the only single parent to ever make this choice. I skipped out on a bill. I will eventually HAVE to pay the bill obviously….just not right now. My kids needed stuff and I won’t have them going without. You want to hear something else? I don’t regret it. AT ALL!!! Especially after they got home and started modeling all their clothes and telling me how excited they are for school to start. They are so happy! It melted my heart. When you grow up poor and being the kid that gets picked on for the clothes and shoes you wear, it does something to you. For one thing, it makes you hate school and I don’t want that for my girls. It also sears into your brain that you NEVER want your children to have to go through that. Mine won’t. I promise you that whatever it takes to get it done, I’ll do it. Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to pay that bill………………

I belatedly give myself The Cone of Safety, so you can’t judge or criticize me for revealing my heinous sin. If you leave me any nasty comments telling me how irresponsible I am……...well then you will just have to be excluded from my plans for world domination.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Shout Out To My Peeps

While I am taking a break from plotting the demise of the evil cell phone empire, I need to take a minute to make some shout outs. The first goes to Keri’s grandma in Michigan. Keri stayed with her on her trip and they had a blast. They went swimming and they shopped. One day she took all her granddaughters to the salon. They got their nails done, they got pedicures and hair cuts and styles. She also took Keri shopping for school clothes AAANNNDDD even sent some money home with her to buy school supplies and shoes. She took very good care of my baby and I am ever so grateful.

The next shout out is for Keri’s (ex)stepmother. She kept Keri for three weeks this summer. They had a blast doing all sorts of fun summer stuff. (Translation-I can’t remember what they did, but I am sure it was really fun) She is sending Keri a Target gift card so that Keri can buy a polka dotted backpack. The older Keri gets, the more particular she becomes. This year she has declared that only a polka dotted backpack will do. I thought this would be impossible at first. Through internet research, I discovered that Target carries a spotted backpack. The SM (stepmother) mentioned going shopping again for Keri this weekend. I told that the Target gift card was very much appreciated and she doesn’t need to do anything else. I’ll bet she goes anyway, that’s just how she is.

My last shout out is for my sister Dejah, who I MAY have mentioned a time or two. She is my unspoken favorite sister. OOPPSS…..did I just say that on here? Oh well, my local family doesn’t read my blog anyway. Speaking of which, isn’t it crazy that people that I have never met in my entire life read my blog, but my flesh and blood relatives don’t? Oh well, guess I should consider cutting them out of my vast estate when I die. I digress. So Dejah bought Keri some school supplies, and has allowed Melissa to babysit for her last week and this week. Melissa is using the money to update her wardrobe for school. What a big, big, help!

Now the irony. Did you know that the Michigan grandma is not even a blood relative? Did you know that NKD was adopted when was somewhere between 11-14? He was adopted by his uncle and his wife. His uncle who was married to his bio mom’s sister, then they divorced. Which means he was adopted by a relative who was not even a blood relative. Which means that Keri is no blood relation to them. Yet, she is treated as if she is. She was treated just like the other grandkids. Isn’t that really cool?

More irony. Obviously The SM is not a blood relation either. The SM’s parents have also treated Keri as if she were a blood grandchild. She has never been treated any differently than any of the other grandkids. I actually had to ask them to tone down the Christmas presents one year. It’s crazy I tell you. AANNNDDD even though The SM is now divorced from Keri’s dad, her and her family are still a part of Keri’s life. They always send her cards and gifts on holidays, they always remember her birthday. They genuinely love her.

All the aforementioned peeps making my job of raising two girls by myself, seem like it's not so much by myself. Thanks everybody!

This part is more sad than ironic. My mother is not that close to either one of my girls. I thought about what to say about that and I really don’t want to delve too deeply into that, so I will just leave it at that. Since I have been blogging about more people in my life and using code names for them, here is a list of the current players:

Susan-me….playing myself
Melissa-also playing herself-my 16 year old daughter (formerly known as Sissy)
Keri-also playing herself- my (almost) 10 year old daughter (Formerly known as The DQ)
NKD-Not Keri’s dad
TG-The Girlfriend
SM-The StepMother (Ex-stepmother as I am pretty sure she does not want to recognize any affiliation with NKD)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Confesssions Of An Ex Wife Part....uuhh Whatever

Last week was very stressful for me. The beginning of the school year was closing in on my empty pocketbook. Keri was in Michigan visiting relatives. There were some issues while she was there. I have been deciding on whether or not to blog about them, and if I did how to do it delicately.

Have you ever had someone in your life that could not be relied upon? Someone who could not tell the truth or follow through with what they said? I have had someone like this in my life. I still have to deal with this person once in a while. Even though they live far, far away. They won’t. Go. Away. We will call this person “NKD” which stands for Not Keri’s Dad.

NKD has a new person in his life. Keri is not ready to deal with this new person in his life. She feels threatened and jealous. I can understand that. She told me a while back that she didn’t want to travel to see NKD if he was living with a woman she didn’t know. I told her that was fine, and that I would not force her to go if she didn’t want to. Legally, he has no rights to her anyway seeing as how he is NKD.

Him and I went back and forth for a month on this issue. He felt that I should force Keri to go up there whether she wanted to or not. I disagreed. Strongly. I feel that children should not be forced into these situations if it can be helped. Finally we reached what I felt was a suitable compromise. Keri would go stay with her Grandma up there. She would be able to visit her dad if she wanted, but would not be forced to stay in the house with NKD and his new live-in girlfriend. Also NKD was not to have his new girlfriend around Keri. Period.

Keri flat out told me that she didn’t even want to meet her. I mentioned to her a couple of times that maybe if she did meet this woman, she would find this woman to be a nice person. Keri was having none of that. That is the reason for the last “rule” of the visit. Everyone agreed. Grandma agreed, NKD agreed, and I was happy with the arrangement and felt that everything had been planned with Keri’s best interest at heart.

Why I thought that NKD would respect ANY of the compromises, I don’t know. It’s not as if he has a history of keeping his word, or being particularly honest. As soon as he got Keri to Grandma’s, the first thing he did was show up with TG-aka The Girlfriend. This I found out later from the Grandma as she was not willing to cover or lie for him. The next day, he managed to fool Grandma, and managed to get Keri out to the lake to hang out with TG.

This I found out from Keri the next day. Thank goodness I have told her that it is never OK to lie to Mom, and she didn’t even try. I was not impressed that NKD had put her in this position. When I said to NKD that I would not allow Keri to return to Michigan for another visit if couldn't abide by the terms of the agreement, he became angry with me. I pointed out to him that HE had agreed to this arrangement. HE said he would follow the terms of the agreement. I was not the one who was failing my end of the bargain. I told him that for the duration of the visit, he was only allowed to visit Keri at Grandma's house. He was not allowed to take Keri anywhere, as he was bringing TG for every single outing.

This turned into a situation where Keri was put into the middle of it. I was not comfortable with this. I reconsidered and called him and told him that if Keri was comfortable with it, I didn't mind for her to be around TG. I didn't feel that I was wrong, or that I should have to make this compromise. I did feel that it was in Keri's best interest for me not to continue to battle it out with NKD. He was going to do what he wanted anyway, with or without my approval.

Sometimes it is so hard to be the bigger person. It is EXTREMELY difficult to make compromises you feel you shouldn't have to make. What is the most disappointing about the whole thing is that I felt that NKD and I have become friends over the years. I felt like I was betrayed by someone that I considered a friend. I was stabbed right in the back. To add insult to injury, I had to be the one to call a truce. It's so easy to do the right thing when you KNOW you are doing the right thing and you feel good about it. It's harder to do the right thing, when you know it's the best you can do, but you just don't feel good about it.

Parenting when you are divorced is tricky. There are quite a few intricate dynamics that come into play. I honestly try hard to make choices and decisions based on what I feel is in Keri's best interest. I try to leave my personal emotions out of it. I want to make clear headed, logical choices for her. The problem is, sometimes I don't necessarily FEEL logical or clear headed. I might for example, be filled with an all consuming rage that threatens to devour my soul. Because...NOBODY messes with my kids. NOBODY, especially Not Keri's Dad should even want to mess with my kids.

Thankfully all that drama is over with and she is home and seemingly NOT emotionally traumatized after all that happened this week.

On a lighter note, I spent the entire day cleaning my house yesterday. I dusted, vacuumed, mopped floors, and cleaned toilets. I felt so good about all that I had accomplished, as that would allow me more time to work on the serious issues. You know, like plotting ways to bring down the oppressive cell phone companies or finding ways to torture my ex husband without doing any truly permanent damage (He is (Not) Keri's father after all) Anyway, I came home from work today and my ENTIRE kitchen floor was sticky. Not just a small section where something was spilled, THE WHOLE FRIGGIN floor was sticky. I wanted to know what happened. Melissa accused me of not being able to properly mop the floor. I told her that the floor wasn't sticky last night when I went to bed. Keri comes through the living and confessed that she had spilled orange juice and had been unable to find the mop.

I have mopped the floor THREE times and it is still sticky. The ironic part is that I haven't mopped the floor in a couple of weeks days. When I FINALLY give the floor a good mopping, Keri goes behind me and somehow manages to get the entire floor sticky.

Well, I suppose I should go and mop the floor. Again.