Sunday, September 29, 2013

More Funder

I was sitting there, you know, inflagrante whatevero in my bathroom this morning and the errant thought crossed my mind, "I love listening to the rain!" The thought had 0.00000000000237 seconds to envelope me in its cozy, comfy arms before that mommy thing went off and I flew through my business and launched myself into the office to stand there at the door panting--well, panting and contemplating the fact that Squib would have to make his usual trek from his new room in the Big Red House to the Hobbit Hole in THE RAIN. Yes, the rain.

As we all know, rain begats funder. Funder begats stark-raving terror and irrational behavior in the Squiblet. It's actual fact that he can leap a quarter-mile without touching the ground to wrap his tentacular arms and legs around my body if he even whiffs an abundance of ozone. So, I had a dilemma.

Paranoid, over-mothering choice number one: Wake him up at 5:30 a.m. and carry him over to the Hobbit Hole in the (pseudo...never tell him it's pseudo until this passes) safety of my strong, caring embrace and tuck him in my bed before I started to get ready so that I'd not miss him if he called or came through the door and needed me. I'm pretty sure every one of my nine googleplex and ten cells voted this way.

Yes, moms have that many cells. It's a lot. More than average. It's why we get so d***** up in a huff when your dust hits our offspring. When you have that many cells hollering directions at you....well, you listen!!!

Laid back, nurturing, but not paranoid choice number two: Go about business as usual. Buddy and Mimi and Baba are in the Big Red House. I'm out here. The door is now unlocked. If he wants to come out here, then there are several options for him to choose from. Have confidence in his ability to overcome his fear of thunder and, well, precipitation in general.

So, like most mothers, I got in the tub and worried about the whole thing. I was toweling off when I heard the front door fly open and a little white blur landed in my bed buried by my comforter before the door had even stopped slamming.

You see, when I was little, my dad (Buddy) would put lawn chairs out in the front of the garage or on the porch and take me out there with him and we would watch the storm. Yes, I was scared, but I loved the lightning. I liked counting the distance between the flash and the thunder. Of course, most of that time we lived in Oklahoma. If I was going to be anywhere it was going to be attached bodily to my dad. Not everyone has hidey-holes in Oklahoma. In fact, a large number of people don't. We also used to go watch planes take off at the end of the runway...the VERY END...the tarmac Hobby Airport back when there was just a wooden reflective fence to warn the planes. We sat on that. So maybe I have a skewed perspective of safety.

So, dad and I had Squib with us out on the porch of the Big Red House one day while watching a storm roll in over the lake. We were talking about the lightning and counting from the "flash" to the "boom." Then the flash hit right smack in front of us. Squib burst into tears instantly and I scooped him up to take him inside just as fast as my little feet could carry us. Just for motivation, two near strikes seemed to follow us into the Hobbit Hole. He threw back the covers on my bed and dove beneath them and then yanked them over his head. I have to admit....that never happened in all our storm watching years when I was young. Even dad and I were rattled. Dad was screaming from the porch for me to run faster and get inside. So....yeah....I helped create this little funder monster. Squib had gotten over his thunder issues from early childhood. This? Very different.

Later this morning we were all in our various Bible Study classes when the avalanche of rain let loose. It truly was a beautiful thing to hear. I wasn't going to go out and watch it or anything...even I'm not ready to do that again yet. As I left, though, and stood under the car port with Sassy (new person!) a brilliant flash preceded a ground-rattling boom by only a hair of a second. My mommy radar had been pinging for about ten or fifteen minutes already (some of those cells, they do that kind of thing). I knew instantly he'd be fried by that one. About thirty seconds after that hit, my phone rang.

My littlest boy was huddled in his little booster seat in the Toyota with Buddy and Baba with his jacket (fleece for crying out loud, but better for hiding from funder apparently, so he'd chosen it to wear over his t-shirt and shorts) over his head and synched up. He was calling from Buddy's phone to see when exactly I was going to be home so he would know how long he'd have to be under the covers alone. Apparently the only safe spot is my bed. I have to agree with him there, but for entirely different reasons altogether. When I got home, his saucer-sized eyes peeked over the comforter at me and he said, in his typical all-or-nothing style, "I do not wike dis day."

After we agreed we liked donuts (they serve them at church...not the best reason to go, but hey, he's eight), friends, the freedom to write books about dinosaurs, and iPads, then he renegotiated.

"Fine. I wike dis day, but you can not make me wike da funder."

I'll take what I can get.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Because I'm His Mother

Squib and I have a twice yearly tradition. We pack up in the car and go to the Grand Theatre to view the newest 3D kids' movie. Sometimes it's thrice yearly, but more often than not it's about every six months. With regard to our budget, it's an extravagant expenditure. However, there are some things that are just worth it. Squib just loves it and he gets so excited that it makes me so excited that I just can't stand it.

We pack up our devices (my phone with earphones and a charger pack for me and his iPad with headphones for him) for the drive and my jacket and hop in the car and head west to the theater to see the newest 3D flick that Squib is ecstatic about. Today it was Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, II.

A huge bank of clouds built up and met us about fifteen minutes into our journey. I lost my jacket to Squib's fear of thunder as he huddled beneath it in his booster seat in the back. I made a mental note to pack two jackets the next time we went to the theater together. He asked a lot of questions about the thunder (that I didn't hear) and whether or not there were to be storms during the movie (which I didn't know based on my weather check before I left). It was dry weather with overcast skies when we arrive and we made it into the theater with not a drop of rain on us.

As usual, the film was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. I thought our last one--Monsters University-- was a better pick, but this one was deep into the creative side. I've not seen Despicable Me, II...I wanted to...and I suspect it would have been the best of the three. However, today's film was great.
(whinging alert)

The only thing lacking was my jacket which Squib needed due to cold temperatures. It's a mother's job to sacrifice, right? And I did. Also, he wanted the adult 3D glasses, so I had the tiny blue kids' glasses instead. It was 3D, but felt like a strain on my eyes so I had to take a pill for my eyes. 

I am complaining!!!! I'm stopping right now.

He laughed a lot and so did I. We shared our favorite parts. We giggled and had a few outbursts (silently) and, in general, had a fabulously wonderful time.

It isn't often that you find moments with your eight-year-old son where you identify and talk and share interests and likes, but this was one of those events. I like sharing brain time with Squib and making connections like this with him. He's growing up so fast and it won't be so long before he'd rather do that with his peers.

I'm a very, very lucky mommy. Cold or not.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

lEt'S taLk AntS

The varying lower and upper cases in the title have nothing to do with anything other than my continuing efforts to understand my youngest little Squiblet. If he were sitting here, then I would ask, "Is that what you mean about using the capital letters to make the word look a certain way?" I'm convinced he wouldn't even take a breath before emitting a cotton-candy lead-brick, "no." I sooooo appreciate his honesty. To me, "AntS" has one effect and "aNTs" has another effect altogether and since we can't agree on which we prefer, then we need to use a convention....a ha!...I love it when I have exciting ideas about how to explain "Whhhhhhyyyyyeeeeeyyyyyyy?????" to him. We use conventional rules in order to understand each other.

I'm glad we can understand each other. With Beanstalk, sometimes it's an instantly explosive smile. You may also get his inspiring laugh. You won't be able to do anything else but stop and enjoy the world with him for a bit. He makes life more enjoyable. If you've totally scored, then you'll hear him say in his tiny voice, "Tryyyyyy mooo-ooore." Life is what it is, though, so with higher highs come lower lows. Beanstalk not liking something ranges from him plugging his good ear with his finger (My personal favorite. Totally not my fault if people haven't picked that up by now) to meltdowns that take every ounce of strength I have to prevent him from clonking himself in the head or banging his head on the floor. I don't know how I got here, but clearly I did. When I am in that moment with him I don't dwell on the why's. After, though, it guts me to know that my baby, my first born can't tell me how he feels and I can tell him until I'm blue in the face, but I'm not sure if I'll ever know if he heard me.

Now, about the ants. I think I wrote at some point about the incredible sinking house. It happens to be my house, too. How a single bedroom/bath (that's the only portion on piers) is making piers sink is beyond me unless they're just too heavy. In that case, it's simple physics and we're going to lose that battle no matter how many times we jack them up and fix them. Greater density sinks. So there are places where you can see daylight between the walls and where they should be tacked to the floor.

Don't panic. I have a hard time thinking of this as anything more than "the lake." It has its own dress code. No one bats an eyelash. I still walk down to the pier (not the one under the house) and throw in rocks and stand on the railing by the light where I used to stand with my dad. I still want to shut my eyes and dive into the water from that very place. I would, no doubt find the one tree that's six inches under the surface. I also like to go crashing around in the woods where attrition and I used to take the dirt bikes and go hiking. We sneak over to the big house using the trail and hike over to the airfield.

Of course, we also drive donuts in the front yard and where the pond used to be, so thus endeth the romanticized ideal of life lived full of meaningful experiences in the country. Don't even ask about the things I've done on our ZT mower including pulling down a tree. Heh.

So file this next issue under things that detract from my slice of Americana: The ants are coming inside. This is not knew. They've been coming inside since July. I've been sucking them up, cleaning them up, and generally overdoing it in an effort to exterminate what seems to be the entire population of Texas fire ants. We sprayed around the house outside. I went on a rampage and got everything up off the floor and swept. I've been anal about every single crumb or drop of water,'s weird...they haven't gone for that in the longest time.

I think tonight I found their hidey-hole. I was getting out a t-shirt for tomorrow and it was covered with them! I looked down on the floor and they were trucking everybody in like they were setting up shop in there. And they were! So the scenario here is that it's after nine which (as much as I fight it) is the time I turn into a pumpkin upon the last strike of the hour. I'm hurriedly picking some clothes out to wear. I can do this task in the morning, I do know this. It's passed on from habit into tradition, so just kiss my grits. I'll likely not wear any of it in the morning, either. You may deal with that, too.

Several ant bites, a very full load of ant-infested clothing out in the driveway, and a pile of drawers on the driveway as well finds me more tired than usual. Well, so did the Benedryl. I'm becoming downright homicidal about these crazy ants. What in the blue freak do they want with my t-shirt drawer? Some of my lingerie was in there...maybe they liked the view better. I don't know. I do know that they totally miss that part of the Dr. Pepper spill that I missed when I wiped up. They also gave no thought to the cheesy powder Michael left sprinkled around after he fixed himself some macaroni and cheese. So, I'm thinkin' that they're going to ignore my "peanut flavor" ant traps.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I'm probably not supposed to discuss this "in public" or say the actual word, so I didn't. I mean, really, what's a century or so of European art and architecture among perfect strangers on the Internet? Because even back then you might tell everyone over the dinner table that you were down to a few pounds (the curly L sort that I can't locate on my keyboard), whatever the hens lay, and maybe a goat for emergencies. Then, you would go to bed secure in your knowledge that everyone is aware of the "era" you're living at the moment.

They most definitely would NOT go straight out to the market the very next day and spend all the pounds and a few more (even then I'm sure the, ummm, "establishment" understood cash flow or had some method of causing the family accountant to fall over dead, revive, fall over dead, revive, etc. wash, rinse, repeat) commit the hens to some serious egg-laying, and paint a bulls eye on the goat that has just become your sole source of food.

That was yesterday. The day we entered the Baroque period. Today, as is typical of Baroque periods, the carriages have started to mutiny. I came home at lunch to get better footwear. The Baroque librarian had her one pair of nice heels on and it was stupid. Not as stupid as some things, but still stupid. Needless to say, my carriage lost at least one horse and most of the leather whatever-you-call-it that connects the horses to the carriage. I shall have to ask a student what all of that is. The real name, anyway. Around here there are some who will know.

At my house, we'd say it lost a squirrel and half the rubber bands. I took a look at where the alternator is supposed to be and I already know this repair involves me because a) we are Baroque and, b) I have the smallest hands in the family and even I have to perform hangar tricks to get belts back on. That Honda is put together tighter than sardines in a can. Alternator repair apparently involves removing part of the exhaust...a special length made to come out just in this special case. The compressor replacement is starting to sound rosy. But we are waiting for the Age of Enlightenment (at the very least) for this repair

Meanwhile...thus continueth the 17th century. People keep handing me receipts and bills that need paying to which I keep replying (in order) "that's not doing a thing for me" and "there is nothing I can do about that." I'm the sort of person who naturally worries about where THE FREAKING HELL is the money going to come from. I don't chew my fingers off or occupy my mind with it, but I think some people just have a brain that thinks a certain way. Mine is detailed. It's back there crunching numbers. So far, it's concluded that by the time all these people are dead (and I'm not) I'll be living in a box.

My brain also just naturally intuits random things like the one job I have isn't going to be enough. It's making a huge difference, but it hasn't been long enough to tell that. I'm not patient when it comes to results sometimes. However, in my defense, we can go from modern day whatever to Baroque just while I'm at work for the day.

Maybe we should stop using debit cards! :)