Travel Notes from my Son

02.2.14

ME: Hey Alexander. Look at this great vacation my friend is taking in Jamaica.

We look together at Kris’ Instagram stream

ALEXANDER: Where is that?

ME: Jamaica

ALEXANDER: Isn’t Jamaica dangerous?

ME: Not in resorts it’s not. [I then show him the resort website]

ALEXANDER: But resorts are boring.

ME: You liked Costa Rica.

ALEXANDER: I liked Costa Rica outside of the resort.

ME: It would be the same kind of vacation. We’d have activities planned for each day.

ALEXANDER: But we’d just come back to pools and restaurants and white people. That’s so boring. I want to actually go somewhere and really be there.

For the record I completely agree with him… until I’m presented with no air conditioning and a lumpy mattress.

 

Solo Parenting Day 3

01.28.14

The house is now as dirty as my hair. I’ve sharpened my knives because Alexander requires endless amounts of fruit. He has a sweet tooth and just today ate a pint of strawberries, a pint of blueberries, half a small watermelon and then all his regular food. He just sort of sits down and inhales it all watching quizzically as I slice my hand open.

I’ve decided that my cut hand is my son’s fault because I still can’t sleep. In addition to missing Mr. G I have Junior the wonder poodle who has issues with boundaries. The first nights he just slept of Mr. G’s pillow and last night he slept on my leg. I do believe that Junior’s core temperature is somewhere around a hundred and fifty fucking degrees. I suckled a quarter of a Xanax at midnight so I could sleep through the overly affectionate dog and the taste of it is so revolting that I ended up brushing my teeth in the middle of the night and then I realized I was brushing my teeth all wrong because Reddit told me so and it must be true so even with Xanax there was no sleep for me.

I have to be up at 6am with Jane. Not because she needs my help but because I don’t like her waking up at 6am and being the only one awake. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It just seems like something a good mother would do, like baking cookies. Which I did at 9pm last night for Jane’s film teacher’s last day.

I baked snickerdoodles and I used organic kirkland brand butter. I’ll throw the rest of it out as it’s white and not very yellow and tasty like butter ought to be. I renewed my Costco membership for the cheap gasoline and top rate trash compactor bags. There are no compactor bags in existence that can rival the Kirkland brand. Of course I now have ceiling high stacks of roasted seaweed and I’m buying milk in bulk but it’s 2% and tastes like shit because everyone knows that the only way to enjoy milk is whole milk. The only whole milk Costco has is not organic and I’m pretty devoted to Horizon so I’m drinking watery milk and wondering why I don’t just say fuckit and drink whiskey. So I did. And maybe that’s why I didn’t sleep so well too.

There are two ways to make snickerdoodles. I can make them quickly and efficiently with zero mess on the counter or I can teach my kids to bake. These snickerdoodles took about an hour and I railed against terrible recipe writing when the cinnamon sugar called for three tablespoons of sugar and three teaspoons of cinnamon. Everyone knows that three teaspoons is a tablespoon, right? Right?! I question yelled at my kids. And they sort of looked at the ceiling because my sweet children would never roll their eyes at me.

I didn’t make anyone’s bed or even do the dishes. I just sort of did my best in a limited way and tried texting Mr. G a few times today but he’s in overdrive work mode and return texts came four hours later when his meetings were done. How do you even have a four hour meeting? I mean 30 years ago when you could sit and smoke and drink I totally get it but just sitting there? I’d be tweeting about what everyone was wearing and planning my dinner.

I am certainly not cut out for corporate life. I’m also certainly not cut out for solo parenting.

We have another week to go. I’m sure in a few days feral cats will set up camp in the yard and squatters will move into the living room. Or maybe I’ll get my groove. It’s more likely that the squatters are coming. I do have extra snickerdoodles for them.

Oh Your Mother Never Ripped Her Bra Off at the Dinner Table? You’re So Fancy

11.13.13

Jane used to love soccer. These days Jane likes soccer. I think after having experienced volleyball she’s decided that it’s a lot of fun to play a sport where people don’t knock you over, pull your hair, whisper “bitch” in your ear and slidetackle you arbitrarily. She was going to try out for the soccer team but it became clear to her that she wouldn’t get a lot of play time (she’s a Freshman and there’s only one team – it’s Varsity) if she made the team. She had convinced herself she wouldn’t make the team, I’m not sure that was accurate but it doesn’t matter now.

Last night at dinner when I asked Jane about soccer tryouts she said, “Oh I’m just going to join the cheer squad. I can sign up for it tomorrow they have room.”

Poor Mr. G’s eyes just started bulging and he opened his mouth to speak and sort of gummed a few times before actual sounds came out. Slowly he said, “You cannot stand on the sideline while boys compete. That is not a sport.”

I sort of hushed him and said, “Listen you can go for it but you’re not flying or even supporting someone who does. They’re going to ask me to sign a waiver and I’ll redline it so much they won’t want you.”

Jane just sort of rolled her eyes and said, “They’re not a very good cheer squad so I don’t even know if there will be flyers. Plus it’s JV and I wouldn’t have to go to that many games.” And as she went back to eating her dinner I lost complete control (as has been known to happen) and started unhooking my bra and running around the house saying:

Someone get me a blowtorch, it’s obviously time to burn this bra.

And bless everyone’s hearts, no one flinched. No one stopped eating and Alexander just sort of looked at me trying to figure out what a burning bra would do for cheerleading.

Jane got off the bus today and told me she’s playing JV basketball. My bra is safe even though my son is a deadbeat dad. You see just as we got Jane squared away as a participant as opposed to a spectator with pom poms, Alexander updated us on his Sugar Baby (from the human development curriculum).

He was absolutely thrilled when he was partnered with a very intense girl. He knew she’d do a great job of caring for the baby, in fact she’s not into sharing the baby and he’s allowing this to happen. So tonight when he told me about all the things he doesn’t have to do I’m like, “So, you’re a deadbeat dad?” And there was some shrugging and chatter about his partner and how she’s really good at everything.

I tried explaining how people share duties in parenting, in business and in life but I mostly failed at it. The lecture I mean. I ran out of good examples and when he said, “Listen, it’s a bag of sugar. I’m not going to break my back for it.” I tried to stifle my laughter and decided to appeal to his pragmatic side. “You can’t get an A if you don’t do the work.”

We’ve been role playing how he’s going to ask his co-parent for the bag of sugar and we have both agreed that the phrase dumb bag of sugar will not be used. I’m teaching him diplomacy. I’d probably be more passionate about it without this damn bra strangling me.

Twelve Years

10.25.13

We’ve waited twelve years and three months and for the first time ever we’ve looked our son in the eyes. Plural. They’re aligned. He doesn’t have double vision, a head tilt or dimming vision.

straight eyes post op

Of note: I also didn’t pass out during yesterday’s surgery or recovery… which makes it a very different experience than the other three.

 

This Was Actually Alexander’s Idea

10.8.13

And I’ve effectively thrown both my children under the bus.

I do hope there’s a therapist who waits under busses for children.