Jane is About to be Grounded for the Rest of Her LIFE

03.7.12

Earlier this week I got an email. Here is the exact text:

Hi!
Just letting you know that Jane volunteered for the 6:45-7:30 shift at the pancake breakfast.  If this is a problem, please let know!
I’ll leave the front gate popped open so people can get into the school.
See you then!

What am I supposed to say? Perhaps, “Listen if you want Jane on your doorstep before 7am may I suggest a sleepover at school?” Or maybe, “Sorry, that’s when we milk the cows.”?

After setting three alarm clocks last night I woke up late this morning. Clocks in my room and each of the kids’ rooms had failed. More likely I’d failed at setting them properly. At 6.05 Mr G tapped me awake whispering, “Don’t you have to get Jane to school early today?” I flew out of bed and woke the kids, threw my hair in a ponytail and got them to school on time. Cow milking time that is.

We had a nice breakfast with kids and parents from the school and I ran home to make myself presentable. I was home for 30 minutes and then ran to the school we’ve applied Alexander to for 6th grade.

There were a lot of parents there and only a few spots for admissions. The head of school gave a spiel and then there were questions. Lots and lots of questions from the parents. Most of the questions were about admissions and financial aid, which seemed weird and like a total waste of time because the applications were due months ago and acceptance letters will be mailed in a few weeks. Either you’ll get in or you won’t, either you’ll get financial aid or you won’t. I wanted to know more about the academics and I swear I almost dropped on one knee and proposed to the headmaster when he went on a tangent about self esteem being a crock of shit (my expletive not his) and went on to explain that kids need to be challenged but then you have to back off a little too. It’s like a dream come true and if Alexander doesn’t get in I think I’ll be crushed.

Conversely if Alexander does get in I think I’ll be petrified.

After the admissions event I had exactly 25 spare minutes to walk the dog and run to the LAPD. There’s a non profit that supports the LAPD traffic division and I was invited to one of their meetings. I thought it was weird that Alex invited me to attend and suggested I text him when I get there. I go to meetings all the time. I don’t need hand holding… I was wrong.

Luckily I parked my car and arrived at the same time as Alex because we walked in to a giant room of uniformed officers and a few detectives. To say I was intimidated is a gross understatement. I was having a pretty good hair day (my friend Jeannie asserts that our power lies in our hair) and I realized in that setting it didn’t make me look better but rather more hopelessly suburban. At least I’m out of the station wagon.

The meeting was interesting but brief. It’s scheduled to be two hours but I could only stay for one because I had to bring Alexander to the eye doctor for his two month post operative exam. The results were as I suspected, wait and watch, but probably another surgery. If I hadn’t have been so fucking tired I might have cried. So I guess I won’t punish Jane for volunteering at that ungodly hour.

We left the surgeon’s office, ran to get Jane from school, returned home for smoothies and homework (just 20 minutes of it mercifully) and then I ran kids to soccer and tennis. I’m home, hitting publish and then running to get my kids. They should be smelly and tired.

I know I am.

Someday I’ll Tell You About Kenmore

01.26.12

Traveling to Chicago in the winter is a bear. It’s cold and the traffic is miserable. If there’s only one thing you ever learn from me in your entire life let it be this:

There is a train station in O’Hare Airport. Use it.

I was really happy to meet so many women who I’ve followed online for years. One in particular is Bobbie who had a very serious accident on her way home. Of course I was happy to be with new and old friends but after coming home and hearing about Bobbie, her husband and her kids (just bumps for them, yay!) I sort of didn’t have energy to write about the day.

I will soon.

Baseball season is starting and it’s off to a rocky start. I watch Dance Moms with the kids (just so I can feel smug and superior) and then I realize that the Dance Moms are a little less sociopathic and a little more realistic than the Baseball Dads. The Dance Moms think that their daughters are going to dance their way to Harvard. The Baseball Dads seem to think that their sons are all going to be the next Albert Pujols. It’s possible that one of them will be great, but statistically they’ve got a better chance of being a CEO of a Fortune 500 company than a Major League Baseball pitcher.

I played tennis today and it was awful. I was winning 4 games to one and then we sat down to take a break in the shade (86 degrees today) when my partner asked me how Alexander’s eyes were. I lost set 6-4. In fact I lost some of those games without ever scoring a point.

I keep wondering if we made a terrible mistake by not forcing Alexander to have the “fine tuning” stitches like the doctor suggested. I’m not sure that his eyes are straight (they could be) but I worry that we cost him another surgery by not insisting that they leave some stitches hanging out so they could tweak the eye the second day.

I’m at a standstill today thinking about that. I might try going for a run later. I’m not sure how to get thoughts like these out of my head, but I’m absolutely unable to focus or concentrate.  

Surgery

12.8.11

So I took Alexander to the eye doctor yesterday. I knew his eyes weren’t even and I knew that the eye exercises weren’t helping.

So he’s having surgery next week. Dr. Velez will tighten his left eye muscle going upwards about 3 mm and his right eye will turn in 2-3 mm by loosening the outer muscles and tightening the medial set. The doctor asked Alexander about leaving some stitches in the eye and “fine tuning” it the day after surgery. Alexander and I both got queasy and tearful hearing that. Although it’s a medically sound procedure it’s not a match for my son.

So next week the doctor will cut into Alexander’s eyes and my soul. If I seem anxious, it’s because I am.

The One Where I Told My Son We Could Stop After He Puked

08.22.11

I’m tired and lazy. August might be a little sporadic with the posting.

Jane is back from Outward Bound. It sounds like it was an incredible experience, and it’s one I’ll invite her to talk more about. There were some harrowing moments with a tipped over canoe but it sounds like she was with an exceptional group of girls and they came to be close as a group. She came home taller, stronger, and without a lick of table manners.

It was good.

Last night two friends slept over and the girls wanted to see the new Steve Carel movie. I was in a G+ hangout with Cecily and she said, “I’ve seen that and I wouldn’t reccomend it for a 12 year old.” Which is awesome because now my pink haired friend on the computer can raise my kids for me. Now Jane can be pissed at Cecily instead of me.

They agreed to see The Help and three girls came back from the movies with all their eyeliner cried right off. We had some interesting discussions about what it means to be a good or bad person, how following the crowd is no excuse and what it means to be a lady. We talked about how far women have come in the workplace and how no one would be permitted to talk to them that way and Jane couldn’t stop saying how she wanted to punch Hilly in the head.

The girls all liked me again because I let them go to the movies, but they turned on me when I said lights out at 11.

We’re riding this rollercoaster of love me hate me, and Jane loves me when I’m buying her things and hates me when I say no. Which of course makes me want to do less for her and Mr G sees none of this and explains to me what a good kid she is.

She’s a good kid because I’m keeping her from being a spoiled brat.

Alexander has started vision therapy and it will probably have a section of it’s own right here on the blog. I am once again eternally grateful to my readers who encouraged me to investigate before scheduling his third surgery. We’re trying it for three months and much like the patching he used to do, and the speech therapy Jane had I realize that it’s all on me.

We can show up for the weekly appointments but without daily practice it’s useless. It’s awfully tough and Alexander sometimes gets dizzy. On day two of our at home regimen he started getting nauseous and wanted to quit. I wouldn’t let him. He started to cry and I handed him some tissues. He told me that he was going to throw up and I assured him that we’d stop the vision therapy just as soon as there was vomit on the floor but not one minute before.

I love him that much.

So at night I cry because I don’t want to have to hurt my kids, but this is his Hail Mary before surgery and I’m sure as shit not going to let him see me cry.

 

Fire Your Receptionist

07.8.11

So I called a pediatric optometrist to talk about vision therapy for Alexander’s eyes.

 

RECEPTIONIST: Does he have ambliopia or strabismus?

ME: Both.

RECEPTIONIST: [clucking her tongue] Oh that’s bad. [she rattles some keys on her keyboard and asks] And does his eye turn in or out?

ME: It used to turn in, and now it turns out.

RECEPTIONIST: Oh gosh, I’m really sorry. That’s really bad.

ME: Um, I have an appointment I need to run to. I’ll call back later to follow up. Okay?