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Archive for August, 2007

My grandmother was right.

The older you get, the faster the days go by.   

I’ve tried to ignore the fact that I am in my last hours of my 30’s but the fact is I am going to be 40 tomorrow, like it or not.  And I do not, just for the record. 

Every ten years I go through this assessment of my life, taking stock of what I’ve done/what I should have done, and panic ever so slightly that it’s wrong/never enough. 

And then someone like my husband comes along and reminds me that I have 32 more years of work before I can retire. 

And — AND! — I’m going into my 40th year with a great big ol’ gnarly zit right between my eyes. 

Now I ask you:  can it get any better? 

Pitchers of margaritas all around. 

— Mox

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Underfoot

So my husband has the next two days off, going into a long weekend.  That’s five days of him not working.  I don’t know if I can stand it. 

I’ve gotten so used to him being up and out of the house by the time I get out of bed each morning, that this morning, he was on my last good nerve. 

To be honest, and to be fair, I’ve been awake since 4am.  I started out the day in a pretty crabby frame of mind.  As I do when I don’t get my full night’s rest. 

But still, six in the morning is not a good time to have a conversation at full volume.  Hell, it’s not even a good time to have a conversation, period.  Don’t talk to me. 

You would think that after 20 years of being with me, the man would know that I am not the friendly sort when I first get up.  I don’t talk.  I don’t smile.  I don’t function very well.  I am not a morning person. 

I also have a very tight routine in the morning.  Which does not include him.  So when he’s in the bathroom at the same time I need to get in there and get ready, in order to be on time… well, that tends to piss me off. 

It’s going to be a long five days. 

— Mox

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Whistlers Mother

I knew that it would happen.  That didn’t stop it from happening. 

And because I knew that it would happen, and it happened, I was able to have some perspective on it. 

See, Spawn bucks me at every turn when it comes to homework.  I know from talking with my friends that this is normal, to experience this non-cooperation from your kids when it comes to completing homework in the presence of their parents.  In the presence of someone else’s parents, there’s a lot less bucking.  I’m considering hiring a sub to handle homework duties because it would be a lot easier on everyone if someone else went over the spelling list with Spawn instead of me. 

The latest round of bucking has taken an rather annoying turn.  Spawn is whistling. 

Whistling.  During my attempts to help with homework. 

If the kid could read worth a darn I’d just let it go and let the kid do homework solo.  But Spawn can’t read much (and is having a mental block about it) so I have to read the questions on the kid’s homework.  And the kid whistles while I’m trying to read. 

And it’s an almost unconscious thing, this whistling, because Spawn doesn’t seem to be aware of it until I or my husband point it out. 

So I knew that Spawn would get called on it in class. 

And it happened.  Spawn got a behavior note sent home yesterday:  “whistling in class.”

Spawn’s biggest complaint about school so far is that it’s “hard.”  To which I reply, no, it’s not hard.  It’s just different than kindergarten.  You’ll get the hang of it. 

But it is hard for the kid, primarily because the kid is pretty bold and social, and kindergarten was all about Circle Time and working cooperatively.  Spawn excelled with that.  First Grade has been more of a buckling down and learning things on a personal basis, doing one’s own thinking.  There is no learning by committee here.  And I guess this is where we’ve gone wrong, by allowing Spawn to behave like a brilliant only child, not challenging the kid to learn things alone.  Without siblings and peers handy, Spawn has had to rely on me and my husband to help figure out things in the world.  I don’t think we’ve necessarily done a bad job, but I don’t know that we’ve done the kid any favors, either. 

So the whistling seems like more of a nervous tic than an outright effort to piss me off and allow the kid to bail on spelling homework.  And yes, it does piss me off but no, I don’t let the kid bail.  We don’t have this problem when we’re working with math homework, only the reading/spelling homework.  So I know that it’s a confidence issue, and I’m increasingly afraid it’s a learning issue, because the kid is johnny-on-the-spot with math and science and everything else. 

I have been debating on just how long to wait before addressing this with the teacher.  Do I give it a few more days?  Weeks?  Do I wait all the way until the parent-teacher conferences in October?  I just don’t know. 

— Mox

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I had no idea when I gave birth that it would be a process I would repeat, with the same child, every morning before school started. 

Honestly.  That’s what it feels like. 

Spawn was absent from school yesterday with a cough and fever, and if it hadn’t been for the fever I would have sent the kid anyway.  But since I tend to operate under the Lite version of the Golden Rule, I did unto the other parents by not sending a potentially contagious child to school.  Spawn spent a glorious day under the doting care of my parents, who were more than happy to lend an indulgent hand and let the kid lie around in front of the TV and eat ice cream all day.  The end result?  All better. 

I had my mom stop by the school yesterday and pick up the class work that Spawn had missed, and we spent an hour last night catching up.  An hour.  In first grade, an hour’s worth of homework.  And you know what?  Some of it, I’m not too sure we got right.  If first grade homework isn’t too terribly easy for the parents to figure out, I shudder to think what the future holds.  I’ve been away from school for too long, it seems. 

So this morning, I pushpushpushed Spawn through the motions of breakfast, bed-making, teeth-brushing, dressing, and into the car.  Then once we got to school (late, natch, because the kid was too busy slow-walking through the morning routine) I had to pushpushpush the kid out of the car.  It was a pretty ugly process. 

I have a feeling the kid’s coming home with a behavior report this afternoon. 

— Mox

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Tape Delay

I’m having one of those days where my brain and my mouth aren’t in sync.  I know what I want to say but I’m having trouble getting the words to form in my mouth.  And I’ve found myself totally losing my train of thought in mid-sentence. 

It’s Monday, isn’t it? 

— Mox

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Full circle.

Two years ago this upcoming October, I was standing on the sidewalk outside my uncle’s lanai, trying to keep a clear cell phone signal as I talked with a woman who wanted to interview me for a position back home.  It was fall break, and we were in Florida.  The interview would have to wait until I returned and consulted my calendar. 

By the end of the month I had had the interview and felt pretty strongly that I would get the job.  A second interview later and I was almost sure of it. 

I started the job the week of Thanksgiving. But I didn’t quit the old one; I just downshifted to ultra-part-time. 

For the past two years I’ve been working two jobs.  But I knew, in the back of my head, that I wouldn’t want to work two jobs for long.  And I mulled it over a lot.  Ultimately I decided that I would quit the first job. 

That was back at the first of the year; I am still at that job.  What changed was a change in personnel, a family member that had worked for my company who was on the whole a very nice person, but somehow toxic to the office atmosphere.  Once that person hied off for greener pastures the situation started to improve. 

But dumb me with my big dumb mouth, I had already set some wheels in motion at Job #2.  I confided in my boss that I was looking for more, that I was thinking of bailing on Job #1 completely but couldn’t because of the money factor, and would she keep her ear to the track to see if we could work something out. 

And now she’s wanting to hire me part time, as a receptionist.  But I’d have to give up my first job due to the hours. 

Oh, the benefits are there.  The stability is there.  But the money will suck, because it’s not an increase in pay, and in reality I would be working fewer hours than what I currently am with two jobs.  Plus what they would suck out for benefits, and I’d end up netting a lot less than what I’m pulling down right now.  Which, let’s be honest here, is not setting the world on fire by any means.  But less money is less money.  It’s like when you have a car with a sunroof and then you buy another car that doesn’t have one.  You miss it.  Sure, you can live without it, but it’s a step back. 

And that’s what this job offer is, in essence.  A step back. 

I started out my career 18 years ago as a general office worker.  I’ve come a long way, baby. 

Me and my big, dumb mouth.  If I’d just kept all of the doubts I was having to myself, I wouldn’t be in this pickle. 

Oh, but there’s more.  Of course there is! 

Job #1 is enticing me back with a whopping pay increase.  And they want me back with more hours than I’m currently working there, but with a great deal of flexibility. 

In the end, it’s a decision that’s being made based on the amount of money that I’ll be making, and the fact that Job #1 is a job that I’m good at and I love. 

So this upcoming October, after fall break, two years after I set these wheels in motion to begin with, I will start back to just working one job, putting all my eggs in one basket. 

May God have mercy on my soul. 

— Mox

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I know that I’ve made it pretty plain here that I prefer hot weather over cold weather, but even for me this heat wave is getting ridiculous.  No, scratch that.  It’s beyond ridiculous. 

How ridiculous, you ask? 

So ridiculous that last night I sat and watched about 20 minutes of The Day After Tomorrow just to cool off.  And then this morning had a dream based on that where my husband and I were in a nearby river town and the river was rising and it was snowing and we were getting the hell out of there. 

When I start dreaming about snow, it’s hot.  Damn hot. 

It was so hot that yesterday they cancelled soccer practice.  I won’t even begin to pretend, in front of you, that I was disappointed.  I have no desire to stand around on dead, sunbaked grass and watch a bunch of five- and six-year-olds totally disregard the rules of the game and the positions they’ve been placed in, in favor of running en masse after a ball.  Surely there are better things I could be doing with my time. 

My husband made the comment the other day, trying to put things into perspective (Mr. Perspective, that’s him), that boy you think it’s hot here, what about the troops over there in the sandbox, where the average daily heat index can reach and/or exceed 120 degrees. 

Says Mr. Perspective:  “No wonder they’re all fighting over there.” 

Well, yeah.  I’d be all pissed off too, having to wring out my underwear every thirty minutes. 

Every now and again, I get the notion to go outside.  Once I’m out there for five minutes and the sweat is rolling down my face even though I’ve done nothing but stand still, I’m back inside.  I have nothing but sympathy for the folks who have to make a living outside working in this mess. 

— Mox

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