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Sunday, March 05, 2006

At Consider The Boot

I will be posting at Consider The Boot for a little while. I am not quite ready to give up blogging but it is very hard to keep up with it. There are so many good bloggers out there I start to feel bad when I cannot read them. I know, that is kind of silly. I feel like I want to give each and every chick out there a comment every single day just saying to keep at it and keep writing and thinking and reaching out, and grabbing for whatever it is your heart calls to. Some people can just rattle things off all the time. I guess sometimes I feel like I want to write about my daily life, my kids or whatever but sometimes I am not sure how interesting that is. Today for example Always Pink heard on tv that Spring was coming and wanted to know how all the animals will know to come back from Florida. She thinks they go hang out with grandparents. These things make me optimistic about the future, I hope kids keep thinking about animals and the woods and the world and will want to protect it.

I wonder what we as mothers, women, role models can do. Maybe if we are enthusiastic ourselves it will rub off on them. I hope so.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Its Ok To Be A Granola Head

Corporation Appreciation Week. Corruptco. I think we need to have "Citizen Asshole" week too. We citizens buy their junk and we make them rich and powerful enough to screw us over. If we could only declare some independence, we would all be better served. And if we threw some more egregious asses in jail.

Many things trouble me about the acts of corporations, but probably the worst thing is the inability to see the collective detriment to the environment perpetrated by their actions. Now in fairness, people use a lot of gasoline and do many things that together fan the flames of what is going on. We refuse to live simply and we refuse to care about conservation, so why do we expect business to? After all, people bring their same stupid short sighted ways from their homes, into their Suv's where they park outside an office and presumably walk into work STILL STUPID. So why do we expect corporate America to be anything other than an extension of asshole America?
People think I am crazy because I bake, I can sew, I can fix things instead of throwing them away. I take pleasure from simple things like walks and fresh air, and I am not in constant need of entertainment. I am not a perfect mother by any stretch but I do hope my kids are at least slightly concerned because of the messages we try to give them. I don't know. There isn't a rehab in the world big enough to treat this addiction, so we will perish as junkies. And thats that.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hairy Coats

Thank you guys for your encouragement. The river is beautiful, the world is covered in snow. Its a good day! But my coat is still hairy and all the tape in the wrold will not salvage my self esteem.
Its also Valentine's Day, which means that Always Pink has been making paper Valentines for every man, woman, and child in America. The kids have had winter colds, off and on, and I guess my motivation goes out the window in late winter. I tend to take the path of least resistance: easy dinner, mismatched socks, crayons at the breakfast table. This week we hung butterflies from the ceiling. Why the hell not? Why shouldn't we? Fuck it.

So I suck as a mom every February, and every winter I try to avoid super functional moms that remind me that my house is covered with toys. They have a plastic kitchen with plastic food, plastic shopping cart, plastic wagon, plastic ponies, plastic cars, plastic blocks, all of these things put a bit of a damper on one's decor. But the other day the dreaded "I'm coming by to drop off boots for the boy" call came. We were making muffins (add water, mix kind) and I was wearing a sweatshirt with a Christmas Tree on it (yeah, its Freakin February, and soooo sexy) and suddenly there she was: Perfect Mom. With short blonde hair, crisp shirt, nice coat with NOT ONE BIT OF CAT HAIR. I have had hairy coats my entire life. Dogs, cats, rabbits... and something in my head snapped as I looked at my mangy hairy coat on the doorknob (not put away) and I just felt shitty. Did I blame me? Nah. I blamed her. In my mind I decided she probably hated animals and was missing out on their affection. She had a super immaculate boy, who never got to wear these boots, and GOD FORBID she have she jumped in the SUV and ran them over, calling from her cell phone on the way. "Clutter is a battle we must fight EVERY day!" she says. Not poverty? Not genocide? Not global warming? Not violence? Not sexism? Not racism?

I have seen the enemy. And it is clutter. And pet hair.

Friday, January 27, 2006


Another day of craziness- and I need a good walk! Destructo Boy and Always Pink have been fighting all day about a Chia Pet, and Never Pink has been staring at her mother asking weird questions about drugs because of health class. She explains 'huffing inhalants' to me. She wants to know how air can destroy a brain cell. How does it get into the brain? Through the nose? Can somebody kill us in our sleep by putting an inhalant into our brains? Do the dead cells just sit there, in your brain, FOREVER?
I tell her I think they get reabsorbed by the garbage collecting cells as waste. Like germs. I have to be very careful about germs because for a year Always Pink was OCD about handwashing after she learned that we get sick from germy hands. She had to be kept away from sinks because the crazy child would scrub her hands fifty times a day, leading to raw dry patches. She then started brushing her teeth all day before kindergarten to prevent cavities. The child's whole world is one big paranoia festival.

Destructo drives her crazy because he licks rocks to make them shiny and he hates to wash his hands before dinner 'because they're gonna get messy anyway'. Destructo is decidedly anti-hygiene. (He washed his car in the toilet, and dried it with my robe.)

So BAD MOMMY took the lazy route tonight and decided to make Dinosaur Shaped Chicken Nuggets- Frozen Courtesy of Perdue. Not great, not wholesome. But for crazy momma, its the path of least resistance.
Never Pink is a vegetarian. And she tells them they are really made from dinosaur meat.
Now Always Pink is suspicious and won't eat the toxic meat critters, and hubby and I are not interested... as it is, we hardly eat meat and use soy when possible. So I wonder why we bother...
Destructo thinks Dinosaur meat is delicious. He thinks a Brontasaurus must make an awful lotta nuggets!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

...back to basics

Been crazy here at Rivermomma's. Going through some kind of a mental reorganization. Wondering about what I should be doing, feeling the pinch of staying home with the kids. Thinking about how hard it is to contemplate day care, and how much I want to be home. But wondering how long we can make a go of this 'simple life'.
It started when I had to tell a relative that it was too 'burdensome' to attend a wedding for her daughter. Where would all of my kids go? The hotel would be hundreds, the travel, the gift... and I am paranoid about leaving the kids with anyone. It just seemed unrealistic that we could pull it off.
She tells me to just get an 'au pair' type of helper, a teenager willing to travel and babysit. What the fuck does that cost, I wonder? So then it dawns on me that I am whining and explaining myself and making excuses about money AGAIN. Trying to explain the 'stay home mom' choice AGAIN. Defending the choice and all its obstacles AGAIN. And so this is the way it goes. "All the college, to stay home??" "What about a pension?"
WHen a woman with an education works, I suppose people stand around pondering that too. It seems there is no shortage of people willing to take a mother's inventory. But I'm tired of it. Choices are choices, and we all do what we need to do. Its becoming increasingly hard to find people that agree with or understand MY choices though.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Breath Before Death

Subtle, you chase the vigor from the vine.
So there's a mother tonight that waits for her little girl to die, she has an inoperable brain tumor and the family members have been involved in a two year struggle with normalcy. I am thinking of them, and the mothers around the world that will watch their babies take their last breath in their arms. Babies that are sick, hungry, born without the privilege of the right to live. Babies that will die for preventable reasons. Babies that will die because they do not have supplies that cost less than my latte'. Babies that are forgotten, that will die nameless or faceless as those who loved them die as well.
I cannot understand how they do it. I would see this little blonde girl, giggling and playing-given a year or two to live, and I would break down inside. Time after time, and could not imagine this family carrying on with what must certainly be an inner hell. And one day I saw the sister, looking long and hard at her. I wondered what this little child was thinking. "Will my sister be dead soon?" Heartbreaking. And they couldn't help but talk about it. No one ever knew what to say to this mother. Ask about the child? Offer to help?
I considered the little girl. To be five and know that your time is limited, the kinds of thoughts are hard for me to imagine. One day the kids talked about teachers for the upcoming year, and paused, not wanting to say that she would likely not be there. Realizing the obvious omission, an older child tried to help by ignoring that possibility and began to talk about the future anyway until this tiny little mouth opened and cut her off. And what she said made me shiver.
"I have a terminal illness, which means I will die. I don't even go to school anymore."
The family had been given the right to withdraw her, and over the next few months she became dependent on tubes and equipment. She stopped going outside. She stopped eating regular food. And soon she would stop breathing. Probably in her mother's arms.
How do we talk to little ones about death? My children ask about it, and I am hard pressed to know what to say. I gave up organized religion long ago, and my fumbling spirituality does little to feed me the words I need to take the sting out of an honest death talk.
Never Pink asked about organ donation, and if I was a donor and I said I was, that it was written on my license. I told her why. That I figured some of my parts could be given away.
Always Pink asked where our brains go, and if our brains could be donated too. Then she asked if the new person, receiving the transplant, would get her ideas.
She decided that this would be helpful, because if she died and somebody else got her brain, they could then proceed to do all of the things that she couldn't do. She was hoping that they could take this girl's brain and help her dreams live. But who could they give it to?
Never Pink, older sister, chimed in that her particular brain had a tumor. There was no way to save her ideas.
Which is why there is this problem in the first place, and so it would not help to put her brain elsewhere.
They wanted to know why they couldn't just get a brain then and solve the problem. I had to tell them that brain transplants have not been successful, but that maybe someday this could be an option for people. But not for a very long time.
Always PInk started to cry. "I don't want to die."
Destructo stated that he did not want to "get dead either".
Never Pink told them that we die to make room for more people. That somebody died to make room for us, and that when we go, we will make room for the next batch of kids. Always pink wanted to know why we couldn't just leave the world as it is. NOT make room for any more. And just stay.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Cold Hands

Destructo Boy jumped in bed with me this morning. His hands were cold, so I told him I would use mine to make them warm.
"What if I use mine to make yours COLD???" he grinned. Then he tried to tickle me.

"Mom, every page in my Care Bear coloring book is covered in black crayon!!!" shreiks Always Pink. Destructo hides under the blanket. I ask him why he does this to her books, as we all know she is a meticulous coloring perfectionist.
"She won't let me color in them."
Now no matter how many times we talk to kids about sharing, I do not insist that they share everything. I think they should have a few things for themselves. Especially in a zoo house where property disrespect runs rampant. Ah, spite.
Progressive Women's Blog Ring
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