Thursday, March 18, 2010

Snapshot of Chaos

I had to buy a minivan. It feels very wasteful to be riding around in an urban assault vehicle. When it is full of long-legged, food absorbing, voice changing 13 year olds, it doesn't seem that it's quite big enough.

The Child Who Can't Be Bothered to Put in Too Terribly Much Effort, heretofore, TCWCBBTOINTTME, has earned back his XBox privileges. Said privileges had been forcibly removed due to substandard English performance. Remarkably, this has resulted in renewed interest in English and a grade that no longer causes me to wince and imagine him toiling in a coal furnace for the rest of his life.

Then there's track practice set up by the brilliant school to end every day at 4:00. How is it that two working parents can somehow manage to knock off at 3:30 every afternoon to fetch the offspring from practice? I'm sure the judge will wait and same with that conference room full of people. Yep, that's career enhancing.

The Other Child Who Is Much More Motivated But Also Moody, heretofore, TOCWIMMMBAM, has suffered from some strange and exceedingly painful leg tendon ailment. This has me gripped with terror as I also had strange leg tendon ailments resulting in surgical intervention. Isn't it amazing how we pass down the inadequacies?

Last but not least, TCWCBBTOINTTME, figured out that substandard academic performance has ramifications outside of school and outside of his removal from the XBox. The consequence was so powerful that I actually saw the LIGHTBULB blink on, slowly, over his 13 year old hormonal head. It glimmered with a bit of recognition that perhaps I am not full of hooey. On the other hand he then attempted to negotiate a cell phone based on his renewed efforts not to be slothful. He then regaled me with his new plan to attend West Point. Whereupon, I suggested that a fantastic preparation technique for West Point would be making his bed and picking up his laundry from the 4 foot radius around the laundry basket.

What? Of course not, said TCWCBBTOINTTME, I don't need do that yet. I've got a couple of years to work out the bugs.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Would like to try a lobster?

For those of you that worry, I'm not dead. Passing out last week didn't slow me down much. It did curb my martini drinking for a few days, but a large school project with a particularly difficult child cured that.

I was away on a trip the last few days. Not far away, but far enough. The conference sessions were generally good and I only obsessively checked my Blackberry every 4-6 minutes- for an entire day.

After a fairly complicated session on Health Care Reform (don't even get me started), I asked a question of the presenter. I went up to her afterwards because I didn't want to sound stupid by misusing words like "Reconciliation" or "Correction." (Oh, there's so much stupid stuff about these two words lately, surely I wouldn't sound as dumb as at least half of the people on TV, regardless of their political affiliation!)

So I asked my question. It was answered in a way that did not make me feel dumber than normal and I started back to my seat to gather my stuff. A well dressed man approached me slowly. Weird. It's usually only the smelly drunk ones that approach me slowly.

"Hello, " he said.
"Hey." (That's my standard greeting. Informal, it's more fun and not suggestive in case the guy is a serial killer.)
"I've been staring at you across the room the entire session."
"Um, what?" (Now I'm creeped out and ticked off. Do serial killers stare at people across rooms?)
"Did you work at Red Lobster?" he asked warily.
"WHAT?" I laughed out loud, right in his face.
"You look like someone I used to know from Red Lobster."
"No. I have never worked at Red Lobster. However, I do like lobster."
"Oh, " he sighed. "I worked all through college at Red Lobster and there was a girl. You look just like her. Sorry I bothered you."
"OK, no problem. I would be a lousy waitress so I can definitively tell you that I am not your girl."

People are so strange. Maybe he can find her on Facebook.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lights Out at the Track Meeting

It was a long day at the ranch. Of course I don't work at or near a ranch, but if what I did, in any way resembled a ranch, I would have misplaced most of the sheep, knocked over the fence, burned the beans and tangled the ropes.

Alas, I came running home from the ranch and ran out again with two kids in tow. I ran back home to work some more (because the sheep were lost and the fence was knocked over.) Then, I ran back out and we went to the 7th and 8th grade track meeting at school.

It was standing room only. We were not even late. There we stood in the back of the cafeteria by the folded up tables with about 200 other people. It was madness.

About half way through the speech on pulled muscles....

I started to feel a little funny.
My ears were ringing.
I started to sweat.
My hands were kind of clammy.
I think I was standing right next to a waterfall based on all the gushing in my ears.

Dressed head to toe in winter white, I made my way to sit on the floor AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. The boys were riveted by the descriptions of track and field events and completely oblivious as I sat down HARD on that Junior High cafeteria floor- in my white pants. Horrors, indeed.I think I sat on a Twinkie wrapper.

I have no idea what happened next because everything WENT COMPLETELY BLACK. I must have started coming back around a few minutes later and I recall realizing that my head was flopped back like a limp octopus tentacle on a stick. If I'm really lucky, my mouth was wide open and I was snoring. But, A&P said no- no snoring. Peter did admit that he glanced over and noticed that my head was bouncing precariously around on my limp neck while I was collapsed next to the cafeteria table. Did he do anything? Of course not, he was busy listening to the coach.

Andrew was similarly distracted. No one noticed me in a heap at the back of the Junior High cafeteria. I think that's a good thing or we'd probably have to relocate and find another school for the boys. Later, Peter offered to call 911 but that seemed a bit unnecessary after I came back around.

I had to drive home and Peter grabbed the phone to call their dad. "Mom, passed out. I want to call 911. I'm pretty sure she's not safe." Nice... from someone who 10 minutes prior could have given two hoots about his droopy, sloppy, unconscious mess of a Mother, who incidentally was wearing winter white while mopping the floor of the Junior High cafeteria with her back end.

Andrew quickly, helpfully and without merit offered a diagnosis of a seizure disorder.
"I don't have a seizure disorder! I just passed out!"

Andrew replied, "That's just what I thought you'd say. You're denying you have a problem. You can't get it fixed until you admit you have a problem."

My first problem is Boy Scouts who didn't jump up to save me. My second problem is that I missed about half of the meeting. Did anyone take any notes?
My last problem is now I have to get my pants dry cleaned again.