Thursday, May 31, 2007

Its not just goofing off and playing mah jong you know....

This is a snapshot of a viewpoint ive experienced in random twenty minute increments over the past two days. Sometimes, I dont realize right off the bat that maybe its kind of abnormal for my child to sit six inches away with a mouth full of bubble gum and grab my face silently whenever I look away lest I miss one single minute of the complicated and extensive bubble blowing process. This started yesterday and after two nights of offering continued praise at success and maintaining a constant encouraging facial expression as round after round of bubble gum spittle shoots at me during the practice of his new talent, it occurs to me that regardless of the hundreds of other ways Ive ruined my child, at least he always feels validated.

Here is a PSA for you: Expired contact lenses may not cause problems. Expired saline solution will burn your eyes like a thousand white hot pokers. I dont know what the window is on the saline but I can tell you that is definitely less than five years.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

It is 7am. Where the hell did the day go already?

How about Things I Need wednesday?

I need:

- a freaking reality check about my stunning levels of procrastination

-to call the eye doctor because wearing contacts from 2003 (no worries friends, they were sealed. They dont expire til october) has turned out to be not such a good thing in that it takes about a half hour to get them in my eyes due to the personal idiocy factor, I see flaws in my face that my glasses protected me from, and i cant seem to wear them for more than about five hours without feeling like all my eye juice has dehydrated....

-some caffeine. Yes I could go make coffee but it makes much more sense to sit here until Gill gets up (its 7am, why is he not up? I should go check but as I said, Im sitting here) and then pull the aging movie star from the hospital bed routine. Ive recently realized that a fundamental part of our marriage is that he will do absolutely anything I ask him to as long as I make myself look ridiculous in the asking. He has no cause for complaint. He's trained me to be the spider monkey I am....

-To stop gaining and losing the same three pounds every week. I gain it on the weekend and lose it on the weekday. I had a moment of truth a few weeks ago about my sugar addiction and tried to make changes. The only one that seems to be sticking is that I am ordering the sugar free latte's at sheetz as opposed to the sugar free mochas because I found out that the extra shot of syrup in the mochas is absolutely not sugar free.

-To get my ass to church this weekend. Lucy and her family are hosting coffee hour. She will have pesto dip. I have not met the minister's new baby who is now over a year old. Did I ever tell you about my church? Its Unitarian. I love it because the minister looks almost exactly like Luckybuzz. Its comforting.

-To stop blogging and go check on Gill. Im going to try to convince him to call off because he does not feel well. It would be much better if he were here driving the children insane....

hey its only 715! Go me!
PS: the stories that blurred from sunday are starting to roll in. It aint pretty folks. It aint pretty....

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Ugly Season.....It isnt just for Christmas anymore...

Oh friends. I do not have answers on Grape popsicles. I do have high-lights from the memorial day extravaganza! First, Ill offer up the positives, then...the shame.

-We had a really nice showing in spite of the torrential downpour that happened fifteen minutes before the party was supposed to start. Thankfully, my parties never start on time and nobody even showed up until close to an hour later. Needless to say, we were not ready so my smack down crew sprang into action and gave me firm instructions not to wander off the property to show up in a bus station in minneapolis three days later. Easy enough.

- Moe, her husband and Owie came! I hadnt seen Owie in over a year and it was so exciting to see them socially as a family. Owie is quite the little hoop shooter too! I have a feeling we will be going to see his basketball games in ten or twelve years...

- Food was fantastic. Man I love me some good cooking people! From bean dip to pepperoni rolls to veggie pizza and home-made cucumbers to some kick ass desserts of all kinds, we had a fine eatin' shin dig!

- There was a bonfire and amazing things happened there (and then in my garage)(the amazing things, not the fire). Things that make me realize that I really am so completely lucky to have found my friends. Things that make me so proud and honored to have the friends I do. Things that make me realize that I spend way too much time focusing on what is wrong and forgetting that the answers are right in front of me. In the faces of these amazing women. The ones who were there and the ones who didnt stay.


-More shameful realizations include but are not limited to:

- Apparently I broke my glasses at some point. Im not sure how but I do have vague memories of peeing behind a tree in my yard, sitting in a vodka soaked lawn chair, having a discussion about my vodka soaked ass, people tracking down the glasses and my friend K being extremely proud that she salvaged my drink through all of it.

- I apparently repeatedly asked if my brother was coming to the party about fifty times after being told that he wasnt.

-I am pretty certain I alarmed a thirteen year old by unsolicitedly eating the tomatoes off her plate.

-I announced proudly to the entire party that I was in fact, a rabid PM Dawn fan. (Dont know PM Dawn? Probably because you blinked sometime during 1993 and it was all over) I decided it was important to support this claim by finding the cd and playing it for everyone still in attendance. It may have been the only action I completed in the face of distraction throughout the entire evening. Yeah...go me...

- Unaware that Norm was right in front of me, I shared loudly with my friend that we'd made up the story about burying the bird in the back yard and that he really ended up in the trash. Thankfully, I was slurring a LOT at this point so it didnt really matter I dont think.

- I may or may not have insulted a friend Ive known for almost twenty years by offering (once again unsolicited) parenting advice about a situation I wasnt even able to process through the drunken haze and then repeatedly shouting YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU in his face. I also vaguely remember forcing him to repeat that he knew I loved him.

- I apparently arranged for a group coffee date for today but had no recollection til i found my phone again around 7 (right after I woke up) and found several messages from my friends. I. Suck.

Welcome to summer friends....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Free Grape Popsicles On May 27.

Now thats a hell of a thing to see on a sign! I was quite intrigued myself. Why only grape popsicles? What are they doing with the orange and cherry? Is someone in the Park Diner employ aversive to grape and we are eating all the left over popsicles from the past two years? Because you cant just buy only grape right? And if you can, where can I get a piece of that because I like grape a lot....Furthermore, what is significant about the 27th? Its not memorial day. Its the day before. Im right puzzled friends. Right puzzled indeed. Its been a hell of a week and im so behind on everything im sorry. But I promise Im going to catch up on my blog-reading and posting soon. Gretty has been staying wiht us the past few days so Ive had the opportunity to almost complete my list of Gretisms for your reading pleasure, so stay tuned for that! Im going to try to catch up a little now but if i dont get to you today dont forget about me! (especially Ms. Mert whose blog shuts my whole computer down when i open it) (I miss my Mert fix!)

Edited to add: For Ms. Lina's benefit, here are what popsicles look like

I thought it was interesting that i could not find a picture of the grape. Now this is what generally constitutes a popsicle. Back in the day you could only find them in this form so you would have to break them in half. It was difficult for the obvious reason that you had to keep track of the half-opened freezer burnt pops and ask for a different flavor lest you get stuck with the icky one. (i was better at this than my brothers. To this day, i dont think they caught on to the strategy). Now you can buy them individually wrapped. I couldnt find a picture of an individually wrapped one. But i did find this:

Now these are called Flavor-ice. You buy them in bulk. You get like five hundred for under five dollars or something insane like that. They are individually wrapped but connected together tubes of not yet frozen popsicle juice. You separate them and freeze them and then when you want one, you grab your tube and either snip off the top with scissors or bite it off with your teeth (I recommend the former, but have been reduced to the latter one more than one occasion) Squeeze up the cicle part and enjoy! We do not refer to them as flavor-ice however. We called them Freeze-cicles. Norm just generalizes everything to popsicle however.

With this wide array of frozen possibility, one can only imagine what sunday has in store in terms of the great grape popsicle give away. I only hope i can come back tomorrow with an answer for you friends.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

WTF is my problem Wednesday

Bad ideas ive had today

- getting a bug up my ass to actually add decor to my house three days before our memorial day party.

- deciding the day before norm's graduation to revamp his whole outfit using clothing and accessories i have never seen in reality but can imagine very clearly.

- Offering to bake cookies for the graduation and having zero plans or ingredients as of right now. Did I mention i work all day today and tomorrow?

-Saying I would be at the russian gulag by noon

- Telling Norm I will take him to the movies tonight despite all that is happening.

Must. Drive. Gill. And. Gret. Completely. Insane. By. Tomorrow.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Musings

Sorry about the long pause there friends. Weekend madness has ensued. Its party season now and the whirlwind is beginning. The two birthday parties of the weekend were lovely. One was a bowling alley party involving about twenty little girls ranging from 6-8 years and a smattering of boys. Needless to say I was kind of dreading that, not because of the birthday girls but well...for the obvious reasons. But as fate would have it, the girls were way less screamy and the alley way less loud than i expected! The other birthday party was AWESOME! Very relaxed and social with good food and good company and an amazingly beautiful baby celebrating her first birthday. Stretched the turnip way past his point of tolerance but it was worth it! Yesterday we went to see Shrek with the female Fabus as Senor Fabu was working overtime. Just delightful I tell you! Anyway, Ive been thinking about my monday blogging. I realize im kind of negative on mondays which is not really reflective of how i feel about mondays. Secretly? I kind of like Mondays! They are almost never as bad as I anticipate them to be on sundays. So I think instead of bitch and moan monday (which may come back with a moments notice) and missing mondays (which kind of made me sad!) Im going to try monday musings. Random observations on a monday. So here goes:

- I am really really puzzled by these two characters on Camp Laslo. They are large and purple and have these halos of flies that follow them everywhere. What the hell are these things? Any input is welcome.

- I was handling a crisis call from home this morning and the kids were being surprisingly cooperative. In the midst of the call, turnip toddles over and climbs up on my lap. He has the remote control and he starts talking into it like a phone. Im watching him and thinking, man i could probably switch phones and the client on the other end would probably not even notice. Nothing says Im making a difference in the world like that kind of realization....

- As a frequent sheetz customer/devotee, I cannot figure out why all the pennsylvania sheetzes have espresso bars and all the Ohio ones do not. It does not seem to be based on old sheetz versus new sheetz. I want to know why this is.

This might end up being a liveblog because its taken two freaking hours to complete this due to all the distraction. Stay tuned friends!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Insomniacal Thursday Thirteen

I know friends. Im complaining about insomnia when you folks havent been able to sleep for months waiting for my next Thursday Thirteen. So without further ado, here it is.

Thirteen Unexpected Somethings About The Week: Focusing on the positive.(sans graphic)

1. The principal who kept me awake in fear last night turned out to be my new BFF. Granted he also blatantly lied to my face regarding his besmirchment of me and mine, but strangely, this did not bother me. In fact, I was somewhat comforted by his having the decency to care enough to cover it up to my face.

2. The above allowed me to come to the realization (once again) that I dont really give a crap what most people think about me as long as they can fake it to my face. And Im pretty sure the opinions i do value are genuine and not faking. Its a good comfort zone.

3. A patient who threatened to strangle me most definitely did not strangle me and was able to leave the session laughing and in a better mood.

4. I have two birthday parties this weekend and actually have gifts for both of them already and its only wednesday. This is unprecedented.

5. The turnip's hateful baby syndrome may possibly be related to fluid in his ear. Im embracing this explanation as opposed to Gill and Gret's which is that he is not capable of accepting any sort of change positive or negative without expressing some level of rage.

6. I found a new happy place in the blogoverse but am not sure if its a sharable thing yet.

7. I got the "Thinking Booger Award" from my beloved mert. Prestige friends. The blog has prestige.

8. Im learning more and more about the wonderful world of data collection and graphing. The sad part? Im not joking. The way the information comes together is delightful to my idiot savant brain. Presenting it in an organized manner makes me feel fullfilled and happy. Im starting to have graph daydreams. (NO ITS NOT PATHETIC DAMMIT!!!) (before you judge me, see above about faking it to my face!!!)

9. I think I convinced a patient that not only is dissociative identity disorder a highly controversial disorder that is most easily explained by faking, but also that obsessing about spider-man is annoying the hell out of her friends and crippling her socially. Tomorrow will tell....

10. The honey is finally out of my hair (and sadly friends, the incident did not involve turnip or any children. Just spider monkey antics on my part)

11. My dad completely and totally rocks. This is not unexpected but it needed to be said.

12. I think I might actually be getting tired. Thats kind of a nice surprise.

13. Gill brought me a new sudoku book tonight (better than a dozen roses, my man knows his crse). I think im off to go do some in bed!

Good night friends and fellow TTers!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Things I learned today

- Even though some shampoos contain honey, it is not good to have honey in your hair. In fact, it gets quite painful if you dont know how to deal with it. If you ever get honey in your hair, go directly to the shower. Even if there is a fork or a piece of toast involved. Also, it probably isnt going to come out the first time you wash so get ready to go back in.

- Telling your brother "I hope you dont die" when he goes to bed can actually be seen as a step in the right direction, and beats the alternative previous bedtime wish which cannot be written.

- The green goblin in spiderman 3 has dissociative identity disorder. (And apparently so does my 18 year old client now that she's seen it) Also, dealing with people who think they have Dissociative Identity Disorder makes me want to punch them.

- Even though Im almost 37, Im scared to talk to the principal.

- Related to the above, if receiving a return phone call from the principal, try to remember that he will not take you seriously if you ask him to hold because you are wandering around sheetz, looking for a place to put the collection of beverages you were gathering when he called. It is much better to ask him to hold and pretend that you are talking to someone else. (sorry about that again, Madame Fabu).

- Even if you do make the principal laugh with said sheetz situation, it is still not fun to schedule a follow up call for the next morningto discuss why he thinks your agency sucks. If you do this, your stomach will probably hurt all night long.

- Doing the right thing clinically and professionally can cause stomach aches on a regular basis.

-Sometimes talking about cartoons can de-escalate very tense situations.

Ok I think thats about all ive got to pass forward in terms of helpful hints and whatnot.

PS: Gretty I did make charts and write summaries today too! I promise! Ill show you the evidence.....

I have no business and Gret is going to kill me for pretending to work while Im posting

But seriously! Stolen from the Immortal Lina

Crse --


Like in nature to a banana peel

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at

Monday, May 14, 2007

Missing Mondays

Well Im just stealing this from my good friend Mistress Of The Dark. Its a little more genteel than bitch and moan mondays.

1. I miss my grammy. Went to see her at the cemetery today. The concept of visiting cemeteries creeped me out before Grammy died. I dont mind them now. I feel comforted being there. No idea why.

2. Premium channels. I had such kicking premium channels before we bought the house. Now? I have the documentary tier. Which is nice...but still.

3. Gill's long hair. It was dammmm sexy. But bald hair and curly mustache is still sexy.

4. My dad and brothers. I still see them but I miss hanging out and talking to them more. I still get some of that with my dad, but my little brother called friday and we had this great conversation and I realized the last time we talked like that was two years ago. And that made me sad.

5. Irresponsible drinking. Dont laugh regular visitors and RT friends. You know Ive tapered off. Im not proud of that.

6. Friends that moved away. Luckybuzz,(taking that move across the country kind of hard...i gotta admit) my birthday buddy who may be moving back, er...that might be it. But my friend Julie who I dont even get to see that much talks about moving sometimes and it makes me a little sad. Im so autistic about change.

7. The Justice League/Batman line-up. I dont have any idea where these shows are now and sadly it doesnt matter, because Norm is off boomerang and onto Cartoon Network Now. (On a positive note, I do like My Gym Partner is A Monkey and Foster's HOme for Imaginary Friends)

8. Lenny Briscoe. Need I say more?

9. Honey Mustard Pringles. It was one fleeting moment at the fabu household. Never to be seen, found or tasted again....Curse you Pringles folks!

10. Sleep. God do I miss sleep. Stable, normal sleep.

wow friends, this was a little more morose than I thought! Sorry! Im honestly going to try to blog more. I know I say that every time I show up now but I swear things seem to be normalizing (knock something wood please!) Speaking of which, norm is itching to get back in the saddle but is actually asleep at the moment....


Friends, I again apologize for the tardiness of the post but I had a fun filled fabu weekend. It was madame's birthday on saturday and hi-jinx were to be had all around. It was also my dear Lucy's birthday! I will tell tales of the weekend at a later date (and I still owe you Madame's kidney stone tale). Here are field trip highlights!

- Took Norm on a late night shopping pre-field trip spree. It was awesome! Again, I felt like I was twelve....

-As we gathered at the loading site Displaced Worker (who needs another nickname but give me time) informs me to watch out for the smelly lady who would be chaperoning the trip. She suggested that if I saw her coming, buddy up quickly.

-We boarded the bus, and I was crapping my pants because smelly lady was directly behind me. My perfect storm wanted to sit with Ted and her teacher so I dove into a seat with a little boy from PS's classroom who has not yet been named in the Cast of Characters because he was actually hospitalized during my little visits to the classroom last week. We shall call him "Richard".

-Richard's worker offered to trade seats with me but she was still standing up and I couldnt risk being placed next to smelly lady in a last minute shuffle, so I asked if I could remain in the seat to manage PS's behavior as she was right across the aisle from me.

-Smelly lady sat down right in front of me. Senor and Madame Fabu asked me to describe Smelly Lady's smell. I can best describe it as a cross between old BO, unwashed dishes and very cheap perfume. And damn did it permeate.

-The trip to the stadium was uneventful as Richard was still apparently HIGHLY medicated from his hospital stay. At least this is the reason Im giving for the fact that he refused to speak to or look at me.

- Aside from the smelliness, the one other drawback was that the entire fourth grade (these are typical children now, not the emotional support kids) decided to start singing songs. First they did team songs. Then they did Happy Birthday and the Alphabet. Then, they sang a John Denver song ("country roads take me home?") in its entirety. The first verse and then the second verse. Thankfully as Im incredulously wondering how the hell the entire fourth grade knows this song, the slightly metrosexual tall teacher in the front made them stop.

-Perfect Storm did great until we got to the stadium. It took her about three minutes flat to decide that she had little if any desire to listen to anyone except for Ted and Richard (did I mention she apparently got into a fist fight with Richard the day before?) who as you can imagine were not the ultimate role models.

-The tour lasted an hour and forty five minutes. Our tour director was a man named Lou, who was a cross between Ernest Borgnine and Ed Asner. Perfect Storm was fine with Lou in theory but this did not stop her from interrupting him three times during the tour and almost getting us removed from the stadium each time.

-About fifteen minutes into the tour I decided it might be helpful to tell her that every inappropriate behavior she engaged in was already described by Lou as being unlucky and if she continued the behavior, I would tell the whole class it was her fault if they lost. Lou did describe that stepping on the dressing room carpet was unlucky and I just ran with it. It worked for about the next half hour.

-The day got progressively worse in terms of PS behavior. On the other hand, I could hardly blame her as I started whining myself after the first hour of the tour. I think our low-point would have been when we were all crammed into the visiting owner's suite and Smelly Lady's odor just made it impossible to breathe. At that point, I was ready to start disrupting the tour myself.

- Lunch was a somber affair as we had to sit on cement steps in the sun. Finally, we got loaded on the bus for home. We were assigned to our same seats. Let me tell you, an afternoon in the sun did NOT help Smelly Lady's aroma at all. I did not breathe out of my nose for over an hour. Interestingly, it was not till later that night, that Senor Fabu made the connection that smelly lady was smelly boy's mother. ALl day, I never made the smelly connection although it was right there in front of me.

-On the ride home, Perfect Storm stood up on her seat twice. Pete placed a plastic bag over his head and Richard attempted to climb out of the bus window. My favorite part of the ride however, was when PS had her butt sticking in the air and farted on a fourth grade teacher that had been shunning us all day. I didnt want to laugh out loud but at that point, it was just too late.

The rest of the day is kind of a blur as I didnt waste time immersing myself in a good vodka soaking once I got home. But thats what birthday celebrations are supposed to be! More soon friends ok?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Field Trip Friday

Ok friends, gotta admit, getting a little sick of the fifteen hour days with no breaks. My commute to work should NOT be my happy place! Hopefully, I will have good stories to tell you tomorrow as I have the privilege of accompanying the Perfect Storm on a field trip tomorow. We are riding on a hot bus, three in a seat, to a football field located an hour and a half away. And you know how much I love me some football friends. So much so that when they told me we were going, I thought it was a baseball field. (truth be told, I prefer baseball) I tell you this in all seriousness friends. Im excited. Why? I have no freaking idea but I feel like Im in fourth grade again and it doesnt matter where we go. We are going on a field trip!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ok! Here is something fun!

Actual mother's day poems written by clients and or classmates.

"Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.
I stay in my bed and eat superglue."

"Roses are Red, Violets are Blue.
My mom is the trouble."

"When Mom has an issue, I give her a tissue.
When I go berzerk, she calls me a jerk!"

And this is why I love my job....

Random thoughts on a wednesday

Oh friends, I have soo much catching up to do. Its not just that my work world has apparently turned into some creepy surreal underworld of dread (Madame Fabu can I get an amen!) but the turnip has developed some alarming new habits. He now wakes up at roughly 6am. This would not be bad if we could just snuggle on the couch like the good old days. But friends, my little caligula will not hear of that. We must choose our own breakfast through a series of nods for assent and screams for disappointment. Well...not a lot of nods actually. Mostly just screams. Then we use the same method to choose a beverage and sippy cup of choice. And then a television channel. And it goes on. And on. Interestingly, although he is less snuggly he has exponentially increased his clinginess level in the past few weeks. The difference between snuggling and clinging? Level of satisfaction. So my computer activities have been completely curbed in the waking hours of an unreasonable, demanding, dissatisfied baby. I sent everyone to bed at 815 tonight. God I need to blog about something other than why im not blogging or catching up on my blog readings. But now? Im too damn tired.

Monday, May 07, 2007

An alphabet meme of my worst habits, just to see if i can do it

A- Anxiety binding through all sorts of unhealthy practices.
B- Blocking all kinds of traffic from bank drive thru to the grocery line for different reasons of personal idiocy.
C- Clenching the jaws
D- Disorganization
E- Eating WAY too much sugar.
F- Forgetting important things like where i put my glasses and dr. appointments.
G- Grinding the teeth
H- Hating people for stupid things like cutting me off in traffic or screwing up two of my patients' funding.
I- Isolating. I do this a lot at home. I dont mean to cut off the world but its just so much safer in here.
J- Joking around at EXTREMELY inappropriate times and about EXTREMELY inappropriate subjects. Im way too offensive to even elaborate on this.
K- Keeping troublesome things like loosely wrapped gum and baby wipes (unused) in my pockets only to find myself wondering why my leg is damp or having to unstick my money from my keys when at the register (see B)
L- Laziness.
M- Making messes. Big and small.
N- Not trusting my instincts.
O- Ordering food like an 80 year old dementia patient with food allergies. (RT friends you know what Im talking about)
P- Procrastinating of course.
Q- Quitting every single hobby or project Ive ever started that wasnt mandatory INCLUDING my commitment to work through all the free cell games on a three year plan.
R- Roaming aimlessly around when basic tasks need to be completed, particularly when large groups of people are involved.
S- Saving things I dont need while tossing out things i need.
T- Talking incessantly when I need to be quiet.
U- UGLY drinking binges.
V-video games. Right now its mah jong.
W-WASTING money like it is water.
X- (ok a little poetic license here!) eXpecting people to act like sane grown ups when experience has shown time and again that they will not.
Y- Yelling at Gill when he is acting like a naggy bitch as opposed to calmly reframing things for him. (yeah thats MY bad habit)
Z- Zipping pockets or purses or briefcases. I dont. And things fall out.

WOW I did it! And it didnt take that long! Im sure gill could elaborate at length. Im not tagging ANYONE for this because its not the most self-affirming meme in retrospect.....

Seriously how long has it been?

Because the mistress of the dark was gracious enough to tag me, and because I could really use some repetitive self-indulgence, Im doing another alphabet meme. And because you never step onto the same crse twice, the answers could end up being totally different anyway!

A: Available or Single? Mebbe
B - Best Friend? Oh go to the cast of characters. And a few are missing...
C - Cake or Pie? PIE. I LIKE PIE
D - Drink of Choice? frozen vodka slushies but we all know this.
E - Essential Item(s)? Still the cell phone but also....
Its my new little everything bag to replace my happiest in the hamptons bag. Target. One dollar! Can you even believe it?
F - Favorite Color? Blues purples greens.
G - Gummi Bears or Worms? Had I discovered the neon but not sour gummi worms last time I did this meme? Because their preservativey goodness makes me positively giddy.
H - Hometown? Do I discuss this here? I cant remember.
I - Indulgence? Sleep. Alcohol. Mocking people.
J - January or February? January just in case skycat is still out there somewhere!
K - Kids? 2
L - Life is incomplete without… cable tv.
M - Marriage Date: November 14, 1994. It was a monday.
N - Number of Siblings: 2 brothers. Im the middle child.

O - Oranges or Apples? Im actually on an orange kick right now (if you count eating three oranges in the past month a "kick")
P - Phobias/Fears: Oh please. Can I just list my anxiety meds? The list would be shorter.
Q - Favorite Quote: "Is it wrong to toast David Hasselhoff?" My boss asked me this in an email on cinqa de mayo. Im seriously thinking of making it my signature...
R - Reasons to Smile?

S - Season? Summer
T - Tag Three: Gill, Gretty and The Zigs (even if you did it before I never saw it so indulge me!)
U - Unknown Fact About Me: Ok I think Madame Fabu and possibly Luckybuzz are the only ones who know this. Ive been ti-voing heroes all season but am afraid to watch until the end of the year because im not going to be able to stand the suspense. Im thinking Ill watch them all in september before the season premiere. I know this is irrational but i get anxious everytime I think about being left hanging.
V - Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Neither. Trying extremely hard to go with organic and animal "friendly" meat.
W - Worst habits? I could probably do an alphabet meme on my worst habits! Hey thats a great idea!
X - X-rays or Ultrasounds? Well in the past ive been partial to ultrasounds because they generally involved seeing a baby but now im not looking forward to any body imaging.
Y - Your Favorite Foods: Tacos, ice cream, chocolatey things, pasta with unchunky sauce. Pesto. CHEESE.
Z - Zodiac: Leo. With Sag rising. (double fire hoo-ha!)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

All over but the cryin'

Loyal friends and readers, Im sorry it took me til sunday to end my tale of surviving the Perfect Storm, but I did it. I should tell you that I just finally managed to recover enough to write. But that would be a lie. I actually went to the woods yesterday with Aunt Erthy and boys (including george but not gill) and came home and took the kids to a birthday party for my niece, (Lucy's daughter Jelly Bean). I did sleep all day today which was nice. But am getting ready to take Norm on a date to the movies. (BTW we updated Normtasia yesterday). So Ill dash off the friday for you to fill you in!

-When I showed up at nine she was playing uno with the smelly kid and our jailtime buddy. An ineffective substitute aide was there in place of both aides but fortunately classroom teacher was also there. I told her she could earn five gummy bears if we made it to pinata time. I was hopeful but not optimistic.

-We began with testing. PS was fantastic but tensions were brewing. This time between Hannibal and Repeat. I have surmised that these tensions involve yoko for some reason. I have no direct proof of this.

-Around 1020 we went to gym. It was at that point that tensions boiled over. We were late for specials so it was just our little posse of dysfunction. Im not sure exactly how it started but it seems that Hannibal insulted Repeat one too many times. Repeat flung himself into Hannibal and fists started flying. PS is backing away and Jailtime buddy is trying to pull Repeat off. I just kind of stood there blocking PS until Jailtime buddy yells for me to help. Now friends, not only is it illegal for me to help, it is HIGHLY illegal for me to help. So I do the only thing I can think to do. I step in between them in sort of a bastardized ghandi move. I fully expected to get pummeled and I am cursing them out in my head because I know this means a huge form to fill out. But something amazing happened. They stopped fighting. I was facing hannibal and he is leaning around me yelling death threats and tossing off an "im sorry for this ms. crse". Jailtime buddy dragged Repeat away and the teacher who had been summoned by another worker took hannibal. I looked at PS and she looked at me and all she said is "are we ready?".

- After gym we took another test and did fine. By this point Im starting to get nervous. Things are going too well. Im just waiting for the other shoe to drop. But lunch time comes. And goes. With no issues.

-I could give you details about the bizarro world afternoon where Charlie and PS worked together on a word find and then shared bean bags during a movie (during which of course Im frozen in the attack position in case I need to intervene) and NOTHING happened!

-She made it to the pinata. She made through a wild candy collection. She made it through outside recess. She made it all the way to the end. And then? She gave me back the five gummy bears.

Friday, May 04, 2007

My Embrace of Resentment: Day Three

Warning: This is a long assed post. Its not boring to me because I lived it but if you want to skip it I understand.

Ah friends. Never was I so glad to see a friday. This means not only did I make it through this hellacious week (cross your fingers that I dont get knifed today) but also today is the day of our cinqo de mayo party in class. The excitement is probably an empty dream as realistically, we will probably end up in time out during the party as is typical for most party days. Apparently the excitement in the room is too much and....well...lets just describe yesterday for you.

-I was very proud of myself for getting there by 9. My pride was short-lived as we had a substitute who didnt give a crap. (She is a behavioral nightmare. We shall call her cheeseburger)

-When I arrived, the perfect storm was playing uno with a different nurse/aide from the emotional support unit. Didnt know it at the time but turns out this nurse has a bit of a disclosure problem and I spent a great part of the day trying to keep PS away from her.

-Everything started so good for us friends. Mrs. S was back and set us up for immediate early work success. Unfortunately, as we were earning the success, the pete/repeat guy who didnt get into the fist fight the first day with hannibal, got into one with Charlie as we were trying to work. It was at that point the red flags should have gone up. Yeah. They didnt.

-We finished reading by earning bonus points, free time, and lots of positive primary reinforcement (that would be tiny pieces of candy, in non-clinical terms).At that point again, should have seen red flags. The weird thing is friends? Tuesday night I was actually in the midst of some bad weather and we did experience calm before the storm. Eerie calm. Like from Hitchcock's the birds? Trees were completely still. I was totally creeped out. So in retrospect I asked myself, why did I not recognize the calm before the storm in the room? The only thing I can come up with is that it actually wasnt calm in the room at all so I missed the cues.

-It started badly when we were playing uno again. (I got dealt in) Uno is great for impulse control, in case you are wondering. Thats when PS and I found out about the nurse/aide's disclosure problem. Now, Im no developmental specialist (oh wait yes I am) but does it take two degrees to realize that it is probably not the greatest idea to tell random stories about working at the jail to other adults within earshot of TWELVE KIDS WITH BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS???? Now Im not a huge proponent of "scared straight?" but I can understand the reasoning. Not the case here. This was a discussion of how GOOD THE INMATES HAVE IT!!!! It was at this point that the first drops of rain started to fall.

-First there was the cheating and lying about the game. Thats kind of typical and easily addressed but I bring it up because initially she was not cheating. Around jailtime confessions the cheating began.

-A few minutes later, she saw jailtime buddy eating crackers and asked for a cracker. Now as a parent, I do forbid my kids to beg for food from other people. The routine is if we are somewhere and you are hungry, come talk to me and we will address it together. At the same time, I have nieces, nephews, and friends' kids who I avidly encourage/force to ask when they want something in my house or (preferably considering I am lazy) get it themselves. And again, at home norm and turnip help themselves or ask/demand what they want. Im telling you this because its not a snippety mom thing, but a therapeutic thing. For PS, its a symptom of boundary violation and she knows its inappropriate. Basically, the consequence is just that she is denied and she is reminded that the behavior is inappropriate. When jailtime buddy went to give her the cracker i intervened. AND SHE FOUGHT ME. No not PS, THE ADULT FOUGHT ME. Finally, she gave over the cracker and told PS she could have it when I said. Which of course was not going to happen but i did not elaborate on that at the time and just stuck it into my pocket when PS wasnt looking (where of course it crumbled into tiny pieces to annoy gill later when he is doing laundry).

-At that point, I needed to prompt her to get ready for music. She does hate music. I was prepared not to argue but to simply give her the option of going or losing the time she'd be in music off recess and the afternoon movie. No problem for me either way. Her choice. Until Jailtime buddy started cajoling her to go. HELLO WE DONT DO THAT HERE! (Please bear in mind, Ted and repeat were screaming at each other about computer expectations throughout the entire uno game). And the wind started blowing.

-She climbed up on a desk and wedged herself between the partitions while laying flat calling out "polly want a cracker" combined with "IM NOT GOING". And I heard the train whistle of the oncoming tornado.

-Now friends, let me tell you. There is a plan for this behavior. We get her out of the room quickly before she ends up in a fist fight. We do not attempt to bribe her, tell her we are disappointed in her, take away her entire movie and recess in a fit of rage (that would be cheeseburger's contribution). Thank god for Mrs N and Mrs S who just cut things off and helped me get her out.

-Here is weirdly hopeful part. When we had to take her out, my stomach sunk because I was sure there would be struggling that would require serious intervention (and worse, the serious need to fill out a bunch of forms about what happened later in the day). Instead, she threw her arms around me and let us lead her to the time out room. I think of this as the eye of the storm.

- Now friends, time out has been a bone of contention with the team. Everyone has different ideas about how to proceed. I do have a plan that everyone has reviewed and has supposedly agreed to. When they first immediately deferred to me in the time out room, i was flattered and thought "this is great! they really want to see how ID do the plan!" (It was about 11pm last night when it occurred to me. Holy shit! Maybe they arent following the plan! Maybe they just didnt want me to realize that they are living la vida loca in that time out room) One of the directives is that only the behavior person remains inside with patient unless she becomes too aggressive. They certainly remembered that part and went to stand outside.

-At first we had fifteen minutes of pushing and kicking, paper tearing (Safety warnings in the empty room) and general attention seeking antics. The plan is then that when she decides she is ready to regain control, she goes to the back of the room and remains calm for three minutes, thus proving she is in control.

-She went to the back of the room but did not remain calm for three minutes. She cried hysterically about being ready to go back. Then she would cry about missing her dead pony (she would be the source of the "dont talk about the dead pony" line). She continued to sob for forty five minutes until we got kicked out of time out because hannibal was being dragged in kicking and screaming.

- We went for a walk and processed what happened. We talked about what we could have done differently to avoid the situation. We made a plan for earning back all the lost privileges. We returned to the room and politely but firmly explained to the Cheeseburger that we were going to turn the day around and earn back some of the privileges. Cheeseburger just sniffed disdainfully.

-Friends, after that? PS was a fricking ANGEL. The rest of the class? not so much. The next hour was defined by the speech therapist (who is scared of all of us) trying to give a lesson. PS and I played uno during this lesson mostly because the posse of dysfunction that are her classmates spent the entire lesson screaming obscenities and insults at each other. We played a game called "earplugs" where she would get a piece of candy for every two minutes she went without reacting to the environment AND SHE DID IT.

- As a reward (or more accurately because we are the dirty little secret of the school building, and there was a concert going on where parents would be around so the principal wanted us far away and outside) we were given an entire hour of recess. Sounds like a good thing yes? The aides laughed when I said this and took bets on how long it would be before I started counting the minutes til we went in. I made it seventeen minutes before it became a "how much longer" situation.

And then it was all over. Our girl went off and I went to my next appointment (at the russian gulag).

PS: (this time post script) THANK YOU ALL for the encouraging and validating words yesterday. Its really reinforcing. (of course if you sent me candy that would be more reinforcing...) And note to WSB- I didnt forget about you! (or any bloggy buddies) Ive just had a lot of trouble thinking about things after the most recent bad dreams. Dont worry, Ill come back!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

In case you thought it wouldn't be so bad?

Let me tell you about my day. First, we can set up the cast of characters:
Kids in the class:

Perfect Storm: My client. 11 years old. Extremely charming. Except for her sociopathic side.
Pete/Repeat: One sits behind PS, one sits next to her. They are both ruddy looking, "husky" whiney boys. And I cannot tell them apart unless they are sitting in their seats.
Hannibal: My secret favorite (besides PS of course.) Small pale, extremely intelligent. When we first got to the class in the fall, he stared at PS for about twenty minutes without saying a word. She was complaining, crawling on the floor, eating an eraser etc. Then in the creepiest voice Ive ever heard he said "Would you like me to acquaint her with the class Miss P?" The PS actually shut up and stared at him. His quote from yesterday after being thrown out of lunch was "Miss P, you seem stressed. You are not the Miss P. you used to be. What's the matter?"
Yoko Ono I HATE her. How can you hate a fifth grade girl Crse, you ask? Well you've never met Yoko. She is a large and unattractive girl who wears these strange out of context shirts like "cheer princess" and "Cute and sassy". Im thinking more like,"Queen of Temper Tantrums" or "ill-groomed and whiney". This is not why I hate her. If it was just the t-shirts and she was a nice girl, you would never hear her name. But she is mean to PS. And we cannot have that. She also thinks she is the belle of the classroom and pits her little posse of boys against each other. Which is actually kind of entertaining to watch.
Ted Ted is freaking ADORABLE. Except for his hair trigger temper that causes him to scream out and get in fist fights in the room.
Charlie M. The most violent kid in the class. Has attacked every single kid in the room and most of the adults. Everyone is afraid of him. Including the teachers.
There are more kids in the room but these are the main players.

Miss P Youngish, abnormally thin classroom teacher. Pleasant woman but extremely soft spoken and disorganized. I think she is attractive, but Spike describes her as a "butterface" (everything is great on her but her face).
Mrs. N Kind, grandmotherly woman (well more like spinster auntly, but she is married. She does have that pinched look though...). Pretty much undoes any behavior plan we put into place. She's our wild card of the adults.
Mrs. SBy far the most consistent grown up in the room. We heart Mrs. S! Unfortunately for us, she is out this week leaving us with.
Miss Meanie She does not understand behaviorally challenged kids. It wasnt pretty.
PammyWhen I met Pammy, I did not like her. But turns out behind her stoic face and rude remarks, she is actually quite knowledgeable about the classroom and fills me in on the drama if I miss anything.
NurseyShe is one of those ladies that goes to the salon once a week and gets her hair supersprayed into place and doesn't touch it again until the following week. Its unnerving. I dont get too close in case she has a nest in there somewhere. She is supposed to be an aide for the class. In actuality, her biggest concern is making sure she has a chair no matter what the classroom situation is like. Its kind of alarming to see Charlie engaging in a hostage situation with the teacher and Nursey getting pissed because they are blocking access to her chair. (Im not exaggerating friends. Nursey actually interrupted PS in the middle of a lesson so she could get her chair back)
Freddy JonesEqually chair obsessed. Prematurely grey. We think he has a crush on Displaced Worker. He has never spoken to me, but has three pat conversations with DW. 1) do you have children? He asks her this at least three times a week. 2) Arent these kids crazy? um yes. Thats why they are here and 3)Do you watch American Idol? Sorry folks, she doesnt. She does wish he would ask for fashion advice because he has worn the same leather coat and scarf (yeah i said scarf) all day every day since he arrived. Interestingly, yesterday was the first day he took it off. She was not there. I tried to check for any notable marks he'd be trying to hide, but I couldnt get close enough without being obvious.

Now that we have our cast, I only have time to provide you with dashes of yesterday.

- PS got thrown out of art while I was taking her paperwork to the office. She was breaking pencils and throwing them at kids.
-Right after lunch, there was a fist fight between Pete or Repeat and Hannibal. We were out of the room.
-We had to go walk down to and around the school track for some sort of healthy america nonsense. After my first trip around the track, I saw the other adults standing by bleachers and I realized I was the only adult who was foolish enough to walk with my client. Who lapped me. Because I was dressed in black (yeah sunny and 70 here. Woohoo) and wearing unsuitable shoes.
-On our way back to the classroom. PS accidentally spit on Charlie's arm. I almost shit myself. I thought we were both going down. I made her apologize twice. By some miracle, he said it was ok.
-We got locked out of the building so the entire emotionally challenged classroom trekked all the way around the elementary school to find an open door.
- We had a concert immediately after the walk. We sat on the gym floor. PS was leaned up against me which is a boundary violation but stopped her from annoying other kids. Who were getting cranky. I ended up on the floor between Yoko and some smelly kid with PS in front of me. My ass fell asleep. So did my legs. I found myself actually agreeing with Yoko when she started to complain.
-Thankfully we got pulled out of the concert so we could go to recess. Emotionally challenged kids at recess? Kind of like watching the making of Jackass. It was going so well until someone took PS's matchbox car. She didnt cotton so much to that. And it just de-escalated from there.

So thats day two. Im heading into day three now...stay tuned.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ode to resentment

Edited to add. I deleted this resentment as it was just time to. No worries friends. Im sure I will add others as time goes on.