The Daily News

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Life in Brief

A few of these have children mentioned...

Perhaps someone works in a photo shop and explain this to me:

On Monday morning, I realized that I hadn't printed out pictures of the Wolvog for a classroom project. I dropped the twins off at school and ran by the photo shop in town, intending to print them off a disc and then return to the school with the photographs. The store was closed--no problem. I'll just go to the drugstore where they also have a print-while-you-wait machine. Except that it was broken.

I wait the 20 minutes in the cold outside the store, shivering without a coat (why don't I have a coat? Because I'm an idiot; there, is that what you wanted me to say?). Finally, the store opens and I discover that their machine is broken as well.

Now anyone sane can get a whiff of crazy-woman-on-the-verge-of-tears as I ask what I should do considering that I need to drop off the pictures now and can't pick them up later in the day as she suggests. I live in a small town and then next photo store is twenty minutes away. She shrugs her shoulders as I stand in her completely empty store and insists that it will take an hour to print out my three photos. It can't be done while I wait. It will definitely take the full hour.

Seriously, are the non-instant machines that much different from the instant machines that they can't print three pictures in under an hour? It doesn't even take that amount of time to print three pictures in a dark room from film.

Back in elementary school, the teacher gave a prize to anyone who wore green on every article of clothing on St. Patrick's Day. I always wore all green because I hated being pinched. But I never won the prize. Not that this would ever fly in today's current climate, but the only way to prove that you were wearing green underwear was to have someone go into the bathroom with you and show them your panties and then the person reported back to the teacher. And I just couldn't trust whether or not I had cool panties, and it wasn't the sort of thing you could ask anyone either. Therefore, I didn't risk having uncool panties seen by never admitting that I was always wearing green underpants on St. Patrick's Day. So I never won the prize and always felt like crying on St. Patrick's Day because I was wearing all green and just was too shy to prove it.

I told Josh this story as he put his shoes on before work and he looked up at me with an incredulous expression. "That is fucked up." Though he didn't really elaborate on which part was fucked up: the fact that our teacher made another child check your panties, the fact that I didn't let someone see my panties, or the fact that I still carry this with me almost 30 years later.

The twins asked me what "yofi tofi" means. I was buckling them into their car seats and was trying to explain how it was just a cute way of saying "good." Like "oh goody!" Except that it really wasn't in style anymore.

"What is in style?"

"It's just sometimes a word is popular for a while and then it's not and you can figure out the person's age if they're still using it. It's sort of like groovy. That was a word that was cool before I was born. And if someone is using it, you know they're probably older than I am. Yofi tofi was popular when I was little so I still use it sometimes and you know that it means that I grew up in the 70s and 80s."

"But no one says it anymore?" asked the Wolvog.

"Not really. It's not a cool word anymore."

"So you aren't cool?" asked the ChickieNob.

"I thought we went over this before."

The Wolvog informed me that he likes to play the game "Pume" (pronounced like "plume" but without the L). This resulted in me repeating the word about 30 times in a row, trying to figure out what this meant. "Pume!" the Wolvog insisted. "Pume!"

"Can you show me how to play?" I finally asked.

He made his hand into a little fist and knocked the air--all the while screaming, "pume! pume!"

The ChickieNob silently watched this exchange and then turned to me with the most mournful expression on her face. "My brother shoots me. At school."

I was sucking in my breath, about to start my usual rant about pacifism when he cut me off with a small smile, "don't worry; I only shoot her at school. I know you don't like that stuff at home."

I have been in a mood. The only way I can explain it is that I feel like I'm at an amusement park and I know I've spent all this money to get there and once this day is over, I'm not going to be able to come back for a bit, but I can't decide what to ride.


That's not exactly it.

I feel like I'm on the log ride because other people have told me that it's tame and I feel like a loser if I don't ride it--having come all this way to the amusement park--so it's ticking up the hill and all I can think is how I don't want to be on it at all. That I regret being on it and caving into peer pressure as much as I regret being such a wimp that the log ride bothers me.

Not yet.

I feel like I'm on the log ride and everyone else on my boat is having a grand time, laughing and shrieking. They're slapping my back because they think I am having just as much fun as them. But I am terrified and cannot do anything about it because I am stuck on the log ride. And I am the only person in my boat gritting my teeth and bracing myself.

One of those three scenarios. Sometimes all three of them at once.

The Wolvog refused to come upstairs today for a rest. We had been running around the park and he clearly needed it. I went upstairs with the ChickieNob and tucked her in and waited. He didn't come up. This was most unusual because he doesn't like to be downstairs by himself. The house was completely silent.

I came downstairs to make dinner and he was sitting on the sofa. He defiantly told me that he wasn't going to take a rest and I told him that was fine; he'd just have an earlier bedtime, but I wasn't going to interact with him.

He sat downstairs in silence for ten more minutes. He tried to get me to engage in a conversation, but I moved around the kitchen as if he wasn't there. He finally told me that he had changed his mind about the rest. I still didn't talk to him. It took him another five minutes or so to take the initiative to go upstairs, announcing the whole time that he had changed his mind. He was doing what he knew I wanted him to do.

I didn't say anything.

Finally, I cried when I knew he was upstairs and in bed. It feels terrible to be ignored. It feels terrible to consciously ignore someone--especially someone that you desperately want to have more time with. It feels like I am finally at the amusement park and I'm choosing to spend the whole day sitting by the gate instead of going on the rides. To what end?

I told you that I was in a mood.

I forgot to wear green yesterday. Even knowing it was St. Patrick's Day. I went through the whole day and finally looked at my clothes and realized I had dressed entirely in grey.

I am still pouring drinks at the Lushary. I love the toasts--every e-tipsy (to borrow Caitsmom's word) one of them.


N said...

I'm sorry you're in a mood; they're hard. I'm in enough of one that I didn't even feel like I could take part in the lushery. But I'm so glad it was there.

areyoukiddingme said...

The school probably has a photo printer (or something they consider good enough), but anyone with a color printer and some glossy photo paper can make prints good enough for a classroom project. Even my 70 year old mom (who can't resize her prints, but that's easy enough).

That teacher was fucked up. Green underwear? I would have just told her that I wasn't wearing underwear, so there was no need to check it! Of course, that probably goes against the shy thing...

The log ride is, without a doubt, the scariest ride in the whole amusement park. You know why? NO SEATBELTS!!! (of course, I haven't been in a while, maybe they've installed some). So maybe you're on the scariest ride but no one else is aware enough to notice...

luna said...

I've had those moods before -- it makes me uncomfortable in my own skin but I don't know what to do about it. do whatever you need to do to get through it, if you can...

and yes, josh was right. that shit is whacked. your teacher, that is.

Tara said...

I am in a mood, too. I think its in the air.

I love the way you write - and I love the kids funny conversations!!! "It's OK, I only shoot her at school, I know you don't like that at home" cracks me up!!!

Lori said...

Maybe Blue Hue and green don't go together. I was in a mood yesterday, too. I was terrified to step up to the Lushary and unleash, even virtually.

Today is better here. How about you?

Josh makes me laugh.

Lori said...

Oh, and so do you. With the "Brief" and "underwear" thingies. So very clever.

What color today? (Your mood AND your undies).

Emily said...

I love the way you tell a story - suck me in every time...
Sorry you are in a mood!

eden said...

I cried when you wrote you cried when the Wolvog was finally having a rest.

I spent my entire childhood being ignored by my parents. To read of the immense love you have for your children sometimes takes my breath away.

Hope your mood is .... less moody. XOX

Erin said...

Just sending hugs, because I think we're in the same mood and I haven't figured out how to get out of it.

Kim said...

I used to be a manager of a photo shop, and the only reason why it would ever take her that long is if she was just opening/turning the machines on.. it does take almost an hour to get the machines running.. they run through all kinds of steps before they're ready to print.


LJ said...

The mood-busting (or wallowing, choose your poison) is here for you! Lunch tomorrow!

Hillary said...

I cannot believe your teacher made you wear GREEN UNDERWEAR too. That is insane.

I'm sorry you in a mood, sometimes it's worse than other emotions because it's hard to pinpoint and shake. :(

Deathstar said...

What was the consequence to not getting the pictures? Did it feel catastrophic to you?

Where would you rather be?

By the way, for whatever it's worth, I think you are doing a fantastic job parenting your children. I admire you and your patience and perseverance. You let your son make up his own mind about what was more importnat and probably avoided a meltdown later on. That's a gift to him. Whether he liked it or not.

serenity said...

Oh, I sucked in my breath when I read about you not interacting with Wolvog. How hard. For the both of you.

And I also giggled when he said "I know you don't like that stuff at home."

Kristin said...

It really bites when moods like that hit. {{{Hugs}}}

Beautiful Mess said...

I hope your mood improves, soon. I've been back to the Lushary many times to read all those beautiful wonderful comments. They make me tear up every time I read them.

bleu said...


Carrie27 said...

I hate those moments when you wish you did something else but it is over and done with. Blah.

Anonymous said...

Moods must've been on special yesterday, I was in one too. I agree with others who say your story-telling is well crafted!

My 2.5 year old son has been refusing bedtimes lately. The other night he was inconsolable, no matter what we did. Finally, I told my dh to just leave him bawling in his room with the door open and leave our door open too.

And then we waited and waited for him to finally come to us. My dh casually watched tv, I fretted the entire time.

And so it goes.

Somewhat Ordinary said...

If it means anything to you I think you are VERY cool!

Bea said...

Well, that didn't quite go as I was expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting. I'm not sure what the answer is when you want to but don't want to interact and play. If you work out the balance, let me know.