Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sanitary Napkin Memories

While I love to read the more she-geared blogs and subscribe to several of them, I tend to stay away from words
like "vagina" and "tampon" and "girly bits" in my posts.
Not for any PC reason, I just don't have to talk about it in order to have one. At any rate, today is a special day.

I was chatting with my mother today and we got into a discussion about menstrual pads. Now, contrary to what various advertisement agencies will have you believe from their life's work of 30-second spot commercials during prime time t.v., women don't actually sit around discussing their
preferred methods of catching "Aunt Flo." However, my 13 year old daughter is getting around that age where we expect she'll be starting her period soon. This doesn't seem like a
big deal, does it? It is. My daughter has what the "experts" call Pervasive Developmental Delays with Autistic Tendencies (PDD/AT). Whatever the hell that actually means, I don't know. I do know that she is pretty verbal and smart and reads and talks and writes in both Arabic and English. She learns visually and doesn't "get it" when you're trying to explain some abstract thing that she can't see. And since I had a hysterectomy about 8 years ago, I can't exactly "accidentally on purpose" let her see me change a pad in order for her to freak out on my menstruating...because I don't. So...back to Sanitary Napkin Memory Lane.
I mentioned ALWAYS with wings to my mom and she said those damn wings always flip over and cause some serious damage to pubic hair. And I started to laugh. Loudly. I had
flashed back to a memory of high school. Yeah, of course, it
had to happen there. It's funny NOW that I can look back from 24 years later...but when it happened. I didn't laugh so much as I cried.
In 1986, we only had to have 20 credits total to graduate high school. I'm sure things have changed since then. But my dad was ahead of the school board apparently. He frowned upon any non-academic electives and constantly pushed me to take extra academic courses, like extra math or science classes. He also encouraged me to take a paralegal course at the community college a couple of nights a week just to see if I really wanted to be a lawyer. Anyway, at the end of my senior year, I had 24 academic credits and some college credits to boot. So a week or so before graduation, there was an assembly for seniors. And I got an Achievement Award.
And I was on my period.
Mr. Reynolds, the assistant principal, called my name to come up on stage in the auditorium. My friend, Vickie, was sitting next to me. She knew I was on the rag since I had to borrow a pad from her since I had run out. As I started to stand up, I whispered to her, "Oh man. I think this pad has turned upside down." I straightened up and I felt lightening bolts shooting through the old hoo-hoo. I let out an "owww"
that was only heard by Vickie due to the applause of the other seniors. I proceeded to walk as carefully as possible up the EIGHT STEPS to get to the top of the stage and by the time I got to shake hands with Mr. Reynolds and take my award, tears were streaming down my now red face. I was certain that my lower extremities now had that "Brazilian body wax" look and I carefully lowered myself into the seat next to Vickie, who was now sitting cross-legged trying not to wet her pants while she died laughing.
I wasn't tragically scarred for life, physically or psychologically due to this event. But now I find it a bit amusing. Regarding my daughter, it looks as though I'm going to have to wear a pad with "monkey blood" on it in order to
get her slightly used to seeing the ole "big girl bandaids" each month. Hopefully, she won't follow in her mom's footsteps of Introduction to Bikini Waxing in a public place.

Friday, September 25, 2009

We're Clearly Doing Something Right

My brother-in-law remarked to my sister the other day that if their kids hate them, clearly they must be doin something
right. She said that she's going to print that up and stick
it on the refrigerator.
And now that his comment has reached my ears, I must say,
Dude is on to something. I hear all the time from my elder
teenager that I am hated. Of course, it's usually just after
he gets sent to his room for being disrespectful or hitting
someone or calling someone an insulting name involving a
specific part of the human anatomy.
Speaking of disrespect, my 11 yr old is now telling me as
I type this that if I "continue to treat" him the way I have been (read: demanding respect or he spends time in his room), then he's going to run away from home! I wonder if there is a respectful way for me to offer to pack his bags.
Probably not. Instead, I'll choose to just ignore the remark.
I keep trying to encourage them to use real words to discuss their issues but they prefer the slap-down/cry hysterically method. One slaps down a sibling who proceeds
to cry hysterically. The result usually involves loss of
computer priveleges or ability to play outside. The fighting
levels are starting to go down a bit, even though the "I-hate-you's" are going up. So, I'm thinking David's correct
that clearly, we must be doing something right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Never Ending Summer

Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? You must
adore me, then. It's been a few weeks.

So,not much has changed here. We completed the month
of fasting for Ramadan and today is the first of three
feast days of Eid al-Fitr. The kids are all fine. I'm
fine. And school STILL....HASN'T....STARTED....YET!
What in the hell is wrong with this picture???! Randa
is so fed up with this perpetual Summer vacation thing
that she pulled all of their backpacks out of the
closet yesterday and stitched up any holes she could
find in them and threw them in a big pile on the floor
by the shoe closet and yelled, "GO TO SCHOOL NOW!"
The girl is so right that it hurts. They've been out
now since mid-May. Frankly, I'm getting a little sick
of seeing them myself.
Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. I just tire of
the "He's sticking his tongue out at me!"-"She hit me!"
routine and DON'T get me started on the "Is it my turn
yet?" regarding the computer. I had to sit through "turns"
for each of the five of them TWICE and forcibly remove
my 8 year old from the seat in order to get MY turn in.
And I'm the one trying to download the webcam software
so they can see their father when they talk to him! Silly
me. I didn't realize that "just 5 more minutes of Spider
Man" was a higher priority.
Another high point to their going back to school will
be the facilitation of my working out and dieting. I've
been trying all summer to work out. It's hard to do kick
box aerobics AND yell at your 11-year old son to stop
walking with his pants down to butt-crack level and making
"gangsta faces" at his sister. Mind you, this is all taking
place in my dining room and my heartrate is getting higher
by the second more from the aggravation factor than the
hook to the head/knee to the face combination.
One of the teachers knocked me for a loop yesterday,
though. She said that due to the high number of influenza
cases this year, they're going to be sending the kids in
grades 1-3 in the morning and the kids in grade 4-6 in the
afternoon. WHAT?! There goes my chance at free time, house
work, cooking and homeschooling Randa! I've got a third
grader, fourth grader and fifth grader. Who KNOWS what
craziness they're talking for the eighth grader? So, it's
looking like I'm stuck with kids galore for the remainder
of the year. Lucky, lucky me. Poor Randa. It's going to
take a lot more than stitching up ripped backpacks for
her to get any one-on-one time now.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Legend in My Own Mind-Part Deux

It happened again...today...TWICE! First, the same guy who couldn't remember me
before e-mailed me again and this time remembered our Class President- duh!
AND my sister...who I introduced to him. Yeah. I'm thinking he's GOT to be screw-
ing with my head now. Did one of you e-mail him a copy of part one of this blog?
Maybe he actually read it...on his own...but I'm thinking that he may have enjoyed
a little more than the "experimental dosage" of black hash that made it's way from
Turkey to our high school in Germany. But damn. You remember my younger sister
but not me. Hmmm. Nope, you're obviously an idiot. Or blind. Or a burn-out.
Because I was way cute. Not that my sister wasn't. I'm not taking anything away from
her. She's a hottie. But let's get back to ME. I'm the funny one who ISN'T shy.
Whatever. I'm so going to just un-friend him on Facebook. I don't care if that's bad
etiquette. It happens. And it's not like he'll notice anyway. I'm obviously not even a
blip on his radar. So I will just have to chalk it up to the fact that it has been 24 years
since I've even seen him. And not everyone is as smart as me to remember names
and faces and dates and places.
This does NOT, however, excuse incident number two. I found a former co-worker
that I met about 23 years ago...but I worked with him for several years back then. And
then again about 10 years ago. And we had partied together several times. And gone
to lunch together a few times. And he dated a friend of mine. AND the second time
that we worked together, I was pregnant for like the 47th month...okay it only seemed
like it........I was about 6 months pregnant with the 4th kid and I distinctly remember
about 4 or 5 of us from the office riding together to a meeting or a luncheon and HE
was going on about how great Dr. Laura Schlesinger was and we discussed the friend
of mine he'd dated years before. AND his love of larger women. And when he men-
tioned one day that I was "looking real good," I made a mental note to start on a diet
immediately! So how is it that he sends me a Facebook message after ACCEPTING
my add friend invitation telling me he's drawing a total blank about me? Again, IS THIS
EVEN POSSIBLE? Someone is just screwing with me, I know it. I'm far too cute for
people not to remember me. And I'm funny. And I'm really smart. Not just smart-ass.
I mean, really smart. I have an I.Q. of 143! That's nothing to sneeze at.
There is definitely a plot out there to drive me stark raving mad. Why does this
bother me? Because I am totally 100% an attention whore. I know this. It's what drives
me to blog. Well, that and the fact that I'm raising five kids in a foreign country with no booze.
I suppose I should be grateful that my kids remember me. And my husband. And my mom.
And my sisters. I'm a little uncertain as to whether or not my brother remembers me. But
I can't un-friend him. That would be...just wrong. But these other two clowns? I have to
just remind myself that it's their loss. They won't get to reacquaint themselves with the
glory that is me. Gotta click that delete button. Obviously I won't be missed.

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Fantasy Life Has Been Interrupted by My Kids

I'm lying on a big comfortable king-sized bed, wearing pretty pajamas with no
food stains or holes in them, and my hair is clean and there's no one banging on
the bedroom door screaming, "MOM!!!!" I'm sleeping...actual r.e.m....and no
alarms and no telephones and no dreams of any kind........and......
BLAMMO! Someone slams into the bedroom door with his shoulder to open it,
because, you know...those damn door handles...well, they're just a decorative
option. "Hunh?...get the glue out of the cupboard...I'll make dinner...huh? What?"
I sit up in bed.
"Mom! Ismail won't give Randa the remote control back and he's not even
watching t.v.!" whines Samiya.
"That is NOT true. I turned the t.v. on an hour ago and so it's my turn to have
the remote!" shouts Ismail from the living room.
POLICE! ISMAIL'S JAIL!" screams Randa from behind her tear-stained face with
stripes of skin where her eyebrows once were as she plucked vertical stripes
when she found my tweezers sometime last night.
I crawl back under the sheet and pull the pillow over my face. Will death not
come quicker than this? Why now? I just went to bed at 6am. What time is it?
My mind is a tornado of questions that 30 seconds ago didn't exist. "What was
I dreaming about?" I wonder. The shouts are getting louder and the mother's
intuition is starting to kick in. I throw back the sheet and sit up, place my
glasses on my face so that I can find the bathroom without crashing into
furniture and shove my feet into my slippers. With very old, fat, and exhausted
cat-like reflexes I throw a hand up to catch the fist of Ismail that is about to
pound down on Samiya's head as he shouts, "TATTLE-TALE!" I spin him about
and shove him toward his room.
"Back to your room, Mister! And don't come out until I call you!" I continue
shuffling to the bathroom. "And don't throw anything out of the room at her."
I hug Randa to calm her down. "And don't call her nasty names from in there
either!" I yell out as an afterthought. "Samiya. You're grounded from talking
at all for the next 20 minutes because you tattled and minded their business
instead of your own."
"But I...." she starts. She gets the morning stink eye from me. She takes a big
huffy breath and stomps off to her room and slams the door at me. Whatever.
I think about how much my fantasies have changed over the years as I brush
my teeth with the door locked and use my "maternal noise-cloaking device"
(M.N.C.D.) deep in my brain to tune out the fight that has begun between
Ismail and Hamo in their bedroom.
I used to fantasize about my husband and me running hand in hand on the
beach or being wealthy jetsetters, not to mention the sexual fantasies. Now I
fantasize about clean, hole-free pajamas and napping without interruption!!?
What the hell happened to me?
The M.N.C.D. is starting to jam due to piercing screams and four-letter words
being yelled by the boy in the headlock and crazy, macho self assurances are
being shouted by the one clutching the owner of the foul mouth, "YEAH!
I spit and rinse and run my fingers through my graying hair (time for a touch up)
and take a deep breath before going to pry apart the warring teenage factions
and face the reality of my life: Motherhood sucks sometimes.