Friday, July 28, 2006

Childhood and the Art of War

I have noticed that, from the beginning of Miss Peanut's toddlerhood, there has been a power struggle emerging. She needs to assert her independence and I need to assert my influence to keep her grounded. Being an only child, she must wage her battles on her own, and occasionally taste defeat by my hand. Occasionally, that defeat is literally by my hand, as I am a spanker.

I believe in the spank as a powerful deterrent in my arsenal of parental weaponry. It was proved to be a deterrent to me and has worked with Miss Peanut. I rarely ever have to pull it out, though, because I also employ "the count." You've all heard it, that voice brimming with frustration and incipient violence, slowly counting "One, TWO, THR..." I also rarely make it to three, because I am no joke after I get there. If I have to complete the word "three" then I lay on the spank. Miss Peanut learned that I mean business, and usually complies on "One."

Yesterday, however marked new territory in our little home war. I got to three. In public. Where there were spectators. I had tried something new, as I was in public, and perhaps this backfired. Instead of proceeding directly to the usual counting, I told her that if she didn't pick up the toy she had just petulantly thrown on the floor, then we would be leaving that toy at school (because that's where we were) overnight. Perhaps the absence of the usual consequence prompted the disobedience, but it must be said, I got to three. I picked up the toy and handed it to Peanut's teacher, who, bless him, was totally behind me.

Miss Peanut then deployed her largest weapon - the Meltdown. I have never before experienced a meltdown from Miss Peanut. I was completely flabbergasted. She cried, she screamed, she stomped her feet! What was this?! I had observed this behavior on occasion from some undisciplined hoydens in her class but never from my own child. So, taking a page from my father's book, I pulled out the stoniest face I had, and began barking orders. Peanut was marched out of the classroom, sans toy, still screeching at the top of her lungs. There was a brief sally in the hallway where she refused to budge an inch further and threatened to cry all night and not sleep a wink. Mustering my calm, I began with the calm ordered count:

One. Two. THREE.

Again, I got to three! What was going on? This time, I delivered the smack heard around the day-care center - one delivered smartly to the buttocks. I considered this battle won, when she pulled it out again on the way to the car. I asked her, did I have to count? There was no response. I counted again:

One. Two. Do you really want me to get to three? (pause) THREE.

Oh my GOD! She's proven impervious to the count! By that time the enemy had landed - total parental frustration! Without regard for the civilian bystanders, I delivered three smacks to the butt - the equivalent of an ICBM in my arsenal - and won the war.

All of the civilian bystanders, as it happens, were veterans of this particular war, and acknowledged my military superiority in the situation. Thank Heavens for that. Rarely does one understand the subtlety of these maneuvers unless one has lived through it.

Rapprochement and rebuilding occurred in the car, and Miss Peanut acknowledged that she had behaved like a brat, agreeing to the terms of surrender: she'd go without the toy that day, and we'd get it tomorrow. Today, we are going to retrieve the toy and spend some Mother-Daughter time together before she spends the night with her Grandparents (The General and Grandma).

Undoubtedly, this is only a cease-fire in our war. I can't wait until she hits puberty. God help us all.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Irritable, part two.

Went to the dentist Monday. Irritable.
Was told I have a cracked molar, but the pulp was probably ok. Irritable.
Going today to get it fixed with a temporary crown. Extremely irritable.

I hate going to the dentist. If you're going to put on rubber gloves with the intent to insert them in one of my orifices, my MOUTH is the last orifice I'd choose. Apparently, too, I have a small mouth. My students would disagree, but because of it, getting those dental x-rays has always been a painful process for me. Then, the drilling, the sanding, the pain - none of them can ever get me numb enough - so I'm irritable.

If it turns out that the pulp has been affected/infected and I need root canal? I'm going to go incandescently irritable.

UPDATE: As it happens, the pulp was fine, and I now have a temporary crown installed. No incandescence from me. In the extreme bitchiness front, though, a heatwave is anticipated for later this week...

Monday, July 24, 2006


It's hot and humid. Irritable.
Stupid summer reruns. Irritable.
Aunt Flo arrived. Irritable.

But, I have to say, one person - someone I don't even know - has irritated me a couple of times this summer, and I'm using my free public forum to vent.

Ok, so I've had Duodenal Switch surgery. There are forums (fora? forii? forae?) for people who have had weight loss surgery, and I belong to a few of them. Most of the time, I lurk, because I'm fairly new to the post-op insights. I mean, I've done tons of research and know all about the process, but I'm still only 35 days out of surgery (and about 38 pounds down - wheee!) so I don't know all that much. Understanding that I don't know much, I realize my place on the DS pecking order - peon - so I don't dare call anybody on what I consider to be hypocritical behavior. On the forum, that is. Here? Different story.

But not yet, my pretties. Not yet. You see, you have to understand the intense insecurities that we, the Outrageously Obese (I like it better than "Morbidly Obese" - so much nicer, don't you think?) harbor in our darkest thoughts. Many of us lose sight of what "normal" is. Sometimes, we get caught up in the losing phase, and succumb to a near-anorexic mindset, where losing is the only thing that matters. Others of us sabotage their surgery by eating starchy carbs, subconsciously scared of losing the "armor" they've constructed over the years. Counter-productive, certainly.

There are those who've had a lovely surgical experience and recovery - swift, relatively painless, and uncomplicated. There are others who've had horrible hospital stays, infections, pulmonary emboli, adhesions, etc... There are people who can eat whatever they want, and there are people who are completely intolerant of certain foods.

Still, we are supposedly all in the same boat, having chosen the same surgery, having faced a lifetime of obesity and the complications it brings, and having all lain down on that scary surgeon's table with the same prayer in our minds "please, let it work and let me live."

There are, for the most part, a group of post-ops on each board who are cheerleaders to all. Kind women (and men) who rah-rah each wow moment we have and comiserate on our disappointments. Then there is this one. She is a long-term post-op who has lost an impressive 200+ pounds. For that, I salute her. It's one of the reasons I have read her blog off and on for a year (although it's not on my sidebar). Now, I may have to give that up.

I noticed last month, just after my surgery, that she'd gotten really bitchy on her blog about a certain individual on the forum. Understandable, I guess, but it irritated me nonetheless. Her blog, for the past year, has been a veritable catalogue of insecurities. She's been a bit like an ostrich in certain areas of her life, unable to get her head out of the sand and attain closure. Still, it was entertaining reading - a bit like Sex and the City, with a crankier edge.

For her snarky coments, though, well, I learned in preschool that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. I guess this lesson passed her by. She's snarked recently about a woman that has been nothing but open about her life, emotionally laying herself bare to the forum, asking questions that expose her insecurities to the world. There's no way I could be that brave and reveal so much about myself to the forum. And the nature of the comments she made, well, I guess I'm too sensitive for my own good. I remember thinking "Pots and Kettles, anyone?" Just because you have different issues doesn't mean you should feel free to call someone on theirs, right? We're all a bit fucked up, aren't we? Don't enable, by any means, but don't snark around behind their back, either.

Well, it could just be the arrival of Aunt Flo or the humidity, but I've gotten a bit fed up. Hey, if she can snark, then so can I.

Just remember, people: we've all got problems.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another nail in my coffin...

Ok, so I probably have that Mother of the Year award in the bag after today's installment:

How redneck is it to have your 5-year old daughter sing along with Alan Jackson?

And even better, here are the lyrics that came out of her mouth, with an adorable lisp and fake twang:
"Pour me something tall and strong
Make it a Hurricane
Before I go insane.

It's only half-past twelve
But I don't care.
It's five o'clock somewhere"

I'm tellin' y'all - Mutha Mother of the Year. It could be worse, though. She could be singing my favorite song by DaVinci's Notebook.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mother of the Year

"C'mon lady! You don't have a stop sign for crying out loud. Just go!"

"Who are you calling "lady," Mommy?"

"The silly woman in front of me who's stopped where there isn't a stop sign. I don't think she's very smart."

"Yeah, she's a dumbass, isn't she Mommy?"

(hangs head in chagrin...)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Once again, I have a purpose!

Well, now I know what I'll be doing for the next two weeks - babysitting my grandmother!

Nanny's not doing so well now, and needs to have someone around all the time. So, since I'm "not working," I got volunteered to hang out with Nanny and keep her in line. You know, no more break dancing, base jumping, or disco for her! It's all about the keeping still and watching movies for us. Perhaps we'll even throw in some hard-core napping just for variety!

Nan's still a hoot to hang around with, regardless of the oxygen cannula and nebulizer (which she calls her "crack pipe" - although it looks more like a bong to me...). And hey, we both dig invalid food, so it's going to be a wild rockin' week for us. I know I make it sound boring, but I love my Nanny, so it's no sacrifice.


Food is not love, or at least that's the mantra I'm repeating these days. It's bizarre to eat 1/4 cup of food and be full. Done. Finito. The WCM took me out to dinner the other night, and I ate about 4 bites of my dinner. It was scrumptious - a chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms, cheese, chorizo, and spinach, then drenched in more cheese and jalapenos. Oh, the cheesy goodness! The WCM now loves going out to dinner with me, as I ate another few bites for lunch today, then gave up and put it all in a plastic container for him to take for lunch tomorrow. Three meals from one entree. If you're a cheap-ass bastard, you can't beat that deal!


Um, well it's been almost three weeks since my surgery, and I've lost 27 pounds. Nine pounds a week is nothing to sneeze at. That's another surreal part of this whole surgery experience. I mean, when have I lost 27 pounds in less than a month before? Like, never?

For the average person, like my aunt and mother, losing 27 pounds would mean dropping 4 dress sizes, so they're really impressed. For me, the chubbette, it means my clothes are getting a little loose. It always confused me when skinny people would freak about gaining 10 pounds. I realized later that 10 pounds is a big deal for them, as it means that none of their clothes will fit. At my weight, 10 pounds truly doesn't affect fit that much.

Summer Plans

Melanie, Noz, thanks ever so much for your suggestions of learning a new language to relieve my boredom, but I believe I'm going to have to pass. If I delve back into language learning, it will be to refresh my Spanish, as that's really where the K-12 market is these days. Arabic and Russian? Not so much.

But I did get some good suggestions. I particularly like Garfer's, of Naked Skydiving. Although the WCM's of Competitive Underwater Basketweaving seems to trump it. Anyone for a weave-off?

Seriously, though, once I'm done granny-sitting, it will be time to dress up a few (hundred)lesson plans in time for school. I think I know how my summer will be spent. Blargh.

All of you lovely people on vacation, it's time to come back. Quit skiving and get blogging, dammit!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

So what the hell do I do now?

Ok, so I've accomplished everything I wanted to this summer on a personal level. Where do I go from here? Everything is just too much work, but I'm bored if I don't do something.

Oh, the dilemma of the lazy-assed.

Any ideas?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Crackers, the food of the devil

I'm afraid of a damn cracker. A Ritz cracker. It's freaking me out.

It hasn't grown a face or started chasing me around the room laughing evilly, but it sends frissons of fear down my spine, nonetheless.

See, I actually ate a cracker last week. I had scooped up a big spoonful of peanut butter and was ready to slurp it slowly off the spoon when I thought to myself "Self, this would be awesome on a cracker." Now, there are restriction about having this surgery, such as eating nothing but protein first. Sure, I'm sure there's nothing wrong with having a cracker or two - I've seen other weight-loss surgery patients have crackers. Still, my hand hesitated over the open cracker box, refusing to casually dip in and snag a buttery round. Could I have just one?

I let my hand drop into the box and I fished around for a whole cracker. I carefully ate it, liberally smeared with peanut butter, in four bites. I also finished my peanut butter spoonsickle. There shouldn't have been any guilt, but I found some cowering deep down in my psyche and dragged it out. How could I have eaten a cracker? it railed at me. I can't get 100 grams of protein in every day. How on earth could I justify giving up valuable stomach space to a fat-laden, carbohydrate-drenched disc? Why could I not just be satisfied with my tasty protein? You know, it seethed, this is just like you! You have this surgery and then instantly try to sabotage it by stuffing your gullet with carbohydrates. You have such an addictive personality - next you're going to be a crack monkey lying unconscious in a back alley, all strung out, or worse, dead like that model, Gia, because you couldn't control yourself. Damn, girl, it spat, you disgust me. Go ahead. Eat your crackers. I couldn't care less, because you're dead to me.

That little smidgen of guilt packs a mighty wallop. She's a vituperative little shit. It's amazing I have such guilt, given my lack of religion, but that's a different story. So now, I'm still afraid of that cracker. Not for itself, but for what it represents, I guess. A lack of self-control or a fear of success.

Damn crackers. I can only imagine what Guilt would have said had it been an Oreo.