Let's Not Do Anything Rash
Tender Loving CARE

The Darker The Berry, The Sweeter The Juice

{For you long-post lovers, this Bud's for you.}

Ugh. I overslept again this morning. Way. And so did the kids. So it was a quarter after ten this morning when I opened my eyes and caught the time! I vaguely remember my phone alarm going off, so I must have hit the "OK" button instead of "snooze." Dammit.  I'm glad I took a shower the "night" before - it was really around 0300.  I jumped out of bed, gathered up some children and their clothes, and let everyone pee, made lunches, grabbed backpacks, and left.

On the way to her school, I did a bad thing. I told Chloë I was going to tell a small lie and say that we were at a doctor's appointment, and that she shouldn't say anything when I did, like, "No, we were sleeping, Mommy!" She looked very uncomfortable about this. As well she should. But I didn't want two "overslept"s in the book in one week! What do you think, heinous crime or forgiveable fib?

After I dropped her off, the three of us skedaddled over to the office where I had made Jack's counseling appointment. I'd completely forgotten my phone and my Palm T\X, so I had to go by memory for the location. It was in a huge office complex with lots of different businesses - therapy and otherwise - so I was a bit nervous. And my therapist had said, the other day, "It's not XYZ Counseling, I hope, is it?" I assured her it wasn't.

Well, when I got to the right building, on the right floor (that much I knew), the first door I came to was XYZ Counseling. Oh, please, don't let this be the one. I went up to the receptionist and asked if they had an 11:00 appointment down for Jack O. Sure enough. Shit.  I was all ready to bolt there on the spot. I didn't fill out half the information on their multiple forms, and I didn't sign their releases, in case I didn't want to stick with them.

When I returned from the desk, there was Sophia holding a pen up to her mouth. The boy next to her had an identical one, so I demanded she give it right back to him. Well, his dad spoke up: "I gave it to her." Hello? You don't just give a toddler a pen! Especially with nothing to use it on - what do you think she's going to do with it? Color on herself, her clothes, and the furniture, duh! What are people thinking?!

Soon, Michelle came and got us, and took us back to her office. She left momentarily to get the kids some toys (good sign, smart lady), and we left them to play while we discussed my son. I talked about how he had been dry for a year but was now not only peeing every night and nap but also getting out of bed and peeing in the closet, under the bed, etc. I talked about how he seemed angrier than he ought to be - to me - and how he lashes out at his sisters. I talked about how, for a while there, I just felt like he didn't like me at all.

We discussed many things, like his prematurity, his developmental delays, our parenting style(s), reports about his behavior from school, and so on. Michelle was very reassuring. See, I grew up with three sisters. Until December, I was an aunt to all little girls. All my cousins are girls. I have absolutely zero experience with little boys, other than babysitting, and that doesn't really count IMO. She was happy to defer to his pediatrician but felt that he probably wasn't really awake when he was getting out of bed to pee in the wrong places, even if his eyes were open and he seemed alert. We racked our brains, as I have often in the past few months, to try to come up with some kind of event that would have triggered his regression to wetting the bed after being dry for so long, but we came up empty. So, her conclusion was that it's just more of his physical immaturity manifesting itself.

And as for his behavior, she said it really seemed like normal 5yo boy stuff to her. Boys are obviously more testosterone-driven and aggressive, which is why I observe this stuff in him much more so than in the girls. Watching him bounce around the room constantly, she said it would not surprise her to find he has ADHD - down the road a ways - but this is something Rob and I are very hesitant to ... I don't know ... think about at this early point in time. Michelle thought a lot of his anger is frustration over his delays, and also just part of his personality. Bottom line: there was absolutely nothing that concerned her, and she just wants to see him one more time to observe him again and discuss parenting skills we can implement specific to his peculiarities. I'm so relieved! I just can't tell you how much.

Afterward, I brought Jack to school, and everyone was so happy to see him. Even the lady custodian brightened up and said, "There's Jack!!" when we walked in. It really is such a pleasure to know that other people enjoy your children.

Sophia and I left to have lunch, and then I set her down with some toys while I made a few phone calls. One of those was to find out about the status of my civilian referral for gastric bypass; it turns out it has already been approved and I'll get my letter in the mail in about a week, telling me which provider to contact!! YIPPEE!!! Dr. Bidus kicks ass, man.

After my calls, I decided to wind up a bunch of my new yarns, since my swift and ball winder were still out from the day before. 100_6585 

Le Swift

100_6586 El Ball Winder

100_6587All my big, fat, colorful yarn cakes - that's the Malabrigo up front. You can visually tell how much softer it is than the raw wool in the back, can't you?

Jack had come home, and then Chloë, and then Rob (early!), while I was winding up the yarn. The children bore gifts! Jack brought me a paper bracelet and a flower pot he painted himself. I'm not sure what's growing in there, but it's doing well. Chloë brought me this giant laminated card:


Really? The best thing about me is that I pet "her" dog? At least she got the "prettey" part right - er, uh, I mean the knitting and the dansing! God, I love little kid writing!Mommy_picture

This picture is of her, Jack and me. I guess she forgot she had a little sister? I like that our clothes match. And that I appear to  have Daddy's ears. She gave me coupon cards, too, promising she would do the dishes, wash my car, and make my bed!

The girls wanted to dance, so I took video of that, which you can see here. Sorry about my semi-singing; I just can't help myself! Then I sent the kiddies upstairs for quiet time, and after the last ball was wound (and the obligatory bloggy pictures taken, natch), I left for my long-awaited allergy appointment!

I shan't have been so excited about it. Firstly, I've been doing Slim-Fast for a week and weigh more than when I started. Farg! Second, I'm not allergic to anything for which they tested me. Suck! Basically, this is what she told me: "Does the Benadryl work for you? Good, keep plenty next to you at all times. Buh-bye!"

Yeah. Thanks for that. I guess you get what you pay for... and since I'm not going to give up knitting and crocheting, well, I'm going to invest in whatever company makes Benny.

So. I drove home. Defeated. And a certain current favorite song of mine came on, and I forgot my head and started rocking out and pretending I was on stage, singing into my fist-microphone. Did I realize that I was stopped at a light doing this? Did I realize the people in the next car were watching me and laughing? No I did not. Did I slink down in my seat in embarrassment when I finally looked up and caught their stares? Heck yes! The fist-microphone almost reappeared on the next good song, but I crushed that impulse.

But, lo, that is not the end of today's story, oh, no, no, no. There is more. There is always more. We haven't gotten to the part yet that explains today's title, see?

I had wanted us to go out to Dirty Dick's and eat some crab and drink some alkie with Steph and Tim, and let the kids play on their little playground, but my phone died before I could see about that. And then I remembered Uncle Chuck, my fishmonger at the Farmer's Market. And then I remembered there was a hoedown at the FM starting at 1900! Whoo-eee, I'm there!

Rob and I collected our various progeny, buckled them into their seaties, and headed down the road. I have naught to add to this paragraph.

100_6593 Hoedown? More like letdown! This was it, an un-amped quintet with a bunch of fogies in camp chairs scattered in front of them, completely drowned out by the jets flying overhead from nearby Naval Station Oceana. We could scarcely hear them. And they were playing sloooooowly. I thought bluegrass was supposed to be fast and lively? Not so, this. Puh.

So we were glad to find that half the booths were still open on the circle that surrounded this little field. Alas, Unc Chuck had closed up shop and skipped out until tomorrow, so I didn't get the crabbies I was so intent upon devouring tonight. I'm on a real crab kick lately, don'tcha know.

So we ambled around the circle, until we came to a produce stand that had the absolute most gorgeous strawberries I've ever seen. The proprietor told me they'd just been picked that morning! I bought two heavy quarts. Then we bought two quarts of new potatoes, a few tomatoes, an apple for each of the kids, and... I guess that's it. The kids bit right into their apples before I could even wipe them on my shirt, and we made our way back to the car with our yummy purchases.

Edit: As we were leaving, the guy said to me, "Too many girls! You need to give him a brother!"  Ouch.

Then Chloë wanted to go into the candy store to spend some of her allowance money. The kids ran in and acted like kids in... well, you know. The owners were so amused by their capricious choosing of a candy only to spot something else and put the first thing back. It's the hardest decision in the world, after all! Rob bought himself a piece of fudge, the Littles each chose a big, colorful "lilypop" as Sophie calls them, and Chloë bought herself some cotton candy and a taffy bar. She always gets so excited about bringing her purse out and spending her money, I guess since I rarely suggest she do it. And when the lady told her the total was $1.98, Chloë dove into her wallet and came out with two dollar bills! She knew! Awesome.

The kids had long since handed over their barely-eaten apples at this point, in favor of sweet treats, so we sat in the rocking chairs out front while they ate their goodies and I finished two of the apples. I don't know how long it's been since I just ate an apple right off the core. They were so good. I should do it more often.

Edit: Forgot to mention, when I threw away the second apple core, I realized the hand that was holding it had swollen up to twice its normal size! Add another allergy to the ^%&* list!

100_6598 Jack nibbling on a piece of lolly

100_6606 Chomp!

100_6601 Did you know you could get cotton candy in vacuum-sealed bags like chips?

100_6607 The girls are always so entertained by their tongue changing colors from candy!

100_6591 Some kind of mill

100_6592 This sign on the butcher's shop door tickled my funny bone.

100_6609 Before we left, Rob bought himself and the three baby 'squirrels' an enormous sack of peanuts. Goodness! Those'll be around a while.

We cleaned our hands and headed home with our yummy goodies. I immediately set to work making dinner. What's to eat? Smashed new potatoes and strawberries! And peanuts! For serious, that's what we had.

100_6610 Have you ever seen such beautiful berries? I thought not! I cut up one quart for dinner - which the kids quickly demolished - and sliced up the other strawberries, sugaring them for juice, to make shortcakes tomorrow. Mmmm-mmm.

100_6612 I cut up the new potatoes and boiled them while I sautéed this lovely Vidalia onion. Oh, it smelled so sweet. When they were done, I mashed them together with a little butter, a little S&P, and a little garlic. That's all we ate. Strawberries and potatoes and peanuts. And behold, it was good.