Monday, October 22, 2012

I love my church people

Yesterday morning I got to church and my first three conversations went like this:

Steph:  Good morning! How are you doing this morning?
Me:      Oh, I'm fine.
Steph:  You are lyin'! And you're a terrible liar.
Me:      Isn't that a good thing?
Steph:   Yep; I guess that's a good thing.  So how are you really doing?
Me:      It's just one of those mornings where kids won't follow directions and my husband thinks that they would if I was just a better mom.
Steph:  (shakes her head) Want me to kick him in the nads for you?

Linda: (Gestures over her face, then points at me) What is this?  You look mad or something.
Me:     Just one of those days.
Linda:  Uh-huh.  Whatever.

Preacher: Good morning! And how are you?
Me:      I'm making it.
Preacher: Well, you know, whenever I think I've had a bad week, I think ,  "Well, at least I'm not Tiffany." I mean , I don't know how you handle it all.

I wasn't sure if I should feel offended or vindicated.


Then, after church, conversations went like this:

Linda: Hun, I'm going to pray for you this week cause I don't like seeing that look on your face.
Me:  Good. Thanks.

Me: My knees hurt.
Steph: Well, tell your husband to take care of things himself.
Me: (Not getting the innuendo) He can't handle being in charge of everything for more than two hours.
Linda: Seriously. If you're taking care of the house & kids, he can take care of himself so your knees don't hurt.
Me: (Still hurting and frustrated and not getting it) Nah. It's just that I don't have cartilage in my knees, so it grinds bone-on-bone.
Linda: (snickers at perceived innuendo from "bone-on-bone")
Steph: Wow. That sucks.
Linda: That's what she said.

Steph: I'm going to show up at your house one day this week with a bottle of wine to make you relax.       Your husband is going to get home and be like, "What's up with you? Why are you in such a good mood?" And you can be like, "Steph crashed my crib and liquored me up and got me to mellow out."
(The preacher's wife gives us a dirty look.)
Steph: So, what's your poison? Pinot?
Me:     Actually, I don't really like wine. But I wouldn't mind the visit.
Steph: So... chocolate? I'm bringing something.
Me:     Ice cream. I love ice cream.
Steph: YUM! Sounds like a plan!

After church, we stayed for a women's potluck lunch and devo, where the message was about how much of a blessing the leader's special needs kid is. I wasn't in the mood to appreciate her sentiment, yet I listened and hope one day I can feel the same way. I know that there are many blessings, and, honestly, it's not the special-needs part of my kid I take issue with. It's the defiant, obstinant, rude attitude; and that the younger kids are acting out like he does because that's the example set for them.

Then the crazy lady showed up and tried to take my pizza: My husband had brought pizza for the lunch, but we'd already started the devo by the time he got there, so everyone went up afterward to get some. Just then, someone who wasn't there for the lunch or devo showed up and wedged herself in the middle of the ladies fixing their plates, picked up a full pizza box and started to walk off.

I was like, "Whatcha doin'?"

And she said, "Oh. Can I have this?"

"I think people are still getting pizza, and several people have already asked if they could take some leftovers."

A man who has been working on some building repairs, volunteering his time, asked politely if he could have some. "Sure, go ahead," I say.

She starts getting antsy because the pizza is running out and she still wants a full box.
So she huffs, "Well, Cris got a whole box." I open my hand and showed her the cash that Cris put in my hand so she could take a full box. "Cris asked if she could buy a box because she has to work today."  I knew that this crazy lady would not be working today.  She just didn't want to cook dinner. 

But it really just rubbed me the wrong way that she walked up and took a box without asking while people were still trying to eat!  Ugh! How selfish is that? She used to be a good friend, but she's so self-absorbed that she takes advantage of people all the time and doesn't even realize that it's wrong.

There was a half a box left, so she asked if she could take it  for lunch - after everyone had gotten what they have wanted. I caved and said yes... and I motioned with my pen that I was stabbing her as she walked away, which made Steph and Linda almost spew Sprite out of their noses laughing. The preacher's wife pretended to not see. Then Crazy's husband walked up, laughing and shaking his head, and gave me a few bucks to cover the price of the half-pizza.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lunching with Crazy

One day, I sat in Burger King with my family and my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. Since the MIL likes to see the kids and buy them stuff, but not actually hear or interact with them, we sat outside of the kids area. The MIL and SIL were in the midst of a minor war and were taunting each other much like the Vizzini/ Man In Black battle of wits in The Princess Bride. However, no one died at the end. (Maybe that would have make this lunch better. Anyone know how to get hold of iocane powder?)

So I decided that 10 screaming children were preferable to the verbal bitch-slaps at the table and took my food into the kids' area to "monitor the children." I got my kids to worry down two or three crown-shaped "chicken" nuggets and a few greasy fries without hurling, and I ate a "hamburger."

This is what nuggets are made of :  nugget paste. Yummy, right?

Then my MIL decided she'd rather bear the kid-noise and talk to me rather than deal with her progeny calling her out on her bullcrap, and joined me at my table.

Her first point of discussion: my teenage step-son stinks. As if I didn't notice. She said she bought him some medicated acne soap that should kill the stinky germs. And she bought him some deodorant.

My response was that we've got plenty of soap and deodorant, but 1), he's autistic, 2) he's 14, 3) he's a boy, and 4) his main personality trait is apathy. To put it bluntly, he stinks because he won't bathe because he doesn't care enough to bother. He turns the hot water on full blast, gets wet before it heats up too much, then stands out of the spray and watches it go down the drain until all the hot water is gone. Then he gets out, doesn't dry off, and sits on his bed, lost in imagination. So (sucks for him) my husband has had to start monitoring his showers again like he's a 5 year old.

And it all went in one ear and out the other. My MIL's rebuttal was that we just weren't giving him the right soap.

We've got deodorant soap.

She argued; I went back to eating french fries.

So, since I didn't engage, she tried a different tack. "Maybe he's playing with his new toy."

"What new toy?"

"I heard a story years ago about a poor farmer whose teenage son needed new clothes and a new toy, but the farmer only had enough money to buy one or the other. So he bought a new pair of overalls and cut a circle out of the front of them, so he could play with his  'toy'  he'd just discovered."

She laughed. I was mortified. As were the other three sets of parents within earshot. She didn't notice, kept laughing, and went towards the door, then loudly said, "YOU KNOW, HIS TOY DOWN THERE," while gesturing at her crotch.

Then she went back to her table. She wasn't laughing because she'd embarrassed me on purpose - she didn't even seem to realize I was embarrassed and disgusted and wanting to barf- she just thought she was so very funny and clever with her story.

My SIL came in, looking interested and amused, and said, "You know, you have a very expressive face. What did she just say to you?"

I told her, and she simply hung her head, then looked at the other parents, and said, "I'm so sorry she had to share her crazy with the rest of you."

The irony is that he hasn't discovered his toy down there yet, even though now he's 15.

But, for real, iocane powder. Send me some.

(Legal disclaimer: I won't actually poison her. She's old. I'll just wait.)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm so brave. Lemme tell ya.

Well, I smell like a campfire which is awesome, considering that I’ve been playing with fire and I looooove to play with fire. I have a fire pit in my backyard that I built all by myself, so we had a fire outside with hot chocolate and s’mores. I'm a complete stop pyro. I love fire. I love my fire pit. I have a hammock near it and some nice lounge chairs surrounding it.

I have found that fire is excellent bribery, too. See, pyromania is apparently hereditary, so the shorties will clean up their toys in the yard so that we can have a bonfire. Well… not so much a “bonfire” as a tame little fire in a small brick pit about 3 feet across (sized like the green sand box turtles that preschoolers have, because I can take the lid off the sandbox and put it on the firepit so that it doesn’t get rained in). Of course it's October, which is the driest month of the year in Alabama. We typically only have one day with rain in October; so this afternoon, when my children were supposed to be eating their lunch at the patio table, my daughter decided to get up and go get the hammock and put it in the storage room. I don't know why, other than she was doing whatever she could to not follow directions and eat her lunch. I had gone inside to check on something – I don’t even know what- and came out and saw that she had not eaten but she put away my hammock that I was about to lie in to read Frozen Heat. She had gotten the ropes all tangled up , so I gave her a speech about how to roll it up the right way and that she shouldn't have messed with it because it doesn't ever rain and October. Perhaps I was being a bit whiny and dramatic. Anyway, we cleaned up the yard, played, had dinner, started a fire, burned documents (because it's more fun than shredding them), and roasted marshmallows.

When the flames finally died down, I ushered the children inside, got them in bed, then grabbed my laptop and headed back out to watch the last few embers die down. I love watching embers, blowing on them and watch them sparkle… then I throw random things in it just to watch them flare up,  because I like fire. Have I mentioned that? I like fire. It’s pretty.

And then something started making noise behind me; not my dog and the neighbors moved away so no dogs there, but there was something in the yard moving around and that's always kind of freaky.

Especially  since, earlier,  I had  told my children that there were little monsters making noises in the mulch. They looked at me like I was crazy because it was very clearly something so small as a frog or maybe even a cricket… but this… this was bigger… maybe a possum, maybe a raccoon, but I couldn’t see I froze and listened… And I could hear rustling… and it was getting closer… And I still couldn't see it…. I tried to use the laptop as a big flashlight, but I still didn't see anything back there… It got louder and was getting closer, but every time I stopped to look around, it would be still. It was starting to wig me out a little. It was going to bite me, give me rabies and chomp my skull into little pieces... I was about to come inside and then there was more noise above me, rattling, and something dropping near me -what the hell - then I realized what the new sound was… it was rain. Only a few sprinkles, but it was enough to make me feel like a douche for fussing at M for putting the hammock away when she saw clouds. And then the little bitty bird that was jumping around behind me went up into its tree and I came inside.

Happy fall, y'all!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sometimes God Pisses Me Off.

For real. Maybe it's sacreligious to voice my frustrations. But since I allow my kid to vent when she needs to, just to get it out and move on, and I don't hold it against her; I think God gives us the same grace. Since, you know, grace is His big thing.

So here's the deal.  My stepson is 15 and has Asperger's Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy and Brain damage from his birth experience, as well as either a general F-You attitude or Oppositional Defiance Disorder, the doctors can't decide. He also claims to have voices in his head, but that seems to be yet another one of his many many lies to get attention and pity and a free pass in life. He also steals and pretends to be mentally retarded around people who don't know him so that they'll do everything for him. And he's got tons more bad stuff that I'm not willing to put out there into cyberspace.

I've got a girl that just turned 8 who is sick of her big brother's crap and is acting out and becoming increasingly defiant.

I've got 5 year old twins who adore their older siblings and copy whatever they do. Unless the oldest does something particularly asinine or disgusting, then they tell him he's stupid or gross.

I've got a husband who thinks that if I tried harder, all of this would be better than it is.

I've got a Biblical example of what a good wife is like, described in Proverbs, and she's a bronze-age superwoman.

I've got a culture who says I should be able to be Superwoman and should be nice and skinny, too.

And I've got trouble buying God's promises; ones like "All things work together for good for those who love the Lord." 

When I hear platitudes like, "Well, Joseph was sold into slavery and then went to jail, and that was, like, 40 years of his life before he found out how it would do great things for him, for God, and for his whole family." Or, "Abraham waited decades between God making him a promise for children and actually fulfilling it, because if it had been earlier, it wouldn't have been seen as a miracle, and he was doing it to show his power." Or plain old, "Wait on God's timing, not man's."

Because, those Old Testament fellas lived for hundreds of years, so 20 or 40 years wasn't such a huge chunk of their lives. And God lives in eternity, so it's not like time means something to him.

I'm tired of the stresses of life. I need some deliverance. I need some hope. I can't be Superwoman. I can't do all and be all. And I can't carry all this without breaking soon. If I could just see clearly the good that this is all working toward, just a little enlightenment, then I could breathe deeper and not constantly want to scoop up my three little ones and just run away.

Dangit, Jesus, gimme a little help here.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Gee, Thanks. That's an "interesting" gift.

So we got a new gift from my mother-in-law. It is a cassette tape, so is not really new. It's was made in 2001, so this was about the time that she got married to her now-deceased husband… so she would have been about 70 and he would've been about 82, I think; and he bought this for them. Now that he's passed away, my mother-in-law has been passing on his stuff that he left behind… most of which, she is passing to us.

It's a cassette tape with a picture of a middle-aged couple on the front (if I could get my scanner to work I would show you the picture). The couple is cuddling in the middle of a tall grassy field. At first glance it looks like maybe a Focus On The Family inspirational tape.


But it's titled Health Secrets for Better Sex, Volume 1: Tapping into Your Sexual Senses, and it was recorded by Roger Libby, PhD, certified sex therapist. He looks like a much older version of the dad on Full House.


So… the description on the back says

How to Experience Sensual Sex

In this special audio cassette presentation you'll hear one of the world's leading authorities on sex describe the results of the all new research into the most fascinating subject known to humankind sexuality. Specifically in this discussion you will learn about:

o   common causes of sexual problems

o   how the senses can be your best sexual asset

o   hotspots for arousal and orgasm

o   food and nutrients that can electrify sex

o   and more!

And more? Can you believe that there is more? Wow! I can't wait to see what volumes two, three, and four are about!!!

I’m just kind of in shock and awe…  that an 82-year-old man & 70-year-old woman would have this tape (it doesn't look well-worn, though, so that's good) because it just kind of skeeves me out to think of Them doing the nasty because that's just, like, nasty!

And then , Oh, my God, how embarrassing, my creepy mother-in-law thinks, Who should I give this tape to? I can't just throw it in the trash. Hey, I've had an idea, Matt and Tiffany have four kids, so you know they must do it all the time… maybe this'll make it even more fun!

Tapping into your Sexual Senses, How to Experience Sensual Sex… I'm just a little bit at a loss for words. I don't know what to say about this. To my husband's credit, he laughed and passed it on to me, and I sat it next to the computer, of course, to share with y'all. But after eight years of marriage, I think we've got it pretty much figured out…  don't really need Bob Saget’s old creepy cousin to improve my nookie.