Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Was I Out Sick That Day?

Am I the only one who feels that I learned some major, important life lessons about twenty five years after I should have?

I just finished reading Odd Girl Out, a book about how girls bully through hidden aggression rather than the overt, physical manner in which boys bully one another. I know, I don't have daughters, so why was I reading it? 1. It looked interesting. 2. That girls begin to lose interest in appearing smart right around puberty, and how this affects them in other aspects of their lives, interests me. 3. The title describes how I have felt many times during my teen years. 4. I've always meant to read Reviving Ophelia but haven't gotten around to it yet, so this seemed like a title in a similar vein.

The author interviewed hundreds of young girls and women, asking them about their experiences with bullying. Everyone had a story to tell, whether the aggressor or the victim of shunning, building alliances, spreading rumors, and so on. What I found most interesting is that most of the girls and women who were victims of bullying learned how to deal with being on the receiving end pretty much before they graduated high school.

I was the victim of bullying several times, starting in elementary school and continuing pretty much until my family moved from New Jersey to Ohio at the end of my freshman year of high school. I never told my parents; I was too embarrassed to let them know how some girls who I thought were friends (and a few who I knew weren't) were treating me. I felt like I had done something wrong (a common thread in the book), and that I somehow deserved to be treated like this (another common belief).

Yet it wasn't until I was in my mid- to late-twenties that I realized that I like who I am, and if other people don't, that's their problem. Now that I'm a mother, I don't have time for this kind of behavior. I've met many other mothers and if they don't like me, oh well. If they don't call me, I don't worry that they're secretly getting together to mock me behind my back. I know how busy we are raising our children. Maybe our schedules, children, or our own personalities don't mesh. That's just how things go.

I wish I was brave enough to have reached out to someone when I was younger. I wish there was a teacher I trusted, instead of those who dismissed me as a "goody goody" who didn't know when to stop being a pest. I wish schools had psychologists back in the 80s, so someone could have given me the opportunity to role play and practice better ways to handle situations when I was bullied.

I know I can't change the past, but I would be curious to know who I'd be today if I gained those tools, that knowledge, when I was in my teens instead of when I was almost thirty.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Random Ramblings...

Yeah, I feel like I should get myself into the habit of writing more frequent posts so as to hone my writing chops, but the Blog Topic Muse seems to have taken the evening off.

I want to join a gym, but I'm wavering between joining an independent gym or the YMCA. The gym is way cheaper, but they only offer one class that works with my schedule, spinning at 9:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They have free childcare, which is perfect, but I can only make the Tuesday class. The Y has more classes, but not during preschool. M is going to see if the gym is planning to run classes throughout the summer, and if they're going to change the days next year when the boys are in school MWF. That might help me decide.

I've been totally sucked into the WMB. What can I say, I'm a total geek. I have embraced my inner dork, and I love her.

Hubby and I had a great chat Saturday night about building on to our house. We'd put on a garage with a second story playroom, a mudroom, and expand the kitchen. I got such a charge from the conversation; I'm excited that this might actually happen!

As much as I look forward to Easter this Sunday, I really need to be more disciplined about cutting out sugar. All of that chocolate is not going to help that effort. I was doing so well after the holidays, right up until I found out I was pregnant. I told myself I could go crazy for a week after the D&C, and while I have cut back, I find myself picking on the candy the boys got at the egg hunts this past weekend. It's not good. I need to get back on track because (a) it helped me drop those last stubborn pounds, and (b) I felt so much better.

Well, that's it for now. Let's hope I find something better to type about tomorrow, or soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Chocolate-fed Angst

I had a great weekend, aside from one near-panic attack.

Saturday was our lake association's brunch with the Easter Bunny. All of the neighborhood kids had a blast. Unfortunately, we had to leave after about forty-five minutes because Ted was just incredibly cranky and nothing seemed to help. So we gave him lunch and put him down for a nap.

(warning: the next section is kinda nasty, so consider yourself warned)

When he woke from his nap, it soon became crystal clear why Ted was screaming so much at the clubhouse. The poop of the century did not want to leave the kid's behind. I tried to scoop some out with a wipe, but that didn't work. I brought him into the bathroom and slathered his butt with vaseline, but that didn't work either. One frantic phone call to the pediatrician's office and one return call later, I was on my way to get some glycerine suppositories.

The good news is that it did the trick. Not five minutes later, the first golf ball is out. Ten minutes after that, Ted is a new child. He's happy, he's singing, he's smiling. Hurray! The bad news is that we have now missed the guitar jam to which I was going to take Jack. Sorry Julie!

(okay, moving on...)

Today we had a very busy day. Our neighbors had their fourth annual egg hunt at their house. We all went and had a great time chatting with our neighbors, following the boys as they searched for eggs, and munched coffeecake and chatted some more.

After lunch and Ted's nap we went to Rylan's birthday party. It was at the Starkweather House, which is next to our favorite playground in town. What a great place for a kid's birthday party! And what a fun party! Robert the Guitar Guy came and played for the kids, they did some crafts, had cupcakes, then got to pull ribbons on a pinata. The pinata was funny - each kid got to pull a ribbon to see if theirs would open the door to let out the candy. Jack was wandering around the room while everyone else went, until one of the parents asked if everyone had had a turn. A few of us yelled "Jack hasn't gone yet!" so after some prodding from me (hello, pay attention, boy!) he goes up to pull a ribbon. And wouldn't you know, that's the one that releases all the candy.

And I have indulged in so much chocolate that I have hives on my arms and back. At least my throat isn't scratchy anymore. One of these days I'll learn and not go nuts on sugar.

Yeah, right...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Guy in the Yellow Skivvy

(for those of you who aren't in the know, the skivvy in this instance does not refer to underwear but to a shirt)

Yeah, I'm thirteen again. I should have expected this.

Jack's been completely obsessed with the Wiggles lately and, truth be told, I'm kinda enabling him. I've been bitten by a cute, little, wiggly bug, and now I'm infected. Yes, I will admit to everyone here (cue the crickets chirping) that I am enjoying watching and listening to the Wiggles as much as my kids are. Maybe a little bit more so. I'm the one constantly checking the website to see if they've posted dates for a show in CT (they have). I'm the one who drove to Big Lots to buy five DVDs at $4 apiece. Did you know they have a message board? And it's mostly parents (the moms, I presume) who post. The WMB (Wiggly Message Board... ugh, I sound like a crazed Durannie again) told me about the DVDs at Big Lots. They also told me that Greg Page (the former yellow Wiggle who left the band due to an illness that sometimes causes him to pass out an inopportune times, such as during a performance) has had a solo career for about ten years. Would you believe his music is actually kinda listenable? (draging toes across the dirt...) Um, I know this because I went to his webpage and listened to the clips. I thought constantly playing "Taba Naba" might get old (a little, but what a gorgeous voice, even if it is kiddie music).

Yeah, I need a grownup hobby.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In a nutshell...

If it's okay with you, I don't really want to go over all of the gory details thing here. It's just completely unnecessary. So I'll give you the quick version, with a few necessary flourishes.

About three weeks ago, I had a D&C for an incomplete miscarriage. That I was pregnant was a total surprise as (a) my period hadn't come back after weaning, and (b) we weren't even trying, although we do want to have a third child. I woke up during the night (thanks, Jack!) to find that I was bleeding and thought it was my period, but it only lasted about five hours. So I called my doctor, who wanted to see me, and lo and behold, the urine test was positive. I went to get my progesterone and HCG tested, and the results led the doctor to think I was having twins. Yes, twins. Holy 3#$%. After several inconclusive ultrasounds in the doctor's office, I went to the hospital to get a high resolution scan, which is where it was discovered that while I had a gestational sac, it was empty. The yolk sac, fetal pole, anything that would indicate a viable pregnancy was missing. They never developed.

Amazingly, I was really only upset for a couple of hours the day I went to the hospital for the ultrasound. Otherwise, during this whole rollercoaster of a time, I felt very at peace. I just knew that whatever happened was meant to be, and I fully accepted that. I honestly believe that this was a conversation God wanted to have with me, and that this was the only way I would listen.

Notes to myself from the journey:
  • I am not in charge. Period. (I know, har har... except not)
  • Whether I have a son or daughter is not up to me. It is not decided by me. I cannot do anything to sway the odds one way or the other. I will be given the child I am supposed to have, whether boy or girl.
  • Whatever the makeup of my family, I will be fine. I will love them dearly, and enjoy them completely.