Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

The Tree Got Decorated, but Not According to Planned December 1, 2013

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most things in my life lately, today did not go as planned.

We planned on going through all the many boxes of Christmas decorations and throwing out the junk and taking what we didn’t want to the secondhand store. We planned to decorate the tree this morning. It did get decorated…eventually.

My daughter S and her partner E came over early this morning and brought us breakfast. J got up feeling grumpy, but she seemed to shake it off. We ate and started making plans to decorate. J got upset and reminded us that she was going to church with a friend. We promised we would wait until she returned.

J has struggled a lot lately with bipolar, thyroid problems, and OCD. We are not a family that attends church, but J talked to a good friend who told her to come to her church and attend counseling with the preacher. I am not fond of this idea for several reasons, but I will save that for another post. However I kept my reservations to myself and wished her well.

She didn’t return until 2:00. She said it was great and she seemed happy. We pulled out all the boxes we needed and spread everything out in the living room. The dogs (4 of them) had played outside all day and managed to get all 16 paws filthy! S asked her sister a simple question. Nothing major; just a question.

“Are there still dishes in the sink?” (She wanted to wash paws before allowing the dogs to come in the house).

For some reason, this question from her sister sent J over the edge. She yelled at S and told her to “get off her back” and said she “couldn’t handle this right now.” She then stormed off to her room.

S looked at me and said, “I just asked her a simple question.” J SCREAMED “I can hear you, you know!” So S went to her room and tried to talk to her. She calmly told her that she just asked about the sink because the dogs needed to be cleaned, and that we had waited all day for her to help us decorate the tree, and we would really like her to join us. (S has learned how to talk to J when she gets like this from years of experience.)

S came out but J stayed in her room. We went through the motions of getting the boxes open to begin sorting, but to be honest I was in a daze and don’t really know what we were doing. After a few minutes, J comes out of her room with her keys in her  hand. I tried talking to her but she ignored me and walked past and out the door. I went after her, but she was already in the car. I told her to hand me her keys but she refused. I was so scared she would drive off and hurt herself! By this time hubs came out to help me. I kept asking and she kept refusing. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired to my very core. I looked at hubs and told him I couldn’t do this and walked away. He took the keys from her. As I reached the house I heard her scream “THEN I WILL WALK!” as she slammed her car door.

J began walking down the road. Barefoot. I don’t know what was going on in her head, and she doesn’t remember. She didn’t go far before she turned around and came back to the yard. She sat right in the ditch. Hubs walked out to her and it was as if she were coming out of some sort of fugue. She started crying hysterically and asking, “Why am I in the ditch? What happened?” He led her back to me.

We calmed her down. Then we decorated the tree.

 

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Early Morning Aloneness February 10, 2013

I’m living in the moment and the moment is nice.

It’s early morning here, too early for ME to be up on a Sunday when I could sleep in. I  awake to the feel of Riley’s warm body pressed close  to me. I feel Sophie, his “lady” and my darling little girl, snuggled against my leg. Soft snores rise from hubs, and I am warm and cozy beneath my blanket. But, I am awake, and as often happens, nature calls. So I leave the comfort of my nest with my pups at my heels.

After a quick stop in the bathroom, we all three pad down the hall and into the kitchen. I turn on the day’s first pot of coffee and take the pups outside. Lucky for me, I have a fenced yard where they can roam freely. Sophie doesn’t like the cold and must be enticed to go out. I remain vigilant over my little man, so I stand on the back porch and shiver in the cold while he takes care of his business. A few minutes later we are all back in the warmth of the kitchen as I pour my first cup of steaming black coffee.

In the living room we settle into our normal positions: me, computer on my lap and mug in my hand, with Sophie curled on the arm of the love seat against my left side. Riley settles against my hip on the right. Today I feel his trembles. It is, I hope, a side effect of the new medication that will soon pass. He remains slightly disoriented and dazed, but seems fine otherwise. The medicine makes him drowsy, so he settles in for a snooze as I check my email and Facebook.

At 6:00 I disturb their slumber, but it is time for Riley’s medication. J forgot to buy canned dog food, so I get pieces of a hot dog. They each get two bites, Riley’s with his medication smuggled inside. The new pill is very large, so I watch to make sure it goes down. I write a note on the never-ending list on the notepad beside the refrigerator to remind myself to get the canned dog food. Breakfast is next, so I scoop two bowls of Pedigree’s finest into first one then the other bowl. Riley and Sophie sniff at each bowl and walk away, unimpressed. Riley walks into the living room and lifts his leg as he urinates on the blanket dangling from the ottoman. This is something he’s not done since being a young pup and I stare, momentarily shocked. When I move, it is to push, rather than spank, his hind quarters. He looks confused. I take him outside again, where he finishes his business. Back inside, he watches me closely as I scrub the ottoman and rug. He follows me as I toss the blanket into the washing machine and begin the first of many loads I need to complete today.

While up, I pour another mug of coffee. Back to the sofa, parade style, me in the lead and the two dogs following close behind. This time, Riley settles on the couch, choosing the end closest to me and he circles until it is just right. I hear a contented sigh as he relaxes again. Sophie waits patiently for me to get comfortable. I curl my legs up beneath me and place my computer lap-desk across my thighs. My coffee is within easy reach on the end table to my left. I pat the padded arm of the love seat to let Sophie know I am ready, and she leaps into her position and settles in.

I can see the kitchen window from my position here on the love seat and the day is brightening. Soon, the others in my home will wake up and join me, but for now, I am content in the comfort of my early morning aloneness.

Spread Your Wings and Fly

 

So…I am NOT June Cleaver! June 17, 2012

I used to watch reruns (I’m not THAT old) of old shows on t.v. (think ‘Leave It to Beaver’ or ‘Father Knows Best’) where the mom dressed impeccably and cleaned house all day in her heels, and the dad wore business suits and came home happy to be with his loving family. These type of shows can make the best parent feel awful about parenting skills. Have you ever felt like mother of the year material? Yeah? Me, neither.

When my girls were younger we would often vacation at a little cabin (owned by my in-laws) by a lake. It was nothing fancy, but very nice for us as we didn’t have money to take real vacations. We would swim and play all day, and grill hamburgers and hotdogs in the late afternoon. I would then give the girls baths, brush hair and teeth and have them ready for bed. Since it was vacation, my girls, J and S, stayed up late and had extra “wind-down” time. They had a pile of special “lake house toys” that usually kept them entertained.

The living room had a bank of windows that looked out over the lake, so I plugged in the baby monitor, instructed them to “play nice”, grabbed two ice-cold beers from the fridge, and joined my husband on the pier. He was already settled back in his chair, fishing pole in hand. I could sit in my chair on the pier and see the girls through the living room windows. The baby monitor kept me updated on any potential fights or problems. All-in-all, a nice system. Yeah, right. A nice system if I had normal kids, which I don’t.

Let me explain: My oldest daughter, J, was born with a flair for dramatics. She can create drama most humans never dream of! One minute she is the life of the party, the next minute everyone is against her and her world is ending. As a teenager, we discovered her ups and downs were not just typical teenage problems, but  bipolar. (That, however, is a post for another day.)

My youngest, daughter, S, is the quiet, stable one. She spent her young years trying to counter-balance her sister’s dramatics. However, she would, and often did, needle her sister into hysterics just because she could. (Who else knows you well enough to push your buttons but a close sibling?)

Most evenings the “wind-down” time went well. One particular night, however, was more memorable than most. The girls played happily as I grabbed two cold beers and walked to the pier. I turned on the baby monitor and heard the reassuring sounds of J and S arguing over the crayons. You know, typical sister arguments. I settled back in my chair and let out a long sigh. Before I could crack open my beer, I heard the sound of the screen door slamming.

“MOM!” J screamed, even though we were close enough to speak in normal voices.

“Yes?” I replied calmly.

“S is NOT sharing and I TOLD her to SHARE!”

“Honey, lower your voice, we have neighbors next door. Remember I told you not to come out unless it was an emergency? This is not an emergency. Go back in and play with something else until she gets tired of it, then you can have a turn.”

“Okay, but I want my turn!” She stomped her little foot and went back in.

I opened my beer. I heard arguing on the monitor. After the first swallow, I hear the screen door slam.

“MOM! S hit me! She is being a BRAT!” J’s indignant voice bellows from the porch.

“Tell S mom said to stop hitting or she will have time-out. And you, young lady, do not snatch things away from her or you will have time-out.” Yeah, that’s right, I heard that on the monitor, I thought to myself. The only reply this time was the slamming of the screen door as she went back in. I snickered and drank a swallow of beer and settled into my chair.

Within three minutes, I heard the slamming of the door. Again. This continued for several more minutes. By the tenth time, I realised my enjoyable evening was going to be ruined if I didn’t nip it. Before she had time to whine, I beat her to the punch. I stood up to make sure she knew I meant business.

“DO NOT come back outside unless one of you are bleeding or have body parts falling off! Do you understand me?” I used my deadly quiet voice that could scare the leaders of small countries.

“Yes, ma’am” she wisely replied.

I heard the girls playing and all seemed well again on the home front. The peace lasted a whole 10 minutes before the door slammed again. I stood and glared.

“What did I tell you? You better be bleeding!”

I hear pitiful wails. “I am bleeding!”

Now, feeling guilt like only a mother can feel, I rushed up to my darling to see that she had stubbed her toe and ripped the toenail off. She really was bleeding.

~Rainey

PS Le Clown, this is the  post you inspired after reading about your adventure with LEP, Yoga Sucks Balls. Enjoy! 🙂