Circle of Sickness

Hells bells, if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Just as we’re getting over a cycle of nasty cough/sinus infection/ear infection that aggravated one child’s asthma and the other’s contentious personality, Me Too wakes up this morning with pinkeye.

Um, seriously?

I get that it’s all as interconnected up in there as a conversation amongst Southerners (or possibly Australians…all the ones in Japan seem to know each other) but come on y’all this is just crazy.

And expensive.

HRH wanted to argue with me this morning that Me Too couldn’t have pinkeye because her eyes aren’t swollen. They were sealed shut with goopety goop when she woke up this morning, mind you, and red.

Where is that mute button again? Ah right, “Have some more toast honey,” then shut up! Because you don’t know what you are talking about, but yet continue to make noise.

I’ve been getting everyone to bed a bit earlier and feeding them more fruit and veg but it doesn’t seem to be helping much.

Somebody explain this….

Things have been really quiet on the blog lately. That’s what happens when real life gets busy, I guess.

I’ve started working more mornings now, three or even four, up from one or two last year. Then Holy moly Mary and Josephine somehow I ended up being PTA class rep AGAIN, this time for the fifth grade. As if there weren’t 25 other mothers (and 26 fathers) and an exponential number of grandparents who are better suited for this than me simply by virtue of being literate in Japanese. Or so I assume (granted HRH, judging by his tendency to eff up paperwork, is iffy.)

Of course none of these jobs are through the same organization. That would be too simple, too normal. What’s the fun in doing anything if it doesn’t make life more complicated? (That’s sarcasm, y’all, in case you were unsure. The only things I complicate on purpose are grammar structures.)

I leave at the same time as the children, or will be since one of my teaching gigs starts next month, two or three times a week. And-lo and behold- thus far those leaving-at-the-same-time mornings go much more smoothly than the other mornings.

What is up with that?

Thought having said it, and worse, written it down, I now need to knock on wood, cross my fingers, throw salt over my shoulder, and stick a needle in my eye. (Hope that covers it.)

In other news, both of the little shits boys who were aggravating Me First last year are in a different class. Hallelujah, praise the lord! His teacher is a hard ass, which is exactly what he needed. They had shuji (Japanese calligraphy) class the other day, and the teacher got onto him about not having cleaned his calligraphy set since the last class.

Me First wisely chose not to divulge the particular details of his shuji set cleaning habits (as in he has never once actually cleaned it.)

As soon as he came home, he went right into the bathroom and started washing all the bits and bobbles. I was holding my breath, thinking there was going to be permanent shuji ink all over my g.d. bathroom, but who’dathunkit, I bought him washable ink last year. So cleaning up his cleaning up was not as traumatic as I was expecting.

Yay, me.

Me Too is coughing and spluttering, hopefully it’s getting better. Another reason I haven’t been writing much is because we’ve been on the sickness merry-go-round and who wants to read about that? Heaven forbid someone Google “asthma” and it lead them here. Bless your heart, I cannot be of any help there besides to commiserate. It sucks. Well, I guess actually it rasps and wheezes. I’ll leave the puns at that.

I need a good sign-off to write here at the bottom…. Ideas?

Schedule me a Nightmare

So, as you may remember, I work at my kids’ old preschool one day a week. I also teach one class on Saturdays. It looks like I may be picking up some work on a couple of other weekday mornings, but that’s assuming I can avoid this spiraling vortex of scheduling madness.

I took statistics in college. I totally sucked it, but I’m still pretty sure that having this much trouble scheduling something that should be relatively simple is highly unlikely. Like a DeLorean getting struck by lightning twice in the same movie unlikely.

Look it up, younglings, then thank me later.

The first problem is that one of these places wants me to go to training. Fair enough. But it’s far away and early in the morning and I don’t have anyone to watch my kids before school starts. I realize I could let them wander the neighborhood like monkeys at on onsen, but those monkeys creep me out.

Then of course this overlaps with some days we are supposed to take turns walking the kids to school. They are expected to go all on their lonesome all freaking year long, except for the first and last weeks of school. The first? I understand that. The last is just like (◎_◎) Why? Why is this different from all of the other weeks in the school year?

I don’t want to even get into all the other messiness. Writing it down is just making me tired.

Tens

Me First had his tenth birthday a few days ago. It was bittersweet for me. We’ve survived each other for ten years! I won’t sugarcoat it. I couldn’t if I wanted to; it’s not who I am.

Every single day has been hard. Because he’s a handful; because I don’t know what I’m doing. My husband and I see him, and therefore treat him, completely differently. His coming completely wrecked my sense of who I am, who my husband is, in a way that is irreparable.

But that’s okay.

For a long time, I took all of Me First’s faults and imperfections personally. It was all my fault. Conversely, any good aspects were all to be credited to me.

Then Me Too was born. She was completely different from the get-go, with a new and different set of good and bad points, that I realized had nothing to do with me.

I stopped feeling so guilty. I stopped trying so hard. And somewhere along the way, the things that had seemed like problems that needed fixing weren’t bad things anymore. They were just…differences. Some make life hard. Some make it glorious.

I have a lot of regrets when it comes to my oldest. I feel I’ve been a better parent to my younger child.

Maybe that is why my love for him is fierce, protective, prickly. Whether that is good or messed up, I’m not sure.

The Poop Train

Another entry for the I-couldn’t-make-this-stuff up file: we are riding on a train completely plastered in ads for diarrhea medicine. As you might imagine, many of these include potty humor. There’s even an @ stylized as a toilet.

The kids are thrilled.

I’d add a picture, but I don’t want anyone to lose their breakfast.

Mean Encounters

Me Too has had her first run-in with the resident Mean Girl. I guess it’s good all of her brother’s experiences have steeled my heart or I’d be out there with my sword bared, swashbuckling with abandon.

She’s been talking about this girl a lot recently, how she had a short temper and a sharp tongue. Perhaps I should have realized something was up, because it isn’t like Me Too to focus on one person so negatively for so long.

She’s also been a little moody, a little unwilling to get up or get ready. This morning she has a pretty classic tantrum. But she can’t tantrum hard enough to phase me, after having survived her brother’s tantruming par excellence.

It all came out this afternoon, how this one little girl got mad at Me Too when she didn’t do as she was told, and said, “Everyone who hates Me Too raise their hand!”

(Sigh.)

It sounds small.

In the grand scheme of things, it is small. But I know what that feels like. I could tell from the big, heavy, spherical tears spilling over the rim of her lashes that it had hurt.

What can you say? The truth? There are horrid girls, and they grow up to be horrid women who pass judgment on other women and make us miserable. They never go away; there will be few periods in your life when you are free from such people.

That truth seems to harsh for my first grader.

So I just hugged her and let her tears spill on my shoulder, hardened by experience, toughened by necessity. One day, Me Too will be just as hard and tough, if not more. And that this transformation is a necessity is one of the saddest things about growing up.

Shameless self promotion

Friends and lovers can come argue with me over at World Moms Blog today.

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