bungle in the jungle
Apr 3rd, 2008 by wrekehavoc

BS has returned! the bat is gone! all’s right with our little world! alert the media! and yet here i am, still focusing on wildlife. go figure.

we have been steve irwin fans since i-dunno-when. BS and i called him dingo boy; and we loved to watch him chase animals all over the place.  i especially remember whenever his wife terri entered the picture.  when i was pregnant with BC back in 1998, she was pregnant with bindi. we used to hoot and howl whenever clueless steve would put terri’s life in danger, asking her to do things tough for a normal person, let alone a person in the family way: c’mon ter, let’s scale this cliff and make our way down into the [insert scary, dangerous animal type here]-infested area! yep. the only scale i was near was the OBGYN’s at that point; and the only danger i would consider putting myself into was fighting someone at the supermarket for the last pint of chubby hubby.

i loved the fact that the irwin’s two kids were the same ages as mine.  and i was wildly astonished by the poise with which bindi spoke at her dad’s funeral. she is an articulate young lady with an apparent passion for animals, though there are times on her kid’s show that she seems like she might be turning into some sort of hyper-energetic, disney-fied being. i love this family, and i really want to root for them.

that’s why i am so sad to read about bob irwin, steve’s dad, leaving the australia zoo.  bob, as you might know, is the actual founder of the australia zoo. he not only has lost his son, steve, but i believe he has also lost his first wife. terri denies any sort of family feud, but you have to wonder what exactly would make a man walk away from something he built up from nothing, especially in a time when terri is being sued. there are reports that terri is trying to make the zoo a disney-like destination, with hotels and spas. while several media outlets were willing to pay him for an exclusive interview, bob chose to give his one and only interview, for free, to the aussie ABC. it’s all so strange and somewhat suspicious.

another thing i wonder about: there’s an awful lot of attention on bindi. the girl is clearly being groomed to follow in her father’s footsteps. you have to wonder whether she is missing out on a regular childhood, complete with opportunities to explore other interests. who knows: she could be the next best painter, brain surgeon, poet. i’m sure there’s a certain internal pressure at work here — the good and obedient child wants to do whatever she can do to honor her father’s legacy. but at what cost to herself?

oh, and what about bob? you know, the little four-year-old dude? with all the attention paid to his sister, what does that mean for him? does he absolutely hate his sister? is he jealous?

i hate to watch families implode.  especially this one.

driver 8
Apr 2nd, 2008 by wrekehavoc

driver 8, take a break. we’ve been on this shift too long.

i’ve been single-parenting it since sunday morning. and i love my kids. but i’m so very, very glad that BS just called and said he’s on an earlier flight home today, possibly home by dinnertime.

the nice thing about single-parenting it is that the rules are all mine. if we want to eat chocolate for dinner, we can. (fret not. we didn’t.) if we want to make a tent and sleep in it, we can. if we want to sleep a little later, or wear crazy clothes, we can. dance party with the clash? sure. cos i’m the mom, and i say so.

the bad thing, of course, is that the kids cry for their daddy. they miss him and his regulated schedule, his soft laugh, his scratchy beard, his crankiness. every bit of him, they miss.

i do, too.

(here’s the visual: i am self-medicating. it’s mid-morning, and i’m eating two squares of dark chocolate. it will make me happy. don’t tell me it won’t.)

single-parenting has brought me some stellar experiences over the past few days.

1) the aforementioned dead bat who, by the way, is still very much dead. and still on the lawn, waiting for BS’s special way with a shovel.

2) jools. home. every. single. day. i know many of you do this voluntarily, but i am unused to a very active child, 24/7. we’ve been having a lot of fun together, making hummus and guacamole and such, but i haven’t been getting as much done as i need to do. still, no one is dying because my house is a mess, so i’ll lighten up.

3) BC’s cough. BC has had a cough since sometime last year. (when the pediatrician asked her last week how long she’s been coughing, she answered: since first grade. and she was dead serious.) nothing has stopped it; not inhalers, not singulair; not voodoo dolls. (heh. just kidding. i think.) it’s really beginning to bug her; sunday night, it took her quite awhile to settle down to sleep because of it. i finally put my foot down and told the pediatrician that we need to visit a pulmonary person.

but then, we had to do the medical limbo. for some reason, the pulmonologist can only accomodate people with our stellar insurance (and that’s not sarcastic talk — it is the insurance gold standard around here, and a PPO to boot) in their leesburg office. huh? so i have to pull madam out of school and go through rush hour traffic to get her to the doctor’s office in about two week’s time. yay.

but wait, there’s more: oh, can we add sinus waters study to our pediatrician’s chest x-ray order? a wha?

but dutifully, i get the pediatrician’s office to fax it. i call to check it has made it. apparently, the pediatrician checked the wrong box — it’s an x-ray, not a CT scan. (oh really? you’d think the doctor would know that, the receptionist said. i guess he’d know that before i did, being a real doctor, unlike me.) and around and around we go again.

all the while, jools is glued to nick jr. because i suck as a mom.

so today, for fun (and before the wednesday afternoon carpooling duties hit me), we will go for the aforementioned x-rays.

i can hardly wait.

4) yesterday, a magical experience where a friend of BC’s insisted that she had cleared an afterschool playdate with her babysitter. pleasepleaseplease let BC take the bus home with me. pulllllease!!! i said i would drive BC over and just check with the babysitter, since we had not yet met, much less cleared anything. the babysitter was rather surprised at the idea of a playdate; we apologized and moved on.

5) while driving home from said non-playdate, lecturing BC about why i don’t just send her on the bus with any friend who insists that a playdate is ok with the adult-on-duty, i saw a police officer with a laser, and it was pointed at ME. and whoomp: there it was. 37 in a school zone. i have actually made it to my advanced age having never gotten pulled over for speeding. i’m an excellent driver, you know. and now, i’m speeding, albeit not wildly, but technically speeding nonetheless. don’t cry, mama, BC said. you can’t cry in front of a police officer.

oh girl. yes. you. can.

the officer took my license and registration and went back to his motorcycle to call it in. julian kept asking me what was going on. i muttered and muttered. leave mama alone, i heard BC bark at jools. i muttered that my husband and his brother, a police officer, were probably going to laugh at me over this one day. i pictured it in my mind’s eye: yeah, my wife is such an idiot, she doesn’t know what to do when she’s pulled over for a ticket. i muttered because it kept me from crying over my very first traffic infraction at age 40+.

the officer returned and started telling me about prepaying the ticket versus the court date, etc. etc. suddenly, a voice shrilly commanded from the backseat:


it was jools. oh shit. now i’ll get ticketed for some parenting violation, too: this woman has rude children. lock her up.

please officer: i’ve been home alone with two kids for a few days, and i’m a little wound. can you take pity on me and just ticket me over the car and ignore the fact that my young son doesn’t grasp the concept of decorum? pleaseohpleaseohplease?

excuse me, i said to the officer. okay, jools, what do you want?

no, i want to talk to the policeman.

doubleshitdoubleshitdoubleshit. i peered at the officer through my window. is it ok, sir?

sure. what can i do for you? he asked jools.

my uncle mikey is a police officer! he announced to the officer.

is he really? the officer asked. where is he a police officer?

in new jersey, i replied.

BC pulled the facts together: my uncle mikey is a police officer in NEW JERSEY!

well then, he replied, i’m going to give you a warning, thanks to uncle mikey. he crossed out my court date and wrote W A R N I N G over it. slow down, okay?

yes, sir. i took a deep breath as he walked away from my car. karma pulled through for me. all those times i let people in instead of cutting them off; all those times as a patient and courteous driver — it all came back to me in the guise of a kind police officer.

and it also made me thankful for my brother-in-law. my husband has only one brother. lucky for me, he happens to be a terrific person who happens to be a police officer. he risks his life daily, and he’s a person we are all very proud of in this family. and i bet he has been in this situation before and he has been kind. i just know it. he has a good heart.

i waved at the police officer as we drove past; he waved back in that serious, Adam-12 sort of way. i bet he has an insane sister-in-law, too.

last night, jools got a honkin’ big bowl of his favorite ice cream. and BC finished her solid chocolate easter bunny.

my rules, cos i’m the adult-on-duty. and i think that’s fair.

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