Monday, June 22, 2009

Next Stop: Home

I'm having one of those days. Those days where I dream about what would be ideal to me - at least right now. After doing not a blessed thing on Saturday, I spent Sunday morning cleaning my refrigerator and doing at least 5 loads of laundry, all before we went to church. Then taking Mr. T out for a Father's Day dinner after which we came home, I washed Daughter's hair then spent all of He's Just Not That Into You and a little bit of the beginning of Madea Goes To Jail twisting her hair so I wouldn't have to do it for at least 2 weeks. All the while, another 6 or 7 loads of laundry were being done (last 2 were done this morning). I was tired but I felt accomplished too because I really like things to be in order around me.

Then this morning, I got up wishing I were already at work; wishing I could stay home to do whatever else I needed to do at home as it came up but I'm not the SAHM personality so it wouldn't be me being strictly a housewife, but me being a WAHM instead. What if I could focus on Village Works full time? What if I could take care of home too so no one's mess would drive me insane because I'd be there to manage it? Could we have another baby then? Hey, I may even be willing to cook! (But don't press your luck there.)

This morning, this last week of school, I watched the kids run to the bus stop and it was nice to think of Daughter leaving kindergarten soon and Son entering 4th grade next school year. They are such kids now, both of them. Son already has as much of a life as I will let him have at his age and Daughter is vying for her own too. And the more they have lives of their own, the more Mr. T and I can have one yet, for a brief moment, I thought to myself, "I wonder if Mr. T is ready for Tax Deduction #3." I could have asked him. He was right there in the house lounging around the bedroom watching the news. But I didn't want to know his answer. This isn't ideal. I don't want my business to have another maternity leave. It's had 2 already, between Bizzy Girl's and my 3 kids. It needs us to stick around this time. This time it would be way better if the job was my own business and I had to balance that proverbial baby and a real one. It would be much more doable and I wouldn't need to sacrifice nearly as much as if I had a job, a business and a new baby because the business would be the one to suffer.

A friend saw one of our recent puzzle jobs and told Bizzy Girl that we really need to be making the leap into doing this full-time. "You have so many ideas," he gushed. Yeah, we do and he's not the first to tell us this - friends, customers, acquaintances. It's also not the first time we thought of it. What it is, is the first time it's felt like a real possibility. But it wouldn't be easy to do. Mr. T is not the leaping sort and Bizzy Girl is a single mom so she has to leap with much forethought. The more people you are responsible for/to, the bigger your lifeboat needs to be. But if things got to a place where I could make that transition, and Bizzy Girl could have a serious PT income until she was ready to do the same, then you'd know we really worked hard to get it that way. We won't know until January just how far we've come but I don't need a map to tell me we've come miles in one year alone. Our destination has got to be just up ahead.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Baby's Got Bat

Or he was. It's over now. Baseball season is over. Son's team played their first playoff game on Sunday...and it was their last. They lost. After playing 13 games this season and losing 2 of those games, they became the team to beat. One of the coaches from another team was watching. We were watching. They tried. But the other team had a pretty good pitcher and they could barely hit the balls. What ya gonna do? One of their issues, to me, was how hard it was for them to pump themselves up until they were clearly in the lead. Then they could take the enthusiasm and run. I wished they could realize how much they had grown as a team. Sigh. I wanted so much for them to go all the way. They had had a great season. They deserved to go all the way. I may be more upset for them than they are! But Son wants to keep playing and that is a win for me as well as himself - one day. He continues to learn he can't win all the time and even though it's a great lesson, I'll be glad when the obligatory lesson is done and I can say, "Hey Son. It's NICE to win!" OK, I'll say it sooner rather than later. Because it IS nice. In the meanwhile, I'll patiently wait for the next season and see how that goes. See how Son grows. I'm happy that he at least doesn't give up on things he wants to do. He's quite the winner, you know.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

It Takes One To Keep The Other's Mother From Going Insane

Last night as I talked on the phone with a friend of mine, Son kept coming at me with homework that he didn't understand and no matter what I said, he didn't get it. As usual he answered similar problems around it correctly but he just couldn't get one in particular. I didn't want to be frustrated anymore.

"Go to bed. You'll see it differently in the morning," I told him. I went back to my friend on the phone as Son went to bed. He was back a minute later. And kept coming back. Each time with the wrong answer.

"Son, you don't understand and you are not understanding me. I don't want to do this anymore and I don't want to get angry. Go to bed and look at it fresh in the morning."

He left.

Then came back. Repeatedly. Needless to say I was losing it and my friend, who experiences a lot of the same with her stepdaughter, chuckled. "He's back?"

"He won't quit!"

She knew my frustration with trying to figure out how to help without enabling him.

Tonight we found ourselves back on the subject of his homework. I was in my car talking to her after getting home from work, not quite ready to be plunged into homework hell.

"Oh that's right," I told her. "You don't know what the problem was because I was trying not to say too much last night." So I told her the problem he was struggling with at that time.

"The problem said '12 doughnuts make a dozen. You have 2 1/2 dozen doughnuts. How many doughnuts do you have?' " I further explained how he gave multiple answers but his very first answer had been 25. "Because of the 1 from the half, he told me. You know, the 1 from the top of the fraction?"

"He thought it was 25," she repeated.


I heard her silent thinking. "Ohhh," she exclaimed. "He thought it was 1/2 of one doughnut and then half of another doughnut make one!" She laughed at her answer as she insisted that was it.

As I sat in confused silence, she kept laughing. "Girl, where the HECK did your brain just go to," I asked.

"I don't know! But that's how I think!" It's not off the wall. She and Son were both born in March. That little bit of info is not lost on me. She's heard me talk about his drama and she relates because she is dramatic too; we agreed she had drama down pat, but not in a negative way that annoys me. She just shows her emotions in a big way and she is one of the most genuine people I know. Hmm. So is he, when I think about it.

"Why," I asked. "Why did you think that? What does this mean? Why did you go off to some weird detail like that?"

She still couldn't explain it. "Go ask him," she insisted. "See what he says and call me back. I'm telling you that's what he thinks!"

"Fine. I'll call you back."

Never before have I been so enthused by the possibility of dealing with homework I can't effectively explain to him.

He was watching TV when I came in. As usual, homework was "all done except for a couple I need help with." But I was too anxious to deal with the new homework yet. "Did you get the answer to that question today?"

"Yes. My teacher told me."

"But remember you first thought it was 25? Why?"

"Because I thought it was one."


"Well, you know, I thought it was half a doughnut," he explained as he drew half an invisible doughnut in the air. My eyes got big and I could barely talk from laughing.

"Wait. So you mean half a doughnut from one group and half a doughnut from the other group and you put them together and get one?"

"Umm hmm," he replied with a most serious look on his face.

"Oh my goodness," was all I could say.


"My friend understands you." But he had no clue what I meant.

I called her back and told her the story. "He said what YOU said! What the heck am I supposed to do with this way of thinking?!"

"I don't know," she answered, cracking up at her accuracy. We laughed as we talked about just how very different we were and yet she and I understood each other perfectly from day one, which is why we always worked together so well. It gave me hope that I'd see his vision too one day.

So I tested my new understanding with the homework of the night.

"Ben has three pancakes and 2 sisters. He wants to give them each the same amount. How many pancakes do they each get?"

After first telling me that 3 wasn't an even number, with me responding that they absolutely can have an equal amount, he thought and brightened. "They have half?"

"Half? They each get half a pancake?" It wasn't odd that he was on the right track. He's always on the right track then goes wildly in some other direction.

"Nooo, three halfs."

"3/2? That's not the fraction, Son."

"No," he said again. "Three halfs," he explained. I knew it was going to be some skewed version of what was in my head so I waited. "You know, you take a stack of pancakes and cut them in half? Three halves."

All I could do was smile. After two more wrong answers - "Give them each one and I eat the other? Give them each one and throw the other away?" - I decided to draw a mental picture.

"Son, put three pancakes in your hands." He nodded.

"Sit the girls down at the table." He nodded.

"Give them each a pancake." He nodded.

"What's left?"


"Now what do you do?"

"Ohh! Cut it in half."

"What do you have?"

"A whole and a half."

And me? Maybe I get a whole new way to meet him halfway as we look for common ground. Thank God for friends who can help me bridge the gap.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The New Girl

The dawn of a new day - the day Daughter starts wearing glasses. It's not the glasses, though, but how much older it suddenly made her. It's still a little weird for me but as you can see, she's handling it like the new accessory it is - complete with cute blue eyeglass case.

Quick Update

  • Been changing my photo all over the place and forgot to do it here. So I just did. See?
  • Sunday, Son's team lost their second game evah. They are still winners to us. I'm sure we'll see ya'll at the playoffs!
  • Daughter wants to be a cheerleader. God help me.
  • Village Works is officially blogging because we kinda have to with all that's been going on. You can visit us here: Village Works Piece By Piece.
  • It's a brand new month and a chance to try to do a ton more things. Including get our website redesign going AND a blog redesign. Oh yeah, baby. Time for a change there too.
Happy June everyone!