Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Have you figured out what you, and/or your children, and/or your pets are going to be on Oct 31st? (Luckily, we only need to dress up the kids, as DH hates grown-up costume parties with some serious passion.) Just curious - are there any similar costume festivities in Italy, Denmark, or France?

My son first decided he wanted to be a pumpkin for Halloween (but I figured he just might change his mind everyday). So I went off to the thrift store and just so happened to find the perfect pumpkin suit in a 4T (the exact size which my supertall 2.5 year old has been wearing for awhile now), plus a warm and cozy looking little ladybug outfit for our one year old daughter. I'm feeling like a winner.

I bring all of my loot home, feeling great about having the costumes figured out so far in advance, and all for only $5!! Then DH had to go and burst my bubble saying, "Oh hell no! My son is not wearing that thing!" Apparently, he was concerned about his masculinity. Um, he's not even 3 yet. Ok whatever. I suppose he is entitled to one fashion veto a year. But the trouble is, I want to keep DS looking little and cuddly for as long as I can. He's going to say he wants to be something more big boy and tough and violence-prone probably way too soon for me. And lord help me the day he finds out you can actually dress up as one of the characters from "Soy Glory."

We went back to the drawing board, and asked DS again what he wants to be for Halloween. (Actually he said "a pumpkin" like 4 more times, but DH pretended not to hear and I just smirked.)

"Um, I want to be a green frog and a super man." Where do they come up with this stuff? Pretty sure I won't be able to find that combination in a 4T at Tarjay or Wally World. And I can't sew. So I made another trip to the thrift store.

And guess what was on the rack right next to a size 4T (!!!) frog suit? A superman cape! Done and done, bitches. Like it was meant to be. I love me some thrifting like Tiger Woods loves Hooters waitresses.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Dealing Compassionately with Bat Shit Crazy

Long story short, there is a woman who has stopped by my kid's preschool twice, unexpectedly, to ask the teacher for copies of any old school records of her son's, whom she claims attended the preschool about 5 years ago. Word on the street in our small town is that this woman suffers from some sort of mental illness. (I g00gled her and found out some disturbing shit, but I digress.) Turns out her son never officially attended the school, but he sat in on a class with her once.

Then parents at the school started gossiping. Now some members of the preschool's Board are wondering if filing a restraining order would help keep everyone safe.

I think they are right to be a little freaked out at a gut-level, but I feel that perhaps they are jumping the gun with all the restraining order talk. The fact is, she may be bat shit crazy, but she has technically done nothing wrong: she showed up 2 times so far, both were times when the Board was meeting and the public was invited. Not during class times when kids were present. Not at times when members of the public were uninvited.

My personal feeling is that sometimes, when it comes to the mentally ill (i.e. people like this who blog about the CIA coming after them at the doctor's office, and who also have lawsuits pending against the city, the police dept, the fire dept, her son's foster family, etc) restraining orders don't necessarily work like magic at keeping them away. I understand the knee-jerk, mama bear reaction is to come at her with proverbial guns blazing. But I wonder if that would be counterproductive, and would just inflame the situation.

I just feel bad for her, and for people like her. If the truly insane don't know they are insane, then what an incredibly horrible existence. To actually believe g-men are coming for you, and that your kid was taken away for no good reason, and that no one believes you?? Holy hell that would be so unimaginably awful. Thank the lawd for mental health... even if I don't always have as firm a grip on it as I would like.

Part of me thinks we should re-think our current social policy of letting the mentally ill roam around unmedicated, too often creating real problems and harrassing people. My mom always talks about the old state homes they used to have - full of awful abuses too, no doubt. But the alternative need not be a scene from "Shock Corridor." I realize there were coercive mis-institutionalizations. Surely we can do better.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Maternal Failings... again

At 9am today, I took my almost-3-year old son to a toddler gymnastics class that he has been to many, many times and usually loves. But today he decided he didn't want to participate. At all. Both of the teachers kept trying to persuade him to join the other kids as they jumped, laughed and played. And honestly, I was feeling really angry that he wouldn't join in. And also embarrassed that all of these others kids his same age were able to be part of the fun class, and have a great time together, while my son sidelined himself and threw a tantrum about wanting to sit with me in the place where the grown-ups watch so he could play with the baby toys. I ended up taking him home early and gave him the silent treatment all the way home because I knew if I spoke I'd say something ugly.

My reaction really surprised me. I guess we have entered the Horrible 3's a few weeks early.

I hate the feeling that my kid has this shitty tendency to misbehave loudly, publicly, and to a seemingly greater degree than his peers. I feel like none of the many techniques we've tried have worked. It seems the only solution is to keep him home because that way, at least we're not feeling so humiliated about it (she typed as both of her children wailed and pulled at her feet....)