Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm only faking when I get it right

So my soundtrack lately has been Fell On Black Days by Soundgarden. The rain, the ever lovin' rain and the grey, dark days have suited me to a black T-shirt lately. Sure don't mind the change.

I don't seem to get along very well with anyone. Gwendolyn pisses me off constantly and the F-Bomber, on the verge of 5, has been the worst-behaved I've ever seen him be.

My husband - husband who? is prickly as I am, though he doesn't admit it. I'll do it for him.

Are we ready, in our psyches, for back to school? Are we all hormonally morphing into prickly pears at once? Are we bored, nonsensical, buzz-killed and down? Are we all on the verge of breaking up? That's how it feels to me.

And yet in two days we are jetting to a 10-day momentous family trip and I have to say it: I'm kind of dreading this.

When marriages go bad there's always that last-ditch-shot-at-inducing-romance-vacation that never works and surely sounds the death knell and inks the pen that signs the divorce papers.

Is this our last-ditch attempt at being a family? My shoulders droop and my head goes cloudy when I daydream about our trudging off to the Magic Kingdom. I can hear the arguing already and I want to cry.

The four of us in one hotel room - shoot me! The hours on the airplane - what were we thinking?

But the trip was a gift - we weren't thinking. It was a generous gift from husband who's? dad. We were so excited for a while, and now here we all are. On the verge. Of something. Terrible? Wondrous? There's no turning back now. This adventure must run its course for good or evil.

I really don't want my four year old to break up with me. I don't want the rest of the family to, either. It's just that I am the Queen of Endings and the Goddess of Beginnings; it's the middle that I really suck at. I always have and right now, that's where we squarely sit, right on our lumpy, stubborn asses.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Painful pearlies

So I've really been feeling like the world is beating me to a pulp lately. My painfully boring job has gotten more painful (like big boss surveillance and heaping helpings of reverse atta-boys), the kids have been, well, kids, and Matthew has been so busy working at work and home I feel like I can't stay awake long enough to remember what his face looks like let alone get a reminder glimpse - our schedules just aren't conducive to spousal bonding. Then there's the usual snotty teen problems (although Gwen has mainly been the good child lately) and the four-year-old who is almost five going on 30 and yet has re-discovered the terrible twos.

So on a recent trip to the dentist I was horrified to discover that even though I am a brushing and flossing professional, ("I can't see one speck of tartar or plaque," squeals the hygienist, head 3/4 of the way into my mouth), it seems as though my teeth are crumbling. Like, totally falling out of my head. Like, as in, they are busting apart and I need like a zillion caps. And - dramatic pause - my favorite - that's right folks, more Painful Dental Surgery!!! And my insurance won't pay for most of it! And, like, I'm still really young, vain, and do NOT want to be a denture-clad, toothless mom at my son's first day of Kindergarten next year!!!

My dentist uttered my least favorite phrase in the universe: "Well, it looks like we're going to have to refer you to a dental surgeon."

The last time I was in this position, I spent my entire income tax refund, had a drastic allergic reaction to the pain medication (think Violet in Willy Wonka, then add hives and suicidal tendencies and the inability to stop crying for three weeks), and alienated my family so badly I thought they would kill me before I could off myself and put myself out of misery. But I also quit smoking then. For good. But that's another story.

And that night, when I came back with my great news, my little Mr. lost his SECOND baby tooth - the other tiny pearl onion on the bottom, just next the the ginormous adult bottom tooth beginning to poke through the gumball-pink skin. Ahh, the circle of life, played out dental-style. I just hope h hasn't inherited my PROBLEMS and frequent trips to the dental surgeon.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Best Weekend EVER

So the fam Banks has just returned from a really AWESOME weekend at the lake. Absolutely not long enough - I didn't want to ever leave! Just the two days of my son not playing video games and enjoying himself anyways was the greatest thing ever. Though there was a TV, we didn't watch it. Though there were I-pods, we didn't listen to them. Though there was no running water, we went to the bathroom anyway!

I am ashamed it has taken us so long to get to the lake. Last summer we just never got around to it. The summer before it seemed like a good idea, but we just never worked it in. The summer before that, well, it just didn't happen and the list goes on. But we just made it happen this year, and I am so happy. My one regret is that Gwen positively refused to go, and instead of making her, I let her stay with a friend instead. As Fletcher said over and over again this weekend, "Sissy sure is missing out!"

To see him catch his first fish (a perch) and make the transition from dipping his toes in the edge of the water to jumping in with water wings and a noodle was priceless, as was seeing his tiny face smeared with chocolate and marshmallow smores leftovers! My picky eater went from eating nothing to gobbling everything in sight since he was so hungry from swimming all day! We had the full experience - fire works, paint gun shooting, swimming, taking a boat ride, cooking on the camp fire, falling asleep exhausted in the complete darkness. All this with no telephones ringing! No housework! No video games! Yee Haw!

Maybe the best part was watching my always-busy-always-working husband just relax and catch a few fish, not look at the clock, and kick back in a lawn chair. This is the lake of his childhood, this is his camp full of family memories, and now he is sharing that with us. Perfection. Here are some photos - Fletch getting his hook baited by daddy, his first fish ever, swimming fun time and some adorable baby turtles that hung out on a log by the dock and kept us company all weekend!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Casting off

I don't exactly know why I shirk my blog. Maybe because I have no idea if anyone reads it or not, maybe because I am afraid you ARE out there, reading. Maybe I'm lazy or have given up on my life as a writer or am too busy or, well, whatever. It's just HARD to make time sometimes, so I guess I'll stop flogging myself about it and just write when the spirit is occupado. Here is our life, abruptly, updated:

For one,
Fletcher got his cast off last Thursday!!! It was such an occasion. He refused to listen to the I-Pod or watch a movie on it like his doctor suggested - he was fixated on that screeching, rotating saw blade with eyeballs the size of hard-cooked eggs and a death-grip on my hands, which he insisted I cover his ears with. Of course we all survived. But as though my son has a psychic ability to predict an "I told you so" the technician actually burnt a small pink line on his tan little arm just where his break was. See Fletcher knew he would be injured in the cast removal process in spite of all the encouraging words to the contrary. Well, wouldn't you know it, the little sourpuss guessed correctly. And boy did he let us know it.

And I was so shocked to see that smooth, tan, perfect little arm emerge from the stinky orange fiberglass cast, or "arm home" as Fletcher liked to say - I was anticipating a withered little old man arm, a white and flaky and stinking shriveled thing with no muscle tone and the flacidity of an elderly, well, you know what. But there it was, tanned and perfect, just like the other arm. Kids are amazing, as the technician pointed out.

So he babied it for a day and then it was back to jumping, dancing, screaming, playing, waving it around like an angry noodle. Then two days later we were somewhere playing hide and seek when he fell flat on concrete, both arms out in front to catch him and I almost threw up my heart, which got stuck in my throat, and it turns out he was just fine, save for a scraped palm. Oy, that boy.

Fletcher has started a new daycare program right across the street from my work. He wailed the first day, absolutely wailed and I felt like a heartless c-u-n-t for walking out that door after 15 minutes of screaming, wriggling boy dragging me to the floor and actually feeling a little relieved. I am sin. But by the end of the week - this week - he is adjusting well and seeming to enjoy himself and I am really enjoying the extra daylight hours we are getting to spend together, even if I have no afterwork nap anymore.

Gwendolyn is enjoying the end of summer school, the anticipation of Disney World, and most importantly to her, us being gone all day. Her best friend is gone to Hawaii for the rest of the summer. The crazy nut calls like 3 times a day. To share the experience. I mustn't say more.

I am just as boring as ever. Working hard on my sourdough starter and physical conditioning (okay, like 30 minutes of exercise 3 days a week if I'm lucky) and eating healthier and oh yeah, using Crest White Strips. Told ya I'm a drag. Peace out.