Thursday, April 21, 2011

It's A Morbid Day In The Neighborhood

You wouldn't believe this, but I am extremely tenderhearted. My parents used to say I wore my feelings "on my coat's sleeve". I find myself to be moved by the plight of others. Never is this more evident than when I am at a funeral. I always cry, no matter whose funeral it is. I cry for the what-might-have-beens, and because the family is experiencing such loss. I can easily put myself in their position and think about how I would feel.

Which is why putting our wills together the last few days and discussing our final arrangements has been, well, such a downer. Planning who will take care of my children (and asking those people!), planning who will manage the inheritance those children would get (and asking those people!) has put a cloud over my head. Putting together Health Care Directives about end of life issues has left me feeling gloomy. Artificial nutrition and hydration? Or not? Autopsy or not? Who will make sure my wishes are carried out if Brian is not here?

Did you know you can have a cremation service? Where your loved ones can gather round a window and watch "the placement of the person's casket in the cremation chamber"? In industry-speak, it's called a "committal ceremony" and it replaces the graveside service for someone who wishes it to be cremated. Of course, unlike a burial, in a few days, your loved one is back in your possession, weighing about 4-6 pounds.

I do have a morbid streak, a fascination with the ins and outs of the funeral industry, and have for years, but the committal ceremony, witnessing your loved one being placed in an oven is too much, even for me. When my mother died, I remember how weird and creeped out I felt being at the funeral home, making her arrangements, knowing she was behind a closed door having God knows what done to her. I know she would have died all over again knowing Doug Martin had seen her naked. I guess it's a good thing these indignities happen when we can no longer protest.

When my mother's body was finally ready to be viewed, my father, brother and I stepped up to the casket, made out of Texas pecan wood, and looked at her. It was true: she looked years younger and always fabulous in red, her favorite color. In the stillness and silence of that moment, we heard a beeping. Standing by the casket, in the silence, it could be heard plainly. It was the pain pump that had been inserted into her body years before in order to handle the constant pain she had from an old on-the-job injury. It seemed comical at that point in time that while her body had given up, there was her morphine pump, dependably pumping morphine. It gave us a private laugh at a time one was needed.

I am going home next weekend and while I am there, I will go to the funeral home and do some pre-planning. I will visit the cemetery where I plan to be buried and pick out a plot. I am hoping to do this now, and never have to think about it again. Because all of the hard stuff will be done and arranged and my heirs, whoever they may be, will know what I want. And if any of you are still around after I am gone, please make sure one of my final wishes is carried out, as described here, over 2 years ago.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Spider

Suffice it to say, I get little privacy. If I need to make or receive a phone call, it takes an act of Congress to keep the bedlam at bay. Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, writing, and 2 of my children are watching a movie a few feet in front of me. They have no immediate concerns or needs. And we could sit like this for an hour. But make an important phone call? In the bathroom? I am always urgently needed.

Emergent. As in, "Mama, can we have a snack?" Or, "When are you going to fix lunch?" "Do we have to take a nap today?"

Today, as usual, needing to file a complaint, they found me in the bathroom.

"Mama! There is a huge spider on the pink blanket in Reagan's room! It looks like a daddy long legs!" (I had a very good idea what spider was lurking since I had lost track of a large wolf spider yesterday in that room. I actually had hoped it found its way back outside.)

"Which blanket?"

"The pink one with the butterfly on it!" (I wanted to make sure that it wasn't the one Reagan sleeps with at night.)

"This one, Mama!" Reagan shouts as she runs into my bathroom with the blanket.

"Don't bring that in here!" her mother shrieked. "Is the spider still on it?! Take that thing outta here!"

Reagan ran the offended blanket back to her room, sat on the floor and started looking for the spider in the folds.

Her mother was horrified. "Baby, what if the spider is still on that thing?! Y'all come out of there!"

But then, across the room, I saw movement. A lone wolf spider was trying desperately to escape from whatever catastrophe was waiting. As it turned out, he had a meeting with a Toddler Size 9 Tennis Shoe. Unfortunately, it had already been rescheduled from yesterday.

Yesterday, I walked into the kitchen where two wolf spiders were sitting, minding their own business, having appeared out of nowhere. Of course, I screamed. Wolf spiders don't creep along the wall. One minute, you're alone with your son in the house. The next minute, they're at a table for 2 in the middle of my kitchen, wondering where the waiter is. I couldn't get to the fly swatter so I had to stomp on them which really creeps me out, even though I was wearing big shoes: my own. Using Reagan's mini-shoe meant I had to be both powerful and accurate...and closer than I wanted.

Someone should invent a shoe on a retractable stick. No need to be so accurate. Or so close.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Day's Worth of Questions--Part II

These posts do not constitute a whole day's worth of questions. In order to correctly record a complete day's worth of questions, I would need a scribe following me around all day just writing everything down. What a lousy job.

These questions bring us to about 2pm.

  1. Can you turn on Sesame Street?
  2. Can you turn on a movie that's not Tangled?
  3. What colors do you use for a rainbow?
  4. What's after orange?
  5. Mommy, Mommy, does green go after orange?
  6. What comes after green?
  7. What goes after blue?
  8. Mommy, Mama, what goes after blue?
  9. Is 3 more than 2?
  10. Now do you want me to turn it upside down?
  11. Me, three?
  12. Mommy, when can we have lunch?
  13. How many more minutes?
  14. Why?
  15. Why don't you want us to put them in?
  16. You want us to put it in the back?
  17. Can you help me open this, please?
  18. Mommy, can you help me open this, please?
  19. Why?
  20. Why?
  21. Mama, can we play in Darcy's room, please?
  22. Mommy, can we play outside in the front yard?
  23. Please?
  24. Can we watch a movie that's not Rapunzel, please?
  25. Mommy, can we watch a movie that's not Rapunzel?
  26. Please?
  27. Can you turn on Sesame Street?
  28. Mommy, have you seen my tea set plate?
  29. Mommy, have you seen my plate and purple knife?
  30. Mommy, can I use this plate for my tea set thing?
  31. Mommy, can we eat lunch with Daddy?
  32. Mommy, when can you turn on Sesame Street?
  33. Can you turn on KERA?
  34. Can you turn on Barney?
  35. Can you turn on Barney?
  36. Can you turn on Max and Ruby?
  37. Can we watch a movie that's not Rapunzel?
  38. Who are those apple slices for?
  39. How do you spell "dear"?
  40. Mama, how do you spell "dear"?
  41. Does "d" go after "e"?
  42. Mommy, can I have a bite?
  43. Please?
  44. Mommy, is that butter?
  45. What is it?
  46. Can I taste some cheese?
  47. Mama, can I try your apples?
  48. Mommy, when can I go back to soccer?
  49. How about next week?
  50. Next month?
  51. Mommy, can you turn on Sesame Street?
  52. When can we watch anything?
  53. Mama, can I watch something?
  54. What can I do?
  55. Mommy, can I be out?
  56. When can I?
  57. Can I be out?
  58. Can I read?
  59. When can I be out?
  60. Can I be out now?
  61. What can I watch?
  62. Why?
  63. Mommy, can I be out?
  64. Can I be out?
  65. Is there anything I can do to help you?
  66. When can I be out?
  67. Can I try one of the strawberries?
  68. What can I have?
  69. Can I have pretzels?
  70. Mama, am I being good?
  71. Why?
  72. What is that yellow thing right there?
  73. What stuff?
  74. Mama, why don't you want your flip flops on?
  75. Why do you put your purple thing in your mouth?
  76. Is there anything I can do to help you?
  77. [Edited for my privacy!]
  78. Are you going to take a shower?
  79. Mommy, when can you fix lunch for us?
  80. Can I live with Mrs. Lutzky?
  81. What about Charly?
  82. What about Brianna?
  83. Caroline?
  84. Whose mom is meaner than you?
  85. Ava?
  86. Why is this house so small?
  87. Which one you want me to do?
  88. Which one you want me to do?
  89. What's after Princess and Frog?
  90. Guess what I'm wearing today?
  91. Which one you want me to do?
  92. Why?
  93. So are you saying I can do whatever I want?
  94. Are you putting that in the recycle bin?
  95. Can you tie my shoes?
  96. Which book you want me read?
  97. How come when you're making an omelet, you have to do this with a spatula?
  98. Why?
  99. How can you pull off eggs?
  100. Why do you like to make Mama eggs so much?
  101. Do you want me to go get in the truck right now?
  102. When can we go?
  103. What?
  104. Which one do you want me to read first?
  105. What does that mean, Mama?
  106. Is there anything I can do to help you?
Exhausting even typing it! On average, this was 2 children (mostly 1, really) asking about 25 questions an hour. I never want to do this again!

Friday, April 01, 2011

A Day's Worth of Questions--Part I

It's true; I get peppered with questions from the minute my kids get up in the morning, until they go to bed at night. Questions asked rapid-fire, like this:

But unlike this situation, three of my children can talk, and therefore, ask questions without taking a breath. Sometimes they sound like an old record (yes, I said record!) with a needle stuck, with their over and over same questions. And the whining of my name, which no list can give its proper due.

Someone had mentioned making a blog post out of her children's questions and I thought it was a fabulous idea, but I was intimidated greatly because I had heard it could be 3 to 4 thousand! And was just one kid! But since I'm planning on being gone half the day, I thought I'd give my little experiment a try. I will say, I have had to tell them to hush, because I couldn't write fast enough!

Beginning at 640am:
  1. Can I use your bathroom?
  2. What?
  3. What doesn't look comfortable?
  4. Where are you going when you're going out of town in April?
  5. Are you going to Houston?
  6. Are you going to see Auntie Jo?
  7. Mommy, can I read this book?
  8. What day is it?
  9. Mom, can we watch Tangled today?
  10. Did you know the whole school knows my middle name?
  11. How do they know it, Mama?
  12. How do they know it, Mama?
  13. Is the bread all ready to be in my lunch?
  14. Are you going to be able to make my lunch?
  15. Could you cut this string to right there?
  16. Can I be out?
  17. Is it going to be cold?
  18. Do you want me to wear something off the hanger?
  19. Can I have 4 things in my lunch?
  20. Can I have 4 things in my lunch?
  21. Can I also have an apple in my lunch?
  22. Next time I go to school, can I have some jelly beans?
  23. What flavor are they?
  24. Can I have a green apple?
  25. Can I bring a green apple for lunch and a red apple for the teacher?
  26. Can I bring a green apple for lunch?
  27. Can I have a ham sandwich?
  28. Would you like me to put the jelly up?
  29. Can I wear my flip-flops?
  30. Mama, did you hear that?
  31. Mama, are we going to watch Tangled today?
  32. Right, Mama?
  33. Is "coffit" a word?
  34. Is "coffee" a word?
  35. Can you turn this up?
  36. Mommy, can I unbuckle?
  37. Mommy, how come at school we have to get out on Bubba's side?
  38. Mama, can we have breakfast?
  39. Can we have breakfast?
  40. Can you cut my nails?
  41. Are we watching Tangled tonight?
  42. Can I have a banana?
  43. What do I have to do to put energy back in the family?
  44. What time?
  45. Is this okay?
  46. Can I wear it?
  47. Can I wear my flip-flops with this?
  48. What are you making?
  49. Am I having dinner tonight?
  50. Can I have a sip of your smoothie?
  51. Mommy, can you help me get dressed, please?
  52. Mommy, can you help me get dressed, please?
  53. Mommy, can you help me get dressed, please?
  54. When can you fix this?
  55. Can I be out?
  56. Why is Reagan's patch in your pocket?
  57. What's on your mind?
  58. Can I be out, Mommy?
  59. Did you say yes or no?
  60. Did I do all my hair?
  61. What does "least" mean?
  62. Mommy, Mommy, do you like it when he says, "I'm a kid, that's my job."?
  63. Mommy, did I get all my hair?
  64. Mommy, did I get all my hair?
  65. Why?
  66. Why does that one have a triangle on it on his nose?
  67. Can I have breakfast?
  68. Can I have breakfast?
  69. What's that sound?
  70. Mommy, why did it stop?
  71. Mommy?
  72. Mama, can I have breakfast?
  73. Is there anything I can do to help you?
  74. Why do them have capes?
  75. Why do them have sunglasses?
  76. Why do them have costumes?
  77. Can I have breakfast?
  78. Is there anything I can do to help you?
  79. Can I have breakfast?
  80. When can I have breakfast?
  81. Now can I have breakfast?
  82. Now can I have breakfast?
  83. Is there anything I can do to help you?
  84. What is taking so long?
  85. Can I have breakfast?
  86. Am I going to be able to have lunch?
  87. Mommy, can I color?
  88. Can I have a puzzle, please?
  89. Can I play with this, please?
  90. Mommy, were we being rude when you were on the phone?
  91. Can we watch a movie that's not Tangled?
  92. Can you turn on Sesame Street?
  93. Can you turn on KERA?
  94. Are you almost done?
  95. Can you get the same kind of puzzle Reagan has?
This brings us to 10am. I was on the phone for a while so I wasn't able to field too many, and they were playing nicely at the table. I've figured that I'm going to have to split this post up. No one wants to read a post of 5000 questions all in one sitting!