Stand Down


As it turned out, the medication WAS on the kitchen counter, but if you knew how full of drugs medicine and helpful products my kitchen counter is, you’d understand why it wasn’t easy to find. The damn bottle was actually on its side under a box of sinus pain medication. For those of you who are new here, now you know two things: I take lots of meds and my kitchen counter is a fucking mess.

In any case, I KNOW how you all were on tenterhooks out there, wondering if I had found my stuff or just completely gone off the deep end. Unfortunately for those of you who were awaiting a spectacle, um, sorry…meds found, CRISIS AVERTED.

Of course, my period is on its way and it feels like a million stallions are thundering through my bloodstream, spreading angst and drama as they go but…that, at least, I can deal with.

I think.

Pudding started “camp” today. Yes…we STILL call it camp, which has resulted in lots of odd looks from outsiders, like the woman in the yarn store today who asked him if he’d just come from school to which he replied, of course, “No, CAMP.” I mean, who the fuck goes to camp in the WINTER? I’m sure that’s what most people are thinking.

WE do, OKAY? We do shit OUR way around here. Get USED TO IT.

Honestly, I think the return to camp was more drama for me than it was for Pudding. First of all, I found out when we walked in that the ONE KID that he had taken a shining to, a little brunette named Jenna, was not coming back. That got me upset because…well, Pudding is not like his sister was at that age. She would roll into a room and within 5 minutes she would have talked to everyone in it. Pudding, he’ll be there for 5 YEARS and still be thinking hard about which kid he actually likes.

And I respect, absolutely, that even at this age he shows some discernment. I hope he keeps that, actually…but with that said, why is it that the ONE GIRL he actually LIKED, is not coming back? I swear, I was almost ready to find out who her parents are and call them:

Um, hi, I know you don’t know me from a hole in the wall, but my son, who makes friends about once a year, he really likes your little girl. So can you please bring her back to camp – I mean, school? I will pay for the class. I’m warning you, if you say no we’re pretty much going to have to kidnap your kid, you know this, right? Great – see you next week!”

The teacher actually told me about Jenna’s not returning when we entered the classroom because even SHE knew that they had a “bond.” “They’re on the same wavelength,” she whispered to me as Pudding sauntered off to read a book. Clearly her PARENTS need to be told about this whole wavelength thing and get with the damn program. How dare they deprive my son!

So I felt bad about that. Totally not in my control, but my heartstrings were being tugged for my son.





They have added swimming to the itinerary, which is awesome. So I made sure this morning that I packed his lunch, his extra set of clothes, his towel, and his swim suit.

Imagine my horror when I go to pick him up and there he is, sitting on a bench on the side of the pool.

Fully dressed.

By himself.

What happened?” I cried as I rushed to him.

You forgot my swimsuit,” he said to me calmly.

No! No I didn’t! It was right in the bag, you didn’t see it?” I replied as I rushed to his bag and began pulling everything out.

His lunch bag.

His extra clothes.

His towel.


The swim teacher came up to me and said, “We offered him another suit, we keep the best stuff from the lost and found basket but he didn’t want to wear anyone else’s clothes.

I looked at him and…I couldn’t fucking help it.

I started to cry.

I’m so so sorry, baby,” I moaned as I hugged him tight. He grinned at me and he was okay, didn’t seem the least bit put out, but I felt like shit. And I knew right then that the reason that I was continuing to feel like shit despite the fact that my son was clearly not perturbed about not being able to swim, was that I was having flashbacks of all the times in school that I was the kid who couldn’t do something because of not being allowed, or not having the money, or not fitting in, and just being THAT KID sitting on the sidelines watching as others had fun. I go through hell and high water to make sure THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN TO MY KIDS. Not that they always have to “fit in” – God knows I have learned to appreciate my individuality and I have taught my children already that they are their own people who should follow their own minds. But, with that said, if they don’t do something, I want it to be because they don’t want to do something, not because they CAN’T.

I know…it’s pretty stupid and nothing to get worked up about and I KNOW that all the getting worked up has WAY more to do with my issues than it has to do with good parenting. I know this. But…it didn’t stop me from crying, not for ME, but for Pudding, who looked so small sitting on the bench all alone because all the other kids had been picked up by their parents and were in the locker rooms changing.

I feel terrible,” I whispered in his ear.

Why?” he whispered back.

Because I was so sure I had packed your swimsuit. I pulled it out and was so sure I had put it in there. I must have turned to do something else, as usual, and forgotten to go right back to it, I know exactly where it is, it was right on the dresser and I swore I put it in,” I replied, feeling helpless and still hugging him tightly. The teacher was looking at me a bit awkwardly, but I got the impression that she’s dealt with enough moms to know that the slightest thing can often cause a total breakdown. Not just with the KIDS, mind you, but with the MOMS.

He pulled back and looked at me. “I got 2 smiley faces,” he said, grinning as he showed me the stamps he’d gotten, one on each hand.

I smiled back through my tears. “That’s awesome, kiddo.

Mommy? Do you still feel terrible?” he asked, looking at me seriously.

Yes, actually, I do. But we’re going to go home and as SOON as we get there, we’re going to put the swimsuit IN THE BAG so you’ll have it for next week, okay? I’m so so sorry, baby,” I said, hugging him again.

It’s okay, Mommy,” he said to me.

Which only made me hug him more and love him more and feel more like shit all at the same time. How does that even fucking work?

You could have worn another suit,” I said somewhat lamely as we walked out of the building a few minutes later, not because I wanted him to wear someone else’s suit, I was actually glad he hadn’t, but because I just wanted him to understand he COULD have.

I didn’t want to,” he said lightly, and I realized he was so done with that and I needed to take his cue and be done with it too. Easier said than done.

Okay, sweetie. But I’m still sorry,” I said, kissing him as I put him in his carseat.

Look what I made in class,” he said, already moved on.

He showed me a paper bird nestled in a bed of yarn which was neatly enclosed in a nest fashioned out of the two halves of a small paper plate. “This is Tweety,” he said.

The yarn store is right down the street, and the yoga studio. I want to stop in…wanna come?” I asked.

Okay,” he answered as he played with Tweety.

It’s the feeling of inefficiency and the idea that I have somehow failed my children in varying ways, whether it’s something seemingly small like forgetting a bathing suit or something big like…things that I’m not even ready to talk about publicly yet, that often sends me to medication or a drink. Or, as you know, sometimes both. But it’s their responses, of love, acceptance, and innocent understanding, that helps me…NOT to need it.

I love them so incredibly much. They inspire me to be the best I can be, not just for them, but for myself. Obviously, I don’t always succeed…but I’m trying.

And that goddamn swimsuit is IN THE BAG.


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