I'm ever hopeful that the chaos that is created by homeschooling two girls will end soon...
Today my good friend has taken the children (thank you 1 million, Lisa.) Not before their lizard puked on me, of course, because I wouldn't want a totally kid-free kind of day. Still, I have a day all to myself.
I told Brian last night, "I have a day all to myself tomorrow, I can do anything I want!"
Anything I want?
I can do anything I want as long as it's in my house. Well, not downstairs. Or requiring a trip to the garage. Or in the backyard. Or requiring a foray into the kid-trashed sewing room with its many hazards.
And nothing that would require me to be on my feet too much. Or involving climbing up on something or tippy toes, like say, taking down that f@#king Christmas tree. Yes, it is still there. Waiting for Easter? Maybe.
And no carrying things or lifting, so no cleaning out and removing the empty fish tank or vacuuming the floor that I can no longer see properly due to dog hair and mud.
And not too much walking.
But, I can read or knit or watch tv or surf the internet or nap. The things I've been doing every day for nearly four weeks, only without having to deal with kids bickering or not wanting to study or clean. And I can watch adult-only tv shows.
No, not porn, Dexter.
Obviously, there are drawbacks to having two broken ankles, but there are upsides too. Really, there are!
- You can watch the Olympics. As much as you want. If your child whines and thrashes about on the floor in obvious agony over the television choices, you tell her, "two broken legs!"
- No wearing a bra. Or real pants. Or anything else you don't want to wear. The hardship of the injury is enough to excuse any clothing choices, IMO.
- You get to say things like, "two broken legs and STILL I am the only one who can put toilet paper in the bathroom"
- Making children fetch you things and they can't complain. At all.
- Someone else has to drive your children to their 80,000 activities. Sure, you still have to arrange it all, but you don't have to do the actual driving. And your husband is the one who has to get up at 5am to drive 2 hours to take your daughter to the rabbit judging meet in Kiowa and not get home until 5:30pm. Thanks Honey!
- Sleeping in, because, where are you going to go? Nowhere, that's where.
- Friends. You realize how many friends you have and how much they care about you. They run your errands, bring you food, tote your kids around, visit you, and call or email to check on you. I love you guys :)
Posted by Shawn Walter at 12:59 PM
A little over two weeks ago, at around 2pm, I was standing in my kitchen, throwing some recycling into the garage bin, ruminating about why the children can't throw things in the bin and instead, stack them on the counter, whether or not I should shower or eat lunch first, and how much time I had remaining until I had to pick up the children. My foot slipped off the top step and then everything was a blur. One ankle twisted, as I tried to catch myself from falling, my other ankle twisted, I registered pain, I realized both ankles hurt, I was on the floor. I could barely breathe from the pain, there was no crying, not enough breath for that.
It was a lovely below zero day in our unheated garage and despite the layer of hay and straw between myself and the cement floor, I knew I needed to get inside. I remember thinking that I didn't want to get my pants dirty by crawling and then scoffing at myself for the ludicrous nature of that thought. I crawled into the house. The dogs, who were the only ones home with me at the time, believed that this was a very exciting game. Oh boy, she's on the floor with us, lick her!
After crawling back into the house, the pain subsided to the point where I could breathe again so I though I
should try standing. I was barely able to do that while using the counter and bookshelf for support. The dogs were disappointed that we weren't playing the crawling game any more, but were still excitedly milling around my feet.
I knew I had to get to the couch, I also knew I had to get the phone on the way because, being a mom, I was thinking about the kids and the fact I would be unable to fetch them. Somehow, the phone and I ended up on the couch where I elevated my feet and dialed my husband. When he answered, I said, "I did something stupid." That pretty much sums it up.
I spent the next several hours with my feet propped up, waiting for the pain to subside. Brian & the kids came home, I still claimed to be fine.
Then I tried to walk to the bathroom.
I still could barely hobble, and needed something to support me the entire way. I started wondering if I was too hasty when I had told Brian I didn't need to go to Urgent Care. I thought they'd tell me to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) and send me on my way. But at this point, I thought I could take a dose of RICE if it came with pain killers so I made a plan. An extremely complex plan, because, you see, Stella had a horse bowl class from 5:30-7:00pm and Sandis had dog class from 7-8:00pm. So, Brian was to take Stella to her class with me along for the ride, then proceed to Urgent Care and drop me off, then back home to get Sandis and take her to dog. When dog class ended at 8pm, he could bring both girls to pick me up from Urgent Care. Perfect!
Well, he stayed with me at UC until they wheeled me back. They took xrays. I expected the RICE talk. Not so much. One spiral break to be put in a boot air cast, the other a bad sprain in a little ankle thing, orders to call the Orthopedic Center first thing when they opened. They warned that it was a bad break and might need surgery. No walking at. all. They gave me a prescription not only for pain meds, but also for a wheelchair. For in my house. Yes, for in. my. house. Then they wheeled me out to wait for Brian.
After a few minutes of waiting, though no one said anything, I realized the UC closed at 7pm. It was now probably 7:15pm and my family wouldn't reasonably be there to pick me up until 8:30pm. I texted Brian to see if he could get a ride for Sandis with a friend of ours who was also at dog class, and he & Stella could come and pick me up since the UC was closed. That was arranged and I waited.
And waited. And waited.
Finally, another text came through at 7:59pm. They had been stuck in the snow and ice of the parking lot and were now finally on their way. Ugh. Another minute and they could have just brought Sandis with them!
I was finally picked up at 8:15. Now we would be racing Sandis home because Brian had forgotten to give her a house key (I don't know what else could possibly have been on his mind, this night.) Not only that but there was the logistics of getting my pain killers before the pharmacy closed. I didn't have my friend's number in my phone, but I had her husband's number. I called him, he called his wife, they took Sandis (and dog) home with them and we proceeded to the pharmacy. Drugs acquired, we picked Sandis up, and finally arrived home a bit after 9pm.
And that, my friends is the end of day one with two broken legs. "Two?," you say, "you only mentioned one?" That fact was not discovered until day two, at the orthopedic appt.
Finally, after months of telling her she would like Glee, Brian finally just went ahead and played it for Stella. After one episode she was wishy-washy. "I don't know if I like it yet," she claimed, despite dancing on the couch during Journey. After the second episode, she declared herself a Gleek.
My first episode was #3. The Glee kids decide to do a sexy dance number instead of the 70's one their teacher chose in order to attract more kids to the Glee Club.
Me: But they couldn't have pulled off that whole routine in ONE DAY of practice.
Brian: You have to suspend reality for this show.
Ok, I understand, the learning of the routine is the boring part, no one wants to watch that. I can suspend reality, it's a TV SHOW for goodness sake.
Next episode, the football team decides to do a dance before their last play.
Brian: Even if they take a timeout, the 35 second clock would start when the ref sets the ball.
Me: Suspend reality
Brian: But they would have rushed the kicker before he could have kicked the ball.
Me: Um, suspend reality?
Then towards the end of the episode, one of the Glee kids comes out to his dad as gay. His dad says he's known since his son was three, when he wanted high heels for his birthday.
Stella: But he's gay?
Me: Yes, that means he's attracted to other boys.
Stella: Yeah, I know, but what does that have to do with shoes?
Nothing. It has nothing to do with shoes. A ten year old knows that, but still that's what we're putting out there. The media still finds it easier to muddle up gender and sexuality than to face up and explain what it means. Probably because most of them don't know the difference. Don't care to know the difference.
Why is that? It's not difficult to explain. Some people are attracted to the same gender, the opposite gender, both genders. Some people like to dress like the opposite gender, either for fun or to pretend to be that gender or to explore that gender. Some people believe they were born the wrong gender. Some people are more than one of these things. It's all ok.
It. is. all. ok.
If you don't think it's ok, keep it to yourself. It is not your job to make someone else's life miserable, even a little bit, because you don't understand or don't agree with their life. This is their life. Who they are. It is not ok to disagree with that. Your religion disagrees? That's between you and your God, it has nothing to do with this other person. Leave. them. alone.
It's not about you.
And you know what, kids understand and accept pretty easily, much more easily than a lot of adults. Why not respect them enough to explain the range of sexuality and gender? This is not the hard part of parenting. Not even the hard part of the sex questions. The hard questions are things like, "How do I know if I'm in love?" Yeah, answer that.
I know not everyone agrees with me. Some may say they want to keep children innocent. Some think it's difficult to introduce the idea of anything beyond a heterosexual couple. Some don't even want to mention the "sex" in heterosexual.
I just can't understand that. Knowledge is power. I don't think that my kids understanding there are different ways of loving have changed them in any inappropriate way. They know that people are different, this just affirms that a little bit. They aren't shocked or appalled or over-sexualized. They are just open minded.
And I like that.
Stella: Was Grandma or Grandpa originally named Walter?
Me: Grandpa was, Grandma was Schmerbach and changed it to Walter when she got married.
Me: Like I changed my name to Walter when I got married.
Stella: Ooooh, ok. Well, I'll never have to do that.
Me: Why? (expecting a "I'm keeping my name" or "I'm never getting married)
Stella: Because I'm already named Walter
I was ruminating on New Year's Resolutions. Obviously, with the way my year went in 2013, I am planning no resolution, no specific word of guidance. That was a flaming failure for 2013 that I am in no hurry to repeat.
Still, I think about things I'd like to change in my life on this day of resolutions. I want a clean house. To weigh less. To be in shape again. To finally get those family pictures on the wall.
Then I think, what if people decided instead of choosing a resolution of change, like weight loss or organization, they chose an area of their life to accept as is? What if instead of picking an space to fix, you pick a space to embrace? So you would choose instead to accept your body or your messy house. I would love it if I could embrace my messy house!
At that point though, I wondered if that would be any easier? I mean, how difficult is it to love your faults?! I imagine those reverse-resolutions would be abandoned just as quickly, with just as much guilt.
So I'm going with my resolutions that I posted on FB yesterday, "...with the way last year went, I'm not willing to do anything too daring this year. Just going to take it as it comes and roll with it." I imagine that will be difficult enough for me.
But I still want to get those photos up, dammit.
I was in the shower when Sandis came running into the bathroom. "Mommy, we need the rabbit costumes," she claimed.
Now you may be wondering why we have rabbit costumes. Good question. Well, there is a "dress-a-bunny" costume at the county fair. Of course, my girls would participate. Of course. Post-Halloween seemed a good time to pick up costumes for the aforementioned competition, and so we did.
Anyway, Sandis wanted the costumes. I asked why, because, well, the contest is nine months off so it seemed just a bit early to dress the rabbits.
"Because," she answered, "Quetzl is getting married."
"Um, so your rabbit is getting married and he needs a dinosaur costume?" I inquired.
She replied, "Well, that's all we have."
So, rabbit weddings. It seems they proceed as follows:
1. Put all rabbits on trampoline in their nest boxes
2. Try and keep rabbits in nest boxes (note, Harn is against this part)
3. Dress boy rabbit who is getting married as a dinosaur
4. Dress girl rabbit who is getting married as a cheerleader
5. Dress baby rabbits in cheer poms, possibly bridesmaids? Nope, I've been told they are flower girls. Flower girls who would EAT the flowers.
6. Turn dressed rabbits in nest boxes towards each other and take pictures
7. Say no actual words of marriage binding
This occupied an entire afternoon, a good day for everyone except the rabbit being dressed as they are kind of against that while it is happening. After dressed, they seem quite oblivious, amazingly enough.
Rabbit weddings, what next?
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