Thursday, November 01, 2007


So, I left work early yesterday to come home to go trick or treating with the boys. I got home a bit after three and they hadn't even started their homework yet. After much.... errr..... cajoling, I got them focused, homework done, into their costumes, their over night bag packed (going to their dad's), my overnight bag packed (going to J's), and out the door. Let me add that I was carrying: My purse, my overnight, and the boys backpacks for school the next day. The sitter was helping carrying the boys overnight bag. Yep. That's me. Small But Mighty.

It was already nearly four pm, and since they had to meet their Dad at 6, meaning on subway by 5:30, there really wasn't that much time. We decided to just walk down Austin Street - in the central business district. The stores give out candy. Or they used to. We spent a large part of the walk encountering: "No More Candy" signs. By 4:30! What time do people start??!

So, you know what - it was just OK. The kids weren't so interested in getting the candy (I know!!) and more in walking around in their costumes & "battling" each other. So it became this, over and over: "Go in, put your masks down, say trick or treat. What do you say?" Like it was a chore.

THEN, we're walking down this sidewalk, crowded with trick or treaters & there's a man with a dog. A labrador-ish sized dog. On a leash, but not so controlled. I said "Kids, watch out for the dog!" and the dog grabs Nathan's arm. In his mouth. Then lets go &... now get this... the guy looks back & continues walking!

Nathan was fine. Skin not even broken. Maybe the dog was a puppy, which was why it looked so all over the place... But of course crying, scared, upset. I was, if you'll excuse the expression - ready to rip the guy a new asshole. (Nathan: Mom, is that guy younger than you? Me: Yes, I think so. Nathan: Good, so you can beat him up.)

Then lets not get into having to use the bathroom. In costumes. Not close to our house. All I can say is thank goodness for Boston Market!

Next year: No Austin Street. Only houses. Earlier.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So here's the thing...

Max's teacher told me about his acting out at school. Max & I talked about it & worked out a plan. I didn't tell X, thinking it was a one-off event.

Sunday Max told me that he had gotten in trouble on Friday. I wrote his teacher a note, and he had no tv/computer time last night.

He assures me that he was perfectly well behaved Monday ("except for the first 20 minutes, Mom. I was a little wild. But then I calmed down and was good the rest of the day!")

I should tell X, right?

I know I should. He's the father. The thing is, he over-parents. He over disciplines. He does not have realistic expectations. He is giving the kids a TEST on Friday! A TEST! Max says he's not so worried (has to read a book and do math problems) but is concerned about Nathan.

I jsut feel for these kids.

BUT - my "new thing" is to NOT tell him how to parent. I came to this (too late) realization that if I don't want him commenting on my parenting... that perhaps I should not comment on his. (Ok, I'm a little slow on the uptake!)

He's the parent, and if we have different styles and philosophies it doesn't make one better or one worse... just different. (See, I'm trying to convince myself here!)

And he does have a lot of strengths. He is by far one of the smartest people I know. He has nearly photographic memory, has a good, analytic mind, and is, surprisingly enough, a good teacher because he knows how to break things down into small components. (A good teacher when he's in a good frame of mind....) I mean heck - the guy was nominated for a Pulitzer! (Why do I always use that to fall back on... like that saves him, or something?) (NOtice that there are a lot of parenthetical phrases where I question myself? Why is that? :) )

Bah! So, I guess what I'm saying is that I really have to tell him.... but maybe I'll wait 'til after this weekend - so the kids won't be with him...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Just because my life is so dull...

My sitter decided to quit.

Guess I should explain. I have a new sitter - started in September. She is absolutely great, but is 16 years old. After two weeks she asked if she could come late two days each week - because of some school thing. Ummm... late? Who will pick up the boys? That's kinda why I hired you... But, her mom stepped in & picks up the boys two days each week. She comes about 15 minutes after.

But, there's been lots of little stuff like that - asking if she could leave early, come a bit later... and each time I've actually been able to work it out. I believe in flexibilty. I'll do what I can to accommodate your schedule(although I absolutely expect the other person to do the same.)

Then yesterday I get an email from her "I can't work Monday. Have Dr's appointment." Now, I'm already leaving work early Wednesday to take the boys trick or treating before they go to their Dad's that night, then I'm off Friday (going away for the weekend w/J!!) so leaving work early Monday is not really much of an option. My boss is nice, but....

So I asked: Can it be another day?

No. It can't. So I called her. Why did you schedule it when you had work? Her mom did. Why did she? Then I explained: This is a responsible position. She works so that *I* can work. I need to work. If I did not work I would be home with my boys and thus not need her. This puts me in a bind. And, really... kinda sucks.

I don't think I was harsh.. but I was very direct. This has been happening too much & the last thing I need in my life is more stress!

So she emailed me. She thinks it's best if she stops working. It's too much. That it is a responsible position and she has too much in her life now... she will stay until I find somebody - help me train the other person...

And she's right. And actually, for a 16 year old - she's very mature. But she is 16 & this is a busy time in her life.. and it is too much pressure (on both of us!) for her to be doing this.

So I'm off to find a new sitter.

And you know what the kicker is? The absolute KICKER!?! My mom. She said to me: "Well, if you hire a 16 year old she'll have too much going on in her life... it will be hard." Ugh! How do they always know?!?! How?!?

(And oh, my monitor has gone green [ordered a new one] so I can't see the yellow on spell check. I double checked... but.. you know... life without spell check...)