Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good News!! Jesus Lives Next Door!!

I just have to get this out.

This morning, GND did ride with us to school. On Monday, when her mother drove both to and from school, GND did not talk to Twinkle, she read a book. So, this morning Twinkle took a book in our car, just in case GND didn't talk to her again. The book she chose? "How to Be a Friend" She wanted to show it to GND. Yeah, well....

I told Twinkle that she could not sit there next to GND and show her all the sins in the book that she believed GND has committed. I was in the house when they got into the van. When I got in, Twinkle was saying, "GND, you blamed me for something that I didn't do and that isn't being a good friend. You said I ______ and I didn't." GND responded that either she didn't say that or that Twinkle did do whatever it was. She probably said both which... well... nevermind.

They went back and forth and I told Twinkle to stop doing that and just read her book. Twinkle, of course, had to say one more time, "You DID blame me for something I didn't do." GND's mother who was standing there by the door of the van said, "GND doesn't do that."

Hold on while I growl at the memory of it again.

OK, WTF? So many things went through my head for the entire drive to school and back ranging from "Is she an idiot?" to "Why would you stick your child with that?" It seems like a lot of pressure to me. "Why would she say that in front of the child?" "Is she a habitual liar too?" And over and over, "WTF?!"

What do you do with a mother like that as another mother? Part of me wanted to go over and chat with her and ask what if anything GND told her about Sunday. I wanted to tell her what happened and point out that ALL kids do things at one time or another and why on Earth would she think her child was different? I, as is my personality, wanted to just go over there and talk to her or smack her until she saw the light!

I'm also just bewildered that GND is the one acting like Twinkle wronged her. I just want to say, "Do you understand that Twinkle is the one that by all rights shouldn't want to talk to you?" But then the other part of my mind says, "Wait. Wait. Let her sulk. Twinkle would be better off without her."

Ugh... Yet another chapter in the saga. The upside is Twinkle and I have been playing together a lot over the past few days and I'VE been having a blast!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Turn!

Yep, yesterday was MY turn...I was the one who lost my sh*t.

Actually, I was in control the whole time, but I'd just had enough. I yelled at GND. It, sadly, felt kinda good.

Let me give you a bit of a mental picture. Our driveway is in the front of our house. We have a sitting area inside the house that has French doors that look out onto a porch and the driveway beyond.

Twinkle, GND and a little boy, D, were playing outside yesterday afternoon. At one point, Twinkle seemed a bit upset because the other two were playing catch and she wasn't, but I knew that would pass soon enough and wasn't anything major.

About half an hour later, I heard the kids playing in the driveway and looked out through the blinds on the French doors. The nice thing about this is that I can observe without being observed. Twinkle was sitting on the porch and the other two were riding their scooters in our driveway. OK, no problem.

Then I hear Twinkle say, "Guys, can you get off my driveway. I want to be alone." I thought that sounded a bit rude, but wanted to see how things played out. The next five minutes were filled with Twinkle asking over and over that they let her have some time alone and go play in the cul-de-sac. Each time she'd say this, GND would smile at her and say something along the lines of "we want to play here" and she'd ride her scooter in circles right in front of Twinkle and sometimes around her. D, wasn't leaving, but he also wasn't taunting Twinkle. He was just riding his scooter further up the driveway away from Twinkle and GND. Twinkle's voice got louder each time she asked them to leave until she finally started crying. GND still with her little smile continued her circles, pushing me over the edge.

I think I can recall what I said word for word. I opened the door and said/yelled, "GND THAT IS ENOUGH!! She has asked you, like, 20 times to let her have some time alone and to go play in the cul-de-sac. You're just doing that to be mean to her and you're doing it to get THAT reaction (pointing at a crying Twinkle) and that is ENOUGH! Now, go play in the cul-de-sac and let her have some time alone. I've had enough of you doing that!"

I think she was a bit stunned at first, but by the time I finished she had such a hate filled look on her face. She narrowed her eyes at me and if looks could kill, I'd have been lying on the floor of the sitting area. She turned and rode her scooter out of the driveway and into the street - I think D may have left before I finished yelling. Twinkle looked at me and said, "Thank you, mommy."

I brought Twinkle in for a few minutes and gave her a hug. I explained to her that I may have just ruined her chances for playing with GND or D for the rest of the day. I also told her that she didn't need to play with GND anyway, because there's no reason for her to put up with someone treating her that way. She stayed in for a few minutes then decided to go ride her bike, whether they played with her or not. A little later I looked out and saw Twinkle and D riding up and down the street.

Mr. S, who had seen the storm coming, had taken Sparkle and the dog out into the backyard about the time the yelling started. He told me later that he'd seen Twinkle and D go over to GND's driveway and that they seemed to all be talking nicely. At one point, Twinkle saw Mr. S in the backyard and said something to him which made GND's head whip around to see who she was talking to.

Twinkle came back at one point and said that GND told her that she was never going to play with her again and that she wasn't allowed to play with her. Yeah right. I told Twinkle that she may not play with her for the rest of the day, but that GND would get over it. I also told her that if she didn't get over it, that was ok too because, again, there is no reason Twinkle should play with someone who is mean to her. D, who was behind Twinkle said, "I'm not mean to her." I told him I knew that and I appreciated it. So, Twinkle and D went off to ride scooters and bikes and ended up playing with two other kids in the cul-de-sac and GND wasn't around for the rest of the afternoon. You know what? Twinkle didn't whine or cry once the rest of the day. Hmmm.

I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up the living room. I figured it was a better use of my energy than terrorizing the neighborhood children. I was also waiting for a call or visit from GND's mother that I assumed was inevitable.

She did actually call to say that she needed to take GND to school this morning, and that she would still bring Twinkle home this afternoon. I, blinded by my anger as Mr. S put it, assumed that GND wasn't interested in riding with me this morning and that I'd be taking Twinkle to school. As it turns out, that was a bit of miscommunication because GND's mom came over this morning to get Twinkle and had kinda thought I hadn't understood that she'd take Twinkle this morning. I had already told Twinkle that if GND wasn't nice or wouldn't talk to her in the car this afternoon that Twinkle shouldn't get all upset about it. Just let it go. She assured me she would....

So, here we are. GND's mom acts like nothing happened. I wonder if GND mentioned it to her and if she did what version of events she told her. I'm thinking about sitting outside and reading in a lawn chair the next few times the kids are out playing. The days are so nice, after all. As I told Mr. S, GND needs to just assume that I'm close by and I've got my eye on her. I think she knows now that I'm not going to put up with much.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Power Tools and Ice Cream

Sunday was a lovely day.

We began it with all four of us eating kolaches on our screened porch. We don't eat the kind with meat in them. Not even the ones with fruit in them. NO. The Swizzle kolaches (that we buy, not make) have chocolate or cream in them. It's one of the few breakfasts when I don't really feel a need to sweeten my tea.

We made it to church on time. We had lunch at church because the youth were having a fund raiser. They made burgers, including patties for us vegetarians. I about fell out of my chair laughing when Fr. D, sitting next to me, said, "Ugh! I got one of those Boca things!"

We came home and settled in for a relaxing afternoon. Twinkle went out to play. Around 2:30, Twinkle came in and said a family across the street, who were outside, had some ice cream and invited her to have some. I said yes, no problem. Ah, what a day.

Around 4, I heard a disturbance in the driveway. I opened the door, and Twinkle was crying and saying, "R is going to tell on me..." and various other things that I couldn't understand. R is a boy who lives in our cul-de-sac and is a few years older than Twinkle. He isn't the gentlest of people. He's the kid who was nuts as a younger kid, but seems to be mellowing out.

R is behind Twinkle trying to explain himself. When everything quiets down, I finally heard that Twinkle and GND "needed to build something." OK. Sounds fine. To build whatever it was, they took Mr. Swizzle's case of drill bits and the huge case with his big, powerful (cordless) drill in it over to GND's driveway.

Part of why Twinkle was crying was because, "Dad's screwdriver is broken. It won't work!" Can I hear a "Thank you God"?! The battery was run down. Thank you! R, being a boy in his early teens recognized the danger and came to let me know.

Now, I must say, neither of us have ever explicitly told Twinkle that the power tools are dangerous and that she must not touch them. We have NOW, but I can't blame her much for thinking it was a good idea. She and I had a chat, during which she calmed down and I told her she had to tell her daddy. Then her daddy came outside to mow the backyard and she lost her sh*t again. She calmed down again and I fed her the words for her to tell him what she'd done.

This wasn't really a major ordeal, looking back at it. She was greatly sorry and truly didn't have comprehension of the danger associated with her actions. I told her that she could stay outside and play, but not to ask for any more than that - like ice cream from the truck they could hear in the neighborhood.

Twinkle assured me, eventually, that she would not ask for ice cream if the truck came down our street - even though she really, really, (really) wanted some. Off she went, back out to play. I went back inside and called my mom to tell her about Friday's conversation and about the events of the day.

While we were talking, I heard the ice cream truck. It actually came down our street. "Poor Twinkle", I thought, "She's standing there watching it go right past her. She's probably going to have another meltdown." I told my mom that I needed to go and let Twinkle know it was time to come in.

Can you see it coming?

I went over to GND's driveway to find GND and Twinkle eating ice cream. I didn't scream!! GND's mom was standing there with them. We chatted a bit. GND's mom was holding a couple of dollars and asked the girls whose money it was. I said, "It's not Twinkle's. She didn't have any. I guess it's GND's." GND shakes her head, "No. That's Twinkle's money. It was in her pocket." Her mom was handing the money back and forth between me and GND. I finally took it and said, "Well, it's mine now." I wonder if/when GND is going to ask Twinkle for her money back.

As Twinkle and I entered the garage to go into the house, I said, "I hope that is really good. I want you to really enjoy it, because you are not going outside to play Monday or Tuesday." This set her off again and she actually yelled, "NO! I DON'T WANT TO ENJOY IT!" I told her if she stopped eating it and threw it away (she really hadn't eaten much) she still couldn't go outside on Monday, but we'd see about Tuesday. She started walking to the trash can eating as fast as she could. She opened the trash can and actually continued licking the thing as it got closer and closer to the trash can.

After she dropped it into the trash, she started begging to be able to go out Monday and Tuesday. I repeated Monday was a definite no, and Tuesday was a maybe. This caused her to start jumping up and down screaming, thereby ensuring Tuesday was a definite no.

When the smoke cleared and the tears stopped we had a conversation. We covered the outright disobedience pretty thoroughly. We talked about GND, and how she knew Twinkle was not supposed to have ice cream. Apparently she told Twinkle that the ice cream they'd both had earlier really wasn't very much.... Isn't that nice? We talked about the fact that GND likes to get Twinkle in trouble. Twinkle said, "GND made me get in trouble." Mr. S quickly corrected her. He said, "GND led you up to the door. She even knocked and ran away, but you walked through the door all by yourself."

When it comes right down to it, no matter what pressure you're under, no matter what actions others take, the decision is yours and yours alone whether you're going to do the right thing. It's your decision and your consequences or reward.

How many times will I repeat this to Twinkle? At least as many times as I repeat it to myself.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Like Sands Through the Hourglass...

The soap opera continues....

Well, sort of.

I love the cul-de-sac we live on. It's teeming with kids. When everyone is outside, it's fantastic. This is the first year that I've really appreciated it, probably because I'm finally comfortable with Twinkle going out the door to ride her bike. I peek out every now and then, but I certainly don't feel like I need to go out with her.

Friday afternoon, most of the kids were out and so were some moms. Sparkle was napping so I wandered out to chat. (so unlike me, really) The woman that lives across the street, B, is my kind of person. She is great with kids. She is also straight-forward, doesn't put up with crap and she'll tell you how it is. If you don't want to hear that, yes your child does burst into tears way too easily, don't ask B.

B has a daughter who is in 4th or 5th grade at the same school Twinkle and 2 other families on the cul-de-sac attend. She was talking about a problem her daughter was having with a girl at school. Apparently the girl at school told B's daughter that she couldn't hang out with her anymore because she wanted to be invited to another girl's house. Nice.

I told B that my problem with Twinkle right now is that she'll believe anything that Girl Next Door (GND) tells her. I've posted about GND before. The girl gets under my skin. The fact that she watches me out of the corner of her eye whenever I'm outside with them doesn't help. Anyway, I mention this problem to B and she says, "Well, anything GND says is a lie."

Whaaa???? Could my instincts be right? B and GND's family have lived on our cul-de-sac for a while. I think they both lived here when their kids (now 8-12) were born.

I question B a little bit and she says that the child is a habitual liar. The whole "so and so said ___ about you"? she does that to B's daughter too! (Apparently she also tells B's daughter she's fat which is so ironic if you saw the two girls).

B also said, "But don't try to take it up with her mother. Her mother will tell you that GND NEVER lies."

I said, "Twinkle just told me that exact thing, word for word." You know what I told Twinkle? I told her that I'd never say that about her because we are all human and we all make mistakes and we all tell a lie every now and then. I also told her that I can't imagine a mother saying that about her child.

So I left the conversation wondering how to approach this with Twinkle, but also feeling pretty good about my gut instinct.

That was Friday. Let me tell you about Sunday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Spring fever? Organization fever? (Thanks Elastigirl)

Nope actual fever. It's been an extremely long time since I've actually run a fever.

Monday, my allergies were bothering me a little bit. Elastigirl came over and helped me turn my pantry into the 8th wonder of the world.

Yesterday, we had a great homeschool day and completed everything quickly. Thankfully! Because I went downhill after lunch. My goal yesterday afternoon was to keep Sparkle from eating thumbtacks, so my afternoon was a success. Mr. S got home around 7 and I went to bed at 7:15. Of course, I had hockey on because, hey it's the playoffs!

I wandered back downstairs after the girls were in bed and chatted and watched hockey with Mr. S for about an hour, then went back to bed - with hockey still on.

I'm feeling better today. I'm not feverish, but my face hurts. Hopefully, Sparkle and I will have a relatively easy day. Fingers crossed.

Monday, April 7, 2008

What's in a Name?

This post actually started out as a comment to Heather's post over at Cool Zebras about picking a name for her new little one who will be debuting next month. I decided to just write my own post instead of taking up so much of her comment space.

In her post, Heather discusses the desire to give her children names that are not too common, but also not too off the wall. I hear her! Anyone who knows us knows that we felt the same way when naming our children.

Even though we didn't know Twinkle was going to be a girl, we settled on a name pretty easily. As I recall it anyway. We didn't have any boy names picked out, so we got lucky there.

With Sparkle, since we were adopting from China, we were pretty certain that she would be a girl. We had a more difficult time choosing a name for her. When we first started the adoption process, I was amazed at the number of people who already had a name picked and embroidered on blankets. Let me tell you, as someone who didn't want her child having the same name as many others in her class at school, this desire was compounded by being part of the China adoption community. It seems like there are just a handful of names that most girls adopted from China are given.

Anyway, why did we have the trouble we did naming Sparkle? For one thing, we knew she'd already have a name and didn't feel comfortable taking that from her. For another, I wanted to at least see her face before we picked a name. I didn't feel that way when I was pregnant with Twinkle, so I can't explain why that was, but it just was.

True, we discussed possible names long before we saw her face, but "the list" had at least 15 to 20 names on it. After we received her first pictures and we needed to actually start filling out paperwork with her name on it, we decided we needed to buckle down and decide. It was on an airplane flying back from New York about this time last year that we finally settled. And it was a name that wasn't on the big list that I'd made over many months. It was a name from a list Mr. S made in his Palm Pilot before Twinkle was born. A list that I didn't know existed.

The name is perfect for her. It has many nicknames, but none are bad. We kept her Chinese name for her middle name. When she's older, I wonder if she'll go through a period of time deciding what SHE wants to be called.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

So, How Was It?

MB has nudged me to remind me that I haven't posted in over a week.

Our trip was wonderful, though too short. Because of flight delays, I didn't get into the city until about 5:30 Friday night. No worries. Mr. S had scored a room we may never see again. The hotel had messed up his reservation and he managed to get a room that, according to the room service guy, had the best view in the hotel.

Being on the top floor with windows facing 3 directions, I'd say he's right. Like I said, I don't think we'll see that room again. Oh, and yes, I managed to go into the bathroom and close the door without anyone opening it. Both bathrooms.

It was nice to get away together and see friends that we see about once a year.

I guess I haven't been posting a whole lot because I've been feeling a bit melancholy and didn't want to write another melancholy post.

I'm not sure why I'm feeling this way, but I know it will pass.