Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Spin Cycle-Kids Part 1

So the Spin Cycle this week is kids. Hmmm. What can I say? It has been terrifying, maddening, frustrating and deeply satisfying in turns. Sometimes all four at once.  Some times you get stuck in frustrating for what seems like years. Some days you’re certain that they'll be in therapy for the rest of their natural lives because you are such a fuck-up as a parent. Then they go and do something and you think that maybe you might have done okay. 

I have two daughters. Neither one is really a kid anymore. My Eldest turned 21 two weeks ago. 

She was trouble from the get-go.

My aunt died around the time she was conceived and it almost makes me believe in reincarnation cause sometimes she reminds me of my aunt so much. Eldest was a breach baby so I had a C-section.  I was frankly uninterested in trying to convince her to turn around. When the incision was made and the doctor tried to pull her out, she grabbed onto the sides of the incision and fought leaving her comfy abode.

She got the hiccups every day around 2 p.m. Before and after she was born.
She had colic. And it was annoying as hell for both of us. I tried every "cure". None of them worked.  She just had to cry for two hours. Non-stop.

She was, and is, a thinker. When she was just a baby she would sit and stare at things like she was trying to figure them out. When she got older, she started asking questions; a seemingly endless parade of questions. Mostly, how do you spell... I showed her the dictionary at around second or third grade and told her to look it up.  A born writer, that one.

During one of her Brownie Girl Scout meetings in about second grade, we showed the girls a glass of water and asked them if it was half empty or half full. Went around the circle and had them raise their hands to vote for one or the other.  Eldest didn't vote. My co-leader asked her why she didn't vote and she said it was because the answer was that it's both.  My co-leader was pretty damn unhappy to be upstaged by an 8-year-old since that was the whole point of the exercise.  I thought it was hilarious.

Being smart and introverted at such a young age didn't make her life easy. Or ours.  I came to realize that the needs of special needs kids got pretty short shrift in Texas schools. (And if you don't think the high end of the spectrum kids need as much attention as the lower, you're nuts.) I encountered teachers throughout the years that just couldn't handle having someone in their class as smart as they were. Others simply couldn't handle either end of the spectrum. I watched my co-leader's kid get labeled as special education material and as her opportunities pretty much dried up along with that labeling. 

I also got really damn tired of teachers telling me she was one of the smartest kids they'd ever had but that she just wouldn't apply herself. And they seemed at a loss to tell me why.  Doing homework? Boring. Answering questions in class? Entertaining as hell. Passing class? Meh. More than one teacher benched her. And it always pissed her off when they told her she needed to let someone else answer. 

And now she's entering her senior year at UNT working towards a degree in Emergency Administration and Planning. She's finally found something that she's passionate about. 

There were times when I thought she was going to drift along through her life and find nothing to use that brain on. I mean this is a kid who likes Algebra and Calculus and actually understands it.  Shudder. She can do equations in her head. And she can talk. Can she ever. She's held her own in discussions and arguments with adults for years. (Probably one the reasons some teachers had "issues".) She has this truly devastating glare.  Seriously. People have shriveled up and died after receiving one of these patented glares. (She claims she gets it from me) 

It has been said that raising teenagers is like nailing jello to a tree. (And that there's something wrong with the program that lets any idiot make a baby and yet fails to provide an owner's manual.) It's been frustrating yet curiously rewarding. 
And never fear, my dear.  I plan on a Part 2 to dish about your sister. 

Go check out the other spinners.

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RTT- Or What is This Water Falling From the Sky?

It's Tuesday. You know the drill. Go visit the Unmom for more randomness.

Well, it's raining. Really. It hasn't happened in so long I wasn't sure what it was. It's been over two weeks. I checked out our local cable news outlet online just see how long it had been and found this jewel.

Wx Stations
San Marcos
Round Rock
Lago Vista
North Austin

I love that its apparently 448 degrees in Lago Vista. I thought the lake effect was supposed to make things cooler. Or that apparently in North Austin, where I work, it hit 112 before the rain came even though every place else was almost 40 degrees cooler. I suppose the fact that its been over 100 degrees for 16 days in a row might be the reason some of the weather stations are wonky. They're tired.

Any way. Hubby worked on the AC unit from hell last night for almost an hour. He'd just given up and was looking in the phone book for a repair shop when the compressor, which had died at some point that afternoon, suddenly kicked in and started working again. It's like the damn thing knew we were pissed off and was trying to appease us. Low bid piece of crap. Seriously, we have no idea what we did that made it decide to start working again. Nor any idea of why it quit. Oh, the joys of home ownership.

So, today we have some respite. Once the rain stops, it will become a sauna in short order. For at least as long as it takes to dry out.

The world this week has been kind of crazy, don't you think? Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and Billy Mays all dying. A coup in Honduras. Police officers beating up and pepper spraying folks in gay bars and low key politcal meet and greets. Ain't it a great time to be alive?

Though I have to say the YouTube (Yay YouTube!) video of the woman in Honduras smacking the hell out of every solider that walks by her is priceless. (It's towards the end of the video) Who would have ever thought that YouTube, of all things, would have turned out to be so powerful? It's hard to deny what you see with your eyes. I know that things can be manipulated and staged, but that holds true with what see on the MSM. I mean, I remember hearing how the anti-American rallies in places in the Middle East in the 80s and 90s wouldn't really get rolling until the cameras started and seemingly stopped when they went away. We are no longer confined to seeing what the government controlled media wants to see in places like Iran and Honduras. And that may make all the difference.

Today is the day that Lt. Dan Choi has his hearing that will determine whether or not he is discharged for the National Guard. It's expected to last at least through this afternoon. I will be watching the feeds to see the outcome. It's crazy.

Well, work beckons. In kind of a lazy, meh kind of way. Later. I leave with random links:

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