December 31, 2004

All's Fair

Sweet One received an early Christmas gift of a stereo of her own with a five CD changer. She was thrilled.

A few days ago, I walked in the door and Sweet One greeted me with hysterics because the CD changer tray neither opened nor closed, but was stuck half-open.

My older child was convinced it was the work of my younger child.

As I tried to remain calm to determine the extent of the damage, Sweet One continued to yell and scream and get in my face. I gave her a stern warning to back off, but she continued demanding what I was going to do to Wee One.

Because of her absolute lack of respect for me, Sweet One received the first spanking from me she had had in years.

I then turned my attention to Wee One and asked her if she had broken her sister's stereo. She nodded yes and whispered she was sorry. She also received a spanking for entering her sister's room without permission and breaking something that did not belong to her.

After we all calmed down, a second look at the stereo revealed Wee One had managed to shove no less than twenty-two CDs into the stereo. After all twenty-two CDs were successfully removed, the stereo worked beautifully.

The next time Wee One saw her father, she ran up to him and informed him that she had received a spanking for breaking her sister's stereo. Then she added in a gleeful voice that her sister had also received a spanking for telling "Mommy what to do."

With absolute sincerity, she stated: "Nobody tells Mommy what to do."

It would appear my four-year-old has her thumb on the pulse of power.

Posted by Christina at 10:24 PM

December 16, 2004

A Smile and A Laugh

This afternoon I received a pleasant surprise when I stopped by day care to retrieve my children. My girls have been attending this particular facility since Wee One was nine weeks old and she will turn four in a few days.

Over the years I have gotten to know the ladies who care for my children in my absence very well. It's hard not to like people who genuinely care for those you love.

When I walked in this afternoon three or so of the ladies who work there were clocked out and visiting with one another before calling it a day. Naturally, I walked up and asked how they were doing and chatted a bit.

One of the ladies gave me a hug and told me they were just discussing me.

Oh, no! I thought. What on earth has my little one done now! Then I asked the same.

They laughed and the lady said Wee One had had a good day and not to worry. She explained that they had just voted me their favorite mom because I come in every day with a smile on my face and usually a quick story or two to make them laugh. They told me how much they appreciated me and my attitude toward them.

I was stunned.

These ladies take care of my babies. Every day these ladies make sure my older child gets to school on time and pick her up after school. Every day these ladies make sure my baby is happy, fed, and well looked after while I work. They even teach her music, numbers, letters, and other lessons.

I had to laugh, then I told them they may want to reconsider because this morning I was not the perfect example of a good mom.

This morning I was in a rush and could not find my keys. While I try not to use bad language, sometimes it's just so damned expressive and to the point, it just makes me feel better. I know, I know, it's not good for the kiddos. Well, when they are around, if I must curse, I at least try to do so under my breath in a kind of mutter.

In any event, as I walked around searching, I muttered to myself: "Where are my f*cking keys?"

After a few minutes, Wee One tugged on my leg, handed me my keys and said: "Here are your f*cking keys, Momma."

Great. I'm so proud.

Well, after I told the ladies that story, they erupted in laughter and one of them told me that's another reason they like me: I am a real mom.

They think that now. Just wait until Wee One tries that language out while in their charge...

Posted by Christina at 10:33 PM

December 10, 2004


A couple of life's little luxuries that I afford myself are fresh linens on my bed a couple of times a week and an evening soak (if only for a few minutes) in my cast iron clawfoot bathtub.

I find I am more relaxed and sleep much better if I draw a hot bath and take a few minutes for me just before bed time.

Today, I felt I needed this little indulgence more than on most days. The weather was icky this afternoon. My normal one hour commute was doubled on the way home which meant it was well after dark by the time I picked up the girls.

Sweet One was fine, but Wee One was in a twist due to the upset in her normal routine. At the moment, she has issues with separation anxiety. Because I was later than normal, she thought I had abandoned her.

Histrionics in anyone is not fun. In a three year old, it's unbearable.

Fortunately, food does wonders to calm the frayed nerves of the girls in my household.

After Sweet One completed her homework and both girls had baths, they were dispatched to bed. With the new little kitten for company, I drew an exceptionally hot bath with some of my nicest oils.

I then put Chris Botti on the stereo, turned it up, lit a couple candles, dimmed the lights, and eased into the decadent warmth of the water. I didn't even care if my hair got wet, despite being pulled up high on my head. I let the water rise as high as I could get it which was chest high, leaned back, almost completely submerged, except for my head, and closed my eyes.

I listened to the music and felt the heat of the water seep into my tired and stessed muscles and slowly began to relax and unwind. I think I was even beginning to doze off a little.

In a nanosecond, my zen-like state was shattered by a splash, mewing howl, and dagger like pains in my chest. Completely startled and now bleeding I jumped up splashing water everywhere and held onto a writhing two-pound bundle of pissed wet fury!

Not content to sit on the stool at the far end of my bathtub with forefeet resting on the edge of the tub just as he has done every night since he came to our home, Voodoo decided tonight he would join me. Damn cat.

Posted by Christina at 10:32 PM

December 09, 2004

Heads Up Guys

There are a lot of different kinds of women out there.

A few of my girlfriends are what I consider the high maintenance girly-girl types. You know the ones with perfect hair and make up, matching nails and lip stick. Those girls decked out at all times in the latest style.

I think these women are great. They have a certain way about them that cause a lot of men to gravitate toward them and want to do for them.

In return, these ladies are quick to give their beau's cutesy nicknames such as "sweetie pie baby, oh man of mine" and grace them with their presence.

Bless them, they are the ones for whom guys buy chocolate and flowers for first dates and every weekly or monthly anniversary of that first date after that.

More than once in my life, I have envied these women.

It should come as no great surprise to anyone visiting here, I am not one of these girly-girl types. I do enjoy looking my best, wearing nice clothes, and having my nails done on occasion; however, I have a much more practical approach to life and meeting my day to day responsibilities usually outweighs hours spent on hair, clothes, and nails. That's not to say I'm not presentable, just not drop-dead man-killer attractive.

With the rare exception of those women who are goddess perfect and still manage to handle a career, home and family, I think most women fall into the same category as I do. We are simply the ones who do. We do the best we can to make sure the people we love are well taken care of, regardless of what that entails.

Whether we are married or otherwise have men in our lives, if the water heater goes out, the hamster escapes and gets trapped in a wall or some other day ruining calamity strikes, we are the kind of women who just deal with it rather than have a huge melt-down and call you guys in sobbing hysterics.

We do not demand diamonds or other extravagant gifts on birthdays and anniversaries, or even Christmas.

What we want from you guys is something different.

We'd like to know that you thought about us today and that thought brought a smile to your face or a quiver to your heart.

A little of your time and attention goes a long way with us. Chocolate and flowers are both well and fine, but a kind word or thoughtful gesture really goes a lot farther. They let us know that we are not only cared for, but appreciated.

So, yes, I needed a hug today. Why do you ask?

Posted by Christina at 10:41 PM

December 04, 2004

Revisiting Childhood

My father is not well at the moment. I have been spending some time with him while he is hospitalized.

It strikes me as odd how his memories of my childhood are so vastly different from mine.

Despite our differences, there is no doubt that my father is proud of me and loves me dearly. Because I have been caught up with my own life problems and own issues arising from my relationship with him, I forget to consider his feelings for me.

Earlier today, I was sitting with him and waiting for his oncologist to come by when one of his old friends popped in to say "Hello." For the sake of anonymity, I shall call him Mr. Robichaux because I am, after all, in Louisiana.

Mr. Robichaux looked vaguely familiar to me, but I had no specific recollection of having met or visited with him before. I introduced myself. He shook my hand, gave me a hug, and told me he knew who I was.

With a smile, he looked at my father and said: "This is the fiery one, the attorney, non?" While weak, my father smiled as brightly as he could and faintly nodded.

Our visitor sat in the chair next to mine and patted my hand. He told me, "Mais oui, I know you well. I have been keeping up with you since you were not much bigger than a nutria rat."

With a big smile toward my father, Mr. Robichaux told me that he had two favorite stories about me. Surprised, embarrassed, and more than a little curious, I smiled back and kept quiet, hoping he would say more.

The first one he said had to do with me, my sister, and target practice. Oh, no, I thought. This was not good. In that story, I was probably ten or eleven and my father had just bought new pellet rifles for my sister (who was three years older) and me.

Despite her seniority, my sister was physically smaller and weaker than I was. The pellet rifle she received was a .177 caliber single shot rifle that "broke" in the middle. The "break down" of the rifle "cocked" it and allowed it to be loaded.

Mine was a Sheridan Blue Streak .20 caliber pump pellet rifle (which I still have and use). It requires a little muscle to pump now and was excruciatingly difficult back them, especially if little fingers got in the way. I hated it and was pissed my sister seemingly got a better rifle that I did.

Shortly after receiving our new weapons, we set up a target at the base of a ten to twelve foot levee at the pond, a good 100 yards from the back of the house. The target was a card board box filled with Styrofoam with a paper target taped to it. I was very competitive with my sister and she was smoking me.

Her rifle was much easier to cock and load and I was half-assed pumping mine because I was mad. My pellets were not even hitting the target because I was not pumping the gun more than once or twice.

The more we practiced, the angrier I became. At some point, I had had enough. I put the rifle down, walked into the house through the back door, secured a second weapon, and returned to the target.

I put a shell in my new weapon, heaved the gun up to my shoulder, pulled the trigger, there was a very loud BOOM, and the target was instant confetti!

The noise brought my father running out of the house. He snatched the shotgun from me and gave me the mother of all butt whippings I have ever had. THAT was the last time I have EVER fired a shotgun. And, yes, I deserved the butt whipping.

If you're still with me, Mr. Robichaux's second favorite story also involved guns. When I was twelve, our closest neighbors lived about 300 yards from our house. These neighbors were the Nelsons.

There were four of them, two parents and two kids. Pat was a couple of years older and Mark was my age. Mark was a wuss. He was always threatening to beat me up or do this or do that, but when it came time to put up or shut up, he was never anywhere to be found.

One afternoon, I overhead him tell another kid on the school bus that if my dog got into their chickens one more time, he was going to shoot my dog! I found that unacceptable and unbelievable because the Nelsons had no fewer than nine dogs at their place and there was no way my dog could enter the yard, much less make off with a chicken with all those mongrels running around.

Later that day, I put my dog on a leash, picked up my .22 semi-automatic (I had been upgraded), and headed out to the neighbors' house in search of my nemesis. I did not have to go far. Mark and one of his friends were in the back pasture. I waved him over to the fence line.

When they walked up, I told Mark to get his rifle and I was going to give him one shot. I told him I was going to tie my dog to the fence post and he had one shot and he better make it good.

Mark looked at me incredulously and asked if I was kidding. I told him I was not kidding, but be forewarned, hit or miss, after his one shot, I was going to wipe out every one of his dogs.

He ran home.

The most interesting thing about the second story is that I NEVER told my father or anyone else about what I said to Mark for fear my father would tan my hide.

After Mr. Robichaux finished visiting with us and bid us adieu, I asked my father how he knew about the Mark story. He told me Mr. Nelson came to him a day or two after the incident and told him what happened. My father added that he (Mr. Nelson) was so ashamed of Mark's behavior that he had given HIM a butt whipping for being such a wuss.

All a matter of perspective, I guess.

Posted by Christina at 10:22 AM