Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dexy's Double Life

I was picking up Dexy from day care the other day, when I discovered something alarming.

I am the mother of an almost-two-year-old double agent.

I picked up my baby boy, brushed the blond hair out of his clear blue eyes, and watched as he popped his left thumb in his mouth so his right hand could grab a hank of my hair.

"Dexy!" his teacher said in scandalized tones. "I didn't know you suck your thumb!"

Excuse me? This child, who, if the ultrasound pictures are any indication, has been sucking his thumb since before his actual birth, doesn't suck his thumb at school?

That's right. Not even at nap time. He just lays down on his cot and goes right to sleep.




Apparently, at school, the Dexy who requires two parents, an iPod of oldies, and seventeen carefully selected stuffed animals to fall asleep doesn't exist.


At school, Dexy also:
  • Lies quietly when his diaper is changed (as opposed to saying, "No, Mommy! No poop!" and kicking/peeing on the diaper-er)
  • Eats very neatly, using his utensils. He's the neatest one in the class, she says. You lie, I said, thinking of the spaghetti stains on my ceiling.
  • Reads several major world newspapers and provides translations for some of the day care staff.
Okay, I made that last one up. But, still, I am disturbed. Who is this little boy? My Dexy is still my little baby, not this grown-up toddler about to sprout facial hair and football pads.

Then, I realized it:

He's humoring me.

He's staying my baby for me. No, stay with me on this one: he likes being the baby, he knows I like him being my baby, so where's the harm?

I promise, if he's still sucking his thumb when the facial hair and football pads appear, I'll put a stop to it.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Epiphanies/Deep Thoughts

Lately, I've been having a lot of epiphanies and deep thoughts. I've been eating a lot of fiber, so, there you go.

In the hopes of saving you the 34 years it took me to arrive to these conclusions, I am listing them here for you.

1. If you are an optimist, you will be sad sometimes. If you are a pessimist, you will be sad all the time.

2. I have worked very hard for my happiness. But, some people work very hard at unhappiness. That is their right, as much as happiness is mine.

3. I can't fix anyone but me. Fortunately, there is a lot of work to be done.

4. Air freshener fools no one.

5. Watching cooking shows on TV does not make me a "foodie," any more than watching Project Runway makes me a fashion insider. When I refer to undercooked spaghetti as "a failure of execution," I am being pretentious and silly.

6. I do not need to apologize for taking time for me sometimes. But when I take that time, I need to do something with it that I will be happy about.

7. Just because I love my children doesn't mean I have to always like them. I usually do. Just not always.

8. The best thing I can teach my students is to love learning.

9. If I am going to complain about something, I should be willing to step up and take responsibility for it. If I don't want to do it myself, I should shut up and be grateful someone else has taken on the job.

10. I think too much.

Have a good day, everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Victim/A Miracle

Today, my blog ventures into the land I swore my blog would never go: politics. Because last night, my family and I were the victim of a crime that touches on a major political issue. Today's blog isn't funny, it's true. You will be back to your regularly scheduled hilarity and hijinks with our next entry.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. on the night of Sunday, September 6, 2009, a person or persons unknown entered a vacant field directly behind our house. These people sounded like they were riding personal recreational vehicles (AKA "Four-Wheelers") and at some point began firing guns.

One of those shots went into the window of our home. The window shattered, showering glass fragments over the entire room, including the bed where our little boy, Dexy, lay sleeping.

If there is any humor to be had in this situation, it is in the fact that Dexy slept through the entire thing.

When we woke up the next morning, there it was: a hole in our window, with a .22-caliber bullet lodged in the window frame.

The deputy who examined the scene said it was probably a deer rifle, the kind anyone here can buy at Wal-mart.

How lucky are we? Dexy is fine. He didn't even get a scratch, even when he walked over the glass to get out of his room. The next time someone wants to debate the existence of God, please let me know.

Our county has written the incident up as "deadly conduct," which means someone was engaging in conduct which could result in death, even if unintended. But the deputy also did not give us much hope that the case would ever be solved.

My opinion is that this was probably some kids, in varying states of inebriation, who decided to shoot off their deer rifles where they believed no one would get hurt.

So here it is: my political statement.

If you can't be a responsible gun owner, you shouldn't own a gun. "Responsible" gun owners to not discharge their firearms in vacant lots directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood. "Responsible" gun owners don't shoot off their guns in full darkness in a vacant lot directly adjacent to a residential neighborhood.

Okay, that's over. I still love and respect you if you disagree, but this is an issue about which I find myself now feeling very passionate.

Dexy is fine. I am still shaking. When I saw the hole and the glass, I had a moment of the most crippling, debilitating fear I've ever known. I cried, and held Dexy as he squirmed to get out of my arms and play, and thanked God that He was watching out for my kids as they slept.

I know that tomorrow will be a new day, a better day, and that we will be fine.

But I won't be sleeping tonight.