Monday, June 26, 2006

Can this marriage be saved?

Every time we do it - we argue.

He has shouted in anger - "go to someone else, I'll pay!" I cry, "but why should I pay when it can be taken care of right here, at home, by my husband? Is this not covered under the laws of Moses and Israel in our Ketubah (marriage contract)" I plead helplessly.

I should have heeded the warning signs early on. I am fussy and like it done a certain way. He likes creative control and doesn't like me sticking my hands in where they don't belong. His words.

I'm always last on line - fit in where time permits. Well sometimes, I'm too tired, sometimes, he is. Sometimes we both are. But he always makes time for the paying ones. Oh yeah, then if I get to the point where I just can't do without, we wake up early and take care of business. I snipe accusingly, "if I paid perhaps I'd get the proper attention that I deserve".

Then came the children...oh, the children. They have no idea. If we didn't have time or were too tired before, well you can only imagine adding two small children to the mix.

Well, counseling is out of the question. He's gone to "workshops" and "seminars" on his own. I ask bitterly, "what good does that do if you don't try your new techniques on me"? He may be right, maybe I should just go to someone else...then, he'll see. He'll be begging for me to come back.

What can I say - it's not easy being married to your hairdresser...

Wait, what did you think I was talking about?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Pomp and Circumstance

Tomorrow is a momentous day in the Scissorhands Household.

Julian, alias Choo Choo, graduates from Pre-K. From the wonderful school he started when he was about two. So why do I keep breaking down into tears whenever I think about it? Because this is my baby and this isn't just any graduation. He is leaving the comfort of a school that is so perfect in every way. It is geared towards childen with developmental delays, although some classes are integrated, which means they are composed of typically developing peers along with children with mild delays and may have up to 20 chilren in it.

Now Julian's class - these are the kids that experience life by grabbing it strongly! There are 11 children in Julian's class - 1 teacher - the cutest guy you could ever want teaching your child because he looks like a typical twenty-something guy - kinda tall, the cool hair cut, sports playing kind of look. He's sort of shy. I would love to fix him up with my niece, but that's another story. But when you watch him with the childen, well they respond and love him. There are also four assistants. The makeup of the classes has been largely composed of boys - present class included, just two girls - Tanisha and Tianna.

And that's where the love story of our time begins - Julian and Tianna. Oh they are the cutest couple. Tianna is tall and thin - Julian average height for his age, is just a little over her shoulder. They find each other and are drawn together in all activities. Brendan (Julian's teacher) has said that they could be playing on opposite sides of the playroom but they make their way to the middle and there they hug oh so tightly. Many of the children in his class, Julian included, also have various tactile/sensory integration issues. I saw this at their Olympics last week. At the end, they were sitting together - Tianna absent mindedly stroking Julian's soft hair, Julian rubbing Tianna's braids. It's sort of an absent minded thing they do - unaware of that inner urge for touch. Sort of how Julian must run his hands along surfaces - he craves the "feeling". Then they looked at each other - and kissed, on the lips. Now that wasn't absent minded! And they laughed, and they kissed again. Then Tianna got mad about something and turned away, but they were back together before long. Of course, Mr. Scissorhands was taping with the video camera and was like "Way to go, Idaho". But they are the sweetest. I will be sure to take many pictures tomorrow of them.

You know - a child like Julian works out quite fine for me - can I ever hug my children enough? Can it ever be tight enough? The problem is loosening the grip for the next educational phase.

And more importantly, will there ever be another like Tianna?

Anyway, if you haven't done so, there's a lovely contest at Sar's the Belle's Brawl and you may just want to cast a vote G's way. Now get out of here you crazy kids and let me cry alone.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

This the goodbye offererd by our office, I don't even know what to call her - secretary (for kindness' sake), to the mailwoman!

Now that just gets me all steamed up! Is the mailwoman a father? Does she even like her father? Is her father serving time upstate? Is he dead? The list could go on and on. Perhaps she's married, but if so, it is her husband's Father's Day, technically. Then again, perhaps she's not married. This has been building up since May when I read a post in Courting Destiny (can't seem to get the link, but you can link from my sidebar, it's the 5/18/06 post) in which Pia discussed her outrage at a comment by a columnist in California stating that our legacy is how our children turn out. Well, I'll opt out of that one. One of my dearest friends is neither a mother, nor still has her's here on earth, so my agitation is triggered by the thoughtlesness or plain stupidity of some people in offering these greetings. I think Dear Secretary X means well, but really she should just master transferring calls to voicemail and skip the greetings.

The point is I can't say these things aloud and I am ever so nice as I try to teach the woman what skills she hasn't seen fit to acquire in her 30 plus years of employement, so I must bash her in print. I am sure I will pay in karma (if I am not already in too deep) if I recount the thought I had when she mentioned some health difficulties she had had in the past which included that of being in a coma; so in that interest, I will not print them. Suffice it to say, all this tongue biting must come out one way or another. Let me not get started on the corporations who decide shuffling dead wood is better than just setting it adrift.

Look, if you're looking for Hallmark sentiments, click on next blog. This is not to say that I don't think my husband is the best father there could be to our children.

"It is a wise father that knows his own children." William Shaekespeare

This is one of the things that I love about Adrian - he knows his children and deals with anyone in a no nonsense way who would indicate otherwise. Case in point: seems there was some sort of "altercation" in the lunchroom involving our dear daughter. As luck would have it Adrian was picking her up from school when the School Misguidance Counselor came running up to him to tell him of what Tali had purportedly done. He listened for a moment and said "Something's wrong - that doesn't sound like my daughter. Why don't you investigate a little further". Truth is, Daddy-O was right. The boy eventually confessed with a little pressure. But believe me when Tali does something wrong, he already knows it.

We are both, thankfully, the same when it comes to celebrating these days - low key. Kids make us cards and some little hand made gift. If I happen to see something that is so fitting as I did recently for him - an audio book entitled, Born to Kvetch, appreciating the Yiddish language, then I pick it up for him. Otherwise, I will make Sunday breakfast (since he makes it every other Sunday of the year) and he will be free to watch World Cup games until his voice is hoarse from yelling, GOOOOOAAAALLLLLASSSO!

To all who celebrate - Happy Father's Day, especially those who cannot be with their children today. And to all - have a good day.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To post or not to post?

I think I know the answer, but forge ahead I must.

It seems like the blog gods are conspiring against me. Weekends away, days off devoted to family, no internet connection. They may get the idea that I actually enjoy time with those I love. And I do. But I realize how much I have enjoyed my short stay thusfar in the Blogosphere. I get a little cranky without my daily dose. I think my friends will forget about my simple little spot, and what with my new avatar. I never really had a chance.

Tap tap tap tap tap. What to write about.

Here's the thing - I'm in way over my head. That's right, present company included. I have fooled you all up to this point, perhaps not, actually. I have fooled you into believing I have something of value to share. I may have even given you a small glimmer into those little nuggets. But, apparently this is as far as I can take it without being personal and writing about myself, so it's been nice knowing you and perhaps I should just keep a personal journal and call it a day. I wish you all well. Bye-bye.

I mean really, isn't it just a bit tawdry to start talking about my lack of education, growing up in an alcoholic family, and many false starts to life that landed me up in the witness protection program? Well not exactly, although that is how I once referred to it. I moved away from my home state (not far) but moved, changed religion and go by my married name. I did have a nose job, but only because I hated the bump that was in the middle of mine - quite natural really. I probably didn't even have to tell you that as you would never have noticed. But, I'm beginning to kind of like you characters.

I'm beginning to abhor coloring my picture a certain way. Sometimes life is fun and there will be a fun story, but sometimes life isn't so fun - I'm not sure why. And maybe it's just okay to color it all blue.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


My car reeks of salami.

This, as a result of my role as food trafficker for my mother-in-law.

Food is not the central thing in life - it is life itself. Try living without it and I quote. She does present a cogent argument. My mother-in-law and her sister speak, oh five, six times a day. Who am I to knock it? Some chat on the phone, some e-mail and blog. They have the phone, they talk. The length of their conversations, not long; the topic - food, sales, shopping market circulars. Oh, and of course, the grandkids, but first food and what's on sale where. If she knew that as I type this I have no idea what a half gallon of milk or a dozen eggs go for at our local store, no less at 4 different locations, she would ask "Oh, you guys are rich? Put one dollar to one dollar, you get two dollars". Truth is, I am sure not a soul alive could save money the way this woman does, but she has not been to a movie theatre in ten years on the other hand.

Now the reason my car reeks is that MIL's sister mentions that she is running low on salami. She dare not run out, her son - the doctor (please know to say that with a Jewish inflection - just trying to be helpful) eats it. Dr. Salami (a renowned plastic surgeon) would die a thousand deaths if any of his patients could see him in his parents' quaint Queens home chowing down on the stuff. Back to the price wars: MIL to sister, "How much do you pay? I can get it cheaper on 99th St." And so, it comes down to me to deliver the contraband from time to time enroute to work. Often, I don't know what I'm trafficking, only if it requires refrigeration. Only today, I forget and realize when I am leaving, nope won't have enough time to deliver in the am. Call MIL from the car "Let your sister know not to expect me this am, I got a late start, I'll stop by on my way home"...MIL: "Oh, that's a shame, she already opened the door and is waiting for you. It's okay Gina, go this evening." Right. Have a good day. I no longer feel guilty or annoyed by these comments. I just breathe, ohmmmmmm, and reply "Feel good - talk to you later".

Well, when I get to my office, I look at the salami in the bag (along with a bottle of sleeping pills - don't ask) and think, I'm not bringing that into my office and so leave it there in the back seat.

When I get into my car this evening, it reeeeeks! The smell is still in my brain. Actually, it's probably in my hair. I drop it off at her sister's and now the fight over currency. How much is it? I don't have this privileged info. She calls. Now they're in a fight over sister not paying this time. MIL owes her for flour and sugar on sale last week at Pathmark. Sister shaking. Me? I just want to go home, thank you. Calm sister down, go out to my VienerMobile, open windows - wide and drive home.

I draw the line at manure for their gardens. All right, I'll deliver it in the morning then.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


and love to blog.

I'd like you all to meet G, my new avatar. I could have gone on for some time like this, no avatar - just a G.

To be sung to the tune of "Just a Gigalo":

Just a G, I know
and everywhere I go,
bloggers know the post
I'm maiming.

Well, you'll excuse me if I just had too much fun at Doug's today. You see, he's really not supposed to know we can have fun without him, no less have a big bash! Cake, drinks, limbo - the works. I didn't bring the potent potables as I'm not much for the drink, but I didn't exactly stop it. Yes, for that I am guilty. It was at this point in the party, when Kyah walked in to see me with a lampshade on my head leading the Conga line. She abruptly left and upon her return, invited me to check my e-mail.

I admit to being somewhat nervous because perhaps I had shimmied under the line of good taste and shamed myself in Doug's nice orderly place; exhorting all to "Fight for your right to Paaaarty" (I mean Doug was at the polls, appropriate I thought). He seems to care about rights.

Anyway, there in the e-mail is the above lovely lady with the lampshade - a gift from my dear new friend Kyah to be my very own avatar. It was the best gift I have received in some time - well in the blogosphere (so as not to hurt any real family member's feelings). Quick recoup.

So here is the new G, sure to be making the rounds and even more social now that she has a lampshade to hide behind.

Just in time for summer - all the barbecues, pool/beach parties...Better get my sunblock out.

Now, whether or not the links work, well my apologies dearest Doug and Kyah, if not. I am still in the 90 day probationary period.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Here comes Choo Choo!

Who knows how the whole nickname thing gets started? Actually, you usually know how they get started, but just how and why they end up sticking takes on a life of its own.

Tali is Noopsie, actually Daddy's pretty much the only one who still uses this one. Noopsie of course evolved from Snoopsie which evolved from Snoopy which evolved from Munchkin. I agree, Tali is a perfectly nice name. When Julian came along and Adrian (Mr Scissorhands-yes, nickname) called him Noopsie, well Tali had to remind Daddy that one was taken. Musing aloud - Adrian said "well, let's see, I dub thee Doopsie. But that's not enough on its own, you need more of a title. Okay, I dub thee "Choo Choo el Doopsie!". Choo Choo for short, we silly Americans shorten everyone's name.

Julian is 4 1/2 years old and not a day goes by that I do not call him Choo Choo. Adrian's mom calls him "Chootchlee", some sort of Romanian/Hungarian take on it. My entire family asks "how's Choo Choo?" in conversation, all with different inflections - ddddeeep voice Choo Choo, quick and high tone all together ChooChoo, like the sound of the actual engine, chooooo chooo! We have a long running joke recalling how I would try to get Julian to eat by saying, "Choo Choo, chew" or "Chew, Choo Choo" or just "Chew chew chew", cracked him up every time.

How's Choo Choo? Let's ask him as someone did this evening. "How are you Julian?" Choo Choo's response "There was a dead bug." Oh? "Yeah, it was resting" Hhhm? "Maybe it ate too much honey". Sticky situation. "When's your birthday Julian" (a non-family member asking of course) "in July" called over his shoulder. Close, November. It is at this point that such conversations lose their appeal for Julian. He does not like to be cornered into this area that he does not excel at. Apparently, the dead bug was the most impressive part of Tali's violin recital. Certainly worthy of mention - over and over and over. But this is just a tiny glimpse into Choo Choo's world.

The developmental apple cart was upset just a tiny bit at Julian's 15 month well baby check-up. All health issues fine - growing well, happy, sweet, an all around joy, rarely cries, still breastfeeding. Conversation with Julian's pediatrician:

Dr. R: Any words yet? Me: Babbling, he's trying. Dr. R: Trying to take any steps? Me: Ummm, trying, mostly still prefers crawling, though. Patty cake? Doesn't really now that you mention it. How does he indicate what he would like, does he point? I remember joking (maybe pleading), "Could it be that we take such good care of him, he never needs to indicate?" I asked weakly. Probably not. Dr. R. had begun to lay the groundwork by saying, "You know, in and of itself, his not walking and talking yet don't concern me so much - some children are just late bloomers. But coupled with his not reaching some of the "play milestones" makes it a little different. So let's have him come in a little before 18 months and we'll see how he's doing. I know I had begun to feel that sense of unreality, that surreal quality of floating and not hearing anything else as I dressed up Julian, paid the copay and traveled home. Sure I talked to Julian as I always did, sang to him on the way home in the car as I blinked back tears, but I was just not present in my body at that time. Then I regrouped (probably as someone blared on their horn when I sat at the green light) and came up with all the reasons that Dr. R. was wrong. Julian was discriminating, not delayed. He chose not to play patty cake - it really is an overrated game! He kinda liked peek-a-boo. Now peek-a-boo, that's a game! He liked to play with my hair, it soothed him.

Truth is I never compared my children. I just didn't. I mean sure in the, "oh he reminds me of Tali when he makes that face. His hair is a little darker than hers come to think of it - both curly though". That really was the only sort of comparison that I did. Tali was a girl - Julian was a boy. Story goes, girls are quicker in general on the early developmental scale, boys take their time. Besides, Tali was early with everything. She started talking early - 8 months, walking 12 months. By 15 months, she pretty much had the whole developmental thing sewn up. She was a girl, Julian needed a little more time - who was I to rush him and make him feel badly?

Fast forward - with a little trepidation, but what joy, Julian took his first three steps between Mommy and Daddy on our front walk at 17 1/2 months! Right about then we did go back to Dr. R who gently walked us through the developmental issues and recommended we have him evaluated through the state's Early Intervention Program (EI) which we did. If you think I felt sucker punched after Dr. R. first broaching the topic, you can only imagine how we felt after we went through the various evaluations at our house and read the subsequent written evaluations. To qualify for therapy under EI, you need to display significant developmental delay (33%) in one area or at least 25% in two. Julian was delayed in cognitive, gross motor, fine motor and yes those damned play skills. Suffice it to say, he aced the test and therapies commenced shortly thereafter.

Julian received therapies at home every day from Monday to Friday. One day O/T P/T, next day Speech O/T, next day Special Educator P/T, etc. All handled with Choo Choo's usual good nature. Julian was seen by a Pediatric Neurologist, had an MRI of the brain and spine - normal. If you've ever been to a neurologist, well they're not fun. They are very matter of fact it seems to me when discussing your child's neurological make-up. Julian has no "diagnosis", per se. He struggles with global developmental delay and sensory intergration issues. This loosely translated means that Julian craves deep physical input and does not always realize when he has crossed the boundary of too much of a hug - say to kids on the playground, or when he is a close talker, say when his nose is up against his buddy's cheek. Even though he walked, his balance was off and he fell - a lot. Between his second and third year, so many pictures of him had black and blue marks on his beautiful little face. He broke his femur and had to be in a spica cast (a cast that is on both legs and ends up above the waist). Can't even go into this one here.

The one thing that Julian was off the charts in was charm! I can't properly put into words how the joy that he brings us just breaks your heart it so dynamic. As Adrian said early on when he was only a few months old , "is there a magnet in that little heart of yours"? It's how it feels to this day, he draws you in and you are his.

We all know, there are no easy answers when it comes to matters children. Julian has made great strides, his balance is a lot better. He still grapples with expressing himself and having meaningful conversations with people outside of school and family. When that occurs, he'll just turn on the charm and ask "Want some tea Mrs. Nesbit?" He's having a pretty hard time with writing and hence avoids it if at all possible. He's in a wonderful preschool and of course, still receives all of the various therapies. The key is to being the take no prisoners sort of advocate that we as parents have become. It's worked so far. Public speaking is not my favorite thing to do, but put me in a board room with various people of different disciplines deciding my child's fate and just try to shut me up. And Adrian just cuts to the chase - this is what he needs, how are you going to get that for him?

My inscription on his cast (on the bar that connected and kept his legs in place to heal) - here comes Choo Choo! Here comes Choo Choo indeed.

Tails of a Misspent Youth

Friday, June 02, 2006

If I Were Half a Blogger

I would really love this blog thing to work; if only for me to actually have an outlet to jot things down. But I have to tell you, it's trying my patience more than getting the kids out the door in the morning. Eeek, I realize I may be pigeonholing myself as a "mommy blogger". In that case, well, it is what it is cause it ain't what it ain't.

But back to blogging and frustration. I really wish there was a blogging 101 course. That's a lie. What I really wish is to find someone - techie - to come on over and sit next to me and carry out my requests to set the blog up just the way I'd like it. Someone to just show me - I am a visual person and that's how I learn best. Talking talking, blah, blah, blah - too much information! My links all set up just so, a funny or thoughtful saying posted at the top. Today it would read something like: "WTF!" Still here? Sorry about that. That's no way to treat a guest!

The point is I am acutely aware that I have slipped into a generational gap that there may be no extracting myself from and which has nothing to do with age, to a great extent. Sure, I know how to type, and somehow on my computer at work, I am more comfortable. Well what with a Help Desk at my beck and call, how much trouble can I get into? Whatever programs I need at work, I just know them - create a spreadsheet, no prob.

But the Internet has always been just a place for me to look up info, check out ebay and adios! The e-mail thing and I'm done.

Okay now my MIL is on the phone, where can this day go from here? Does someone have a quaalude? Just kidding. Really.

On a separate note, today is the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which simply translates to weeks and is so named because it is celebrated seven weeks after the second day of Passover. As the story goes, this is when the Torah (Bible) was given to Moses - sort of the short version. Litle joke, Moses addressing his fellow Jews after meeting with G-d: "The good news is - I got him down to ten. The bad news is - adultery is still in". Badum dum!

It just may be a sign - I'll open myself up to the possibility of receiving some sort of commandment today - a spiritual message if you will.

Thou shalt not stress about your blog.