Thursday, February 25, 2010

A step in the right direction

This morning's meltdown was brought to my home by a combination of high tech and fantasy.

Amanda was determined to take her "phone" to school this morning. Her latest phone is my old Blackberry, less battery and sim card. We explained to her that she wasn't allowed to take a cellphone to school. her answer was, "I... Don't...Care...Take...I...Anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This was the first time I ever heard her use the word, "anyway." I don't think I like it.

We continued to explain to her that she just couldn't do it. These meltdowns have lasted for hours, but today she pulled it back together in about 10 minutes. She said, "OK, I understand."

Now, I don't know if she held it together all day, or if the whole class was punished by a redheaded Tasmanian Devil. I was pressed by time to get to a meeting at work and then to get to a luncheon with a customer to hear the President of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank speak.

The current economic crisis is much easier to comprehend than the combination of my daughter's imagination and spontaneous desires.

I just hope the day went well for her and all involved.

Some hours later............
Well, it would appear that Amanda conquered her inner hulk and had a good day. I told her I was proud of her and she said, "Good choices." It gives me hope.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No comfort from the food of choice

Anyone who knew me in my teenage years would know that I was truly addicted to Chef Boyardee Ravioli. That stuff was like crack to me. I would eat a can every other day or even 5 days out of 7.

It was so bad, that when I got married the groomsmen gave Tina a case of the stuff so she wouldn't have to cook for the first couple weeks of our marriage.

When I started traveling a lot for work, I would eat a can on the weekend while Tina was at work. It was indeed my comfort food.

But, when Amanda was born in March of 1998 she was kept in the hospital for 6 weeks. We spent as many hours as possible at the hospital, but we eventually had to go home. It was about the 4th week when I was at home in the mid afternoon after being relieved by Tina. I came home, to any empty house, a closed nursery door, and a heart that was breaking. I popped a can, heated it up on the stove, put it in a bowl. Something I had done thousand times before, too many times really. The first bite didn't help nor the second. I scraped the rest in the sink and washed it away and haven't had any Chef Boyardee product since. Early April will be twelve years.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Even just a slice is nice

Amanda has been having to keep track of the weather for a school project. She does this at school during the week and then I help her over the weekend. She isn't really interested in dew points, barometric pressure, El Nino, or other such variances. What Amanda really wants to know is today a purple coat day or a pink coat day?

Her purple coat is a down coat and keeps her very warm. Her pink coat is a lighter material and is designed for days in the 50's. When you are 11, that is what matters. But for school we get a little more accurate.

This morning I was dropping her off at school and she checked her backpack. I heard, "Uh oh! No homework." I told her we would bring it up to school when Tina picked her up this afternoon and then I drove on to the gym.

After my workout I arrived home and Tina told me something I have never heard before, "Amanda called." Amanda never talks on the phone, but this is something that she has been working on with her teachers.

I asked what about. Tina does a perfect Amanda impersonation, "Hey Mama! Forgot homework." The school is less than half a mile from our house and Tina drove up the sheet with our observations on it. She said Amanda was beaming proud and so was Tina. It was a slice of normal that we seldom get to see. It was nice.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some things concern me

So last night I'm getting ready for bed and I look at myself in the mirror and I get concerned with what I see. I immediately go to Tina and ask what I think is a very important and serious question, "Do you think my head is still growing?"

At first I thought I had killed her. She sucked in so much air to laugh at me that she started to choke. When she gained control, she replied in a concerned toned, "What the hell is wrong with you?"

I said, "It just looks like my head is bigger than it was a couple of weeks ago."

She gave me the following reply. "You have a big head, but I don't think it is bigger than it was, but that is ok because you have a thick neck and your shoulders and arms are big too. If you had arms like your brother with your head you would look like a freak."

Then I said, "Well, it's just that I remember seeing Hamlet, and the scene where Hamlet holds Yorick's skull in his hand would be played out like this should they use mine.
Hamlet drags a skull on stage in a wagon, "Alas, poor John, I knew him well. And he had a really big head, kind of like Shrek."

This got me another, "what the hell is wrong with you?" and that was the end of that and we watched LOST.

Just to be safe, I went and got a haircut this morning.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

She saw enough

Sunday afternoon I was on the couch watching the Winter Olympics. It is only once every four years that I get to watch the Nordic Combined event and I wanted to enjoy it. For those of you who don't know what Nordic Combined is, it is a duel event. In the morning is ski jumping and in the afternoon is cross country skiing. I don't begin to understand the elements of ski jumping judging. There is so much more to it than just how far someone can fly and land in one piece.

Amanda sat beside me and asked what I was doing. I told her that the Olympics were on and they were fun to watch. She stared at the TV in horror and after seeing a German fly through the air, she quickly turned off the TV. I took the remote and turned it back on. She turned it off. I turned it back on and told her to stop it. I swear I am not taking a blogger's license with what she said next, "Can't do that special Olympics. I get killed."

Oh my lord, I had to reassure that won't be an event this this year. And, even if it were we wouldn't let her do it.