Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Barricade

"Your pony tails are WEIRD!!!!!!"

Uttered the little girl at the playground.

"What?!!", I thought, as I watched Lily pause for a moment in front of the little five year old, completely and thankfully unaware of the meaning to this snooty little sentence. Lily skipped away to play, and I plotted my way behind the swings, ready to invite the little snooty sucker over to meet Mommy's clever new hand puppet:
Mr. FistinYourFace.

Lily has these little hair clippies. Turtle clippies. Hair clippies that perfectly adorn her very wild piggy tails- piggy tails that shoot out in the opposite and most darling directions. Turtle clippies that go with her green turtle shorts, that match perfectly with her striped turtle shirt, that complement her sparkly green flip flops. An outfit that makes me want to squeeze, eat, hug, devour, kiss, and freeze in time her little turtle clippy, two year-old self. Couple her toddler piggy turtle tails with London's matching turtle theme shorts, and I am sent into love induced kissfest with my two very matching, very squishy girls. I have an obsession with all themes Gymboree (we are particularly into the fishy theme that is currently on sale as well, and awaiting the pending discount of the flamingo fancy coming soon). Consequently, my credit card also has an obsession with a hefty balance. Oh well, I only have a two little hair clippy sisters once, right?

See, the thing is: turtles and flamingos and fishies are just so indicative of my little girls. How you ask? They are colorful and pure and so completely interesting. Complex and intricate and yet magically simple and unique. Silly. Comical. Full of profound lessons on the beauty of existence and yet humble in their own presence. Humble and beautiful like a... well...a turtle. See!...they are just soooo Lily and London!

I gathered my injured motherly baring as I repeated, "I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison, I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison, I'm no good to Lily if I'm in prison" and decided to forgo the current plan of hanging above mentioned snooty five year-old from her toes in the nearest tree.

And it struck...that feeling...again.
I just want to run away. Build a giant cement wall around our home. Homeschool forever. Live off of quick oats and fiddle music and corn cakes (although I have no idea what a corn cake is...).
I want to protect her.

I want to protect me so I don't hurt so bad from not being able to protect her. I want to protect her from a world of turtle clippy teasing bru-hahs, peer pressured moments of self destructive insanity, and rising oil prices. The world won't appreciate my turtle Lily and London the way I do! And if I let them go out into it...they will realize that as well. They will diet and love and be hurt and not win the fourth grade spelling bee. They will be afraid, and unsure, and occasionally sad. They will judge and be judged. One day... they will tell me they don't want to wear turtle clippies anymore.

What have I signed up for? Sometimes I want to find the little weasel who spoke the infamous "It is better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all" and twist the ears off of their obnoxious, optimistically inflated head. I can never let sadness and momentarily tampered self esteem devour a little girl who hugs my neck and says, "Chowy Mom! Chowy Mom! Chowy Mom!" ("Sorry Mom!") when she's trying to avoid the naughty chair. The little girl who says, "I laa you ta peeeces. ("I love you to pieces")" or "Cuz ets sa annaying!" ("cuz it's so annoying!") when asked to why she won't say hi to Grandma on the phone. The little girl who screams in sheer delight every time she sees an "Aiipane!!" (airplane!) or asks to wear "Peety Peety" (Pretties= makeup) anytime she sees Mommy applying cosmetic damage control. It seems perfectly justifiable to build a barricade, and lock her in it. No more parks, no more people, no more pain.

Then again, no more living either.

So, for now, I guess my fortress can only serve as a place for her and London to arrive home to... long enough to lick their wounds, recover their losses, and head back out into the crazy, and very lively world...again.

As I sulk over the heavy aching of my heart, I notice Lily squealing as she rushes down the slide. She smiles and giggles as she tromps around her favorite place, running in and out of the crowds of little children she says "Hi!" and "Love ya!" to...some who respond and some who don't.

She runs to me and says:
"Owwie. Owwie! Choo." as she points to her sandal. I remove the little piece of bark that is wedged under her foot.

"All better. Now go try the big girl slide!" I tell her. And she turns, and runs, smiling as she plays.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Social Retard 101

Social dwarfism is a condition that affects over 3 billion people a year. In fact, every .0087 millisecond someone- somewhere- is suffering the painfully debilitating effects of mind numbing humiliation that occurs from incidents such as: running into a person whose name you can't remember, asking a very un-pregnant woman when her due date is, or wearing long denim jean shorts to freshman cheerleader tryouts in high school. Incidents that leave you with the all familiar and ever dreaded "Handshake/Hug" feeling (You reach out for a handshake and the other person reaches in for a hug resulting in a messy and uncomfortable tangle of pats and squeezes that make both of you wish for momentary death).

I've decided to share a few of my stories of what we'll call, for political-correctness sake, my own "Social set-backs". As the current world champion holder for the world's most embarrassing social hindrances (Social retardation and I go waaayyyy back), I feel anything I can share may be of help to any other unfortunate dwarfs like myself.

Earlier existence:

Situation #1: Wearing long denim shorts to freshman cheer tryouts

They weren't just denim, and long. They were white too. I must have missed the memo that advised more elastic material for my toe touches and double nines. Oh yeah, I also missed the memo that big, blonde bangs curled in one giant matted hooplike ring and hightop white Sketchers went out of style in the late eighties...come to think of it they never were in style. Consequently, the judges must have missed the memo that advised ME to actually become a member of the squad.

Solution: After one painful year of much observing, adapting, and evolving into a somewhat acceptable form of a 14/15 year-old girl with braces, Try out again. This time with a ribbon and more suitable shorts. And guess what?:
One! We are the Miners! Two!...a little bit louder!....Three!...I still can't hear you...We...are...number....ONE!
Transition from awkward denim girl to obnoxious cheerleader complete.

Situation #2: Homeschooling roots resulting in inadequate understanding of school government parameters.

Running for student government, my speech entailed promises such as "Equal rights for women's and men's sporting events", "Longer lunch periods", "No school on Friday". It wasn't until my opponent mentioned that none of these mentioned technicalities would actually be under my jurisdiction that I realized if I had planned on winning I should have stuck to pep rallies and hallway decor.

Solution: Hide under a chair until elections pass. Stay there another three years. Never homeschool.

Later existence:

Situation #3: Run-in with the Ex.

Ex: "Hey, how are you doing?"

Me: "Great. Better than great. I,um, have been doing lots of things. Like tan. I'm really tan. Boys still like me. Yeah, um, which is why I'm seeing lots of boys. So many boys I don't even remember all of their names. Like Tyler. I mean, sorry, you're Tyler. I meant Trevor. I'm great. Really, reeaaally great.

Keep tanning. Eventually Ex who you are still in love with will notice your tan and ask you to marry him. Make babies. Little girl babies.

Later Later existence:

Situation #4: Being mistaken for your sister.

Person who thinks I am the 15 pounds lighter, much prettier and trendier version of myself (also known as my sister Sarah): "Hey there!"

Me: "Hi!"

Person: "Congratulations on winning Homecoming Queen!"

Me: "Ohhhhh, actually, I lost. I didn't mind that I didn't win, really, I was just flattered to be nominated, it was a lot of fun. Funny you mention it after all these years... I mean, come to think of it I did have a LOT of school spirit. And it was ME who wrote that funny skit that now has become tradition every year at the Freshman Welcome rally, and I did donate quite a bit of time to the homecoming week festivities to make sure our float was the absolute best. But ya know, who cares really?

Person: "Oh wait! Oh my gosh! I'm sorry....I thought you were Sarah!!!"

Later, at a mall or some public place, from a distance, someone waves at you. You've never met them before, you are sure you don't recognize them. Silly people, they must think you are your sister....

Me: "Hiii! I noticed you waved from over in the food court. I'm actually not Sarah, which is who I assume you thought you were waving at. I didn't want you to think she was being rude and not coming over to say hello, because it isn't actually her- it's me! Her sister! Funny huh? Anyways, I'll see ya later!"

People waving: "Oh, um, we weren't waving at you."

Solution: Dye your hair a different color. Get over the thrill and validation of "I've still got it" hotness you receive anytime someone mistook you for her anyways. Separate identities are best.

Situation #5: Telephoning the wrong Karen.

Karen: "Hello?"

Me: "Karen!!!! Oh my gosh Hiiii, it's Rachel. I just wanted to say I am so sorry I missed our appointment the other day I know you were waiting for me and I accidentally fell asleep because I had been taking care of sick kids all week and tyler got home early for work and so I had a quick chance to take a nap and he woke me up and told me that you wanted to see me for an appointment but I was so groggy I didn't realize what he was saying so I told him to tell whoever it was on the phone that I wasn't available not realizing that it was you and we had schedule the appointment to go together to see Polly on Friday I was so embarrassed when I realized I had missed out all together!

Karen: "Ummm, are you sure you needed to talk to Karen Wright?"

Me (horribly awkward want to shoot myself pause): "I am sooooo sorry. I was looking for Karen Nance."

Solution: Avoid bumping into Karen Wright for the rest of your life. And Karen Nance for that matter. No use in bringing up socially painful memories while you're at it.

I am only one person. But together, we can change the world and lessen the pain for other socially challenged individuals by bringing our situations to light and discussing them without shame....

Do share...have you ever done anything you've been embarrassed by? Please don't create another socially embarrassing situation for me by not giving ANY comments! I'd love to hear!