Tag Archives: The Girl

The Bromeliad – Sock Debacle

It’s a hellish day and I’m getting little done. The Boy is off at a friend’s house playing marathon games of something and being virtually violent and mischievous. Good for him that it’s somewhere else. The Girl left this morning on her first adult adventure, aside from her first job which she now believes is the worst job on earth. Not really, there are lower paying jobs out there that expect you to do even worse things, but hers is menial with inconsistent hours, no benefits, minimum wage, and management sucks. It’s a good first job because she can only go up from there.

Anyway, The Girl soaked her tiny bromeliad before she left and put it in my bathroom window where it would get filtered sun and would dry slowly so it wouldn’t get root rot. She’s trying to be a good mommy to her little bromeliad. Except she hasn’t been a good mommy to Nimoy, who in a fit of jealousy as soon as The Girl left, absconded with her rival. I noticed quickly (thankfully) because the cat doesn’t normally run through the house carrying something green and spiny.

First, let me say I’m really too old to chase a cat. Cat herding is an idiom, not an actual occupation, and I would suck at it if it were real. Second, let me remind you that this particular cat is an idiot. Once she realized Grandma was chasing her, and unhappy, she doubled back and ran under The Girl’s bed. Okay, she’s cornered. Except I don’t have any kids in the house who can crawl under the bed and won’t for hours to days. I have no idea when The Boy will decide to come home, (It’s a weekend, in the summer.) and The Girl won’t be home until late Tuesday night. I have a responsibility to that bromeliad. Maybe the cat. I’m not sure how Nimoy will fare if she eats the bromeliad.

We have a supply of those stupid grabber sticks that my mother-in-law uses to pick up things that fall on the floor. In theory they’re supposed to be used to grab things that are out of reach on shelves, but they don’t really support any weight and are useless for that. Anyway, the grandkids always play with hers, and break them, so Hubby saw some and bought twenty so we always have one in the car when we go visit for family gatherings to replace the broken one. They can’t keep extras at their house or the grandkids would break them too. Personally, I vote break the grandkids, but Hubby tells me I don’t get a vote and his sisters agreed after hearing their precious babies might be disciplined for something. For once, I needed one of the gadgets.

So I lay on the floor for a half an hour pulling things out from under The Girl’s bed. Now in fairness I should say The Girl’s room is generally the tidiest in the house. Her OCD is phenomenal. Nimoy, however, prefers her bed to hide socks under, and I was discovering why The Boy seemed to be wearing the same socks for days on end. I thought it was my imagination, or that maybe he really did have more pairs with that odd pattern than I thought; but no, he’s apparently running low and didn’t feel the need to tell anyone. Nimoy likes The Boy’s socks best. I can sort of understand that, the cat has a thing for smells, and The Boy’s socks … you can see where I’m going with this. No excuses anymore, not that he offered any, The Boy will start changing his socks again!

That was the beginning of my Saturday morning.

Finished with the bromeliad-sock debacle (the bromeliad was finally retrieved, clinging to a sock, looking none the worse for wear, and placed in a slightly safer place to get a little filtered sunlight, don’t worry about it) I turned my attention to lunch. Except now Hubby was missing. Huh. I looked around, found two whiny cats – one pouting because she perceived she was in trouble (true) and one pouting because she wanted to go outside and no one would let her (sort of). Does a ‘not true’ and a ‘true’ balance out to zero or what? In cat terms it equates to whining.

Jingles wanted to go out: true from her point of view. No one would let her: true from everyone’s point of view. All her humans knew something Jingles didn’t: Rain. I suspect Jingles was at least somewhat aware of the concept because she’d been out for days and came home early yesterday afternoon. I thought it was because she sensed bad weather on the horizon and wanted to be in, but clearly not. Bad weather was here and she wanted to go out during the eye of the storm. But she was beggy, and whiny, and manipulative, and I caved and let her out because I’m a pushover. Then I stood at the door waiting for her to change her mind.

We had a little black kitty-loaf on the steps for a bit, not because the sidewalk was wet so much as the neighbor’s golden retriever was out playing ball. When Sookie plays ball, she uses the entire cul-de-sac. Since Sookie’s owner, Mr. Patient, offers to mow almost all of our yards in exchange for being able to keep the trimmings, we all let Sookie romp on our grass for her occasional ball games. She doesn’t leave any little presents and is on good relations with kids and cats, so why not?

Now I say Sookie is on good relations with the cats, but the cats are occasionally unaware of this. Darth Jingles is skittish about the large golden retriever. She has a very standoffish policy about dogs. Usually. Sookie was dyed purple briefly by the neighbor’s children last summer and Jingles found that entertaining enough to suspend her extreme personal space policy, but when the dye wore off her graciousness did as well. She also played a perverted sort of whack-a-mole with the Chihuahuas behind us and a couple doors down. They dug a hole under the fence and she sat on the other side and whapped them as they stuck their noses through. It was awesome, until the owners fixed the hole, damn it.

So Sookie was playing ball, and the ball occasionally landed in our front yard, and Jingles crouched and bristled whenever the dog came to retrieve it. No hissing or running home to Mommy though, and the dog didn’t notice the little shadow by the mint bushes. Eventually Jingles took an opportunity to slink through the mint and evergreens and away from the safety of the front porch so I closed the door. It was cool enough out that I threw open some windows and started lunch in anticipation of Hubby being home eventually. After a few quick texts, I discovered he was running errands. Then I discovered Jingles in our living room window, on the ledge outside, watching me. Huh. Apparently it was a safe place to watch the dog play ball. Also, I need to wash the screen. Add that to the to-do list. Click photo, on to lunch. 2016-06-11 13.42.34Hubby came home, had lunch, and left to help a neighbor. Then Jingles came in – furious at having been tricked into going outside in such miserable weather. She’s not talking to me now. I closed some windows because it’s now raining again, and broke up a cat fight because Jingles is in a mood. Yay – trapped inside with a bitchy cat and something for her to pick on. I shouldn’t have succumbed to her whining and let her out in the first place.

Text from The Boy: he outlasted his friends, they fell asleep, and now he’s bored. He wants me to come pick him up, also he wants coffee so he can stay up longer. I considered that. If I give him coffee, he will stay up now, but then he’ll probably crash hard in early evening and sleep all night so I might get something useful from him tomorrow. Hmm. I broke up another small cat fight on the way out the door. Of course The Boy couldn’t have come home a couple of hours ago when I was lying on the floor pulling his socks out from under his sister’s bed? At least I know he’ll claim Jingles and take her to his room for the rest of the day. No more cat fights. No more peaceful weekend without the kids either.

Leave a comment

Filed under Cats, Teenagers

The Curse of The Little Black Cat.

ImageThe great thing about having a black cat is that she’s pre-decorated for Halloween. Of course that doesn’t stop us from dressing her up anyway, much to her annoyance. Right now, as the season kicks into swing, she’s all about posing as a ‘black cat shadow.’ She’s been practicing for the role all year.


The not-so-great thing about having a black cat is that she’s really just a cat. And she wants to go outside and play when The Girl leaves for school at 6:30 a.m. Actually, she wants to go outside and play when The Girl gets up at 5:00 a.m. but she shows a little restraint. By 6:30, she’s ‘singing’ at the front door and getting underfoot.


So let her out, right? 


No. It’s still dark. In the early days of the blog I mentioned a significant loss of cattage in the cul-de-sac due to a family of foxes residing in the nearby golf course. They’re still building houses between us and the golf course, so there are more barriers for the red assassins, but there is also more prey. The rule that the cat stays in after dark still applies. Or in this case, before light.


Keeping her in, is a challenge. Actually, no, it isn’t. She’s hovering by the front door, so it’s easy to catch her, if not hold her, when The Girl leaves. She can safely go out an hour later when The Boy leaves.


All right, so keeping her in isn’t really the problem, it’s keeping her happy that is. The Girl wanted to give her kitty-snuggles this morning before she left. It went like this:


Mournful meow.

“Stop it, I’m snuggling you.

Another mournful meow.

“Here, let me pet your tummy.”

Mournful meow accompanied by wriggling.

“Don’t you want to be held like a baby?” She switches and puts The Cat over her shoulder to pet her.

Meows to hide the fact she’s digging her claws into The Girl’s shoulder in preparation for launch. The Girl clamps down to hold her in place.

“Hold still.”

Low growling.

“But I love you!”


I sighed. “Give her to me.”


The Girl passed The Cat over. The Cat fell silent, although slightly huffy, in my embrace. I pet her. The Girl put on her shoes then walked over, hands on tiny hips, and demanded to know why The Cat wasn’t meowing and wiggling with me.


“I have her in a headlock.”




Filed under Teenagers

Homecoming: Part Two (The Revenge of the Shoes!)

ImageSigh. Homecoming (the first) is over. The Girl survived the dance, the social activity, the . . . heels.  The drama can safely be set aside, but only for two weeks. Remember, she didn’t go to Homecoming at her own school.

Let’s get take a step back to those heels. I’ve mentioned she’s petite. She wears a size four shoe. Kids. There aren’t a lot of dress shoe options there. A helpful saleswoman once told us a kids’ size four is the same as a women’s size six. We picked out a pair of wedges, she tried them, walked in them, life is good. Until later when I caught her stuffing tissue in the toe because they were a size too big.

And why was this not mentioned at the shoe store? Teenage girl. Enough said.

With this in mind, we went shoe shopping again on Thursday. I couldn’t reasonably continue putting it off, even though I really dreaded this activity. Black shoes. That’s all I wanted. Black shoes that fit. Looking. Okay, black shoes that fit and look like they belong with a semi-formal dress not on a five-year-old.

We said a lot of things like “OMG, what were they thinking when they put that bow there?” and “Is that a flower? Why in the name of all that’s holy are there dead flowers on that shoe and why do they look like pom-poms?”

In desperation, I eyed the size sixes. They were largely stilettos and The Girl had only graduated as far as a two inch wedge with tissue in the toe to make it fit. Oh dear. There wasn’t even a simple paten leather black flat or kitten heel. Really? How basic is that? They did have some matte black pumps, but she hated them. And they weren’t dressy at all.

I handed her a shiny black spike heeled shoe. It was still two and a half inches, but hey, I was desperate. And a bad mother.

She glared at me.

“Try it.”

Still glaring, she slid one on, and threatened to fall over. Drama Princess.

“Put the other one on, you’ll balance better.”

She put the other one on, and I coaxed her into tottering down the aisle and back. It wasn’t pretty. We returned to looking at the size fours, then the three and a halves.

The Girl saw a pair of fancy stilettos  – in a size six. Strappy with rhinestones. Suddenly she was willing to give it another shot. Three inch heel. She was near tears.

“Honey, it’s just like walking, only your heel is focused on this little point. The ball of your foot is the same as in a sandal.” It’s pretty true. “Women have been doing this for a long time. You can do it if you put your mind to it. It’s kind of like walking on tip-toes, except you have somewhere to put your heel, so it’s really a lot easier.”  She can tip-toe, any three-year-old can do that!

The pep talk worked. She slid them on and gave it another go. We practiced in the store, then at home. Apparently she’s a kids’ size four or a women’s selective size six. Yeah, I toggle between two sizes too.

The Girl she was very excited because all of a sudden, she could look me in the eye! (I’m three inches taller than her.) She was taller, she had pretty ‘big girl’ shoes. Homecoming wasn’t so bad.

Except of course you have to dance in them. For hours.

She survived. Now let’s get back to that ‘this was at another school’ issue. Now she wants to dress up again and ‘drop in’ on a ‘friend’ who has to work during Homecoming at their school. The girl was quick to explain it wasn’t a date. She’s fifteen and can’t date yet. She’s just dropping by so he can say that he did Homecoming and wouldn’t that be fun?

Fun. Hubby, grab your shotgun, we’ve created a monster.

Leave a comment

Filed under Teenagers

Homecoming: Part One


How many times have I asked for someone to just shoot me? And yet I’m still here. Fat lot of good you guys are.

I’ve spent three days explaining to The Girl that she’s a girl. I know this may seem self evident, but allow me to explain.

Homecoming. It’s coming up and she doesn’t see the point. I explained the game, the tradition, the dance, but to no avail. Okay . . .  dancing, girls like dancing. Not this one. Fine. Girls like getting all prettied up and making boys’ brains turn to mush. Not this one. Are you sure you’re my daughter? I got glared at for that one and told “You were there!”

I explained the ‘no dating until you’re sixteen’ rule can be put on hiatus in specific cases. I got a shrug. We have a specific case. We’re on the boundary between three high schools (so close that we chose which one she went to because all of them have a bus stop within two blocks). Two doors down, the eldest daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Patience is going to a different high school and has a friend who needs a date, and eyed The Girl appraisingly. Mrs. Patience is chaperoning that dance. The Girl is going whether she wants to or not. For the record, her opinion is not.

Mrs. Patience is living vicariously through her daughters, which she freely admits. I had a social life in high school and college; I don’t need to live through The Girl. I suspect she might have regrets later if she goes through with her ‘forgo all social activities because boys are stupid’ plan. Yes, boys can be stupid, especially the teen variety. She’s desperately looking forward to college. Unfortunately, she’s going to need practice for dating in college, which you get by dating in high school.

So a group date with a neighbor chaperoning? Hell yes she’s going. Besides, she’s got a list of boys already for when she turns sixteen so this will give her a little confidence boost. And Hubby isn’t even reaching for a shotgun or going out of his mind.

This is a win. I hope. I’ll get back to you.


Leave a comment

Filed under Teenagers

Welcome to Hell. I mean High School.


My oldest is in tenth grade. Where I grew up, ninth graders were shoved in with the rest of high school, but not here. Here they’re with seventh and eighth graders, which means they start high school before they’re in high school. The powers that be are rethinking that. It’s a new idea here and slow to catch on. I think the resistance is from overprotective parents not wanting to really admit a fourteen-year-old is a teenager and send them off with all the ‘big kids.’ I have a thirteen year old too. He’s a big kid, dump him in the deep end.


It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that my baby girl (AKA “The Girl” to all of you) is genuinely in high school now by anyone’s definition. She’s not impressed. Although I am hearing a different sort of rant from her nowadays.


First there’s the “don’t they know to walk on the right?” Actually, her school is brand new, just rebuilt so it can hold the new ninth graders. So . . . no. Almost a third of the kids there don’t know to walk on the right because they don’t drive. But wait, they grew up in – well the majority of the world that drives on the right, so shouldn’t they have clued in to walk on the right by now? No. Apparently not, we’ll leave it at that.


Second, remember I went off a while ago about teenage boys being allergic to soap? It’s not limited to thirteen-year-olds, unfortunately. Enough said. 


Third, she’s not impressed with others of her own gender either. I tuned out as she went on (and on and on) questioning why a girl who wants to play violin would get her nails done and have them so long she can’t actually play. Or why another would take swimming but not realize she might need a swimsuit she can actually swim in without the top coming off. Personally I’m amazed they’re allowing two-piece suits in a co-ed swim class, but hey, what do I know?


Also, she doesn’t understand how anyone can find Latin hard. Plus now she can take Honors and AP classes and, again, she’s flummoxed why kids are whining about it being difficult or time consuming.


And she was asked out in her first week of school. By text message. I’m not kidding. Her immediate response was to text back and ask if he really just asked her out via text, then to ask if he breaks up via Facebook. He didn’t get it. Bit of a mixed bag on that one. She’s flattered, yet annoyed. And in giggles because Hubby is having a meltdown.


The Girl’s fifteen, we’re not letting her date yet. In truth, she can handle group dates now, she’s mature enough. Boys her age aren’t though and we need to protect them from her snarky attitude and her father’s growing reach-for-a-rifle paranoia. He needs another year to psych himself up for this. Hubby’s just not ready.

1 Comment

Filed under Teenagers