Friday, May 30, 2008

you've got to see it to believe it

remember the girls in middle school who packed make-up and what we then considered more revealing clothes in a bag and ran into the bathroom before school? they came out *voila* a new and "improved" girl.

i miss those days. i don't have a classroom at my school, so i teach English a la carte. I push a cart around from empty room to empty room taking over other teachers' space while they have their off period. when i walk from class to class, i have to, of course, see teenagers.

now, first of all, i LOVE teaching. it's in my heart, truly. but please, oh please, why why why do these girls think they look good in the clothes they now wear? i remember when i was younger, thinking i'd never be old and uncool--i'd always keep up with fashion and popular music. well, hell i threw out pop music a few years ago when i realized i was happier throwing my CDs in the player in my van than i was listening to radio stations. i'd much rather hear some indigo girls, dave matthews, or depeche mode than bump and grind played at 50 decibals. but ok, i'm old, i admit, and i digress...

back to the clothes. i do not want to see butt cheeks on anyone other than my daughter when i'm bathing her. i do not want to see girls' boobs popping out of their spaghetti strapped tank tops, that don't reach their stomach. seriously, do they think this looks good? i honestly don't get it. when they see girls dressed like this on tv (and ya know, they watch some really high-brow stuff: tila tequila, rock of love, some crap with flava flav (and what is that 4 dollar plastic clock all about anyway?), and X effect), do they think to themselves "wow. that makes her look really classy. i bet if i dress like that, people will take me seriously, i'll get a nice boyfriend, and be able to really focus on learning something while i'm at school." ????

i want to put up a banner in the hallway that says: life doesn't usually work out like it did for erin brokovich.

Monday, May 26, 2008

3 is the new 2

Maybe I missed the memo. Maybe I missed the episode of Dr. Phil. But why did I not know that the terrible twos were NOTHING compared to the thwarting threes??? at two, my daughter never threw fits. she was pretty content with whatever was going on. now? lord have mercy. when she wants to go outside, she wants to go NOW. when she's ready to go home, she's ready to go NOW. now, part of this relates to her autism. she is just really learning how to communicate--and i'm soooooooooo happy about that. and i know she gets frustrated when she can't tell me what she wants. but sometimes, my darling means no. but here's a story for you that just done pissed me off!

we're at walmart. one of my daughter's autistic traits is that she loves to collect things. why have one or two when i can have eight or nine? she loves to line them up and move them from place to place. and oh yeah...she always lines them up by color. so one of her passions right now is my little pony. great, cuz they're about three bucks a shot. so when she deserves a reward, we go pick out a pony that we don't have yet. my husband and i also had a few other things to pick up (ya know, shampoo, Tide, toilet paper). we get to the check out line, and hand over the pony. ok, yikes! you've all been there. kid freaking out while it gets scanned cuz they want that damn little three dollar pony SOOOOOOOOOO BAD. now, i know we have to teach patience. i'm not foolish, but i also know that there are times that the fit isn't worth the lesson at that particular moment. i say, hand her the pony after you scan it, so we can all go about this transaction pleasantly. what do you care, you get my money?! so the lady looks at her and says, "i'm not giving this back to you until you sit down (she was in the basket of the cart) and stop bawling." OMG!!!!! I was HOT! First of all, I don't teach my child with blatant sarcasm and trying to reason with a 3 year old is like hitting your head against the sliding doors at the store while they are opening and closing. are you kidding me?

so i reached over, took the pony (never touched the woman) and said, "how i raise my child is of no concern of yours. does she look healthy? did she seem happy before you took the pony? that's all you need to know."

i got home and stewed for a good hour or so. i mean i was ANGRY. so i called the store manager. told him all about it. went on to tell him that part of my daughter's problem is that she can't say, " I want the pony." Then I told him, "'s no business of hers." This may be a small town, but I'll be damned if some old lady at the local walmart is going to talk to my kid that way. I blame Walmart? Of course not. They hired an idiot, it happens to the best of them. But I'll remember that moment. It could have happened at Sears or Target or the grocery store. I get that. But I worked retail for years and that's just COMMON SENSE 101.

Maybe everyone should have to work retail once in their lives to get it? Can YOU think of someone who needs to? I bet you can!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

know the difference between sophomores in high school and drunks at a bar? nothing. i work part time on weekends in a bar. not that different from the classroom. only difference--my doling of wisdom is a bit tweaked. in the classroom, i spout of why julius caesar is really the tragedy of brutus, or that there really are other people and ideas out there (other than the small town farm ideals) and while neither is wrong, they are different and can be learned from. at the bar, well my "teaching" is typically things like: no more for you, i think you've had enough, no i will not turn the juke box up as i have already lost hearing tonight thank you very much. but the clients, pretty much the same. i have to keep order, babysit, and bite my tongue so as not to say what goes through my head.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Introduction to the Journey

I've always had a very dry sense of humor, and love to make people laugh and shake their heads...serves me well in the classroom, where I teach sophomore English. I moved back home after my daughter was born. My poor husband--well growing up in south Texas, you can bet he's bitter about winter. (no pun intended)

As much as I miss the big city and want to die from pure cabin fever in this small town, in many ways I know now we came home for a reason.

My 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with autism a few months ago. They don't tell you how bad it is anymore, they just say, "she's on the autism spectrum." What the heck does that mean? No other way to say it--IT SUCKS. I won't always blog about it, but it is nice to have a place to get the facts straight in my mind. I worry that she won't have friends, that she won't ever be able to tell me how she feels. Right now, we're celebrating the words: hi, hat, thank you, and the many animal sounds she's discovered. It's a far cry from the two year old who would cry because she couldn't say anything and kick out of pure frustration.

But the little joys are AWESOME. Those animal sounds--I'll NEVER get sick of them, because they are her first signs of communicating with mama. We go for walks and when a kitty comes up to us, and she goes "Meow," I almost cry. And I learned humility and true friendship when a colleague had a fundraiser at school for my little girl's doctor appointments.

Now the cool thing is...I've got one HAPPY kid most of the time. She loves to laugh and run gets little jokes. New things excite her. And, she's a neat freak. ANd for this mom--that's awesome. Let's just say my house and car...well, there....ummm....organized with my own flair (that is to say not at all).

More humor and journeys to won't always be sappy and sad. There are VERY COOL things going on in the world, and me, my husband, and my daughter plan to be part of them!