...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dinner and a Show

You know, some nights, blogs just write themselves. Tonight was just one of those nights.

I have friends who enjoy a good dinner out at a comedy club. Myself, I never got the hankering to pay to go to one. I think the reason is most nights I live through a Comedy Dinner Hour in my own house. Sometimes it gets too loud and you cant hear the end of an act, but its ok because the next act has already begun. You sit there, food half way to your partially open mouth, wondering if you should take a bite now while your food is still hot, or wait a moment in case if you *do* take that bite, you wont accidentally choke on it when you laugh at the antic you know is about to happen.


Act 1

After cajoling and yelling to get the kids and J to the table, to threatening the life of any toys on the table (toys off the table for dinnertime is a rule in my house) the 5 of us sit down to eat together. Tonights course is pizza, beefaroni for the kids, soup for Mom and Dad.

Within 45 seconds Soren is Orange from head to fingertips, sauce smeared into his hair as he happily mashes noodles with his two bottom teeth, stopping once in awhile to add into our dinner conversation "BAA BAA BAA MM BAA".

Ashe, suddenly realizing the the food before him is not, in fact Fruit Roll Ups as he previously fantasized, scrunches up his little face and pouts. "I DONT WANNA EAT THAT." This conversation is a constant one and we follow the script as a family.

"Why not?"
"Have you tried it?"
"Well then how do you know you don't like it?"
"If you're smart you know your body needs food then. Try it, you'll like it (which is then followed by a chorus of singing Try it you'll like it from Yo Gabba Gabba by J and I while Xavier holds his ears in disgust.)
"NO I DON'T TRY IT.... I GOT TO GO POTTY NOW" and he scampers off while the rest of us dig in.

Xavier then starts up his conversation. Tonight it is about underwater animals.
"Hey Dad did you know Moray Eels are dangerous?"
"Yes, I did."
"Did you know that Giant Clams are dangerous?"
"I never thought about it but I wouldn't want to get chomped by a giant clam"
"Yeah and if you get stuck inside you could only escape with a knife!!!"
 "Like a butter knife?"
"No a butter knife isn't strong enough."
"Why not? It has ridges and a sharp edge...."

Meanwhile the sound of a 3 year old singing is heard starting up from the vicinity of the bathroom.

..."Not sharp enough! You need, like a machette to cut through the muscle!"
"Muscle? I thought we were talking about Clams!!"
"Just kidding...."

The singing gets louder. While I can't quite figure out the tune, I do hear the words Jingle Bells and Batman. I get up to check and make sure Ashe is actually going potty. There he sits, legs swinging from the toilet, just chilling and doing his business, singing a little ditty to keep him entertained. He notices me and stops singing.

"What Mommy?'
"Are you going potty?"
"Ok. When you're done wash your hands and come join us."
"Ok Mommy."

He watches me silently until I am out of site. Immediately the loud singing starts up again. I head back to the table. Soren is completely orange now, and looks like a mutated version of those orange cones you see outside on the highways when there is construction going on. He's happily got noodles in both hands, grinning from ear to ear. Strike that. He looks more like a Jack O Lantern now that I watch him. J and Xavier are still chatting, Xaviers dinner practically untouched.


"Zavi, eat."
"I am! I had like, two bites already."
"OK OK!"  He picks up a fork full of food. Just before he puts it in his mouth he turns to J.
"I wonder when I'll get to be on the news."
"Most things these days on the news is not good news. What do you want to be on the news for?"
"I want to be  on the news for making the bestest strongest house ever that could beat a tornado!"

The singing from the bathroom has now become loud enough for me to notice tune and words. It seems to be a song of originality as it's not tune I can place, and I hear Batman, Potty, Doggy Bones, and some gibberish mixed in. I cant help but chuckle. Everyone stops their discussion for a moment to listen. Ashe, in his own world, doesn't realize it has gotten silent at the dinner table as we all listen to him for a moment, grinning.

"Zavi... eat!"
"I am I am!!!"
"No, you're not. Dude, don't let the baby put you to shame by eating more than you."
J interjects "Thats not hard to do. Soren puts us all to shame." We all glance over at the baby, glowing florescent orange by both the sauce, and the setting sun. He notices us all looking at him and he grins wide. "BAA BAA BAA"

Suddenly the singing from the bathroom changes. We all glance over to see Ashe, half naked, trying to sing and jump around in the hallway as he dons his pants. After a few minutes where we watch him get one leg in and almost fall trying to balance, put his second leg in, and sing at the same time, he finally gets his pants on all the way, backwards, and scrambles up to the table. He picks up his fork and the conversation continues with J starting up where they left off.

"But what if a giant robot comes to your house? Can it survive that?"
"My house can survive ANYTHING!"
"I have no idea, Ashe, just eat your dinner."
"You can have one after you eat your dinner."
"....but what if the robot has giant arms that come from the sky?"
"My house will have a special roof that deflects all robot arms. Geez Dad,  you think I wouldn't think of all the possibilities?"

And so it continues, as I sit there and watch my family at dinner time, careful to take timed bites so I don't choke when something happens to make me laugh." Ashe continues to sing, Soren has finished his own dinner and eyes my own. I offer him soup, which after a moment to digest this new flavor, sucks down a third of my portion. J and Xavier continue to banter, and all is right with the world.

 Who says you cant get dinner and a comedy show for free?

News Flashes From a Caffeinated Mom!

No, I did not say heat flashes. I said News. Good lord people I'm not that old...yet.

So a few things I wanted to share with you all:

1. Today I was offered a very cool opportunity. I was asked by Carolina Parent, a news magazine for parents in North Carolina, to blog for them. So keep an eye out, I'm going to have the chance to bore people with my ramblings woot! Notice I added a little image under my childrens photos. Clicking on that should bring you to their homepage.

2. A friend of mine from back home just got in touch with me to let me know about her new blog and business that is taking off. I'm so excited for her! She is an artist and writes poetry, sometimes on people, sometimes in erotic poses. Therefore, please make sure any 8 yr old boys are not around if you decide to browse any photos... unless you want to have "The Talk". Anyways please go check it out if you're interested. You can find her blog here:

3. I am out of coffee. Not cool. Im too lazy to walk downstairs to refill my cup though.

4. I am moving! In less than 3 weeks I will be moving to Cary, to a bigger place where J can work in an office on its own floor and I dont have to worry about duct taping the kids.... err keeping them playing quietly I mean, while he is on a conference call! However this does mean my potential for blogging will ebb even more in the next upcoming weeks. Please be assured I will be back and writing all about the trials of trying to move across town with 3 kids in tow.

5. I just noticed my font changed and I don't know how to get it back to normal. Huh

6. I'm still out of coffee. But I think I'm going to change that right now. I cant think of anything else so my mind refuses to comply and allow me to think of anything else I wanted to say. So I'll be a slave to my desires now. =)

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Quirks of a 3 Year Old

After having multiple children I have decided that the mental mechanics of a 3 yr old are by far one of the most fascinating, and confounding aspects of raising children. I know deep down inside there is some logic they live by that we "grown ups" cant seem to grasp. And because of that (the fact that I am alas, a grownup no matter how hard I try to deny it) I cant for the life of me figure out some of those dang quirks my children come up with once they hit the age of 3.

Here is one great example that I am dealing with on an (almost) daily basis with Ashe. 

It came about a few months ago. When exactly I couldn't say. But I noticed that whenever he started to get upset, nothing would console him. Not hugs, promises of "Daddet" his blankie, not even made up fantastical promises to Disney World which most kids would do anything for. As 3 year olds are wont to do, the smallest thing could set him off too. It might be that he couldn't open the top of his Play Dough. Or maybe I told him no to his 22nd lollipop. And before anyone goes off to call CPS on me, I am exaggerating. It was only 17 I swear! Or it could be something more serious, like a bonk on his head after trying to sock skate on the newly mopped living room floor. Or he was scared of the dark. It didn't matter what set him off, when he threw a fit, it was a fit of a 3 year old. Uncontrollable. Unstoppable. And worthy enough for any mom or dad to start fantasizing about a glass of wine.

And then one day after sobbing for one reason or another, he turned to J and said "WIPE MY EYES!". J, being the good daddy that he is, did so. And it was like magic. The moment he wiped the last tear away, Ashe stopped instantly and was the happiest kid on the block. It wasn't one of those, lets catch our breath and then be happy. Oh no. This was instantaneous! Like flipping a light switch. He went from the most upset little kid to smiling and laughing and having no recollection of why he was upset in less than half a second.

And so it began and thus it remains. Anytime Ashe gets upset, be it a tantrum or for something worthwhile, his waterworks will not stop until he requests for us to "WIPE MY EYES!" And without fail, each and every time we oblige, he is instantly happy.

I want a trick like that. To be able to drive away the worries and fears, the stress of life, parenting, work, and everything the world throws at me, with the wipe of an eye. Instead of tossing and turning at night when I have things on my mind, the only quiet time during the day I have to really focus on dilemmas and potential strategies, I could just wipe my eyes, know everything was going to be ok and sleep the sleep of a trusting child. Or when I have a big issue I cant stop my mind from dwelling on, instead of being stuck in the cycle only stressing myself out more, I could wipe my eyes and be done with it.

But as a grown up my mental mechanics aren't quite in synch with my 3 year old. And while I sit there in bafflement over what it is that calms him down so instantaneously, I both admire him for finding his *trick* and I'm jealous that I can't seem to find my own. I've tried asking him how it works, but generally he looks at me confused and then says "Quiet Mommy, I am watching Dora Da Explora!"

Maybe one day he will reveal his secret. 

Fear and The Night That Never Ends

Over the past several months, Xavier has developed a debilitating fear. It started off as a fear of Tornadoes (understandable) but quickly disintegrated into a fear of wind in general. It's come to the point where even the gentlest breeze will put him in a panic and instead of playing outside he will huddle beside me, clinging to my waist like a life preserver, and whine continuously to go home or inside.

Nothing has helped. We have had many talks on the logistics of a tornado hitting our area, let alone our house. We have an emergency plan ready to go and we all know what to do in case it ever did happen. We have talked about how there are tons of meteorologists watching every cloud every day to give us advanced warning if there is even a possibility of severe weather. We have weather bug up on every computer, every phone, and when asked, will check the wind speed for him to assure him he wont blow away. We have assured him nonstop that if there was ever a watch or warning we would know hours ahead of time and if anything were to happen, J and I would go first for him and his brothers and bring them to safety, and wrap our bodies around his to keep him as safe as possible.

He gets it on the logical side that this fear of his is not normal. And after talking with his Pediatrician we are being referred to a psychologist to help us have the tools to help him cope.

And then last night happened.

Last night we had a severe weather storm warning and a tornado watch. We didnt tell him about the watch. It would have done nothing but panic him until he was shaking. But we did show him, as the storm winds started blowing in, that we had weather bug up and ready to go, my phone would never leave my side fully charged, and I would check every notification beep I got on my phone. After hours of trying to calm him, giving him Hobbes, his stuffed Tiger, to cuddle, we thought we finally got him to sleep. And we went to bed ourselves.

Within an hour the storm broke. At the first clap of thunder Xavier was jumping into our bed to squeeze himself between J and I. The next clap of thunder (admittedly right outside our window) Ashe was there too. In our bed, what I used to think of as more than big enough, now cramped and almost falling off the side of the bed, were 4 of us. The only one who didnt join the crew was Soren, who blissfully slept through it all.

We got no sleep last night. After 60 minutes of the boys kicking and squirming, whining, and shoving, J and I had enough. I get that we as parents are supposed to show compassion when our children are afraid, especially with what is looking to be a potential phobia. At the same time, parents can only take so much of feet in the face in the middle of the night, after dealing with hours of trying to calm them in the first place.

On an whim I told the boys to go sleep together in their own room. Ashes bottom bunk is a full sized bed and there was more than enough room for the two of them. After awhile they left, and passed out in the bed together. Each time the storm broke again they would wake and freak out. So the cycle continued until around 4am when the storm finally passed us by.

I woke up this morning to see that 8 tornadoes touched down last night. Fortunately no where near us, but still. I don't think I'll tell Xavier though.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Testing, testing...
I have a new addiction. And I'm doing it right now. On my couch. In front of my kids. And its awesome! Wanna know what I'm doing? I'm blogging.... on my new Droid phone!
My old cell phone that I adored for years finally bit the bullet. Despite being fully charged it would turn off on its own, making me miss calls. I was fortunate that they were never emergencies, but I started to panic that the next missed call would be that one time the school called and Xavier was hurt, or my mom was stuck on the side of the road. Add into that I recently was given a fantastic opportunity to help more at a moms site I'm a member of and my duties include keeping members up to date on server downtimes, and other events. While I loved my old phone, posting on the web was a bitch to do.
After doing some research, J mentioned I should check out the Droid. Then I saw a friends new Droid.... and it was love at first site. I was lucky that I got an insanely great deal that didn't break the bank, and now... now I can't leave the damn thing alone for more than 5 minutes! It has made going to the park alone with the kids SO much more enjoyable! I'm not sitting there anymore twiddling my thumbs and wondering how long is long enough to earn good mommy points before I can pack it in and head home. Because I won't lie. While I love the fact my kids are having a ball on the jungle gym, Im bored out of my everloving mind unless I have someone to talk to.
I realized how great this was when we went to Chic-Fil-A the other day. The kids and I ate lunch and headed to the play area. Normally I'd be counting down the time but instead I pulled out my Droid and surfed the net. Next thing I know an hour had passed.... and I was still content.
The other night I had insomnia. Instead of tossing and turning I grabbed my Droid and caught up on fb until I got tired. It was awesome!
The geek in me came out swiftly when I changed my settings to fit my personality. My ringtone is from Monty Python, and my notification sound is Navi the fairy from Zelda yelling at me. Because she bitches at me nonstop I've dubbed my phone Navi. Originally I had Stewie Griffon but too many dirty looks from J made me rethink that.
So if this works, and my blog actually posts right, I may be in trouble. Because as addicted as I am now, it will be ten times worse.
Going to hit send now and see what happens. Forgive my typos, I'm posting from a phone, yelling at my kids, drinking coffee, and IMing with a friend. You know, that multitasking thing we moms do :)


sigh. Unfortunately I could type the whole thing out on my phone, but when it came to sending it I seem to have a bit more learning to do. Ahh well,maybe its a good thing I havent gotten it all quite figured out yet ;)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Well, Young Master

Today, 8 years ago:
  • after dealing with a sick husband the night before,
  •  getting little to no sleep,
  •  having over 9 inches of snow fall down overnight during a blizzard
  • having my water break bright and early at 8am the moment before sick husband went to snow blow our driveway
  • timing contractions until I fellt the "OOF" factor
  • driving 5 minutes down the road to the local hospital, asking J to please slow the fuck down, we'll make it in time
  • getting into the hospital and asking for drugs NOW, only to be told to wait a little while
  • asking for drugs 40 minutes later and being told it was too late, dearie, it's time to push
  • after bitching out my Dr, who was smart enough to stay as far from me as possible, for not giving me the damn drugs I demanded the moment I got to the hospital as I was forced into a natural birth against my wishes
  • after 40 minutes more of pushing
my sweet adorable baby boy, my first, my Xavier, was born into the world at 3:41pm.

Well young Master, to look at that day 8 years ago, every minute detail frozen in my mind I can call it all up in a moment, and to look at you now, it's amazing how much you have changed. And yet I feel like it was not that long ago I held you in my arms as an infant. But you're not anymore. You are now a grown child, racing fast to even your next big life change, hardly looking back. You are amazing with your skills in Legos, how you can sit there for hours, absorbed into your mini block life as you create and build magnificent creations. Not many kids have the tenacity you show in sitting for hours, and hours (and really, hours) building one thing piece by tiny piece.

You are so creative, in your writing, and imaginative play, as you bring to life Star Wars and Indiana Jones together, battling it out in Epic wars that decimate entire galaxies and a few temples to boot. 

You are stubborn, holding on to that hope that if you ask for McDonalds 23 thousand times in one day, maybe one of the times Dad ad I will say ok.

You are smart as hell. I know you say you hate math, but holy hell kid you do better in second grade than your mom. You pick up ideas and concepts faster than they are given to you and you run with them. You are infatuated by weather, space, volcanoes, underwater life, history, mythology. There is nothing you cant learn, child. I dont think you realize this but your curiosity and ability to grasp things fast is one of the best gifts you could ask for in life. Run with it child. Never stop searching to learn more.

You are thoughtful and protective, more so than any other sibling I have ever witnessed. You are the second mother to Soren, constantly making sure your youngest brother is safe, protected, well loved, and isn't eating dead bugs off the ground. And for Ashe, I know he can annoy you to no end, but that is his job and you handle it very well. You are the only child I know at this age who has yet to beat his younger brothers to a bloody pulp. Thank you for your self restraint. Dad and I appreciate that more than you know.  And yet even though you get annoyed, you still share your toys without complaint, and even help your brother when he needs it. You are a fantastic big brother and I think your two younger sibs will realize one day how lucky they are to have you looking out for them and will appreciate that so much.

Xavier you have grown and changed so much over these past 8 years. You have endured more hardships than most kids have to go through and yet you are so resilient. You bounce back and keep pushing to be the best you can be. You have survived ADHD, moves across the country, different schools multiple times, and yet you are happy. You have friends who care about you, family who would move heaven and Earth for you. You are so loved, so appreciated, and we are so grateful to call you son.

Happy Birthday Zavi. We love you

Monday, March 15, 2010


We didn't have Chick-Fil-A in Mass, where I'm orignally from. I guess it's some huge thing down here. People go mad for cravings when you even mention waffle fries. Their food is good for sure. Ok their waffle fries rock. And I love their chicken strips. And their dipping sauce reminds me of the awesome sauce you get for the snowbird chicken at Bugaboos Steak House. But I digress on why I'm writing.

A few weeks ago while purusing FB I noticed someone craving Chick-Fil-A and someone posted a link. Curious minds wanted to know what was in the link and I clicked it. And it was the funniest. Song. Ever.

I now have this song stuck in my head constantly.

So today the kids and I headed out to the store in search of outside toys: bubbles, chalk, paddle balls, etc. As we're cruising the aisles in search of fun stuff, "Yesterday" starts to play. And of course, I start to sing "CHick=Fil-A". As I'm rocking out, Xavier turns to me in shock:

"Mom! What are you singing?"
"That's not what they're playing on the radio!!!"
"It's the same tune."
"So, I hear this tune and I thought of Chick-Fil-A. It makes me laugh."
"Can you... can you please, ummm..."
/whispers "Can you please stop singing?"
"People are staring at you Mom."

Sigh... always a critic

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Quotes and Competition

Now back to our regularly scheduled program =)

Ashe has taken to repeating quotes from TV. His two favorite shows specifically, Yo Gabba Gabba and Dora. Every night at dinner we have a tradition asking each person around the table what did you like about today? Last week Ashe preempted this by sitting down to dinner and stating loudly "MY FAVORITE PART WAS....". It took me a moment to realize that this is what they say after every Dora episode. Now he does it every night. I admit, it's cute. Maybe not as cute as when he sneaks up behind me, pokes me in the leg then runs away mimicking "Hahahaha You'll never find it now!!!" or "Aww Man!" But because it fits into the context of our tradition it cracks me up.

However yesterday I couldnt stop giggling over something he said. If you're familiar with the show Yo Gabba Gabba you might even get the deeper meanings as to why it's so damn funny. This show works hard to teach fairness and manners, and is heavy into teaching that it's ok to lose.

So yesterday Im packing all three kids into the car to run to Blockbuster. Xavier and Ashe have started getting competitive (oh who am I kidding they're always competitive!) about who gets in the car first. As their racing to the van, Ashe starts singing a Yo Gabba Gabba song with his own words: The normal song sounds like "My name is Ashe! Ashe! A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a Ashe! Instead he sang:
"I'm going to win! Win! Wi-wi-wi-wi-wi- Win!... " then pointing to Zavi "You're going to lose! Lose! lo-lo-lo-lo-lo-lo lose!"

Xavier turned around in shock, glanced at me, and we both just broke into laughter. Too funny. Yo Gabba Gabba would probably not approve.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back In The Ring

I promised an update on the Social Security situation. I havent had the heart until today to post. But after a day of reeling in shock and hurt, I'm now pissed and even more determined to ensure this gets heard.

Wed morning, I arrived at the office with Xavier and Soren at 9:45 am. I called Mr. F, the manager of Social Security to let him know I was outside. While getting the kids out of the van I met with Mr. M, the Federal Protection Service Agent who is handling this case. I handed him my written statement and then he showed me a statement from an employee. In the statement it said that the guard  was perfectly professional the entire time and that I verbally attacked him with racial slurs. It also stated that this employee was told by others that while waiting I was pointing at the guard and telling my 3 year old son to point at the monkey, while laughing.

I can not properly express the shock, hurt, and anger I went through reading this false accusation. The many people who do know me can attest I abhor racism, and this would never have come from my mouth ever. I think the only thing that came out of my mouth that could have anything to do with animals was when Ashe asked me to quietly sing Old McDonald and we went through the litany of farm animals he knows. Oh and I also sang Baby Beluga by Raffi. We went through quite a few repetitions of these songs, trying to keep an active 3 yr old quiet and seated. When asked if any of this was true I vehemently denied that the accusations had any truth to them. After reading the statement Mr M took it back and escorted me inside. Soon after I was called by voice speaker by name and I went to the blue hall room where I met Mr. F. He said that some things came to light after we last spoke and wished to know if I had said anything that could be considered a racial slur. Again, I said no. I was then escorted to have my application filed.

As I was leaving I met with Mr. M one more time. I asked him if there was anything I could do. He told me that he would start tracking down people who were in the waiting room and get statements from them and could I describe anyone from that day. I specifically remembered 3 other people who stood up to the guard and described them. Mr. M told me he would look into it and that was all.

I went home in utter shock and in pain. I stayed calm while there, trying to keep a brave face in front of Xavier and not to make him nervous. But once my friend K called me in the car, driving home, I burst into tears. To be attacked with such viscous and untrue accusations, so blatant, descriptive, and completely fabricated, and in the one way anyone who knows me would never ever happen, was like a physical blow.  I entered into the conversation against my will when I was singled out in the office just for having children with me, after the guard treated the set of parents before me unfairly before the waiting room. I could be someone who ignored it, but I do not ever wish for any other parent to feel singled out and attacked just for being a parent. Being a parent to children is not a crime. It is a wonderful thing, but is also a very tough job, with no time off, and little help from the outside. To add this negative behavior on top of it is just cruel.

To be viscously and falsely attacked for something so atrocious when I was standing up for my rights as a tax payer, person, and parent, and to use the race card as a weapon is downright shameful.  I detest racism in its true form, and to see it used falsely only cheapens the cry when racism is real.

After a day of dealing with the shock, and with a lot of outpouring of support from my friends (THANK YOU ALL SOO FREAKING MUCH!!!) I woke up yesterday angry. Really pissed. Fists swinging. I'm not going to lie down and let this go. SO after talking with some friends and getting advice I wrote up a document with all the information that has happened so far, and emailed it to the local news stations, my governor, the mayor of Raleigh, and my congressman. I posted in Craigslist looking for anyone who was there at the time so I can send them to the FPS agent. And I am letting all of you know.

My ultimate goal is not to get the guard or anyone fired. I'm not doing this to be vindictive, or petty. I have two reasons that made me stand back up to fight. One is knowing that if I can make just one parent not have to go through this because I spoke up and did something, I helped someone. No one should have to go though this. The second reason, and one I think I already accomplished, was to teach Xavier an important lesson in life. Sometimes life isnt fair. Sometimes people abuse their power and authority. But if you see that happen you do have a choice to try and make it right. And it might be a hard battle, but doing what is right is not always the easiest path.

I might fail in this. Nothing may ever come out of it. But at least I can look my son straight in the eye and say I did everything I could to right a wrong and that's what really matters.

Monday, March 8, 2010


Sorry guys, this blog is not about my kids (exactly) but it does have to do with being a parent, unfairness, and the fact that sometimes a loud voice and a lot of persistence is just the right type of weapon you need to get the job done.

When Soren was born (homebirth) on his birth certificate we applied for a SS# but never heard back. With tax season here I called around again and found out SS never got our request. I was informed Friday to come down to the Raleigh office that day, file the application and we would have his number by this Thursday so we can get taxes done. Cool beans.

I packed Ashe and Soren up and drove to the office. I know it's cliche to say my kids were on their best behavior but seriously, they were awesome. Like so awesome I feared they may not be my kids but some replica stand ins that were secretly replaced when I wasnt looking.

While there, a little girl about 12 months old happily wobbled over to Soren and made friends with him. She was cute, happy, and well, a baby. While I sat with my boys and kept them occupied after she left I heard her give out a little shriek of happiness. It lasted less than a second long, and the kinds of shrieks Moms and Dads over the world love to hear instead of those other shrieks. Happy, quick, etc.

When this happened I noticed the security guard glanced over in my direction glaring and it looked like he was trying to say something but I couldnt hear him and I had no real reason to think he was talking to me anyway. When he looked away I assumed I misunderstood and he was talking to someone else in my general direction. I went back to keeping the boys occupied while listening for my ticket number (216) to be called.

Another couple minutes went by and the little girl shrieked one more time, quick, happy, then silent. Instantly the guard jumped up, ran over to the parents of the girl and started yelling at them to keep their kid quiet or they would be forced to leave. They left, and the rest of us in the office just stared in shock. Why were they being yelled at over a happy baby? She wasnt really loud, or having a tantrum or causing a disturbance of any kind. She was basically laughing and not even for long.

The guard then turned to me, standing on the other side of the room, and loudly apologized to me for thinking it was my kids, but that I need to know if my kids start making any noise he would remove me from the property.

I honestly was confused and pretty shocked. I had been sitting there perfectly waiting quietly with my kids and because I have kids I am now being singled out? As well as after watching the scene before me moments ago I was just floored. And of course I wasnt quiet about it. I havent yet learned to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes it's not a good thing. This time it was worth it. I've never had to really deal with true unfairness in regards to the law, but I was damned if I was going to stay quiet after watching other parents be treated so unfairly and then have it also turn on me for the simple fact that I was a Mom and had my children with me. Oh hell no.

Calmly I asked if he could clarify his stance. Did he mean he would escort me out until my kids were quiet again and then I could return? Or did he mean he would force me off the property of the office, unable to return to conduct my business? He stated the latter. If I couldnt keep my kids quiet and inline he would remove me from the property and I would not be allowed to come back. I stated back that that was unfair, I was a tax payer, this was not a private business but Social Security. I was there because I needed to be there. And no matter how good of a parent you may be, no one can guarentee a quiet child for the length of time it takes to wait in those offices. He retorted back that any good parent can keep their kids mouth shut.

At this point a few people, young, old, men, women, stood up or pointed at the guard from their seats and started telling him that he was totally wrong and being absolutely unfair. The guard tried to shout them down but they refused and kept it up. He kept yelling this is a government office and like a courthouse it must stay silent including kids!!!!

When he turned back to me to start arguing again I told him point blank I didnt want to hear it, this conversation was done, and ignored him while keeping my kids happy. About 10 minutes later he asked me what my ticket number was. I gave it to him and watched walk over and talk to someone who handles calling the numbers.

10 minutes pass and number 215 was called... then 217, 218, 219,,,, somehow 216 was skipped. I noticed people who came in a lot later than I were being seen. I cant prove my number was skipped, but there it is.

I waited until almost 4 pm when I had enough. My kids were tired, I was stressed, and I had to get home to meet Xavier from school. I got my kids packed up and as we were getting off the chairs Ashes foot accidentally hit the chair leg. Instantly the guard was yelling at me from across the room. I walked to the door ignoring the guard until I realized I couldnt leave without saying one more thing. I asked Ashe to wait one moment and walked up to the guard and very quietly said I am so sorry he felt he must have the last word and use his authority in arrogance instead of helping people like he is supposed to. I'm sorrier that he was so ignorant on what it really is like to be a parent and what kids are really like. And I walked away, ashe holding my hand, Soren clinging to my neck, ignoring the yells about how *I'm* the ignorant one.

There is just no way I could let this pass. So I started investigating. I looked up laws online, I posted in several forums seeking answers. I emailed the local news stations (not like I honestly think they would pick up the story but hey, I figured if no one can help me after this weekend at least I can say I tried all avenues. And I havent heard back from them so Im sure that was a dud). And Monday morning I called and called and called SS for over an hour until I talked to a live person and was transferred to the manager. I left a voicemail, thinking it would be ignored.

Much to my surprise (and utter happiness) I was called back within an hour. I told my story above and was given the information to also file a formal complaint with Federal Protection Services who employs the guard. Expressing concern as I have to go back on Wed to try again and did not want any more issues cropping up, he told me to call him and he would personally escort me and ensure my business is conducted safely.

Next, I called FPS and was told an investigator would call me in a day or two. 30 minutes later an investigator called me. I gave him my story. He is a father of 5 children and would be trying to apologize to me for this incident while going off about how this is beyond unacceptable in the same sentence. The end result is that I am to bring a written statement, and he will meet me at the office Wed morning, personally escort me too, take my statement, and start a full investigation.

Normally I dont complain. I get it on the basic level of common courtesy. Kids are loud and annoying in small areas. And can be too much of a distraction in certain areas like government offices. However there is a difference between understanding this line of thought,asking parents of unruly children to take them outside or somewhere else temporarily until they are calm again, and going past the line of decency to point out parents of children, treat them differently and unfairly especially in front of a large crowd of people, and purposely (though I cant prove it!!) manipulate things so they are not seen in order to prove who has more power, just because they "can". Well big guy you can't. At least you cant get away with it in the long run. I've never seen myself as an activist of any sort (I'm too lazy generally and have my hands full as it is with three kids). But if I personally see something wrong happen I'm not quiet about it. I dont ignore it. And if it's then turned on me for speaking out, well I may be female, but I have bigger balls than many men and have been known to wield them from time to time.

So it should be interesting to see what happens this Wed morning as I am escorted by not only the manager of the office, but a FPS officer with baby Soren strapped to my chest, my bright red stripe a beacon of rebellion and refusal to go down quietly. I do wonder how the scene will unfold. I wish I was able to record the guards face as I enter the office, but my hands will be filled with vast amounts of paperwork in one hand, baby in the other. But I promise you while I may keep serene and as professional as possible, I don't think I'll be able to keep the gleam of triumph out of my eyes (and ok if Im honest I might smirk a bit too. I think I earned it damnit).

I'll update on this when I can! Until then, Rebel onward!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Hate Halloween

Ok, not really. Actually I'd have to say it's one of my favorite holidays out there. I mean what other day of the year do you get to dress up in anything you want and get away with it PLUS get candy?!!!?! Win/win situation if you ask me.

However, I am getting tired of hearing about it. Nonstop. 20 times a day. From my 3 yr old. It's March, for crying out loud!!! We still have almost a full 8 months before Halloween is upon us again! Do I have to listen to my son chatter nonstop about Halloween all year long? Even for a hardcore lover of Halloween like myself, this is a bit much to ask.

An example of a conversation I have roughly every 15 minutes with Ashe:

"Mommy, this is Halloween?"
"No, Ashe this is Thursday."
"No, sweetie, it's Thursday and it's March. Next holiday is St Patricks Day."
"Sorry dude, it's not. Halloween was in October. It's not October anymore. We have a few holidays and many months to go before Halloween. We have St Patricks Day, and Easter, and Independence Day and..."

and he stomps off to sulk.

Part of this issue is that J decided to put on the song This Is Halloween" from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas" on a cd for the boys. And Ashe was addicted, hook, line and sinker. But I am not allowed to sing it when he brings up his adamant stance that today is Halloween. Oh no. I get yelled at.


I should be happy he isn't trying to wear his Spongebob Squarepants PJs as a costume to preschool or out to Target. I should be happy he isn't trying to wear his Yoda costume every day and beg for sweets before dinner. I should be mollified that he will take off his Batman winter hat indoors if I ask him to. In his little mind he gets that it really isn't Halloween.

But if I have to listen to this conversation daily for the next 8 months I may not need a costume for Halloween. I'll already be the perfect candidate as the Mad Hatter.