Mrs. Murphy Said I'd Never Get Into A Good College

When I was in third grade my teacher was Mrs. Murphy. She was a cruel and sadistic bitch who, I believe, took genuine pleasure in traumatizing her students. We feared and loathed her. She had bright red hair, bright red lips, long red fingernails and often wore a black and white polyester houndstooth pantsuit.

This is what houndstooth looks like:

What's that you say? You like that? You think it's pretty?

 
Well, how about THIS????:



Yeah. I didn't think so.

The planets must have all been in alignment that year, because not only did I have the most vicious teacher at Neil A. Armstrong-Oakview Grade School, third grade was also when I decided to get my swear on. Now, you have to remember, I didn't have the best reputation with the teachers at my school, as I was just recovering from my social faux pas in the second grade. Remember? The one where I was all like, "Hey everybody! Randy Serg went retarded! I heard it over the loudspeaker! We have to help him!"  Oh. You don't know about that? Then before you read any further, please refer to this entry. It's ok, we'll wait for you.

All caught up? Good. Anyway, I had a veritable treasure trove of swear words available to me everyday, via my parents. Now, before you get all up in your ivory tower about my parents, just remember, this was the 1970's. Parents didn't "monitor" their language for fear that their children would start swearing. They swore up one side and down the other, and if we were stupid enough to follow suit, we were beaten. Once was usually all it took. We then learned to: A.) stop swearing or B.) swear only around our friends. Unfortunately, fate cruelly offered me a third alternative.

So, about the swears. I listened carefully and practiced swearing at my Barbie dolls and stuffed animals until I thought I'd gotten them all memorized correctly. Then, on a cold day in January, I found an opportunity to showcase my new vocabulary. There was this really stupid kid in my class, I think his name was Van. Or maybe it was Linus. I forget. Seriously, he would do that thing where you make circles with your thumbs and index fingers, splay your other 3 fingers out, and turn the circles upside down over your eyes. Then he would say "Whoo-whoo! I'm an owl!"

You're doing it right now, aren't you?

*Sigh*. No, that's ok. We'll wait.

Anyway, he was running around the playground with his coat tied around his throat like a cape, doing that thing with his fingers and his eyes. That's basically all he ever did during recess, because nobody would play with him. Not even Artie-Fartie. Well, Van/Linus' antics completely annoyed me on that day, probably because it was so cold, and it was obvious to me that he was choosing negative attention over warmth, which was stupid. Warmth trumps EVERYTHING. So as we were coming in from recess, I decided it was time to use some new words to express my disdain for Linus/Van. My little hamster brain raced with excitement, which word to use??? A**hole? Sh*thead? Dumb*ss? I felt like a starving child at an all-you-can-eat candy store. So many options!

My best friend Christy was hanging up her coat next to mine. But wait! She was already heading back to her desk! I was running out of time, I had to hurry!!!! So I quickly said the first thing that came to me, "Van is such a sh*tass!"

Wait. Sh*tass???

Was that even a word? Here, let me Google it. Yes, it appears that sh*tass is indeed a word. I suspect I may have had something to do with that. Because in 1975, sh*tass wasn't a word I'd ever heard anybody say. And I grew up in a freakin' trailer court, so I would know.

No matter, it had had the desired effect. Christy's eyes grew huge with, with...wonder? Shock? Amazement? No, none of those adjectives clearly defined the look in Christy's eyes as she stared at me. I mean, as she stared behind me....wait! I knew that look! FEAR! Pure, unadulterated, gut-wrenching, pee-your-pants-and-not-even-realize-it fear.

That's right. Mrs. Murphy was standing directly behind me. I thought Christy was going to throw up, but no, instead she went into survival mode. She gave a little scream, ran to her desk, put her head down and buried her face in her arms. It was the closest she could get to pretending she didn't exist.

I honestly couldn't blame her.

As my classmates watched in horror, Mrs. Murphy grabbed me by the arm and dragged me out into the hallway, probably so she wouldn't get my blood on her classroom floor.

Mrs. Murphy: "WHAT DID YOU SAY???"

Was this a trick? Was she trying to get me to say it again, so she could justifiably kill me for swearing at her? Or was it possible, just possible, that she hadn't heard clearly and was simply asking me for clarification?

I chose to go with option two, it seemed the safest route.

Me: "Um...I said Van had gas."

It was an unwise choice.

Mrs. Murphy: "THAT IS A LIE! NOW, WHAT DID YOU SAY???"

Now I was confused. I mean, she'd obviously heard me, and was blatantly displeased with my choice of words, so why was she was asking me to say it again? Was she giving me permission to say a swear??? Were we to have an "understanding"? Maybe sh*tass was her favorite swear, and I'd somehow touched a chord deep inside her? Only one way to find out.

Me: "Um. I called Van a sh*tass."

Mrs. Murphy: "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU JUST SAID THAT! DO YOU HAVE NO SHAME???"

Ok, now I was just getting pissed. She'd just tricked me into swearing in front of an adult. See what I mean about sadistic?

I decided the best thing would be to say nothing. Ha! Let's see what she did with that!

Mrs. Murphy: "ARE YOU REFUSING TO SPEAK TO ME??"

Crap.

Me: "Umm......"

Mrs. Murphy: "DID YOU KNOW IT'S AGAINST THE LAW FOR A CHILD TO SWEAR?? YOU COULD GO TO JAIL!! WHERE DID YOU HEAR THAT WORD??"

For realsies??? Now I was scared. I didn't want to go to jail! I'd just gotten a magic 8 ball and a bunch of Bobbsey Twin books for Christmas and I was pretty sure I wouldn't be allowed to take them with me. So I did what any person living under a totalitarian regime would do. I threw my parents under the bus.

Me: "Um, at home."

Now this wasn't quite true. I had heard the words used separately by both of my parents, but I couldn't exactly tell Mrs. Murphy, "Well, my mom says sh*t a lot, and my dad says his boss is a real *sshole, but sh*tass? I'm pretty sure I just made that word up."

So I went with the condensed version.

Mrs. Murphy: "Oh really? Well! I won't call your parents this time, but I AM going to the principal's office right now, so I can have this entered into your permanent file!"

Wait. I had a permanent file??? Just how permanent, you ask?

Mrs. Murphy: "...AND I DOUBT VERY MUCH IF YOU'LL EVER GET INTO A GOOD COLLEGE BECAUSE OF THIS! GOOD SCHOOLS DON'T TAKE GIRLS WHO SWEAR!!!"

She seriously said that. Seriously. And I believed her. Seriously. Because I may have had a potty mouth, but I was extremely gullible. Extremely. (Remember Randy Serg?).

And down the hall she marched, leaving me to wonder how I was going to break the bad news to my parents. I could picture it all so vividly. I visualized my parents and I in the year 1985, discussing college applications. Of course, we would probably have robot parts by then, like the Six Million Dollar Man. I just knew my dad would beat my ass with his bionic arm. But ha ha! I would have bionic legs like Lindsay Wagner in The Bionic Woman, and I would escape.

Bionic: bi·on·ic (bī-ŏn'ĭk)
adj. Having extraordinary strength, powers, or capabilities; superhuman.

But they would still be pissed. Bionically pissed.

F*ck You Farmville!

Sometimes A Penis Is Just A Penis. Seriously.

I should preface this story by telling you three things:

1. I am a mental health therapist, and have worked extensively with children who have been sexually abused,
2. My son is extremely ADHD and lacks awareness of socially appropriate behaviors at times most of the time, and
3. I was home sick the day this happened, which caused my paranoia to be heightened and my defenses to be lowered.

There. Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you about the time that my son drew penis pictures while he was in the principal's office after flashing his penis at his Kindergarten teacher and the rest of his class during circle time.

As I recall it, I was home sick when my son's father suddenly arrived at my house with my son and a sheaf of papers. I was surprised, since school didn't let out until 3:30pm, and it was only 1:00 in the afternoon.

Zach's dad: "Your son got in trouble today for showing his penis to Mrs. Antenucci and the rest of the class. Oh, and while he was sitting was in the principal's office for doing that, he drew these."

With that, my son's father tossed the papers onto my bed. And left. No, wait. First he said, "Uh, since you deal with this stuff every day, I think you're the best one to address this." Then he left.

B*stard.

Zach waited expectantly by the side of my bed, so I glanced down at the first picture. Here is what he drew:

In evaluating kids who may have been sexually abused, we administered something called The Event Drawing Series. We had the kids draw 7 pictures, such as "draw yourself as you are now, doing something", or "draw a picture of a house and a tree". We would then ask them specific questions about the pictures, designed to elicit information they normally wouldn't share/discuss out of embarrassment, inability or memory blocking.

There are also what are called "red flags" in these drawings. Indications that the child may have been sexually abused, but not definitive. Red flags include encapsulation (drawing a circle around the object to separate it), sharp teeth/fingernails (aggression), transparent clothing (vulnerability), very long arms (self-protection), "vacant/unseeing" eyes, genitalia and excessive use of the color red (red is an "alarm" color).

So here's what I saw:


I was looking at 6 of the warning signs. Drawn by my sweet, adorable, loving and socially inappropriate son, who was just dying to talk about the really cool picture he'd drawn in the principal's office today.

I took a deep breath. In. Out. In. Out. I will personally search out, gut and kill whoever has touched my baby, I swore to myself. Then I smiled and went into therapist mode.

Me: "Wow! What a neat-o drawing! Tell me about it!"

Zach: "Yay!" (Climbing onto the bed). " I drew a WHOLE PERSON! For the first time EVER!"

Me: "I see that! Tell me about your whole person!"

Zach (pointing): "Well...that's the hair, and the eyes, and the mouth, and the nipples, and and the bellybutton, and the penis with the two hangy things, and the feet, and the hands, and the ears!"

Me: What was that middle part?"

Zach (confused): "The bellybutton?"

Me: "Never mind. What's this person's name?" (With any luck, I would get the name of the kid who'd touched my child. Less work for me when it came time to search, gut and kill.)

Zach: "Sarah!"

Me: "Um...I thought only girls had both ears pierced?"

Now, this was a ploy, I knew that boys often have both ears pierced. I figured this way I'd find out the name of the punk at school who had both ears pierced, and who'd touched my little angel. Besides, Sarah had a penis.

Zach: "This IS a girl!"

Me: "Girls don't have penises honey."

Zach (indignant): "Yes they do! Everybody has a penis!"

Me: "Honey, I'm telling you, girls don't have penises!"

Zach: "YES THEY DO!!!"

Me: "Never mind. Do you know a girl with a penis?"

At this point I was seriously considering the possibility that my son had been sexually abused by a girl named Sarah, who had a penis.

Zach (thinking): "Umm....no?"

Me: "Hmm. Ok, well, tell me about this circle. The one around your, I mean, Sarah's penis."

Zach (looking carefully at his drawing): "Oh. That's underwear. Wait...maybe that is my penis. It looks like my penis."

Ok, there went my "penis protector" theory.

Me: "Got it. Wow, those are some pretty sharp teeth. Tell me about those."

Zach: "Well, we need to have sharp teeth to bite our food you know."

Me: "Uh-huh. Do we ever need to bite or scratch anyone to keep our bodies safe?"

Zach (looking at me like I'm crazy): "Um....no? Why, can I?"

Me (getting excited at maybe finding out who my child needs to protect himself from): "Who would you need to bite or scratch?"

Zach: "Julia. She's a real butt ( giggling because he said 'butt'). She kicked me at breakfast today, I forgot to tell you. So can I bite her?"

Me (sighing): No Zach. You cannot bite your sister."

Zach: "Oh. Well I think I should at least get to kick her when she gets home from school. Otherwise, it's not fair."

I realized this conversation was getting waaaayyy off track. Time to focus.

Me: "Tell me about the rest of your drawing."

Zach (pointing): "Well, that's spiky hair 'cause Sarah put gel in her hair to look cool, and those are nipples 'cause everybody has nipples (he paused for a moment). Do you have nipples mommy?"

Me (sighing again): "Yes. Tell me, why is Sarah just staring like that?"

Zach: "I don't know how to draw eyelids yet."

Ok, this was going nowhere. Time to cut to the chase.

Me: "Zach, has anybody ever touched your private parts?"

Zach: "Yes."

FINALLY!  I grabbed a pen and notebook, ready to write down the offender's name.

Me: "Really? Who?"

Zach (looking at me strangely): "You, mommy."

Me (choking): "Me??"

Zach (thumping me helpfully on the back): "Uh-huh. When you give me a bath you wash my privates with the soap and washcloth. Doesn't that count?"

Me (again with the sighing): "No Zach, not really. So nobody else has ever touched your privates, or asked you to touch theirs?"

Zach: "Ewwww, GROSS!"

By this point, I felt comfortable with the information I'd garnered, and decided that while my son may not have been sexually abused, he still needed a quick lesson in socially appropriate behaviors.

Me: "Zach, you can't draw pictures of people with penises at school anymore, it's inappropriate."

Zach (indignant): "That's not fair! People have penises, and if I don't draw it, it's a wrong drawing!!!"

My son is extremely literal.

Me: "Ok, well how can we solve this problem? Because your principal didn't like finding your picture of Sarah-with-a-penis in the office. It made her uncomfortable."

Zach (thinking hard): "I know! I can draw the penis, then color over it so the underwear's not see through!"

This solution worked for both of us. I would not get any more penis pictures sent home from the principal, and my son's artistic integrity would not be compromised.

That evening, as I was getting ready to tuck the kids into bed, their father said, "Hey, would you have that penis talk with Zach one more time? Just so we know it sunk in."

Sure, I'd love to. When it came to discussing penis pictures with 5 year olds, I was in my element. Who wouldn't be?

Ass. Hat.

So as I was tucking Zach into bed, I said, "Now remember, no putting a penis on your drawings at school anymore, ok?"

Zach looked at me in horror, as if I'd just taken a crap on his favorite stuffed animal. "Ewwww! I would never do that!"

Wait, what??? What the hell was wrong with my son???

Me: "Um...Zach? Remember today? Your drawing of, um, Sarah, and..."

Zach gave me a look of utter bewilderment. Then, like the sun breaking through the clouds, comprehension dawned on his face.

Zach: "Ohhh! You mean don't draw a penis on my pictures!"

Me (confused): "That's what I just said, Zach!"

Zach: "No, it's not. You said don't put a penis on my pictures. I would never put my penis on my pictures, that's gross! Plus, I would get into trouble."

He and I stared at each other for at least 30 seconds, while I digested this last statement.

My son believed I had just told him that he was not allowed to draw a picture, then whip out his penis and slap it on his work of art, sort of like an autograph. Only with his penis.

He had drawn a picture of a girl with a penis in the principal's office that day, yet he thought I was sick. I could see it in his eyes. They were troubled.

I told you he's literal, right?

Adventures In (White Trash) Babysitting

Imagine, if you will, a run-down trailer court, an 18 year old college student striving valiantly to get out of said trailer court, a 9 year old girl, a cat named Scuzzy, a concussion and porn.

Do I have your attention yet? Good.

So, when I was little, one of my babysitters was named Linda. Linda had a baby named Renee. When I was 18, Linda sent Renee to my parent's trailer to ask if I would babysit her that night. I said sure, as long as I could do my accounting homework (which was due the next day) in peace, I was glad to make some extra money.

The following is a true and accurate account of that evening.

I arrived at Linda's trailer around 6pm, with my accounting textbook and workbook in hand. This was my first time babysitting. Ever. I expected I would be forced to watch a Disney movie, make popcorn and possibly play truth or dare, before tucking Renee in bed at 9pm, at which time I would finish my homework, get paid and be on my merry way.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

First off, when I got to Linda's, she and her husband had already been drinking, so I had to play dumb and smile vaguely while her husband made inappropriate comments regarding my butt. A nasty looking black and white cat with mange named Scuzzy slept in the front window.

Linda informed me that they were going bowling with another couple, and planned on being back around 11pm.

Ha.

Linda's last words to Renee were "NO JUMPING ON OUR BED!"

So....I sat down at the kitchen table and opened my workbook. Approximately 8.5 seconds later, my hell night began.

Renee: "I want to play zoo."

Me: "Fine. I'm doing homework Renee, can you play zoo quietly?"

Renee: "Sure!"

Renee then grabbed Scuzzy the cat, a storm window and a spray bottle of water and disappeared into her bedroom.  Should I be worried? I wondered. Nah, just a kid having fun. Let's see... "A permanent quality with a rate of $3000 and gathered reduction of $2750 is sold for $350. What is the quant..?"

Just then, Renee sidled up to me and casually asked, "Um...can a cat get a concussion?"

My ears perked up at that.

Me: "I don't know. Probably. I mean, why are you asking?"

Renee: "Well, um, Scuzzy and me were playing zoo, and I had the storm window in the doorway so he wouldn't escape the zoo. Only he didn't know it was there and tried to escape and ran into the window and bounced off and now he's hiding under my bed and won't come out, and everytime I try to get him out he hisses at me. So, do you think we should take him to the hospital?"

I stared at my accounting workbook, trying to think. Could a cat die from that sort of thing? Would I have a dead cat to explain when Linda and her husband returned from bowling? Better check it out.

Renee and I went to her bedroom, and I heard Scuzzy making that deep, yowling sound cats make when they're scared or in pain. I cautiously made my way to the bed, lifted the bedspread and peeked under the bed. Scuzzy narrowed his eyes, hissed at me and growled, as if to say "I blame you, this is all your fault. You're the adult here and an adult should know that CATS DO NOT LIKE PLAYING ZOO!"

I carefully replaced the bedspread and slowly backed away.

Me: "Um, it looks like Scuzzy wants to be left alone right now. I think we should give him some space."

Renee: "But I WANT TO PLAY ZOO AGAIN! Scuzzy!!! Scuzzy, you bad cat, come out and play RIGHT NOW!"

Me: "Renee, leave the cat alone. How about you go watch some t.v.?"

Scuzzy: "Mrrrrrooooowwwwwwrrrr...."

Renee (brightening): "Ok! There's some good shows on tonight. We get cable, you wanna watch t.v. with me?"

I imagined that Renee was speaking of Disney movies, and innocent fun. Not so. I was about to be forever, irreversibly traumatized, and by a 9 year old girl, at that.

Me: "I really can't Renee, I have homework due tomorrow and I need to finish it."

Renee: "Is that the stuff you were doing when Scuzzy got his concussion?"

Me: "Um, yeah."

Scuzzy: "mrrrrooowwwwooo...."

So Renee went to the living room to watch t.v., and I went back to the kitchen to do my homework. I hoped that Scuzzy didn't die, or if he did die, it would happen after I'd been paid and left the home.

Suddenly, I heard this sound coming from the living room:

"Uh, uhhh, oh YEAH! That's right, right there big boy. Do me! Ah, ah...!!!!"

I don't think actual words went through my mind at this time. I'm pretty sure I was thinking in exclamation points and question marks, like a dog.


That's right. Renee, the 9 year old, was watching porn. Hardcore, X-rated, dirrty dirrty PORN.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a cat yowled. "Mrrrrooowwwwrrrrrr!!" This would forever become my internalized warning sign for danger.

Slowly, I got up from my seat and headed towards the living room. Slowly, because I was 18 and had never seen a porn myself. so I didn't know what to expect.

I peered around the corner and saw Renee, sitting approximately 22" from the t.v., completely engrossed in watching 2 adults having sex, a copy of the local cable guide in her hands.

I creeped into the living room, expecting Renee to jump up in embarassment. I got this instead:

Renee: "Oh goody! You're going to watch t.v. with me! Here, I'll scoot over so there's room for you!"

Me: "Um, Renee? What are you watching?"

 Now, this was obviously a rhetorical question. My goal was to remind Renee of the inappropriateness of her viewing choice. Instead, Renee wrinkled her forehead in concentration, then turned to the cable guide for help in recalling the exact title of the porn she was watching.

Renee (flipping through the pages): "Ummm, it's called 'Debbie Does Dallas', wanna watch?"

This couldn't be real. I had obviously fallen asleep at my homework and was in the middle of some horrific dream.

Me: "Renee, you have to turn that off, right now!"

Renee (looking puzzled): "Why?"

Yep, this was definitely a nightmare. Only in a nightmare would a 9 year old question why she couldn't watch porn, after having given her cat a concussion.

Me: "Well, because your parents wouldn't like you watching it. It's not appropriate."

Reneee: "But my parents told me to watch it!"

Ok, this kid obviously was a pathological liar, and a porn addict to boot.

Me: "Renee, nobody's parents tell them to watch porn! Besides, you are NINE YEARS OLD!!!"

Renee: "They did! They said this was a good way to learn about sex! See? I'm supposed to mark off all the porns I've watched!"

At that, Renee offered me the cable guide, and I saw little marks next to 30-40 porn movies, indicating which ones Renee had already seen. I may have thrown up in my mouth a little, at that point. Still, I was 18 and not quite sure that it was my place to interfere in someone else's personal parenting style.

Me: "Well, you still need to turn it off."

Renee: "Why??"

Me: "Umm, because I'M not allowed to watch those movies, or even listen to them."

Renee: "Seriously?? Ok, fine. Can I jump on my mom's bed?"

Me: "I'm pretty sure I heard her tell you not to do that."

Renee: "Ok, well, I'm going to check on Scuzzy then."

Scuzzy: "mrrroowwwwwwwwrrrr...."

It was at that point that I threw poor Scuzzy under the bus (figuratively speaking).

Me: "Fine. I'm going to finish my homework. Just don't pick Scuzzy up, ok?"

15 minutes later, I heard the sound of bedsprings. Shuddering, I plugged my ears and continued working. I didn't even want to know what that little hellion was up to now. This already qualified as the most bizarre night of my life, and...

Then came a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder. I unplugged my ears to see Renee-The-Devil-Child standing next to me. Now what? I wondered. Did she want to torture some puppies? Discuss her penchant for traumatizing babysitters? WHAT??

I took a deep breath and smiled.

Me: "Yes, Renee? What do you need?"

Renee: "Ummm....I was jumping on my mom's bed, and, well, um, now there's a big hole in the floor, and one of the bed's legs went through it. I can see the ground under the trailer. Can you fix it?"

I stared at her. Just stared. Like this:

 We went to her parent's bedroom and I saw this:
 

Holy crap. There was a 15" wide HOLE in her parent's bedroom floor, and one of the bed legs was sticking through the hole. I looked at the clock. 8pm.

Me: "Renee? Why did you jump on the bed when I told you not to?"

Renee: "I was bored. You said I couldn't play zoo and I couldn't watch t.v. There wasn't anything else to do! Do you think my parents will notice?"

Here's what I was thinking: Correction, you little demon-spawn. I said you couldn't give your cat another brain injury, and I told you you couldn't watch porn. You seriously can't find another way to entertain yourself besides torturing animals and watching porn??? WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???

Here is what I said: "Um, yes. Yes Renee, I'm pretty sure they're going to notice it."

Renee: "Well, can't we get some cardboard and cover up the hole?'

This was the most 9 year old thing she said or did all evening.

Me: "No. Now go away, I need to call my mom."

So I called my mom and told her the child I was babysitting had given the cat a concussion, most likely had an addiction to porn and had put a hole in her parent's bedroom floor.

This story doesn't really have an ending, because I don't remember what happened after that. I'm pretty sure I got paid and nobody yelled at me, but my therapist tells me this could be my mind's way of protecting me from the trauma until I'm fully ready to deal with it.

Today I Will Be Focused, I Will Be On Task, I Will Be.....Oooh! Shiny!

Here is a list of things I wanted to get accomplished this week:

1.  Finish painting living room ceiling
2.  Finish painting dining room
3.  List 35 items on ebay
4.  Clean my entire house
5.  Do laundry
6.  Fold and put away all laundry
7.  Re-finish that table/desk I got at the thrift store
8.  Write 2 blog entries
9.  Catch up on paperwork from my real job
10. Pay bills
11. Rake and bag leaves
12. Take a shower/bath

Here is what I got done:

1.   Swept the dining room floor
2.   Did some laundry
3.   Threw it in the "clean pile" with the rest of the laundry in my room
4.   Checked Facebook. My page has 14 followers and 1 more reader!
5.   Finished the table/desk from the thrift store
6.   Currently writing 1 blog entry
7.   Checked my blog page to see how many hits I got today. I have a new viewer from the Netherlands!   
      Hei Venn!
8.   Made a screen shot of all of this week's viewers around the world to include in this blog. Just so   you know how important/famous/popular I'm getting. See?

             

9.   After previewing my blog, spent 17 minutes obsessively trying to fix #7. It still looks stupid. Sorry.
10. Caught up on precisely 1/40th of the work from my real job
11. Previewed my blog again. Ok, now # 8 looks stupid.
12. Great. Now so does #9. I suck.
13. Start to sink into a shame/hate spiral.
14. Check Technorati. I'm up 21,000 spots from last week!
15. Remember how awesome I am. Shame/hate spiral stopped in it's tracks.
16. Checked Statcounter. People are starting to Google my blog!
17. Check Facebook again. Ooohh! DeeAnne finally posted the pics from my birthday!
18. Spent 20 minutes working on my birthday pix. Here's one:

Yeah, Johnny flew in from France. It was a very special night. Thanks Dee!

19. Called DirectTV to get my satellite service re-instated, as I forgot to pay bills
20. Checked Peoria.com to see if my latest blog made the top 8. It did!
21. Bought some super cute sweats (neccessary)
22. Went to a birthday party
23. Took a nap in my car
24. Made mental note to self - pay heating bill before Tuesday, to avoid shut-off
25. Realize that bullet points/numbered lists aren't my forte
26. Checked facebook again. Amy posted some pix from her birthday! Here's one:


27. Went to the grocery store. Bought Dibs!
28. Played blackjack on my cell phone and ate Dibs in my car, parked in my driveway
29. Gave my children a bath
30. Had a glass of win. (lol, that was on purpose!)

They Don't MAKE Poop Flavored Suckers!

I had to take my kids to the bank with me one day, because they go pretty much everywhere with me. Zach, because he is 7 and SO FREAKIN' ADHD YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO WRAP YOUR MIND AROUND IT!  And Julia, because she's 11 and can't control Zach. She thinks she can, but then he throws a tennis ball or a rollerblade at her and she realizes she'd rather not be left alone with him, thank-you-very-much.

I told the kids if they were good, they could have a sucker from the teller. They'll do almost anything for sugar, so I was pretty sure I could count on appropriate behavior for at least 5 minutes.

After I finished my transaction the kind lady teller brought her basket of dum-dum suckers around the counter, bent down, and offered it to my children.

It was very sweet, and looked like this:


Zach picked his sucker first, he chose chocolate. Then Julia picked hers. She's always been adventurous, so I wasn't surprised when she picked "Mystery Flavor".

Julia: "Cool! Mystery flavor! I wonder what it tastes like?"

Sweet Teller Lady: "Maybe it tastes like strawberry-cherry? Or blueberry-banana?"

Julia: "Yeah!"

Then it looked like this:


Zach: "Or maybe it tastes like POOP!"

Then it looked like this:

Peeing Standing Up. In A Trailer Court.

Between my infancy and the age of 5, my Aunt Judy babysat me. Actually, she was my mom's first cousin, so she would have been my second cousin and her daughter Jennifer, who was 18 months younger than me, would have been my third cousin. But since "Second Cousin Judy" was too much of a mouthful, I simply called her "Aunt Judy."

Aunt Judy lived in the same trailer court as my parents and me, so her watching me while my parents were at work was a natch. She was quite religious and didn't approve of many of the games that Jennifer and I came up with, although I tried to give them a religious slant. Many of my games involved the wearing of blankets and towels as clothing and head coverings, just like Jesus. She thought that was sacriligious, as well as making more laundry for her to wash.

When I was 5, there was a little boy who lived in the trailer behind Jennifer, named Brent Lonteen, who was our age, lived in the single-wide behind Jennifer, and he had quite the crush on her. On this particular day, Jennifer and I had just gotten up from our nap, and we were outside, sitting on the swingset, eating our Nutter Butters and trying to decide how to entertain ourselves, as we were forbidden from coming back inside for the next 90 minutes. Aunt Judy had to watch her programs, and we were a distraction.

"Hey! You guys! What are you doing?"

We turned around on our swings to see Brent, standing in his own backyard, peering over at us. He was so cute, but he was only interested in Jennifer, who was equally as cute.

We stuffed the rest of our cookies in our mouth, just in case Brent planned on asking for any, and made our way over to him.

Me: "What are you doing?"

"Brent: Nothing, but look what I can do!"

At that, Brent surreptitiously looked around,  unzipped his fly and let loose a stream of urine that splattered against the wall of my Aunt Judy's shed. My jaw dropped in amazement. He didn't have to sit down! He didn't even have to squat!  No fair!

When Brent was finished, he zipped up his fly and smiled smugly at us. A**hole.

"Did you see that? That's because I'm a boy, and boys can pee standing up. Girls can't do that, cuz you're GIRLS!"

Ha! We would soon see about that!  I have always been highly competitive, and I quickly rose to the challenge. No boy was going to tell me that my 3 year old girl cousin and I couldn't pee standing up!

Jennifer and I quickly conferred in hushed undertones. After deciding upon our plan of action, I quickly stepped forward.

"We can so pee standing up! We do it all the time! (This was a total lie.)

Brent: "I don't believe you! Prove it!"

After quickly looking around to be certain that none of the neighbors were watching, I nodded to Jennifer. She bit her lip in anxiety but dropped trow like a good little soldier. I did the same.

So. There we were, in all our pre-school glory, shorts and underpants dropped to our ankles, with Brent looking on in shocked amazement.

I had watched Brent. I knew how to do it. I thrust my hips forward and Jennifer did the same.

"1, 2, 3, GO!" I shouted at Jennifer. She nodded and squeezed her eyes shut.

At that, we both let loose a stream of pee.  Expecting it to arc out gracefully, as Brent's had done, you can imagine our surprise when we found ourselves with hot urine streaming down our legs, soaking into our socks and running into our shoes.

"Eeewwwww!!!" we both shrieked in disgust, hopping around in an attempt to stop peeing and take off our shoes and socks at the same time.

Just then, Aunt Judy came around the corner of the trailer. Upon seeing her 3 year old daughter and 5 year old niece/2nd cousin, with their undies around their ankles, voluntarily soaked in their own urine, in front of a boy,  my Aunt Judy lost it.

"AAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!" She screamed, as she reached down and grabbed the first thing handy, which happened to be a very large stick. A tree branch, really.

Terrified for our lives, Jennifer and I both screamed in earnest this time, as Aunt Judy ran towards us, waving the large tree branch at us.

The chase was on.

Jennifer and I found ourselves in the unsavory position of having to escape the rage of Aunt Judy and her big stick, while running away with our shorts and underwear around our ankles.

It is very difficult to run fast when your shorts and undies are around your ankles. Even more so when your socks and shoes are filled with your own steaming hot urine. Add to that a rage-filled Aunt/Second Cousin and several neighbors who had turned out for the show, and you can understand the stress we were under.

Brent had slunk off by this time and gone back inside his single-wide. Bastard.

As it turned out, Aunt Judy was no match for two adrenaline pumped pre-schoolers in fear for their lives. Even hampered by squishy socks, heavy, urine soaked shoes, and pants around our ankles, we had more motivation to escape Aunt Judy than she had to beat us.

Eventually, Aunt Judy dropped the tree branch and headed back inside the trailer.

She made Jennifer and I stay outside until our shorts and undies had dried.

We never spoke of the incident again.

Internet is BAD

So I sat down to write a funny little blog entry, but didn't really know what I'd write about. So I googled "Johnny Depp oatmeal ADHD urine" thinking that maybe I'd come across the blog I wrote last night. Well, I didn't. What I came across was the "Top 10 Most Nasty Food Dishes Around The World". So of course I clicked on it. Why? I don't know. Maybe I wanted to know if urine oatmeal was considered a delicacy somewhere in the world. It's not, but worm lolipops and deep fried guinea pigs are (sorry Julia), as well as other things I won't even go into.  I have a seriously vivid imagination and a strong gag reflex, so it was really stupid of me to go on this website. Seriously stupid. After I finished reading about really gross food that NOBODY should EVER, EVER eat, I thought "Wow, that was nasty! Why did I even go there?" Of course, then my attention was immediately captured by a link titled "The 10 Most Disturbing Movies Ever."

Which then led to this internal dialogue between my Id and my Superego:

Id: "Oooh! I wanna see! I wanna look!"

Superego: "Not a good idea. Not a good idea at ALL! I forbid it!"

Id: "Not fair! Why do you always get to be in charge?"

Superego: "Because when you're in charge, you tend to set things on fire, or pee in inappropriate places."

Id: "Whatever. I hate you."

Superego: "I know you do. But I'm in charge."

Id: "You're not the boss of me!"

Superego: "Actually, I am. I'm the Superego. I am rational, impartial and without bias. And I am sooo the boss of you."

Just then, the Ego joined in: "Oh, come ON, how disturbing could they REALLY be? I say let her look. We have to let her make her own decisions someday."

Superego: "Harump! I'm going to read the paper and smoke my pipe. Don't say I didn't warn you."

Id: "YAAAAY!!!"

It's like my fingers had a mind of their own, and before I knew it, I was even more grossed out than the time my daughter pooped all over me when we were buying a car. Now I truly want to throw up. Then I want to set myself on fire, so I can be distracted from thinking about the vileness I have seen.

I'm way too impulsive, entirely too distractible,and utterly lacking the ability to picture the consequences of my actions before I act. I really shouldn't be allowed to make decisions that could cause nausea, trauma, fear or diarrhea. I need a handler, someone I can run my ideas by before I'm allowed to act on them. And I want an internet do-over. I know it's not possible, but I'm still asking. What really pisses me off is the fact that I'm smart enough to know it would have a 99.99% chance of ending badly, BUT I DID IT ANYWAY. So I'm going to make a rule for myself. If a link has the words: nasty, food, poop, disturbing, sickening, vile or shocking, or if it involves clowns or mimes, I'm not going there. I'm just not.

When I Was Little: Before There Was Medication, Part I

When I was seven, and in second grade, the school secretary would directly contact the teachers and students through an intercom system installed in each room. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. Depending. If your parents were there to get you out of school early to go to the circus, it was a good thing. If your mom was there to bring you a dry pair of undies because you'd wet the ones you were wearing while waiting in line for the toilet...not so good.

This story is about neither a good thing, nor a not-so-good thing. Rather, it is about an ADHD moment, and a defining moment in my life, when I realized that not everyone saw life the way I did. I apologize in advance to anyone whom this story may offend, but it really did happen this way and it really was 1974, which was not a time when political-correctness abounded. I mean, Nixon was still in the White House. I'm just sayin'.

So, I'm seven, it's 1974 and Randy Ferg (names altered to protect the innocent) sat in front of me in Mrs. Anderson's classroom. Everybody was in their seat, except for Randy, who apparently missed the bus. I'm checking over my math homework, prior to turning it in. Just then, Mrs. Tucker's voice came through on the intercom.

Mrs. Tucker: "Mrs. Anderson? Randy Ferg's mother called in. He's gone retarded and won't be in until after lunch."

Mrs. Anderson (nodding and making a notation in her gradebook): "Alright Mrs. Tucker. Thank you for letting us know."

What?? I looked wildly around the room. To my left was Art Felt, whom we all called "Artie-Fartie." He was casually chatting up the girl next to him. Neither of them showed any signs of shock, surprise or disbelief regarding Mrs. Tucker's announcement. In fact, the entire classroom appeared calm, collected and ready to learn. HAD THE WORLD GONE MAD???

My mind raced with questions, too fast for normal human thought to register. First, and foremost was the question - you can just go retarded??? You could just wake up retarded?? How? Was it contagious? I'd shared part of my peanut butter sandwich with Randy earlier in the week. Should I go see the nurse? My hand hovered in the air for a split-second before I was overcome with even more questions. If you go retarded, then your mom just calls you in? Like if you had the flu? I mean, poor Randy.  And how had Randy's mom known that he'd gone retarded? Had Randy himself told her? If so, how? And if he did tell her, how had HE known? I mean, wasn't he retarded now? And how did she know he wasn't faking it, just to get out of going to school? Or had Randy's mother Just Known? And was it reversible?? Obviously so, if Randy's mom planned on bringing him to school after lunch.

For the rest of that morning, I waited and I watched. And I wondered why Mrs. Anderson wasn't moving desks to make room for Randy's wheelchair, which he would probably need now that he'd gone retarded. I recall thinking that Mrs. Anderson didn't seem to CARE about Randy's situation, and that ticked me off. So much so, that I decided to do something about it.

During lunchtime recess, I gathered all of my classmates around me in a huddle. It went down something like this:

Me: "Ok guys. You all heard what Mrs. Tucker said about Randy this morning, right?"

Artie-Fartie: "Yeah, he's going to be late. Man, he better have my Stretch Armstrong with him. He promised he'd bring it back yesterday."

Me: "Forget about Stretch Armstrong Artie-Fa..Artie! Poor Randy has bigger problems!"

Artie-Fartie: "Oh yeah? Like what?"

Me: "Well, like going retarded, for one."

Silence.

The general consensus among my classmates was that nobody had heard Mrs. Tucker tell Mrs. Anderson that Randy had gone retarded. I was the only one who heard it. Some kids actually dared to accuse me of making it up! I was outraged, but I also knew I was right, and assigned jobs accordingly.

Me: "Joe, you can push Randy in his wheelchair. And Sue, you'll need to count out Randy's lunch money everyday, cuz he probably forgot how to add and stuff."

More silence. Two girls wandered off toward the swings. Whatever. This was not the first, nor would it be the last, time I would swim against popular opinion. The bell rang and we slowly trickled to our classrooms.

Back in our room, wonder of wonders, was Randy! I looked him up and down, checking for any signs that he recognized me. He looked the same as he had the day before. Good for him! As the bell rang, and we settled into our seats, Randy slowly turned in his seat until he was facing me. I expected that he was getting ready to ask for help tying his shoes, and flexed my fingers in preparation.

Randy: "Um...did you tell everybody at school that I'd gone retarded?"

Me: "You can TALK!"

Randy: "Um, yeah. Just like I could yesterday. So, why did you tell everybody I was retarded?"

Me: "Mrs. Tucker told us."

Randy: "Mrs. Tucker said I was retarded?"

By this time, our little exchange had the attention of the entire second grade. I sat up a little bit straighter and lifted my chin. This was Mrs. Tucker's mistake, no way was I going to take the fall.

Me: "That's right! She came over the loudspeaker and said 'Mrs. Anderson. Randy Ferg's mother called and said he won't be here till after lunch, he's gone retarded."

Randy closed his eyes, pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath.

"Not retarded, you idgit! TARDY! My mom called and said I was going to be tardy!"

Me: "Oh."

So. I didn't have super hearing abilities after all. What I did have was wax build-up in my left ear. This, when combined with my vivid imagination, distractibility, lack of impulse control, high emotional output, naivete, and utter belief in the rightness of my conviction, led to just one of what would be many misunderstandings in my life.

Randy, if you're out there, you know who you are.  This goes out to you.