10.05.2003

Indulgence

Spent the entirety of yesterday in The City. Had two birthday parties in different corners of the city at different ends of the day, so we decided to stick it out during the interim.

First birthday party: At KV & PV's place. KV told me she was only inviting one other little girl. Excellent, I thought (I hate parties stacked with unfamiliar people and kids, especially in close quarters--I usually send Seymour and Z as family delegates). Turns out there were a bunch of unfamiliar kids, many at just the right age to highlight how delayed our boy is (not KV's fault, but this is torture for me). Plus I didn't factor in the well-meaning grandparents always trying to get Leelo to talk to them. As a result Leelo and I spent a lot of the party hiding in the back bedroom, where there were lots of toy cars and trucks and no people.

Must say, though, our KV puts on a heck of a party--anti-fancy and really fun. I suspect her experience as a grade school teacher has honed her herding skills. And Iz had a faboo time diving in confetti and jumping on bubble wrap with her buddy A the birthday girl.

KV had a list of common modern parenting mistakes Xeroxed and stuck to her fridge. My first reaction upon reading it was "Hey, who's been spying on me?" Mostly it's all about how you're not really giving your kids attention, expecting school to fix the behaviors you can't be bothered to work on, and projecting your wants/identity onto your spawn. Better worded than that, of course, but an eye-opener.

[Related aside: I'd been mulling over some of the article's points already this week after Iz protested an outfit I'd set out for her (black t-shirt with cartoony skull-and-crossbones and cool stripey blue/green pants) saying "I don't want to look like a pirate! I want to wear a beautiful dress!" And look like all those other little ambulatory Baby Gap ads at school? I think NOT. But that's not really my decision, is it? Sigh. She grudgingly allowed the pirate outfit since we were already late, and looked fucking rad.

I did have one Iz brain-molding victory this week. Six months ago I told her the story of how her name almost became Isobel (beautiful Isobel Grange in A Little Princess; pulse-stopping Bjork song). This led to a prolonged period of her only responding to the name Isobel, complete with signing that name to her art projects, etc. But she wouldn't listen to the song--every time I put it on for her, she'd protest and I would silently sulk. Lately she's only wanted to listen to In the Jailhouse Now (and really pleases her dad by belting about "playin' cards and shootin' dice" in public). But...just two days ago as I was bracing for another Jailhouse Now request, she shocked me with "Mommy, I want to hear my Isobel song!" Qapla'!]

Anyhow, after the birthday party we ran around the city and indulged ourselves shamelessly:
-First stop: my favorite dessert restaurant in the entire world, Citizen Cake. Dude, they will make you ice cream sandwiches with any of their homemade cookies or ice creams. 'Nuff said.
-Next: The world's fantastickest clothing store, Manifesto. You wish you lived close enough to shop there. You should see Leelo's new shirt--all the other little boys will bow down before him at school tomorrow. Or they would if they weren't autistic.
-Third: Two hours of joyous romping at the ass-kicking old school style Dolores Park playground. You know, with the three-story metal structures and swings whose chains are 15 feet long. We will be back.
-Fourth: Birthday dinner for Godfather Michael's mom, at his incredible restaurant/workplace. Truly, the food of the Gods, and I am not alone in this opinion. M's partner Carm came too, even though he was understandably sleepy after having done the Alcatraz swim in the morning. And our own Leelo delighted us all by falling asleep in the car on the way, and staying passed out all through dinner. Heaven.

A delightful day, but unfortunately one in which I was "on" the entire time. Not good for my batteries, especially the ones that power my happy moods.

This morning I woke up in a profoundly grouchy, slothful state. I knew I'd promised Ep a drawing for her birthday boy Max, but I just couldn't get it done until 15 minutes before the party started (I have lost my one super power, which was pulling miracles out of my ass at the eleventh hour). The drawing (Max riding Shamu the killer whale) came out semi-crappy (the fluke looked like a fish tail, for chrissakes), but my friends are afraid to criticize me because of my "burden" so they all said it was great. Yeah. Glowered at everyone at the party even though Seymour did the bulk of the Leelo-watching, and came home completely wiped.

Sick of being a moody bitch. No coffee yesterday and I was relatively fine, one shot this morning left me manic and then dropped my ass right into the cloud of gloom. No More Coffee For This Girl.

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Kid Notes For Today

Funny Leelo things: He's started responding to requests with "okay, okay, okay." He's so used to being trained that he's starting to follow directions even when he doesn't want to. Nice for me--when he comes up and asks me to play that farking Z o o P a l s commercial again, I can usually divert him with "Leelo, go give Izzy a hug." He'll be mad, but he'll do it. It is called Applied Behavioral Analysis, people. It's basically the same method they use to train seals and poodles. And it appears to be working.

Iz watched me play Kookin Kidz. I suck; my little witch only managed to plop one kid in the cauldron before the clock ran out. Afterwards I asked Iz: "So, do you think I was a good witch or a bad witch?"

She said "Oh, you're a bad witch."
I said "Why?"
She said "Because you only dropped one kid in the cauldron."

I think it's time we started reading The Wizard of Oz together.

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