The day that our social worker called us and told us that Mea would be coming home to us, I dropped by Mack’s old sitter Lois’ house to see if she would take Mea in her daycare once she was home.
At that time, Lois had quit taking babies. Two to three years old was the youngest she would take them.
She said she couldn’t promise anything but she would try it. She was concerned, she kind of didn’t think it would work with a “little” baby and the rest of her big kids. She said that if it didn’t work out she would let me know, and give me time to find someone else to watch her.
After the first week, they were two peas in a pod. Lois loved Mea, and Mea loved Lolo. It was an instant bond. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time saved up to take when she came home, and my Aunt was sick, so I had lots of “being away for work” guilt, so Mea started with Lois the second week she was home.
Lolo and her husband have been like a second set of grandparents to both of my kids. First Mack, and now Mea, they are forever bonded to this couple.
On November 20, Lois pulled me aside and said that she needed the week of Thanksgiving off. She told me that her husband had cancer, but they didn’t know where or how bad yet. The week of Thanksgiving was when they were doing the majority of the testing. The evening before Thanksgiving, I had a call from one of the other mother’s to tell me that Lois was done. Her husband was pretty bad, and she couldn’t do daycare anymore starting immediately.
I was a little hurt that she didn’t call me herself. (This is a post for a different day. We have visited and called since and it is yet another heartbreaking story to go down for 2013.)
In addition to her being Mea’s babysitter, she is my friend. I have cried all over her and her husband so many times over the years it is ridiculous. I gave them a little space, knowing just how much they were going through at that time, I just left them be for a few days.
Then the search was on.
No one can replace a Lolo, but I was determined to try.
Mea was adamant from the beginning that she did not want to go to Metrokids, the school’s before and after care program. I didn’t know why at the time she didn’t want to go, but she was so upset whenever I even mentioned it, I was going to try hard to find somewhere else.
I called all the centers all around us, and none of them had an opening for Mea’s school. It is a big school. One of the largest elementary schools in our city. Not one of them had room on their bus for before and after, or after school only.
I posted a few things on Facebook, looking for opinions or suggestions of friends.
I looked online.
We found a website for state approved daycare providers within our area, and called a few that were close. I set up appointments to go over to these homes, and interview the babysitters.
At the first house, it was clean. The girl seemed nice enough, a little young, but nice. Then she told me that she forgot that her own child had early out from school that day. She goes to a private Catholic school, that only does early outs every now and then instead of every week like Mea’s school.
But, you guys, she FORGOT HER OWN CHILD!!!!
While we were there someone from her child’s school brought her daughter home and another daycare child!
As I am talking to her she tells me that she picks up from another school that gets out at the same time as Mea, but what she will do is pick up from the other school first, and Mea could cross the street with the crossing guard and wait on a street opposite from the school until she gets there. It should only take her ten minutes.
ONLY TEN MINUTES????!!! My kid is not standing in the cold, on a street corner, away from her school while she waits for you to get there.
The next house. This house was across the street from the school. It looked okay from the street.
It looked less okay up close and personal.
It was awful. Mea goes tearing off playing with the kids. The babysitter asks me if I want to see the rest of the house, I agreed only because I don’t know if I knew what to say. It was filthy. If you knew someone was going to be coming to your house, wouldn’t you run the vacuum? Wipe down the counters in your kitchen?
But then again, from the looks of things, this probably was “clean” to them. She asked me if I wanted to sit down in the living room and I declined because the couch was so filthy I was afraid to sit on it. There were no legs on the couch or love seat. There were visible stains on both couches, that were almost “crunchy” looking.
Of course, Mea saw nothing wrong with this place. At all. She was so mad when I said that she was absolutely not going to go to either of these places. After the last one, I quit calling any in-home daycare providers.
We basically had no choice. It had been two weeks, I needed someplace for her to go. I told her that she had to go to Metrokids at the school, and if she hated it, I would do my best to find somewhere else.
The night before the first day, we had read some of her latest chapter book and were snuggling in bed. She says in her whining tiny little voice that she does not want to go to Metro. I asked her what was bothering her so bad about it.
She said, “Metro is in the cafeteria, and during lunch we have to sit and be quiet and not talk, or they turn the lights out. I don’t want to sit in the dark from after school until you get there Momma.”
Oh, my heart.
“Mea, just because Metro is in the cafeteria doesn’t mean that it is just like when you are in the cafeteria for lunch. At Metro they play games, they play with some toys and do crafts. They play outside when it is nice enough outside, and it’s supposed to be fun.”
She was still terribly nervous. I promised her we would go early and I would stay with her for a little while so that she could meet some friends. The lady who met us at the door was a little gruff, but nice enough, the other ladies inside were sweet and talked to Mea about some things. She saw a friend playing “restaurant” with some other little girls, so I took her over to say hello. They immediately asked her if she wanted to be a “worker or a customer” and brought her into their game. I stood back for a little while and watched.
I walked over to her after a few minutes and asked if it was okay for me to leave. She nodded her head and kissed me goodbye.
When I picked her up after I got off from work, she asked me why I came to get her so early.
I am turning into not a very nice person. The last year, has had an unfortunate effect of making me a bitter, crabby, bitchy person. This is probably not really all that true, but I just don’t know how much more I can take.
Mea has said to me, too many times to count, that I am always making a frowny face. Which is not good for my overall mood, not to mention that I am going to end up with permanent frown lines, and need Botox or something.
Let’s do a recap of 2013 so far…
My Mom diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Fired from job of 10 years.
Unemployment for four and a half months.
More than one friend or friend’s spouse diagnosed with cancer.
One job offer, at a significant cut in pay.
Big daughter moves to Ohio.
House is broken into.
Small daughter’s babysitter quits with no notice right before Thanksgiving.
Big daughter calls crying as her work will not let her have any time off for Christmas, and she cannot come home.
This last one is just the icing on the cake.
Mack can’t afford to just quit her job, it took her 2 months to even find this crappy job she doesn’t really like, she had talked about just quitting and coming home, but this just isn’t really a reasonable thing to do. My Mom is just devastated. My heart hurts, I cried at work this morning. Blubbered all over one of my co-workers.
I cannot even begin to tell you what this is going to do to Mea. She is going to be crushed. She has said multiple times that she only wants Mack home for Christmas. Now, she’s not fooling me completely, she still wants a guitar (she’s getting that) a computer (not so much) a I-Pod Touch (nope) and a Nerf bow and arrow (yes!), but I cannot provide the one thing that she has asked for over and over again. It is at the top of each Christmas list. I have even heard her whispering it to Sparkle Heart….
“I want my MackamooSissy home for Christmas….”
This breaks my heart, not just for Mea, but for me too. I miss Mack like crazy. I have been good, I haven’t complained about her not being here, I was sad when she wasn’t here for Thanksgiving, and I had to suck it up a few times. I can only begin to imagine what Christmas without her is going to be like.
Every year, for as long as she has been alive, and old enough to actually “help” Nana decorate their house for Christmas, she has been the main “elf” doing all of the decorating. She told my Mom before she left for Ohio, that she understood that decorating couldn’t wait, but to please save the nativity for her to put out.
My Mom made the nativity scene with her ceramics ladies. Sanded, painted, and fired each piece herself. The nativity has always been Mack’s last duty in the decorating. Mom was saving it for her.
My Mom sent me a text that she can’t put it out. She had my Dad put the box back in storage.
We are going to pull everything together, get it wrapped so that I can get it shipped out in time for Mack and her boyfriend to have gifts to open. Some of her stuff isn’t here yet, so I guess she may end up getting some of her presents in installments. She has been making many of her gifts for the kids and grown-ups, so they are not all finished either. I told her I would help her with the shipping when she was ready and able.
We have been planning on going out to visit over Spring Break, and to be honest, March 14th cannot come soon enough for me. I need to see my girl. I need to be able to touch her and give her a hug. Skype is wonderful, but it’s not exactly the same thing as giving your big girl a snuggle.
I am over this year.
It has been awful, and I just don’t know how much more I can take.
I’m tired of whining.
I’m tired of not being my normal snarky, somewhat happy self.
I feel like I am a character in a bad Lifetime movie.
It seems that each time things are starting to move in the right direction in one part of my life, or the lives of my loved ones, something else falls apart in another area of my life or another loved one.
I am getting really sick of it.
I mean really fucking sick of it.
This morning, Mea’s babysitter pulled me aside and told me that her husband has cancer. They do not know what kind yet, (they have ruled out prostate, but have said very little else to them) they just have a location, something in his lower area, most likely back/hip/pelvis area. PET test to come sometime next week, so they will know what they are dealing with.
She told me and I burst into tears. They are the closest thing to a second set of grandparents that Mea has, Mack too for that matter.
These people are more than just Mea’s babysitter. I have known them since I was a child. Mack was Jimbo’s girl. Every time I see him he asks me about Mack. Which is almost daily. Mea is his little cuddle bug too.
I am just sick.
I am worried about them.
I sent them flowers and candy this afternoon.
And although it is somewhat selfish, I have been worried about what it will mean for our daycare situation. I hate the thought of Mea going anywhere but there. I also don’t know how they will be able to keep up with daycare, and take care of Jim’s needs once they come up with a treatment plan.
I know firsthand how crazy those first several months were with my Mom, and I also know that if she had a bunch of kids around her all day long every single day that she would have gone nuts. Not to mention that it can be a little scary for the little kids to see someone they love sick. I am terrified that this is starting to be a “normal” thing that Mea has to see and live with.
I just need a break from all this stupid cancer business.
I am sure all the people who are actually dealing with it want the same thing.
It just pisses me off.
I am just so done.
I have worked with many different people over the years.
There are some, that for better or for worse stick with you.
“Jeff” is one that will always annoy the hell out of me, even eight years later when I should be over it. He was supposed to be a professional. He was supposed to be out drumming up business for me. I could never take this guy seriously.
For the longest time I just couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
Then I realized.
All of his suits were too big.
But at the same time, they also seemed too small.
He was a biggish guy, not overly built, but kind of chubby, so I think that many of us thought that he had lost a lot of weight before he came to work for us, and that was why his suits didn’t fit, and you know he didn’t have enough money to get them all altered.
But then there was that part where some of them looked too small.
Not too small in the waist line. Too small in the length. The waist line was so big that often his belt would be doubled over the fabric, and make the waistband all bunchy. Like when we would wear my Dad’s pants and pretend to be hobos when we were little.
His pants were also always a little bit too short. Some suits were worse than others, but there was always quite a bit of sock showing. It probably didn’t help that he occasionally wore black sweat socks with his suits.
So then the day came and he was gone.
I was not sad, as I said there was always something about him that just seemed a little bit not quite right.
Years later, I was talking to an ex-co-worker about him and this is the story that came out.
It turns out that “Jeff” was in panic mode when he got hired on with the old company, and only owned one suit.
He had this friend, who sold him all the suits that didn’t fit him anymore.
His friend was as wide as he was tall apparently.
Which explains why Jeff’s pants were always too short, and too big around in the middle, and why his jackets looked like he was hauling an extra body around with him.
I am calling this in from my phone. Ignore typos and deliriousness. Also, no bullets points.
My husband and I planned with her mother to discuss the drinking problem with step-daughter number 2. We were supposed to do it all together, bit her mom couldn’t wait, and it blew up into a horrible texting thing vs. an in person serious thing. I have been so angry I haven’t been thinking straightly.
I may come back and revisit this again, but that is the very, very short version.
My Mom has a fracture in her hip. (Holly, Mom may not have mentioned this to L yet it is breaking (not funny) news.) She sees an ortho tomorrow. She is freaking out. There home would not be condusive to rehab. Way too many steps, she is panicking that she will have to go to a home for rehab. Please pray that this does not happen. I do not think any of us could deal with this at all.
I set my oldest step-daughter up with a guy that I work with and they really like each other. Like REALLY like each other. They ate on date number five this weekend. I am super thrilled. He is a nice guy and has his shit together.
Also speaking of my OSD, I went over to her house on Saturday afternoon while she filed a police report against her son’s father. While our grandson was with us Friday night, he called E1 33 times and sent her over 50 text messages. Calling her every name in the book and demanding to know where his son was. It was her weekend. WE asked for him, as it was boys sleepover night and we had baby L too. He has gotten wind of her dating this nice guy and wants to try to fuck it up. He is a douche bag. I just pray that he doesn’t scare this new guy away. He is a keeper.
Yesterday, I restricted and hid from view my husband’s ex-wife on FB. I don’t know what I was thinking adding her, because she irritates the hell out of me. Anytime I comment on something the girl’s have posted it seems like she has to try to “one-up” my comment. I know this is dumb, but I hate that loon boon so much that everything she does annoys the shit out of me.
I had a call from one of the companies that I had multiple interviews with while un-employed. They want me to come in for yet another interview. Although I am not super in love with my job, I just don’t think I can go back for a fifth interview with this company. It is ridiculous. If they wanted me they should have hired me in March when I first spoke with them.
This is it for now. My thumbs are getting tired and my battery is running low.
Things have been, in a few words, strained, difficult, awkward, hostile, between my middle step-daughter, and my husband and I, for a while now. There have been more than a few things that have transpired that have caused distress in this relationship, but something that I found out yesterday may truly be the last straw for me.
Friday, was my oldest stepdaughter’s thirtieth birthday. There was a big party, a party bus, much debauchery. All in good fun.
I am working on setting up my oldest step-daughter with a guy that I work with. This may come back to bite me in the ass at some point, and is probably a blog post of its own for another day, but needless to say, she and I were texting back and forth last night, about the possibility of this date, and about her birthday party.
She mentioned that they all had a good time, but that C was really drunk, really early, and made an ass out of herself and embarrassed the other two girls. I asked if she drove to and from E’s house, and she said she didn’t know, but that she wouldn’t be surprised if she had, because she does it all the time.
Then she said that she does it all the time with her girls in the car.
C has a cousin that lives over by E, and C is frequently over at her cousin’s house drinking, while their kids play, and then she drives them home back to our side of town, as C and her children live near us.
The one time Mea spent the night with C and her girls, they went over to her cousin’s house.
I am so pissed I could just scream.
Not only that she is driving around with my grandchildren in her car after she’s been drinking, but if I find out that she drove drunk, or even buzzed, with Mea in the car, I would probably kill her.
She should know better.
Maybe I should have known better too.
The truth is even the last time wasn’t the first time. Before she turned 21, and when our oldest granddaughter was still very small, she was pulled over for an OWI. She went to jail for a night, and had to have a breathalizer thing put on her car for a year.
The youngest granddaughter’s father just got out of prison last week for running over a kid while drunk driving.
There is a pattern here. In her own life, and in the lives of those around her, and the biggest problem I have with it all is the kids. They don’t deserve any of this mess, and they certainly don’t deserve to be driven around in a car by a mother who has been drinking.
As for what I should do with this information I just honestly don’t really know. There is a part of me that thinks I should confront her about it, and there is another part of me that thinks I should call DHS privately.
What I know is that she needs help. In some way, shape or form, she really needs help. She obviously hasn’t learned from her past mistakes, I just don’t really know what to do.
Friends, what do you think? Put yourself in my shoes, what would you do?
I feel like the answer is staring me in the face, and I just can’t quite get to the answer on my own.
This morning, I read a blog post on Polly’s blog about parking issues at her townhouse.
I hate parking lots. Parking ramps, lots, street parking, and sometimes even parking in your very own driveway.
People are idiots. They cannot drive. Think they own the road.
Last week, after pulling into a parking space at gymnastics, I had pulled in crooked, backed myself up and straightened my car out. I hate parking crooked, and I don’t want my car to get door-dinged.
After I had actually parked the car, and started to get out of my own vehicle, a guy in a large truck pulls into the spot next to the driver’s side of my car, and nearly blocked us in. He was so crooked, that I was able to open my door completely, but had to get Mea out from the other side of the car. Her door wouldn’t open far enough for her to get out.
There was about five inches separating the back of my car and his. The back-end of his truck was IN my parking spot.
As he was getting out, I said, “Are you really leaving your truck like this?”
He looked at me like I was stupid and walked away.
We got to the door and realized that we forgot Mea’s water. Ran back to the car, and watched another guy in a bigger truck double park crookedly on the other side of my car.
I got Mea settled into class, and went out and moved my car.
Every Father’s Day, the church that is across the street from our home hosts a car show. They have it every year. In the eleven years that we have lived in our home, it has grown by leaps and bounds. It makes the neighborhood a bit crazy.
Usually, the car show is over around 4 or 4:30. We planned Father’s Day dinner with all of our kids and grandkids this year at 5:30 this year, so that we could avoid the craziness.
This year the car show wasn’t over at 4:30. It was wrapping up right when the girls and kids were all supposed to be here.
Mea, Mack, her boyfriend, E2 and the baby and I were all sitting outside in the driveway, waiting for the other girls/kids to show up when a big truck pulled into our driveway.
The guy parks his truck, gets out, and goes across the street.
He didn’t say anything to any of us!
Just pulled into our driveway, parks and leaves.
He came back ten minutes later with his wife and their baby. At that point I was about to call the police to have the truck towed.
When I approached him he said that he was “just picking them up.”
THIS IS OUR HOUSE!
IT IS NOT A PUBLIC PARKING LOT!
WE HAD GUESTS ON THEIR WAY TO OUR HOME WHO WERE TRYING TO PARK IN OUR DRIVEWAY!
Who in their right mind does this?