Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I'm Black??!?

Why did no one tell me???

Holy crap! What do I do now?

Uh, yeah... so the other half of what happened on Monday.

Baby Girl had a friend coming to hangout at our pool. I was not aware of this fact until, oh maybe 10 minutes beforehand. Turns out the Bully in our neighbourhood kinda likes this girl who is friends with my daughter. We'll call her Ballerina, because, well, she dances ballet...

This is getting complicated with the players....

Anyway. Ballerina arrived at the gate to the pool and I went to let her in, but there was a younger girl with her who she introduced as her sister (we'll call her Gannet (a small bird that eats ANYTHING) and said that her mother wanted to meet me. Now that's fine with me, but I had no shoes on. And it was HOT. So I figured I would make it quick, say hi and then get back in the shade....

Her first response when I reached the car (she did not get out) was "Well..... you're black!"

So those who know me, know that sarcasm sometimes drips from me uncontrolled.... I had to take a deep breath before responding, but I still managed to sneak in the insult anyway: "Yep, I am. Sure am." (Whilst looking at my arms and legs... I followed up with "Her (Baby Girl) father's white and my mother is white, so Baby Girl is actually a quarter black too..."

Ballerina is white. Her mother is white. Gannet... is mixed. Like me. So my confusion was whether this mother was just slightly on the racist side or if she was just genuinely shocked that Baby Girl had a black, biological parent.

And not unsurprisingly, the mother followed up with questions about where I get my hair braided, etc etc....

And then....

"So you don't mind watching her then? She doesn't swim."

Uhhhhhh..... I beg your pardon? My understanding was that my daughter's friend was coming to hangout, not that I would also be babysitting the 6 year old, non-swimming sister. My kids are fish and require minimal supervision. I had planned to hole up in a corner with a book. AND the girl liked to eat, but was not provided with any snacks or sustenance....

Suffice it to say the mother made a very poor impression on me. Baby Girl was told in very clear language that the younger sister was not to accompany Ballerina again. (Ballerina is very nice by the way, no problems there)

What kind of parent leaves their child with someone she's never met? I mean, what an imposition! I later came to find out that both girls were adopted. I have very serious concerns about the placement of children with these parents. Had they been foster children I might have called social services....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tres amusant!

Took me a while to come up with the title for this post. "Very Funny" sounded so mundane in the face of what I'm about to impart, but somehow the same phrase in french about covers it.

So I'm new to this whole pet ownership thing. I'm not fond of them. In fact, they just annoy me. Drooling, licking, shedding etc... But when Onyx started scooting around on her front paws with her butt in the air making the worst, most god-awful whining sound, I have to say that even I was concerned. She had been fine that morning so I had to wonder what had happened. This happened on Saturday, but after Firefighter and I had drank close to 3 bottles of wine Friday night, I was feeling too delicate to take her to the vet. And then she suddenly seemed to be ok again, so I didn't feel bad. I decided if she did it again, I would take her.

Well Sunday was spent with Firefighter; first lunch, then a movie at his place before I had to pick Bad Boy and Lil One up from their dad (I'm not even going to start on how much he pissed me off this weekend because this story is much better without it), so I asked Baby Girl if Onyx was ok and she said yeah, she seemed much better.

Monday however, she was doing it again.... She had been super clingy for the last couple of days and I worried that something was horribly wrong, so I chased the Brats to get ready for the pool. We'd take her to the vet, then go straight to the pool.... The first vet wasn't open (dang holidays!), but PetSmart was, so in we go.

Side bar here while I mention how petrified the poor thing was in the car! She was trembling and every little jerk (I drive a stick shift) had her cowering!

Anyway, we walk up to the Banfield reception and I ask if a vet is available. The conversation was as follows:

Receptionist "Have you been here before?"
Me "No"
Receptionist "Let me see if a doctor is available. What's wrong with her?"
Me "She seems to be favouring her butt... creeping along on her paws whining, or crying" I was actually quite mortified having to describe this to the Receptionist.
Receptionist "Has she been spayed?"
Me "No, she's an indoor cat. Is that something I should think about doing?"

(Now the Receptionist is smiling)

Receptionist "She's in heat" (Me groaning) "You don't have to if she's a house cat."

So apparently, I should do some reading up on cats.... How embarrassing to traipse the whole family into the vet only to find out that she's just horny... smh.

As we were leaving PetSmart Lil One piped up "So it's the heat that's bothering her?" I shared a glance with Baby Girl who just laughed at me. I whispered to her that there was no way I was going to try explaining 'in heat' to my 8 year old son... She giggled and tried to instigate more until I threatened to not take them to the pool. That shut the lil wench up!

Firefighter also found it amusing when I told him later that afternoon while we were getting ready to grill the food.... He Googled the symptoms while I confirmed that she had indeed been doing all of the above. I'm glad he found it so funny.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Where are your manners?

I recently saw a post on Facebook that I wish I had downloaded and saved. It was a witty meme about education not stopping at school and after my experience with the new neighbour's son last night, I have to say that parents are letting society down by not teaching their kids the basic virtues that separate us from the animals... like manners!

The number of children I have come across lately that do not know they are children is shocking!

Case in point:

Last night I was enjoying a book and a glass of wine on my porch while I let the kids run around and blow off steam, when the neighbour's son came over to talk to Bad Boy. These are the EXACT words he said, in front of me, to my son: "Get on your bike. And where's <Baby Girl>. I need help with my homework. Get her out here now." So, I took a deep breath, turned to look him square in the eye and told him "She's inside doing her chores and has EOG's to study for. She will not be able to help you." When what I really wanted to say was "Did you parents not teach you how to converse with other people?" I have met his parents. I'm being kind when I say that they are perhaps from another social caste than I was raised in....

After dinner, I elected to go for a walk with my children. This same brat invited himself along. I was not happy.

So given that they are our new neighbours, this situation is obviously quite tenuous. I made sure to tell my children later that I did not appreciate the way he spoke to either them or myself and that I better not hear of my children speaking to anyone that way.

We always hear that racism is not something we are born with and this is of course true. It is a learned behaviour, either at home or from peers, but so are the many virtues that seem to have been forgotten! I've referenced this list from Wikipedia: where they have divided the various virtues into the following categories:

Self Control

And of course, the virtue I'm particularly referring to is a social virtue Politeness that falls under "Respect". Is it really too much to teach your children how they should properly talk to people? Perhaps if he had approached the situation like this "Do you want to ride your bike with me? And is <Baby Girl> able to help me with my homework today? Is she busy?" maybe my response would have been similar, but I would have tagged on "She may be able to help you for a half hour or so, but she really needs to focus on her studying"...

I am frequently complimented on how polite my children are when they go to other people's homes, which makes me guilty of the sin of Pride, but it's worth it to know that my children listen to me even if they don't practice those same virtues at home.... smh!

Friday, May 16, 2014

When is bullying not bullying?

With the increase in teen suicides related to instances of cyber bullying, this subject is finally getting more publicity and more action, but I have to say that this week I completely lost faith in the Wake County school system and one Vice Principle in particular.

My daughter is typically a quiet person, but lately she has been coming out of her shell and speaking up for herself. The son of a neighbour, who used to be her best friend, in recent years has become a pain. For both her and myself.

I won't go into the specifics of what exactly he did, because it would take too long and only get me riled up again. It was a minor squabble between friends and I admit I initially downplayed it. Until last night when I sat Baby Girl down and had her walk me through the entire timeline. This after I had spoken to the Vice Principle who stated that because she hadn't seen any incidents, she couldn't comment on whether any bullying had taken place, but she had spoken to both children and was satisfied that they would simply stay away from each other. My daughter had texted me immediately prior to the phone call to tell me that when she went to speak to the teacher, she had called the situation stupid. Now Baby Girl is only 14... and we all know that there is a tendency to exaggerate, but I told the teacher that I wasn't happy that she had not taken my daughters grief at the situation seriously. I found out when my daughter got home that the teacher, a VICE PRINCIPLE had pulled her out of class to demand to know if she had called me to say that she had said it was stupid!!!

Pulled my child out of class because her sensibilities were wounded!!

Suffice it to say, the Principle will be seeing the not-so-friendly side of me today. My further emails yesterday were unanswered. The boy who instigated the trouble gets off scott-free as usual and faces no ramifications for his actions.

I don't care that there are only two weeks left of the school year. They are going to the same high school, riding the same bus everyday... more angst is bound to ensue. His mother doesn't help the situation either. Her son can do no wrong and this isn't the first time she's come to my door and made MY child cry because of something HER child did!

The battle lines have been drawn!

I'm off to deal with a bullying Vice Principle....

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Career Win!

Suffice it to say, of all the elements in an adult's life, the only one I seem to get right is my career.

Yes, my kids love me. I'm a harsh, but fair parent and they have everything they need and want... My marriage was an epic failure, but not for lack of me trying and to be honest getting out was the absolute best thing I could have done for myself and my children. Relationships are my weak point. I'm close to my uncle, my older sister and my best friend since we were 4 years old, but that's about it. I have always hated that one aspect of being a military brat... I was never anywhere long enough to establish long term friendships (except for TeaCake, but she gets me and we've never fallen out). It makes it hard for me to get close to friends now, because they typically already have their 'close' circle, and I just float on the outside. I still haven't figured out why some folks aren't talking to me...

But the one thing I do get right.... my job. I'm sitting in my home office, where I now work full time, after having dropped the kids off at their various bus stops on time this morning. I made a sizable dent in cleaning out the junk (enough that I now have my monitors and docking station etc set up) and just need to sort out the filing.. The cat is driving me crazy getting into everything and there is still a giant TV in here that needs to GO, but I feel awesome. Yesterday I put a call in to my previous colleague and a large CRO to get some information on a product that we used to use there, and the first thing he said is "When are you coming back? We need you" Apparently, SharePoint went to Hell after I left. I told him that sadly they couldn't afford me anymore and he figured that was the case.

So in the last couple of months, I've been offered an amazing senior position, negotiated a better deal where I'm at when they said they didn't want me to go (the deal included a large pay increase, work from home, early conversion to FTE as well as a host of other benefits. So if nothing else, I can at least say I've done that right. Long hours, hard work... of course, I will still be encouraging my brats to go to college, but I am still proud of my accomplishments over the last 17 years.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day!

A lot going on today!

First of all, it's my beautiful Baby Girl's 14th birthday. I had a proud mama moment when she asked if I could buy her a dress to wear to school today. Then she spent hours last night washing and straightening her own hair.... Wait... Proud mama?? Scared mama!! She's primping now! High school is a mere few months away! Crap!

Secondly, today my promotion is official! Yay!! And I get to work from home. So after taking the boys to the bus, coming home to help make sure Baby Girl's hair looked awesome and driving her up the street to the bus stop. I have now tidied the family room, cooked a sausage, egg and cheese omelette with toast and cleaned the kitchen, taken the trash out.... Checked email...

If I play my cards right, I'll be able to get the laundry done and bags packed for the beach this weekend in between dealing with client issues and deploying solutions... And wrap birthday gifts, grab lunch, get a shower and still have energy to take Baby Girl for the traditional birthday dinner at her favourite Italian...

DBAGuy says I'm going to wear myself out. This after he drove all the way out last night to help with the brats since I developed a migraine and almost fainted in the store. I'm not sure him laughing at my prescription-med induced rambling really counts as 'helping', but actually having help with the brats was definitely a God-send! Anytime you can text someone, tell them you almost passed out and they drop what they're doing to come make sure you're OK, you know you have a friend. AND he offered to take Baby Girl to get her cupcakes! So there's a trip to my neurologist in my future since this is the second episode in 3 weeks where I've almost  fainted dead away.... DBAGuy's making me go!