Happy Birthday to The Gradual Gardener


Amy, otherwise known as The Gradual Gardener, is the one in the upper left hand corner. My memory told me that SHE was the one wearing striped Dr. Dentons, but alas, it was not her. However, she WAS wearing a baby blue colored sleeper but I cropped the picture because Striped Dr. Dentons girl’s ass was showing and this is not a site for creepy pedophiles, even if the girl is now in her 30′s.

That’s me with the cheesy grin and the big “thumbs up” sign. I’m sure I was thinking, when this photo was taken 25 years ago, that someday I’d be using it on my blog on the internet to make Amy blush 3,000 miles away. Not hard to do since her cheeks are almost always red anyway, but still.

The event was a sleepover for my 10th birthday, apparently. Sleepovers were big back then. I remember I had one for my ninth birthday and there were more girls in attendance but apparently we all gave my parents a heart attack so I only got to have 3 girls over the next year. But on my ninth birthday someone gave me Billy Joel’s “Glass Houses” (on vinyl, I’ll never forget the matte cardboard album cover) and thus began my lifelong love/confusion with Tom Hanks of Billy Joel.

Anyway. So Amy and I have been friends since kindergarten. I don’t remember much but I will share some memory snapshots that I do remember:

-I loved her and envied her from day one. I always tried to copy her. She had a Snoopy lunchbox with a ribbon tied around the handle. I made my mother get me the same lunchbox.
-She was really creative (=weird). She inspired me to be creative, too. We were both in the Gifted and Talented Program that they started in our school system when we were in third grade (the same year they introduced Computers…with an Apple IIe that was as big as my dog) and we would go off to a neighboring school in the little yellow bus and try to solve logic problems and design imaginary planets.
-She used to walk home every day for lunch which I always thought was so great so every now and then my mother would write me a note and I could go home with her for lunch.
-She had really cool toys and a fun house to play make-believe in. We would create treasure hunts for each other, leaving little pieces of paper hidden in places all around the house and yard, with clues that led to the next one. There would be prizes at the end, but I don’t remember what they were. Looking back, that seems so touching that I remember the journey but not the destination.
-She always had the BEST Halloween costumes. Her mom was very talented with the crafts so she would make Amy’s costumes and all kinds of other cool stuff.
-We went off to the same middle school, which is where we started to drift apart I guess, because I don’t seem to have any pictures of her from that time. They are all of me and my other oldest friend Christine.
-We definitely lost touch after high school when we both took very different paths in life. I would hear about her from time to time when someone I knew ran into her. I vaguely recall running into her when she was pregnant with Amazing and Already So Grownup Daughter. Amy had to grow up fast back then, when I was still just running around like an idiot with no true responsibilities and a crazy notion that I wanted to live 3,000 miles away from everyone who mattered the most to me.
-Then last fall my mother ran into her at Joann Fabrics. Instead of telling me about it, she gave Amy my blog address and there she was in my comments section one day! We reunited when Kyle and I went back to CT in October. It was such a profound experience to see her again. We have known each other for almost 30 years.
-She is NOT allowed to post anything remotely similar to this post until MY birthday. Because I’ll totally cry.

Snapfish to the rescue! Posted by Picasa

Day Care Drama

I like to take things a step at a time. I like to have things organized, in a row, one after another. I like lists, and sanitizing wipes, and piles. Having things sorted out makes me happy.

That is why I always thought that approaching this whole “back to work” issue should go in steps. 1. Find suitable child care. 2. Look for a job. 3. Get a job. 4. Go back to work. Good, sounds like a plan. So let’s start with item number 1. Break it down. Where to begin? First, put word out to community that I am looking for childcare. Done. Second, check out local day care centers, starting with the low-cost version available to college faculty. Take deep breath, open door, commence tour.

With great emotion I headed to this day care center. There are two on campus, one of which is a “lab school” for the students who are majoring in child development and related topics. It has a great reputation so I tried to make an appointment to tour it but it turns out it’s under investigation for child abuse. Nice. So this morning I went to the other one, the one for students’ children. I was told that I could put Kyle on the waiting list and if a spot opened up that a student did not need, then the waiting list would be considered. Fine. Give me the tour.

It was adorable and clean and filled with perky assistants and teachers and much cuteness everywhere. It’s a 2 minute walk from Stewart’s office. It’s really cheap for us. I loved it. So I called Stewart on my way home and bawled my eyes out.

I don’t want to go back to work. I don’t want to leave my child with strangers. I don’t want him to have to be potty trained by someone else. I don’t want it I don’t want it I don’t want it!

But our money will run out. That’s the truth. We actually decided to give up Tivo to stretch our dollars a little bit more. We only decided, we haven’t done anything about it yet. I mean, it is smack in the middle of American Idol season 5. And speaking of that, can anyone tell me (Cam) why they don’t just let Paula drink during the show? Why should she have to pour her gin down her throat before the show and slur her words during the taping? It would be so much more entertaining to watch her talk to the contestants while sloshing a martini glass around a la Carrie Bradshaw yelling at Big about how emotionally unavailable he is. She would splash Simon and Randy in the faces with her drink, getting them drunk too. Hell, give us all a martini, and Stevie Wonder’s songs getting butchered by too-blonde country singers would entertain even us.

Asshat of the Week

It has come to my attention that yesterday I skipped Asshat of the Week. May I present this week’s Asshat: the dreaded pox.

Stewart has been sick since Thursday. He went to work yesterday, giving me a few hours of single whining time. Actually, Kyle wasn’t very whiny yesterday so it was a whine-free morning. But at lunchtime daddy came home to stay. He keeps trying to take too much cold medicine in too many different varieties. I’m afraid he’s going to give himself a heart attack the next time he mixes Theraflu with Advil Cold and Sinus and then tries to take another pill in 2 hours.

I made delicious pot roast yesterday, a nice cold-weather meal that should have had him smiling and rubbing his tummy. Instead he just continued to mope around. I feel bad for him, but there’s not much more I can do.