Monday, February 18, 2013

The Whirling Dervish Strikes Again!

I thought I would 'surprise' everyone (myself included)  with a new post - one that's not separated by 4 months...   The background begins with Darling Daughter struggling with a difficult math course in college... we have all been worried about this because as anyone who knows me, knows she comes by bad math scores genetically.  In fact, I credit my artistic doodling skills to repeated Algebra classes through my formative years.   

So here's what happened.... 
after intense tutoring, we were holding our breath for her weekly Friday quiz... and as miracles do happen sometimes in this family, she earned a 19 out of 20 on a quiz (!!)  woo hoo (!) -- at the same time, Darling Daughter was planning a weekend away from college to her Grandmother's house (previously referred to as The Whirling Dervish  in this blog) see 'Oh, Holy Night....and day')  -  anyway,  'Grammie' was just as thrilled as I was and excitedly told me they were going to 'go out and celebrate'...  she even asked if SHE could give her underage Granddaughter some wine ?? (! ) (NO) ... her generation, the type born at the bottom of the original depression, always manages to blend the term 'celebrate' with alcohol - Grammie quickly turned that comment into a joke.  ha, ha -     I then decided to let the two of them 'bond' so I waited to call until the next day... I jokingly asked  - 'Do you have a hangover from all the partying' (!)? and my quick- witted Mother didn't miss a beat.... said;  'Oh, she didn't come home with me last night!'   OMG (!

As it turned out they did go out for dinner and when I asked about that, she reported that Darling Daughter used utensils to eat and didn't throw any food. (a la my previous post) :)   OMG (!!)

hours later.... 

She also deadpanned  "I didn't know SHE smoked" ... OMG  :)  (!!!)  

Grammie's humor is notorious and she has always been this way - stunning sarcasm and at times, a sudden unfiltered quick response (good or bad).  such memories :)

always a dream or a nightmare

The International Laundress

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Fling with Food = Fun :)

I was recently pleased to find out that after the trauma of my parenting journey,  waaay deep down somewhere I still have a sense of humor and a very immature side to me-  something which is quite remarkable for this tired middle-aged person I have become.  
...So when my dear friends (all parents of high school kids) came over for dinner and relayed a situation to me after a couple of bottles of wine, I was left with shock and awe and uncontrollable laughter which continues.  

....A few weeks ago,  in our quiet neat perfectly manicured wonderful suburban high school, a future leader (or convict) decided to organize a ruckus-of-a-food-fight - complete with food (in quantity) brought-in by the kids.   As parents of these entitled children, we couldn't stop laughing about how this gang likely had the affair catered.    One boy brought in a 5 gallon container of mashed potatoes (can you think of anything more fun!?)   When my friend created a 'visual' for us of the students talking.......  "Who did you use ?!!(caterer)... ?" followed by "Was it kosher?" - we all started to roar hysterically with laughter. (my friends are also tired and immature!)
In the real story, the inviting was done quietly through FB,  so all knew, and  staff was 'prepared' - having issued dire warnings - daring students with police-in-place and cameras for 'filming' (or to deter them)  But as we all know kids at times, just do the darnedest things....  What they weren't prepared for was the chaos (or so I have heard which ensued)   According to an eye witness, like a flash mob ... kids were piling ketchup and mustard on plates which without a lot of thought became Frisbees.  Food was absolutely everywhere- whites of their eyes - (potatoes) windows covered, even in the ceiling!  Spaghetti sauce -- regular lunch food ..... If I had only been a PTO Mom that day!  LOL  :) 

The fall-out as reported to me, 60 participating 'hurlers' who are still 'black-listed' for the rest of the school year.   

My kid, true to the messes he has lived through in our house was 'under a table' with friends ... cuz he 'didn't want to get food on his clothes'.  Which kinda surprised me, that has never stopped him before!  

Meanwhile the mayhem from this deliberate disaster, was pretty unfortunate- one bi-stander had an injury from slipping in something slippery... hmm?   Weeks later this has been kept completely under wraps but for me, just thinking about this scene makes me crack up with laughter.... I know, I need to get out more! that part is pathetic.

Getting ready for bed soon!  click here if you're a tired parent :)
The International Laundress   

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm hanging in there!

I know, I haven't posted since July!  Sorry to my readers!
I guess I could start by writing about what has been going on in the 'crazy house'! (mine)  I could go on and on about broken, filthy things or talk about how our dogs each plowed (at different times) through our newly gooed blacktop driveway... or how I deeply cut my hand 'helping' a stranger re-purpose an old glass frame, but that's boring.
What is special and noteworthy is how Darling Daughter is now  happy and settled in her first year of college! It was a family home run!  .....  and it is also appropriate to say that we are even happier than she is!   I know that sounds mean but to take just one layer of the chaos from this home, is monumental.  Everyone around here is calmer and everything is cleaner and I've already decided she may be interested in a summer program abroad.    I will probably be chewing my arm off to pay her tuition but it will be worth it.
For the big send off, I had been warned by everyone to be sure and bring a big box of tissues with me (really!)  I would look at them like -- 'I don't think so'... and sure to my previous statement, tissues were not needed!  Although,  I could have used a tissue from laughter when my mother (who was with me) dead-pan looked my way in the hallway with a side comment; 'Try to be strong'..... she then high-fived me!   Grammie always knows just what to say!  
After spending hours on 'load-in' .... boxes and boxes and suitcases of clothes for 12 people - her small dorm room was adequately 'stuffed'.  I said my 'good byes' and wished her
darling roommate well  :) , and proceeded to leave the enormous college campus.  While at my first red light, I took a quick glance at the floor of my car to find her wallet - yep, new student ID card, debit card and driver's license!   Will this end?  likely not ....  In fact, one of my first calls a few weeks later was how her wallet and now new room key ($75 replacement and $50 bus pass) was stolen from her purse when she left that behind somewhere.
She needs to re-read the needlepoint pillow that I made for her!  "Don't do anything STUPID"  ! please
So back to reality....she is sequestered in her dorm and I was left with an amazing mess in her room - my home.   I honestly needed a dumpster, but managed with huge trash bags.  I had not really entered this space for a few years so it was bad, bad.  

Note: an untouched photo
and now... post cleaning and fumigation, her old room has  become my own quiet respite.   Because I have gone mad from parenting…I even remodeled her miniature doll house.   The stored doll house looked as though it had been through Katrina…now it’s clean and kinda cute!
It’s one 'house' I can control. 
The International Laundress

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Danger: Distractions ..... DUH!

Like many Mom's I am working from home ... not only the usual home management things; repairs, laundry, cleaning 24/7 but also a real business.  For me, it's a plural word;.... Managing marketing and PR for a  consumer brand that is sold worldwide and also doing local detailed event productions (weddings, corporate etc).   Some days it's more than I can handle and it amplifies the extreme spectrum and contrast between how I function (ORGANIZED) vs. the rest of my family (ADHD).  When I am changing 'gears' between the various functions, I need to quickly get my brain into a place of extreme focus and that usually means getting away from the madness within the walls of this 'home'.  This is especially important when I am doing media interviews.     For that reason, I have found myself throwing candy out of a bathroom shower stall, vacuum sealing myself in a locked car  to standing  outside in snowy bushes to negotiate a contract away from dogs and kids.

I consider myself  highly experienced in the 'art' of impulsive interruptions (for years) so after thinking that I had 'warned' all home residents of a scheduled and planned LIVE 8 minute radio interview (est. audience 100,000) I felt confident I was 'covered' after sequestering myself in my bedroom.  But now looking back, I was doomed from the start.   

Darling Daughter has a knack for precision timing so when she burst through the door unannounced as I was mid-sentence during this interview it was like a targeted WMD that few could recover from.  My facial expression said it all as she continued on to my bathroom to rummage in her usual fashion for my things that she MUST have at THAT MOMENT.  Looking back, there was no hope here- if I had locked the door - the noise would have been considerably louder.  My job, as always is to forge on!   As I age though, I find losing my 'train-of-thought'
a bit problematic and it's not a place anyone wants to be as you are speaking 'on air' in a live interview..... heroically and heartstoppingly so, I managed but it became another hard lesson for me to LEAVE THE PREMISE. 

Nite Nite.... xo The International Laundress

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Never Ending 'Finish' Line... Darling Daughter Graduates from High School

A busy time for The International Laundress!  Need to make more time to write more regularly... sorry to my readers! :)

Like most Mom's this is a crazy time of the ending school, bringing home all the crap they have accumulated from the whole year----(I think I still have a black bag of last year's crap still in the garage) ...This year, I will be entering into a new phase of life, Darling Daughter is graduating from H.S. and boy, has this been an interesting 'journey' --- that is, getting her educated and through our school system - and to graduate with decent grades....A MIRACLE!   I honestly think I have a hangover since graduation... have been sleeping a lot too and I feel really achy. Hmmm?

I recall the first school meetings about Darling Daughter's 'behavior' unmedicated wild-child who had barely survived to age 7 (not to mention me) ....I would meet before a tribunal of administrators with stacks of folders to 'discuss' (err, I mean, rip my kid to shreds) .... I had stubbornly refused to medicate her until my dear friend (a doctor) bashed my head with a 2 x 4 :)  no, really, she had to take me aside to say 'the medication for an ADHD child..IS the 'diagnosis')   well, she was right and after even the first day...we saw a change in Darling Daughter that was comparable to a Divine intervention!  I thought the whole school was going to have a parade for us!  OMG ....those were the days... to go from 'paying attention' ZERO % of the time to .... (post-meds) .... 100% of the time was truly an amazing feat!   The 'tester' even thought they were observing the wrong child!   It was that day that defined my 'new' life with this child.... I had found a survival tool!  and with that, I became a born-again pill pusher when it comes to treating ADHD  !  It was that dramatic for us and for her !

As any Mother of a teenage daughter knows - these days in particular, are very tricky.... we are all in a secret club - desperately trying to keep our daughters whole and 'grounded' .....we're. battered and exhausted from this journey and there are days when I feel as though I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from this parenting experience!    At least for my kid, she is now independent - stubbornly voices her opinion about all things and will no doubt be a successful adult..... but no getting around this...she has been HELL to raise to this point.   Need to go to bed (again)  it's been exhausting and I am worn out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vacation Value 'tip' :)

Hello to all my tired, frazzled stressed out readers....
Here's a worthwhile 'tip'.... 

If you are like me and never 'get away' from the madness of your life, I highly recommend that you find an older person who needs to return from Florida and drive them back through the Midwest to a Northern state like Michigan or Illinois.   The migration of 'Snowbirds' with Spring Break creates a convergence of traffic and crowds and that equals good value for a vacation!  A 5-day trip can feel like a month!   Campers,  swinging trailers, U-hauls, 3 wheeler motorcycles, semi-trucks along with long recreation vehicles give you the variety you need to make it an interesting trip!  'Remodeled' vehicles now look like full rooms have been added... an 'addition' on the back! (or a second floor on the top) !  American ingenuity at it's finest!

I recently returned from a 'month- long' journey to bring 'Grammie' and her little dog Sophie back to the North and the drive wasn't too bad.  We had left a treeless gulf in Florida ... (err I mean 'fabulous golf community') for the beautiful hills of Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky which improved my disposition considerably.

Prior to that, I found myself in a community of 'Happy Seniors' ...Viagra-laced along with prescription meds, many who began drinking alcoholic beverages (only $1.75!) at their daily 'happy hour' ritual starting at 3:30 pm!  - to then find myself after-hours  (in the pitch dark) in a maze of 'fancy' golf carts that mingled with real grown-up cars just inches from real roads and that's not a good feeling. 
I was actually one of the unfortunate hostages  - (like an Amish person in a slow moving buggy)  trapped in a festive golf cart.  We were surrounded by low-seated driving geezers navigating  behind very big steering wheels  - honking and trying to be patient though the 'rush' of traffic! 

It was like a  bad dream   from 'Bedrock' when slow moving open sided vehicles  -meet- The REAL Cars and that's when I start to shake!  Can we all say "Yabba Dabba ....DON'T."  !!  I  don't mean to be a sissy here but I would much rather ride in a truck with my ADHD teenager driving and that's say'n something!

NOTE: Golf Carts are NOT Automobiles
 (or can they not see that!?)

This is not a 'real' Rolls Royce!

xo  :)
The International Laundress