Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Pride and Joy

I am writing this post for two reasons. First, so that moms of preschoolers everywhere will know that though your child often wears a scowl resembling my daughter's in that first picture, you will survive.
For many years I was a SAHM. One day I was having a particularly difficult time with #1 (Katie), and something possessed me to snap this picture. I added the caption, "Whenever you feel like you're having a rough day at the office, just look at this picture and tell yourself, 'It could be worse. I could be home dealing with this today.'" And I gave it to my husband as a loving reminder of what's going on at home. Because, honestly, dealing with office politics and annoying co-workers is a breeze compared to dealing with this. She is 21 now, and I think he still has that in his office.

I'm also writing this to give you moms of young ones a glimpse into your future, when your child will attend college, and you will actually miss the scowl and the ballet lessons and braces. Here is a recent email communication between Katie and me. Anything in red I have added for your benefit, and blue is my email response. And now, with her permission, I present: your future, or a reasonable facsimile:

Hey Mom, just thought I'd give you the "911" on what's been going on here. ("911" is an old joke because one of my friends in that group pic from yesterday was trying to say to her own teenager, "Just gimme the 411," but had the unfortunate mishap of saying "911," and the rest has been mockery history within our circle of friends' teenagers.)

Sunday: I got to [U] about 6:30 or 7. As I was hauling stuff to one of
the [dorm] doors, someone's mom/grandma/whatever (because people over 35 are basically indistinguishable) had her arms full of Wal-Mart bags and was waiting to be let in. I walked up and asked her if she wanted me to let her in and she said, "Yeah, thanks...she was supposed to wait and hold the door for me, the little turdball!" That was a nice welcome. (Because it's all about her.)

Monday: I ran some errands to Wal-Mart with my friend L. and (believe it
or not) bought a Swiffer. I even dusted off the top of my dresser and
cleaned the top of the microwave. Apparently some of your cleaning habits
have sunk in over the years--congratulations. I also bought most of my books
online and then promptly felt sick over how much money I had just spent. (Notice the sad resignation of will in this statement about cleaning. For years we had an ongoing battle about the state of her room. In fact, I posted about it here.)

Loved the 911. I don't think you're under the curse of cleaning as I am from my mother. It has lessened by degree. Perhaps your great granddaughter will "break free" in a Beth Moore study. (You know who Beth Moore is, don't you?)
It probably won't be Beth Moore doing the study, it'll probably be Beth Moore IV, her great-great granddaughter.

It's not bad to spend that money on your books. You spent money on a worth-while, good thing, your edumaccation. You must remember: "It's only money." I would not say that to a million other college students who are just beginning to learn self-discipline (that would be like throwing the lit cigarette butt down near the gas pump in Zoolander) but it is safe to say that to you. You are just awesome like that, among other ways.{{{{{{HUG!!!!}}}}}} (She hates that punctuation emotion stuff, so I always "hug" her.)

Tuesday: I went out to dinner (Ruby Tuesday's) with friends to celebrate 2
friends' birthdays. I also paid off the rest of the balance on my London
trip, so I am going no matter what, even if I have the flu. I realized that
the check I wrote for $856 was the most money I've ever spent at one point
in my life. Scary. ($856--roughly the amount I spent on her extra narrow toddler shoes. But I do feel her pain.) London, likewise, is a good thing. It may or may not be a once-in-a-lifetime thing. This is what you do before bills and spouses and diapers invade your life. You go places and see things. Do not regret the money. Trust me. You have the rest of your life to make money. (or not make money, since you are an English major like your mom.) I'm really not too worried about the money--it's just panic-inducing to have to spend that amount all at once (or in the course of, like, 3 days). I know that London will be worth it. Did I mention that my trip leader sent us an Excel spreadsheet full of things that we'll be doing and seeing? I'll attach it so you can see it and be jealous. You're welcome. (Sarcastic nuts don't fall far from sarcastic trees.)

Wednesday: I only had 2 classes (English Grammar & American Civilization I),
so the first day was pretty easy. However, I did have homework--mostly
reading. Grammar is already canceled for Friday. (Happy for you that your expensive classes get cancelled.) I also went back to work and had a Christmas present sitting on my chair. It was a ceramic pitcher with holly painted on it--kind of an old lady thing. I'm pretty sure the dean just gave it to me to get it out of the department, because when am I ever going to use it? I'll have to send you a picture or something. I also went over to K's apt. and played games w/ a bunch of people I haven't seen for a while--it was really fun. Save your ceramic pitcher and put something funky in it and give it as a birthday gift sometime to a friend. (Like a ceramic goody bag or a vase.) You are going to kill in grammar. You are welcome for all this advice. That's what I get paid big mommy bucks for. I might kill in Grammar, but I'm not sure who yet. Just kidding. Kind of.

Today: I only have 2 classes today, too (Brit Lit & Advanced
Composition-Nonfiction). (Gruelling schedule.) I have the same prof for both Grammar and Advanced Comp. She reminds me of a 6 yr. old with ADD in a 50+ yr. old's body--those classes should be interesting. Well, I need to go to class now. (Better hope your teacher isn't a regular reader of '2nd Cup.' She's probably only 38.) Glad you are having fun. Hope your brother is; he didn't seem too excited to be going back. He called me at work on Tuesday before he left and told me that he had cut his hand badly (shades of the first day of 8th grade). Guess how he did it? In jumping up to touch the ceiling fan, he bent low with his arms at the back to build momentum. Then he swung them forward and up and cracked his knuckle on the coffee table. Then he bled. But he lived. I think he might have inflicted that injury on himself just to get out of going back. Did that possibility ever cross your mind? Think about it! (Ever the concerned sister.)

Talk to you later,



Debbie said...

Amusingly familiar repartee.

Merrie said...

Yes, I remember...
When my sons went half way across the US to go to school - I never knew what was going on. When our daughter followed them to the same school, I heard from her daily (several times) and knew everything that was going on. Even the color of the rooms and carpet and her friends class schedule - right sometimes tmi.
Thanks for sharing your life - and your daughter's

Melissa said...

That is dang funny! I sometimes wonder how the parent/child relationship evolves as they grow (mine are very young right now). Glad to see it's the same, but different.

Susanne said...

Too funny! This is what I have to look forward to.

marina said...

Linda, my daughter was the same way a messy room all the time so I always close the door to her room, Now that she is married her place is so clean I can not belive my eye's!!and yes you do miss them you feel
loney something missing in the house there loud talking and laughing,but I guess God knew what he was doing with me he gave me a son when my daughter left home so one went out in the world to start her life and the orther one came in to begain a new life with me God is good, I know these should be the years I do want I want to do travel , work whatever,,,most of my friends my age are enjoying travling and being free, I am starting all over again,but in stead of dance class its ball games and rough boys playing,by the time I get to trave I will be to old or too tried,LOL! but God knows what he is doing and I am trusting in him.love,marina

Mocha with Linda said...

Too funny! But I love that she emails her mom, sarcastic old lady comments or not!

Darlene R. said...

That's so cool that you and your daughter have this type of relationship. I hope that one day my daughter and I will have such fun.

Praise and Coffee said...

What a fun post! Love it.


marina said...

Yes, Linda I mean WAR!! all I need is a mask and and my can of spray!!
I went back to the doctor and he gave me another shot and said yes we keep passing it back to each other,but hopefully these will do it ,
Yes it was like that all day yeaterday the fog!! and it will be back again more fog that is what they tell us on the news. I live 4 miles out of the city so we have alot of deer I will try and take a picture for you.. in the spring there are alot of baby deer's out hear, there is a picture in one of my older posted with my son and a baby deer.Its very peacfull out hear and everyone is really nice.
Except for those nasty GREMS!! and to think I had a flue shot.marina
I need your mom to come over here and show me how too really clean these house out after these plauge!! LOL!

Ann said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this! I hope so much that my kids will keep in touch with me when they are off to college!

Julie said...

Loved the post!

My 20 year old just left for a 5 month's mission trip with YWAM. She is currently in England.

I miss her and it was fun to read this post and remember some of the conversations we've had in the past. And don't get me started on her room.

I am new to blogging. This was a pleasant read for me.


Jodie said...

I gotta tell ya, this sounds so much more appealing than dealing with a scowl. :\ All that angst wrapped up in a squishy little body.
So really, the blink of an eye huh? It goes by that fast? I don't buy it. :) They've been tiny and scowling for.e.ver. :)
And kudos to you (even though I really think kudos is a dumb word :) What I'm trying to say it, you go girl. :) It seems you and your daughter have managed to still like each other and be friends even after she's left the nest. That is my greatest hope - well, it's very high on the list. So Good Job momming her. You done good. :)