Wednesday, July 25, 2007

assimilating imperfection...perfectly

The crickets are chirping.

Not on the blog, mind you, but downstairs, where they wait the morning and their date with a pair of geckoes. Ah, the glamour of being a class parent: there are freakin' bugs in my house.

I'm laughing at myself tonight, for writing things like 'motherfucking' about the boys' allergies. Am I truly the only one getting screwed over here? So self-centred am I. But what the hell, this *is* a blog. And yet, even so.

I'm also laughing at myself for what happened in the psychologist's today. She talked to me (privately) about her evaluation of the Eldest: extremely smart, very together kid, she said. Which is the problem. The hypervigilance required by allergies has been internalized, and something is heightening anxiety, causing that hypervigilance to spill over into other things, get ignited and nasty. Her solution: messiness and imperfection.


Mess? In my house? Oh, dear. Imperfection - well, yes, we do that, but not quite as she expects, I suspect. My approach has been that imperfection is being rubbed in our faces, so let's figure out systems, methods, management of the imperfect and often stress-inspiring situation(s). You had a plan, last we spoke, a friend told me tonight. Oh, I replied, I always have a plan. Which one was this?

Maybe the place to start is fingerpaint. Last week, an order of gluten-free, corn-free paints came from Discount School Supply (a company with excellent customer service in matters like these), and I broke them out for the Toddles. We had these cute bottles with sponges on the end, for making little dots and lines. The Toddles carefully uncapped, dotted, then recapped the bottles. When I tried to handle the caps, I'd get a stern 'kappy-yup!' from the child, who would hold his hand out, imperiously. Finally, he looked at the smears of paint on his hands and arms, and said, disdainfully, 'messy.' And so we were done.

Planless, dirty, late for things, we need to teach the Eldest to relax. But first, I suspect, we need to start with his mother - and possibly his wee brother, as well. I have already thought of some methods, some plans, something involving a feltboard - and yet somehow it seems wrong to develop methods for incorporating the unexpected, the messy into our lives.

That would be too...perfect.
In the airport at San Diego, I broke and picked up the latest Harry Potter book. I grabbed my credit card from the diaper bag and ran over to the bookstand (it is not a proper store). The young woman at the cash register took my card and looked at me.

Do you have ID?
Um, no. Do I need some?
[pause, as she looked me over] Is this your mother's card?
[I laugh.] No, but thank you for asking.

The young woman frowned, and called the manager who decided that possibly, just possibly, I was an acceptable risk. If my signature matched the one on the card. Ha!

Note the updated, slightly less crotchetty addition at the end of this post. It was just too miserable a post to leave alone, so I added a yummy recipe. After all, when in the depths we Jewish mamas do like to cook...


Anonymous said...

Fingerpaints? Can I play? I love making messes!

dykewife said...

i hate to say it, but it sounds like your kids need to get out, barefoot, into a mud wallow :) and you too. that stuff is great at getting off dry scaly heel calluses...not that you have any...just sayin' :)

Exblick said...

You do know what God does when he hears your plans, right? He laughs. Go ahead and plan the plan, but the outcome? Anyone's guess.

mama o' the matrices said...

Oh, exblick, when I plan, God pisses His pants with laughter. I know it, you know it, so who am I kidding?

And yet, pathetic wee thing that I am, I continue planning (and obsessively cleaning up muddy footprints, dw, yes, I know), because what the hell. Whatever else have I got to do?