Sunday, April 20, 2008

On the issue of Tantrums

This post is for Lori and Heidi, two young moms that I know who are struggling with the issue of what to do with a screaming toddler, especially in public. Yesterday I was in WalMart. I witnessed a father pushing a cart with a little girl in the front. My best guess would be that she was nearly two. Two older siblings walked alongside the cart. The little girl was having a rip-roaring tantrum. Her face was red and snotty. Arms and legs were flailing. The volume was turned up full blast. The dad handled it great. He looked at her and said, "_________(name inserted here because I can't remember what it was) You can scream all you want, you can turn as red as you want, you can swing your arms and legs right off of your body, but you can NOT win. So, do whatever you have to do, but just know that the ONLY person you are wearing down is yourself and the ONLY person you are embarrassing is yourself." I thought it was great. In fact, I laughed out loud and instantly thought of the two of you. Your children aren't the only ones, not by a long shot. I don't know how much of his speech she understood, but I do know that if she didn't understand all of it, she understood that she wasn't going to win. Eventually I didn't hear her anymore. Not like I stalked them around the store or anything, but she was pretty loud and I think I would have heard her.

Something else happened at WalMart yesterday. When I was getting out of my car I heard a horrible commotion. Loud screaming etc. I got out of my car and saw a woman walking down the parking aisle. She was followed closely by a boy around 12 or 13. The woman was screaming obscenities at the top of her lungs. Pretty much a string of words all beginning with F. All around people stood staring with their mouths open and heads shaking. Whatever the problem was it didn't have anything do do with her son who looked pretty mortified and was just walking along behind her. Her yelling went on for a good 5 minutes. Even after she got into her car and backed it out of the parking place. I didn't see anyone else that she might have had an altercation with, at least not in the parking lot. Something must have happened inside the store. Now where was the other man when we needed him. Maybe he could have explained to her that the only person she was embarrassing was herself. Then there is the whole issue of the poor son. Like the little boy and the donut at the grocery store, maybe I should just start running around adopting children who's parents say and do inappropriate things in front of them.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

In The Words of Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh said, "If you live to be 100, I hope to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you."

My mom passed away two months ago today. She had fought cancer for 2 1/2 years. The last 2 years she battled Lung Cancer. She fought with dignity, grace and above all humor. In the end she was tired and she was ready. We were ready. While no one wants to lose someone they love, there comes a point where you no longer want to watch them suffer either. That is how it was with my mom. We were prepared. We had mourned the loss of who our mother was. The person she became in the end was not our wife or our mother. So, when she passed away we were happy for her that the suffering had ended.

When my mom was sick my dad never left her side. He was amazing. He did everything she needed him to do and sometimes he even drove her nuts. They were married one month shy of 57 years. In the days and weeks since she passed away, my sister and I have tried to spend as much time with our dad as we can. He is 81 years old. He is healthy. He is starting to get out again. He even went to Romeo's again this month. Romeo's stands for Retired Old Men Eating Out. They go out to breakfast once a month and do what old men do when they get together.....whatever that is. Probably the same thing young and middle-aged men do when they get together....only with more wrinkles!

We have started to take some of my mom's things out of the house. My dad has been fine with that. After all, now some of HIS things might fit into the bedroom closet. We have taken him out to lunch, to the mall, to see his granddaughter's play etc. We have learned things about him that we never knew.

Before my mom got sick I used to wonder what on earth I would ever do with my dad if my mom died first. I didn't know him that well. He was quiet and rarely had much to say. If you called and he answered the phone he usually said, "Let me get your mother." Hours of sitting in waiting rooms slowly took care of that. I learned that my dad attended one of the first computer schools that the Navy ever ran. Funny, because he doesn't even own a computer. He told me about the time he accidentally stole a car. He told me about places he had been while he was in the Navy and made it sound rather glamorous. He talked about his childhood and my uncles and aunt when they were young. The other day we were talking on the phone about a Mexican restraunt that we used to eat at when I was a kid. I asked my dad if it was still there. He looked in the phone book and said that he didn't see it listed anymore. We talked about how he used to buy us Mexican jumping beans when he paid the bill. Then he told me that he used to eat lunch there all the time when he was stationed at North Island, but that my mom didn't know it. I laughed and asked him why? He said, "Well she always packed my lunch and I didn't want her to know that I had thrown it away on those days." That really made me laugh.

On the outside, my dad is doing amazing, but how can you be married to someone for almost 57 years and not feel like your world has stopped spinning when they are gone? Some days when I leave him I feel so guilty. I am going home to my everyday life that really hasn't changed. I try to call him everyday even if it's just to say hi and to have a nice day. My heart breaks when I think of how quiet his house must be, even for a quiet man. I fear meals wouldn't taste the same without someone to share them with. One day he told me that I was going to think he was crazy, but that in the middle of the night he had woke up and he thought he heard my mom coughing. I doubt that he is crazy perhaps just lucky.

I can't imagine my life without my husband. He is my best friend, my rock and my soul mate. I already dread the getting old process for fear he will do it faster than me. I think that I too shall take the Winnie the Pooh approach and whatever age my husband shall live to be, I want to live to be that age minus one day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Love in Pictures

I promised pictures when we got home from "that other state." Most of them are of my Hubby and my Grandson. As you can probably tell from the pictures, it's too bad that they don't love each other :)

My mommy bought me this shirt. Both my Grandpa and I love it. If you can't read it, it says "My Grandpa is a pilot and I am his co-pilot."

It was really funny watching my Grandpa climb into this airplane. He probably won't be very happy that Grandma posted it.

A boy, his dog and his grandpa on a walk.

Swinging in my new swing that Grandpa and Grandma bought me.

Watching Toy Story with my three best friends. Blankie, Paci and Grandpa.

Only 43 days until we see each other again!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April Fools Joke

So, we are still visiting with our daughter and her family. Yesterday, being April Fool's Day, my daughter and I decided to play a joke on "the son-in-law." Well, actually, I came up with the idea and helped her plan it, but the acting was ALL my daughter. For anyone who knows my daughter you all know that "the son-in-law" didn't have a chance. My husband, son-in-law and grandson were downstairs. My daughter stood on her bed holding a "popcorn popper" toy. She jumped off the bed shaking the toy which created a bang and a clang. Then she stood in the doorway and waited. Following is the conversation:

Guys (in unison): What was that?

Me: Are you alright?

Daughter: Oh, don't come up here.

Son-in-law: (Now up the stairs) What happened? Let me in the room.

Daughter: No, you are going to be so mad. I was standing on the bed and knocking down a cobweb off of the ceiling fan. I lost my balance and instinctly grabbed the fan blade. It pulled the fan right out of the wall. There is fan and ceiling all over the bed.

Dad (From down stairs): You pulled the fan right out of the wall? (He turns and walks away from the bottom of the stairs as if to say, "boy am I glad this is someone else's problem")

Son-in-law: Oh, you better let me see. (Very calmly too I might add.)

Daughter: OK....(she moves out of the way)

Son-In-law looks and of course the ceiling fan is fine.

Daughter: April Fools!!

Son-In Law: Thank goodness. I was trying to figure out how much that was going to cost and who was going to help me fix it.

Kuddos to my son-in-law for being so calm. Not so sure my Hubby would have been. He would have let me have it with both barrels I'm sure.