Category Archives: the kid

I think I may have blinked too often.

BratzBasher

is 18 years old today!

18, people!

In a lot of ways, it feels like this has snuck up on me somehow. Like every time I blinked, she grew a couple inches and a couple years. She’s no longer growing taller, but she still hasn’t agreed to stop getting older. Not that it was ever a real possibility, but a mother can dream.

Part of me is enjoying BB at this age. I’ve tried to enjoy all the ages, but some have been easier than others. I think I’ve almost gotten over that gut-wrenching instinct to bundle her up in bubble wrap and insert myself between her and the rest of the world. I think that’s partly due to her no longer being in high school marching band. That was an unnecessarily toxic environment (for which we all blame the high school’s concert band director). Now that she’s taking band at the community college (plus an additional course there each semester), things have improved a great deal. She’s no longer spending so much time in bully territory, and she’s gaining experience in an environment more conducive to learning and being who she wants to be.

BB has been tutoring at the elementary school nearest to her high school. She works with one first grade class three afternoons each week. She says it’s been very good for her depression (as service often is). The kids all call her “Miss BB” (except they use her actual name), and the teacher is very grateful to see her each time she comes. BB normally provides one on one assistance with math, and sometimes she confides to me that it can be frustrating working with kids whose light bulbs have yet to actually turn on. Some days she isn’t sure if some of the bulbs are even screwed in all the way yet, but it’s fun when the switch finally flicks to the “on” position. In the meantime, she’s learning patience and how to explain the same concept several different ways.

BB’s driving now, too. She just recently got her learner’s permit and has logged about three hours of behind-the-wheel practice so far — with her father, of course. I’ve been wisely forbidden to ride with her until she’s reached a certain level of competency. I’m completely on board with that plan.

For her main birthday present, Merkin hauled a giant army surplus ammo can in from the garage. It’s a time capsule we assembled during her first few years of life and saved for today. We filled it with little souvenirs like the hospital ID bands from the day she was born and her “Special Delivery by Dr. Irion” t-shirt (the first item of clothing she ever wore), various magazines and newspapers showing the world as it was in November 1998, a package of twinkies (which was, thankfully, more petrified than moldy), a copy of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (once owned by her great-grandfather on Merkin’s mother’s side) that was over 100 years old when we first added it to the capsule, a notebook containing messages from various friends and relatives — including some of the kids in Merkin’s Sunday school class that year…all sorts of crazy treasures. Her first pair of “Doh-tee shoes”, the sparkling ruby slippers from her Halloween costume that she loved so much (and I’d accidentally made so big) that she wound up wearing it for years and wore through five different pairs of Doh-tee shoes before finally packing it away, was near the top. There was also a McDonald’s Happy Meal bag with various non-perishable items from that particular lunch visit: placemat, napkin, fry bag, chicken nugget box, coffee stirrer with the restaurant’s logo on one end (We don’t drink coffee, but BB liked tiny things)…the toy was still in its original packaging. She wasn’t particularly interested in owning a plastic figure of Nickelodeon’s Doug when it was new, so I kept it in the bag with the paper products and the tiny pepper packets that BB seemed to find oddly fascinating tonight as she pointed out that each one had two, tiny separate compartments of the spice.

She took a couple of items from the time capsule with her to the Young Women’s meeting tonight, including a special edition of Teen People devoted to Prince William. She found it hilarious, and I’m sure all of the other girls will have a good laugh over it, too.

18 years ago, a newborn baby girl napped in the arms of whichever volunteer grandma won the arm wrestling competition in the maternity ward nursery that evening while her two new parents sat exhausted and shell-shocked and wondered what they had gotten themselves into. Now that baby girl is officially an adult with ideas and opinions and a basic plan for her immediate future and no idea what she’ll be doing in the long term. I imagine she might find herself lying in bed tonight and wondering what she’s gotten herself into agreeing to come down to this earth and live a whole life filled with choices and obstacles and all kinds of wonders she can’t even begin to anticipate. Or — and this is much more likely — she’ll eat an extra slice of chocolate pie (her birthday cake of choice this year), take a nice hot shower, and pick out one of her new anime t-shirts from Hot Topic for tomorrow’s wardrobe before wading through her disaster of a bedroom and climbing into bed to sleep the sleep of the unemployed and still dependent. Growing up can wait until at least the end of high school, right?

 

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What?

BB: (trying to tell me a story or something I don’t remember)

Foo4: I’m too tired. I can’t comprehend complicated sentences right now.

BB: I like frogs.

Foo4: What?

BB: I figured that was uncomplicated enough for you to understand.

Foo4: We weren’t even talking about frogs.

 


I’m going to pretend it’s still May.

That way I can still claim to be posting at least once a month.

I thought I should probably post photos of BratzBasher’s completed kimono (Simplicity pattern 4080). It was an absolute bear, I tell you. Right to the bitter end. When I’d finally sewn the last stitch, I told BB, “I’m never making another one of these unless someone offers me hundreds of dollars and at least a pound of gourmet chocolate. Here is the finished result (please ignore background clutter):

kimono front

 

kimono back

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. BB’s bangs are that long because she’d been growing them out for months in anticipation of attending the first day of AnimeCon as Undertaker from Black Butler. Here’s a photo of that costume. I’m really only responsible for the coat, but I consider it to be a feat of refashioning awesomeness.

Undertaker

When BB told me she wanted to dress up as Undertaker last Halloween, I balked at the task of finding anything remotely resembling that coat with the overlong sleeves. I certainly had no intention of creating one from scratch. Luckily, Goodwill came to the rescue. I don’t have any before pics, but the coat was cobbled together from a blazer, a long skirt, a pair of slacks (Yes, those sleeves are actually pant legs!), a zipper, and some velcro. I am a genius. The sash is a twin size flat sheet — no cutting or sewing necessary, though I did snip off the tag.


BratzBasher’s Birthday Bonanza!

Okay, there is no actual event we can really refer to as a “bonanza”, but it’s alliterative, people! Alliterative! Work with me.

BB turned 17 last week. I didn’t even partially freak out until early evening of that day (and even then it was only a minor, partial freak out) because, for some reason, my subconscious had tricked me into believing it was her 16th. Yes, I believed I was celebrating my daughter’s 16th birthday. Again. Well, I didn’t realize the “again” part until she pointed out how old she actually was (luckily before I made the mistake of asking her how it felt to be 16 -phew!) and voiced her hope that I wouldn’t freak out about how close she was to 18.

Anyway…as late as this is, I’m still making a valiant effort to publicly recognize my child’s natal anniversary with a fun post that revolves entirely mostly around her. I have chosen to do so by relating a recent dream she shared with me. It was actually a nightmare; however, as with most nightmares, daylight revealed it to be remarkably silly.

At the start of BB’s dream, she noticed people leaving fliers/pamphlets on people’s doors. It was propaganda designed to trick people into believing they should be happy about being confined to their homes:

“Ever get tired of looking at the same blue sky day after day? Well, now you don’t have to!”

BB quickly saw through this scheme and started trying to warn everyone that they were being controlled. Next thing she knew, men were trying to kill me by breaking my bedroom window in with a bola made from two large rocks connected by a chain. BB stuck tree branches in their eyes and chased them into the new subdivision adjoining our neighborhood. How they got that far while blind I have no idea. Who were these men? H&R Block employees. Yes, folks, the country was suffering a violent take-over by an accounting firm. At one point, BB attempted to spy on the opposition by making herself invisible. The baddies tried to find her by bringing out black lights. “You can’t hide from us!” they cried. “We know you have to be wearing a bra!” Apparently, the assumption was that BB was wearing a white bra that would show through her shirt in the black light, despite her being invisible. Yeah. Right.

After their initial plans were thwarted by BB, the accountants outsourced to Isengard, calling in orc soldiers to round up civilians and imprison them in their own homes. Some of the orcs bore the mark of Saruman (the white hand) on their faces, while others sported the same white hand on a square background of orange (the new logo for H&R Block). BB was facing an army of warriors created for evil. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether or not it was fortunate that she woke up at that moment before she could meet them in battle.

When BB told Merkin she’d dreamed of H&R Block taking over the country, he just said, “That’s not as far-fetched as you might think.”

BB’s been having elaborate, bizarre dreams since she was four — at least the ones she’s been able to remember and talk about. Obviously, she takes after me, but I think the part of her mind that chose an accounting firm to fill the role of “enemy forces” must have come from her daddy. Not that he views accountants as the enemy. No, it’s because he works in the finance department and knows all about money. BB has heard many stories of how bad financial management can enslave people.

I love you, BratzBasher! You are disturbingly creative and made of awesome!

mark of H&R Block


Parenting tip # 493

Next time your kid asks if she can have a spoonful of whipped cream…

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…specify how big a spoon she may use.

Happy Day After Your 16th Birthday, BratzBasher!


Let’s NOT talk about my wisdom teeth.

Except for this paragraph in which I’ll tell you that they’re now officially gone (all four of them), and I don’t remember any of the process (awesome).  I’ll also tell you that Merkin got the day off (officially — he still had to log in and work from home a bit), and has been taking very good care of me.  Then he brought BratzBasher home, and she cuddled with me and discussed silly things.  It made me feel better.  That and the drugs.   Mmm…drugs….  Add in the cold gel packs, and the swelling has almost completely gone down.  Also awesome.  So a few days of mashed potatoes, soup, and chocolate pudding should have me right as rain.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of some quilted star ornaments I made.  The one in the middle is from the first year I made them, but the other two are new this year, using scraps.  The one on the right has a cool spiral pattern that wraps all the way from front to back (as you can see in the second picture).  The one on the left has just one piece of fabric in the center and some rectangular pieces tucked into the second row of triangles to hide pins:

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100_0218I had a couple of friends over for lessons on how to make these, and we had a great time chatting and folding and pinning.  If  you want directions for the spiral pattern, I’m planning on doing another one so I can document the steps.  It’s for the Purple Lady, so it’ll be in shades of purple.  That should make it easier to see the spirals.

I’m also crocheting a scarf out of Lion brand’s Homespun yarn for my grandmother.  It’s super soft yarn, but a bit difficult to work with, so it’s slow going.  I’m getting there, though.  Should have it done in plenty of time for Christmas.  The color I chose is “parfait” because she likes pink.  This is pink, but not overpoweringly so.  It should go with lots of different things.

homespun parfait yarn


I’m being eaten by a boa constrictor…

I finished a scarf for BratzBasher.  I asked her what animal she would like, and she said she wanted a snake.  That’s easy!

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Ribbon tongue…button eyes…and it wraps around her neck three times.  I got a bit bored working in just the green for so long, but that’s what BB wanted.  Just green.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  She likes how warm and soft it is.  (For those of you interested in such things, I’ve been using Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn!”)