On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't urinate on the local vermin

I'm in my new den. Yep. You read that correctly. I can't afford to pay out of pocket costs for my children's health care but I could afford to put an addition on my house.

Currently, my den has a concrete floor and a ten by eight opening that is only partially shut off from the elements by a folding door which is automatically closed by an electronic spring and pulley system. It's serious high tech stuff, let me tell you. The large opening cuts costs by eliminating the need to install windows for ventilation, although the pestilence issue is problematic and only moderately abated with amply applied bug spray. But the view is pretty. I get to look at the bug splattered grill of my van.

The furniture is sparse. I have two folding camp chairs, a beat-up coffee table and an even more worn end table, a DIY corner cabinet system, a cast-off dinette table and mismatched dining chair, a DIY quilt table on caster wheels and a pressed board shelf unit circa 1992. The only new item is the 70% off 4x6 carpet remnant I found in the clearance bin at the dollar store.

Unfortunately, regardless of the addition of roughly 300 square feet of living space, the appraiser says it can not be counted toward the overall value and liveable space of our home based on some ridiculous county stipulation regarding what can legitimately be deemed as "liveable space". Likewise, I must share the space with ladders, a leaf blower, tools, christmas boxes, utility brooms, a hot water heater, spiders, roaches, an unused upright freezer, coolers, beach and fishing gear, hoses, and the various brick a brack one typically finds in a garage.

Oh, wait. That's right. That's because it IS my garage! For the price of hard labor, sweat and sore muscles, we have increased our useable space.

I love it.

Especially since we are enjoying the rare treat of a cool September evening two days in a row although I do miss the hum of the locusts. The hummingbirds are fun to watch and I'm always curious to see if one will fly in. Those little guys are practically tame. They never frighten away and they are always staring me down if I leave the feeder unattended for too long. Have you been stared down by a hummingbird before? It's a bit intimidating. Hovering mid air, a foot from my nose, their long pointed beaks threatening harm, their wings moving so fast they are invisible, that ruby red throat ... *shudders* I feel like Igor: yes master, the nectar, the nectar! Coming, coming sir!" Too many more cool nights and my little humming buddies will be gone too. Then I'll be fighting an endless war with the leaves wanting to blow into my den. And does anyone have any ideas for racoons? We have a family of them living in the sewer drain just one house down.

Have I mentioned that fall is my favorite season?

And since I'm rambling, have I mentioned that I'm drinking coffee too late in the evening? I'm trying to decompress. I have to do the round-trip therapy visit with Sissy tomorrow which will include yet one more meeting to staff her case. *sigh* One of these days I'm going to get the chutzpah to show up wearing a t-shirt that says, "My kid is challenged. I'm over it." and then just sit there smugly with my arms crossed and my legs propped up on the table, leaning back in the chair trying not to nod off or better yet, checking the time on my cell phone too often so I appear bored or uninterested. Oh, I know!  I should download a new game on the cell and play it during the meeting, looking up only occasionally to say, "what? Huh? I don't know." since that's all Sissy ever says at these meetings. Shoot. One time she put her forehead down on the table letting the rest of her body go limp, her tongue hanging out of her mouth and her eyes rolled to the back of her head. Good times. Good times.

And no. She wasn't having a seizure. She was bored. Six adults and a parent convening from as far as three hours away to spend two hours discussing her mental health services and her future and she was bored.

Really wish I was making that up.

Ah well, this is my life. What's a girl gonna do? I'll tell ya what she's gonna do. She's gonna live it up in her new den! New Q&A at my house will go like this:

"Where's mom?"

"In the den"


"She's in the garage."

"oh, right."

Is it bad if I crack myself up? I mean, I know stand up comedians aren't supposed to laugh at their own jokes but I'm not standing up (that's hard to do and type on a laptop at the same time) and I can't hack the night life, it's too loud and rowdy. After all, I get spooked by hungry hummingbirds. So a gig as a comedian wouldn't work out for me. I guess it's OK if I'm laughing at myself then?

Anyway, come over. Sit with me in my den and keep me company. I've got a five gallon bucket you can pee in if you can't make it to the other end of the house in time. Or you could just walk out the big opening and squat at a tree, just make sure you look twice before you drop your drawers. We've got some interesting vermin in these parts, the kind you would be keen to be wary of, particularly if your aim is to urinate on them.

WG lost her second top tooth.  She was very excited.

Daytime in the "Den"

Lunch anyone?
red beans and rice

Busy, busy

New kitchen curtains I made and the view of the hummingbird feeder

Ah yes, the lighting is much better to see the curtains in this photo...

New curtain for the kids' bathroom window
(I made the old one ... *cough* ... 14 years ago)

Nighttime in the den 
AKA: the view as I typed this post. See?  There's the van's grill, just as I said.

There's my roost, laptop, coffee, trail mix and all.
I'm a happy camper!


Mama Drama Times Two said...

I love that you have carved out some sewing and relaxing space thst is just for you. The Other Mother and I have laid claim to the updtairs guest room across the hall from our bedroom: Futon, desk, TV without cable and a microwave to reheat my tea = bliss! Sewing still takes place on the dining room table. Enjoy your sacred space!

Ilana said...

Well, I suppose there is not too much your daughter can decide about her own future, at least for the next 7 years. And I suppose she is aware of it. So why shouldn't she be bored at those meetings. Add to that the sleep-inducing effects of tranquilizers, and you have your scene...

Integrity Singer said...

@Ilana - you make a good point, it does seem that I'm being harsh in my assessment. But the particular event I'm mentioning my daughter was not on some of the heavier medications, and we dose the ones that make her drowsy at bedtime anyway. In addition, the meetings are actually fairly engaging - the staff always comes with lots of things for her to do, they have lots of questions to ask her, they give her surveys to fill out that earn her gift cards, etc. So the fact that she wouldn't engage at all knowing all the perks of the meeting is rather frustrating.

beemommy said...

I'm a little taken aback at the commenter Ilana. Wondering if she's had any experience with a RADiant child? If she has, she should know that manipulation is the name of the game for many RADiants. It is all about control. She does have quite a bit of control over her future, including the next seven years. She can refuse to participate and perpetuate this living hell or she can participate and actually, possibly, improve. I am not saying she is not sick, sick, sick....I am saying so is my son and he has finally decided that he cannot keep fighting and keep living. Hugs to you girl,your response was quite professional and positive.

Becky said...

What Beemommy said. BTW, gotta love that term RADiant :-)

Love the den! I have a "sun room" just outside of my garage where I have moved my favorite patio chair to be able to sit and watch the birds that gather here ... to eat my tomatoes! :-)