Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Blitzen had a sleepover the other evening – went off without a hitch.  We told the girls that they could watch tv and we went to bed.

We awoke in the morning and went out into the living room to find a little nest of blankets and pillows had been built, 2 darling children were passed out on the floor, the room scattered with the remnants of snacks and 2 cut crystal wine glasses filled with capri sun.  That is living it up, right there. I wish I had taken a photo, it was the perfect picture of an 11 year old’s idea of a decadent time.

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1) I will continue to self-medicate with Ben and Jerry’s every night, ultimately reaching an extraordinarily unhealthy  weight as opposed to my current a little bit unhealthy weight and get diabetes, have to give up the ice cream (my sole comfort in life)?

2) My heart will explode from all the adrenal constantly coursing through my body as it plays out stupid ‘flight or fight’ to Blitzen’s fight and flight every day?

3) I will move to Alaska, change my name Brown Bear Betty and attempt to live with bears until they eat me?  I am deliciously Ben and Jerry’s flavored at this point so it wouldn’t be long before the bears decided to snack on me.

4) Figure out self-care?

I think, sadly, given my personality and 43 years of experience, 4 is actually the least likely to happen.

Also, we have an FTC today.  I know that I swore last time that I would never go back.  But since I am so bad at #4, I will probably go….

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I’ve talked about this before but Blitzen has a really hard time when fun things end.  Andrew and I have tried to keep doing what we’ve always enjoyed doing (well, maybe we’ve started doing what we’ve always enjoyed doing again) with Blitzen.  (I tend to block out that bleak, lonely, awful first year of hibernation when all we could do was make it to the park and library.) So there have been more plays and concerts.  Which is great – we love them and she loves them.  This weekend we saw A Raisin in the Sun and it was amazing.  Blitzen brought a friend and both girls were really engaged, lots of questions and good discussion –  they enjoyed themselves immensely.  Last night we saw Idina Menzel in concert at Radio City Music Hall and again, Blitzen brought a friend.  And again, a super time was had by all.

And then it is over.  And Blitzen tries to pick a fight with me before we reach the exit.  Why can’t we take a cab? Why didn’t you remind me to bring a sweater? Why won’t you take me backstage to meet Idina? You are so mean, I hate you, you never do anything fun with me.

That last one is my favorite.  Really makes me want to transport B back to the 70s when I was growing up.  First of all, my mother who loves me dearly was not / is not what you’d call playful.  You wanted to play, find a sibling or a friend and go outside – away from her. Secondly, I didn’t see a broadway play until I was 22.  I try to do fun things with Blitzen, I really do.  But it is hard for her to see it sometimes.

So I’ve been practicing dropping my end of the rope. You can’t play tug of war unless both people participate and I remind myself each day to ‘let it go’ to quote Idina.

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Blitzen’s basket contained lots of candy (pink peeps, chocolate bunny, jelly beans, malted chocolate eggs), 2 books (Teenage Mermaid and My Sister’s Vampire), vampire teeth (because really, what easter basket is complete without vampire teeth) and a miniature dragon fly kite because we spent Easter day at Coney Island (what easter family dinner is complete without a Nathan’s hot dog. lemonade and cheese fries).

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Andrew and I worked a bit late last night so one of Blitzen’s babysitter extraordinaires took her to the hair braiding place to get her hair done.  Just as they were leaving the salon to head home, it started to pour down rain – not misty, not drizzle, more like monsoon.  And no umbrella.

Blitzen burst through the door, happy and laughing, telling the story of how they ran all the way home and showing off her wet, soggy clothes. Smiling, giggling, giving her babysitter a hug goodnight and moving along into the evening routine.

Now some people are all – so what?  Lots of kids like the rain.

And I am thinking back two years to our first spring with Blitzen when we got caught in a similar downpour and the child simply ceased to function.  Hysterical, sobbing, unable to move — not a cab or dry awning to be seen.  It was awful.  We practically had to carry her home — she just came completely undone.

I will try very hard to remember this triumph of emotional regulation and happy embrace of childhood wonders the next time Blitzen balls up her fists and growls at me (her latest thing).  I’ll remember that even the growl is an improvement, heading toward a much more socially acceptable expression of negative emotion.

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Andrew called and said, “What are you guys up to?”  I replied, “Buying vampire teeth, of course, what are you doing?”

We had an old friend from St. Louis in town for the weekend.  She has a lot of dietary allergies and so Andrew had been researching restaurants and had found one that we love that would be happy to accommodate her requests.  It is a very very very fancy italian restaurant and they said that they could do their pasta gluten-free.  But it is very fancy and expensive.

Andrew, “So, you want to come out to dinner?” Me, “With Blitzen? There?”

So I asked Blitzen, “Would you like to go a very fancy restaurant with Andrew and our friend? It will take a very long time, they are going to bring us a lot of different foods, we’re going to have sit for a long time.”

Blitzen considered this, “I’ll try-y-y-y it.”

Some highlights:

Blitzen peering down a marble staircase to the ‘basement’ and saying – “Why do they have all that beer in the basement.” That would be the wine cellar, honey.

Blitzen, upon being presented with the 4th of 5 courses, leaning over to me and saying, “Why do they keep bringing us food? I just don’t get it.”

Me, pointing to something on Blitzen’s plate and saying, “That is roasted cauliflower, you know.” And Blitzen saying, “Yes!” and literally grabbing several fingerful to stuff in her mouth.  Who can be bothered with cutlery when roasted vegetables are available.

Blitzen going to the coatcheck because she “needed” something.  Blitzen being ratted out by the coatcheck guy, “I remember you, you came by here an hour ago for the candy in your mom’s bag.”  ‘Cause she’s peckish, I guess, in the middle of our 5 courses.

Blitzen was engaged in the conversation and the food.  It was a marathon and amazing meal – more than 2 hours of wonderful food. She was patient and polite and stayed in her seat except when she went to 1) go see if she could find the pianist 2) went to look at a vase up close that she was pretty sure was shaped like the statue of liberty 3) went outside to see if it had started to snow.

And she only wore her vampire teeth between courses!

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And this is how I know that Blitzen has grown so much.

I ask her, once we are on the train, if she knows exactly where in Chelsea that she would like us to go so that I can be sure that we get off at the right stop.  She thought for a minute and said, ‘By M’s house.’  So we got off by M’s house and started walking toward her building.  Just chatting and enjoying the day.  When we were across from M’s apartment, I asked Blitzen if she wanted to share our destination yet.

And she said, ‘I want to buy vampire teeth.’

And I said, ‘Sure, ok.  Is there a vampire teeth store here near M’s?’

And Blitzen said,’Well I think so but I am not sure.  We should into CVS and ask if they have vampire teeth but they probably won’t.  Maybe you could ask where to buy some.’

And I said, ‘That is a very good plan.  I think you are right – they might not have teeth.  Also, vampire teeth are kind of unusual and they may not know where to get some but let’s try.’

So, we went into CVS and at this point in my journey with Blitzen, I am pretty good at spotting that salesperson who will not look at me like I have 2 heads. I locate a young but efficient looking employee and ask, ‘Do you sell vampire teeth?’  The young woman did not bat an eyelash, ‘No, sorry we don’t.’ I followed up, ‘Do you happen to know anywhere in the neighborhood that does?’  And she was so thoughtful, she thunk and thunk and then said, ‘Yes, actually, I think that there is a costume place over at like 6th and 21st.’

Off we went.  I told Blitzen that she needed to be in charge of finding the right  kind of teeth.  So, again, we found just the right salesperson who was happy to spend time with Blitzen discussing the merits of various models of fangs. We are now the proud owners of vampire teeth.  They look really good too.

Blitzen was so regulated, so able to articulate what she needed and wanted, it was really fabulous.  Then the day got even better.

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