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Posts Tagged ‘Carrie’

So Blitzen has figured out how to facetime from her i-touch.  For long time readers, you will know that Blitzen has long had a tremendous amount of angst about the fact that she doesn’t have a cellphone and can’t call the people that she loves.  Keep in mind that she can call the people she loves whenever she wants because she is always with an adult that has a phone.  The overwhelming desire to reach out and touch someone most often comes at homework time, guinea pig cage cleaning time or shower time — she is not allowed to phone her relatives when she is supposed to be tending to her responsibilities.  This has caused many a disagreement – ‘You never let me call my mother! I could call her if I had a phone!’ she will wail.  To which we reply, you can call your mother as soon as you sit down and do your homework. And you still couldn’t call if you had your own phone because you still wouldn’t be allowed to use electronics during homework time.

But I digress.  This week Blitzen has begun facetiming me, right after school, to inform me of things.  ‘Carrie, I have a stomach ache.’ she informed me on Tuesday. I suggested that she ask the babysitter to get her a gingerale.  ‘Ok, Carrie. I will.  I’ll see you tonight.’ she replied.  And then yesterday she facetimed me again and we had a comical and typical Carrie and Blitzen discussion.

Blitzen, ‘Carrie, I am not coming home after.’

Carrie, ‘Yes, I know, you are going to M’s after school, right?’

Blitzen, ‘But I am spending the night.’

Carrie, ‘Yes, I know, sweetie, M’s mom talked to Andrew before she invited you.’

Blitzen, ‘Oh, ok.  I just wanted to call you so you would know where I am.’

Carrie, ‘Thank you, honey, I appreciate that.  That was a good thing to do.  Have a wonderful time.’

Blitzen, ‘Ok, Carrie.  I love you.’

Carrie, ‘I love you too.’

Darn that kid is adorable..  And these discussions are always even more hilarious because I am always in a meeting and Blitzen is always so earnest.

 

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‘Sure, B, that is fine.’

‘Can I listen to one my shows – no, wait, wait, LISTEN to the voices of one of my shows on my ipod while I am in the shower?’

‘Well, Blitzen, that seems an awful lot like watching tv – you’re just not looking at the pictures.’

‘When you read a book, isn’t that just like watching tv without hearing the voices because it is all in your brain?’

‘Go take a shower, Blitzen.’

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As mentioned, Blitzen is exploring an array of conflicted and heavy emotions right now. And it is playing out, as these things do, in just about all aspects of our life.

One of Blitzen’s odd triggers is cleaning the guinea pig cage. I guess most children who own guinea pigs argue with their parents about cleaning the cage. I get it, it is gross, creating how to videos is whole lot more fun, and you know, the whole childhood – you are not the boss of me – thing.

But with Blitzen, every day parental disagreements are so loaded. So, during our weekly cage cleaning, Blitzen got pretty mad at me. And I told her that I wasn’t interested in being yelled at so she could clean the cage independently or call me when she was ready work together without fighting.

Her response,’You always bail on me. You just walk away. You’ve been lying to me since I was 8. And telling me that I can’t be what I really want to be.’

And I said, ‘Blitzen, what is this really about? I don’t think we’re talking about guinea pigs any more.’

Blitzen yelled, ‘you told me I could never be a mermaid and all I want is be a mermaid. I believe it but you don’t.’

Carrie replied, ‘Blitzen, that doesn’t sound like me. I don’t bail on you, I am here, right now, trying to help. And as for mermaids, some people believe in them and some people don’t. But you can believe it in and I think it is wonderful that you do.’

Oh boy, my poor Blitzen. It really sucks to be in this in between, insecure place.

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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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Scarf

I lost my scarf.  Ok, I thought that Blitzen lost my scarf and basically made her and Andrew turn all of her school storage spaces upside down to find it.  To no avail – although the misplaced spectacles were found so this was not a wasted hunt!

I was sad, I loved the scarf.  And then, I found it, in the closet.  Ummmm — this is not how things usually go in our house.  Andrew and Blitzen lose things – here, there, everywhere and even in their own closets.  I know where things are – here, there, everywhere and usually in their own closets.

I, of course, confessed to Blitzen.  She looked at me, she said, calmly, “Told you so.” And stuck out her tongue and grinned.

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As a special gift from me to Blitzen at Christmas, I got her a book of 20 coupons.  Some of the coupons are redeemable for stuff that costs money (like a magic show – she is really into magic right now, she enjoys the showmanship – go figure) but mostly they are for quality time things and stuff that she says I never let her do (and she is right).  Like stay up all night, eat breakfast in my bed, stay home from school one day with me and have an adventure, etc.  She was planning this morning on the walk to school, thinking about all the coupons and when she will get to use them.  I’ve been thinking about how to use a similar system as a motivator — I don’t love rewards systems but sometimes Blitzen needs something a little more concrete than the joyous natural consequences of doing things well and without conflict.

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Blitzen often says this — sometimes she asks about ordinary things.  Sometimes she wants to talk about mermaids or why we can’t have a dog.  Sometimes she wants to make her 5,436th plea for a cellphone because ‘everyone else has one’.  Sometimes, she wants to have a serious conversation.

Since I’ve returned from my last trip, Blitzen has been on the verge of asking me something big.  Several times a day, I hear, ‘Can I ask you something?’  Then she veers and we go in another direction.  Last night, she finally worked up the courage to ask me and this is what she said (tear alert – don’t proceed if you tend to get weepy).

Blitzen to Carrie, very serious, a little bit nervous, avoiding looking me in the face, ‘Carrie, do you ever want to let me go?’

For the record, I just burst into tears writing that.

The court proceedings have taken a turn for the messy.  Additional trial dates have been scheduled, more witnesses have been called and it is likely that mom will get another suspended judgement for another year.  I wish a whole lot of things but mostly I truly hope for resolution and permanency for Blitzen and her siblings.  They deserve it and need it. But they are not going to get it for at least another year.  I guess because 5 years in limbo isn’t enough.  And by 5 years, I mean 5 contiguous years this time.  Blitzen has been in care for almost 9 of her 10 1/2 years.  It is a crime and I hope she grows up and sues everyone involved in this case to cover her therapy bills.  And then finds inner peace and let’s it all go.

You’re probably wondering what I said.  Well, I said – ‘No, I would never want to let you go.  But you know that the judge is thinking about what is best for you and the other kids.  And no matter where you live, I will always know you and love and help take care of you and be your best friend.’  Blitzen says, ‘Ok, I know.  But what if the judge says that you can adopt me?’ Carrie says, ‘Then we will.’

It is going to be a very long year.

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First of all, mornings are so much better than they used to be.  I got out of the way and it really helped.  Andrew and Blitzen have a whole routine and I am just there for good morning hugs and breakfast conversation — it has made all the difference.  Of course, mornings are still mornings.  And I suppose I miss a little bit the quiet, leisurely routine I used to have in another (simpler but more boring) life that included wandering around in my robe and reading the paper.  Now, most mornings are fine but I was standing on the curb today with a pouting 10 year old  asking, “Can you explain why you got so angry this morning?” instead of dashing off to work early, as planned.  And in the end, dashing off to work early was the answer to the question.

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yoga

Ahhh, I had forgotten.

How to breathe, how to stretch, how to relax.

Apparently one’s shoulders are not supposed to be hunched up under one’s ears all the time.

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On the train to school one morning last week, Blitzen and I ran into a middle schooler of her acquaintance.  We all got off the train together and this young man started the long 2 block walk to school.

Blitzen turned to me and whispered, “Hurry up.  We need to stay right behind him and keep an eye on him.”

I said, “Honey, I think he is fine, he knows the way.”

Blitzen looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, “You don’t understand teenagers.  They can get up to some seriously funky business if you don’t watch them.”

Well, there is no arguing with that.  We tailed the young man to school like a couple of undercover cops,  funky business avoided.

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