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Posts Tagged ‘mermaids’

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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mermaid potion

Salt, check — sea shells (2), check — fancy potion bottle, check — underwater video camera to film the action, check

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At dinner last night, Blitzen was telling us about a new game she made up with 2 of her more imaginative friends.  She was the mom, a mermaid mom, of course, and her kids were werewolves.  

Andrew interrupts, “Um, wait, you are a mermaid but your kids are werewolves?”

Blitzen looks at Andrew like this is obvious, “Yeah, because their dad was a werewolf.”

Andrew continues, “Who played the dad the werewolf?”

Blitzen again looks at Andrew like he is a little bit dense, “Nobody.  Who knows where the dad werewolf is, and who cares?!? Anyway... so my werewolf daughters have to save me before I die,” she explains.

Then I interject,” You have so much imagination, Blitzen. I wonder if I had that much imagination in 4th grade.”  I cast around in my brain – what did you play at recess in 4th grade?  And then it hits me, I hung out with my good friend Jennie O and we played, you are not going to believe this, Seawees.  Anybody else remember seawees?  Jennie O and I smuggled them to school in our pockets (nobody had backpacks then) — they were petite mermaids with fabulously colored hair and we made up these really elaborate seawee scenarios under the lone tree (scrub bush really) in our hot, hot, dry, dry Arizona playground. 

So clearly the whole mermaid thing got transferred to Blitzen by osmosis.

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We visited with some old friends this weekend.  We hadn’t seen them in about a year.

It is always exciting to get together with friends, it is a rare treat these days.  And it is always exciting to watch Blitzen with people and to see how much she has grown.  Our friends commented on how mature and calm she was.  The highlight of the day (which included a visit to some formal gardens with space to run and an old mansion – no running but cool stuff –  as well as a lengthy meal at a grownup restaurant) was when Blitzen calmly said, “Excuse me, Carrie, when you are done with your conversation with E, may I talk to her?”  Why of course you can, my darling girl.  And thank you for asking so nicely instead of pulling on my arm and shouting, “Let’s talk about mermaids!”

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Um, so, I thought we were shaking the whole mermaid tail thing but oh no, Blitzen found a fresh crop of mermaid tail how-to videos as well as some mermaid potion recipes on youtube and we are back at it full force.

Blitzen has spent the past 48 hours or so creating a mermaid tail from an old pair of pajama bottoms, duct tape and cardboard.  God bless my mother-in-law who is here for a visit and to help us fill the childcare gap before school starts on Monday.  She has been Blitzen’s primary duct tape tail partner.  They are on our 3rd roll of duct tape and the two of them just keep on cutting and taping, cutting and taping.  And of course, they are video taping the process for posterity as well as to educate others.

I might add that there are currently 6 glasses of mermaid potion sitting on my counter – ingredients include food coloring, a pinch of sugar, water and a seashell. Many magical incantations have been spoken, fingers and hands have been waved over the top – now we are just waiting for them to ‘cure’.  Apparently, it takes 3 days for a mermaid potion to ripen….

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On Thursday, this family will officially be on vacation for 11 super relaxing days.  (I hope, I hope, I hope it is super relaxing.)

We are heading out west – a quick stop in Phoenix to see Andrew’s dad and then on to San Diego for a week with my parents and siblings and nieces and nephew.  We will swim in the pool and go to the beach and make a journey up to Disneyland.  I am looking forward to shopping at the farmers market, cooking and reading.  Can’t wait!

Blitzen packed her bags early, of course, but not as early as our first vacation.  She loaded a tote bag with her on the airplane essentials – ipad, snack bag, american girl doll, and of course (because it doesn’t fit into her suitcase) her monofin for her mermaid tale.

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Last night, when I asked Blitzen to go get her reading, she sat at the table and began to draw mermaids.  I waited a few minutes and then repeated my request.  Her response, “I am drawing mermaids now. I don’t have to do what you say, you know. ”  I wholeheartedly agreed.  And I said so, “That is so true,  you do not have to do as I ask – it is your choice what you do.  And I, in turn, do not have to do what you ask of me. I am going to do what I am responsible for right now – the dishes.  Then I am going to my room to play my new puzzle game.”

And that is what I did.  Blitzen sat at the table alone for quite a while for her — probably 20 minutes.

She then came into my room and said, “I am ready.”

Without looking up from my game, I said, “Ready for what?”

“Bath, teeth, outfit,” she said.

“Ok, great.  Well, the bathroom is right there and you know where your clothes are.  I am going to play my game right now,” I replied.  I usually help Blitzen put up her hair for the shower, I often keep her company – she likes to chat through the door while she bathes —  and we always brush and pick out the next day’s outfit together.

“Um, ok,” she said.  Still not really getting it.  When she got out of the shower, she asked if I would put lotion on her legs.  I said, “I am playing my puzzle game right now.  But you can use my lotion. Just a reminder that you might want to brush your teeth and pick out clothes for tomorrow.  Of course, that is all up to you.  There is no need to do any of that, if you don’t want to.”

Well, that did it.  Blitzen really likes her routines and not to get cocky, contrary to what she often says, Blitzen really likes me.  She got mad and started yelling, “You don’t know how to take care of kids.  I bet your mom was just like this when you were little, mean, that is probably where you learned your meanness.  And you never remember when I help you.  Do you remember my first day I was with you and I washed my dish!?! You never remember that! You never help me even though just today you said it was your most important job!  I am going to tell the agency! “

I just smiled and said, “You are right, I am sure I am terrible to be around and you are very miserable when you are with me.  You should talk to your social worker about that.  You can call in the morning.”

She stomped out of the room, calling, “I am leaving, I really am.  Right after  I get dressed!”  We had been having this discussion while she stood in my room, dripping wet, wrapped in a towel.  Eventually Blitzen got her pjs on (after much crying, stomping and yelling) and came back to my room and asked if I would read her a story.  I told her that I would.  I also suggested that families work better when everyone helped one another and did what was asked of them.  She considered that and reluctantly agreed.

 

 

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By Blitzen:

My favorite item is my mermaid tail. It makes me feel like I am home. It gives me a shiver. When I am swimming, all I care about is swimming in my tail.

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Last Thursday was Poem in Your Pocket Day and the children at Blitzen’s school composed poems and read them to friends, teachers and strangers throughout the day.

My Necklace by the Wonderful Blitzen

I like my necklace
It sings in the wind
It tells me to go swim
It tells I am a mermaid
I go swimming

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Blitzen is teaching a special course at school to the other kids called Oceania. It is all about the ocean and how to make mermaid tails. Yesterday was the first day and she told me, with much surprise in her voice, that only girls signed up. I am not sure why the 3rd grade boys don’t want to make their very own mermaid tail but it is a little shocking that they didn’t join the course in droves. Anyway, I am sure that Blitzen will enjoy the experience of designing a class about her favorite thing and sharing the joys with her friends. And as an added bonus, her two favorite grownup teachers are working with her.

When I think back to a year ago, when poor Blitzen was melting down and running out of the classroom every day after hours of frustrating test prep, I just shudder. What a difference.

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