sometimes this parenting gig is a whole lotta hard

Lemony Child, while waiting for the school bus, decided that she had to go to the bathroom. I gave her the patented eye roll and said, "I asked you right before we left the house, remember?"

"But I gotta go, Mumma."

Because the child's immune system doesn't function properly, and because sometimes it affects her digestive system, when she says she has to go to the bathroom, we don't ask questions. We just find a bathroom.

Okay, I said, let's go, and we started walking home.

"But I'll miss the bus, Mumma."

"It's okay, Bean. I can drive you to school."

The child freaked out. She wanted to go on the bus with her friends. She didn't want to miss out on sitting next to Sarah, her best friend from Kindergarten who isn't in her class this year. She was screaming. Yelling. Stamping her feet. Total meltdown. But, the thing is, if she really had to go to the bathroom, getting on the bus at that point was a very very bad idea. So I ignored her meltdown and kept walking towards home.

The volume of the screaming brought the neighbors to their windows, and then, when we got home, she refused to go to the bathroom. Her way of punishing me for "making me MISS THE BUS!"

And because I'm a good mother, instead of trying to figure out exactly why she was so upset (because while she is a stubborn and sometimes-spirited kid, she was way off the charts with her reaction to riding to school with me instead of on the bus), I yelled at her. And she yelled back. So I yelled louder. And so did she.

Before I knew it, I was furious at her for picking the worst possible time of day to have a tantrum and she was sobbing.

"You don't love me!" she wailed.

"I love you!" I shouted back at her. "I just hate when you act this way!"


This would be where I took a deep breath and remembered that I am the adult in this relationship. I hugged her. I told her I loved her more than anything. I told her that loving her doesn't mean I have to like bad behavior. I told her I wasn't angry about missing the bus, and that she did the right thing telling me her tummy didn't feel so great. I told her I didn't want her to think she can't tell me that she needs to go back to the house, even if the bus is sitting right there at the corner, and that I will always take her home, and that I will never make her go on the bus if her tummy feels yucky...

"That's what I was nervous about, Mumma. That I'd be on the bus and my tummy would start hurting. What if my new teacher doesn't know and doesn't let me go when I need to? I don't really have to go to the bathroom right now. I feel kind of scared about school."

I quickly decided that I am the worst mother on the planet, and then I talked to her.

We had a nice talk, and by the time I drove her to school she was reassured and feeling just fine. She kissed me good-bye, told me she loved me, and trotted off down the hall.

I found her teacher and explained why my daughter's face was all splotchy, and the teacher, who has to be about 100 years younger than I am, put her hand on my arm and said, "Oh, sweetie, I imagine it's very hard for you to let her come to us every day. Trusting us with her health must be a giant leap of faith. I'll reassure her later, when she's had a chance to settle in for the day. I'll take good care of her, I promise."

It was like a bell went off. I thought, yes, it is hard, and *ding*, there it was. It is very hard to let my daughter go to school every day. I have this low-grade, nagging worry when she's there because I'm not with her. What if she gets sick? What if the teacher forgets she needs to be able to just get up and leave the class? What if some kid in the cafeteria smears her with strawberry jam and she stops breathing? What if...what if...what if...

Today I let my worry turn into something else, and I made my baby cry. She's fine now, having a great day in first grade. Her teacher called to tell me this because she didn't want me to spend the day feeling bad about a bad morning.

"Lemony Child is fine," she assured me. "Having a perfectly nice day."

I'm happy for that.

Now if only I could forgive myself for having a bad morning.


nobody saw that, right?

It's late here, and the Lemonettes all start school tomorrow.

(please let me take this opportunity to say NONE TOO SOON, EITHER!! because, today, the two youngest Lemons actually had a shouting match in the middle of the grocery store over who was going to take the FruitaBu out of the cart and give it to the slightly dazed girl at the register)

Okay, so, because it's late and the kids are going to school tomorrow (woot!) - and because Lemony Teen will be particularly fun (um, not?) to be around at 6:15 in the morning, I need to be as well-rested as possible; otherwise, when she starts using that really snotty voice she's so fond of using to tell me she is NOT happy with her choice of breakfast foods I'm likely to hurl a box of cereal in her direction before going back to bed - I decided that I was going to bed.

Except it's never really as easy as deciding it's time to go to bed.

Because, you see, first I had to pick up all the couch cushions and pillows and place them neatly back on the couch (they were on the floor for some reason I didn't care enough to ask Mr. Lemony about) because you know I can't sleep if the couch cushions aren't on the actual couch. And then I had to find the remote control and put it away on the entertainment center, because if I can't find it in the morning when I'm ready to watch a rerun of ER on TNT...well, that's never a good thing.

Of course then, after I had the family room in order and had made my way to the kitchen, I had to put Mr. Lemony's cereal bowl into the dishwasher and toss an empty soda can into the recycle bin. Because I could see them in the sink. And we can't have that to wake up to.

I remembered the laundry waiting to be rotated, so I ro and tated it.

I made sure the front door was locked and the porch lights were off...and then I couldn't remember checking the mail today so I trudged down the driveway in the dark, stepping on acorns and displacing a snake, and found six political pamphlets, a Pottery Barn catalog, and the orthodontist bill in the box...

(when Mr. Lemony says he's going to bed, he just gets up and marches off to bed, by the way)

...stuck the mail in the mail basket, packed up some grapes and watermelon for Lemony Child's snack tomorrow, and called for the dog so I could let her outside to pee and chase a few moths before sticking her in her fluffly bed (crate) for the night.

I turned off the kitchen light. I let the dog in. She happily trotted into her crate, turned six dozen circles, and then parked her nubby little butt down for the night with a giant sigh. I loved on her for a minute, said good-night, and closed the crate. Turned off the light in the living room. Turned for the stairs. And promptly tripped over the giant thing in the middle of floor.

The really giant thing, right there, smack in the middle of the floor. The thing I saw out of the corner of my eye before going down hard on my knee on the hardwood floor.

So there I sat, smack in the middle of the living room, trying not to cry too loudly over my now-swollen and very-bruised knee and wondering why my mother had to pass along her clumsy gene instead of her non-freckly, non-pasty skin gene. I looked around for the enormous thing that had tripped me.

It wasn't a dog toy. It wasn't a carelessly discarded Webkinz dog named Milo. It wasn't even the laundry basket I'd forgotten to grab on my way up the stairs. Nope. The giant thing that dropped me like a bag of rocks was...


I tripped over NOTHING.

The next time I decide it's time for bed I'm sleeping on the cushionless couch.


hello there little guy! how cute are you?

I received an e-mail today -

"Hi! The Association is experiencing a real problem with bears. We need all members and their guests or renters to not put trash outside their home. If trash is being put out for pick up it needs to be put out just before the pick up is scheduled (not the night before). Thank you!"

My reaction was to giggle. Why?

The vehicle you see in the corner of the picture is the Lemony Mobile aka The Happy Bus and it's parked in our driveway. Yep. Really.

You'd think the fuzzy little thing (actually, he wasn't all that little) would have noticed the three dumbfounded people and the hysterically barking dog mere feet from where he ambled out of the trees, but no. He just went about his business of...ambling.

He climbed a tree and took a nap.

We went inside and locked the windows.


today is not my birthday

Monday was, though, and I'm feeling extraordinarily old and decidedly cranky about it.

I have absolutely no motivation to write anything about anything.

Okay, that's not entirely true. I do have some amusing tidbits I'd like to share, mostly about teenagers and that O.MI.GAWD!ISHEGOINGTOKISSME???? thing that goes along with being sixteen.

There's also some really cool news about the middle Lemon. He doesn't think it's cool at all and he thinks his parents are the lamest parents, like, EVAH. He may be right about the lame parents, but it's still kinda cool news.

I'm not into the sharing thing lately, though.

Anonymous Reader...Thank You for that.

Hope all is well south of Quiet Village.