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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Counting Down Once Again

Except for my unfortunate encounter with the bathtub, the week could have been much worse. Elcie and Rochelle had a great time with my friend Stacie, her mom, and assorted cats and dogs. They raved about Stacie's cooking - scrambled eggs for brunch yesterday and supermarket pizza for dinner. Just like home some nights but food always tastes better when one is on an adventure.

We've come up with the equivalent of "brunch" for one of those meals too late to be lunch and a little early for dinner but we can't decide whether to call it linner or dunch. Any preferences from the peanut gallery?

Another quiet day. I overslept and Ray wasn't up to church so we played hookey today. No, nothing wrong out of the ordinary but he tires easily and has a badly swollen hand from the needles. Ouch. Rebecca (the only one home) was a little disappointed so I took her with me to the store and then stopped at Jack-in-the-Box. Salads for me and Ray and a hamburger (no cheese please) kid meal for Rebecca. First french fries of the month. She's one up on the other two. And no they don't get to carry over the allotment from one month to the next. Use it or lose it is my motto.

Tomorrow we begin shoveling out the house, beginning with the girls and moving on to the floors, the tables, you get the idea. They've become quite good at picking up their own trash, dishes, wet towels, and dirty clothes which to me are the biggies. Next we'll work on rinsing the dishes but just getting them to the kitchen sink is something.

Rebecca spent much of the time hanging out with me. She loves adult conversation and probably would have made a perfect only child.

Watched my Giants once again snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory (while checking up on blogs and email of course). Does that count as multi-tasking? I didn't think so.

Had baked chicken with stuffing, green beans, and applesauce for linner/dunch. We're doing a pretty fair job of working around Ray's low fat/low salt requirements. Most of what I cook already falls into that category - just cutting back a little more.

We had one scary moment. R & R were playing across the street when my neighbor called to ask me if I heard the noise. What noise? She didn't know - firecrackers or gunfire - hard to tell.
I took off out the front door screaming for the girls. Over and over forgetting to hang up the phone. I was just heading out to look when they came around the corner of the house across the street, right where they were supposed to be, together and safe.

"Grandma, we heard the noise but so-and-so said it was just firecrackers". In April? Meantime all the other neighbors had surfaced either from the noise or my yelling, whatever, and our Sheriff's chopper was circling overhead. I asked them why they didn't run inside my neighbor's house or straight home as soon as they heard the noise. Around here, they know the drill. In the house, go to the back, stay away from windows. Their reply - "well, grandma, we were going to do that but we thought it was firecrackers and we didn't see any dead bodies so it was okay". My God. Starting over on safety rules that I should never have had to teach.

If there are no dead bodies, it's okay? What are they learning? Gunfire is not a nightly event around here and we haven't had a shooting in the immediate vicinity but we have far too much gang violence. My fear is of someone getting caught in the crossfire or by a stray bullet. It has happened in this city and one innocent kid died watching t.v. in her own living room.

There's nothing I can do about it. I can work to eliminate the gangs and the conditions that allow them to flourish of course but I can't dress the girls in armor and I can't keep them locked inside the house. I must let them be children as much as I possibly can.

So they roller skate, they ride their bikes, they play with their friends, they hold mini-yard sales with their old toys (more of a swap meet actually), and do all the other things kids of their age do. And I figuratively hold my breath.

They're now peacefully asleep, as safe as they can be. I look at them and want to weep for all the children of the world who are forced to grow up before their time or worse don't get to grow up at all.

And I should hit delete but I won't. Perhaps I needed to write it down. It's something I never did before I had the blog but it seems to help. Tonight I'll pray for no nightmares or "what ifs" and tomorrow will be a better day.

Thanks for listening to all this and take care everyone.


Missy said...

Thank goodness they're all right.

Ann, your page is whatever you want it to be. I find it really helps to write about stuff that gets the mind racing. If you don't put it into words, you keep that inside and that's not healthy.

I, too, hope that the world is a better place when my son gets older and I'm no longer around to watch every move he makes. Hopefully, though, as a parent, I'll impart the best of what I've learned in life to him and hope he has the ability to make the tough choices on his own.

madcapmum said...

I don't know what to say, except no one should have to worry about things like this. Such a world we have.

Bless you and yours, peaceful sleep.

dongurigal said...

Granny--yikes. Yes, definitely reinforce those rules. Do the "fire" drill. I can understand them thinking it's a firecracker, but still...that's scary. It's too bad that's even something you have to worry about.

As for lunch/dinner--dunch or linner. Neither sounds particularly appetizing.

granny p said...

Jesus!! And this is the richest country in the world. With a president who thinks gun-ownership is a right....Alright for him, he lives in the White House. Glad it was OK though.

ipodmomma said...

thinking of you. childhood isn't what we remember, and that's sad, but unavoidable as well...

glad all your chicks are safe...

Beth said...

We also have gun fire in our neighborhood. It is not a daily event, but it happens. It really can sound like firecrackers and not threatening.

I have a friend who does not want our boys to walk the 8 bolcks between our two houses and so gives them rides. I think that it is not that dangerous; they need the exercise; and I don't want to be ferrying kids around. (Of course she just has the one). It is difficult to know where to draw the line.

Oh...the meal between dinner and lunch could either by call a light supper or, tea. Of course, you would probably have to serve tea to call it "tea." But not necessarily.

Mary P. said...

Good lord. The only guns I've ever seen are on police officers - and weren't in use at the time. Plus that disturbingly realistic paintball gun my son uses. Ick. Though my daughter's K - 8 school has "lockdown drills" several times a year. Makes me shudder.

I'll go for "linner", since we already have brunch. In our family, "lunch" was a light meal in the middle of the day, "dinner" was a big meal in the middle of the day, "supper" was a lighter meal at the end of the day, and "tea" was served about 4. Because my grandad was a Brit, don't you know.

No, we did not have all those meals in one day.

Granny said...

test 6:51 4-24 ann

blogger being stupid?

MsSisyphus said...

How awful, Ann! I cannot even imagine. I've had to deal with some pretty intense stuff these last few years, but I cannot even imagine having to teach The Ladies how to respond to gunfire. Let alone the utter terror of knowing that they are children and therefore see themselves as invincilbe and do not truly understand.

We all need to work together to change this world so that no child needs to learn those lessons the easy way, let alone the hard way.

I'm sending much love to you and the girls.

Jo said...

Ann, I am glad you survived your adventure with the oily tub intact. One of the big reasons we moved from Cali to Utah was the violence, we got so tired of the police helicopters. Hope Ray continues to do well.

Ava said...

That sounds like such a scarey experience.

I can't imagine gunfire drills being part of the things to teach the children.

I'm glad everyone was okay.

lauren said...

It is experiences like this that make me fear bringing children into the world. Such a terrible thing, and especially for the girls (or any minor, for that matter), to have experienced these sorts of violent outbursts at such a young age. Bless their hearts and yours (and Ray's).

PS - I have for years called it "linner".

Turtle Guy said...

when the day wears on and you discover you're at "brunch", is that really all that bad??

Spend the time with Ray - relax, eat, enjoy. The one thing we do far too little of is spend quality time just being in each other's space.

Like R., when I was young I used to crave adult conversation too. Not just to listen, but to be a part of it. My sister was the listener... I was (and still am) the conversationalist!

S. was impressed when my Mom called last night - just to chat - and all SHE heard was "Yup, Uh Huh, Nice... Oh, I agree..." and so on... She said "Now I know where you get the gift of the gab! Your Mom, right!?"


Angel said...

((((Granny)))) At least you are doing what you can, and teaching them to be safe (even if they need a refresher).

I think "dunch" works, though if you throw the word "supper" into the mix, it gets a little crazy. How's Dupper work for you? ;)

Bossy♥'s YOU said...

firecrakers in april is never a good sign..haha

you are a very good multi tasker..i cant sinlge task most of the damn time:)

Angela said...

I consider watching a baseball game while doing homework and occupying a child multitasking- why not claim blogging and baseballing as well??

I'm sorry about your scare today- and glad everything turned out okay.

kuri & ping said...

I should never hit delete for things you post on your blog. How scary for you and for the girls (although they didn't seem to bothered about it...but maybe they were purposely trying to be brave about the whole thing).

But you're right about certain things coming out of children's mouths...we should never condone or allow a society in which kids become desensitized to things which should bother them.

Janice said...

Hi Ann,

Oh that's a frieghtening thing that no one needs to go through! We have had gun shots out here in the country where I live, mostly the casualties are birds or rabbits from pouchers. But occationally our poor mail box is.

Oh, the poor mail box with it's side blown out, giving it's live trying to protect our mail. Alas it was all in vane the bullet got the mail too!


Merle said...

Hi Ann ~~ What a frightening experience
for you. So glad that all is well.
We should not have to live with fear,but
unfortunately we do.
Those girls are so lucky to have you to care for them and to love them, but I
guess they know that. Cheers, Merle.